Wow, I've really been slacking off on the 'ol weblog lately. this is partly due to being outside more, now that the spring thaw has come to Iowa, and partly due to being busy with equipment requests at work. At least I got to take my bike out for a spin this weekend... Equipment requests are a funny business. Departments request a bunch of money from the Dean to buy the equipment they want/need. Much of this is quite technical, so I am asked to pick it out, and quote it by the departments. Then I'm asked my opinion of what they want to use it for, by the Dean's office. To add a third complication, I've got some requests of my own in there, so that gives me some incentive to downplay the importance of other people's requests, so that mine have a better chance of being funded. I'm really in the middle of it all, and doing my best to remain unbiased, yet trying to be skeptical about every request and whether or not it's really necessary in the grand scheme of things.