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, November 30, 2012

Well, Here It Goes...

I am still not sure what I will do today, when I go visit my elderly father-in-law, but here are a few thoughts:

A) Going there and not drinking or smoking my pipe is probably the safest route in terms of my ultimate goal of becoming an occasional, special-event pipe smoker.  But it may feel disappointing to my father-in-law (and frankly, it will feel disappointing to myself) if I do not partake.

B)  Going there and having a drink, but not smoking my pipe would probably be the hardest of the three options.  Drinking is generally enjoyable, but I am fairly often rather "take-it-or-leave-it" in that regard.  When I think about the drinking I have done across my life, it has pretty much always been with the inner thought that.... oh, if I have a drink, the real joy will be the more robust, more intense pleasure my pipe(s) will be as a result (I will have to tell more of the background of that in a future post).  I am not sure if I would enjoy having a drink *if* there is to be no pipe afterward. 

C)  Going there and having a drink and having 1-2 pipes.  This is what I would like to be able to do for my ultimate goal in my change of my lifestyle.  But, perhaps I am still too new and too "at risk" for falling "off the wagon" at this point to try to enact my plan? 

Well, I will still contemplate this and we will see what I choose and how it goes. 


Today's (Friday's) Goal =0, or 1, or 2 bowls

Yesterday's (Thursday's) Goal = 0 bowls
Actual consumption (Thursday) = 0 bowls

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Plan, Maybe?

Teri and BBC, thank you both for your very helpful comments.  And Austere, as always, thank you for your tremendous encouragement..  I am really not sure which scenario from yesterday is the best one for me in reality, but I am thinking I know what I believe is the best, and which I will likely try to adopt.  Here are my current thoughts as to what I am planning to adopt and why:

1.  Quitting and never indulging in pipe tobacco again probably offers the least risk on many levels...the least risky to health, a potentially lowered chance of "falling-off-the-wagon", and it is certainly the most consistent approach (I tend to like being very consistent).

2.  Quitting and never, ever  indulging in pipe tobacco may be more difficult in a psychological sense for me as I feel more than a bit of melancholy and emotional angst about thinking that I will *not* be a pipe smoker any longer if I quit completely.  At some level I realize the melancholy and angst are foolish, but they are real emotions I do feel.  In theory, those feelings could go away eventually. 

3.  Being an ornery, damn stubborn "tough-guy" to myself, and wrangling my own behavior into submission in a way that demonstrates I have control over what I do, and when I do it has enormous appeal to me.  I am not sure why, but I do know I feel that way innately.  Either scenario would be able to accomplish most of that notion, but if I am as honest with myself, I find the idea of being able to be a occasional (aka, a rare event) pipe smoker... one where I dictate to myself where and when I indulge to be very appealing.  I would, strange as it may seem, feel...  almost... a sense of pride in myself at doing this. 

4.  I do know that there may be significant risk (at least the first several times I try out the idea of being an occasional (rare event) pipe smoker) that I will fall back into the very comfortable habit of daily, nearly autonomic indulgence, with a pipe clenched between my teeth most of the day.

5.  In some ways, being the occasional pipe smoker is appealing to me because it harkens back to my childhood as well.  I did not pick up the pipe and immediately begin smoking every day.  And also, it took a fair amount of time before I began to indulge in smoking a pipe many times a day.  No.... in reality, I began with a beautiful first experience (perhaps I will rerun my long-winded story of my first experience here in the next few days, if anyone is interested), and then after finding I enjoyed it so much, I began to indulge occasionally.  Over time my pipe smoking became the constant companion it has been for many decades, but that is no longer what I want.  I want to be that occasional pipe smoker again like when I was a kid.  I *think* I may have enough stubbornness and gumption to do it, too.  Although I am not sure.  But at least as of today, I think that is the approach I am going to try.

