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, September 20, 2017


The e-device was used.  It may help, not sure yet.  It is an odd thing.  But, I guess smoking a pipe is a pretty damn odd thing too.   I am substituting it for one pipe a day currently.

My mind is sort of unfocused today, other than thinking about work.  Nothing much to say.  If anyone else watches the television show, Big Brother, today is the finale.  I hope Paul wins.  He deserves to win, IMO.

I played my tenor sax some yesterday.  I am rusty, but I have a few weeks before I may rejoin the band.

My run was nice!  It was 70 again... at 5am!  No shirt again.  That almost feels like I am naked..... only shorts socks and shoes!  I always worry though that there will be reports of a "Sasquatch" roaming the running trail when I do that, but I must admit I enjoy the odd feeling of being nearly naked while running.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Damn Pipe

So, now to look at the bad.   The most significant bad thing I do right now that I need to fix is that I smoke a pipe.  I know I should not do this.  In my thoughts about this over the years I never thought I would have such a hard time at this.  I believe that there are two factors at play for me in this.... 1) the consumption of nicotine is addictive and I do need to deal with that.  But, there is a second aspect that is proving a harder aspect to get a handle on.  B) Smoking a pipe has some deep psychological aspects for me that I am not really sure how to deal with.  Those of you who read my earlier posts about my starting to smoke a pipe have a glimpse into a little bit of my psyche in regards to this.

What to do?  I am not really sure.  But here is what I am going to try today.  I am going to purchase a damn e-nicotine device of some sort and my initial plan is to have it substitute for one of my pipes I have during the day.  I will do this for a while figuring out what the e-device can help with and perhaps understand a bit better what are the real triggers for the real pipe.  After I do this for a while, I will then figure out my next step.  I hope this leads me on a successful path.

I did run today. It was 50 degrees this morning so I had on sweats.  I was not overly energized, but I forced myself to get it done.  I am out in the backyard again with my first pipe and letting the dog do her thing.  I feel sort of out of sorts this morning. Somewhat disgruntled.

I have so many ways I should be able to grow and be a better person, but I feel I am weak.  I feel ineffective.  I feel like a failure.  I wish I could figure out how to be the better person I want to be.  I wish I could overcome my lack of inertia in working to improve.


Monday, September 18, 2017


In looking at my start point of exercising 5 miles a day of walking (and now running), today is the 3,285th day of my consistently walking or running 5 miles a day.  This is EVERY day.... no holiday breaks, no illness breaks, no birthday breaks... NO BREAKS. 

For me, the CONSISTENCY is the key for me.  If I were to take a day off, then I would be very prone to finding pretty much any damn excuse to take a day off and then I would be sunk.  I know that from my personality, I could easily (especially at 5am, when I usually work my walking/running in) find a myriad of ways to say, "To hell with it, I'm not going this morning!  I am too tired, or I am too angry, or whatever."  So, for me to really do this effort to try to improve my health, I have to do it every, every, every damn day.  But, I am glad I have done so.  Even the time when I was sick with the flu, and I brought along a bag in case I would vomit.... that day was one of the worst, but I have to admit that even on that day (I was walking only at that time, which was a few years ago.), I did feel BETTER having done the walk.... even as I crawled back into bed with my fever and slept away the rest of the day. 

So, my current stats are as follows.  My typical heart rate when I wake is now usually 58bpm.  My blood pressure typically is around 110/65 at rest.  When I get done with my run, I have usually boosted my heart rate up to between 144-150bpm, which for me is strongly into the zone to promote cardiovascular health. 

I typically drink an average of two gallons of non-sugary fluids a day (mostly water, but also a hefty amount of coffee, some PowerAid (sugar free) and some soda (my favorite is Diet Dr. Pepper, followed by Diet Pepsi).  I do not restrict my foods in any way other than I try to eat appropriate portions, and I try to avoid consuming most fatty foods... at least as much as I can easily and reasonably manage.   I eat meat, but it is not an everyday thing.  I probably have 3 or 4 meals a week that have some sort of meat.  I mostly eat chicken, turkey, or fish.  I personally dislike pork, so that is no hardship to avoid, and I generally am not overly fond of beef, so I may perhaps have once or twice every few months some thinly shaved roast beef, and perhaps once every year or two I may have a tiny steak.  Steak (unlike for many) is not something I crave or even enjoy particularly, so it too is easy to avoid.  I greatly enjoy eggs, and will readily have them scrambled, coddled, or hard boiled.  I probably have about 4-5 eggs a week.  My wife makes a variety of awfully damn good frittatas as well, and when she will occasionally make me one, my egg consumption is much bigger that week!

