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, July 11, 2018


Happily, it appears our dog is fine.  After, eating the bite splint I was worried she did not vomit out all the shards of hard plastic.  But, the veterinarian suggested a "wait-and-see" approach.  So, now she has had four meals of her regular food without vomiting AND has eaten one very dark green dog treat (it was a "chlorophyl enriched treat" designed to help clean her teeth and "freshen" her breath).  She has also had four evacuations with no sign of any plastic shards (yes, I pinched each of them wearing disposable gloves) and the one was vividly green indicating the "treat" has gone through her system as well.  This was a relief as this means the dog treat "marker" has gone through her system and this was a few days after eating the damn bite splint.

So, I and my wife are very relieved and happy about the dog being ok.

I just checked.... and if I stand firm.... tomorrow will be the 150th day I have NOT smoked a pipe.  I do miss the enjoyment of it.  But, it is not as difficult to refrain as it was initially.  If I had my druthers, I would indulge, but I know in my mind it is better to not do so.


Monday, July 09, 2018

The Worry & Ruminiation Struggle Continues

It has been several days of up and down emotions for me.  The days leading up the the 4th of July and the 4th of July itself were very pleasant and happy ones and I was able to keep up good spirits.  It was quite relaxing and pleasant.

However, on Friday, shortly after getting home from those festivities, my wife and I gave our dog a bath and then went away for a while.  Unfortunately while we were gone, the dog decided to eat a hard plastic, medical device I have for my TMJ Disorder (it was a bite splint that cost ~$350.00).  Not only has  the loss of this device cause me difficulties (I have been having considerable discomfort and pain since then), but I have also had considerable worry about the dog as well.

In calling the veterinarian, we were advised to give the dog hydrogen peroxide to cause her to vomit out the shards of rigid plastic that she stupidly ate.  We did this and in looking through all the vomit very carefully, I *believe* we have retrieved most and potentially all of the splint.  The veterinarian advised us to wait and observe from that point.  This is what we have been doing.  But, it is nerve wracking.  Our doofus dog usually is off her food a bit from travel anyway, and having been forced to vomit from hydrogen peroxide also puts her off her feed as well, and so she has not been overly hungry, but then she has vomited twice in the last few days after eating.  So, is it due to her revovery from travels, her recovery from the hydrogen peroxide, or that she has some chunk of this damn splint still inside her?   Every meal she eats is a worry and a stress.  Some are successful and she keeps it down, some not. 

Breakfast this morning with the dog has thus far been successful.  If I can have her eat without vomiting and pooping regularly for 2-3 days in a row... then I will know things are all ok.  But, right now it is a state of "unknowns" and is nudging me back into the worry/ruminating mode and I have felt very sad and stressed.  I am trying to fight against as I wait to see if things go well or if things go badly and other intervention is required for the dog. 


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Profound for Me

There is something that is inherent in my personality that causes me to naturally tend towards rumination and worry.  It is, I have come to realize, a "default" pattern of sorts for me.  And, I suspect in some fashion, rumination specifically has helped me focus on certain goals and tasks that require long-term effort. 

But, unfortunately, rumination does not always lead to a better understanding of  situation, sometimes ruminating can simply be like a record stuck in a groove and repeating the same thing over and over and over.

And, so, in many ways, I have begun to realize I am somewhat in a repeating record groove with this rumination about the anger and hurt I have about some of the b*llsh*t that is going on at work.  And, it really does me NO GOOD to stay focused on this crap.

The really challenging thing for me in regard to rumination is that intellectually I KNOW that the behavior is not good for me, and is not helpful for me in cases like what is going on at work.  But.... the difficult thing is that sometimes it takes me a helluva long time to REALIZE that is what I am doing.  The hurt feels so intense that I am not really AWARE that I have been in a rumination spiral of repetition and repetition of the same thoughts and feelings of hurt.  It is a strange feeling to realize I am doing this ruminating... and to realize I was not really recognizing it.  TO REALIZE THIS IN THE MOMENT IS PROFOUND FOR ME.  It is sometimes very hard for me to recognize it.

*  *  *  *  *

So, the recognition of my ruminating is an important key for me to be aware of.  It has been helping me to recognize and try to expend my energies more in other aspects of life.  I need to figure out a way to better and more easily recognize this sort of ruminating behavior and when it is not helpful (much of the time it is not), work against it. 

*  *   *   *   *

1.  I am thankful for my family, my wife and kids.... their love and support and friendship makes each day so important to me. 

2.  I am thankful for my students.  They are fun, funny, enjoyable and even when they grouse about my exams being hard, it is wonderful to see them grow and learn and better understand what I work hard to help them learn.

3.  I am thankful for the Summer, even though it is hotter than hell at times (today we may hit 100 degrees), it is a great time of the year.

4.  I am thankful I ran VERY early this morning as it was already 79 degrees at 5am with 50% humidity.  I was completely wet perspiration and looked like a drowned rat when I finished this morning.

5.  I am thankful for music.  I have been listening to Chicago a great deal this week.  I feel so invigorated by the horn parts in their songs. 


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

More Than the B*llsh*t

I have to say, that at least at the moment, I am feeling of a mind to tell a few people exactly what I think of them and their behavior.  We will see if I decide to do so or not.

I am pretty angry at a handful of folks and I am truthfully very tired of their uncaring b*llsh*t.  But, I am also pretty damn tired of the way their poor, rude, and obnoxious behavior affects me.  If I had my druthers, I would prefer to never interact with these folks again, but unfortunately that is only a pipe dream. 

