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07/31/2006: "the pace of bureaucracy, bikes, and Glue"

Today has been and exciting day thus far, and I've learned some thing too.

1) Never underestimate the pace of bureaucracy. And I don't mean assume it's fast.
2) Don't underestimate glue. If I had stitches last night, tonight would have been wasted too.
3) Investing a couple of hours in an unlikely venture sometimes pays off.

Many moons ago I was getting all excited with the possibility of getting a job with the National Research Council in their Industry Research Assistance Program. I enthused, I applied, I waited... and assumed that I simply hadn't qualified. The closing date for the competition was back in May, after all. Oh well, I figured that after my Master's I'd have a better chance of getting in.

Well, I vastly underestimated the pace of bureaucracy. Just today I got an e-mail confirming my interview date and time for the position. Not only is the position not yet filled, but I'm still in the running! Glee!! So now I have just about three weeks to prepare for the interview. It shouldn't be difficult, except for the part when they ask me about my upcoming Master's program, and I tell them I'm enrolling September 2007. (The resume they have says "actively pursuing admission".) I figure there's two ways to approach it; pretend it isn't there and take a leave of absence just over a year into a new job if I get it, or come at it straight on and sell it as a year of on-the-job training, and then a degree that will be highly relevant to the position. Still not sure which one to take yet.

Remember how I wrote that last night I didn't get stitches, but instead got glued? (The glue is known as skin adhesive, or liquid stitches.) Well, I'm damned glad I got glued last night instead of stitched. Why? Well, because I cut my first knuckle (actually on the finger, not at the base of the finger) my finger is straight, and can't bend all that much. Try keeping your index finger straight for a day, see how easy it is for you. It's not. Well, tonight I accidently over-exerted the finger, and I now see that there is fresh bleeding under the glue. (The glue is a transparent purple, so I can see everything underneath.) What does that tell me? If I had stitches instead of glue, I probably would have pulled a stitch, necessitating another visit to a clinic. So - DON'T DISS THE GLUE!! The glue is good, the glue is powerful. I need some for my first aid kit.

I over-exerted my finger getting a bike tonight. On my way home I thought I'd stop by a house I saw a few months back that had a home-made sign saying that there were used bikes for sale in the back yard. I figured I'd stop in to see if he had anything worthwhile, and perhaps to see if he'd make me my no-weld recumbent. Well, he had one interesting bike, but the frame was too short for me. Luckily, his friend came by, who said that he might have something for me. So I followed this other guy home, and sure enough, he had a dual suspension mountain bike (a Jeep(TM), no less) that he'd be willing to part with for $75. Bingo!

I wanted to take some of the better parts off my bike to put on this one, so after supper I grabbed my old bike and took it over to him. After his assessment, he declared that he could switch some parts over, for another $60. Forget it. So he keeps my old bike (what's left of it), and I give him $75 for the mountain bike. He keeps the seat, I throw my gel seat on, he tosses in a set of metal pedals (which will replace the cracked plastic ones on there now), and after talking kids for a bit, he GIVES me a bike for Isaac to use next year. Yes, a freebie. Needless to say, I'll be using him for all my bike needs from now on.

It's been a good day. No ripped stitches, a golden interview opportunity, and a working bike. (It needs to be tuned, but I can take it to the orginal guy and he'll probably adjust it for $10 or so.) Now if I can do some work in the basement without injuring myself, I'll be quite content.

Replies: 3 Comments

on Monday, July 31st, Bob said

Congratulations on outlasting the bureaucracy! :)

BTW, when will Janette and the kids return? i.e. How much time do you have for the basement and how is it going?

on Monday, July 31st, mr.ska said

Everyone returns Wednesday evening, so I pretty much only have tonight and tomorrow to do basement stuff. So tomorrow I'm hoping to buckle down and get a whack of stuff done - finish some trim work and then get to polishing off all the priming. Sadly, I certainly won't be getting to painting the ceiling before they're back. (Would have been a different story if my finger hadn't been so curious about my knife.)

on Tuesday, August 1st, Jerry said

Congrats on the interview -- and good luck!


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