Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Bike Counts, New Computers, and Not Writing

Today I counted bikes. Actually, I counted cyclists. This was a part of a national effort to collect data on how many people commute by bicycle. The rule was to count cyclists on bikes if they came through the intersection that I was at. But they had to be on the bike, not pushing the bike. So I couldn't count one guy who never got on his bike, but I did count the guy who didn't get on his bike until he got to the intersection. And I counted the guy who got off his bike, crossed the intersection, and then got back on. I was also supposed to mark people on the sidewalk differently from people on the street, but what about people who started on the sidewalk and switched to the street or who started on the street but switched to the sidewalk? All in all it was interesting experience. The weather was nice and I did see a fair number of people cycling. So I consider the bike counting experience a success.

So that was one way that I kept myself from writing and still felt that I was doing something worthwhile. I also got two new computers in the last month. Setting up new computers is another way to procrastinate and feel as if you are doing something. The set up on the first computer took a lot of time since networking was difficult and time-consuming. We got Airport Express so that we could network a new printer as well as the new MacBook Pro. That ended up being a lot of extra trouble and I spent hours on the phone with various Apple technicians before we finally got everything to talk to everything else. Peter's Lenovo was a problem once we reconfigured the 2Wire modem but finally we got everything working. Then I got a MacBook Air for travel and that took some set up as well. I tried to copy everything myself over the wireless network but it was too slow and I ended up taking the two computers in and having the Apple technicians do the transfer for me. Then I needed to spend time taking stuff off the MacBook Air since I didn't need to have everything on it and the hard drive was full.

Now the main problem in terms of computers is that my PowerPoint presentations won't work. So I will have to spend time opening them as Keynote presentations and re-adding all of the video and audio and maybe making them PowerPoint presentations again. All of this takes time. Anything to do with PowerPoint presentations eats up massive amounts of time. This is a major pain for both the Parkland classes and the Richard III talk.

So the writing is not getting done. I have two academic papers and two books to work on and lots of reasons not to write. The papers both have to get done since I have to give them at conferences next year. But it is easy to put the books off since I don't have any deadlines and I keep finding reasons not to write. After all, I have volunteer obligations, classes to teach, papers to give, and I am sitting in on an architecture class this semester. We also have four trips coming up this fall. I have plenty to do. Writing, why would I worry about that?

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