So, I did exercise for my 3285th day this morning (running).  I now sitting here on the back porch with my first pipe of the day while the dog does her "thing", I am pleased with some of the progress I have made in terms of trying to stay healthy, but I do have many things to work on of course.  Tomorrow, I probably will try to talk about at least some of those things.... the things I still should do in regards to my wellness.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hectic Morning

Just a short post today because of a lot of b*llsh*t meetings I have to get to at the U.  But, I can say my energy level was more normal this morning, less feeling tires and I got on the trail for my 5 mile run at 5:15am which is only 15 minutes later than what I aim for.  The run was very nice too.... it was much, much warmer this morning (60 degrees!!!) and I ran in shorts and a t-shirt.  That felt nice.

Unfortunately, that is about all I can get on paper at the moment.  I have been having my morning pipe, and the dog now has done her "thing" so I have to head to the U.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

So Sleepy

The tiredness was again present this morning.  I attribute it to the time of the year.  Weather changes, the full thrust activity level returning at the U, and chaotic, albeit rigorous and rigid schedules that are back for both my wife and I are major factors.  I again was late hitting the trail to run my five miles (truth. E told, I did not want to run today), but I forced myself out there and again finished my five miles.

There was a documentary at the U yesterday called "Deconstructing the Beatles Revolver Album" that I and my youngest son went to see.  It was pretty amazing.  It was a lecture of sorts, almost in the style of a TED talk by a professor of music, where he literally deconstructed different tracks is the song on the album and talked about the creative processes that occurrrd to produce the art of those songs.  I have always enjoyed the Beatles because of the uniqueness of their music, and for me, I have always felt that personally "Revolver" is their best work, although others disagree.  It was wonderful to have the speaker in the documentary take a very scientific approach to analyze the creative process on this art.  It helped make the songs even more meaningful to me.

As usual, during this brief blog writing time, I am having my dirt pipe of the day while my dog does her "business".  We are in the back yard, and as usual, she is easily distracted from her goals.  Today, it it an errant squirrel chattering up in a tree that makes her "accomplishments" slow to arrive as she would rather bark and yammer at the squirrel than do her "duty". But, it gives me a little bit more pipe time and writing time here so that is ok.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tuesday Tiredness

I am not really sure why, but I woke up very tires this morning.  I do not think I slept poorly, for I do not recall much other than getting up once in the night to urinate (pretty normal as I try to really stay very hydrated and usually get up once or twice for such matters).  But, the end result is that I ended up getting up later and did not get on the road to run until 5:45am.  To try to make up for some of the lost time, I pushed myself a bit, and I ran the 5 miles in just about exactly 45 minutes.  That is actually a few minutes faster than my usual speed, so that was a happy surprise.  After my run, I timed my pulse at 150, so I was in the range for good cardiovascular effort.  My resting pulse this morning before I got up was 54, so that was decent as well.

The film my wife and I saw yesterday was "Home Again" with Reese Witherspoon.  It also had  a dice Bergman in the film as well.  It was billed as a romantic comedy, but it was really an odd little film.  Nothing was horrible about the film, but it also was rather limited in plot.  It was enjoyable, but did not really do or say much, and was really sort of a snapshot of just a bunch of LOs Angels folks doing seemingly normal Los Angeles things for the most part.  Not much drama nor comedy in the film.  Again, it was an enjoyable afternoon, but it was truly an odd little film.  My wife had a pretzel during the film, and I had a partial roll of Necco Wafers.  Necco Wafers, a very old fashioned candy, are a particular favorite of mine the last several years.

After I got back from my run, I cleaned up "poop island" which is the area our dog does her "business" in the back yard.  I bagged it all, and took it out with all of the other trash to the curb as today is trash pickup.  I cut up some more boxes and put them with som cans for recycling and took that to the curb as well.  I am now out in the back porch/backyard with the dog, having my morning pipe and writing this brief post before I head on to shower and head to the U.  I am lucky I have my first class start at 9am today because it gives me a little bit of extra time due to my late start.  After teaching, I have a lot of research paperwork to wade through, and a never ending pile of paperwork for my Department Chair duties, but hopefully I can get a good reduction on that ever growing pile.  I am trying to get some additional writing time, for my research, as I have a grant deadline coming soon that I want to apply for funding from.  This grant is one where I am hoping to get funds for a study looking at how specific SSRIs in synergy with exposure to antimicrobial agents affects the development of the brain.  We shall see how the grant writing goes.


Monday, September 11, 2017

New Monday

Today I am hoping to have a pleasant day.  I plan to get a lot done at work, I plan to get as prepared as I can for the whole week, and if I am lucky, I may be able to go see a late afternoon movie with my wife.  She loves romantic comedies, so we are thinking to go see the new film with Reese Witherspoon that just opened.  My run this morning was very nice and it was abbot warmer too... 49 degrees!!!