Monday, October 30, 2006

Surely You Must Be Exploding, Mr. Feynman.

The latest O.S. Card essay, on Intellectual Groupthink is up. It makes me very afraid to send my children to college.

Considering I just recently finished a book by one of the best physicists of our time, who was well known for his willingness to cry foul of groupthink, I can only imagine what he would think of all this. I hope they buried him in a roomy coffin. He'll need the rolling-space.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Winter Comes In On Little Cat Feet

...Siberian Tiger, that is.

A strong, cold wind hit the valley like a bullet-train this week, and there's a skiff of snow on the foothills. I had really wanted to put this kind of weather off a little longer. I've still got 1/4 of a first coat left to put on the new fence and and entire second coat. Granted, it doesn't take a lot of manual dexterity to paint a fence, but I still prefer being able to feel my fingers.

This weather change seems to have made the children hyper.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Talking Head Appreciation Week

I have a job interview by video conference today. It was quite challenging. The room I was in had the video projected up on a large screen, with the camera at waist level below it. Fortunately I went a little early to make sure the system was set up and working, and get used to the setup.

I noticed right away that if I looked at the screen, which would be where I would see the people who were interviewing me, I'd appear to them like I was staring at the ceiling. The only way to look natural to them was to look straight at the camera--which of course meant I couldn't see them.

The camera was also set up facing a window along a long room, so if I wasn't more aware of these things I would have looked like a secret informant on a news show. I shut the blinds and adjusted the camera so that they'd basically see me from the waist up and taking up most of the picture.

And I talked to the camera. The two interviewers know what I look like, but I only had a peripheral glimpse of them. But since they're helping with the hiring, it only matters that I made a good impression on them. They complimented me on my ability to cope with the setup and felt that it really helped. Hopefully that will score me some points.

I really, really want the job. But more on that another day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cats vs. Dogs

Well, this article is pretty clear cut. The cat lights the house on fire. The dog saves the owner, then dies trying to save the aforementioned cat.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Back To Work...Whew!

Vacation is over, and all I've got is three brick planter boxes, an adjusted sprinkler system, and 160 feet of unpainted picket fence to show for it. That, and a much lighter wallet.

Special thanks goes out to:
- Terhi, who pitched in at the right times to keep me from bagging the whole mess
- Clark, the neighbor who helped me move two pallets of bricks
- Dan, my brother who showed up and helped put up 1/4 of my pickets on Saturday, making it possible for me to finish the job before vacation ended.
- Our ward's young men, who have scheduled a service project for this week to come help me paint the new perimeter defences.

It would be much more satisfying if I didn't have about a dozen more projects still waiting for me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Making Progress

Well, my vacation isn't turning out to be the amazing burst of landscaping I'd hoped it would be, but I'm at least getting somewhere. I got the planterboxes all made, and the ones were removing partially emptied of dirt. The sprinkler guys got far enough today I can probably start on my fence tomorrow (I also had some dead spots the sprinklers aren't hitting, so my sprinkler work is more than just moving a line)

The fence will be the real challenge. I've never worked with concrete before--always preferred the abstract, personally. But an abstract fence just isn't going to cut it. And I'm afraid that three more days won't be enough. The kids are going to be very disappointed if I go back to work next week without at least starting on their playhouse. The pressure is on.