Monday, March 12, 2012


Little niggling things are on my mind today.

Last Friday, the handyman went to the house to check on a lighting fixture that wasn't working and on the stairs to my deck, which have never been quite right. And while he was there, he glanced up at the roof and then told me that I need to get the house reroofed. (He doesn't do roofs.)

He gave me a couple of suggestions for people whose work he respecs, and I called them. One called back this morning to make an appointment to give me an estimate, and the other I'm waiting to hear (they thought they should be able to look and measure stuff for the estimate without my being there).

Bleargh. I was thinking that I might replace the ugly carpet in my living room with hardwood this spring, but I think roofing's more important. (And I'm really glad he pointed out the roof issues, because I don't look up there enough, and I would far rather replace it early than deal with leak damage.)


In our department coffee room, we have: a toaster, a coffee maker, a microwave, and a water-heater (for tea or whatever) all plugged into the same area (because there are very few plugs around in this building compared to what you'd put in a building nowadays). You can use any two things, and it's okay, but if you use a third thing, you'll blow the circuit and then you have to call maintenance and get them to come up and do something in their secret locked room.

So today, I had some stuff to microwave for lunch and wanted hot tea as well, so I put my stuff in the microwave while someone else was using the toaster. Then I waited, and once my microwaving was done, started the water heating. The toaster finished and then another person started the microwave for her lunch.

And then another person came in and without looking at what was already going, started up the toaster.

Poof. No water heating, no lunch heating, nada. So I never got my hot tea, and now my caffeine levels are dangerously low in the late afternoon (which is at least partly my fault because I was up way too late finishing some grading).


An advisee came in on Friday and asked me questions about a class over in another area of campus (one we have a fair bit of contact with). On the computer registration system, the lecture and discussion for one class are scheduled so that they overlap. I don't know what's up.

So this morning, I emailed their chair to ask what I should suggest to my advisee. And she helpfully emailed back.

I don't know whether it's a department problem or a computer problem or somewhere in between, but it's not good when they're telling me to tell my student not to register yet. It's really hard to get into classes, and if she got lucky with a good time assignment this semester, she needs to take advantage of it because she probably won't have the same luck twice.


I have one of those students. You know, the student who makes you really happy you chose to become a professor. If I could clone him, all our lives would be immensely better in so many ways.


  1. For the roof - be sure to check with your homeowner's insurance to see if they'll help. My roof was old enough to need replacing last year, but we'd had some spring storms (just like every year) with some hail, and my insurance people counted enough of it as hail damage to pay for most of the replacement cost, which I totally did not expect.

    And yay for students who make it all worthwhile. :)

  2. yeah, roof comes first.

    it is NOT ACCEPTABLE when any random person can go blow out the microwave/toaster combo. that is worse than stealing someone's food from the fridge, or forgetting the old rotting thing left in the back of the fridge. an electrical solution would be best, because no way can the fridge stealing/rotting food be solved by mortals.

    yay for our great student!

  3. I would also concentrate on replacing the roof first rather than taking off the carpet, if I were in your shoes. You can consider keeping the roof leak-free as a sort of investment, a long-term one. As for the coffee room, just continue to use two appliances at a time there to avoid overloading the circuit.

  4. In this situation, the best solution would be time management. Thinking about carpet between roofing renovations is kind of a dilemma. If I were in this situation, I'll take care of the carpet first, since it's easier and won't take long. Also, this task can be done manually even without professional help - watching and reading some DIY guides like videos can help. After this, I can then go for the roofing jobs. Since thinking about the material and design takes a lot of time for both, it's best to go at them one at a time. By the way, it's been a month since - how are the repairs and changes now?