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 30, 2018

Just Down

I have been away from posting for a few weeks, and I apologize.  I have unfortunately been feeling in very low spirits of late, and I have not been successful in trying to get up the energy to write.  There really has been no "one thing" that has gotten me "down".  It is just that it seems lime most things are a chore and zap my ambition from me rather quickly. 

But, I know, and I DO truly know this, even though it sometimes takes me time to remember..... but I do know that if I screw up the energy to persevere.... to pull myself up by my bootstraps.... and keep forcing myself to do what I should do.... then things eventually become better. 

I am resolving in my mind that today is the start of this resolve.  I am going to muster all my reserves and try to utilize all the damn gumption I can wring out of myself to push on, and to force myself into doing the myriad of things I should do, including writing here.  If I keep pushing, and pushing, and pushing through.... it will become better.


Monday, May 07, 2018

Why Write Here?

A friend of mine, Schrodinger's Dog, commented on my blog a few days ago about a comic he saw that reminded him of my writings here.  It was a humorous comment from him, because the comic referenced how a person in the comic liked TALKING about the running he did more than actually doing it.  It was a fun and humorous association, and I thank SD for the comment. 

However, it did get me to thinking about why I write here on this blog.  I have been thinking about it on-and-off since then.   So, I thought I would try to explain it here.  Those of you who read here regularly... please know that I do greatly appreciate your comments... your comments ARE a big factor that encourages me to write this blog.  It is a way for me to foster friendships with you in ways that are important to me. 

Why I write about the things I do here, is probably easiest for me to state as it is a place for me to write things I think about... things that people in my tangible, day-to-day world have little or no interest in hearing.  It is also a place where I can express thoughts that go beyond what is my role in life.  What do I mean by this?

Well, in my tangible, day-to-day world,  I have come to realize that basically I am here to serve... to do things for others.  I used to have delusions of grandeur where I thought I would someday do something "spectacular" be this write a best selling novel, or publish Nobel Prize earning research, or become an important artist, musician, or photographer, or be revolutionary in something of value somewhere.  I long ago realized that is simply a "pipe dream" (pun somewhat intended). 

I realized that I am basically here to serve others.  To try to help as best as I can.  To work hard to try to teach well, to work hard to try to be a good husband and support my wife in her needs, to try to be a good father to my kids, to try to be a good person in my community.  I work and work to try to meet the needs others have and try to juggle these needs as gracefully as I can every day without messing up... or at least not messing up too badly.... and then work some more to try to fix any mistakes, problems, or difficulties I do cause.  That really *is* it.  It is my role in life.  I accept this.  I have come to realize that really is my role, my lot.  To try and to keep trying and to try some more to be helpful to others.

But, and here is the part about writing here.... but... I am also a person who ruminates a lot and is filled with a sometimes overwhelming array of thoughts.  Thoughts about about damn near anything. But, I know that for the most part, no one really has much interest in 95+% of the crap that runs around in my head.  But, without somewhere for these thoughts to go... the just continue to spin and spin and spin in my mind in a wearying cycle.  I use and I need this blog to be able to get some of these ideas OUT of my mind, at least for a little while.

So.... I try to exercise to become healthier so I can better do my work.... but I need this space here to describe the positives and the negatives I find in trying to do this exercise  over these many years.  I have tried for a helluva lot of years to do what is "better" in terms of pipe smoking, and my struggles or efforts get a voice here, so I do not burden those who do not want to hear my ups and downs.  The same is for the hundreds of other things I have talked about in the many years I have written here.

The things I write about are the things I tend to need to "get out" of my mind onto paper, so I can let the thoughts go for a while.  The most pressing things tend to rise to the top and become what is on this page,  Lesser issues wait until their importance or significance becomes greater to me.  That is why for long stretches, I suppose, my subjects probably grow rather redundant.  The things I write about are what is affecting me the most at the time I write and are the things I need to say here so I can go and continue with what I need to do, day-to-day.

And, again, those of you who read here.... you may not realize it, but I take your comments to heart.  And, in many ways, they are a tremendous help.  I appreciate them greatly.


Friday, May 04, 2018

The Flavor, the Texture, the Relaxation

I still am not sure why now at day 81, I am having a resurgence of pretty damn strong yearnings for a bowl of pipe tobacco.  This ebbing and flowing of the desires for such are something I did not expect.  I thought there would be a consistent, gradual decline in the desire.  But, some days I have (surprisingly) little or no thoughts about my pipes.  However, the last several days.... every day has had deeply strong yearnings to smoke my pipe. 

