July 2003
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July 2003 Archives

July 31, 2003

Another long time no


Another long time no blog.

Highlights:

I have been doing detail painting on the upstairs. We are done but for doors, heating registers, and the closet interiors.

We held off on painting the closets until we decided about how to run the HVAC.

I might get a job offer from a county college to the East of us. If I get it, or get another job this fall, we will be moving. It would make sense to do cheap HVAC or no HVAC.

If I get a job offer from a Philadelphia school or give up on academia and take a paper-pushing job, then we will stay put. It would make sense to do a very good HVAC installation.

Right now we are leaning towards waiting till spring to decide about HVAC. That means I get to paint the closets.

I finished cutting chapter 3; it is now 20 pages shorter.

We move on Monday, I get to start packing.

I am thinking about how to rewrite chapter 4. It needs work, I have a quick research run and some historiography to get through. The core concept is very good, but I need to frame things better.

There is currently no internet at the new house. My office is at the new house. My study breaks have involved trimming rose bushes or painting door parts, not writing blogs.

I slept poorly last night, perhaps pizza and 2 sodas at 8:00 pm is not the best idea. But it tasted good at the time (I should not have eaten that fifth slice).

And so to have more day.

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Red Ted
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July 27, 2003

Ann Coulter's Adam's Apple moved

I changed my archive system. The article on Ann Coulter's Adam's Apple can be found here.

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Red Ted
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July 17, 2003

Long time, no blog.


Long time, no blog.

Highlights:
We started painting the upstairs. My office is finished.
I moved my computer and books to the new office.
I am working on cutting chapter 3, I take study breaks and work on the house or do yardwork.

HVAC is frustrating. We have had a fair number of contractors through. I am looking forward to reading the latest proposal. At the moment no one is agreeing on how much equipment to put in. We have two solid proposals for how to route the return ducts. One through a plaster wall, the other through 2 closets and the eave-space at the side of the house.

I had insomnia again last night, probably related to too much coffee.

The university where I adjunct just offered me two classes for the fall. I will probably take these and tell the CC that I got a better offer. I could teach 5 classes, 2 1/2 preps, but it would kill any writing. Better to finish.

Also, the university where I adjunct is hiring a junior position, specialty open. They will get a lot of applications, but I am going in as well.

I might write a better blog entry at work later today.

And that is all.

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Red Ted
at 09:48 AM | TrackBack
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July 08, 2003

We spent the holiday


We spent the holiday weekend playing with our new house. I learned all manner of things.

1, The wife and baby are a lot of fun, but more of my projects get done when they are 10 miles away. Of course, none of her projects get done then, but there you go.

2, Plaster is very cool

3, Plaster is very annoying

4, The previous owner did a LOT of interior surface work

5, The previous ownder did his work in a quick-and-dirty manner

6, Scraping the old paint off windowsills takes longer than expected

7, Scraping the old finishing spray off walls can reveal all manner of things - see points 2 and 3.

8, My new electric screwdriver is my favorite tool

9, My can of spackle is also my favorite tool

10, Peeling paint spreads

11, Peeling paint exposes damage to the surface coat of plaster

12, Drywall compound is a recommended product for replacing the surface coat of old plaster.

13, Old houses were built before residential air conditioning

14, Old houses can be air conditioned, but you have to figure out how to pump the return air through the walls - we are not sure if we are going to do this one.

15, Bullnose pine oxidizes and can get water damaged

16, It is not worth sanding water damaged pine floors.

17, Oak finishing strips will double the cost of refinishing your floors, fancy woods will raise it even more.

18, Small, deep holes in plaster walls fill more rapidly if you replace the missing scratch coat with a pill of rolled-up paper.

19, Wear a mask and goggles when using the palm sander

20, Old dress shirts with frayed collars make excellent grubs

21, It takes MUCH longer than expected before you are ready to paint. We are still scraping and filling.

22, Plaster is very cool stuff

23, Plaster is very annoying.

