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.

Monday, November 28, 2016


It was a very nice Thanksgiving weekend for me and my family!  A lot of relaxation occurred, no major extended family feuds, no shopping for me on Black Friday either!  I did grow another year older during the weekend and now am older than very old dirt.... but even that was ok.   I put up the outside lights and decorations outside the house during the weekend and set up our two Christmas trees with lights inside (the ornaments will be put on later).

Even though I ate a lot of good food, I was up only 1.5 pounds when I weighed in on Sunday morning (174 lb) so that is good.  Today I ran five miles for the first time.  I. Am thinking I may run five miles a day for six days of the week and take Sunday off (still walk, though) during the winter because it may be damn near impossible to find an indoor place on Sunday during the winter that is open early enough to not be at noon or later.   Not sure yet, but I am trying to put in the extra miles to make sure I hit 28 -30 for each week during the Winter.  

As I sit here on the back porch while the dog eats and does her "business" I am enjoying my morning pipe and watching a gentle rain fall.  It is amazingly warm (37 degrees) right now for this time of year.  I would love for it to stay above freezing all winter, but that is the real pipe dream.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

15 Degrees Farenheit

It was cold during my 5am run this morning, but with no snow I could still go outside to run!  It was 15 degrees Farenheit (-10 degrees Celcius).  I feel glad I did it!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Late Start

Today, when the alarm went off, I was still very tired.   I had nightmares during my sleep.  Fortunately, they were not remaining in my mind and I could not recall what they were about.  I have nightmares occasionally as I suspect we all do occasionally.

The end result however is that I did not get up and do my run (jog) until 6am this morning.  I still did the full four miles, but my day is now a little off because if the hour delay in when I started.   Not a huge deal, but I will have to try to be extremely efficient in all my tasks to try to get caught up.... Thursday's are especially hectic and filled with all sorts of tasks.  I have a grant application due today as well, and a bunch of scheduling issues to deal with for my faculty who keep changing their schedules.  

But I must say, as I sit here in the back porch, having my morning pipe while I let the dog eat and so her "business", the day does appear to be quite beautiful this morning.  It was 38 degrees during my run, and there was a bit of fog.  There is still fog now, and it is just enough to scatter the rays of the rising sun so that the horizon is brightly orange with some pink and blue casts near the ground.  Very artistic looking.  If I were a painter like Van Gogh, I would be inspired to get out my paints and canvas.

Monday, November 14, 2016


We went to a museum yesterday to see a craft show and to see the museum and one of the new interactive parts of the exhibit had a "jam" room with guitars, drums, and a keyboard.  It was near the end of the day when we got to that exhibit.   I am proficient at clarinets and saxophones, but only can noodle one or two songs on the guitar or keyboard.  But we jammed along together and had a lot of fun.  I even tried a bass guitar which I have never played before.   Surprisingly, it was easier to figure out the basics than a regular guitar!  It was a lot of fun!   I ended up getting a blister on my thumb from strumming,  but it was worth it to have the fun of trying them all out.  I am thinking I need to bring more music back into my and my family's lives.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Still Reeling


I am traditionally very used to the ups and downs of elections.  Some we win and some we lose.  That is a given. 

However, I am having a REALLY hard time with the election result today.  I truly feel physically ill.  I have no focus, and I have no sense of hope or joy.  To me, it very much feels similar to the way I have felt after a relative or friend has died.  This is a very unexpected type of feeling for me.

I think that my gut reaction is reflective in part of how the election of Donald Trump was so very, very unanticipated by me that I cannot believe this has happened.  In my wildest nightmares, I never thought that he would have been able to be elected. 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In thinking this through, I think that unfortunately, what caused Hillary Clinton to lose was not really her actions or her opinions, or even her scandals.  What I believe caused her to lose was one very specific lack of action on her part:

1.  Hillary did a good job of showing support and care for many of her traditional Democratic supportive groups (the college educated, various minority groups, etc).

2.  However, Hillary in many ways virtually ignored one of her traditional Democratic supportive groups.  This group is the blue collar worker and the unionized blue collar worker.    I believe that had she shown care and support for the blue collar worker plight, she would have been able to win.

