Vlorbik's Diner

son of owen's cooking show

quarterly report

Posted by vlorbik on January 6, 2012

i’ve posted nothing here for several months.
i don’t exactly *plan* to return to regular posting;
we’ll see what happens.

fall quarter was much the busiest i’ve been
with actual *paying work* in several years…
so there’s my excuse if any were needed.
i started the quarter with a 2-section
Teaching Assistant post (Calc 4; 3D stuff
and whatnot). then 2 grading positions
came along (Abstract Algebra & Intro Analysis)
and i snapped ’em up. finally, several weeks
into the quarter, the instructor for a
Linear Algebra class took a rest-of-quarter
medical leave and i stepped in and took over.

i also posted *almost* nothing in
MathEdZineBlog. again, i make
no claims about my future behavior.

my “home” connection, never reliable, appears
to be getting worse. meanwhile, my mac is
almost three years old and more and more
online software refuses to deal with it
until i download this-or-that; it’s worked
these three years *without* taking such risks
and’ll probably go right *on* working
for three more if i keep refusing;
meanwhile the net will become useless
to me on that particular box. i’ll still
have *TeX* and “garage band” if i can just
learn to move the files around. you’d think
i was joking but i sadly assure you i mean this.

very likely i’ll get a new, internet-capable, phone.
it’s making me sick to my stomach just thinking it,
but there it is. university people just assume
you’re well-connected and will cheerfully refuse
to deal with you if you can’t keep up. businesses,

i’ll have told the story before somewhere but
here it comes again: i was, for once, an early
adopter when i got a t-mobile “sidekick” in early
2003 and they fucked me but good. there was a
yearlong contract and it quit working in june.
when i tried to get it fixed i was three-quarters
of an hour on the phone before anybody even
*claimed* to be able to help me. and maybe
they could’ve… but they didn’t (i was supposed
to be sent a new username-password combo
but never got it). so i decided to hell with it.

naturally, when i got online (on somebody else’s
connection) to report the bug and explain why
they weren’t gonna get any more monthly checks
i was confronted with a robot rat-maze designed
to gather information about me without helping
me in any way and i soon quit. so the bills
kept coming in and i kept throwing them away.

which would be the end of the story if the
account hadn’t originally been set up on
my then-wife’s credit card. they kept dunning
*her* and she kept wanting *me* to do something
about it. it got pretty fucking emotional.

well, now she’s gone and of course the
whole “mobile phone” racket has undergone
umpty-blue-million updates. meanwhile,
literally millions of people have signed on
and now use the god-damn things routinely.
so how hard can it be? even without
mountains of money or endless patience?

on the other hand, “go with your gut”;
i’m not kidding about this making me
want to throw up.

6 Responses to “quarterly report”

  1. w.p. handel said

    (2nd try)


    follow-up in MEZB.

  2. I am so happy to hear you’ve just taught Linear Algebra. I’ll be teaching it this coming semester, and haven’t taught it for over 10 years. Will you mentor me? We’re using a text by David Lay. What did you use? My two colleagues who’ve taught it recently both love this text. I started out pretty uncomfortable with it, because its approach is so different than the text I used before.

    See you in email. Or on the phone. What’s easiest for you?

  3. somebody else said

    our text is by “poole”.
    by dumb luck i’ve got an older edition
    on the shelf. meanwhile, i haven’t got
    the current editon… three copies are
    unaccounted for (including that of my
    alleged grader from last quarter who
    vanished & left me holding the bag).

    the usual mile-wide-inch-deep stuff
    i guess… though if one were to assign
    the *toughest* exercises instead of the
    turn-the-crank basic routine copy-the-
    -textbook-example stuff, maybe some
    interesting things would happen.

    always glad to hear from you:
    (614) 704-4531
    vlorbik (at) kingdomcome (dot) doomdoomdoom.
    or something like that. gee. mail.

    i don’t know anything about the david lay text;
    here’s looking forward to learning about some
    math ed. OT

  4. vlorbik said

    madeline got me a phone
    and it worked OK for a while
    but like an asshole i decided
    to “upgrade” the damn thing
    (& get e-mail and webpages
    & whatnot).

    now it’s much worse than useless.
    every alleged feature calls for
    absurdly many pointings-and-clickings
    of a fuckyou-you-foolish-human
    user-hostile interface… and *no*
    amount of patience will insure actual
    *service* (hang here for several more
    minutes and *wait*… haven’t you read

    yep. you’ve got my money.
    *obviously* i’m a shit-head for hoping
    to get anything useful out of you *now*;
    you’ve got to go sell *other* fairytales
    to *other* moral infants or the whole sick
    empire of promises and so-called
    contracts will come raining down hard
    on the whole doomed planet but not
    soon enough.

    anyhow. contact me by e-mail if at all
    until the net falls soon. i’ve turned off
    this frustrationbox and won’t be taking
    incoming calls at all never mind so-called
    “voicemail” or text massaging.

    get another fucking slave or beat me
    into submission with actual violence.

  5. vlorbik said

    worse than i thought. so far. of course i could be wrong.
    *fuck* this. you pay and you pay and you pay and you pay.
    and for *fucking* what. boredom at best. fuck this forever.
    bye now.

  6. vlorbik said

    and this is *nothing*.

    you worse-than-useless
    die-die-die fuck-you;
    god-*dammit* (fuck!)!
    don’t *touch* me, you,
    you muh, thuh, *fuck*-in’
    *fuh-ker* (, you, you *liar*),

    or so i have been given
    to understand.

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