Is this a new Hallowe’en tradition?

So there I am this morning, minding my own business, when a colleague walks in and gives me this:
Braun Nizo Integral7
Of course, there’s no manual, but I found one here. There’s also no film, but I assume one can still easily obtain Super 8 sound film.
Screw Xmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year.

Touching you with a 10-foot poll

As you are all no doubt aware, there is an election next Tuesday in the U.S. of A. Most Canadians I know are anxious about this election, given that when it comes to the Bush League, we waver somewhere between hysterical terror and terrified hysteria*.
Various polls show a dead heat, at least once the margin of error is factored in. Gallup has Bush ahead 51-46. A poll in a San Francisco paper has revealed the surprising** news that Arab Americans are more likely to vote to Kerry. The only poll I’ve seen that shows a clear majority is this one.
Anyway, I figured since I can’t actually vote in this election, I’d create the illusion of participation.

*note the new, improved and essentially Billy Idol-free text. I am, however, still looking for a word, preferably an adjective, to express the very specific kind of emotions Canadians feel toward Bush. Contemptuous? Amused? Disdainful? Our-eyeballs-hurt-from-rolling-so-much? Any suggestions are welcome.
**as in not surprising at all.

Professional Crastination

So there’s a pile of paper on my desk – no, make that several piles. Unsorted piles. There are essays awaiting comments, grammar exercises awaiting corrections, corrected texts awaiting marks, oral presentation summaries awaiting review, and one or two administrative memos awaiting ignoring. This is why, of course, I’m blogging.
The end of the semester is right around the corner, and I feel like I’ve taught my students nothing. Some of them may actually know less than they did in September.
My Intro course, which finishes in a month and a half, still has to get through the Scottish play AND the elements of poetry, not to mention figure out how to stop writing so many comma splices. My Canadian Women Writers course, if yesterday’s orals are any indication, may stretch into February – the guidelines clearly said 15 to 20 minutes, so two groups presenting yesterday should have taken maximum 40 minutes, right? (See, I can do math) Together, the two presentations took 90 minutes. 90! There are six more presentations. I may call in sick.
As for my Prep (ESL) group, well, some of them are actually doing really well – but others are still approaching college the way they did high school, but with fewer restrictions. I have to admit, as a group they are demonstrating some improvement, both in language skills and behaviour. It’s been a while since I left the classroom thinking “Now that’s exactly why I don’t teach secondary.” On the other hand, I confess I was a little dismayed to kind I’ve been given the Prep Plus course next semester – the class in which all my current Prep students end up if they can’t pass this semester’s class.
The good news is, my goldfish plant is blooming.

Yes, Virginia, there is a part number

I inadvertently checked my cel phone voice mail yesterday and found a message from my friendly technician, who called to say that the ass/elbow crew finally figured it all out, and the part has been ordered!
Now all we have to do is wait for the part to arrive, then for FS to contact me to tell me…
I bet I have a working screen by, oh, 2005!! Woohoo!

Getting there is NOT half the fun

So here we are, my laptop and me, snug and warm in my office, just the two of us…
no, wait, who’s this? Why, it’s an external monitor!
Three weeks into the waiting game, I gave in and retrieved my computer. The wretched video cable (NOT the new one) is sitting in my backpack, doing its impression of electronic intestinal disease. The part number is still a mystery, but at least now I have the part in hand – my plan is to march into Future Shop and wave the video cable in people’s faces until someone over there finally figures out which is his ass, and which is his elbow.
In the meantime, the IT people at school have very kindly provided me with a reasonably good monitor, so at least I have an actual computer, right here in my office. My skulking days are over.

The path to limbo:

1 – buy a refurbished emachines laptop through an e-bay store.
2 – use said laptop happily for about 7 months.
3 – bring laptop to recommended repair shop because display is increasingly not actually displaying anything.
4 – receive call from friendly technician at said repair shop, who has very quickly diagnosed the problem (the video cable looks like it’s been chewed by deranged rats) and says it should take a couple of days to get the part, and a couple of minutes to fix the machine.
5 – get another call from same technician, albeit in a less friendly mood, who has discovered that the only place from which anyone can get the part is Future Shop. Oh, and Future Shop won’t order the part based on a phone call, because they need a physical person to sign the contract, even though there’s no actual repair contract, just a part order, which requires a signature….
6 – armed with part number read directly from video cable, go in person to Future Shop to sign said contract.
7 – try desperately not to kill the nice man at Future Shop when he informs you that there is no such part number, and implies rather overtly that since you thought it was a part number, you are obviously an idiot whose experience with computers is about as in-depth as is his with women.
8 – convince the Future Shop guy to let you at least open a file and sign a &*%#$ contract so you don’t have to come back in person once the whole part number thing has been sorted out.
9 – convince the technician from (4) to speak directly with the Future Shop guy from (7).
10 – two weeks later, find yourself still computerless, waiting for a part number that apparently does not, technically, exist, because although Future Shop is the sole distributor of emachines parts, Future Shop does not deal directly with emachines per se, and besides, emachines products purchased through Future Shop have different part numbers, and so far no one has been able to correctly interpret the camel entrails or something.

In case you were wondering

I am still computerless – which, aside from the obvious annoyance in terms of maintaining a regular contact with my fan base, is seriously hindering me. I have mid-term progress reports to make! Exercises to create! Background information to compile! Pointless messages to send! None of which is getting done, thanks to the Mystery of the Missing Part Number.
I’d bore you with the details, but frankly, I’d really bore you with the details. Suffice it to say it’s a good thing that (a) firearms are not readily available and (b) I’m a lousy shot anyway.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to spend the rest of my precious time in the public computer lab getting rid of the 1000+ spam comments that have recently accumulated. 😛