Tuesday, 19 April 2011
So, as the dust has settled after the lay-offs at my job, I have now found myself in possession of a Galilean Thermometer. This is one of those devices that, like Newton’s Cradle, Mechanical Puzzles, Ant Farms (all of which have been on my desk at one time or another), and Magic 8 Balls (which has never been on my desk due to it being created by Satan), has come in to the popular culture as a way of saying, “I like crap sitting on my desk, but it has to be nerdy.”
One problem with the thermometer is that the numbers hooked on to each bulb are nearly unreadable. I have to be within two feet of the bulbs in order to read them. Would it have killed the manufacturer to print the numbers in a different color from the disc they are on? Also, since the bulbs are free-floating, there’s nothing compelling the numbers to face the “right” way; they are often parallel to my line of sight and, thus, impossible to read. If I try turning the whole thermometer, the bulbs remain stationary, and the discs are no easier to read.
But here’s the bigger problem: this thermometer is absolutely no fun inside a perfectly climate-controlled building. According to the device, it is currently 76 degrees in the building, a value which has remained unchanged in the seven years I have worked in close proximity to it.
I’m thinking of bringing the thermometer home, where our fluctuating kinetic energy (due to opening windows and turning down the heat at night and not having central air) all would conspire to give the little bulbs some action.
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
So, I need to register for class today. Of course, I definitely will sign up for a class for the upcoming fall semester (which runs, roughly, from Labor Day to Kwanzaa), but I’m also considering signing up for a summer class (which runs, roughly, from Jill Biden’s birthday to Independence Day).
“Hey,” you ask, “why haven’t you ever signed up for a summer class before?”
“Hey,” I answer, “that’s a great question.”
The thing is, the tuition reimbursement my employer offers is not infinite. This differs from the cost of tuition at Hamline which, essentially, is infinite. Basically, I can take two courses per reimbursement calendar (which, inexplicably, runs from December 1st – November 30th). As you’ll recall, I did not take a class in the fall of 2010, as I was still helping out around the house while Isla configured her neck muscles and my wife reassembled her uterus.
Therefore, the year running from December 1, 2010 – November 30, 2011 is one in which I will only have taken one class. Yes, yes, like I said, I will sign up for one for the fall, but since that one runs until Hanukkah, it will be counted towards the December 1, 2011 – November 30, 2012 year.
So, I’m trying to decided if I can fit in all the work that’s likely to be required. Since the summer course only runs about a third the lengh of a fall or spring course, the work is compressed into less time, and I have to find more time available to do the work. One option is to not sleep, which is a great idea (on the surface), because I have long lamented slumbering as a waste of time, and this might give me the impetus I need to forego this wasteful habit. Another option is to do my homework in the car, whilst commuting to and from work. I’ve done that before, with surprisingly stunning results, so that might be the best option.
One class I am considering is titled “Women in Literature,” which sounds like a combination of my two favorite things in life (not to be confused with “Film and Beer,” a class that combined my two second-favorite things in life). So I’ve emailed the professor, requesting a syllabus so that I can gauge the workload. To my delight, she promptly responded with a course schedule that, among other things, included a film viewing. Holy crap! This might be the best class EVER (assuming I can show up with beer).