However, I may let them know what I really think of their shameful behavior and then work to keep any interaction I need to have with them to the barest minimum possible.  Their shockingly self-serving, unfair, inequitable, unbecoming, and clueless behavior is something I *have* to deal with, but I do not *have* to let it defeat me in my pursuit of a happy life.  I am feeling determined today to find a way to feel happier in spite of their obnoxious behavior. 

Even though I have helped each of them in several *very* significant ways in the past, that apparently isn't worth a hill of beans to them.  It will truthfully be a cold day in hell before I put myself out there to help any of them willingly again.  Although I am *not* there yet, I am putting in more and more energy to figure out how to best regain my own sense of happiness in spite of these sh*tty individuals.

*   *   *   *   *  

What am I thankful for today:

1.  I am very thankful for my wife and my family.  They are such important people in my world.

2.  I am thankful that it is Summer.  Even though it was a rather chilly 45 degrees during my run this morning, it was still a helluva lot better than it is in the winter.

3.  I am thankful for the lunch my wife packed for me today.  Her being willing to do this for me helps me to feel loved and cared for.  And, it tastes wonderful as well (I have eaten about 1/2 of it already).

4.  I am thankful for having a good novel to read in the late evening.  It is relaxing and entertaining.



Monday, June 25, 2018

Trying Hard

It was a decent weekend and for the most part, I was able to put aside temporarily some of my hurt and anger about work.  However, it is still hard.  I am still working to come to terms with how uncaring, disappointing, and mean-spirited of a place it is.  If I can push through the acceptance of these facts, I will be able to move on with my life and create a new day-to-day life here.

In many ways it is exactly the five stages of grief:

1. denial,  2. anger,  3. bargaining,  4. depression and  5. acceptance

In my own journey in this wretched situation, I have been following the classes stages of grief to the letter.  I came upon that realization just during this weekend. 

In looking back over the last 3 years of this, I can recall that during the first month or two I was clearly in the denial stage.  But, that was short lived.  

I have been in various aspects of the anger, bargaining, and depression stages for  the past 2 - 2.5 years. It is a helluva place to be and I despise it.  I vacillate back and forth between each of the three of them.

I really have no damn idea on how to proceed to the acceptance phase.  But, I believe that is what I need to do.  I am going to try to do some reading about it for insight.  

*   *   *   *   *

In terms of things I am greatful for:

1.  I am thankful for my wife.  She supports me emotionally as best as she can.  She may not always fully understand the complexities of my emotions, but her sincere love, and her desire to help me are so appreciated.

2.  I am glad that I have learned how to run, and I am glad that I can count on it to at least dampen some of my stress.  


Friday, June 22, 2018


I am feeling really blue today.  It is so hard to shake this feeling at times.  I will continue to try to persevere though. 

I ran this morning.  It was very cool.... 52 degrees (11 C), but once I started, I warmed up well. 

The hardest part about the blue feelings is that I tend to try to avoid work I need to do because it bothers me.  And, yet it is a self feeding cycle.  If I had my druthers, I would go to sleep for the day.  In the deep recesses of my mind, I know that also is foolish.  So, I have to keep on keeping to do the better things and eventuallly it will be better.

*  *  *  *  * 

1.  I am thankful for my kids.  I miss the intensive and deeper interactions we shared when they were younger.  But, that is how it is when they become young adults.  They get very busy with their own things. 

2.  I am thankful for breakfast.  I really do look forward to it more than any other meal of the day, most days. 

3.  I am thankful for books to read.  They help transport me to places outside of my head. 


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

128 / 3560 / 104

A bit of number crunching for me today:

1.  I counted it out today, and today is the 128th day I have refrained from smoking a pipe.

2.  I have now reached 3560 days in a row without missing a single day in terms of walking or running at least 5 miles (8 km) a day.  That will very soon be 10 complete years, if I make it.

3.  I have also reached 104 weeks in a row (2 complete years) of running a minimum of 28 miles (45 km)a week.   

*  *  *  *  *

While I feel contented and happy about the 3560 days in a row and I feel the same about the 104 weeks in a row, I am finding that the increasing number of days away from the pipe is not really having the same motivating effect.  In terms of the exercise, it is somewhat exciting to see that number grow.  Having the number grow in terms of refraining from my pipe... meh.  It seems only a number.  I had *hoped* that the increasing number would help motivate me in that regard.

That said, I am still persevering in that pursuit.  There are some days that are relatively easy, and there are some days that are definitely more challenging in regards to my pipe.  I do think about my pipes everyday, however.  I wonder if that will change or not? 

*   *   *   *   * 

1.  I am thankful for the rain.  Today, it was 57 degrees and raining at 5am when I went running.  Even though it may not seem particularly enjoyable, for me, I often find a light or moderate rain rather enjoyable if the temperature is ok.   I wear a baseball cap while running and this dissipates much of the rain.  Even so, my glasses do get wet and spotted rather quickly, but typically I can still see well enough. 

2.  I am thankful for my family.  Even though there are challenges that we face, and it seems as if we do not get to spend much time together lately, they are the most important parts of my life. 

3.  I am thankful for oatmeal... hell, I am thankful for all breakfast cereals.  I would rather eat cereal for breakfast than any "fancy" sort of breakfast you could name. A lot of folks in my region will imagine a "big breakfast" of eggs, bacon, sausage and hashbrowns.... or more fancy, something akin to Eggs Benedict or quiche.  But not me.  When I have my druthers.... a luxurious breakfast would be a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins,  a piece of cinnamon toast, some baked apple chunks, and perhaps a bit of yogurt or cottage cheese.