Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sand Dunes in China

I was playing with google earth and found the sand dunes in the desert between China and Mongolia, somewhere north of India. I just couldn't get the picture out of my head. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Aleah trying to play the violin

Aleah is fascinated by the violin, she is just too little right now. That doesn't seem to stop her too much. Posted by Picasa

Emily harvesting corn at Prophetstown

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New House

We made an offer on a house last week. It is a farmhouse ~ 5 miles from my work. We have agonized about where we wanted to live and what kind of house we were looking for. This was worsened by the huge housing market here. There was a big building boom in the 90's and housing prices have been stagnant since then. That means that there are lots of houses for sale, especially older homes that Leila and I liked for reasonable prices. We debated whether we want to be as Leila says "city mice" or "country mice." My work is about 10 miles south of town, so moving closer to work means further from town.

There are some nice little towns in the area. The closest is Romney at ~ 1 mile from work, but four houses were for sale (out of maybe 50 total). Three were on the highway, and one was two bedroom and like 300 sq feet. Linden, Attica, and Crawfordsville are further south, also quite nice. New Richmond is to the west; it is where Hoosiers was filmed. I was dissappointed to find out that the gym in the movie has since been torn down. It is quite picturesque. To the east are Clarks Hill and Stockton. Lots of the houses for sale in these areas were built in the early 1900s. These little towns are quite small with less than 500 people in most. Crawfordsville is larger.

The house we put an offer on is a farmhouse, built around 1920. It has a large pole barn and walnut trees around it. It has an attic bedroom with sloped ceilings and a gabled roof. The kitchen is smallish and needs a new stove and refrigerator. There are wood floors in the bedrooms and under the carpet in the living room. It only has one bath, but it has a nice cellar. The washer dryer hookups are down there as well as a root cellar and the furnace. This is the house that we saw, liked and wanted to see again after we had pre approval from the bank, but then someone else made an offer by then. We thought it was out of the picture till last week when our realtor told us it was available, the financing fell through for the other buyers, but we had to move fast. We made an offer, but we haven't been back to tour the inside. There are many details that we don't have because of that, but we feel good about it. There is room for an orchard and for us to get some animals for Emily to take care of.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The dissertation is finished

I have finally finished all of the details with my dissertation!!!

After my defense, there were a bunch of comments from my professors that I had to incorporate into the final draft. Some were minor, like whether upland cotton was capitalized (But, we spent 20 minutes in my defense arguing about it and then it came up again and again in the last month), but others were major and required new analysis, new figures or tables, and inclusion of a summary chapter. I turned in a pdf copy to the thesis department 3 weeks ago and then they reviewed it and sent me 58 corrections to make. Most were technical details like placement of page numbers on landscape pages or wording of the abstract. But some involved changing the way I referenced tables and figures throughout the entire text. Minor, but tedious since I have 48 tables. I made those changes and then sent it back and they sent back 10 more requested changes. I have made those and now it is done.

I just have to pay my diploma fee and my dissertation review fee and I will be Dr. Gardunia.

Texas A&M is fee crazy. I had to register for one credit this semester that cost 470 dollars. The fees for that one credit upped the bill to over a 1000 dollars. Then, I have to pay a diploma fee, a graduation processing fee, and a dissertation processing fee. And there are no options, unless I didn't want to graduate, but there is probably a fee for that too.