The Easterling-Dilger household is bustlin’ these days, so bloggin’ sometimes has to take a back seat.
I’m very, very glad to say I’m reading a fair amount these days. I’m halfway through a second reading of Tufte’s Beautiful Evidence, which has some very good bits. Lisa Gitelman’s Always Already New is next, and for fun Shipley and Schwalbe’s Send: An Essential Guide to Email. Reading shall lead to writing. Last year I abandoned an essay, missing a deadline because I realized (while trying to write) that I was rehashing tired old stuff. Better to bail than to suck. Even better to get back in the groove. To that end, I’ve started hashing out the spec for the database work I want to do with Composition Forum, and I’ve been working more to wrap my head around XML and XSLT.
My college has finished interviews for our technology manager, and my department is about halfway through campus visits for the three positions we have open. I’ve attended a lot of the sessions, which has been alternately exhausting and exciting: the former simply because of the time required, the latter because we’ve had some excellent candidates.
Erin has started intensive work on the kitchen; she blasted paint off trim last week, and I started prepping the windows for replacement. Our plan is one step under total renovation; we’ll keep the existing cabinets (we hate ’em, but don’t want to spend $5K to replace them) and the appliances (all functional). Everything else goes: counters, sink, nasty green paint, crappy lighting. We’re also going to set up some shelves downstairs so we can keep some less often used appliances and stuff in the basement, freeing up cabinet space to get things off the counters. Anyone with experience in kitchen optimization?
Madelyn is in all-day day care two days a week–Tuesday and Thursday, my teaching days. So far so good; she’s adjusted to napping at school pretty well, though she doesn’t nap as long as she does at home. Actually, she doesn’t nap as long at home as she used to, either. Madelyn has been nursing a cough for a while, but that hasn’t slowed her down much. Yesterday we went sledding at the reservoir (big hill on the dam side) then saw the Amtrak pick up Chicago-bound folks. Tomorrow is a playdate with Claire and lunch with the writing group; that’s always fun.
As Glenn wrote, Madelyn also had fun last week when Glenn and MB made the trip down from Iowa. We had some very good beer (I especially liked the Avery IPA), and Erin went nuts in the kitchen, making fantastic bread and butternut squash soup. She followed that with a pancake and spinach frittata breakfast. A side visit to a birthday party was fun, too. If only the snow had come a bit earlier…
We got a pretty good snowfall Thursday night; I took a few shots with the shutter open a while (at right, and a few more on Flickr). Pretty cool. We are supposed to get a lot more ice and snow today before it warms up to 50° tomorrow. I believe the snow part, since it’s just started snowing like mad (and we’ve even had a few thunderclaps). But I don’t see the temperature going up. Quite the reverse. I guess it’s possible; last Thursday we went from 59 to 19 in four hours.
So far I’ve kept up with my plan to run three times a week in ’08. And I’m hip to using Google Docs to track my runs. Last night’s run put me over 100 miles for the year. I’ve never tracked my runs consistently enough to know how long that took. Kinda cool. And today I saw a nice speed bump: 5K in 21:56. I wanted to run on the outdoor track, since I can pace much better that way, but the lazy #!(@% at Macomb High are apparently afraid of snow–the track hadn’t been cleared! So I settled for Compton Park, which is a little more than a half-mile loop. I started too fast and had to back off after about 3.5K. But heck, I still broke 22:00.