Warm Weather Returns to Kent

It’s 77 degrees outside on this nice Sunday afternoon. I walked to the Library to do some Acrobat Pro wrangling, and I saw many students out including the local LARPers (they were filming their battle performances for future generations). I just returned from Kinkos after placing a big print order. Now, I am off to Seth’s for some relaxation after the Week of Trials.

A Report on Recent Goings-On in Kent

Last week, Y and I picked up our friend Masaya from the airport. He is back in Kent, late of Japan, for another research mission. It’s good to have our friend back in town, even though we are all very busy. We will have to make time to hang out for the short time that he is back in the States.

This past Saturday, Mack and Sue took Y, Masaya, and me out to lunch at Pufferbelly’s Restaurant in downtown Kent. It was a good day, cold with the snow recently melted away after a short warm spell, and we had good conversations about jobs, dissertating, and Stieg Larsson. Many thanks to Mack and Sue for a good lunch and wonderful conversation.

Now, almost all of the snow that melted last week has been replaced with newly fallen snow. Y and I worked outside early this week to keep the roof cleared and the driveway open.

Professionally, I am reading the proofs for The Postnational Fantasy, and I am revising my entry on Asimov’s “Bicentennial Man” and Chris Columbus’ film of the same name for Peter Wright’s collection on science fiction film adaptations. I put in my application for a service-free semester fellowship, too.

I am looking forward to tomorrow’s departmental review, because Y and I can speak with Professor Eric Rabkin again (we first met Professor Rabkin at the SFRA 2010 meeting in Carefree, AZ, read about it here). He is the only member of the outside review committee who I happen to know.

Back in Kent After a Short Christmas Reprieve

Yufang and I are back from a week long visit to see my family over Christmas. We had a great time in the South, but there was far too little time to do everything we would have liked to have done or see everyone who we would have liked to have seen. I have some pending DynamicSubspace.net updates on my reading and experiences while we were gone, which should follow in short order.

The picture above is of us on my Grandpa Ellis’ dock on the heavily polluted Turtle River. It’s pretty there, but you don’t want to eat anything that lives in or around the water. Industry along the river dumped a good deal of mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) into the water, which have obviously worked their way into the food chain.

There are only a couple of days left in 2009, so I would like to say to everyone: Happy New Year and Peace to All.

Police Sirens In Kent, Ohio

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been at home a lot more lately barreling through my PhD exam reading list, but it sure does seem like there have been many more police sirens racing past our house on Main Street than in recent memory. Perhaps it is because there are more students in Kent now that Fall semester is under way, but I cannot say for certain that these police sirens are responding to student incidents. Maybe the groundhogs of Kent, Ohio are rioting or the geese loiterers are uppity. So it goes.

FedEx Office in Hudson, OH Rocks!

I want to give a big thanks to Julius at the FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinkos) in Hudson, Ohio for doing the seemingly impossible.  I woke up early this morning, and I thought I would try to get some new business cards printed before going to SFRA in Atlanta next week.  So, I downloaded the FedEx business card template, and designed what can only be described as an awesome business card.  Then, I called the FedEx Office in Kent, Ohio and asked what the turn around time would be on a run of 100 cards.  After the saleswoman returned from talking with her colleague (that means that there were at least two people working in that branch), she said it would take 7 business days.  I said thank you and hung up.  Yufang suggested I try another FedEx Office, so I called the location in Hudson and spoke with Julius.  In a relaxed and friendly tone, he told me that he could print them right now and I could email him the file for faster service.  So, I sent off my Photoshop file, and drove up the road to pick them up.  He told me that it would take about 15 minutes to complete the order.  When I arrived at the Hudson FedEx Office, Julius was the only person there, but he handled a phone order, two walk in print orders, and a package shipment while printing and cutting my cards.  Also, he saw that I was a student, because of my cards, so he gave me a student discount that I didn’t even know FedEx offers.  So, let me break this down for you–Julius did more work single handedly in what turned out to be 20 minutes than a whole crew at another FedEx Office could do in 7 business days.  Thanks, Julius–it was a pleasure doing business with someone who really knows how to work.  

Oh, and here’s my new business card that matches my header for DynamicSubspace.net:

 My Business Card

You can find the full size image in the public domain here.

SLSA 2008, Back in Kent

The conference was a lot of fun, and I’m glad that I got to hang out with Pawel, Michael, De Witt, Matt, Hannah, Amanda, and Cat.  I passed out a lot of SFRA bracelets, brochures, and conference announcements, so I hope to see some of you not-yet-SFRA members, but soon-to-be SFRA members next year in Atlanta.  Oh, Cat and I rocked our panel, and thanks to the audience members and their questions and discussion!

After a relatively easy eight hour drive from Charlotte to Kent today, I arrived home safely for a much needed nap before going to dinner with Yufang.  I have some work to catch up on tonight before class tomorrow, but I have plenty of notes from SLSA.  Expect a proper write-up over the next few days.