Heading Out

Seeking the winds that help to sail on Shakespeare's tide.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

From the glacier


From the glacier
Originally uploaded by Heading Out.
Somewhere on this picture is a bald eagle in flight. Just don't ask me where. It flew from right to left as I took the photo, but may have been too far away, though I, and others, could see it.

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What a surprise


Highland Games, Alaska 2005
Originally uploaded by Heading Out.
Glancing through the Events brochure, we found we were in time for the Highland Games. Listening to the massed bands of Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks as they picked up the refrain to "Amazing Grace" raised goosebumps. And I had never seen the "Farmer's Walk" competition before. You carry a 168 lb weight in each hand and see how far you can walk. The winner did over 300 ft.
They also had tossing the caber, the hammer, the stone, and all the other old favorites.

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One reason for light blogging


Muskox in Alaska
Originally uploaded by Heading Out.
Sorry that this has been sparse recently. But I will try and post the odd pic from our trip to compensate. This is south of Anchorage on the way to Seward.

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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Almost a quiet day

So there I was, quietly finishing "Twilight in the Desert" which is a sort of a denoument of the Saudi promises to supply us all with all the oil we need for ever. Then the doorbell rang and it was the Prince Regent returning something borrowed. So he offers me a beer and off we trot to the local hostelry where we have a chat over said beer.

Now you should know that about 20-odd years ago I happened into a bar where our resident Tsar of the time was having a drink at a conference and that got me into a very interesting project. But there were a number of times I wished that I had stayed sober than night. So anyway I did make some comments about life, the universe, and how the world will probably change absolutely in about eighteen months. Just minor chit chat you understand.

So now I have to decide if I should let the matter drop or do the full court press thing and send a memo explaining what should be done etc etc. Or I could remember that I was seriously intending to step back and start the slow reduction of work that will lead to my retirement in the non-too distant future.

We were supposed to do a community service project today, but only 3 of us showed up with a minimum of 8 being needed, so after an early breakfast, and a hard look at the sky we all went back home and I fell asleep for a couple of hours.

The back is still not quite back in business, though it is close, and so I am starting to exercise again, but relatively gentle tapes so far. Would that I had time for the memes that tempt, but for just a wee while longer there are things that must be done.

I would recomment the Alma Alexander books "The Hidden Queen" and "Changer of Days" both were enjoyable, and the series this time was not too long or drawn out.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Tick, tock, time is a wastin'

Profgrrrrl had a photo, more time ago than I care to search, that showed the supplies that she was putting in for last semester. It included a bottle of gin, and, somewhere near half way through the semester she mentioned that she hadn't yet hit it very hard.

Well, alas, I cannot claim to the same discipline. Consider, today, where after a month one of our good folk is still unable to make a relatively simple experiment work. How to convince him that academia is not all gentle study, and that when you promise to deliver a result by a certain time (like last month), that involves a certain commitment on your part to get it done? He and his students plod on at a rate that is worth, surely, at least one drink tonight.

Then of course there was the Duchess, earlier this week I got a brusque note from the Duke suggesting that I was not keeping all the appropriate Admin folks aware of our new initiative. So I started to send some info, and it is, as it was before, like throwing gold bracelets into a deep dark and empty well, - no response. What's that, yes I do think that calls for a second splash.

Oh, the piece of equipment that is vital to a third group of experiments has been taken , unasked, by another group on campus to work on something that has to be done by August, and we had it here because our deadline is July. Have another splash, old son!

And four different groups want proposals, and two want presentations, all by next week. Fortunately the diligent grads have been writing papers, so the odd snip here, and the odd clip there, and gee, I only need a finger in the glass for this one.

Whaddya mean, the storm knocked out the main drafting computer - it had a surge protector on it - whaddya mean someone stole it last week - whaddya mean we lost all our design drawings - which clown didn't back up those files - Oh! Him !

Where did I put that second bottle?

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Back to England by phone alone

Called Mum today and the weather in the North of England is very cold. She is suffering from cabin fever, since the Traveller can't get up to see her for another 7 weeks while his hip gets better. Her knee is also acting up, but apart from an occasional additional pill (on top of the 8) not much else is being done for it to date.

In the last week we have had two sets of visitors, we had a day where the staff were all committed to a University function, and three of the faculty were out of pocket on Friday. So how much work did we get done on the various projects - virtually none. It does get very frustrating, given the amount of work that we are committed to, and that it is largely up to faculty to run the projects, to see how far behind they seem to be content to let the work get.

After the visit to the Chiropractor on Wednesday I was out of pain for the first time in a couple of weeks, but in the chaos of all the meetings, forgot to get the appointment confirmed for Friday early enough and so lost it. I will not be able to go until Monday. Which is a bit sad since I think I am slipping back a bit.

ProfG has commented on how busy The Oil Drum has been keeping us, and our growing respect for those who are more prolific writers. Believe me that is echoed here, and magnified. Though it is proving interesting and rewarding to date.

And Bujold definately had the better of the book list cited. Now it is time for the duo by Alma Alexander The Hidden Queen and Changer of Days to see if they compete.

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