Monday, August 25, 2008

On Demand Publishing: Vanity or the Future

Well, August 2008 will go down as one of my least prolific blog months ever. Too many things competing for too little time.

However, I just had a conversation with a colleague that has me once again thinking about alternative publishing.

Sadly, these syllabi will not wait. But I write this as an external Post-it note to remind me to revisit the issue soon.

In the meantime, check out Xlibris Book Publishing.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

California Dreamin': On the Road

Picturesque La Jolla, California.

I've not been a very good blogger in 2008. My irregular posting has led me, at times, to think about shutting it down altogether.

This has been an incredibly busy summer with classes, writing, and masters thesis. Still, there has been time for fun.

Last week was spend on a road trip with my dad, driving around Southern California.

We brought bicycles and found riding trails along the Pacific coastline. We spend time at the beach, and we visited various university campuses, including Cal Tech, one of my new favorite places.

It was a great week for being a human; however, it was not such a great week for being a blogger.

The visit helped me set some long-term goals, and it helped me find some great places to take my kids on a next trip to California.

The last such trip I took with my dad was 1991. I'm hoping we won't wait 17 years next time.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Paris: "I'll See You at the Debate, Bitches"

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Childish? Yes. Hilarious? Also yes.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Holy Cr*p! We Got That Big in 9 Years?

The headline reads, "Linux Symposium Statistics T-Shirt Size."

Two graphs are presented for 1999 and 2008.

In 1999, the most common size was medium. In 2008, the most common size was XL.

In 1999, the least ordered size was XXL. In 2008, the least ordered size was small.

I think we're in trouble.


Sunday, August 03, 2008

2000 Miles: A Long Time in the Making

Today marked a milestone of sorts. I finally tallied 2000.0 miles on my bike computer.

It's taken far too long to get here. I eclipsed 1000.0 miles back in Bloomington, Ind. So it's been more than three years. That's less than 333 miles a year, which is horrible for a cyclist.

Sure, the figure is a little misleading. I rode my other bike for almost a year while my wheel was broken (average is up to maybe 500 miles a year). Then, when I finally starting riding my Trek again, I messed up the odometer, and the first few rides did not "count." Also, I rode a few on the trainer (a device that you mount the bike on to ride stationary) a few times, and those miles don't add up.

One of the reasons that I moved to Texas was to have a longer riding season. I have not done a very good job of that. Shame on me.

But, I have to admit, the elliptical in my climate controlled house looks a lot better when it's 50 degrees, but there is a 20 mph wind.

Still, in a climate such as this, anything less than 1,000 miles a year (less than 3 miles a day) is simply unacceptable.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Books, Writing, Writer's Block

Almost every time that a week elapses between blog posts, I have no idea how it happened. Where does the time go?

I'm trying to write two books chapters that are at best mildly interesting to me now. That makes writing painful, or nonexistent. This weekend, sadly, is catch up time. As I told a colleague earlier this week, knowing that you can write on deadline is dangerous knowledge to have.

I have decided that summer teaching is the absolute devil. Wednesday will mark my last summer class (the final is at 8 a.m. on Friday ... blech!) for several years -- hopefully forever.

Manuscripts are becoming covered in dust as I prepare lectures and write exams. Although I enjoy teaching, summer rather saps the fun out of it. There is no time. And, truth be told, there's not enough time for students to learn. At least part of education should be about idea percolation. And there's no time for this during the summer.

On the side, I've been reading the brilliant Einstein biography by Walter Isaacson. If you're at all interested in science, this is a great read.

Off for a quick bike ride ... my lone break from writing this weekend.