The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Been feeling a bit squirrely  the last few days.  Focus has been less than that displayed by a gnat. And, the strange things is that I don't seem to give a damn that I am this way at the moment.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Socks and Toenails

My toenails grow so damn fast (well, my fingernails do too) that I am regularly slicing through the ends of my socks with my big toenail.  I probably should trim my toenails twice a week, but I have been realistically aiming to cut them once a week.... and usually end up in truth doing so once every two weeks..... or until I find another sock with a big toe hole in it!  When I take off my shoe and see another hole, I grumble and cuss under my breath, and get out the damn trimmer again. 


Saturday, July 25, 2015


No, not the type represented by the hard working fellow in the image above.  My father worked as a boilermaker for many, many summers while I was young.  But, no, I was actually thinking more of the drink these fellows inspired.  Namely, a shot and a beer. 

I am thinking a boilermaker or two would be quite pleasant this afternoon.  I will have to see if my elderly father-in-law is up for company.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Turkey Sandwhich

Lately, I think one of my very favorite things to eat has been the simple, lowly toasted turkey sandwich.  For me, I like my turkey sandwich on toasted rye bread, with lettuce, tomato, onion, and just a little bit of ranch dressing. 

Something so very simple.... and yet it is so delicious, satisfying, and damn near a "comfort food" but is also reasonably healthy as well!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

White Water Rafting

Not sure if this is a pipe dream or something I really should pursue.  But, for the last week or two I have been thinking about going white water rafting.  I am not really sure yet where to go around here, and I will have to find some time looking around for where I can do this in my region.  I doubt my wife would want to go, but something inside is itching me to want to do this. 

We shall see if it pans out. 


Tuesday, July 21, 2015


With the NUMMI car program I mentioned yesterday still rumbling around in my mind, I dug up an old book that I have by Ben Hamper, called "Rivethead".  It is a very valuable work that gives a real insight into what it was like to be a auto factory worker in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  I am finding it very interesting to re-read. 

It is a book that is both very sad and very funny at the same time. 


Monday, July 20, 2015

NUMMI & What Could Have Been

I listened to the radio program "This American Life" yesterday while working in the garage sorting out some of my tools, and they had a very interesting story profiling General Motors and the experiment they had in terms of trying to improve the quality of their vehicles in a partnership with Toyota at the GM's California NUMMI plant.  This effort occurred in the mid-1980s and I remember it very well. 

It was interesting to hear the story, and if you are interested, you could listen to it here by following this link:  "This American Life - NUMMI"  It is a very well done radio program. 

In thinking back on it, unfortunately General Motors as well as all of the American car companies sure wrecked havoc on our society and nation.  The first real rumbles of the impending disasters I recall occurred during the late 1960s into the early 1970s.  But, then the sh*t really hit the fan so-to-speak with the oil embargos in the mid-1970s. 

The most significant and horrific problems caused by General Motors though, occurred in the early 1980s.  It was as this time that General Motor's management and mistakes virtually anihilated and destroyed much of the mid-west.  Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New York, Illinois, and Wisconsin were all tremendously affected, but no state suffered more than the state of Michigan.  Most all of the major cities (Detroit, Flint, Jackson, Saginaw, and others) were decimated to such an extent that many of them have yet to recover.

Listening to the radio program helped me to remember those difficult times.  If only GM had made a real, concerted effort to enact NUMMI across their whole industry, things may have turned out quite differently.  If NUMMI would have become the "new norm" then I think all of the US automakers would have been far more capable of working through the 2007 recession without causing further heartache to many families.