6.  Two additional thoughts that I have some concern over.  A) I am not sure if I should give myself some more "non-smoking days" before I attempt to become an occasional, special event pipe smoker or if I should just go with the flow of when these opportunities arise.  In theory, I could have the opportunity to visit my elderly father-in-law and have libations tomorrow.   In fact, my wife has already let me know that  he has a few tasks he would like my help with.  Now, I could go there and either i) just visit and not drink or smoke my pipe, ii) have a drink with him and not smoke my pipe, or iii) initiate my goal/plan to execute for the first time, what I envision as my new lifestyle of becoming an occasional, "special event" pipe smoker.  The other concern I have is B) that while things are going relatively smoothly right now, I think one specific non-predictable event that will eventually occur may be my *BIGGEST* risk.  There will come a day, someday down the road, where I get royally frustrated and upset and someone or some issue.  I know that a reaction I may have at that time is to say "to hell with it" because of my anger.  I am trying to think though how I can best handle such an event successfully with my new "plan" for myself.   It is difficult, though, in that when I get upset enough, it is all to easy for me to do the "to hell with it" response and pick up my pipe in a habitual manner again. 


Today's (Thursday's) Goal =0 bowls

Yesterday's (Wednesday) Goal = 0 bowls
Actual consumption (Wednesday) = 0 bowls

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Brave New World

Besides being the title of one of my favorite novels of all time, the title of this work is an apt title for me to use in this essay as I explore potential paths *IF* I am successful in wrangling control back into my lap for my consumption of pipe tobacco.  Please do not guffaw at my discussing this so very early into my new lifestyle.  I know how easy it can be for me to fail and how easy it can be for me to let the plant control me, as opposed to *what I want,* which is to control my consumption of pipe tobacco to where and when I want.  But, it is still interesting to think about:

1.  Scenario A -   never indulge in pipe tobacco again.  This does not excite me, and in fact seems rather dull, boring, and sad.  But, thinking of never indulging as being dull and boring could simply be the plant's wiley clutches exerting control over me.

2.  Scenario B - do not indulge in pipe tobacco except in specific times of my choosing.  I have thought about this for a long time, and I *believe*   I would feel very happy and comfortable with myself and my pipe smoking if I would limit my pipe smoking to 1 or 2 bowls when I have a few drinks.  This would mean for me that on a Friday when I go visit my elderly father-in-law, I could indulge while we sip something amber and very pleasant, or I could indulge while having a few gin and tonics at a wedding reception.  As that represents my typical drinking pattern of choice, it would mean that I would indulge in a pipe or two only 2-3 times a month. 

Scenario B would seem like nirvana to me.   I would be primarily free of tobacco, and would use it in a small and sporadic fashion that would (in my estimation) be minimally unhealthy (compared to daily smoking anyhow).  I would also regain much if not all of the intensity of experience in smoking pipe tobacco as a kid that was so beautiful and magical.  Unfortunately, as my consumption grew as I aged, my neurons became acclimated to the intoxicating beauty of nicotine and while I still enjoyed the pipe tobacco in more subtle ways, the intense feelings of momentary intoxication were lost.  I do know that effect would return after refraining for a span of time. 

Could I live scenario B in day-to-day living?  Apparently some can (occasional smokers), but they seem few and far between.   If I wee to try to adopt scenario B,  am I simply setting myself up for failure?  Or will I be able to succeed and control pipe tobacco like I want to?   Am I damn stubborn enough to do this? 


Today's (Wednesday) Goal =0 bowls

Yesterday's (Tuesday) Goal = 0 bowls
Actual consumption (Tuesday) = 0 bowls

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stubborn as a Mule

I can be damn stubborn when I put my mind to it.  Awfully damn stubborn.  I will not let a plant dictate what I do in life.


Goal for today (Tuesday) = 0 bowls

Goal for Monday was = 0 bowls
Actual Consumption was = 0 bowls

Monday, November 26, 2012


Let's see how it goes.  

