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Archive for August, 2008

Resignation Week

Posted by Jeff on August 15, 2008

I suppose there is some philosophical significance to the process of cutting ties here in Ann Arbor to start a new life in Cleveland, and I think that Kushida Sensei would have a decent amount to say about starting any new endeavor with a beginner’s mind… but it’s more than a little overwhelming to close the book on most of the things that I’ve been involved with over the last decade.

On Friday, I worked 16 hours for my last shift in dispatch. That it was a really busy and stressful shift helped to keep me from feeling too badly about walking out of the comm center for the last time. Although I’ll miss most of the people who work in there, I feel pretty relieved that I won’t have to worry about the bureaucracy and policies involved in actually working as a dispatcher.

Yesterday was both my last day in the office with UM (again, I’ll miss the people, not the work environment) and very sadly, my last day as lieutenant of the fire department. While I’ll be staying on with HVA in my capacity as a road medic, the opportunities for continuing in the fire service while in Cleveland are pretty limited. Very few departments are staffed by anything other than career firefighters and I just won’t have the time or flexibility to work a full-time shift schedule.

In any case, it is a huge change in our lives as we start an entirely new chapter and leave the familiar behind.

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First ride to campus

Posted by Jeff on August 5, 2008

On monday, I took the bike out for a trial run from the new house to campus. One of our neighbors (Fran) mentioned that it’s a 10-minute ride there and a 15-minute ride back. I managed to get there in about 20, with a 25-minute return trip. Here are some tips for next time to help shave that time down a little:

  • inflate the tires to something more than 20psi
  • Switch the knobby offroad tires to street slicks
  • Write down the directions or take a map
  • Check the brakes… back AND front
  • The bike goes faster when the chain stays on the chainring

For you former Bursley-ites reading this, it turns out that my ride to/from campus involves almost the same elevation changes as the ride from north campus to central campus… approximately 200 feet. However, my ride now has definite bonus of taking me right through Little Italy.

Fortunately, most of the streets I got lost on were pretty nice areas of town, but I did see some areas a few blocks away from our neighborhood that I’m really glad we didn’t buy into (Derbyshire between Lamberton and Cottage Grove). The last time I rode a bike to work or school was about 10 years ago, so it also took me about five minutes to remember how to use a U-lock to property secure a bike to a rack.

Having finally made it to campus, I had a great discussion with Dr. Hauck, my advisor. It looks like I’m going to start my research by learning the finite element analysis software MARC and using it to study the lifecycles of lunar craters. While not quite as exciting as the other option (analysis of IR, visible, and topographic data from the next Mercury Messenger pass) it gets me going on a project quickly.

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