Books…

Got a few book tips from Calum Bingham!

Greetings Dr Peppar
I discovered your web site last night and have been reading your entries and looking at your photos – which I have enjoyed and found interesting.
I live with my family in Auckland, New Zealand. A long way geographically from you – but distance is nothing on the internet.
I have some reading recommendations for you:
”Northern Lights” by Phillip Pullman. First book of a trilogy
that is very well written, a great story with much suspense.
It won the English ”Guardian” newspaper award and also the ”Carnegie” medal – both very reputable awards.
”Hokkaido Highway Blues” by Will Fergusson. This is an extremely readable and funny book written by a Canadian
who hitched from the southern most island of Japan to the
northern island – often had me laughing out loud – very good for armchair travellers.
I’m not sure if either of these is to your taste but if you ask around I think they would both be recommended.(Not sure if books in english are widely available where you are?).
Anyway, happy reading…
Regards,
Calum Bingham
P.S. A couple of sci fi movies – ”Existenz” and ”Signs” – have a look….

Thanks!!!! 🙂

The cat is out of the box

Earlier I have talked about a decision and it is now official so why not write it here as well. After 4 years employment as senior lecturer at LTU I have come to the conclusion that there just isn’t any room for free research within the Swedish university system. Thus I have decided that I am going to leave my current position as research leader for the Media Technology group. I have not decided yet where I am heading from here and we will see what happens. I am of course very concerned for the people at the division and I don’t just want to leave without a clear situation for the division’s future, but at the same time I won’t stay on forever. Jerker (by boss) didn’t react too negative, almost as if he welcomed my decision.
I told Jerker before lunch today and the rest of my division in the afternoon and it is quite fun to see the different reactions I get from different people. One of my graduate students actually sounded very happy about it and some others went totally quiet.
The unclear situation for myself makes me a bit uneasy but I am certain that it will work out for the best. I have a few leads that I am working on right now.
Well there it is…

[Written while listening to: 05 Ameno – ERA – ]

Economy

I am sitting here getting more and more indifferent about my mission to get a financial overview of the division’s economy. I asked my admin about it almost two weeks ago and said several times in both speech and text what I wanted (one page in the end with plus and minus) but I get over and over excelsheets with tons of details that I don’t care about. Today I sent her a template for what I wanted.
THis stuff really drains my energy…..

Quiet

I has been a bit quiet here. Today, I have been doing what I like the best, create new things. I got almost the full day for fun stuff and only some boooooooring administrative issues like financial reporting had to be done. Got to meet with the replacement for my last division admin, who is leaving us on Monday. The replacement, Thomas is young and seems eager to learn. Hope it turns out good. The division needs a good admin.
This morning I woke up just before 5.30 (I checked the watch at 5.32) and Anna Lindt left us 5.26. That is a strange coincidence, isn’t it? I feel a bit bad about waking up at 5.30 full of energy and stayed in bed reading until the girls woke up around 7. My current book about Arn, ”Vägen till Jerusalem” is really good. Thanks Rolf for getting started on this one (again).
Spent the evening with J in front of the computer. We watched several episodes of 24 season 2 in a row. There is a lot happening in that series. Much more action than in series one.
Tomorrow, I will meet with my boss Jerker for a general future talk…. and in the evening I have a date night with J. Guess which one I look forward too?! Not that I dislike talking with Jerker, it is just that I don’t care anymore about what he has to say. All big issues are still made his way independently of what others say around him. His way, or no way. Why are there so many people like that, especially in management positions?
Oh well, why ponder on such worldly issues when I can get into bed and dream myself away to the 12:th century and the life in ”Sweden” at that time. Much more interesting than what is going on at LTU, like people complaining about the bosses (who me?), and trying to find scapegoats for the low number of students applying to the University this year.

[Written while listening to the silence of the night in a small city.]

September Photos

New month, new album….
A few days ago we went for a walk to the city snow dump and there was still snow there. Left since the last winter….
We didn’t get that many potatoes this year 🙁
Today, Tovah got a big box from the States. It was full of clothes, which you can wear or you can just sit on them. Isn’t my princess chic?
But unpacking can be very tiring.

[Written while listening to: Some distant Memory – Electronic – Electronic]

I have a PhD…

Are people with a PhD better than other people?
Within academia there are many tasks that can only be conducted by faculty members. This is controlled by Swedish regulations but sometimes I get really upset when faculty members push the faculty requirement to hard.
E.g. what makes a fresh PhD that has been a graduate student for about 4 years more qualified to decide the content of a course than a teacher and researcher that has worked within the academic system for say more than 10 years? Another e.g. What makes a faculty member that is not really interested in teaching more qualified over a highly dedicated subject teacher (”adjunkt”) or research engineer?
Shouldn’t the best qualified person be chosen for each specific task? Cannot a graduate student with a specific knowledge be more suitable to decide what is supposed to be part of a course than a random faculty member? I think that in a modern and adaptive organization this should the case, or am I totally wrong?
I have a PhD… but am I proud of being part of the LTU faculty?

[Written while listening to: 07 – Hungry Heart – Bruce Springsteen – Best Ballads]

Worried

I am worried. Am I doing the right thing? Will my decision affect my work environment in the right direction? I really hope so. It looks very promising, but (there is always a but) what if it isn’t the right thing? So I worry, but I guess I shouldn’t. I have taken the decision and I shall stand by it, right? Right!
Anyhow…..
Johanna’s back went out of order today so I got the honor of putting T to sleep today again (second day in a row). Usually we do it every other day and I was really surprised how easily Tovah accepted that I would put her to sleep today as well. It must be all my nice singing and my stories about the ”Red Lava Bubble” from the lava lamp. Today the red bubble went to China by digging a whole through the earth and then moving in with a new lava lamp family, a blue one with glitter 🙂 T really enjoys those stories and I make it up as I go along.
During the evening I went for a cycle ride but only got a few kilometers before turning back. I just didn’t have the energy and will and by not having that I got really cold.
After putting T to sleep I feel quite good actually. When I lye there besides her waiting for her to fall asleep there isn’t much else I can do than to contemplate my day and my problems.
Tomorrow is my second lecture in SMD151. MBone and Scalable Media.

[Written while listening to: Johanna typing. ]