Heading Out

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

Monday, January 16, 2006

Much noise and little progress

This year the wood pile sits almost undiminished, though I have taken to chopping up some of the old wood and burning it late at night to keep the house warm til morning without electricity. Also it feels better. Mum is sounding a little more confused, and her leg is swollen now, though it goes down if she elevates it. I fear she is getting almost no exercise, and complains of the cold weather keeping her in. She could not find the TV controller this time, and one wonders how helpful the carers are.

Being an obedient soul I went in and wrote two reports today, that have to be given on Wednesday. Then I get to prepare a presentation for Monday. (It was supposed to be Tuesday but they called and I have to drive through 2 states to get to a meeting Monday evening, wander a conference Tuesday and drive back that night.) And another for Thursday - drive to a fourth state, meet on Thursday morning drive a hundred miles and meet another set of folk on Thursday night, so that i can drive back here on the Friday. And I give a seminar the following Monday - sounds like the semester has started again.

Well politics is still keeping the place astir, the ghost of the Duchess is rumored to drifting off to another world this summer, and Hatless is interviewing, since he anticipates riding the tumbril relatively soon. At some point it might be appropriate to ask as to who is steering the ship, and to where. We will have to see, perhaps the Dauphin expects that this will be his chance?

Well I seem to have lost all my downloaded figures for Poser from a couple of years ago, the only one I miss at present is the Horse set, and the viking set - since I needed an axe. Even if I found them I have a feeling that they might no longer easily load, since I have had that problem with the odd old file that turned up, and that I am not trying to get to work in the new version.

I am also enjoying Battlefield Britain and the episodes which show how the battles evolved are what I would like to learn to do. The only thing is that so far they have not really detailed the ebb and flow of the fights very well, but that could be because the only ones I have seen so far have been up to the Conquest, and there may not have been enough detail to use.

And I have given up on oil books for a couple of days, and am enjoying Robin Hobb's "Shaman's Crossing."

I think that is just about it for now!


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Winter Doldrums

We're in that part of the year that gives us the grey days, and often with them, the grey moods. After spending a fair amount of time over the past four weeks in charge of a small committee to give some direction to a campus effort, this is now done.

The charge related to the same topic as TOD, but, given the short time fuse, and the limited number of folk in the initial group, I chose to do something a little different. Starting with a sense of who was expert in what, I wandered around and chatted with them, and then, from that, built up a sense of what was possible. I then wrote this up and am only now calling the original group back to review the final document. What it ends up with is that the group that will do the work are largely the younger faculty as against the older faculty on the committee. Now we will see whether I can pull this off, or get quietly set to one side because I did not use the accepted procedures. If I had we we would just be sitting down for our first meeting, given everyone's activities over the break. And actually we came up with a totally different program than I would have expected before I went out and started talking with folks.

One of the results of this is the possibility that I might have to head up the transition, but it now appears that the ghost of the Prince Regent may not actually be exorcised, but rather will linger on, since he appears not to intend to move on to other pastures beyond the veil. And part of this exercise may be an effort to create a position for him, which, of course, may mean that I can move back. We will have to see.

Other than that I am relearning the modelling programs, since it would make some of my posts at TOD more understandable (I realized this while writing about Sago Mine last week). I am also trying to put figures into the models, and using Poser for this, but that means learning Poser again (since I haven't used it for a couple of years). So with a couple of new contracts, and with our Indiana one just going to be extended, life is getting fraught again. And the Ohio contract presentation is next week, so I need to write that presentation before Friday.

So maybe it's the workload, or the let-down from getting that report out, but it is a little harder this week to get excited about this being the first week of the semester.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Dare I go home?

Well life is certainly more interesting. And soon I will probably have to give some of my colleagues a little advice that they will not want to hear.

As you may have noticed we have had a bit of a bloodbath here, and since the search committees for new Chairs were also put in stasis today, you may anticipate that this is not over. Which puts me in a bit of a dilemma, and has led to a partial step-back from my retirement.

Having developed a fair number of bb's to lead the response to the charge I was sort of stuck with before the vacation, I think I have developed a consensus that we can make them into a program. The problem being that to make the program viable it has to be put in place by someone who believes in it. Oh! And I had promised the Actress I would quit this year. Um! So, dare I go home and tell her?

So how do I win this one. Well among other things I have to tell my colleagues in this mess a reality of Academic Life. It is that a new Administration will develop its own successes and that those who were the Prima Donnas on campus in the last Administration will generally not succeed in the new. And as an example I wll likely hold up my own case where, despite proven success, ours was the most damaged by the advent of the last Administration. Why? Because the new one would get no credit from our further success, they had to find something new to prove their ability. And thus they drew (and heavily) from us to develop new programs. Now it is those new programs that will be under attack.

And it is in this light that I am selling my bb's. A new program, aimed directly at the new mission statement that the new Ri has brought through the faculty and into play.

Ah, I spent two hours this morning with the Dauphin and since I am at the stage in my career where I can afford to be honest ( what are they going to do - fire me? He spent half the meeting slanting the arguments into why I should stay) it is going to make the next few months interesting.

The problem is that my reputation is in something else, and after lunch today I had 4 hours to get a proposal in to get us another year of life in one of our fields of study. It ended up that I had about 2 hours to work on the proposal, doing both Scope of Work and budget, but it got in. The more formal process, through our official channels will now likely take me a couple of weeks. The only problem is that it means I have to go, in person, to present the proposal in a couple of weeks, at a time when I am supposed to be at a conference somewhere else. Ends up I will be doing the usual stupid fly and drive routine that I was supposed to be quiting.

For those interested age spots show up at around 60 and get markedly worse each year thereafter, he said staring at the hands that are typing this. Oh, and the answer to the above question is NO!

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