In July 2006 I became Associate Chair of the ECE Division and moved into the corresponding corner office in the administrative office suite.
On 2007-2-5, we had unusually cold weather in Ann Arbor and the heating system in the building seemed not quite up to the task. The black pipe with the brand new white caulking at the top center of this photo of my (former) office froze, and water with 150 psi pressure sprayed out causing the ceiling to collapse and flooding the entire office suite.
I was in an administrative meeting a few doors down and when I first heard the rushing water I thought "oh good, the radiators must be working again." A few seconds later the fire alarm system sounded and I went towards my office to get my winter coat. I decided not to open the office door when I saw water streaming out from under it.
Apparently, corner offices do have their disadvantages.

Amazingly, my trusty Mac G5 on the far corner of my desk seemed to stay mostly dry and still seems to be working, at least for now.
And most of the books seem fine.
But all the "important works in progress" on my desktop became paper pulp.

Needless to say, I even more behind in all my work now.


On 2007-07-19 I finally moved back into this office after it had been completely gutted and restored. On shelves near the window I put some of the stacks of crinkled papers that had been dowsed and later dried that I still had not sorted. During my first meeting in the office that day, a tornado siren went off in town. I looked at the stacks of papers near all the windows in this corner office and thought that if a tornado came through and wiped them all out again, then it would truly be a sign.
But it was a false alarm. (This time.)