Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...

Windy and slightly cool, one of those nice, early autumn days.

We're about to take off for the Maker's Fair, a huge event hosted by the editors of Make magazine and Craft Magazine. If you've never seen Make, you should take a look at it. You can buy it on newsstands, or you can go to their website (I don't have the exact URL, but you can Google it).

When I arrived in Austin on Thursday, the temperature reached around 91 degrees. But, from Thursday night on, it's been really cool at night, with temps around 60 and daytime highs have hovered in the eighties. I spent most of my time in the car yesterday, which I hate. The worst thing about Austin is that you practically have to drive everywhere and the traffic is horrendous any time of the day or night.

We ate at Mars restaurant last night--that's where my daughter works--and the food was good. We ate out on the deck and it was so dark that I really couldn't see my food, but that didn't stop me from eating it--a Mongolian chicken stir fry. I get tired of the "organic" thing while I'm here, but I certainly eat better than I do at home.

We plan on cooking tonight. Since both of my kids cook for a living, I always eat well here.

I may add more later, but, right now, I'm just waiting for Dot and Pete to get back from the bank/coffee shop. Hope you are enjoying your fall break, too. More later.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Early Morning Call Out...

I was up last night until about midnight, reading drafts of student papers and trying to send those papers back to students in our course management software. Unbenownst to me (but I know now), the administrator of our system takes it down at 10pm to back it up. Sure would be nice if he'd let us know this. I spent almost another hour, between 10p and 11p, trying to send the papers back. Another good reason why my students shouldn't wait to send their work to me.

So, I set the alarm clock for 8am (usual on a Tuesday night). I don't leave my house on Mondays or Wednesdays until about 11am, but, this morning, I needed to leave a bit early because I was scheduled to present a talk to another class at 11am. But I really wanted to sleep until 8am; I needed it after a day of reading essays and fighting the computer.

This is something of a digression, but Tuesday was a horrible computer day. I couldn't get into the lab where I usually teach my first class because someone had jammed the door and neither I nor the secretary could get it opened. So, we had to move to another lab. Then, in my second class, the computer/overhead system wouldn't work because the computing services department hadn't signed on to the administrator's computer; whenever they take the campus-wide system down, any computer that needs an administrative login has to be reset. And they won't give anyone in my department the code to restart the computer. But, if I call them to come reset the computer, I'm lucky if they show up 45 minutes into the class. I need the system to work when class begins, not when it's half over.

Well, okay. I had a frustrating day with the people who deal with computers and with idiots who can't shut doors properly.

Exhausted and mentally drained, I went to bed and slept soundly until...

7am, when the sound of chainsaws ripped through my dreams. I looked out the window, and there, in my neighbor's yard, a tree-service company was cutting down a pine tree. I tried to go back to sleep, but the chainsaws just kept working. Finally, at 7:30, I got out of bed, made coffee, and went outside to put the trash at the curb for the garbage person.

I walked to the truck parked in my neighbor's driveway and asked for the guy in charge. I pointed out my bedroom window and explained that I had worked late last night, and why on earth were they chopping down a tree at 7am? Even though I live in a small town, I am not a farmer and I don't get up with the chickens. The guy apologized and said he was working with CLECO. He didn't schedule the work; he just did it when they told him to. I asked him to take a message back to his contacts--if they are going to schedule an early tree-cutting session outside of my bedroom window at 7am, I want a week's notice so I can get to bed earlier.

Maybe I'm just getting to be one of those crochety old ladies who wants everything her way. I don't know. I just know that this has been a frustrating week. I want the universe and its minions to work with me, not against me! Above all, I just want everything to work the way it should.