Ceiling collapse progress

Since last writing about my ceiling collapse, I’ve had a little progress.

I completely cleared out the room:

Looking backwards:

Notice the new joists? The restoration work has started! I signed the contract with the contractor 8 days ago. The carpenters replaced 5 joists that were obviously sagging, but in the process they found that several more joists have sags and that the stiff back is not really installed properly. They are coming back this week to replace the entire stiff back and replace about 8 more joists.

I put all the damaged furniture by the curb last night for heavy trash pickup:

It was all gone the next morning! I feel sorry for the dopes who will deal with the insulation.

I got that picture by setting the camera to ISO 80 and a 16 second exposure. No significant lighting faced the furniture, so I lit it up by waving a flashlight back and forth during the exposure.

Doctorate progress

As of December 2007, my doctorate coursework is done! I have completed 66 hours of graduate coursework, including the 30 hours earned for my Master of Science in Computer Science (they used up my doctorate electives).

“School’s out forever”? Not by a long shot!

If something happened and I needed to quit now, I could walk with a Master of Science in Engineering Management. As tempting as that sounds, I need to push on.

All that sits between me completing my Doctorate of Engineering in Engineering Management is the praxis. A praxis is a giant research project that’s equivalently difficult as four graduate courses. But before I do that, I still have to assemble my supervisory committee and passing a qualifying exam.

I will meet with my research adviser soon to discuss next steps.

2008 Lent Fast

My wife and I picked a difficult Lent fast: giving up foods full of junk carbohydrates.

Junk carbohydrates are a feature of foods with disproportionately more carbohydrate content than other healthful substances. Example junk carbs include simple carbohydrates (enriched/white flour, white and brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, et al), fruit juices, and white potatoes. Disallowed foods include:

  • Almost all bread products
  • White rice
  • Virtually all snack foods or desserts
  • Fruit juices
  • French fries
  • Most barbecue sauces, many of which I call “meat syrup” because of their vile sweetness. (Do you like maple syrup on your bacon? Why put equally sugary junk on roasts? Yuck!)
  • And many others.

Foods with junk carbohydrates only as accents are OK. Generally, I want to see the junk carbs follow behind an ingredient that I intuitively know is sparsely used in the food. Examples are a sauce thickened with a little flour, 85% dark chocolate in moderation, or salted peanuts that have a little corn syrup. Even Nature’s Own Double Fiber Wheat is OK in moderation: it has more wheat gluten (4th ingredient) than white flour (5th ingredient)!

Even though junk carbohydrates are counterproductive in a human diet, it is hard to give them up! You don’t know how addicted you are to them until they are out of your diet.