Goal for Today (Monday) = 0 bowls

Goal for Sunday was  = 6 bowls

Actual Consumption = 8 bowls


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad


I have been thinking about my father a great deal the last several days. Today is my father's birthday. He would have been 89 years old today. At one level it *is* so very long since he has been a physical presence in my life, but in the same vein, he has been a mental/emotional/philosophical presence in my life every day.

It is ever more striking how I can see in myself more and more ways in which I am very much like my father and other ways in which I am very much like my mother. The characteristics I have that are especially like that of my father include a general quietness to my demeanor and a rather contemplative personality. Physically, my teeth are like my father's. My eyes are much like my father's and my ears and forehead are very similar to that of my father's. Of course, my enjoyment of pipes and pipe tobacco is something I learned from my father as well.

I will be traveling to the other end of the county today to visit my father and mother's grave site. Even though it is quite cold outside (below freezing), I am planning to sit at the grave site for quite a while and talk to (with) my father on this his birthday. I am also planning to take with me, one of his favorite pipes that I inherited from him. I shall smoke that pipe while I am visiting with him at the grave site.

I miss you so very much, Dad! I wish you a very Happy Birthday.


Goal for today (Friday) = 6 bowls

Friday's Goal = 8 bowls
Actual Consumption = 9 bowls

Friday, November 23, 2012

No Way In Hell...

There is no way in hell that I will be out and about in any store today, "black Friday".  It is pure insanity.  I so utterly despise the noise and traffic and other nonsense.

Instead, I am vowing to do all needed Christmas purchases (that I have to do.... my wife can do whatever she wants.... she loves shopping) that I am responsible for... ON LINE.

Instead, today I think I will go visit my elderly father-in-law, and perhaps indulge in delightful libations and pipes.


Goal for today (Friday) = 8 bowls

Thursday's Goal = 4 bowls
Actual Consumption = 6 bowls

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I wish all of you, my friends, a very Happy Thanksgiving.  If you want to comment, how about today, you mention what your favorite "traditional" Thanksgiving food is?

For me, my favorite food I look forward to on Thanksgiving are lightly candied yams.  I would say that I like the warm, sweet resiliency of the candied yam even more than what I suspect is my second favorite item from this holiday, pumpkin pie. 


Goal for today (Thursday) = 4 bowls

Wednesday's Goal = 5 bowls
Actual Consumption = 7 bowls

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Much to the consternation of most members of my family, I absolutely love to eat grapefruit.  I will eat it plain, I will eat them sliced with sugar, I will eat them fresh, frozen, or from a can, I will drink the juice.  I have even frozen wedges of grapefruit in the freezer, and eaten them while frozen somewhat like Popsicles.  My wife detests grapefruit.  Of all my kids, I have only one son who likes grapefruit like me.

It is odd, for in our family, my wife and kids have always liked oranges.  I shy away from oranges.  It is not the flavor I mind, but I do not like the feel of oranges on my teeth.  But, I do not get that feeling or effect at all with grapefruit. 


Goal for today (Wednesday) = 5 bowls

Tuesday's Goal = 5 bowls
Actual Consumption = 6 bowls

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


With my 100 pound weight loss, a bit more than 4 years ago now, I have had very little fluctuation in my weight or clothing sizes since my weight has stabilized.  Now at 181 pounds,  I wear a 16/35 shirt, a 34in waist and 32 inch leg on my pants, and a 44 sport coat.  I have fluctuated only + or - 5 pounds from that weight for over four years. 

The reality is I am not hungry often, and I eat a helluva lot of good, healthy, low-to-no fat food.  But today, for some reason, even though I ate my breakfast, I am feeling ravenous.  Yet, it is a kind of hunger that I suspect will not dissipate even if I were to eat three foot-long sub sandwiches in the span of a half an hour. I believe it is just an after effect of my feelings of anxiety.  And feeling anxiety is a damn stupid, foolish, worthless thing that I do far to damn often in my life.  I am sick of it.


