Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For the past couple of days the university has sent out emails with swine flu information. Then, today, there was an email instructing faculty to log on to our grading roster area for an important message. The message asked us to reflect on what we will do if the semester is ended now, rather than in two weeks. It said it was not happening yet, they were just floating the possibility. It really doesn't matter very much to me. My last class is Tuesday and I don't use finals week. All work is submitted online. Even if my classes didn't meet any longer, I have almost everything on class websites. But this did make me wonder if they intend to suspend classes - either very soon or at least for finals week. It also made me think there may be a student case. Spring break wasn't that long ago and I'm sure many students went to Mexico.

I'm not one to get into a panic, but this made me remember this post.

Unrelated links:

That creep Michael Vick makes our local news. Who would think that was a good publicity stunt?

And somehow I doubt the university is going to put this story on the alumni page.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I finally spent some time today rebuilding my website. It should be here: Gully Brook Press. As you can see, I didn't get very far. Actually, I got farther than what is appearing when I click that link, I am not sure what is up. Maybe it is working, but I need to re-boot. If not, that's where the site is supposed to be. I am hoping to FTP some of the existing content back up there once I finish the framework. I've decided not to reload everything, and I also decided to make some changes using Verizon's site builder. Whatever approach I take, it will be time consuming. I'll get to it eventually.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Here's a picture of almost the whole gang on Easter Sunday. There must have been about 35 people there, nearly all immediate family.

I've been having a very hectic time of it; although I resolved to not fall behind in evaluation work this semester, that only held until March, when it was derailed by toothache and oral surgery. So I am scrambling to catch up, and finally today I see some daylight.

Another hitch happened during the past two weeks; Bob had two episodes that landed him in the emergency room, was out of work for a week, and he will need surgery on May 8. That will be followed by two more weeks of sick leave, and then for three months he will be restricted from lifting, etc.

So, I guess I am going to have to sharpen my lawn mowing and pool opening skills. I am already taking out the trash and recycling, putting the water jugs on the cooler, carrying in the groceries, loading the dogs in the car (all things I can do, but haven't in years).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I finished the taxes yesterday, and although I should have moved on to the next item on the list (reading student journals), I didn't. The replacement adapter came for my Iomega zip drive, and I resisted trying it until the taxes were finished. Today was a different story. The good news is that it worked! I went through the disks and everything was there: my stories, my book, my website, in addition to a bunch of other things. Yay! So, I tinkered with my entries and sent in two submissions to the contest. Yeah, I know the deadline isn't until the 17th (and I probably won't win anyway), but I couldn't help it. Then, I sent another story to a magazine. I haven't spent enough time writing lately. The journals will keep.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tell me again how we got stuck with this a-hole?

Oh yeah, that's right. The last a-hole was an unethical, controlling nutjob (who could't keep it in his pants).

In other news, I am working my way down a spring break to do list (that is probably far too ambitious), and today I landed on doing the taxes.

Monday, April 06, 2009

For the past few months, every time I sign on to blogger, when I view my blog - it freezes the machine, I have to do a Ctrl-Alt-Del, sign back on - and then it is OK. It doesn't happen when I make a post, only when I view it. Very irritating.

I went to a two day conference on Friday and Saturday. Overall, it was fairly good. Some speakers just read a 40 page paper in a monotone voice - really, TMI! We are going to get a book of all the papers eventually, we can read them, whey bother presenting? Others were truly dynamic and the two keynotes (Friday dinner and Saturday lunch) were truly inspiring. It hit me that we haven't had intellectual leadership in the SUNY System for 15 years.

About my last post: I wasn't happy about not entering. I checked the magazine again and saw that the deadline was Friday, April 3. So, I searched the hard drives of all my computers, and couldn't find a thing. I couldn't find a print out of anything suitable in my file drawer either. Then I tore apart the bedroom, looking for old floppy disks. Bob has been saying he plans to throw them out, but luckily he hasn't yet - I found a box, went through the ones that seemed promising, and found the story I was seeking in an older version, plus a bunch of other things.

I got together two entries (you can enter up to three) - one old story and a new story that I created from snippets I'd written about my grandmother in the past. Needless to say, I spent nearly all day Wednesday on this. I knew I had to teach all day on Thursday and go to the conference on Friday, so it was the only time I had.

I went to the magazine website to submit - and discovered that they extended the deadline until April 17! So I could have been doing what I should have been doing (grading midterms). [I did manage to get a bunch done Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings. I only have 13 left at this point. But I have a LOT of things to do over break, including the taxes. Still swimming upstream.] I am going to wait to submit until the new power supply comes, keep my fingers crossed that it fixes the problem, and assuming it does, see if there is anything on there for a third entry, or if I like something better than what I have assembled now. Also it will give me a chance to make more revisions after I sleep on it, for the new story in particular.

The Mimmie story is extremely appropriate because she has been gone 16 years as of yesterday. Hard to believe. Seems like yesterday she was there at the kitchen table in her trailer drinking tea and heating up a danish in the toaster oven. I remember how many times we talked about death when I was a teenager and stayed overnight at the old place (actually should be talked almost all night - she was even more owl than I am). She said, "it is likely that I will die before you and I will come back and tell you what it is like."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I am kind of bummed out. I wanted to enter a writing contest (deadline today). I have several stories that I thought might fit, so I hooked up my Iomega USB zip drive. I have most of my writing stored on one of those zip drives. I haven't used the drive in over six months, and I've had it since 2004. Well, it doesn't work any more. I am hoping the problem is the power supply, but when I looked it over, I discovered that it is only 5 volts, and all the alternatives I have are 12 volts. So last night, I went to Staples, where I bought the drive, to get a replacement. I didn't think they would still have Iomega drives, but I thought they might sell replacement adapters. No dice. I went to Radio Shack, but they didn't have 5 volt adapters either. I made peace with missing the contest, but today I visited the Iomega site, and discovered they still sell the same zip drive. For the whopping price of $149, which is probably even more than I paid in 2004! They also sell replacement power supplies for $9.95, so I ordered one. I really hope that fixes the problem, because I don't want to shell out $150 for what is essentially an obsolete piece of equipment. I am not sure what other options I will have though, since the alternative - data loss is more than I can bear.