08:12 – The guy from Piedmont Natural Gas showed up yesterday to look at the gas logs. He blew out the thermocouple/oxygen sensor mechanism, as I’d done, but apparently more successfully. The pilot light has been burning since he left, but we haven’t had the gas logs lit yet, other than the several minutes that we let them burn while he was here watching them. The pilot flame now looks normal, a pure blue gas flame rather than blue tinged with yellow.
I’m almost finished with Lab IV-3: Investigating Cell Division. That will go off to the editors today, and I’ll jump back into the final session, Lab XI-4: Investigating Vertebrate Structures. I’ll finish that this week, and that’ll be it for new material, other than the Preface and Introduction. I’ll get those knocked out next, and then jump into rewriting and cleaning up the material I’d already written. This book will be ready to go to production on 31 January.
I’ve never yet been happy with a book at the point I have to let go of it and let production do their magic, and this one is no exception. As our friends Mary and Paul can confirm, I’ve been walking around for weeks now, muttering “I HATE biology!” Of course, before that it was “I HATE forensics!” and before that it was “I HATE chemistry!” And I don’t doubt that at some point it’ll be “I HATE physics!”
The good news is that the time between to-production on 31 January and when the book is actually published in April or May gives me a cooling off period. When I finally hold the printed book in my hands, I’ll flip it open to a random page and immediately spot an error. It happens every time. But then I’ll start paging through it and decide, hey, this is actually a pretty good book. That happens every time, too.
09:41 – Well, this is interesting. Italy, which is paying unsustainable interest rates with no relief in sight, has basically told the EU, “give us money or we’ll depart the euro and withdraw from the EU.” Of course, Monti didn’t phrase it exactly that way, but the meaning is clear. If Germany doesn’t pay Italy’s bills, which Germany is not going to do, Italy will leave the EU. And Italy has metric boatload of debt to sell in the near future. It’s paying over 7% now. I shudder to think what it’ll be paying soon.