austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Cars of the past are behind

Miscellaneous updates: I got a fresh rejection in my search for a new teaching job. This one's from a school in what I think is north-central England. It's surprisingly easy to not care just where a school is when the application starts out online. Thoughtfully -- well, they answered at all, a courtesy that seems to have fallen by the wayside. And more, even though my original application was electronic, they sent an actual physical letter, taking me back in an instant to the Commonwealth style of envelopes which are somehow folded up in such a way as to be noticeably different from United States envelopes. Also it let me notice that they addressed me as ``Mister'' on the envelope, rather than ``Doctor''. I don't use the ``Doctor'' much, mostly as a way of resolving ambiguity in messages meant for my father (creating an equal ambiguity as my mother's a PhD too), but correspondence regarding academic postings is one place where I do fuss about it.

Anyway, they were nice about not hiring me. They were even courteous enough to say that I had not succeeded at this time in securing that teaching position, which sounds more optimistic than the blather I've gotten used to about ``there were many qualified applicants'' and ``we have filled the position''. The practical difference may be nil, but the tone better gives the impression that they cared about my application.

And in comic strips I was recently talking about: Tom Ryan has, apparently, decided to end Tumbleweeds with the end of the year. I haven't seen any particular reason he'd chosen to end it, although the press release noted he's 82 years old and has been drawing it for 42 years, which may be enough reason. (Free bonus trivia: from 1969 to 1978 Ryan's assistant on the strip was Jim Davis, of Garfield notoriety.) Also the strip runs in about two hundred newspapers, which is a couple times what I would have guessed. So, uh, aspiring cartoonists out there, if you can be lightning-fast and have your portfolios ready, I guess King Features Syndicate is short one comic for the new year.

Trivia: `EGCG', found in green tea, stands for epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Source: Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs, Joe Schwarcz.

Currently Reading: The Age of Voltaire, Will and Ariel Durant.


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