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.

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Brake or Break?!?


A brake can be something to help stop a vehicle, but there is also the alternate spelling of "break" which is somewhat different.

A "break" can be a time away, a peaceful refuge, a time for quietness, or a time for frivolity.

And both "break" OR  "brake" can can be used in different contexts to relate to the snapping of wills, the collapse of energies, the disassociation of thoughts due to exhaustion.

Technically, we are in the midst of "Spring Break" at the U.  

Unfortunately, this "break" is not going as I had envisioned. I had HOPED for a bit of down time, and a bit of relaxation.  Unfortunately, a variety of situations have prevented that vision from occurring:

1.  My elderly mother-in-law's Covid.  VERY FORTUNATELY, she is only experiencing very mild PHYSICAL symptoms of the pathogen.... a bit of a runny nose a bit of a feeling of tiredness.  Rather UNFORTUNATELY, a pattern is seeming to be occurring that when my MIL has some sort of illness/situation that causes a bit of an inflammatory response (like happened when she fell, and now has happened with Covid).... it causes her memory to return a fair amount (a good thing), causes her to be more interactive (also a good thing), but also experience hallucinations (a very bad thing).   In the case of Covid, she is required to be alone in her room, with her room door shut.  This also aggravates her as she likes her door open and likes to interact with other people in the hallway, and she and her two neighbors leave their doors open like this 95% of the time.  It has been rough goings on since the diagnosis.  My wife goes to visit her (wearing an N95 of course and takes a shower upon return home), but the visits have helped but she cannot be there 24/7, nor would I want her to be, and worries about her getting Covid are stressful.  And, worries that Covid could also transmit to me are worrisome, especially with the upcoming research meeting I am attending with students

2.  Preparing my students for this meeting is also not going as I had envisioned.  It has been a lot of long, more arduous work than I had been hoping for.  It has been causing me quite a bit of disgruntlement and stress. 

3.  My wife's work with her siblings regarding my MIL's house has been chaotic, as now one of them is wanting to NOT prepare the house for sale and it is causing more stress 

4.  My wife and I had PLANNED to take a day trip to the Capuchin Retreat Center we like that is several hours away.... on Wednesday.  We had both blocked our schedules to be free.  Tuesday, mid-morning, my wife was leaving to go to my MIL's house to meet with the siblings, and as she was leaving, she pushed the garage door closer in her car, and the door closed... only half way.  She kept pushing the button and then got out to investigate.... and the mechanics of the garage door opener were smouldering!  She ran into the house and in a panic ran to my den, where I was working on things for this upcoming meeting.  Of course, I ran out with her, saw the smouldering mechanics, and had to act... I got out a ladder and unplugged the damn contraption from its plug in the garage ceiling.  It stopped smouldering, fortunately.  My wife went to her Mom's house, and I had to try to troubleshoot.  I played around with the mechanism a bit, and everything was free moving, so I plugged the damn thing back in and it started smouldering again.  I unplugged it and called the garage door people we have used for a couple of decades.... they set our appointment for WEDNESDAY, negating our trip.

5.  I figured the door opener had gone belly-up and was not repairable.  It was 45 years old, so it had served its job well.  I also new it was of a manufacturer that was no longer in business (I had worked to get new remotes for the opener a few years ago, which was very difficult) so replacement parts would likely be non-existent.  

6.  Waiting around for the door repair folks all day Wednesday was not fun, and as expected, the mechanism was no longer repairable.  They then showed me models to replace the device, and I picked a pair of a medium priced model (we have two single garage doors, and like to have our remotes with two buttons so we can control both sides.... so the opener on my side of the garage would also be replaced... it too was 45 years old, and although working fine, we did not want to have two remotes in each vehicle, and with the age of mine, it was likely not going to work too much longer anyhow).  

7.  They scheduled this installation TODAY.  It has been a most-of-the-day affair.  I have been trying to do work while they work, but I have been unfocused and out-of-sorts, so I was not particularly productive.  

8.  Between late night tonight and tomorrow (Friday) we are scheduled to get ~7 inches (~18 cm) of snow (sigh).   So, tomorrow will be spent with much of the day having me dig us out.

* * * * * 

  • Ran 10 miles (16 km) this morning.  I am a little bit ahead, so IF I can get to the track tomorrow, I only need to run ~7 miles (~11 km) to complete what I need to hit my weekly goal.  Hopefully I will be able to get there.  
  • PCS = 8 again.  Just a strong desire to have a pipe and enjoy how it is helpful in letting me relax a bit.  Sometimes I wonder if I should just "go with the flow" and do what I hedonistically want to do.  I feel discouraged about life at the moment.  So, that may be part of it.  
  • My work was so tedious and not what I wanted to do, that I found all sorts of distractions to avoid doing it.  I did have fun, however, on a comment board I used to participate in a great deal.  I really should NOT have been involved with it today, but I had been meaning to return to this board because I did miss the camaraderie.  


Blogger Margaret said...

My garage door opener is ancient also so this post concerned me. I did have to replace that big spring above the garage door and that was quite expensive. I dislike waiting around for people to arrive and fix things. I'm impatient! So sorry about the stress with your mother-in-law; I hope she recovers soon so she can get back to the routine she prefers.

Thursday, 09 March, 2023  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Our schools have Winter Break next week. That’s what we call it here — Winter Break. The kids have C, but they should be coming out of it early next week, so hopefully, they can have some fun. More fun that thou, anyway.

Friday, 10 March, 2023  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sometimes I wonder if I should just "go with the flow" and do what I hedonistically want to do.

Hedonistically or rationally, Professor? Only you can determine whether you are truly happier today than you were five years ago when you decided to abstain from your beloved pipes and pipe tobaccos. If abstinence has brought to your life something new of meaning and value, it is a rational choice. But if abstinence has not changed anything, or has deprived you of anything meaningful, to "go with the flow" may be the most rational choice -- not hedonistic at all. We onlookers aren't the ones who can make that determination for you, but we wish you well in your own journey, Professor!

Friday, 10 March, 2023  
Blogger The Blog Fodder said...

Just make sure that when a pretty girl walks by, your pacemaker does not make the garage door go up and down.
Some spring break schedule. You will be glad to be back in class to get a rest.

Thursday, 16 March, 2023  

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