Friday Random 10: Slightly inappropriate

After a week on the road and some fun medical procedures (all diagnostic, nothing serious going on, except getting poked and prodded in places I’ve never been poked and prodded before), I’m feeling downright ornery. My iPod and its semi-random shuffle feature appears to be reflecting that in this playlist, both taunting me with some raging and even irritating numbers (“Blood Rag,” “Skid Row Wine,” an unnecessary club mix of a Sting song) and consoling me with some fine Willie Dixon-penned blues and even some gospel.

  1. Porno for Pyros, “Blood Rag” (Porno for Pyros)
  2. Willie Dixon, “Walkin’ the Blues” (Willie Dixon: The Chess Box)
  3. Sting, “Sister Moon (Hani Commission Club Mix)” (Sting Mixes)
  4. The Pearly Gates Spiritual Singers, “Not Alone” (There Will Be No Sweeter Sound: Columbia-Okeh Post-War Gospel Sound ’47–’62)
  5. Lowell Fulsom, “Tollin’ Bells” (Willie Dixon: The Chess Box)
  6. Boston Camerata, “Bransles de village/Il etait une Cendrillon” (New Britain: The Roots of American Folksong)
  7. Virginia Glee Club, “The Good Old Song (Second Verse)” (Notes from the Path)
  8. Maggie Estep and the Spitters, “Skid Row Wine” (Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness)
  9. Koko Taylor, “Insane Asylum” (Willie Dixon: The Chess Box)
  10. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, “Surf Beat” (Greatest Hits)

Sloan school dean stepping down

Breaking news this morning was that Dick Schmalensee, the dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management, will be stepping down at the end of the year to return to research. What is interesting to me is that (a) two other school deans (the head of Engineering and Science) are stepping down at the same time and (b) Schmalensee is stepping down with a fixed timetable, rather than remaining on board until his successor is chosen.

It’s great that Dean Schmalensee, who was dean while I was at Sloan, gets to return to his research. The timing of the announcement is interesting, but reading the provost’s letter it looks like all three of these individuals wanted to leave earlier but held on while the school’s administration stabilized after the transition of the presidency from Charles Vest to Susan Hockfield.

Slowly moving to kitchen closure


And in this case, I mean the closure of the walls over the new pipes and electrical. But I’m not ready to show that yet, so I’ve just uploaded a few details of some of the finished work for your enjoyment. I’ve decided to keep one big photoset of the renovation as it progresses, so you can find all the newest photo-y goodness in one place (the same photoset about which I wrote before).

Basic status update: the new plumbing and electrical was completed and inspected week before last. Last week the wall was taken down, the new structural beam was installed, and the plasterers closed up the existing wall openings (as well as some old ceiling holes…yay…)

So what’s next? Well, the responsibility is back on our shoulders this weekend. I need to prime and paint the new plaster surfaces, install the base cabinets, and probably properly hang the cabinet above the fridge. Then next week our contractor’s team will hook up the stove in its new location (and, I think, install the fan hood, though I need to confirm that) and run a line for the fridge’s icemaker up into its opening. So at some point next week we will be able to move much of our kitchen operation back out of the dining room. (The photoset has a glimpse of how we’ve temporarily set things up.)

The long pole in the tent is the countertop, but I expect that to arrive so that we can install it soon. Then our contractor will re-install the sink (along with a much needed sink-side drinking water filter) and… drum roll please… our new dishwasher. This will be the first dishwasher the house has ever had, and it is the reason for the whole renovation. Funny how a few thousand dollars to create space for the dishwasher among the existing cabinets (the house has never had one and there was no easy way to hook it into the current plumbing or electrical) turned into a whole kitchen renovation.