Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Brief update

Today, finally after six days of cloudy weather we have sun again. This also means we will have water again since our well pump is powered by solar panels. A lot of people who do not use solar power tend to glorify it because it does not put pollutants into the air. This is true. But, solar power does not work at all if there are any clouds what so ever blocking the direct rays of the sun. Even in southern Arizona this can go on for days and even weeks at a time.

I started editing the book chapter I got back from DC. I hope to finish it and get it sent back before Friday. Due to previous internet problems it is running quite late. I should have gotten it in September and I just got it on Monday.

I found one last academic job opening that is broadly in my field. I figure I can afford one last $1.06 lottery ticket. Fortunately, unlike most US applications this one only asks for two letters of recommendation rather than the usual three. Two is standard in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. I do not know why US institutions usually insist on three other than to just to put another petty obstacle in my way. Finding people to write recommendations has always been very difficult for me. Most people do not want to do it. Given that it does not appear to improve my chances much above zero I can understand why they would think it is a waste of time. Ideally search committees should just ask for a one page CV by e-mail if possible and then make their first cull before they ask for more material. Also instead of making me get three letters of recommendation sent by post each time they should just ask for the contact details of my references. Then if they feel they need to see the actual letters they can ask the individuals on the list to submit written recommendations. This would save everybody a lot of time, effort and money.

Tomorrow I am going to Tucson to meet somebody at the suggestion of my supervisor. I do not know if the meeting will help me in my job search. But, it can not hurt it. The great advantage of being on the bottom is you can not fall any lower.

4 comments:

Grant Jones said...

Aloha Otto,

Is your entire house on solar? I've been totally on solar now for ten years. Not everywhere in Hawaii will solar work well. Same deal about clouds.

My wife and I live on the coast at sea level and get enough sun to make is doable.

Good luck.

J. Otto Pohl said...

No, just the pump to the well uses solar power. Most people here use wind. But, the windmill broke under a previous owner and he replaced it with solar panels which were alot cheaper to install then fix the windmill. It works well when there is sun. The best solution would be to have extra water storage tanks. But, the financial investment is considerably beyond our reach.

Grant Jones said...

We are on catchment. We get about 80-100 inches throughout the year. Here on the Big Island people just use above ground tanks for storage. Fortunately, with all the rain we only need about 8,000 gallons of capacity.

We also use twelve volt pumps which draw a lot less juice than the 110 versions.

KRISTIN said...

WOW, such bureaucracy in the US! I'm amazed. I think it's because there's toooo many of you, they WANT to eliminate as much as possible before they even start to choose! :P