Snow day!

Our first snow day here in Raleigh! Classes at our respective colleges are canceled, so we’re all here at home, watching more snow fall. At least we’ll get to listen to the inauguration speech. The picture shows the view off our porch overlooking the lovely parking lot of the apartment complex. There’s maybe three or four inches on the ground so far, and an accumulation of up to six inches is predicted. I don’t know when it last snowed in Raleigh. According to the NOAA, Raleigh averages about 7.5 inches of snow a year, but that figure includes sleet and ice, which don’t count as ‘snow’ to me. According to Raleigh “weather consultant” Allan Huffman, the last time Raleigh received more than six inches was February 2004. In January 2002 the city got almost 11 inches, and in January 2000 an astonishing 20 inches of snow fell on the City of Oaks.

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New Sonja videos

Because the video files take up so much space on the server, I’ve begun a YouTube account to upload the new ones. The quality suffers, and you can’t download the videos easily, alas. But if there are videos you’d like to have a local copy of, let me know and I can get you the file through other means.

The YouTube account is:

All the videos I just posted are also embedded after the jump….

UPDATE: Just posted a set of new photos in the photo gallery, too.

Continue reading

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C’mon, Tuesday…

I can’t wait for tomorrow to be over. According to the pollster geniuses at, McCain’s chances of winning the election are now at an all-time-low 1.9%. Obama stands a fair chance of winning North Carolina (yay!), and could even pull out victories in Missouri, Indiana and Georgia. Amazing.

Of course nothing is certain until all the votes are counted. C’mon, Tuesday…

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Woo hoo–Underemployment!

After two and a half long months of searching for a job, I have finally landed one, at the NCSU Library. Starting on the 27th, I’ll be an administrative assistant in the Digital Collections department. This will be basically a return to the job I had in 1999, before I went to graduate school, only I will be making $29K a year instead of $32K.* That’s what a non-science liberal arts MA gets you, I suppose.

Still, it’s nice to have a job, especially as the economy slides into what could be a very nasty recession. The people I met during the interview seemed like nice folks, and despite the mundane nature of some of my position’s responsibilities, it promises a wide variety of more demanding tasks as well.

I can’t find statistics on my particular variety of underemployment, but by a narrower definition of the term the current underemployment rate is about 11%, the highest it’s been for 14 years. Certainly a federal stimulus package would help many of these people. But what about people like me? Can the government please send me some interesting things to do, preferably involving the history of science and technology?

*These are absolute figures. Adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, $29K today is worth only $22K. To regain my former station in terms of spending power, I would have to make $42K. Though this does not take into account regional differences in prices and wages. Today, making $29K in Raleigh is equivalent to $34.5K in Seattle, which puts me closer to the inflation-adjusted stasis point. 

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Latest Sonja pictures

sonja at six monthsSonja just passed her six-month birthday. I’ve posted a small collection of photos and movies at the Image Mine in commemoration. At her latest checkup at the pediatrician’s, Sonja continued to wow the medical establishment with her sheer normalcy, demonstrating the latest developmental milestones right on schedule. She also remains in the high percentiles for weight: 18 lbs, 13 oz (92nd percentile); height: 26.75 inches (80th percentile); and head circumference: 45 cm (97th percentile). If I recall correctly, her weight and height are decreasing in percentile rank, but her head is increasing. Hopefully that trend evens out eventually.

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