I am operating on about four hours sleep as I inadvertently defrosted the freezer last night (the trays were beginning to stick) and it wasn't helped by the pub being noisy until 1.30am, which is when I finally went to bed. It wasn't fully defrosted at 3am, and probably was by 8.00, when I awoke and was by 9.30 when I got up. Last time I defrosted the freezer, it died. Yeesterday was clearly not the day to buy ice cream. I have phoned the council and the police to complain. More about the noise than the freezer. Although the freezer has made odd noises

I heard, as a result, about two hours of coverage of the proposed Bacefook flotation. It seems to me that it is vastly over valued with no real sense of how the business can expand and be monetised without further alienating their users. This is going to end well, yes? Maybe this is why I have a G+ account, although I don't like the way Google feels your life is better when interwoven (do I want to be told that someone else has done the same search as me?)

I have to invigilate an exam this afternoon, but have not received the confirmation email. I phoned to check, but realised that the Examinations office phone number is actually the Calzone number the high level, two-way, interactive bottleneck helpline which last year became student-only and assistants can be bollocked for assisting staff. The staff number or, rather, numbers are not apparent, and presumably need another level of clicky to get to direct line numbers. I was put through to the sports centre, which appears to be where I needed to be put through to. (I note that three weeks ago I was emailed by the Calzone - who in a Priestly manner can talk to you even if you are not allowed to talk to them - to tell me that my computer issue had been resolved. Since this was for a problem I had not raised, at a time when I was still in bed, I was even more confused than usual. Turns out they inputted the wrong name in their records. Heigho.)
The calZone springs into action once more...

Call INC415334 was opened on 26-04-2012 09:04.

The call details are as follows:

Forename:F
Surname: austus
Location:Ef19

Call Summary: Classroom Emergency in LG26



I wasn't in Lg26 at 9.04. I have never made this complaint - or if I have, it must have been in a previous year. I was in Lg26 on Monday, but didn't have that problem.
faustus: (seventies)
( Mar. 17th, 2012 10:24 pm)
I submitted the manuscript for Solar Flares last July, and sometime around December came requests for rewrites. I've battle with this alongside everything else, and it was due 14 March. Unfortunately, as I was giving a paper at the University of Herefordshire on then, I suggested I get a day's extension. I spent Thursday applying for two study leaves and two exhibitions, so didn't have a chance to fully reread it one last time.

The last week was somewhat stressful - I'd apparently been editing the version from Dropbox, and then Caffe Nerd's flaky wifi failed to save it, and I lost edits on three chapters. Fortunately, I'd edited on paper, so was able to recreate what I'd done. I have to say, it didn't like saving over the last couple of days.

At about 6.30 I finally sent it off, so it's all over bar the copy edit, proof reading and indexing. Special thanks go to jkneale and FJM, who both read chapters, and thanks to everyone who has answered queries over the four or five years I've been writing the damn thing. Hopefully I thank everyone in the book, but inevitably I'll miss someone.

Apparently people are looking forward to reviewing it. Revenge being served cold, perhaps?

Solar Flares

JKneale also tells me the cover is a photo of UCL halls of residence on Oxford Street, since demolished. Selfridges is to the right of the photographer, North Audley Street to the left - see http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ll=51.513991,-0.153594&spn=0.005121,0.009645&t=k&z=17. If you go into street view on the box junction, looking west, you can see the building behind/above the right hand stormtrooper.


The time off which follows includes:


  • An article
  • A plenary for 2 April
  • A paper for the same conference.
  • The Sekrit Projekt delayed by revisions.
  • In due course, the Sekrit Book After Next (which JKneale had a preview of, but is sworn to secrecy)


So, no pressure.
faustus: (Comedy)
( Mar. 13th, 2012 12:01 am)
I've needed a day out for at least a week, albeit of the take-the-laptop-and-work variety. I thought of London, I thought of Tunbridge Wells, I thought of Tonbridge, I thought of Ashford... I thought of Ramsgate. But the train service was suspended all weekend, and there was a diversion on Sturry Road, so buses looked a problem. Oh, and the bridge from East was closed for maintenance.

I went to Nerd.

Saturday night, after much work, I walked the alleged two miles to ASDA, and two miles back, and was abused by the Imp's drunk, who called across to me as I was locking my front door, that I couldn't get in, because two people had come to change the locks, I was wasting my time, I wouldn't be able to get in. This was my front door. Which I'd just come out of. And then clearly locked.

