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

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Reuse - Recycle - Revenge

No sooner had I gotten my telephone "upgrade" on Monday and the flying squad of installers had moved on to another floor, I discovered that there was a huge pile of Cisco boxes stuffed into the recycling bin in the hallway. They were for the desk/handsets they'd just installed. Good quality heavy duty cardboard -- and large enough to put papers in.

Now since part of my summer project was to clean my office -- and I was expected to bring the book reports from the last semester to the office, both because a student was coming to office hours to get his paper and because Mrs. Dr. Phil wanted them out of the house (grin) -- having a box or bag or tote bag to put them in is always good. Alas, though I keep a selection of good sturdy Amazon and textbook boxes in my office, the secretaries know that I have a box stash and sometimes they come up and see if I have anything suitable for something they need to mail. So I'd been fairly recently cleaned out of such boxes.

Have I mentioned recently how much I love the word serendipity?

Un-May-ish Weather

Though much of the first half of May hasn't been actually terrible, in terms of weather, it has featured some days of cold and/or rain. And we're still having to use the furnace, especially in the mornings, as the temps start out in the 30-45°F range. Tuesday's forecast sun didn't actually show up until about 7:30pm, but today has brought out the blue skies and a bright nearby star. Temp is supposed to get up to the 70s today -- and into the 80s by next week. Looks like May in West Michigan is going to go from early spring right into summer very quickly.

How 'Bout Them Gas Prices?

I haven't ranted about gas in a while, partly because they've been somewhat directionless for a while. I hate it when pundits announce what they think gas prices will soar to, because it always seems that they're giving carte blanche to the gas stations, who seem to immediately raise the prices to the new "target" sooner, rather than later. That looked to be the case going into Easter, but since then, it's been stable with a couple of odd bounces of ±20 cents a gallon for no good reason. (grin) After flirting with near $3/gallon gas, things have dropped back down to $2.80.9/gal for regular. Indeed, on Monday regular was $2.83.9/gal and I had a 60 cents a gallon discount coupon from the grocery story for its gas station, which took a little of the sting off the price.

Earlier they projected $3/gallon by Memorial Day and $3.50/gallon for the summer, but that we wouldn't see $4/gallon. Now, despite the ongoing Great Spewing Gulf Oil Well Project, they re-projected that summer gasoline won't be much more than $3/gallon. Not sure I quite believe that, but we'll see.

I R A G-nius

While sometimes Mrs. Dr. Phil looks askance at me, despite my bad habits of piling stuff up, I actually tend to have procedures and rules for things that I do all the time. Backing up files and moving them daily between office and home machines is a definite priority. On July 1st I'll be teaching my next class, the same as I just taught. In fact, this will be the 16th time that I've taught PHYS-2070 University Physics II (E&M) at WMU. However, the last time I taught this course in the summer was back in 2002.

Now the main machine I am using at the office is one I acquired in 2005. It hasn't been necessary for it to have all of the files from the older machines, so I checked and it only went back to the 7th time I taught PHYS-2070. No problem, I already had one of my older machines running, so I found the Physics .ZIP files from Summer 2002, copied them onto a Swiss Army Memory, dumped them onto the newer machine, made a directory, unzipped the files and voilà! I'm not sure it took more than 30 seconds.

I love it when a plan comes together. (A-grin)

Writing Projects

Tuesday was a very productive day. I shipped three stories submissions, including one which hadn't gone to market before. I'd planned on just the last one, but after one market sent me a Hold request and said I was free to submit something else (thank you!) and I got a very nice rejection, I sent out two more. All three were electronic submissions, including the one to Asimov's, two of which used the Clarkesworld e-sub system.

I don't prefer one method over the other -- electronic versus traditional snailmail. On the one hand I like having a pile of paper representing a story. On the other, e-subbing is certainly fast and you very quickly know if they've got it. (grin) One thing for sure, I don't scrimp in my procedures for e-subs over traditional. I take the same care to review and possibly revise the manuscript, and I take care to write the appropriate cover letter for the market. I believe that 8 of my 14 published stories (9 of 15 if you count my next publication) were done as e-subs. Does that mean traditional is dead? Or just that I've sold a number of stories to lower paying e-sub markets? (grin)

Net result, though, is I treat all submissions seriously.

Now I have to figure out what writing project is next. Oh, I have some essays to write for the teaching side of things. One on repeating courses and perhaps one on cheating. (evil grin)

Dr. Phil
Tags: classes, computers, gas prices, office, phones, physics, weather, west michigan, wmu

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