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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Pipely Pipe, Pipe, Pipe

I think that as we approach the Holidays that I am in need of some time to better prepare.  I have been having considerable cravings again for some beautiful pipe tobacco in one of my pipes.  For me, I believe the reason for the increase in desire for the burley leaf over the last few days stems from the inherent lack of routine during this time of the year. 

I believe this to be the case because not only did my typical pipe consumption rate increase during the Holidays most years, because I have also worked through the same sort of situation when I first lost weight.... I found holiday times to be the most challenging in terms of remaining in control of eating.  It took me a few years of considerable effort to figure out how to eat "healthy" during the holidays with the often inconsistent routine without becoming fairly grumpy at times.  I have a pretty good handle on eating appropriately during the holidays now.  But, I have yet to work through these same sorts of feelings and emotions associated with my pipe during the holidays.  It had been my regular, constant companion during the ambiguity of routine during this time of the year.  It served as a source of comfort in a chaotic world, so-to-speak. 

Now I need to find new approaches to cope with the loss of my pipe like I did the loss of just eating junk food as a stress reliever during this time.   I do admit that the idea of a pipe seems beautiful and wonderful, and the idea of figuring out coping strategies is giving me a grouchy edge. 


Monday, December 17, 2018

"Acidy" Stomach

Truth be told, my digestive tract typically is as strong as steel.  I typically have no problems eating even the spiciest foods.  However, today is one of those very rare days when my digestive tract is acting up a bit. 

My stomach feels "acidy" and I feel a bit constipated.  I am not sure what is going on... if it is some sort of GI virus that is going around (a few people have been sick) or if it most just nerves.  It is an unpleasant feeling. 


Friday, December 14, 2018


I feel a need to be more creative.  Over the years I have had all sorts of hobbies and avocations.... playing music, writing, painting, photography, building things with wood, whittling, making clocks, repairing musical instruments, repairing cuckoo clocks, making crafts.  But the reality is that over the last several years, the amount of time I have given to these various activities has grown smaller and smaller and smaller.  Many I do not currently do.  In fact, MOST, I currently do not do other than forcing myself to play music this semester and my more recent vow to write here more consistently. 

I miss the joy of those creative pursuits.  It used to seem easy to find nooks and crannies of time to spend in those activities that helped me feel creative.  But, now-a-days it seems damn near impossible to eek out time for anything other than getting through the requirements of work for the day. 

I do not know why.  Is it that I have more work?  I cannot say that for certain.  Is it something to do with all the electronic gizmos that permeate our lives?  In some ways I wonder if that is part of the answer, but I tend to minimize my time with gizmos as much as I can.  Am I just getting stupid and slow-witted in my old age?  I hope not. 

It bothers me that creative hobbies now feel NEEDED by me, but figuring out time to DO hobbies feels like a helluva lot of work.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

10 Months

It has been 10 months now since I smoked a pipe.  (Yawn).

Unlike with my efforts to walk and then to run where the increasing days, weeks, months, and even years have helped me to feel motivated to continue.... I do not feel much about reaching this 10 month milestone in regards to giving up the pipe. 

I had hoped I would feel positively... and that it would spur me on to seek to keep the number increasing.  Do not get me wrong... I do not feel overly negatively either.  I just feel indifferent.  I feel nothing much about it.  I do not really care that I have gone 10 months with refraining. 

So, I really do not know how to view this.  Overall.... I know it is good from a health perspective to refrain.  I also know that there are several days I only think about a pipe perhaps 4-5 times a day.  And, many times the thoughts are NOT the deep longing pangs of desire I had initially. 

But, sometimes the desire is there.  Sometimes it is strong. 

It is confusing as hell to me.  Once in a while I think to myself... Could I have a bowl of pipe tobacco now and just leave it at the one time?  Or would one bowl start a renewed cascade of desire that would make me start over from ground zero?  And, if that were the case, would I simply end up going back to my original pattern?   I really cannot say what I would feel/do in that instance.  

I really wish I felt more enthusiasm about having reached the 10 month milestone.  If I felt enthusiasm, it would be easier to build upon it.  Oh well.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Bundt Sphagetti Mac & Cheese

I made a curry and bell pepper Macaroni & Cheese in a bundt pan for dinner last night.  It was fun, and I was able to get the spice profile really nicely modulated so that it was strongly curry flavored and bell pepper flavored, but still rich, creamy and cheesy.  We all enjoyed it. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2018


I have not mentioned my running in a while (for which I am sure some of you may be relieved).  :)

However, I thought I could update you a bit.  I have now ran about 3,700 miles (fairly close to 6000km).  I am typically running around 30 miles a week.

Over the course of 2018, I got up enough gumption and overcame enough of my embarrassment to run in three different 5K road races.  My times have been pleasant for me with me getting through the 3.1 miles in about an 8:30 per mile pace.  One of the races actually gave medals for for runners in different age groups and I (surprised as hell) ended up getting 2nd place in my age group (I looked afterwards to make sure there were not JUST two runners in my age group.... there were actually about 15 or 16.

I am going to try to focus on running a few more 5K races in 2019, and I want to try to gear myself up for entering a 10K race sometime in 2019.  I have frequently ran the 6.2 miles when I am by myself on the trail, so in theory I should be able to do this.  But, for whatever reason, it really is a big struggle and worry for me to be "running" with other people who are actually runners!  There is a lot of embarrassment I have to work through and try to overcome.

And, truth be told... another worry I always have in the back of my mind is.... what the hell do I do if I have to go to the bathroom?!?!?!?   You may laugh, but it is a worry I have.  When I run on the trails I usually do at home, I  have had a small handful of occasions where the need to go became immediate.  On the course I run near my home, I know several locations where I can quickly conduct a "pit stop" if that sudden need arises.  But, with each of the 5K races I ran this year, I was consistently worrying about what I would do if that suddenly happened in the middle of the damn race.  Luckily it did not, but it was a true worry.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Sad & Hurt

Well, I was hurt by someone this weekend.  It was an emotional hurt that stirred up a lot of emotions in me.  I am still working through this so, I am using today to put thoughts on paper to try to fix this...

1.  In the greater scheme of things, what was said was not anything new.  This person has this sort of behavior that has been a part of this person's personality for as long as I have known this person. 

2.  We have had hurt feelings and arguments over this same behavioral response from this person in the past.... many times. 

3.  No matter how I try to work through and reason with this person on how I need to have us proceed in this matter, it never does any good. 

4.  I feel like a hit my head against a wall every time this happens. 

So, since I cannot get the other person to understand the impact of their actions on me, my only real option is to change myself.  But, that is a damn sight easier said than done.

So, I look to my faith.  My faith tells me that I need to forgive those who hurt me.  So, that is what I am trying to do with limited success.  But, I will keep focusing on this and trying to keep in mind that the only person I can control is ME and how I react and respond. 

Interestingly, I would really like to have a pipe at this time.  I am not wanting a pipe at the moment just for the sheer pleasure and joy of the briar and the burley leaf.  I am, due to my anger and hurt, wanting a pipe as a sort of solace, perhaps even a pacifier to sooth my soul.  In much the same way, when I was hurt and angry, I used to go and eat a lot of unhealthy crap. 

It took a lot of years for me to get to the point where I am now, in that I have as a routine that I *will not* and *do not* eat when angry or hurt... I think of it is as a waste of time and a waste of calories.  But, not having the pipe to help me cope with the hurt and anger... that is still a new effort by me and each time is a challenge.  But, I am bound and determined that *if* I ever have a pipe again... it damn well *will not* be wasted by having it happen when I am feeling angry or hurt.  If I ever have a pipe again, I want it to be at a point of joy.