Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Finished putting in my students' grades. The average percentage without extra credit was around 90, so I better not hear any complainin'.

One student's final paper was mysteriously missing, which initially made me concerned that maybe I had somehow lost just that one paper and no others in the same pile...until I looked at her attendance and assignments, which were full of many holes. She ended up with the exact lowest possible score above failing. I gave her a D instead of a D-, for some reason. I wonder if I'll hear from her about it? Good thing I save everything, in case of complaints.

Recently had a blog visitor who was marked "unknown browser"! What on earth would that be? I occasionally get Safari and of course Firefox and even Opera... but what else is there? Is it a homemade one?! I hope so. That would be cool.

Last week was still the kind of mild rainy autumn weather that had us all glancing bemusedly at one another when we walked outside: "This is December?" But now suddenly the weather's caught up with us and is in fact making up for lost time.

To walk to school I have to wear the following layers: Long underwear (2 kinds), thermal jogging pants and top, nylon windbreaker ski pants, woolly knee-highs, woolly turtleneck sweater, silk balaclava, woolly scarf, wool hat, purple chenille gloves, and to top it all off, my big swingy leopard-print faux-fur coat*.

With these layers I can barely even feel the chill, except around my eyes. The drawbacks are that I look ridiculous, and my glasses fog up completely unless I take great pains to prevent it. I only mind the ridiculous part for the sake of others, because I really couldn't care less for myself. I could do worse than look ridiculous! (And have, believe me.)

The other night I had to email a document to my advisor, and the Union was closed (this only makes sense if you know I don't have Internet access at home). So I stood outside it, in the dark, in my layers, feeling like a Russian spy as I used the tag-edges of the Union's wi-fi leaking out into the winter night:

Yelizaveta's fingertips became instantly numb as she removed her gloves to insert the wireless card. Glancing around to make sure there were still no observers, she huddled in the alcove, each breath freezing onto her glasses as she held her coat futilely around the laptop. She pleaded with the server, "Come on, come on, come on! Just send this one thing! Don't freeze now!"

...or something to that effect, but in Russian.

*I recently realized that the leopard coat is now 16 years old, and in all that time I have never been able to find any other coat that matches it for warmth and lightness. (And I've tried.) It's Wonder Coat! However, the older I get, the more I imagine that others are embarrassed to be seen with me and my ridiculous leopard coat. (Especially given the other layers I typically wear with it.) Therefore, I am considering dyeing it a dark sable brown or something.


Liddy said...

I will happily transliterate the cyrillic writings of Yelizaveta anytime.
And I've had an unknown browser or 2 as well. I imagine it's some kind of invention based on a Kurt Vonnegut novel... a metal construction worker's lunchbox propped up on a piece of ceramic pipe through which you can hear the voices of the departed. Or in this case, that connection noise.

argotnaut said...

I guess I'm too cynical, because my first thought was that it's some kinda spambot.

By the way, how is Clu's health these days?

liz said...

Well, the duct tape is still holding, but then I don't really rely on it as a load-bearing structure. I open the cover v-e-r-y carefully.

Operationally, other than the occasional weird crash, he seems to be doing great!

But the whole cover-falling-off thing is definitely worrisome. I mean, I like Max Headroom/Neuromancer-style lit and movies, but for my important work it makes me feel a bit nervous.

Have wanted to follow through with TheLimey's sometime suggestion about taking it apart to put it back together, but haven't had the time to be without it, let alone just had the time, full stop. Also must find some new-cover source if that's to be useful anyway.

argotnaut said...

I _have_ been rather concerned about it, which is part of the reason I gifted you with that USB drive -- back up early and often!

Now that I've become an eBay addict, I can say that you could probably find bits and pieces of a similar computer there for repair purposes.

I know you have no time for scavenging for such things, so I recommend JBidWatcher: http://www.jbidwatcher.com/

You can do a search once, and then it will just collect things for you, among other things.

Or maybe I should just pick up another computer there and fix it up for you! I'm in the mood . . .