I thought of going to the Bubble on Sunday, and calling in the library at the campus on the hill, walking home, but fortunately the library books could be renewed on line and Costa hath no wifi. I went to Nerd, then Bux, then (New Nerd being full) back to Old Nerd. I edited three chapters, wrote the lectures I needed for Monday, and ate an out of date packet of crisps. I went home, edited another chapter, then hit the wrong button.

I'd somehow been working on the Dropbox back up of the file, and the flaky wifi meant that the Scrivener file hadn't saved. I'd been editing each chapter in Word, to use the spellchecking function (belts and braces for my own self-copy-edit), but didn't save each chapter. Three chapters gone. Fortunately, I'd edited on paper too, and none of these chapters had the large restructure of some of them, so i was able to redo the work within a couple of hours. No early night, though.

Tonight, I've worked on the remaining chapters and epilogue. I have ten pages which I skipped editing (for reasons which escape me) to do, a couple of hundred words to add and a couple of additional references. Hopefully the manuscript can go off on Thursday.
I am very close to actually having a manuscript that I'm happy with at c. 120,000 words. But, more importantly, the outside looks good.

Solar Flares
faustus: (Default)
( Nov. 23rd, 2011 11:53 pm)
We pass over today's meeting in silence to note -


  • I still need to sort out video clips for tomorrow
  • I appear to have lost the paddle from the bread machine, although I have a memory of finding it in an odd place a few weeks back (and I can buy a replacement)
  • I haven't marked the late essays
  • the printer has run out of ink part way through someone's chapter, but before I've printed out tomorrow's lecture, a map for Friday and the Friday thing. Some of these I can work round by stealing the secretary's printer
  • I have a thing for Friday, which helps, although it still doesn't reach the idea of the cognitive uncanny which seems to be a rhetorical mountain I keep failing to achieve
  • I could really do with eating 260 kCal before I go to bed as I've barely made 1,100 today. Should have had the granola bar in Caffe Nerd
I spent half an hour going through the book this afternoon, looking for the key word - although it took a while to find the Googlebooks edition. (There's a Scribd one, but it doesn't seem searchable.) I have some juicy quotations, and found even more when I searched for another word. I like my quotes.

The trick now is to make sure the texts I'll be writing about fit them.


I can't help but feel it's the wrong way round...
There's been something percolating for years, and it involves estrangement and the uncanny. And I keep thinking that there's something to be said for throwing an incredulity against metanarratives (© JF Lyotard) in the general direction of cognition, especially as I noticed the phrase cognitive mapping (© Fredric Jameson).


The way I tend to work is that I convince myself that there is a connection between a and b, and then do the the research to prove it, finding everything slotting into place. It can take years. It makes abstracts high risk articles of faith.

My hinge for a current article (which I shouldn't write yet, but I need a CFP abstract, and will deliver a forty minute version in March) is a certain four letter word, which I've seen quoted from a classic work by a well-known continental philosopher. Only the quotations either lacked page numbers, or didn't match up. The book is on Google books, but I realise its pages don't match the real book. There are two editions - and possibly therefore two translations, albeit by the same person. I have been largely failing to locate the four letter word in the physical version, but have found some suggestive lines on [redacted].

At some point I need to read the same author's book on the uncanny (and other issues).


I cheated, by getting a book on the given philosopher, whose title contains the four-letter word, and the conceit I am wishing to use, except that the latter is being used in a different sense from the way I am using it, although I think the two will connect up. And connect to the uncanny. And I think it only appropriate. But he's taken a hundred pages to cover the ground from Hegel to my man, large discussing people I've never heard of and using words like symploke.* I feel another digression coming on before he gets there. I am not heartened by the lack of times he uses the four-letter word I am looking for, either....


I may at the end of this have a new general theory of science fiction, but don't start holding your breath just yet.

Of course, I need to read a pile of novels to apply the ideas. Details....





* The combination of anaphora and epistrophe, as eny fule kno.
faustus: (Default)
( Aug. 27th, 2011 09:06 pm)
my password has expired. I discovered this five minutes after the help desk shut.

Yes, you can change the password on line.

If you have a secret question.

Do I have a secret question?

They kept it a secret that I needed it.

Filled in the help form, hit send.

Server Error in '/' Application.
Invalid postback or callback argument. Event validation is enabled using in configuration or <%@ Page EnableEventValidation="true" %> in a page. For security purposes, this feature verifies that arguments to postback or callback events originate from the server control that originally rendered them. If the data is valid and expected, use the ClientScriptManager.RegisterForEventValidation method in order to register the postback or callback data for validation.
Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.ArgumentException: Invalid postback or callback argument. Event validation is enabled using in configuration or <%@ Page EnableEventValidation="true" %> in a page. For security purposes, this feature verifies that arguments to postback or callback events originate from the server control that originally rendered them. If the data is valid and expected, use the ClientScriptManager.RegisterForEventValidation method in order to register the postback or callback data for validation.