Goal for today (Tuesday) = 5 bowls

Monday's Goal = 6 bowls
Actual Consumption = 6 bowls

Monday, November 19, 2012


Words were spoken yesterday that hurt me.  I am tired.  I need joy.  I will work harder to create joy within myself. 


Goal for today (Monday) = 6 bowls
Sunday's Goal = 7 bowls
Actual Consumption = 7 bowls

Saturday's Goal =  4 bowls
Actual Consumption = 6 bowls

Friday's Goal = 6 bowls
Actual Consumption = 7 bowls

Thursday's Goal = 4 bowls
Actual Consumption = 7 bowls

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Late Night

Yesterday was a very late night for me at the U.  I am working intensely today as well, with the hope of clearing a lot of items off my desk.  Unfortunately, it means a brief post, only, today.


Goal for today (Thursday) = 4 bowls

Yesterday's  (Wednesday's) Goal = 4 bowls
Actual Consumption (Wednesday) = 5 bowls

Tuesday's  Goal = 4 bowls
Actual Consumption (Tuesday) = 6 bowls

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Busy as Heck

Tuesdays and Wednesdays have turned out to be the busiest days of the week for me this Semester.  A lot of time is spent with my research students on those days as it fits in best with their schedule.  I also have very heavy lecture loads for both days.  

BBC said me a variety of things in my comments section that I wish to answer, but I will only hit on a few of them right now, unfortunately: 

1.  You are right in that I should not call my pipe smoking, a "hobby" even though I have usually viewed it as such.  And, I still feel it is a wonderful hobby, if truth be told, deep in my psyche.

2.  I cannot remember a time when I did not relish pipe smoking, and pipe tobacco.  Perhaps that is a sad thing to say, but it is true.

3.  There is a lot more than "nicotine" keeping me in the "hobby".  I wish I understood it (or my motivations) better.  Of course, I do enjoy the nicotine.  Yet, there is so much more to it.  Unfortunately, I am not able to put it in words right now.  It is just outside of my mental grasp at the moment.  

4.  While I will smoke a cigar or two every month, pipes are my avocation.  I have never gravitated towards cigarettes, ever.  I think across my lifespan, I have smoked less than one total pack (aka less than 20) of cigarettes.

5.  Am I a "Type A" personality pretending to be a "Type B" personality?  That is a very interesting question, indeed.  I am not sure if it is true or not, but it did catch me by surprise.  I had never thought of that idea before and, it *could* be accurate.  Yet, the odd thing for me, is that I have never thought of myself as being a "Type A" personality type.  But, I am not, by any stretch of the imagination a "happy-go-lucky person either.  Does that mean, I did not realize I am type A, or does it mean I am something else other than A or B?

6.  Billy asked me if I ever smoked marijuana.  I am a bit chagrined to say that the answer is NO.  I have never tried marijuana in any form.  I find that a bit embarassing, but perhaps more than anything, I find it a bit regretful.  But here is the backstory: 

Marijuana use was in its heyday while I was in college and graduate school.  I probably had at least a dozen, if not two dozen social situations occur where I had been offered some or could have shared some with others at the "scene".  But, I never participated.  Why?  I often ask myself why, now, but here was my reasoning......  I never tried it because I was afraid of my inherent laziness.  While I was in college and graduate school, I did not want to fail or flunk out.  Because of this, I did not want to risk trying marijuana, which I suspect I would greatly enjoy,  because I did not want to risk tipping the scales where I would become lazy enough to give up or fail at college or graduate school.  Back in the day, the idea that marijuana makes you unfocused and lazy was quite prevalent.   I have always felt I was too damn unfocused and too damn lazy to begin with. I did not need to risk becoming an even more worthless bum than I already was.   Smoking pipe tobacco and drinking alcohol were all "ok" for me to do while in college and graduate school because... hell, most everyone of my "heros" of the day did the same (smoked and drank)..... Huxley, Lorenz, Steinbeck, Hemingway, vonFrisch, Tinbergen, Einstein, and on-and-on..... they all made it, they all made a real contribution, they all were authors or professors or scientists that I greatly admired, and they smoked and drank... so inside, I knew I could too with minimal if any risk. 

