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"Everybody sees what you appear to be, but few feel what you are."

Machiavelli,
The Prince

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003
When I got home at 3 PM today ABC was showing continuous coverage of the Southern California fires. Then, at almost 8 PM when I wanted to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," it seemed like it was never going to end. Not that I am discounting the importance of keeping Los Angeles informed of threatened areas and mandatory evacuations, but I was tired of looking at flames. The constant smell of smoke and the sickly orange color of the sun are reminder enough of the situation. Fortunately the LA station took a break from their coverage just in time for Charlie Brown. I guess primetime television takes precedence during a local crisis.
Posted at 10:41 PM, 0 Comments

Monday, October 27, 2003
On Saturday I cleaned my apartment, but the next morning it looked like I hadn't dusted in a month. My desk and kitchen table were covered by a layer of ash and soot that had blown through the open windows. Since Tuesday several brush fires have been raging throughout Southern California and the Santa Ana winds from the desert have caused them to spread rapidly. The wind has also caused the smoke to fill the Los Angeles basin so that the smell permeates every breath. As if the air in LA wasn't bad enough.
Posted at 8:34 AM, 0 Comments

Friday, October 24, 2003
One of the items on my list of things to do today was "finish compiled diary entry" and, believe it or not, I have and it's been posted. It's a bit chaotic, but it accurately represents a week in my life and probably most other's lives as well. It is unusual for me to accomplish much on a Friday, but today I got several things done at school and posted a diary entry. This has been a good start to the weekend.
Posted at 11:20 PM, 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Here's what I have to do before tomorrow: 1) write up yesterday's 150P lecture notes, 2) work on a problem for discussion class on Friday, 3) check my solution for the latest 150P homework. But what am I doing instead? Typing up the notes for a diary entry that I wrote during the WSSCI conference. I'm not feeling like a responsible graduate student today.
Posted at 10:31 PM, 0 Comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2003
My brain shut down about twenty minutes before the end of class this afternoon. This was the class I had to go to after spending a day and a half at the WSSCI combustion conference. I was barely functioning at that point so I stared at the wall until the lecture was over. Then I went to my lab to host tours for conference attendees and to hold impromptu office hours at the same time. That's actually a funny story, but I'll elaborate further in a future diary entry. Speaking of diary entries, I decided to compile the events of the past week into one instead of posting them individually. I am hoping to have time to type it up soon. "Soon" being a relative term, as illustrated by my previous update.
Posted at 11:12 PM, 0 Comments

Sunday, October 19, 2003
Life is hectic. I meant to post updates at least three times this week, but they never quite made it. Hopefully they will be ready soon.
Posted at 8:38 PM, 0 Comments

Saturday, October 11, 2003
Thursday night is a big party night in the UCLA student neighborhood where I live. Apparently the weekend just isn't soon enough to start partying. So what was I doing that night? Preparing for the discussion section I had to teach the next day. Now it's Saturday night, another popular night for a party, and how am I spending my time? Doing homework. And, thanks to the sale at Michael's, reviving my love of cross stitch. Everyone's getting an ornament for Christmas this year.
Posted at 7:10 PM, 0 Comments

Tuesday, October 07, 2003
On my way to campus this morning I cast my vote in the infamous California recall election. I had the opportunity to use one of the notorious punch card ballots too. And my polling place happened to be an empty fraternity house. The many facets of political scandal. If the actual results agree with the current predictions the next Terminator movie may be Arnold-free.
Posted at 8:10 PM, 0 Comments

Sunday, October 05, 2003
"Get used to disappointment." As a Braves fan I've been doing that for the past twelve years. Never mind having the best record in the Major League, or leading their division by more than ten games at the end of the season, or being heavily favored to beat the Cubs - the Braves found a way to prove that these statistics mean nothing in the post season. I've come to the conclusion that I need to change my baseball loyalties. The Devil Rays could always use some support. (Quote courtesy of "The Princess Bride")
Posted at 9:00 PM, 0 Comments

Thursday, October 02, 2003
TA strike timeline as deciphered through emails from the Union:
September 30: "During our last contract negotiations, after filing similar unfair labor practice charges against UC, we struck. This course of action worked in the past. We need to be prepared to utilize it again." (I'm in favor only if it'll get us a pay raise.)
October 1: "Bargaining talks have broken down. We will keep you posted." (This was the extent of the email.)
October 2: "The UAW Local 2865 Bargaining Team has called for a 1 day unfair labor practice strike at all UC campuses on Friday, October 3, to protest the University of California's continuing pattern of unfair labor practices in our contract negotiations." (A picket line has been planned. I think I'll teach my class instead.)
Posted at 9:08 PM, 0 Comments

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