1. There was a water-cup incident on my desk while I was out a few days ago, and now I have my old keyboard from the early 2000s back in service. It’s remarkably noisy and tactile, with big typewriter-style keys and a reassuring clickety-clack sound that faithfully recreates a late-20th-century newsroom. There’s a group out there that does nothing but archive lost sounds – the noises that disappear when time and technology move on – and I wonder if they have something like this in their archives. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve ended up using in my daily life things that other people have put in museums.
2. No, I didn’t watch the presidential debate. It won’t change my mind, and I’m already on blood-pressure meds these days. I don’t need that kind of aggravation. Besides, half my friends live-blogged it on Facebook and I got more than enough quotes and video clips that way to make me glad for my foresight in not watching the whole thing. The fact that there are people out there who think that Donald Trump should be allowed anywhere near political power is a damning indictment of both the American educational system and American culture in general. The man is mentally unhinged, utterly without morals or any intellectual activity more complicated than “Me Number One!”, easily the most dangerously unqualified nominee ever put forward by a supposedly major party for higher office in this nation’s grand and often lunatic history, which is quite an achievement, and an extinction-level threat to the survival of the American republic. I don’t need to watch him try to ad-lib his way through ninety minutes of his usual incoherent babbling and random accusations to learn this when anyone who has paid attention to him at any point in the last three decades would already know.
3. Apparently there is now a conspiracy theory circulating among the feeble-minded and desperate that Hillary had some kind of secret arrangement with Lester Holt during that debate. Because obviously a woman with a quarter-century of experience at the highest levels of American government and a well-earned reputation for intelligence, ruthless competence, ice-cold composure, and thorough preparation could not possibly be expected to win against an empty blustering fool without male help. You know, if you believe that, give me a call when your Nigerian money comes in and I'll cut you in on a deal on a bridge.
4. Although not, as my friend Abbe pointed out, Chris Christie’s bridge. There’s too much traffic on that one.
5. There have been big changes out at the barn. Rosie, the last of the roosters, has been sent off to a new home, which actually isn’t a euphemism for anything. He really has found a more rooster-friendly place to live. I feel good that he’s still around somewhere, but I do miss him. In fairness, I am the only one who does. Oh well. We’ve cleaned up the turkey pen for the winter, as well as the corner pen in the barn that we might move the chickens into later since it has a door that we can open to let them run a bit. And we’re merging this year’s hens with the old ones so that we only have one flock to deal with. That makes sense when you’ve got less than a dozen birds. And one of the feral cats had kittens, which Lauren is desperately trying to socialize on the grounds that they are cute. They’re also tough, since one of them dropped from the hayloft onto the floor right in front of us the other day and tottered away unharmed.
6. Meanwhile Bristol the barn cat remains the single dumbest living thing on Earth. Seriously – he is a standing refutation of Darwinian natural selection and one of the few animals that the turkeys could look down on when it came to mental firepower. It’s supposed to be a cold winter. I’m not sure that’s going to go well for him.
7. The weather has finally turned to fall, at least some of the time. It still gets up to 70F now and then, but we are having more and more days in the low 60s and nights in the 50s and even 40s. We’re into apple cider season, and I can drink my tea without sweating. The guy down the block has even cranked up his fireplace, giving the neighborhood a pleasantly smoky aroma. Fall is my season, and I am glad to see the back of summer.
8. Although if I see one more “pumpkin-spice” whatever I will go spare. Seriously – pumpkin spice Cheerios? That’s just wrong.
9. I think if I am going to survive in the modern working world I am going to have to learn how to get something out of the incessant meetings that it entails. I spent an hour today in a videoconference meeting that I was assured by other, more informed participants was actually productive, and all I got out of it was older. Although there were clowns, so there’s that. No, no – real clowns, not metaphorical ones. Make-up and everything.
10. Students are always surprised when they discover that professors actually mean what they say.