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.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Echo Canyon, where the Mamas & Papas wrote the famous song about, is on my mind today. It seems I have fully lost my readers. It makes me sad.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Pumpkin Pie

Tonight, as a snack, I opened a can of raw pumpkin, added about two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, and three teaspoons of brown sugar. I often do this for a relatively healthy snack that is non-fat, and relatively low in calories.

The healthy treat reminded me of the many times I ate my mother's wonderful pumpkin pie and it left me feeling melancholy. My mother absolutely loved pumpkin pie, and I had it very frequently growing up and when my mom moved in with us, she would often surprise us with a freshly made pie when we arrived home.

I miss her. I hope she can see me and hear me and know that I am thinking of her and love her greatly.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

County Fair

I apologize to the couple of people whose blogs I meant to insert but the links did not register correctly. I shall be correcting that in the next few days.

Although it seems early, the county fair is set to begin today in my neck of the woods. The neighboring county fair near us is also set for the following week. Fairs are always fun and enjoyable to attend as they harken back to a time where agriculture was KING in the world. Seeing the animals, viewing the crops, the baked goods, the produce, the photographs, the art... all feels very humanizing. I am hoping that we will be able to attend later this week.

Overall, I feel wholly average. I am going to work to get my exercise up in gear again as well.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Out with the old. Perhaps I should not say it that way, for I am old too. But for lack of a better phrase... what you see is the "new" and "improved" Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor. I hope that you like the changes. They include:

1. New colors - this new color scheme seems suitable for me at this time. The colors seem more subdued and tranquil. Some of you may read into this new scheme the colors of bruises and battered flesh (black, blues, purples, and browns) and may presume this befits the battered state of my mind. I do not know if that association with the colors is valid or not, but from my eye at the moment, they seem appropriate.

2. Updated blog links - I extracted some sites that were no longer valid, repaired some links to sites that changed names, removed sites no longer of interest, and added some new links to very good sites.

3. Updated and expanded photographic blog links - this section is perhaps the most valuable of all spots on my blog. I have removed sites of low interest, added a plethora of new sites and fixed links where they had changed. In terms of my new philosophy of how to live, the photoblogs will become for me a sanctuary, a refuge... akin to a museum of fine art. But this is more accessible for me. The sites I list all have what I consider to be true artistic beauty. While I am not a photographer or artist, I do appreciate and value the artistic ability to see the world. For me, I shall use these links to try to continue to see beauty in the world.

4. Added a few science blogs that I find interesting. Although work may be of only minor importance anymore, I still find these sites interesting.

So, it is with all I can muster, that I present to you my minor (albeit significant for me) changes that help my blog world to evolve.

Please consider commenting on these changes or any other topic of interest.


Monday, July 21, 2008


As I stated previously, change is coming, and it shall be unveiled sometime this week I believe. I hope that it is met with approval.

I spent the weekend, primarily avoiding thinking, as is my new plan for life. I have decided that a life of experientiality is the life for me. No sorrow or pain. Drift around from place to place and time to time, and moment to moment. It was quite pleasant actually. No thoughts, no goals, just living moment to moment.

I have been watching episodes of the delightful classic television series, CANNON, this weekend. I originally thought the DVDs I had were malfunctioning, but it appears simply the replacement DVD player we bought (cheap) to replace the one that malfunctioned (also cheap) does not read DVD-R style disks that I acquired with these episodes. So, instead I have been watching them through my home computer in my den.
Here are the opening credits of CANNON. And here is an image of William Conrad, the star of that series. Brings back memories.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Change Is Coming

The very fabric is about to change. Soon.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Automatronic Lifestyle

I have been giving it a go this week and thus far I have felt pretty much average. Average, you may recall, seemed a distant memory for a long time. How am I accomplishing said? Well, I have adopted what I have called an "automatronic lifestyle". In this effort, I have deemed THINKING the enemy. For as much as I am able to, I am trying to shut down my thinking process and become more of an "experiential" sort of person.

One area where this has shown benefit is in my sleep. For the last several days, I will go out onto the back deck at night (typically the last few days around 12:30 or 1:00am), about 15 minutes or so prior to my wanting to head to bed. I will have no lights on, and the only ambient lighting is from the moon and stars (if present and not obscured by clouds). I will have a pipe with me, and will purposefully sit and work at turning OFF my mind. I work to stop the analysis and the questioning that was a part and parcel of who I am. I strive to shut it OFF. Outside, with pipe in hand, I instead attempt to have my mind become aware (not analyze, but simply become aware) of my surroundings. I feel the breeze, I feel the coolness if it is cool, the heat and humidity if it is warm. I guide myself to become more aware of the senses stimulated by my briar pipe. If it is raining, I feel the rain upon my body. I allow my eyes to become mere windows, no longer tools for observation and analysis. Instead I simply have them open to the picture before me of the expanse of the back yard.

In these few days of trying this technique, I have been able to acquire sleep more readily. The nightmares have also declined somewhat in both frequency and intensity. So, it appears to be a valuable technique.

I have also strived to decrease THINKING in my day-to-day life as well. While 100% success is, of course, impossible, a decrease as much as is possible may provide similar benefit. In the few days I have engaged in said, I have not had as much emotion or drama in my mind or life. Perhaps this is akin to the "Let it slide..." mantra that was semi-popular in a part of the mid-1970s.

