Sunday, May 30, 2010

New-To-Me: 1980/81 Peugeot PBN-10

Busy time around here, but I invested in some "bike therapy" last weekend to give my hands something to do when my brain is done working for the day. Been planning a project around a bike like this for a long time: something I can take on longer rides or even light weekend tours, but can also be comfortable for riding around town and can use for errands. This is the starting point, changes will slowly come. The basics: 60cm steel frame ("Peugeot 103 Special"), 700c Mavic alloy rims, 12-speed, Simplex shifters, Weinmann side-pull caliper brakes. Bars and brake levers will be the first changes, then saddle, then additions like fenders and racks, but again most of that is very long-term. I have a lot to learn about bikes with more than three speeds and these new-fangled cotterless cranks in the mean time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Working Hard, or... Yes, Working Hard

So my recent (and ongoing) foray into cartooning notwithstanding, my posting here has slowed down a little bit because other things have picked up. After a slow winter, during which I primarily failed to find employment, the spring has brought a flurry of activity (but still no employment). Here's the list of things currently in the works:

Got a contract to publish an edited and annotated Civil War memoir by Captain Francis Moore, 2nd Illinois Volunteer Cavalry. In addition to the editing and the notes, I'll be providing an Introduction and Epilogue. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the transcription, and then comes all of the editing, notes, and writing. All of this needs to be done by July 31. Looks like the finished product will be out by 2012, right during the 150th anniversary of the war.

I'm putting together an organization called the San Diego Utility Bicycling Association. Our first steering committee meeting is this week, and I'm excited about the prospect of increasing the profile of utility (i.e. not sport) bicycling in our area. Wasn't quite able to get this off the ground soon enough to get in on San Diego's Bike to Work Day, but that's okay; there's always next year.

I'm also continuing to revise my dissertation for publication, and still trying to find a press for it. Related to this, I'm moving towards having a submission-worthy article for a major academic journal (which one, still to be determined) that will be the "preview" article for the book.

In addition to all this, I'm preparing for a month-long funded research trip this August, which will be time spent filling in some holes in my dissertation research and also doing some preliminary work on my next book, all of which requires no small amount of "presearch" to make sure I maximize my time in the archives.

Finally, I've started a super-secret project that combines bicycles and history (durr, why did it take me this long?).

So yeah, that's what's going on. Seems like I'm forgetting something. Of course, there's always the administrivia of daily life, too. Turns out, not having a job is hard work.