1. It is difficult to get settled into a job when most of the support staff responsible for doing things like issuing contracts, getting keys, getting onto email lists, getting access to servers, and such have either been let go because of the continuing right-wing assault on everything that once made this country great or are so overworked trying to make up for that fact that they don’t really have much time to focus on you. Fortunately my colleagues have been not only welcoming but also willing to work around many of those problems, and I am becoming one of the team now. This is a lovely thing.
2. For a winter that has not seen much in the way of snow here in Wisconsin, there sure is a whole lot of ice.
3. Lauren has decided to take up the cello. I’m not sure where this came from, but Tabitha says that there is a deep need for cellists in the high school orchestras of Our Little Town so Lauren will pretty much be able to write her own ticket once she gets there. So we rented a cello from the music store downtown and she had her first lesson today. She seems to enjoy it.
4. There is one chicken in my living room who thinks he is a hawk, but mostly at night. You turn off the lights and head upstairs to go to bed and from below you hear this shrill SCREEEEEEEE! and suddenly your quiet little house is Denali National Park.
5. If you like black licorice, you can pretty much rest assured that nobody will steal your stash.
6. One of the down sides to having a regular job is that it interferes with your free time. I had volunteered to be a parent chaperone for Tabitha’s orchestra trip to Chicago today, back when the only thing I had scheduled for this semester was a single course to teach, and then in all the commotion I forgot completely until she reminded me last night. Fortunately my absence was not a problem for them, but still. I would have liked to have gone.
7. So it looks like the yahoos of Vanilla ISIS have finally been evicted from their grand subversive caper out at the bird sanctuary in Oregon, not that most people cared by the end. Why they weren’t nuked from orbit on Day 1 is a very interesting political question and a sad commentary on the popularity of treason these days. On the one hand, the fact that they were given enough time and space to demonstrate conclusively to a watching world just what absolute stupidity dressed up in false patriotism and stolen valor looks like is probably for the best. On the other hand, the theft of public resources by a heavily armed band of play-acting wannabe-warriors seems to have garnered a fair amount of support among the more cognitively challenged members of American society, and I worry for the future of the republic.
8. On that note, The Donald seems to be gaining momentum, and my hasn't it been fun watching the GOP panic at their own Frankenstein monster coming to destroy them. Hey – when you spend decades telling people that government is the enemy, that actual experience in public service is a disqualification from public service, that the rich can get away with anything because they’re rich, that insanity is acceptable when accompanied by enough dollars and emitted by someone with white enough skin, that war is free but social programs can’t be afforded, and that politics is nothing but buzzwords and showmanship and has nothing to do with how actual American citizens live their lives, you shouldn’t be surprised when someone comes along and follows your playbook better than you can and takes all your cookies and then beats you to death with your own limbs. From Reagan to Newt to W to Palin to this – no wonder those people don’t believe in evolution.
9. And he’s not even the most dangerous candidate running for that party’s nomination.
10. Being able to buy new tires whenever you need to do so is a good way to tell that you’ve done well in life.
11. I seem to be the kiss of death for printers of late. If you wish hard copies of your documents, you would do well to keep me at some distance for the foreseeable future. I’m not sure why this is true now, as opposed to any other time, but that’s how it is.