They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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A Series Of Unrelated Items

More WindyCom To Come

... but right now I'm going to post about a few things that don't quite deserve their own individual postings.

November in West Michigan

You know I seem to recall a number of days of rain in a row, but that might have actually been in October. At any rate, the local weather people are commenting that if things continue as they have, then this will be the warmest and driest November on record. Hmm... well, I know I've commented that it seemed like we had November weather in October (minus any snow this far south, though they got some in Northern Michigan) and October weather in November (minus any real HOT Indian Summer -- like 80-100°F). They've also been looking at the weather patterns to the west and north to comment on when the earliest possible snow might come. At this point, they're now saying that the Sunday after Thanksgiving, 29 November 2009, is the earliest we might get some -- and if we did it could be a pile -- otherwise we'll get no snow in November at all and none til into December.

We're Free!

Apparently while I was off to Chicago, the big I-196 rebuild between 28th Street and 44th Street has begun to wind down and on Friday night they let the eastbound traffic onto the new pavement and have more than one lane. By today, Tuesday, all the barriers were gone so we had all the westbound lanes. Only annoying thing is that there weren't any speed limit signs anywhere in the former construction zone from where I got on at 28th Street, so is it still 60mph or have they let it back up to 70mph?

Other than the slowdown and the narrowness of the lanes, this hasn't been bad going west/south on my way to Kalamazoo. But the shift over to one lane on the east/north return leg has frequently been a bottleneck -- and heaven help everyone if there's a breakdown and everything comes to a crawl or a wreck where there's no shoulder and everything comes to a halt. Of course, NOW I don't have any 6pm commitments back home for the rest of the semester, where I have to race back from K-zoo. (grin)

A Slump

Today, Tuesday, I went to open my office door and it only opened maybe eight inches. One of my legendary piles of boxes had undergone a partial slump and was blocking the way. Fortunately, it did open up enough that I could get a hand in there and move boxes out of the way -- they're mostly Amazon boxes of papers and so not very large -- and I was able to get in on my own. With minimum swearing and grumping. (grin)

My office was probably a storage room when it was designed, but has been an office ever since I got down to WMU in like July 1992. However the door has still got its heavy duty closing spring, so I suspect that the janitors shove the door open hard to work against the spring and opened it too far. Wonder if they heard the landslide after the door shut? Or whether it mysteriously happened in the middle of the night.

We'll never know. But one can speculate. (Actually, I've already speculated some on the boxes in my office, having published a story called "Boxes" in the CrossTIME anthology Volume 5 -- grin.)


I seem to recall that the average number of Facebook "friends" that a person has is around 300. I have less than a hundred -- looks like 91 right now -- which is more than fine with me. Someone the other day was linking to an article which suggested that people can only keep track of about 150 friends in real life, and so since they had about 300 Facebook friends, they wondered which half they should keep and which half they could dump. (double-grin)

Some people are pretty prolific, including those who crosslink everything in Twitter and LJ. There was free WiFi in the hotel this weekend only in the restaurant (with some signal leakage into the lobby area), and when I went to look at Facebook late in the weekend, there were something like 314 new updates. Yeesh. I decided not to look at that until I got home. (triple-word-score-grin)

The thing about Facebook is that is just barelyacceptable to use. They upgrade things all the time, without warning, and just about when you get used to one way they display stuff, they change it. And everyone seems to hate the new versions... a lot! Which makes me wonder whether FB ever bothers to have anyone look at their update versions before inflicting them on people. Or whether there was ever a canonical version of Facebook that users actually liked.

For me FB is a time sink which still has some utility. I have a Facebook group for my Physics classes, and while there's not a lot of posting there, I do know that when I make updates that a lot of students do see my announcements, so it's still worth it. And the regular personal Facebook is a mashup of groups: NU alum, MTU alum, Grimsley HS alum, 2004 Clarion alum, WOTF XXIV alum, other SF/F writers and fans, other library people and, last but not least, family.

I set up a LinkedIn account recently, in order to be able to read someone's page, but so far I've not found it otherwise terribly useful, plus it's weirdly implemented. Wow, a social networking system that makes Facebook look good. (grin) Besides MySpace. (evil grin)

Dr. Phil
Tags: computers, construction, driving, facebook, internet, michigan, technology, weather, west michigan

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