Monday, August 20, 2007

The Long and Winding Road

Well, I have gotten my bike, although I was too busy to blog about it before now. I picked it up at UDM with the help of Jerry. It was an up and down experience in many ways. I got the bike started, and the seller, John Staudemeyer, SJ, came out from his meeting to say goodbye to the bike. As Jerry and I were discussing the best route home, I tried to start up the bike again, but the battery was dead. We tried various things for a long time, before eventually being able to reach John, who provided a jump with his car.

A few blocks away from UDM, I stalled when starting from a red light. Again the battery was down and out. Jerry knew some folks near by and was able to get some jumper cables, while I waited around in inner city Detroit at dusk. A biker stopped by to see if I was OK. He listened to my story, recommended I get a new battery, and I sent him on his way with a thank you. He said if we bikers don't take care of each other, who will. We were finally able to get going again. I rode it out 8 Mile Rd until we got to Farmington and then headed into Plymouth and finally back to Ypsi.

I drove out to Jerry's on Sunday Aug 12th to drop off an auto emergency kit as a thank you. It was a fun ride and I was getting the feel for the bike. As I got back into Ypsi, a strange sequence of events happened that could oly happen to me. I stopped at a Stop sign. As I put my foot down, I unknowingly stepped in a patch of oil and my foot started to slip. This caused the bike to become a little unbalanced, and it started to fall. I hopped off to prevent it from falling, but my left foot had no traction due to the oil. Blam. The bike goes down. After some EMU kids helped me check out the bike, I thought I was ready to go. One problem. The bike had fallen onto the handlebars, specifically the clutch. It had broken in half. There was no one to control gears.

I walked the bike back home. It was crazy trying to get it up my driveway. I was able to get some help from my next door neighbor. But I haven't had time to get the bike to a shop to repair the clutch and mirror, which broke when I was trying to get it up the driveway. I'm sure I'll get the hang of this sooner or later, hopefully sooner.

But it was a lot of fun to begin, and I will get back on the road soon enough.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Second Printing

My book has now goen to a second printing. Yeah! I didn't get too excited, as it is not because of overwhelming sales. The publisher needs to replenish its stocks. So, I figure that it has been distributed at a variety of bookstores, and they are running low at the publisher. Still, it's better to have a second printing than not to have a second printing. The publisher didn't give me a lot of time to look it over though. They had made a mistake in the original by misprinting the Greek text that I used in a few places. They have corrected that and let me look that over. I wasn't given enough time to fix my errors, however.

My cousin Greg had found a bunch of errors dotted over the course of the book, usually punctuation problems and the like. Nothing terribly egregious, but it added up. I have now had the opportunity to fix these mistakes. The publishing representative said I could send her that when I finished and they would incorporate them into the thrid printing, providing that each page corrected begins and ends with the same words as the original. She sounded optimistic about a third printing, but I've got to find some classes to use this as a textbook, or the copies will really start gathering dust at this price. I asked about going to paperback, but no dice. I would need to guarantee that 75 would be purchased in order to do that.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Finaly Solving a puzzle

Off and on for a few months I have tried to make the presentation software Keynote do what it is advertised to do, namely easily export into a Flash presentation. The problem was the audio portions of the slides would not export to Flash. So after doing a lot of work to make a Flash presentation, I had bupkus. The type of audio files simply wouldn't export. After trying a variety of solutions, I stumbled upon success today. The answer was buried in changing something in the preferences (which is why the correct option never showed up in any of the menus). Voila, success. In some ways it is a little thing, but this will make a lot of other things possible, and fairly easily. What a relief to finally solve one of those never ending vexing technical problems of modern living, only to wait for the next one. But for now, I can smoke a cigar.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The future lacrosse stadium?

I strolled the campus today and took some pictures. I wanted to check out the progress on the new lacrosse stadium, which is supposed to be constructed this summer. Several weeks ago, I saw the construction crew moving a lot of dirt. Well, they've cleared the area, but there's plenty of work to go, as you can see from the pictures. I originally envisioned this project being completed by the time the new academic year started. That doesn't appear to be the case. Well, at least it's underway.

I noticed something about our clock tower I hadn't noticed before. And I only noticed it while studying the pictures I took. The two clocks in the picture aren't giving the same time. At least one of them is right (the one on the left).

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Never Ending Road Work

This year has been a construction boom for roads. Everywhere I drive I have faced major construction projects. Sure, it will be great when they're done, but even the alternative routes have construction. At times it's been noisy outside of my office, but the end is in sight. I figure they aim to finish this up before the Woodward Dream Cruise, since it would make downtown Birmingham a mess otherwise. I took a couple of pictures today to remember the disruption. It has wreaked havoc on the parking situation. I am always thankful there's a spot (when there is one). I've included a shot of my building.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Frivolous Break

I took some time out in the middle of the week to catch the Simpson's Movie. It was everything we've come to expect and more...actually about an hour more. It drags a bit from time to time, but it was well done overall and a good get-away from the go-go pace of extra summer teaching and supervision. Yes, a second related Simpson's post within a couple of weeks...D'oh. And it was great to get out of the 96 degree heat we had today. I've got a couple of window units, but the moive theatre is much nicer, and there's popcorn....hmmmmm...popcorn.