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, May 31, 2017

Nothing Profound

There is little to report.  I am still feeling moody.  I am still working hard at work, still running, still only consuming my allotted ounce of pipe tobacco.  I. I feel enough gumption, I may go get a haircut.    The sides of my hair are getting long and aggravating.  Long for me is when the sides are perhaps 3 inches at most, because the start to curl crazily.  I will keep my beard full and bushy, but just trim down the edges a bit where it is getting feisty.  

That is all I have to report.  I feel as if I have no focus or goals.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Still OK Pipe Tobacco-Wise

This week, I still did my plan.  I again stayed within the one ounce and again still have some left even though today is my new ounce day.   I guess I should be happy about this "success" of sorts.  But, I have to admit that I was not as committed to the goal this week.  I DID it, but, not with any real fervor or passion (but also no real hardships either).  

The week at work was similar.  Not a real sense of passion.  Things went fine, but I felt like I was going through the motions only.   It was similar too, for running.  I just finished my five miles today (the 25th mile of the week) and have only three more to do tomorrow to keep my 28 miles of running each week goal.   But, again there was no "zest" or passion.  It was just routine.  

I am not sure what is going on, why I am lackadaisical... but since things are otherwise on track, I should not complain.  I may go see my elderly father-in- law this afternoon, but even that does not feel invigorating.  

I need to get somehow, back into feeling the intensity of life.  If I can figure out how to restore that for today and the weekend, it would be helpful.  


Friday, May 19, 2017

A Bit Better

Overall, this week has seen some improvements as far as my pipe efforts have been going.  It has not been as much of a struggle to have only one ounce of pipe tobacco.  And, I even managed to save a little again for a bit of a "cushion" this week.  Today is the day I get my new ounce, but I am still working through the remains of the past week.  I had fewer instances of feelings of worry that the "stash" was getting too thin too fast.  So, I think I am learning something. And, perhaps I am really learning how to "unlearn" smoking a pipe.  Hopefully this week will be similar or even better.

My elderly father-in-law is at home and is progressing.  I will be going over to visit him today after working at the U.  I am not thinking he will be up for pipes and/or libations, but regardless, it will be nice to see him.  

I am thinking about trying to get some of the kids together and trying to have us play some music together.  Saturday should work ok for most of them likely to be interested, so I hope we do it.  I am going to try to look at some possible music to show them so we can decide and order things we may want to work on together.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Truth Be Told

I am going to be completely up front here.  My pulse is still racing a bit.  But more about that in a little bit. 

I admit, truth be told, that I am feeling melancholy. My wife is staying overnight again at her parent's house to help with my elderly father-in-law with his myriad of needs after being summarily released prematurely from the hospital.   This is the right thing for her to do, and I support her doing this.  It is critical and valuable for her to be there.  But, I am am feeling lonely. 

I admit also to having had three bourbons this evening.  I felt it was "okay" even though I really should not have, but, I did.  I did not indulge until after I got our youngest kids to bed.  And, we had an enjoyable evening, made some chocolate cookies of three different varieties so we can take them to their grandparents tomorrow as we go to celebrate (Grand)mother's Day with my mother-in-law.  The kids had fun with me, and we made a cookie that turned out rather unique.  It was a chocolate-lemon cookie, and I have to say even though it was different than anticipated, it is pretty damn good.  All of us enjoyed them. 

With the youngest kids in bed and sleeping, and three bourbons in my gullet, I felt a bit more relaxed, and thought I would take the dog out to do her "business"  for the evening and I would open up this week's stash of pipe tobacco (A whole day later than I could have started this next ounce!),  I purposefully waited as long as I could so as to have a little bit more "wiggle room" by next Wednesday and Thursday when the piddling amount of pipe tobacco in my stash seems so minimal as to be virtually non-existant.  So, I was looking forward to my first pipe at 10:30pm on Saturday instead of on Friday.... I sat down, began to ignite the beloved bowlful of crumbles of blessed burley leaf for the first time today, and just as I was getting a good light in the bowl, the damn dog starts raising hell, and runs bat-out-of hell towards a opossum she sees in the distance at the far end of the yard.    "Sh*t!" i mutter under my breath as I jump out of my chair, the pipe falling out of my mouth onto the lawn as I chase after the dog trying to get her before she gets to the opossum, who may end up trying to tear her apart! 