Now, I face a different conundrum.  I regret not trying it.  I regret not knowing what is like.  It is akin to a sin of omission.  Perhaps I should visit Washington?   They have legalized it now.  Just to try it out. Although it is an option, I doubt I ever would do it (sigh).
Goal for today (Tuesday) = 4 bowls

 Monday Goal = 2 bowls

Actual Consumption (Sunday) = 6 bowls


Monday, November 12, 2012


Lets see... a brief summary of the weekend:  On Friday, I decided to visit my elderly father-in-law in the afternoon.  Libations and pipes were abundant (reflected in my rather poor showing for Friday, below).  It was a very nice afternoon.  Saturday, we drove around a bit, looking at things, and taking care of things around the house.  Sunday, we went to an Indian buffet which was delicious, and also took care of things around the house.  After the very hectic last few weeks, it was nice to have a mostly stay-at-home weekend. We had a lot of fun as a couple and as a family.

We had a missionary priest at Mass this weekend, and he talked about his work in Tanzania.  I wish I had enough gumption to do something more meaningful.  Other than being there for my family, I do not feel I do much of merit in life.  I wish I did.  Interestingly, Tanzania is the African nation where Mount Kilimanjaro is located, which was the subject of one of my favorite short stories/novels by Ernest Hemingway, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro".

Here on my 5:00am walk this morning it was in the 60's and pouring rain all the while I was walking.  But, by this evening, we may have snow.  So, it should be a pretty hectic day outside today, probably a helluva lot of wind during the transition.

Well, I need to get ready for classes, and take care of some of my research animals  before I lecture most of the day.   BBC & Teri, the trip sounds wonderful.  I would greatly enjoy being out in that region for a while.  As you can see below, my pipe tobacco consumption was very much not in keeping with my goals for the hobby this weekend.  I am hoping to do better today. 


Pipe Record

 Goal for today Monday = 2 bowls

 Sunday Goal = 6 bowls

Actual Consumption (Sunday) = 10 bowls

Goal for today Sunday = 6 bowls

 Saturday Goal = 5 bowls

Actual Consumption (Saturday) = 10 bowls

Goal for today Saturday = 5 bowls

Friday Goal = 6 bowls

Actual Consumption (Friday) = 11 bowls

Friday, November 09, 2012

Friday Information

BBC, Teri, & Beth:  Thank you all for your comments.  I will be trying to compose an essay about them in the next few days.  Today, however, I am going to start a new "feature" to try to help me better understand my pipe smoking and perchance eventually eliminate it from my day-to-day life.  On each blog entry I post, I will record a) my goal number of bowls of pipe tobacco to smoke that day, b) the previous entry's goal for that day, and c) what my actual number was that day.  It will look something like this:

Pipe Record

Goal for today Friday = 6 bowls

Last Goal = 2 bowls

Actual Consumption = 5 bowls, (150% above goal)

Perhaps this will be the kick in the head I need to become successful?  I do not know, but it is what I am trying now.  An estimate of what my current, unrestricted, pipe consumption is around 8-10 bowls a day.  So, even though my goal for today is higher, it is still a bit of a reduction. 


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Up To The Minute B*llsh*t

As I anticipated, Obama won another term.  He was the guy I voted for, but again, I only voted for him because he had the HIGHER POTENTIAL to possibly do something I think would be helpful for the people of this nation during his second term.  I really think he will accomplish nothing of merit during the second term.

Hillary in 2016!!!!!  Yes!   Perhaps.... just maybe.... Michelle Obama should run as Hillary's VP?!!?  Interesting idea?  Maybe.  I will think about that more. 