Currently, it seems what I am missing so much are three things.  It seems to NOT really be the nicotine.  Even though it is quite sporadic now, I have occasionally used a lozenge or even an e-device.  Neither is particularly pleasant, so their use is growing more and more sporadic.

But, what I miss from the pipe and pipe tobacco is this:

1.  The "Flavor" -  somewhat of a misnomer, but there really is something to the lingering odors and flavors of the pipe tobaccos that I am missing. 

2.  The "Textures" - I have been ruminating on how I miss the chalky, palpable texture of the pipe smoke in my mouth or in my nasal passage. 

3.  The "Relaxation" - there is something very quieting to me (perhaps to my mind) about pipe smoking.  I miss that.  The nicotine from a lozenge does NOT accomplish that in any way. 

Those are the things I am wanting right now as I patiently try to continue to refrain from picking up my pipe. 


Thursday, May 03, 2018

The Prisoner

A show that I would like to watch again is "The Prisoner".  It was a wonderfully creative show of science fiction that starred Patrick McGoohan.  Here is a bit of information about the program:

"The Prisoner is a 17-episode British television series first broadcast in Canada beginning on 6 September 1967, then in the United Kingdom on 29 September 1967, and in the United States on 1 June 1968. It stars and was co-created by Patrick McGoohan, and combines spy fiction with elements of science fiction, allegory and psychological drama.

The series follows a British former secret agent who is abducted and imprisoned in a mysterious coastal village resort, where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job. Although the show was sold as a thriller in the mould of the previous series starring McGoohan, Danger Man (1960–68; retitled as Secret Agent in the US), its combination of 1960s countercultural themes and surrealistic setting had a far-reaching influence on science fiction and fantasy TV programming, and on narrative popular culture in general."

I have been looking around to try to buy the series of DVD, but it appears to be available as a complete set only in non US compatible DVD formats.   I have been looking to see if it would be on MeTV or other similar channels to no avail either. 

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Variations of a Theme

Today is the 79th day without my pipes.  79 days.  It seems like a helluva long time in some ways, but it really a very short time frame in reality. 

There have been a number of days since Lent ended that it has been reasonably simple to not smoke my pipes.  I *would* of course think about them every day.... but on some days the thoughts are relatively easy to handle and I just move on.  However, there *ARE* days still that are very, *VERY* challenging.  For the past week, I have been having most evenings, some very significant yearnings to smoke my pipe. And, this has surprised me to a degree.  I had anticipated the yearnings would gradually diminish in a somewhat inverse slope fashion.  From my experience during these 79 days, that is NOT my experience.

My experience with refraining from the pipe is that I am finding my emotions about the hobby are far more like a sine wave .  It is a continual, undulating series of hills and valleys.  One day, I seem to have minimal pipe desire, and then the next the desire is fiercely strong.... and it seems to occupy most of my imagination. 

I firmly believe, that while I easily admit to enjoying the physiological effects of nicotine, that a large part of my undulating feelings about the pipe are more from an emotional standpoint.  Sometimes I think I may want the comfort of my pipe in much the same way a young child may want the comfort of his security blanket.  Other times, I believe I want to have pipe to experience even more vividly some sort of happiness I am experiencing.... or to quiet my mind from stress... or .... and it goes on and on.    I guess I am so used to having a pipe be a friendly factor in so many of my emotions over the years, that I can find a connection most any day or time if I think about it.  And, again, on numerous times this week, those thoughts have been powerfully strong.

So, what can I say with certainty?   Not a helluva lot.  I am trying to refrain.  I feel stronger encouragements in my mind to go back and enjoy a pipe or two or 10 or 20 or.... you get the picture.... than I would have anticipated feeling.

I do not know really.  I am not sure what to think.  This must all be a part of the process.  I guess.


Tuesday, May 01, 2018


I have not talked about my running in a while.  Even with the emotional ups and downs I have had, I have not missed a day.... still running five miles (8 km) every day.  Some days it is fun.  Some days it is a struggle.  But, I think I am now pretty safe (perhaps 90% safe) in thinking I can run every day OUTSIDE for the next several months.  This is a very good thing for me.  Being outside helps my emotions a great deal.  I also tend to try to run faster when I am outside.  Today, even though it was a pleasantly cool 38 degrees Farenheit (3 degrees Celsius) at the start of my run at 5:00am, I ran hard enough to have my sweat clothes literally soaked in sweat when I finished.  My resting heart rate was 56 when I awoke and when I finished my 5 miles I recorded a 140 bpm which quickly slowed as I walked home.

The take home message for me is that I am happy to be able to predict being able to run outside every day now for several months!