Luckily, the opossum does really "play dead" and looks like road kill as I stumble up to the leash and yank my dog away from the beast just before she reaches him.  I guide the dog back to a safer proximity to the house and look around for my pipe.  Half of the beloved burley leaf has been knocked out onto the ground.  In some ways, I want to weep about that loss.  But even I know that is stupid.  

I sit back down, and rummage my lighter out of my shirt pocket and relight the (half) bowl of pipe tobacco while I look at the "dead" opossum still playing dead at the fence. After another minute or so, he gets up and meanders away.  This time I have a VERY firm grip on the dog's leash, so when she notices the opossum again, I can keep her from going crazy again.

 I'd like another bourbon.  I'd sure as hell like another pipe, with half of this one falling onto the ground.  But, I know I should have neither. I have gotten a few things ready to surprise my wife when she returns tomorrow morning for Mother's Day.  The youngest kids have all their items on the kitchen table, and I have neatened up the house a bit, so all should be ok.  Perhaps I should just go to bed, and it will be morning that much quicker. 

I have been thinking about how in some ways it must have been nice, back in the 1800's when some of my heros like Darwin,  Bell, Morgan, etc. would smoke their pipes without a worry or a concern about it.  They were not aware of the risks, and without that awareness, it would have been a hobby for them that was akin to any other hobby... not a "morality" play like smoking is for most of us today.  It may be stupid for me to wish such a lack of knowledge on myself, but, it would be nice to not have that sort of philosophical turmoil. 

I also was thinking about my father.  I miss him.  It has been 23 years now since he passed away.  But, I still miss him significantly.  I would relish hearing again his insights, especially now that I am an old gray haired geezer myself.  His knowledge and understanding of life would be so valuable to hear. And, sitting with him and sharing a pipe together..... damn, those were pleasant times.  I remember so many times as a kid and into adulthood, for a long time, even up to his death, where over pipes he and I would talk about damn near everything under the sun.  I would gain from his love and his insight, and I do believe that he enjoyed my company as well, especially when he was more elderly. 

My own father earned three bronze stars and a purple heart for his service in World War Two.  He was a part of the invasion at Normandy. 

My wife will probably be home at 8 or 9 am.  It will be nice to have her return. 


Friday, May 12, 2017

I Made It

I made it through the week with my stash even though it was tiny as hell.  I could start my new ounce tonight, but I am going to try to resist to have a bit of a cushion for next week.  Hopefully this next ounce will be distributed a bit more evenly.  

Am I unlearning pipe tobacco smoking?  I am not sure.  But I hope I am.  I had  a couple of beers earlier, so now I am enjoying a pipe (which I probably should not do, in order to learn) and I have about one more bowl left from last week's stash.  We will see if I can resist it to save for tomorrow.  

It is such a funny thing.  It seems so natural to smoke a pipe for me.  I have done so virtually forever.   But deep down I know I should not and that it is stupid for me to continue.  But I keep thinking about my father and uncles who smoked a pipe and I feel a kinship with them, but is that real or just me stupidly trying to justify a stupid behavior?  

Now that I am a bit beery feeling, I have also been thinking about all my relatives who have died.  I miss them
So much.  I wish they were here to talk with.  Ugh.  Getting meloncholy is not what I should be doing at the moment.   

My wife is staying at my elderly father-in laws house tonight because he just finally was released from the hospital. I fear they kicked him out because it was not profitable, and that he was not ready.  He will hopefully do well, but I am fearful he will just give give up and die.  I am glad my wife is there, but I feel alone and lonely.  I am just a foolish old man.  Too stupid to figure things out.   But I got things settled for the night with our youngest kids and the pets are being take care of.  But loneliness ensues and permeates my being.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mighty Paltry

My pipe tobacco stash is looking mighty paltry to my eye at the moment, and it is only Wednesday morning.  It has me feeling nervous, which is stupid and idiotic, I know.  These measly crumbles of burley leaf have to last through today and tomorrow before I get another ounce.  