I watched the various news channels for about 20 minutes yesterday evening before doing something else instead.  The broadcasts were just a bunch of hyperbole and b*llsh*t designed to.... promote the networks and give the networks a reason for their existence.   Little in the way of anything valuable was stated.  They all kept trying to yammer on-and-on about how close the race was (just to give them something to talk about).  But, it all ended quickly... and anyone could see it was going to end quickly once California, Oregon and Washington chimed in after their election sites closed.

*     *     *     *     *

I am trying another approach to weaning myself off of my beloved pipes and pipe tobaccos.  Today, I am going to strive to smoke my pipe only two times.  I am going to try to focus on the joy of anticipating the pipe while I abstain throughout the day.  I will see how successful this is and report back tomorrow.  In a perfect world, either a) pipe and pipe tobacco smoking would he akin to a vitamin for the body... helpful and healthful, or b) I would figure out a way to successfully indulge in my pipe only occasionally, perhaps once or twice a week.  That level of indulgence would seem to acquire only minimal additional risk.

Pipes and pipe tobacco ARE indeed healthy..... for the mind.  They are, in my opinion, akin to a mental health "vitamin".  In the above perfect world, I would also have pipes and pipe tobacco be healthy for the body.  Oh well.


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Vote

A brief pause to mention three things prior to the rest of the essay:

1.  Doc Teri:  Thank you for your kind words.  I will try and have my next post be about your comment and questions.

2.  Austere:  I will definitely look and see if I can find "chiki" as you suggest.  I bet I will like it greatly if I can find some.

3.  BBC:  A while back you mentioned that you were reading and looking at comments on one of your sites.  But, I am not sure if I am using the right one.  Please let me know if there is a different one that you are posting on more in the comments.

I voted today at 7:31am.  There really wasn't much in the way of enthusiasm for either presidential candidate.  I voted for Barack Obama.  I also voted for him in 2008.  Neither time have I felt any political passion about the man.  However, I voted for him because I think that he has a higher potential doing something positive than Romney.  However, in my gut, I think NEITHER candidate will do or accomplish anything of merit.

I *am* already looking forward to 2016....... Vote for Hillary in 2016!  I think *she* could do our nation and our world a lot of good!


Monday, November 05, 2012

Gathering of Sorts

Saturday evening tuned out to be quite a bit of fun as I was able to reminisce and talk with a few old friends who happened to be in town.  I had not seen them in many years.  We went to a local restaurant/tavern around 5:30, and ended up not leaving until just after midnight.  The food was quite good, and I was able to get a very healthy selection of vegetables, a salad, and a real nice chicken entry (no where near as good as one of the many delightful dishes my wife cooks, but pretty damn good for restaurant food).  My wife drove, so I freely indulged in gin and tonics.  We danced a bit, and talked all night long  It was wonderful to talk with my old friends, and relive some of our various stories from when we were a lot younger.  It was quite enjoyable and freeing to my mind, body and soul.

I did not get a chance to write Sunday, because my wife and I had to get up early (yes, I was out walking as usual at 5:00am) and leave to take an elderly friend from our parish on a several hour trip across the state to where she was going be staying for the next several months.  She broke her foot, and cannot drive.  So, my wife drove her in my wife's vehicle, and I drove the old woman's behemoth of a vehicle, a 1999 Mercury Grand Marquis .  It was huge, and very softly sprung, and a lot of fun to drive.  I had not driven a big, old, boat of a car like that in a number of years.  I forgot about some of the interesting mannerisms and ride feel these cars had.  It too, made me reminisce a bit about a lot of things.  The only thing missing was that I could not smoke my pipe in the car... well, I suppose I could have, if I had asked her, but I was being polite.  So, as we stopped a few times along the way, I indulged in a bowl of tobacco in my pipe each time.  This occurred at a rest area, and another time at a small diner, and a third time when my wife and the woman both saw a "quaint" little shop along the way that they wanted to see. 