The one clear, real message Donald Trump made was one that expressed support and care for the blue collar worker.... the problems with NAFTA, GATT, and other such free trade agreements that has decimated the previously stable, blue collar sector.  The blue color worker and their family's standar of living has been in decline since Reagan's union busting policies of the 1980s and was further painful through Bill Clinton's work on NAFTA and GATT in the 1990s.  I know many blue collar folks who have felt hurt and ostracized for the last 35 years.  It has been very, very rough for a helluva lot of folks, but is a group most politicians are usually unwilling to talk about.  

Donald Trump will likely not do a damn thing to help the blue collar worker.  He will likely be a puppet for some more traditional Republicans working behind the scenes.  But, the blue collar workers elected him because he was able to make them believe he cared about them. 

Hillary never focused on the blue collar worker.  She, IMO, felt they were locked in to vote for her and so did not warrant any care or attention.  This was her downfall, IMO.

I feel rudderless.  I feel hurt.  I actually feel very worried and frightened, mostly because Donald Trump is a wild card and I cannot anticipate what he may do.  I fear the next four years will be frightening chaos.   I am angry at Hillary for not trying harder.  I think she should have worked to speak to the blue collar worker.  I think she should have formed a Clinton/Sanders partnership.  If those two things had happened, the results, I believe, would be now very different.  She would have gotten blue collar support if she showed she cared, and she would have gotten more of the millennial's support if Bernie would have been on the ticket.  


God, What Has Happened?

I do not know what to say, do, or think.  My stomach hurts, and I literally feel like I could vomit.


Monday, November 07, 2016

Question for Thoughts

I am not sure if I am wrong or not so I am asking for opinions.  I happen to not really be fond of the various electronic games that damn near everyone plays all the time, so maybe I am too sensitive, or maybe I am correct in my feelings.  I really do not know at the moment:

My wife has a smart phone.  She is very "into" playing all sorts of various games on this phone.  Usually, it is "ok" even though I cannot for the life of me understand her passion for these games (Candy Crush is one example).  But what does irk me no end is that she will a) go into the bathroom and play the games for twenty to thirty minutes at a time, just sitting there, or even worse, b) she will play those damn games instead of talking to me while I get things ready for us to be able to relax together in the evening.  She seems to think it is perfectly normal and ok to whip out the phone and start bopping around on one of those damn games when we need to get some things done so we can relax for the evening as a family.  I just do not get it.   I have told her at least 30 times how that when she plays those damn games in front of me that it bothers me and makes me feel lonely and hurt.   I truly am at a loss for understanding.  She loves me and I love her, so that is not an issue, but I really, sincerely do not understand why it bothers me that she doesn't care and does this over and over. 

In the greater scheme of things this is a small thing, I know.  But it really bugs the hell out of me and hurts and I do not understand.


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Early Morning Thoughts

It was really pleasantly warm today at 5 am for my 4 miles.  It was 59 degrees!  It was raining a bit, but that wasn't too bad as I usually am completely soaked in sweat regardless when I am finished anyway so it did not feel that different.  My dog despises rain, however, so it was a solo this morning.  Since I ran 4 miles every day in October, that meant when I looked at the log I keep, I had ran 124 miles that month, which when I thought about it was surprisingly nice to see!  

I am coming close to my 3000th day of never missing exercise of at least 5 miles of walking a day.  That should be sometime in early December if I do it.  My resting pulse rate when I woke up at 4:55 am was 54.  When I finished the four miles it was 132, which was a good number for my age to promote cardiovascular Fittness health.  

In about three weeks it will be my father's birthday, and if he were alive, he would become 93 years old on that day.  I do think of him often, and wish I could sit down and talk with him again.  I think he would be amazed that his chubby son who was at one time at just about 285 pounds now was sitting comfortably at 172.  

As I sit here on the back porch, letting the dog eat and do her business, I am now having my morning pipe before I head to the U.  As Chair, today is an "office" day where I have only one class and am spending the rest of the day working on Excel spreadsheets to conduct a lot of scheduling reformists for the NEXT academic year's classes for all the 40 or so full and part time members of the Department.  I think, however, for my sanity, I will hide somewhere else than my office because I get too damn many interruptions to get this arduous task done.  I could go to my research lab and work on it, but even there because I have about 8 different research students working on things pretty heavily at the moment, I get too many interruptions there as well for my focus on this daunting task.   I may instead check out a laptop from the Department, and go find a hidden corner on one of the upper floors of the U Library to try to find a way to decrease interruptions.  

The dog has "expressed" herself, so I should probably knock the ashes out of the bowl of my pipe and go get in my truck for the drive to the U.