This is supposed to be training me to "unlearn" smoking a pipe.  I guess it is.  But it is causing feelings of trepidation.  I must persevere in order to grow and become the person I should be.  


Monday, May 08, 2017

Maybe on Track

What I did in regards to my (hopefully) last can of Prince Albert Pipe Tobacco, is that I divided it up into seven 1 ounce (28 gram) packets and 14 half ounce (14 gram) packets.  

I have been smoking an average of 4 ounces (112 grams) of pipe tobacco a week when I smoke as desired.  My plan is to try to unlearn smoking a pipe in the reverse of how I learned.  Way back, long, long ago when I first started, I had a pipe as a surprise occurance (when I felt I could sneak a little out of my father's canisters as a kid).  Gradually, I worked my way up to my current state of consumption.  I figure it may be logical to try to work in reverse to quit.  I have taken the (seeming to me very large step) of allowing myself only one ounce of pipe tobacco this week (a 75% reduction).  I am planning to work at accomplishing only smoking one ounce a week for seven weeks, and then cutting that in half.  I may further cut back anytime I feel capable of doing so.  I am hoping I will hit zero before these fourteen ounces are consumed.  

I started Friday morning.  I keep looking at the piddling ounce of pipe tobacco and try to very diligently assess whether a bowl is truly needed/desired or if it is something from which I can refrain.  I have made progress, although I admit the packet of that ounce grows smaller, and it is nerve wracking.  But, I am thinking if I smoke it all ahead of Friday morning, I will (hopefully) just live with the consequences until Friday.   I do believe I am learning and growing.  I do also admit that it is damn hard at times.  

I am hoping this reversal pattern may be successful for me as other routes have always failed.  Perhaps this is the way to success for me?  I am also thing through ways to deal with the inevitable emotions that will occur that will have me wanting to say, "To hell with it!"  That has been a stumbling block as well.  And, my thoughts are that this reversal pattern may help me gain insight into how to better cope with the negative emotions that arise in life (at least perhaps give me alternatives that I WILLINGLY adopt when I get ornery and have automatically reached for my pipe in the past.  


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Another New Attempt

After paying $47.95 for a can of Prince Albert Pipe Tobacco today, I have decided to begin anew my goal of becoming pipe free.  My goal is to work at dramatic reduction in number of pipes per day for a while with the goal of being pipe free before the end of the Summer.... Hopefully even earlier.  I feel a strong sense of resolve this time.  It seems similar in some ways to the resolve I had in losing weight, and in becoming a runner.   Hopefully this is not just a pipe dream like it has been in the past.  If I can get up enough gumption and damn orneriness in myself, I am hopeful I will succeed this time.  It took several attempts to lose 120 pounds, it took a lot of effort over a long time to walk and then run.  I can do this, if I keep making steady progress.  


Monday, May 01, 2017


On my run this morning, I as a toad (not a frog) ambling across the path.  I have always been fond of toads, probably because I feel a kinship to them at times.  

It was a very foggy, grey, rainy morning of 44 degrees during my run.  It was actually more pleasant them an that would seem once you give over to the fact that you will be soaking wet from head to toe when you are finished.  Which I am at the moment.  You even get used to the rain on your glasses that obscure most of your view or at least distort it.  

Friday's wedding was a pretty good success.  I adopted a plan that prevented a hangover too.  Instead of drinking pretty much the stronger drinks, I drank only the light beer they had for the Mia part.  I ended up drinking six light beers and one shot of cinnamon schnapps across the evening, and while I felt pleasant, and was able to occupy my time through the whole event, I awoke the next day, no worse for wear.  

I am enjoying a first pipe of the day while my dog does he business again.  But, then it is off to the U.