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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


My elderly father-in-law is unfortunately worse.  It appears his systemic infection has taken off again.  Prayers and thoughts and well wishes would be appreciated.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Less Confusion

My elderly, frail father-in-law seems to have turned a corner and is both responding well to the antibiotics and is less confused.  We are all so very thankful for that bit of good change.

Life seems very hard and is very stressful at the moment.  Work is so outlandish, but I cannot muster up the energy to even write about it.  I will try to do so soon.  I am running, but there is no joy in it at the moment.  I am just doing it to get it done.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017


My elderly, fragile father-in-law is still in ICU.  He is responding to the antibiotics, but is disoriented, hopefully only due to the medications.  We are hoping and praying he will return to normal as the medications are weaned away.

I have still been forcing myself to run.  It is helping some to reduce the overwhelming stresses I and my family are feeling.  Today is the stupid talk I am giving.  I will be glad it is over.  I hope it goes ok and I do not make a fool of myself.  I have not really prepared enough and am "winging" it.  The other idiotic stress is that someone quit in the middle of the damn semester and I have to figure out how to staff the damn classes being abandoned.  I will probably have to take on more work to do them as no one I can imagine in the Department will be willing.


Saturday, October 21, 2017


My elderly and frail Father-in-law had to be taken to the hospital yesterday around noon.  He is receiving massive antibiotics for a systemic infection.  Thoughts and we'll-wishes and prayers are appreciated.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Hoping to Keep Up Momentum

The day started well!  My alarm went off at 4:50am as usual, but very pleasantly my beloved wife was encouraging and was interested in "activity".  Obviously, that was very pleasant news for me, and we enjoyed each other's company robustly.  Afterwards we snuggled and lounged for a while.  As you can imagine, I was late in getting to the trail to run.  I did not hit the trail until 6:50 am.  And, you may also correctly guess that my pace was not really one for the record books either.... but, heck, that was ok by me. :) As I got into the run, I forced myself to pick up the pace and was still able to finish the 5 miles in just a tad under 55 minutes.

Now on the back porch, pipe in hand and the dog doing her "business" I am trying to map out my day. I am hoping to be very efficient today.  I have to get a research talk DONE so I can present it to the greater campus next week.  I want it fully finished so I can just spend time fine tuning it for the next several days.  I am trying to not procrastinate because it will just ramp up my stress to do so.  But I have a huge load of paperwork for the Department to wade through as well, and I have been neglecting my classes a bit and need to get my lectures for next week back up to snuff too.  Then I have a few Administration meetings (yawn) that are mandatory for me to attend today as well.  So, it will be very tight in terms of my work goals today.

On Saturday I need to travel across the state for another "exciting" meeting as well.  But, I am hoping if it is done early enough to stop on the way back to a very nice, very large tobacco shop that I rarely get to travel to. That should be nice... hopefully I will mostly window shop and not spend a helluva lot of money.  :)  My plan is to spend no more than $10, but sometimes..... well.... it is a REALLY nice place.  I also need to be back for Mass as well, so that may help abbreviate my shopping.

If I should be fortunate enough to keep on track today, I may also get to go see my elderly father-in-law.  Not only do I relish his company and enjoy conversing with him... I earn brownie points from my wife as well!  :)


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

Yesterday, I accidentally overslept and did not hit the trail until 6:30am.  I only ran three miles because I had to meet my trainer at the U.  He put me through the ringer yesterday and I am sore as hell.  But he did say there was significant progress and I can actually feel my upper body is stronger than it used to be, so he is guiding me well, even though going to muscle failure is had and kind of embarrassing feeling.  When I got home from work - around 5 yesterday, I forced myself out to run the two miles I needed to get to 5 miles total yesterday.  It is not the same as doing it all at once, I know, but it was the best way I could cope with my own damn idiocy in getting up late.  At least I kept to my goal of running five miles.   Afterwards, I went with my youngest son to eat at Tim Hortons and we also had ice cream.  Then we went to see a movie together.

I just finished my five miles for today and this time it was five continuous miles like usual.  As usual, I am now on the back porch with the dog as she does her "thing".  Also as usual, I am having my morning pipe.  I have been successful in not taking work home in the evenings thus far.  It has been a little tough sometimes, where I know pressing deadlines are looming, but I think it is a good idea.  It is also forcing me to work faster and harder when I am at the U.   I am hoping I keep the quality up, though, even with working faster and in a more "rote" fashion.  I have to do that to a degree to keep up on things.  But if quality ends up suffering and I start messing some things up, that would be bad for me and for the Department.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Work is Work

More utter b*llsh*t is going on in the Department still.  It is more annoying than words can describe so I will leave out the details.  But, what I have decided to do is to take care of myself regardless of all the crap going on.  I have decided to STOP taking work home with me at night.  I am far, far to old to have "homework" anymore and this is a stand I plan to continue.  If things cannot get done during my normal work day, I do not give a damn anymore.  I deserve and my family deserves me being home when I am not at the U.  I also am working on not thinking about the U when I am not there as well... except perhaps when I write here.  That is a far more challenging task, but I am firmly convinced it is what I should and can do as well.

