Saturday, 26 April 2008

Back's back...

It's been a relatively quiet time recently. Interrupted only by the drone of the rhythmic mantra going round and round inside my head: work work Work work work Work work work Work. Occasional Sleep.

Back is better. Air is working (my MacBook Air, that is), and best of all, I passed my Karate grading and I am now a 1st Kyu Karateka ("Karateka" = Karate Dude). 1st Kyu means that my next grading will take me to Black Belt. But that next grading won't happen for quite a while!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Air-less and Back-less

What I failed to say, in respect of my journey back from Geneva being marred by all sorts of things (including religious fanaticism), was that I had also hurt my back very badly, and I am still on industrial-strength (prescription) pain-killers. Not helped by the fact that this afternoon I must suffer 4 hours on a train to Oxford, coming back tomorrow. I'm examining a thesis there. Tip to any prospective students intending me to be their external examiner: If you're going to refer to my work, spell my name right!

And for anyone who thinks I don't work hard enough on the journal: I've just seen that in the first 3 months of this year, I've made 145 editorial decisions (only 17 were 'accept'!). I love the journal, I really do.... but there's a cost to all this - I'm behind on a paper that's only 50% written, and a paper that's 95% written, and a paper that's 100% written (I need to revise the draft). I guess I'm also behind on another paper that's 0% written. So all this work enabling other people to publish is interfering with my own ability to publish. This is the supreme academic sacrifice. I really do believe that I deserve that 32" flat-screen TV that I secretly covet...!

Enough whining. It's Spring. The grass is growing, the fish are eating, the birds are mating, and it's snowing.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

MacBook Air-less

So there I was, sitting at a desk in Geneva the afternoon before I was due to give a talk, preparing away, when the computer froze, never to start up again. The hard drive (or most likely the controller on the logic board) gave up the ghost, and ceased to function. I've run all the diagnostics, and so far as they are all concerned (and this includes some clever remote startup across a wireless network) there is no hard drive inside the machine. Funny that, as it still weighs the same... Still... it could have been worse. It could have died on me during the talk. I can at least thank Apple for that...

So the trip back was marred by being unable to work, and by the extra weight of all the chocolate I brought back. And the sight of two orthodox somethings-or-other asking to be reseated in the plane because their religion did not permit them to sit next to women...