So in a little over a week I'll be off to Canada to give a full paper about the expectations of my field (versus what people in my field are taught in grad school). This is not related to my dissertation at all, and that's fine. Writing the paper gave me a sense of accomplishment after failing to write any papers related to my dissertation all summer long. I really tried to, but man, the motivation was not there. Once I switched gears--picking from a list of suggested topics from a conference flyer, rather than forcing myself to write from my dissertation--I was able to bang out this other paper in just a few days' time.
I've presented at conferences before: a full session related to my Master's thesis in 2007; a round table related to my field in 2010... and maybe one more, so this isn't a brand new experience. But it will be a great experience just the same.
Fun fact: I wrote this as a 'brief paper' - under 6 pages, and a 15 minute presenttation. But it got too long so it was accepted as a full paper with a full half hour of presentation time. I'm long-winded, what can I say? (See: my 300+ page dissertation...)
What else is up with me? Well, I maybe have already mentioned that we got new shingles on our house in late August. They look really nice and hopefully will last a long time. At the same time, we had the house insulated, going from R-value of 7, to about R-60. Should keep us cozier this winter!! (Recommendation for this region, I believe, is an R-value of around 50, so we did not have enough before.)
Also, last weekend I took my bug to Winnipeg for a VW show. I drove up with another VW--a 1964 VW bus. It was a fun and adventurous trip. Cold too: I don't have the heat hooked up in my bug. Driving to the hotel after midnight, it was in the mid-twenties; driving home the next night around 11:30, it was in the mid-thirties. (So, it was about that cold in the car, too.)
Here's a picture from the trip: you can see the other VW in front of me.
I took that picture with my new iPhone 5, by the way. I'm very impressed with it so far. (It's my first iPhone, previously having a Motorola Droid X, and before that a Motorola Q.)