Running has gone well.  I hit 28 last week again and I have ran 5 yesterday and today.  My guide at the gym yesterday said I was making noticible progress even though he pushed me again to muscle failure. It was at a considerably higher weight and rep level though. So, I am sore as hell, but that is the way it should be I guess.  I have to keep in mind that this is the way I grow and improve my upper body strength.... even when it feels defeating when my muscles go in to failure.  He is right, I am getting stronger.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Ornery and Angry

I had a rough night sleeping because I was keyed up about the Department meeting I have to run today.  I feel ornery and angry at three people in our Department who have hurt my feelings in the past.  I imagine all sorts of ways to tell them off, and part of me would really like to do that.  I could easily get all irate and angry at them and call them out on Joell they have hurt me.  And I could call them out on how I think the lion's share of their ideas are stupid and selfish and short sighted.

But, the reality is that I know this is not how I *should* behave.  I know from my faith, but even beyond my faith, I know from my own personal philosophy of how I should live my life that I should not "attack" back at those three who have hurt me.  It is not how I want to be as a person.  I feel I am supposed to be a perso. Of service to others, and that in doing so, I have served and done a reasonabley decent job with my life.  I would love to be recognized for the good I try to do, and I have had resentments over the years when that is not recognized.  But, I have been trying to put into perspective at least for the past few years that the recognition is truly immaterial and that it is only the effort to try to do good that is of importance.  I can easily intelecualize myself into knowing that is the correct way to view things, but hell, it is some days pretty damn hard to feel this on an emotional level.

My five miles of running this morning were tough, but helpful for me.  I hated every mile this morning and would rather have been in bed, but the hard physical exertion helped me to dissipate some of my stress hormones and quell some of my anger.  So, I know it was good that I ran.  I am now on the back
Porch with the dog.  She is a good and faithful friend.  I am having my morning pipe as well.  I do not want to go into the U today, but of course I will be doing so after I shower in a few minutes.  I may see if my elderly, father-in-law is up for some
Company in the late afternoon.  If so, I would like to try to go see him.  I would greatly enjoy talking with him.  And, I would not mind having a few libations and pipes him as well, if he is of a mind to do so.

Wish me luck, please, as I head off to what is bound to be a difficult and unpleasant day.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wringer Washer

The fellow who is helping me with upper body strength put me through the wringer yesterday.  I do feel like an old shirt being squeezed through the tumblers on one of those old washing machines.  Mate be will get me to eventually have muscles like Arnold Schwartzenhanger?!?  Hah!

Ran my five miles this morning, nothing amazingly different, but I am glad they are done!  Today is probably another long day and I won't likely return home until perhaps 8pm tonight.  There is unfortunately so much stuff that has to be done at the U this time of year especially with being Department Head.  I am thinking that in about a week and a half, things should quiet down to a more "normal" pace... I sure as hell hope so.

Just doing my pipe and puppy routine on the back porch before I head to the U.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

52 Degrees & Gully Washer!

I awoke to a steady rain with intermediate gully washers the morning.  Was I deterred from my run?   Almost.  I pulled the covers over my head and hit the snooze button when the alarm went off a 4:50am.  Then I hit the snooze button again.  After the second snooze alarm, I told myself "The hell with it!  The day is going to be too damn busy with work and I won't likely be home until 7pm, and I sure as hell know I won't want to run then."  So I got up, put on my sweats and a wide brim baseball hat to keep rain off my glasses and a knit cap to cover my ears and headed out the door.

There was a steady, heavy rain the whole 5 miles, and twice the downpour was especially intense (gully washer style).  But, I did it!  I ran the full 5 miles.  When I was finished, I looked like a drowned rat, but I felt happy that I forced myself to have enough gumption to get it done!

Now, on the back porch, the usual things are happening.  I am having a morning pipe.  The dog is trying to do her "thing" although she is hesitant and mincing around in the yard because she hates the wet grass.  If I quickly go shower now I can head to the U for my upper body workout and then get to work.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017


I ended up adding basil and thyme to the cornbread yesterday and it was even nicer than marjoram!  Thyme is one of my newer HEAVY USE spices.  I am finding it wonderful in so many dishes.  It is also great on sandwiches!

The whole dinner turned out wonderful!  The beans were very heavily spiced with various Mexican spices, I made dirty rice with some Cajun seasoning and brown rice, a nacho cheese flavored vegetable side, and we had giant salads as well.  Everyone was full and happy during our meal.

I am now having my morning pipe after my run.  I again hit just under 50 minutes for my 5 miles, and was not pushing myself hard this morning.  I have to go shower and head out to work.