Source Error:

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

Stack Trace:

[ArgumentException: Invalid postback or callback argument. Event validation is enabled using in configuration or <%@ Page EnableEventValidation="true" %> in a page. For security purposes, this feature verifies that arguments to postback or callback events originate from the server control that originally rendered them. If the data is valid and expected, use the ClientScriptManager.RegisterForEventValidation method in order to register the postback or callback data for validation.]
System.Web.UI.ClientScriptManager.ValidateEvent(String uniqueId, String argument) +173
System.Web.UI.Control.ValidateEvent(String uniqueID, String eventArgument) +72
System.Web.UI.WebControls.TextBox.LoadPostData(String postDataKey, NameValueCollection postCollection) +34
System.Web.UI.WebControls.TextBox.System.Web.UI.IPostBackDataHandler.LoadPostData(String postDataKey, NameValueCollection postCollection) +14
System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessPostData(NameValueCollection postData, Boolean fBeforeLoad) +346
System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint) +1743


Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.3623; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.3618




Is there a visible email address? Is there buggery. I'm not meant to use the iZone (24 hour help) as I'm staff. How to I access help for staff? Log in.

Nothing til Tuesday I guess.

It's not that there's likely to be student queries, what with deadlines on Tuesday. Or resits coming up. Or information to check. Or a clearing day to ask about.

faustus: (Default)
( Jun. 15th, 2011 12:17 am)
... I should write tomorrow's presentation. Or I could just wing it. It's not until... 11ish. I never got round to emailing and saying I don't want to be filmed.
faustus: (Culture)
( Jun. 2nd, 2011 01:09 pm)
Looks like something has been done to Facebook which means my modem/router doesn't like it. There must be someway of declaring a site safe?

On the other hand, it looks like I'm limited in my access to Facebook.


There may be a downside to this.

Edit: Back. It doesn't like linkys
faustus: (seventies)
( May. 2nd, 2011 01:17 am)
The death march continues - fifteen chapters have a penultimate edit, and aside from adding a couple of paragraphs here and there, and an epilogue, and the full bibliography, I'm almost ready to submit.

I am, of course, hoping to awake to discover that the fairies have rewritten Chapter Eleven for me. On the other hand, maybe that's Monday's job.
faustus: (Comedy)
( Apr. 3rd, 2011 08:38 pm)
As if to emphasise how far out of mine I am and will be tomorrow, I have decided to dig out a suit. At some point I should check that it fits. It also occurs to me that I may not have a clean shirt - I'm guessing it got washed after I last used it, which I suspect is about four years ago, but it might not be clean now. It may not fit, especially around the neck. Buying an ironic tie was on this weekend's agenda (as indeed was buying socks) but if the neck doesn't fit, a tie won't work.

I could of course not pretend to be a grown up. I'm not entirely sure how a coat/rucksack combo will work.
faustus: (Angry)
( Jan. 28th, 2011 07:22 pm)
Yesterday I was two minutes late for class because, despite setting the alarm for 7.00am, it took me a good hour to get up, and then I couldn't find my glasses, despite their being in a place I had looked twice already.

In the coffee break I went into the corridor where my office was and thought, where am I? I was truly lost. I thought, when I realised where I was, that maybe I'd entered from the wrong end of the corridor, but this is the route I always take.

Brain fart.

There has been drilling next door, usually from 8.15, every day since 1 December or thereabouts. The place must look like Swiss cheese. Since I have been averaging a 3.30 get to sleep, this is not helping.

I decided that I would work in the Bubble today, for a change of postcode. It took me until noon to properly get up, out the house and on the bus. I have bought cheese - Lord London (Spanish style, citrus), Wensleydale, No Kidding (goat) and Beenleigh Blue (sheep) - and second hand books - a pile of Sherlock Holmes in hardback Oxford World's Classics (which may duplicate one or two I have already in paperback, but that's not the end of the world) and walked upon the beach. Bacon roll and cream cake. No ice cream, alas.

Did some typing in Costa.

Now waiting to see Mark Steel
faustus: (Default)
( Jan. 13th, 2011 12:22 pm)
"Staff Development would like to invite you to attend the workshop 'Making Meetings Work'".


