Sunday, March 30, 2008

Texas Caucuses

This is going to be contested for a long time I think but...Obama won 2,235 delegates to the state convention while Clinton has 1,511. Ultimately, the author of this is totally, totally correct.
At Last, a Caucus Result (of Sorts) From Texas
Only one thing in Texas seems overwhelmingly clear so far: During this election, at least, no other state could make democracy look so impossibly difficult and protracted.
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My Day at the Texas Senatorial District Democratic Convention

So nearly my entire day Saturday was spent caucusing for my presidential candidate of choice at my local senatorial district democratic convention. In the end, our precinct got the result we wanted in terms of delegate representation, however this came at a great cost. For example, the feeling of physical danger on the part of several members of our precinct.

It's hard to summarize my experience, but in a nutshell, it involves a fist fight (!), numerous violations of the Texas Democratic Party rules, general mob-fever, total chaos, confusion, booing, screaming and yelling, utter disrespect for a previously revered elected official at the national level, repeated unnerving sensations that I was part of some kind of staging of an adult inner city Lord of the Flies, and finally and most disturbingly, veiled misogynistic, homophobic, and racial hatred.

Did I mention that I was with DEMOCRATS?! Because it sure didn't feel like it.
clipped from
Traffic jams, long lines, crowds, confusion and chaos marked Texas Democratic regional conventions Saturday as an unprecedented number of political activists turned out to help elect presidential nominating delegates for Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.
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Friday, March 28, 2008

Faculty Shots

Drinking with faculty is always good for a few laughs. Especially when they tell you that if they were to do it over again they would think long and hard before deciding to stay in academia. This is great news for those of us on the job market.

Anyway, no time to chat but I did want to make a note of a little more progress: I ordered my regalia for graduation. ($100!)


Friday, March 21, 2008

Progress Note

Ok everybody, I know it took me about six months, but I have finally updated my word meter progress on the left side of the blog. You will see that the first study is LONG and this doesn't count the extra 25 pages of references and tables and so forth. It's really too long to be publishable but I don't have to worry about that for ahile. Now I just have to get everyone to agree to the content... As for study #2, I clearly have a lot of work to do and I found ANOTHER mistake in my coding. BOOO!

It's nice to see some progress.

On a funny (actually not funny if one wasn't hopped up on caffeine and allergy pills) note, today I showed one of my tables to a Committee Member (aka CM)and it was deemed EXCELLENT. Even better, it was: MUCH IMPROVED, NICELY FORMATTED, CONCISE, and (my favorite) VERY TELLING. It was actually an outdated, older version of a table that I was just using to illustrate a simple point. I elected not to mention that it was actually the same version that CM saw approximately two weeks ago and derided as: AWKWARD, CONFUSING, POORLY FORMATTED, and LACKING the last time CM saw it.

Go figure.

Go figure.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mini Update and Birthday

In between general despair, anomie, dissertation mania, recent conference, and recent conference mania, I haven't been blogging much.

I'll provide updates later.

Meanwhile and on another note entirely, happy birthday to the peace sign.


Friday, March 07, 2008

I Forgot the "_"!!!!

So some massively good news today.

Today I got back 175 pages of output from the code I sent from undisclosed location offsite data management facility.

Wow! Data! Results! Testing hypotheses! (FYI, many of them are....NOT REJECTED!)

Ok so this whole process took a lot of back and forth and forth and back and confusion and pages and pages and pages of coding and lots of confusion, etc.

Unfortunately, upon looking at my output, I noticed that on page 1, in like the 5th line of code, I forgot a "_". A single "_". Which means that about 75 of my pages of output are...garbage.

Anybody who knows me knows that I am obviously not a detail oriented person. So why the hell am I in a detail oriented field? And writing a detail oriented dissertation?


Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Story of Stuff

Ever wonder what happens to all that junk you see in the stores? The stuff you buy and throw away? The other crap other people buy and then throw away? Now you know.

A minor complaint about this little video, though: I really dislike the phrase the "third world."

Also check out this Washington Post Article about the absurdity of saving the world while buying more crap.

This new eco-consumerism movement reminds me of the magazine Real Simple, which to be perfectly honest, I actually like while simultaneously thinking it silly. Anyway, it's all about simplifying your life. A laudable goal. Their ideas for this? Buy a lot of new things that are "simpler" than your current belongings, make lists, prioritize the too many things you already have to do, and organize all the junk you already have.



Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Post Doc Search Continues, Also I Don't Know What I'm Doing

The search continues... I had a phone interview yesterday for a post-doc position with a professor who actually understands my dissertation research (Whoa.) I will be traveling to his boring landlocked Midwest city to interview and give a job talk in late April. It could be a perfect fit. It could be a boring city.

Meanwhile in the dissertation realm, I have encountered multiple statistical and software roadblocks. Naturally, this led me to request help from my statistician as well as the statisticians affiliated with the software that I'm using. In response from the first, "I really don't understand it either." Um, ok. When pressed, I am told to do it every which way and hope that the results are the same. When further pressed for conceptual rationale for these odd methods, I am told, " are really the expert here." Um, what?! From the software statisticians, my plea for help results in this reply, "At present, we do not any general suggestion in the case of [complicated crap] with [more complicated crap]."


Just a prediction here people: I will do basically whatever I want. Later I will be told by my committee it is wrong and will have to re-do it all. Then, when peer review comes up, I will probably have to re do it all over, again.

The joys of dissertating.

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