Friday, April 25, 2008

Not scary

A neighbor's fat little beagle barks at me whenever he sees me outside. But every time he tries to bark it ends in a desperate wheeze for breath. This is not really very threatening.

Perhaps someone should advise him to try the Menacing Stare.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Regional meeting

I went to a regional mathematics meeting last weekend in Pittsburgh, which was fun. One of my colleagues got a van and brought a group of students down to the meeting. One even gave a student talk that evening. Unfortunately, the student government ran out of funds and couldn't pay for the students to stay overnight, but they still got to see some cool stuff. Including a trip with us for Indian food. I think that may have been a rather big leap for them; I've never seen people so happy to see rice and bread. I even got them to try gulab jamun, which is actually the most fantastic dessert ever created, but is described as cheese balls in honey, so I'm not surprised they were a little hesitant. (I told them afterwards, "But now you can go tell all your friends you ate cheese balls in honey.") I did hear that our lunch necessitated a side trip to Wendy's later when the group split up for a while.

I did stay the night, and I actually gave a short presentation on a little problem I started thinking about last summer. So that makes two presentations at meetings this year. I'm beginning to suspect that getting accepted to talk is not so difficult. However, I still have to do the publishing part, and that takes a little more work.

Fun story from the conference: On the first day, the organizers had a survey in which everyone put stickers on a poster to vote for various activities at regional meetings. When we finished, we wrote our name on the back of the sticker sheet and dropped it in a basket for a drawing the next day. When it came time for the drawing, someone stood up and told us, "The janitor threw out the basket this morning..."

Morning excitement

When I was down in the basement this morning, I heard something moving around in the empty boxes I have stacked by the sliding glass door. (I haven't yet come up with a reasonable way to put up a curtain or something that isn't a huge project, but boxes sort of work.) I could tap on the boxes and whatever it was would rustle around some more. (This was disconcerting, by the way.) I finally decided it was fluttering, and guessed it might be a bat, since I know bats have gotten in the apartments before.

So I closed up the door upstairs, opened the outside door, and started peeling back layers of boxes until a bird finally slid out from between a few and flew out the door as fast as it could. I have no idea how the bird got inside. It does not speak to the apartment being well-insulated.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I found out last week that we're getting an Indian restaurant in Erie. It's not open yet, but it has a web address on the sign, and it seems to be a chain which has been well-received in other places. This would be very good news.

And we finally had some good weather this weekend, particularly Sunday. I decided this Sunday must have been my Easter. (I celebrate the return of the sun, not son.) Forecasts call for getting into the 60s several times this week, so I'm happy. I'm sick to death of all the snow.

Which means I actually had some motivation to do a few things. (Not lots, but some.) This is good, since I'm going to a regional MAA meeting in Pittsburgh this coming weekend and I put in to talk. There's a good Indian restaurant near the meeting, so it will be a good trip no matter what. Maybe I'll even learn something mathematical. (Stranger things have happened.)

And I guess it's only about a month or so to the end of the semester and summer, which I'm really looking forward to.