Meetings are already work.
faustus: (Default)
( Jan. 12th, 2011 01:30 pm)
The problem with thinking, "I'll have lunch when I've finished this bit", is that you always find another bit that just needs finishing first. So before I investigate Eric Woolfson - or is it Wolfson - I shall break for lunch.
I appear to have forgotten to do this for July. Ooops.


Ah well.

That To Read List )


I'm cheating on Gravity's Rainbow - I have 80 pages to go, and coffee to drink this am. Is it just me, or does this look doable? The madness sets in.

Drum roll:



91200 / 120000 words. 76% done!

I've done a little bit of trimming, as the chapters are still coming in long even after losing a whole chapter, so I have written more than that would suggest. There's a fluidity created by the bibliography, so I'm not doing deep trimming yet. But there are some stark choices when I realise that I only have 900 words for Doctor Who, 700 for Blake's Seven and I still have to deal with Anderson (I've squeezed in an obscure series, if only because it has a character named Blake... I am still convinced there is a link from William to Roj, but I haven't spotted it yet.) Darling of the Month: "The UNIT narratives provided Britain with a role in world affairs without anyone having to go overseas (although occasionally they did get to leave the planet)."

Meanwhile I will have to write up the Leuven paper for the collection, discover whether I'm still doing another chapter for a new companion and need to sort out some comedy research.

Into deeper time: there is a potential book contract for next year if I sit down and do a proposal (next week?) and I appear to have had the idea for the next book, something which has been hovering around my head since about 2003, and which is not on comedy. If I'm smart I'll work out how to do articles which would be the building blocks of it, although I can see how the so-what may well come into play for sections. I definitely need to sit down and down a comedy article. Meanwhile I spy three areas that would repay articles from the seventies materials unused. No rest for the idle.
faustus: (Comedy)
( Aug. 3rd, 2010 10:31 am)
Tom Lehrer said he gave up satire when Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize, bring unable to compete with the absurdity of the real world.

I've just had one of those moments.


Ye gods.
faustus: (Culture)
( Jul. 18th, 2010 01:07 pm)
I'm not sure how to recover from a three day conference in insufferable heat,* but last week was not the way to do it. I so need to get back to reading and watching seventies stuff, but this week I had to read and comment on a PhD thesis, and ponder whether the c and related p words are appropriate discourse for a thesis which is, after all, about people who display their [thank yous] for a living. Why so coy? If you can talk about it, you can use the word. I just have a vision of startled horses.

And editing prose, that of others', I seem to have had a fetish for eliminating the repetition of any word bar "of", "an", "a" or "the" in a sentence. And ideally between consecutive sentences. But then that collides with rhetorical flourishes. On the other hand, there should be a limit to how many time the word "which" can be used in a sentence (even allowing for the fact that there are mysterious, Atlantic-differentiated, rules for when it ought to be "that").

Then there was the summer school, which was advertised as being on comedy and gender, but the organiser had been confused by my consistent use of the phrase "comedy and race". The kids were actually quite smart, although apparently the solution for racism is for the butts of it to get over it. Chiz. Interestingly, whilst the black man's cock joke of The Office (see here) was not felt to be racist, the unknowable intention of Black People Love Us was.

Oh, and note to self, if you feel a sympathique with someone, at least think to get their name. It makes stalking them so much easier.

Meanwhile, I appear to be acquiring conferences - although I'll think twice about the big vampire one. Part of the operating strategy might be to push forward the comedy research (and I had a word with the supplier to my dealer, last night). Having thought through what to do with a conference on memory and quite liking the suggestion of Life on Mars, I have mysteriously acquired a copy of The Nature of Nicholas (thanks to tilo) without giving credit cards details to a firm specialising in adult and naturist films; in the mean time someone whispered another title in my ear in a different context, and that also does the seventies thing for me. Result.

Now to find a night where I get to bed earlier than 2am.



* One solution involves a bar, and a monologue punctuated by "and another thing...". Catharsis is us.
And so a long term comes to an end, a term dominated by marking and more arguments over marks and extensions than I can remember, with many of those arising from students I have been generous to. I don't think I've been any harsher than normal, but entitlement is all over the place. I feel micromanaged, second guessed and undermined.

Perhaps the study leave around the corner has caused an exhaustion to emerge, as I weigh up the urge to get on with the need to take time out. But there are still jobs to do:


  • Write resit questions
  • Comment on module questionnaires
  • Deal with annual reports for doctoral students
  • Comment on two dissertations
  • Mark essay which has been resubmitted
  • Mark essay from student given long extension
  • Check and if necessary mark essay from student who had mitigating circumstances
  • See doctoral student in London


Is the word I'm searching for asymtopic? Jobs left to do tend towards zero, but never reach it?
.

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