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, December 31, 2014

End Wrap of 2014

It is the end of the year... I guess that calls for a few drinks in celebration!  Overall, I think it was a decent year. 


Saturday, December 27, 2014


Whatever the hell was going on with the headache I had fortunately went away.  By about 7pm I was back up to snuff. 

We went out to eat breakfast with an elderly, visiting friend this morning.  She happens to like a very old style, very "greasy-spoon" sort of establishment in the old downtown area, so we went there .  I ended up eating oatmeal and dry toast with jelly, grapefruit juice,  and coffee.   My wife, the kids, and the elderly friend had various mixes of French toast, pancakes, bacon, sausage, and hash-browns.   It was a very nice visit.  

After we left our friend (who was going to go visit he niece and her family), all of us decided to go to the community pool and swim for a few hours. 

It has turned out to be a really nice day.


Friday, December 26, 2014


I have been lying down on the bed the last  3 hours because of a headache.  I usually do not get headaches, and this one is quite aggravating.  The feeling is the strongest behind my eyebrows and my in front of my ears.  It is not likea sinus   headache, I wish it would stop.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Big dinner went well!  My wife and I threw a big feast and it went without a hitch!

Monday, December 22, 2014


Not feeling very focused at the moment.  I am just puttering around trying to figure out something interesting to do that would be helpful... But I am not really very motivated.  I have been rather lazy.  I went for my five mile walk with the dog this morning, but other than that, I have been just drinking coffee and smoking my pipe.  


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cookies & Fruit

This morning the family and I delivered cookies & fruit to about a dozen of the parishioners of our parish who are shut-ins.  It was nice seeing some of our older friends that we do not get to see as often anymore.  We always have a big cookie bake at our parish for those who have infirmities that prevent them from always being at mass.  


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Gripe

I just wanted to briefly mention a significant irritant to me that has evolved over the last 25 years or so.  It is show very well in the above "Suburban" vehicle.  It is the damn tinting of the windows.  I know that at least in some parts of the US there are laws the supposedly "regulate" the level of tinting allowed on windows.  But, at least in my neck of the woods, they either are non-existent or ignored. 

Why does tinting (even "modest" amounts) bother me?  Well, the reason is that for me, I value seeing ahead of me while driving.  When a vehicle with tinting is ahead of me, especially the larger vehicles (trucks, Suburbans, SUVs etc), there is often no damn way to view through these windows to have any sort of idea of what is ahead on the road. 

It is rather annoying that virtually every vehicle now has at least SOME tinting on the windows.  When I purchased my last vehicle, it took a helluva lot of looking to find one with as minimal a tinting as possible. 

I wish we would go back to a time when vehicle windows were clear, and folks could see through them.  It used to be like this.  Progress and change can be a good thing.  But in this case, there is no REAL value and a HELLUVA LOT of difficulty associated with this change to having most every car and truck have at least a moderate amount of tinting. 


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review of "Red Cap" Pipe Tobacco

I have tried a few bowls of "Red Cap" pipe tobacco today, and I must say it is a bit surprising.  I think BBC is very correct in that it is a very cheap pipe tobacco.  It is not something I will go out of my way to acquire in the future.  However, it was interesting in a few ways:

1.  It was a very heavy, thick leafed pipe tobacco.  It seemed almost "chubby" in its texture.  That is different. 

2.  It has a flavor that is very "cigar-like" in tone.  It is not bad, but it is not exactly a stellar flavor either.

3.  It is rather potent, however.  I could feel the impact of this pipe tobacco more than other pipe tobaccos I typically indulge in, which is odd, for I tend to gravitate towards strong tobaccos. 

4.  The tobacco was very dry, which is something I rather prefer. 

Overall, it was an interesting experience.  I will not throw out this package of pipe tobacco, but I also will not seek it out to purchase again.  However, if I am desperate and find it is the only pipe tobacco available, it is ok.  The dryness and the strength are two positives, but the other qualities are much lower than I would prefer.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Red Cap

I was pretty much  at the far end of town yesterday afternoon when I happened to stop at a small, independent pharmacy planning to pick up a small bottle of aspirin (I usually keep a small bottle in my truck, but a couple of days ago my wife wanted to take an aspirin and found our bottle in our medicine cabinet was empty.    So, I ended up getting the small bottle I had in my truck's glove box and put it in the bathroom. 