Monday, October 09, 2017

All Kinds of Busy !

I did not get to write this morning because I had a jam packed morning for me!  It started at 4:50am and I awoke feeling "frisky" so-to-speak.  My wife, very graciously, was also "in-the -mood" so that meant some very pleasurable times for us.  It was probably not the smartest idea I have ever had, in terms of all the things that needed doing by me, but, heck, it was very worthwhile never-the-less!  I ended up getting up and on the road to run by 6:00am, and although already a bit tuckered out, I ran and pushed myself to do my full five miles, and I forced the pace as much as I could to try to make up time.  I did my 5 miles in just under 50 minutes, which was pretty damn good, all things considered.  I then spent a few minutes letting the dog do her thing and had a brief pipe, but then quickly showered and headed for the gym where I was guided through a grueling workout for me and did a full upper body workout until my muscles fully fatigued.  My arms were so tired that it was difficult as hell to lift the above my shoulders as I showered again, this time to dress for work.  I then proceeded to hit my desk and work on mounds  and mounds of paperwork until I left at 4:30.  So, the day was full, and I am exhausted.  I am set to make dinner tonight, but that is a bit of creativity for me, so even though my body (especially my arms) are exhausted, it is a good exhaustion.  I am outside with the dog again, having my second pipe of the day, but in a few moments I will head in to fix dinner.  I am thinking red beans, rice, cornbread, and a vegetable and a big salad should be good tonight.  I can jazz each up with a bunch of spices.  I especially want to add a lot of fresh marjoram to the cornbread, with some basil as well!  It was good the last time I experimented in that way.  Not sure yet about the spices for the rest yet, but I will let my my mind wander and be creative!


Friday, October 06, 2017

So Tired!

I did not sleep well last night, mostly because my arms were sore from some of the workout I am trying to adopt for my upper body.  I knew I would have some soreness, but with the new exercises, I found the soreness was pronounced when I would position my arms in the position I do when I like to fall asleep.  This made it a challenge to find a comfortable position to sleep, because when I would position my arms to be less sore, it was in an awkward position to try to fall asleep. Oh well, hopefully tonight the soreness will be less in my normal sleeping positions.

I did run again at 5 am this morning, but I had some very early meetings at the U so I did not have enough time to write in the morning as is my norm.  So, even though very tired, I did run the five miles.

I would like to take a nap, but I have too much b*llsh*t left to do before I can even think of heading home.  Oh well.


Thursday, October 05, 2017

42 Degrees This Morning

what a change this morning compared to yesterday!  It was a more normal 42 Degrees this morning when I ran!  I wore a full sweat suit this morning and gloves and a hat.  It reminds me that sometime soon winter will be in full force and it will be too dangerous (icy) to run outside.  When that transition occurs, I will have to convert into hamster mode and run on the local indoor running track and begin my 50 laps to attain 5 miles.  I am fortunate we have an indoor track in my community, because I can avoid running on a treadmill (that is by far my least favorite), but the track is not as enjoyable as being outside.  I still will be walking outside to maintain my cold tolerance, and I do that no matter how cold it may get or how snowy it will be.  So I will still be spending time outdoors, which is good... just not running.  Hopefully, we will not get actual ice until December (fingers crossed), although it could be any time now.  Usually, it happens around November 1st or so.

Pipe is in hand, dog is relieving herself, and it seems like it will hopefully be a nice day at the U.


Wednesday, October 04, 2017

75 Degrees at 5am!

It was 75 Degrees this morning during my run!!!!   I went shirtless again!  It feels so oddly freeing, almost like I am running naked.  I do not think anyone saw me, at least I did not see anyone one the trail.  I will be sure to check the police reports for any reports of a Sasquatch siting though, and if so, I will call in and assure them it was only me!  :)

Pipe is in my maw as I type here on the back porch and the dog does her "business".  I will be heading to the U in a bit after I shower.  Hopefully I will get a helluva lot of work off my plate today.


Tuesday, October 03, 2017


The situation that happened in Las Vegas is horrendous.  I feel sad for all the families affected by this horrible event.  So much happens in life that is beyond our control.  We may rail and shake our fists in anger, but unfortunately there is little that we can do.  Although I am a hunter and fisherman, I would be in favor of far more stringent gun control legislation.  But, I do not know if that would have helped.  The political pundits rage on about their positions and use a tragedy like this only as fuel for their "cause" so it does not matter what we say or do.  Our voices are just a brief puff of air in the wind, quickly dissipating into nothingness.

I ran my five miles, I took out the trash, I am smoking my pipe, sitting out back with the dog.  I will go to the U and do work.  I have no impact.  I just am a furry faced, old guy.  Pretty much everyone is in the same boat.


Monday, October 02, 2017


I just finished my five mile run and went into the house to learn of the horrible shootings in Las Vegas.  Nothing else to say.  It is horrible.