Friday, July 21, 2017

And venturing out

Tomorrow I drive to Longview for the semi-annual meetup with my friend Laura. (And if you're reading this, Laura: this is how much I love you, that I am willing to drive 3 1/2 hours in 105 degree heat index. I won't even drive 1/2 hour in that heat just to avoid shopping for groceries at wal-mart)

I don't NEED any yarn - in fact, I am at the point of whatever the reverse of needing yarn is. I will probably buy some anyway. Or maybe I look at books and accessories and things like needles and hooks. (I should find my copy of New England Knits and look up that cabled sweater, in case there are "just the right buttons" on offer)

Mainly what I need is a day out doing something other than reading about Supreme Court cases and regulations and worrying about fall teaching and all that. And talking to someone about something other than work.

I wish Laura and I lived closer, or that there was some easier way to travel between two points.


Last night I mowed the lawn. It was hot, but I waited until about 8 pm as the sun was going down and it wasn't quite so awful. I managed to get through (with a break between back and front yards) without having to stop and sit or "take a knee" and that tells me that working out in the hot sun is perhaps the problem, more than just heat and humidity.

At least it's done. It's not a great job and I need to edge some time but we're supposed to cool down a little next week so I may find an afternoon to take care of that. I also want to do a bunch more trimming/crud removal before the first Wednesday of next month, when yard waste gets picked up. I still have a wheelbarrow full of sticks from the last windstorm.

Still plugging away on the Hagrid scarf. Did not get much done last night with the mowing, but I hope to have this finished SOON.


The paper on which I am co-author (probably the last paper from the research I did as an RA when I was a grad student) is out. I THINK it is open access so you might be able to see it here.

(Ugly confession: it makes me sad to think that far fewer people will ever read this than read the average piece of fanfiction. Because fanfiction is generally more fun to write than scientific articles. I dunno. I wish that the more effortful something was, the more reward you got out of it, but the world doesn't work that way. I do research and write partly - and the article-writing, mainly - because I need it to keep my gig, not because it gives me deep joy. I mean, I'm happy when an article comes out but writing and especially revising stinks on ice.)

I didn't do much of the writing on this; I was mostly a data-monkey but luckily ecology has yet to be touched by the "we must have percentage contributions for each author" fairy and so my advisor could put me on as a co-author (because I am still employed and need the CV bumps) even though, as I said, I pretty much just collected field data for this - and that, 20 years ago now.

I think I may have done a little editing/commentary on it when he was writing it, but he did all the data-analysis heavy lifting and the like.

That should make at least two, and maybe three papers of mine that will be accepted and/or come out in print this year, which is pretty darn good for someone at a primarily-teaching institution. (Granted, it's a feat I'm unlikely to repeat, because two of the papers were "older data" that just finally ripened into something publishable, but still. I've probably fulfilled my 'scholarly productivity' tickbox for the next post-tenure review, and I suspect taking on this new class - provided I do adequately well - will fill the teaching one. I just have to get myself on another committee or two to make up that service "deficiency." And yeah, it rankles that we all work as hard as we do and yet the process looks for ways in which we are "deficient" but that's what employment in the 21st century is, I guess)

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