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.

Friday, October 18, 2019


Hah!  No matter your political leanings... you *have* to admit the image above is funny.  It should be made into a t-shirt.  I happened to find this image when I was looking for some interesting recipe to use as a starting point for some canned peaches we have too many cans of at the moment. 

Now.... as far as politics goes..... a few things I would like to say:

1.  I *used* to be very interested in politics.  I would analyze candidates for local, state, and national office with a dogged level of determination so I would make decisions that I thought would be best for our local, regional, and global world. 

2. The election of Trump in the 2016 election.... and the subsequent crazy hyperbole since that time...... has not changed my opinions about how to strive to help others and how to try to be a good, kind person. 

3.  But, I just cannot seem to muster up much energy to stay abreast of politics anymore.  I will be voting for whomever is the Democratic nominee, and I hope that some semblance of normalcy returns to the state of politics.  It has never been a kind venture, but it has been a lot better than it is currently.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Another Beautiful Pipe

Another very beautiful pipe I was looking at is shown in the above.  I have always enjoyed this particular shape (1/4 bent) and find them very comfortable to grip between my teeth.  The grain on the bowl is quite attractive as well. 

On Monday of this week it marked my having gone 20 complete months without indulging in a pipe.  I do very sincerely miss their beauty and charm.  But, I guess I have to say that it is *easier* in 2019 to *not* be a pipe smoker. 

It was not always this way of course.  For many decades it was easy to be a pipe smoker.  I had many friends and relatives who were of the same mindset, and even non-smokers tended to look favorably upon pipe smokers. 

Now, for all intents and purposes, I am a lone wolf in regards to pipe smoking.  I did not initially mind the "lone wolf" status, but over the years, it grew more challenging over time because the more anti-tobacco folks became more vehement, and the tolerant folks became fewer in number.  I really started to feel this "lone wolf" status arise especially around 2000.

Now, when my elderly father-in-law passed away, I lost my last, close-by pipe smoking buddy. I did become truly alone in the hobby.

So, I do still miss my pipes.  And most evenings when I go to bed, I fall asleep reminiscing about the various "good-old days" of pipe smoking.  Lately I have been especially enamored with remembering pipe smoking adventures especially from the 1970s.  Perhaps this decade has been an especially strong focus lately due to some of the music I have been listening to in my office lately.  When I have not been focusing on 1960s jazz.... I have been reinvesting time in listening to Jethro Tull, The Who, Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, Stevie Wonder, George Harrison, and America, Remembering life and pipes in the 1970s is currently a wonderful way to fall asleep.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019


Even though my wife is not yet over her pneumonia, it *does* seem like she is finally responding to the antibiotics (her third round) and does seem to be better than she had been in several weeks.  As long as it is maintained, I will be very relieved.  It has been quite worrisome as this has been going on for between 8 & 9 weeks now.  But, at least things look like they are heading in a positive direction. 

With the cold weather occurring in my neck of the woods (we have had several mornings with significant frost already), running outside is a "bulkier" experience.  I am currently running my daily five miles at 5am with my regular running clothes, sweat pants, a sweat shirt, a stocking hat, and over that an ear warming hat (pictured above)... plus gloves.  It is sometimes quite cold when I start out, but after a mile or two it seems fine.  Even with the cold, I do appreciate being able to be outside and to run outside.   I know that all too soon, there will be ice on the trail and sidewalks and because I am too damn clumsy for my own good, I will have to transition to running indoors on a local track again.  It is so much nicer being outside. 

But, even with my running to relive stress, I find that at the end of the workday, I do need to find a way to relax as well.  And, currently, my favorite activity is to head to the U pool to swim.  Sometimes it is only for 15 minutes, sometimes as long as an hour.  But, the full body immersion into the water seems to bring a sense of tranquility to my thoughts, my body relaxes and I feel better and can look forward to the evening.  Because of my wife's illness, she has not been able to go swimming with me.... she did several time during the Summer.  I hope that once she returns back to health (hopefully soon), she will once again want to swim along with me. 


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Beautiful Pipe

I normally am not a huge fan of rusticated pipes (rusticated is used as a term to indicate when the bowl of the pipe is left natural or even "roughened" up to give a "natural" texture to the bowl).  When I look back at my collection of well more than 100 pipes, I have only 3-4 that are rusticated.  I have always liked the smoother, machined finishes and traditional shapes. 

But, I have to say, the pipe I have shown in the image above...... I find it awfully damn attractive and would think that I would find it to be an excellent smoking device.  The rustication is not TOO intensive and it has a wonderfully elegant shape otherwise.  The small brass ornamental ring between shank and stem adds flair and not a common feature on a rusticated bowl either. 

I have been scouring all sorts of pipe shops on line, looking at all the beautiful pipes I can find.  But, the one above.... just really struck a chord with me.  I can easily imagine in my mind's eye.... filling the bowl with beautifully dark, sticky crumbles of burley leaf and slowly drawing a flame deep into the bowl.  The above pipe just SEEMS like it would be an EXCELLENT smoking pipe.


Monday, October 14, 2019

I Timed Myself....

Yes, I am still running.  And, yes, I am still getting in 32-35 miles a week.  And, yes.... my one goal that I added for 2019 is something I am still consistent on:

I vowed to myself that at least one run every week in 2019 would be a minimum of 10K (6.2 miles).  I started this goal to try to show myself that I could be comfortable in actually entering an actual road race as a 10K runner..... and get myself a "trophy" t-shirt showing that I did it!

So, here it is in October and I have ran 10K at least once each week.  In fact, it has become a distance I really like.  So, I took the next step and officially timed myself to get an accurate indication of my speed.  I ran this 10K in 56 minutes and 12 seconds.  I was quite pleased!   I do now think I can be comfortable enough to register for a 10K race and not be OVERLY concerned about being embarrassed and making a fool out of myself.  I *should* be able to do this in an actual race event and can get my t-shirt.  I think I will try to find one to enter soon.

And.... it may only be a "pipe dream" at the moment.... but I am *thinking about* maybe..... just maybe..... seeing if I can force myself to run a distance of a 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles or 21K) to see if I can survive it.  If I can force myself to do it and feel ok after.... *maybe* I will try to set a goal for myself of trying to run a 1/2 marathon road race in 2020?!?!?!?!?!   I do not know.... it may perhaps stay a "pipe dream".... I do not know if I could do it or not.


Friday, October 11, 2019


I try to not say anything to worry her, but I have to admit here that I am concerned about my wife.  She has had pneumonia for eight weeks now.  She has no energy and has already had three different courses of antibiotics.  With her other health challenges... it has me quite nervous at times. 


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rags....... to Shreds

I AGAIN apologize for not posting regularly.  I am just feeling a bit ragged myself.  It has been an acutely busy couple of weeks at the U (both teaching and b*llsh*t administrative nonsense) and unfortunately my wife is still quite under the weather with pneumonia (we are in week 8). 

But, the above really are not appropriate excuses.  If I do not post, and if I do not visit my friend's sites..... I MISS OUT on something that does give my life some reliable joy and fun.  So.... I am back... and I want to be here and want to be at your sites too!  I am going to also work to add more comments to my friend's posts too..... I enjoy reading so many of your writings.... but I should show my appreciation more by commenting more.