And so it goes.

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Red Ted
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July 02, 2003

Random thought while grading.


Random thought while grading.

What if I taught the first half of the survey backwards? Start with Reconstruction, ask why Reconstruction did not create a viable bi-racial society, take that back into the way that freeing slaves was not a cause of Northern war effort but a side effect of civil war, take that back to the sectional crisis and secession v unionism, take that back farther.

Advantage: it would give a strong narrative, race and consequences, to the first half of the survey. Although, I might well be able to get same narrative if I teach frontwards. It would also make the survey completely fresh for me, and while I am not yet burned out on teaching the survey I do feel some need to mix it up again.

Disadvantage: the smart kids would love it, the struggling students would be lost at sea. Perhaps use this as my re-cap lecture at the end, perhaps even use it as a set-piece lecture for the first day of class. That would be a lecture, not a discussion, and I need more discussions.

I probably won't do it, but I will work up a precis of a reverse survey to help me focus what I do in part 1 this fall.

And back to grading.

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Red Ted
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Baby was restless last


Baby was restless last night.

Graded the first third of the exams, then read a little as I was too tired to do a responsible job on the exams but not yet sleepy. Headed for bed around 1:00, just as baby decided he wanted UP ! I rocked him for 15 minutes or so, then passed him to J. She took baby from 1:30 to 3:00, much longer than I had expected - she drowsed on the couch while the baby played. Me, I slept like a log - perhaps because I forgot my niacin. Up at 6:15 to pee, then back to bed till a little after 7:00.

To do today
grade
turn in grades
call the sump guy
head to house and:
drop off chairs and stuff
pick paint color for upstairs
collect tools from bro-in-law
hit the supply stores for: garden hose, spackle/drywall compound
if have time, will move the oak kitchen table from storage unit to the new place.

And now to grade

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Red Ted
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July 01, 2003

The 11th circuit court


The 11th circuit court gave its decision in the case of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who installed a 5,000 lb statue of the 10 Commandments, King James Version, with supporting quotes, in the rotunda of the state courthouse and then went back and forth between denying that he had created a Christian shrine and asserting that he had every right to create that shrine.

His appeal was rejected, 50 page pdf file
http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/200216708.pdf

The folks at http://www.volokh.com quote one humerous section of the appeal - Roy Moore first invited the judges at a lower appeal to come look at the installation and then tried to appeal because of that visit.

In general the 11th Court treated Moore like an idiot and practically accused him of nullification for some of his goofier theories about the role of a Chief Justice, state governor, or legislative speaker in interpreting the Constitution.

And back to grading

Posted by
Red Ted
at 10:21 AM | TrackBack
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Slept 12:15 to about

Slept 12:15 to about 6:00. J went to bed around 10:00, I stayed up to work on an application for the CC job and then to read a little.

I do not like Community College job applications for the state of New Jersey. What I have to do here, just as I had to when applying for my current adjunct position, is fill out a standardized form, longhand, with all the same information that is on my vita. The only difference is that now it is in my mediocre handwriting and it is arranged in such a manner that the human resources people can quickly find something. This is not what I expect for a faculty job application; it presumes that the applicant can not write a vita or resume, and writing your vita is one of the first hurdles for most academic jobs. I suppose I should be hopeful, as this suggests that there are fewer random screening hoops, but it still annoys me to do donkey work.

The application wants me to put down my "interests (leisure, community, etc) and I do not know what to do. I have become something of a hermit in the last couple of years, cutting back on my leisure time activities to have more time to stare at my yellow pads. I think I will mention the things I used to do and that I want to do more of.

So, I am a powerlifting contradancer. That works. I won't put down dog obedience training, because I do not compete in it. I will not put down gaming, or everquest, because I am not doing much of it and because it is not all that interesting.

And off it goes, and off I go. I bought a lawnmower yesterday, today I get to put it together and use it.

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Red Ted
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