October 11th, 2006

krazy koati

Water Lou, she swims in red flannels

Not every day I have is a journey into odd experiences. Some are just reruns. Yesterday I had to do some laundry, and started the load in the morning and came back at lunch to find it was still quite thoroughly soaked. It all dried out, in time, although the clothes needed wringing and even then left little puddles I'm sure the ten-minute anti-mozzie wipe out campaign would find unacceptable. But, hey, one time might be a fluke -- I had towels and sweatpant-type shorts, things that soak up water. Today I snuck up on it by coming home at lunch to start the load of laundry, and it turns out things are just as soaked. This has happened before; it's a matter of replacing the condenser that is in some way responsible for the spin cycle. Now I just have to get the maintenance office to believe me.

Meantime, remember how I was getting to feel the itch to write something big and impenetrable now that the current manuscript is safely in the hands of publishers? It turns out my co-author is writing a new book, and had the idea that I could write a lengthy appendix for it on some aspects he's less enthusiastic about addressing. We have to negotiate with the publishers over some of the details, and it's going to be another textbook of sadly limited public interest outside my parents, but this could be a very satisfying way to use my free time in the next few months, and it's coming at a very convenient time for me. The big drawback is it means time away from doing original research, but you'd have to be a pretty narrow-minded member of a hiring committee to not regard books or significant chunks of books as being of comparable weight to a couple of separate papers, and depending on circumstances, the appendix might be publishable on its own anyway.

(The subject line has nothing to do with anything; I'm just stumped for song cues that connect to my subjects.)

Trivia: The Astronomical Journal was founded by Benjamin A Gould in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1849; it was suspended in 1861 so Gould could support the Union. Source: Yerkes Observatory, 1892-1950, Donald E Osterbrock.

Currently Reading: Seeing the Elephant, Eric Scigliano. OK, there's a what-if for you: What if President James Buchanan or Abraham Lincoln accepted the King of Siam's offer to send a breeding stock of elephants to the United States to do their elephanty things for the Great Plains?