Thinking may indeed be the enemy. Perhaps just meandering through life without a thought or care is the key to happiness?


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Go

I canceled my appointment with "doc" for today. I did not feel I should go.

Life has been on an even keel the last few days. We went to a family reunion on Sunday which was fun and enjoyable. We also went to a state park to eat dinner yesterday, and this past Friday I built some equipment with my elderly father-in-law's wood working tools.

Let us hope for more even-keeled feelings.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ending It All

I really do not know what to do sometimes. I feel so angry, frustrated and despondent about things that all I want to do is cry or sleep. But that is no way to live life. That is not a way to be every day and every moment.

I need to end all of this, and my plan is simple. I will simply try to carry on each and every day in the way and manner in which I *think* I should live and ignore all the feelings of sadness and tiredness I have. This is a helluva lot easier to say than to do, I know. But, if I can perhaps somehow *ignore* my feelings for the time it takes to get STARTED to do an activity or task, I can then often get immersed in the task itself and feel a sense of accomplishment. I can then allow myself to think about an examine my feelings (if need be) while doing the task and still be productive. I also need to have a plan of *possible* small goals I can strive for each day. I feel a bit better when I do actually *do something*, but getting up the gumption to start is a stumbling block.

A final thought I need to also consider is that a major stumbling block for me of late has been the starting of a project but not seeing it to fruition. I think if I can somehow force myself into sticking with projects to an actual endpoint, I will feel much, much better.

The hope is to somehow WORK my way out of this sadness. I am also considering the possibility of a serotonin reuptake inhibitor medication. I have tentatively made an appointment with the "doc" next Tuesday. If I decide I should go.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Damnably Dentally Derived Distrust

I am numb again in my whole lower jaw and part of the upper jaw due to the second replacement of the filling in my back molar. I am hopeful that this time the itty bitty little filling will stay in place. I have my doubts. I asked to have the more flexible and resilient amalgam put back in (which lasted over 30 years the first time) but this new dental outfit (my prior dentist retired) does not "like" amalgam fillings.

My mood is nebulously neutral at the moment which is a dramatic improvement. I am at a loss for what to do or how to proceed, but my game plan is to just persevere and push ahead trying to do what it is I *should* do in life... even though I feel like doing absolutely nothing. Sleep is easy during work, and impossible when I retire at night. I have no desire or interest in accomplishing anything, so I just go through the motions.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Same Old Refrain, But What the Hell Else?

So, I am trying to find the resolve to not feel so awful about everything. I know you have heard this refrain before, and so have I. Personally, I am very sick of hearing it. If this is to be the damn "new normal" I am going to have to live with, then I damn well have to start doing something about it and sticking with it. Probably I will fail again like I always do, like I always have, but there isn't a helluva lot left for me to try, unless I want to go beg my doctor for some SSRI. I do not have a real plan yet, but I am going to simply bully my way through the things I SHOULD be doing, and finish them and get them out of my hair.

That is it in a nutshell really, I am going to just push and force myself through what I should be doing. I figure if I do it successfully for long enough, it will become routine even within this new mindset.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Melt Down Day

Today was one of those days better left forgotten. It was rough in virtually every manner.

The only good things that happened today included attending mass at 8:30am and going to the bagel factory on the way home. We bought seven bagels... a cinnamon raisin, a swiss cheese, a french toast, a pumpernickel, a salt bagel, a chocolate chip bagel, and a pumpkin spice (the flavor of the month). Along with the seven bagels, we purchased five different cream cheeses to go with them. The five flavors we selected were plain, strawberry, blueberry, pineapple & walnut and vegetable. I take that back, one additional good thing happened, which was my wife's dinner. The main course was a delightful ham & cheese strata.

During the other times of the day, I cried, I cursed, I cried some more. Issues concerning my mother's estate leave me feeling sad because of the loss of that sense of family, issues of hatred towards my Department leave me feeling another loss of family for how two-faced they are, and to top it off, the damn filling that I had replaced last week fell out again today.

Perhaps my problems are slight and insignificant compared to others, but they hurt me and they hurt like hell. I feel I have lost so much in the last year and a half. I feel adrift.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Teeth Cleaning

I went in to the dentist this morning for my biannual teeth cleaning. Other than a small filling that had fallen out and needs to be replaced, my teeth are very healthy and the staff complimented me on how well I keep my teeth cleaned. Virtually no tartar.

Today "Super Puppy" arrives, I am sure with a flourish. I am striving to keep my mind on my goal of befriending "Super Puppy" and trying to form a true collaborative friendship with him where we can both work to help each other become even stronger, and perhaps even at a future time take over leadership from the rude other members of the Department who put us both in this rather difficult and agonizing situation. I am striving to fix this situation and have both I and "Super Puppy" win. It is a very daunting task, one I never envisioned for myself, and I am sure "Super Puppy" did not either. I am trying to keep my anger at bay, and not let them see how hurt I am at them for their actions. This is also enormously difficult, but if I am to survive and find happiness, I must figure out how to become a victor in this evil situation.