The pharmacy had a dated, but rather charming look to it.  I quickly located a bottle of aspirin, and also grabbed a root beer out of their refrigerated section and went up to the front counter to pay.  As I have done for who knows how many decades, as the young lady at the cash register began ringing up my purchases, I quickly scanned the various tobacco related products on the shelves behind her.   The area devoted to pipes and pipe tobaccos in these behind the counter shelves has grown smaller, and smaller, and smaller.... and in fact some pharmacies no longer have a single box or canister of pipe tobacco any longer here.... just cigarettes.  But, much to my surprise, this little pharmacy had a brand of pipe tobacco that I have not seen anywhere in geez, at least 35 years if not longer!    The brand was "Red Cap" and while 30 years ago it was already a very rare sight, it was a moderately common brand that I recall seeing a lot from when I was a kid.  

I ended up buying two pouches.  I will indulge in a bowl or two in the next few days and report about what this brand is like.  I cannot recall ever having tried it before, but I remember my father having it once in a while, and I had an uncle who regularly bought this brand way back when.


Sunday, December 14, 2014


At Mass this weekend, part of the Gospel was:

When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests
and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it,
but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘make straight the way of the Lord,’”

Am I doing enough with my life?  Unfortunately no.  The reading above helps me to focus more clearly once again on how I fail, and fail again, and fail again.   Why am I such a bad person? 

I am a damn lazy bum in most every regard.  I am selfish, indulgent, and  not who I should be.  I should be more giving, more kind, and more accepting.   The moments of clarity when I see how I am, and those moments where I am fully aware of who and how I am  are fleeting.  It is far too easy for me to ignore my numerous faults.  I should be harder on myself.  I should demand more of myself.  I should give more of myself to others. 

It is sad how I am.  I want to be a better person. 


Saturday, December 13, 2014

How to Do It My Way?  

I have been thinking about it, and I am STILL thinking about it.  I want to wrestle my pipe tobacco consumption into a level that I am comfortable with.... namely 2-3 pipes while drinking.   As I typically will have a couple of drinks perhaps once a week or once every other week, this would be an infrequent event for me to indulge in my pipes and pipe tobacco.

I was 100% successful with this actual approach last year during the entirety of Lent.  I felt a motivation to succeed then.  I somehow need to figure out how to have the same determination and conviction for this different pattern for smoking a pipe than what has become my natural inclination to smoke my pipes multiple times every day.

I was able to establish a walking routine by willpower and an increasing number.  I was able to succeed during Lent.... through determination initially, but then it was not so hard.  I have tried to establish the "number" approach with the pipe, but it has not been particularly satisfactory.  I do not know if it would change with a larger number (Perhaps if I were to reach 100 days it would intensify my commitment?) but I am a bit doubtful.  It is not Lent every day of the year, so that motivation is not sustainable either.

I am still going to spend time thinking of a new approach to allow me to succeed in this quest.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Marination to Ensue

It should be a real nice day today.  I am going to go visit with my elderly father-in-law and indulge in libations and pipes while my wife and her mother bake cookies for the upcoming holiday.  I am looking very forward to this afternoon. 

My goal before a pleasant marination of my mind is to grade like hell, get a few research items tied up, and straighten up my damn office so that on Monday everything will be in order,  and the workweek next week should be pretty straight forward and smooth.


Thursday, December 11, 2014


I am not sure why, but I have had a REAL strong hankering for Mexican food since late last night.  This morning before I left for the U, I asked my wife to consider making tonight a Mexican night, and she agreed, so I should get some pretty damn good food tonight!   I am especially looking forward to a big helping of refried beans, and my wife's avacado salad, and a lot of hot salsa!

In addition to my 5 mile walk at 5am this morning with my crazy dog (she was tugging on the leash a lot and barking at blowing leaves.... sometimes I think she is more dense in the head than any other dog I have ever had), I ran (jogged) a mile in 8:12 this morning on the track at the U.  Not too bad.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Son of a B*tch!

The above broadleaf plant is pretty damn strong.  My best intentions of giving up my pipe about a week and a half ago (all pun intended) went up in smoke.  It frustrates me that pipe tobacco has such a power over me. 

Yet, I *DO* know I can be stronger than this damn plant.  I want to wrestle it into submission so that I can pick and choose when I want it in my life.  I am thinking about this more and will enact a better structured plan.  As soon as I am ready to go to battle again, I will be sure to let everyone here know.
I am bound and determined to win.