1. Once again, I am confronted by the fact that this whole “working for a living” thing just gets in the way of my blogging. On the one hand, people are paying me to teach history, so life is good. On the other hand, there is only so much time and space in life, and when one thing expands something else must contract. I’m not sure why the things that contract are invariably the things I want to do most, but there you have it. Blogging is one. There are others as well. Whine whine whine whine.
2. The minor league hockey team here in Our Little Town has acquired cheerleaders. Most of them seem to be about high school age, which is kind of appropriate since most of the players are about that age or only a year or two older – I’m not sure what the general scale is for minor league hockey, but if this were baseball it would be a Single-A club. The cheerleaders spend a fair amount of time shouting and waving pom poms, and a small amount of time clearing the snow from the ice between periods, after the Zamboni makes its run. I am not sure what to think of a hockey team with cheerleaders.
3. I have not posted much about politics recently, in part because I can’t figure out a way to think about modern American politics that doesn’t make me want to nuke the place from orbit. And who wants to read that? I don’t even want to write it. After suffering a convincing loss in November – and admitting publicly that the only reason they still control the House of Representatives is their brazen gerrymandering in blue states – the modern Republican Party has not done any serious examination of the causes of their loss but has instead doubled down on its batshit insanity and subversion and continue to threaten the survival of the republic by its very existence. Sad times.
4. At least Wisconsin spread its snow out a bit. I had to clear the driveway five times in a ten day period this month – and the over/under on shoveling at all in Wisconsin is 2.5” so these weren’t dustings – which is more than I had to do that all winter last year, but at least it didn’t all fall down in one yard-high clump like it did in the Northeast this weekend. Plus, the new snowblower we got last year way on sale due to the unusually warm winter has been a marvelous bit of machinery this year. It starts right up on the first pull, which automatically makes it an improvement.
5. Now that my “Re-read the Discworld” project has concluded, I am working through my to-read pile. I’ve started with gift books – if you’ve given me a book in the last eight months, chances are I’m going to get to it by the end of this one. What a wonderful world it is where people send me books.
6. The check-engine light in my car continues to come on at random intervals. The engine is still there. I finally did take it in to my mechanic, who has taken extremely good care of several different cars of ours over the last couple of decades. He found one problem and thought that was it, but the light continues to come on. Finally he just said, “Well, at this point the prescribed procedure is to start replacing parts and see what happens, which is expensive and may or may not help, so why don’t you just keep driving it until something becomes obvious.” On the one hand I appreciate the honesty, since he could have just gone ahead with the manual and cost me a lot of money for nothing. On the other hand the whole notion of things becoming more obvious does worry me. But in the meantime, it runs perfectly fine except for the random flickering of the check-engine light.
7. If the cats don’t stop waking us up at 5:50am they are going to find themselves duct-taped to the wall overnight. In the basement. Food and water will be provided.
8. Already the summer looks full. This is a good thing.
9. Some day someone in the university system will explain to me why they maintain two entirely different online systems – one for Online classes and one for add-ons to regular classes – that a) have the same name, but b) are incompatible and you can’t get from the one to the other. The initial access pages are different, but they both take you to the same log-in page where you enter your ID information. From there they take you to different places. Those places have the same components, but arranged slightly differently and with a different color scheme. I don’t get it.
10. Still waiting for that serious, thoughtful conversation about guns in the United States in the wake of the slaughter of the innocent. Which slaughter, you ask? There are so many! Pick one – any one. The innocent dead are just as dead, and all that happens is jumped-up wannabe militiamen insist their fantasy resistance cells are more important than the actual lives of children. And maybe to them that is the truth, but for the rest of us nothing changes.