Back in the saddle

Make it stop!  We've got around 27 inches of snow already on the ground here in Waterloo/Cedar Falls, but now we've got another 4-7 inches forecast for tonight!  This is starting to get very inconvenient.  In case you missed it, Waterloo made national news yesterday, when we tied the all-time December low temperature of -29° F.  I wonder if the University of Arizona is hiring....

While away from the Internet this weekend, I blazed through Richard Belzer's conspiracy book.  I'm a fan of Belzer's work, and think he's a pretty funny guy, but I just didn't really like this book all that much.

UFO's, JFK, and Elvis seems like a book with an identity crisis.  Is it humor, or a serious conspiracy book?  Belzer makes some funny jokes and observations while presenting a strong (and one-sided) case for the existence of a conspiracy in the death of John F. Kennedy.  This extended rant makes up the first part of the book, and I found it to be pretty enjoyable, but not all that convincing.

The second half of the book is dedicated to UFO's, the possible fakery of the Apollo program, and extraterrestrial life.  I found this half to be less compelling than the JFK portion of the book, and it rehashed a lot of the same material I'd read elsewhere about UFO's.  Some of the theories were contradictory, and it seemed to be pretty much an amalgamation of everything you've seen on the X-Files.

That said, the book was still enjoyable to read.  Belzer is certainly funny, but the humor undermined the credibility of his book.  He does have an extensive bibliography in the back of the volume, but citations and footnotes would have gone a long ways in improving his credibility, as would even a cursory mention of any of the counter-points to his views.

Remember when I talked about that faculty member who'd installed Windows ME on his computer, and predicted that he'd come crawling back to me to install one of our supported operating systems on his computer?  Well, he did, but he wants Administrative privileges.  He'll get Power User priviliges, or he can sign a waiver, releasing me from all support duties to him, other than reinstalling the operating system again.  I'm not going to spend my time fixing a box that he keeps breaking.

I'm back at work and I'm about the only one.  Today is a pretty stupid day at the University.  Almost no one is on-campus, the buildings are all locked, mail isn't delivered, nothing is open.  But, you have to come to work, unless you want to use vacation.  So what do I do?  Sit here, mostly.  I predict it will be a short day.

The package did arrive, on Saturday the 23rd. was kind enough to refund the shipping costs, at least...