After leaving the vehicle and the woman at her destination, we headed back home.  En route,  we stopped at an ice cream parlor.  My wife had ice cream, but I was more in the mood for an orange slushie.  It was very good. 


Saturday, November 03, 2012

If I Won...

On a whim, today, I did something I rarely do.  I bought a single ticket for the regional "Mega-Lotto" game.  This is foolish, and I know I am simply throwing my money away, but for some reason it felt like something I should do today.  What my rather silly purchase did for me, however, was help me in a bit of daydreaming.  What would I do, if by some incredibly small chance, win this enormous amount of money?  My aspirations for the money... may seem modest to some, and perhaps extravagent to others, but here is what I would do.... IF money were no object:

1.  I would hire a professional house organizer for help and guidance to help us get our home into a more efficient order.  This would probably be a one-time occurance (or if I found it extremely helpful, perhaps we would do it once, yearly). 

2.  I would hire a part-time maid to come in, probably twice a week, to help us in general cleaning, to help my wife and I both free up some time. 

3.  Even though I have taken care of my yard (and before that my paren'ts yard as well) nearly my whole life, I would hire a lawn cutting service and a snow removal service... again to free up some of my time. 

4.  On the extravagent side, I would look about with my wife and try to find a small, modest, but neat 2 bedroom condo in Chicago for us to purchase as a family vacation spot.  Chicago is such a wonderful city, and we have gone their often.  But, to have a "home-away-from home" that could visit almost on a whim, that is close to the train lines would be delightful for our family. 

5.  Another on the extravagent side purchase, would be a similar, small condo in the Florida area for a similar sort of "on a moment's notice" vacation destination. 

6.  I would quit teaching in the Spring/Summer session to free up time for me to indulge in more camping and fishing. 

7.  I would take my beat-up, old truck, and take it to a body shop to have its rust repaired, a new back bumper put on (the original is rusting through), a professional cleaning of the interior, and perhaps a fresh paint job. 

8.  I would splurge and buy myself a new, pick-up camper for my truck, so that I could when so moved, travel around wherever, and camp, and experience new adventures in the same vein as Steinbeck wrote about in "Travels With Charlie". 

9.  I would quit all the committee work that is drugery, keeping only those that felt worthwhile and felt as if they were actually making a valuable difference.

10.  I would spend some of my own money to spruce up my research lab at the U.  Nothing particularly fancy, but updating, with a few new gizmos, replacement of some old machinery, and if possible, more space for the various lab research projects I will shift my (prior committee) time towards. 

11.  I would probably treat myself to 2 or 3 new, really nice new pipes.  It has been a very long time since I have done that. 

12.  I would quit being involved with the two people I dislike at the U.  I would devote myself to the joys of my job fully... teaching and research, with just enough enjoyable committee work thrown in to have fun.

13.  I would probably buy our first HDTV. 

14.  I might buy a "smart phone", even though I am not sure I would. 

15.  I would set up an organized plan to be able to donate funds to the causes I want to support and help. 

Those are the things I dreamed about this afternoon after spending my pocket change on a "Mega-Lotto" ticket.  Of course, there are other, more helpful things I would need to do to help my greater family, but from the selfish side of my daydreams, the above hits the keys of my wish-list.     


Friday, November 02, 2012


Today, unfortunately, I need to interact with E.I. again today.  I would rather get a tooth pulled.  My plan is to make it as limited and minimal as possible.  I simply cannot stand him.  I will see how it goes.

I usually get along quite well with everyone.  It is so very different for me to experience having this deep, visceral, undeniable hatred for this person.  I do not like this emotion.  But, it is real.   


Thursday, November 01, 2012


Today marks the 1502th day in a row that I walked my five mile walk outside, regardless of the weather, regardless of if I was or if it was a holiday.  I probably should have written something about this on my 1500th day on Tuesday, but I did not, so I thought I would mention it now. 

It is one of the best activities I have ever embraced in my life.