Friday, September 22, 2017

News and Updates

1. It was 91F here in Our Little Town yesterday.  In Wisconsin.  On the first day of autumn.  It’s hotter today.  This in a year where most of the western part of the US and Canada as well as large portions of Europe and Africa were on fire.  Where four Category 4 or higher hurricanes made landfall in less than a month.  Where it was 106F in San Francisco – a city that regards 75F as uncomfortably warm.  Where once again we have set records for the hottest year since data has been recorded.  Where we have had over thirty straight years of “hotter than average” months – nobody born after Reagan’s second inauguration has ever seen a “cooler than average” month.  Where Houston, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, Niger, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have all seen record flooding.  And still there are people who think global climate change is some kind of hoax.  Sweet dancing monkeys on a stick but sometimes I wonder if there is any hope for this species.

2. I made a quick jaunt out to Philadelphia last weekend to help my mom in her new place with a few projects and collect some things from the old house before it passes to the new owners next month.  It was good to see my mom, however briefly.  We also got to see her old neighbors, which was fun.  They took good care of my parents and made it possible for them to live in that house for that much longer, and I appreciate that.

3. It was kind of strange locking the door on the old house one last time. 

4. I also got to see my friends Mike and Krista on the way home, which I don’t do nearly enough.  I live too far away from too many good people.

5. One of the most satisfying feelings when driving down the interstate is when you switch lanes to let the nitwit who came roaring up behind you at warp speed and has been tailgating you for the last half mile pass by and then see him (almost always “him”) get trapped behind a wall of semis.  It’s almost but not quite as much fun as watching the cop pull out from the median to chase him down.  Yeah, I can be petty too.

6. The Taco Bell here in Our Little Town – or the one I pass every day on the way to work, anyway, as we are a multi-Taco-Bell kind of town – has finally completed its renovations.  It’s snazzy now.  I’m almost tempted to go in, except that I know that inside that nice new building is, well, Taco Bell.  I’m sure that’s a metaphor for something.

7. Although sometimes imitation Mexican food is precisely what you want.

8. Yes, I know what real Mexican food is.  I live in a town where the dining out options include a) all of the finest chain restaurants in America, and b) real Mexican food.  We have several places that serve actual Mexican food in all its tasty, tasty glory, and I am all for it.

9. In every class there is always that percentage of students who Just Don’t Get It.  You can identify them pretty quickly – the 13th-graders pretending to be college students.  The joy of teaching at the college level is that they are not legally required to be there, which means that over time either they will get it and become college students or they will move on.  The process, however, can be painful for everyone.

10. While I was away I missed the Local Band’s annual banquet, where Lauren was voted “Rookie of the Year” and was given a nice trophy to that effect.  She was also awarded a hat with velcro on the front and several velcroed labels bearing the names of the various instruments and roles she plays in the band, so she can swap them out as necessary.  She wears many hats, and this way she only needs the one.  Go Lauren!

11. I also missed the annual night tours of my old museum, where they turn off the electric lights and light the place up with lanterns as it would have been done in the 19th century.  Tabitha was a guide for it, as she has been for the last few years.  I always loved those tours, even though when I was there I rarely got home before midnight.  I’d be cruising through the place at the end of the night, shutting everything down in the dark.  We had a lot of people tell us the place was haunted, but I never saw anything.  Oh well.

12. Every decision comes with a cost.

13. The first couple of weeks of the semester are just a madhouse when you’re an advisor, but things calm down once the add/drop deadline for classes goes by. 

14. You know you’ve been busy at work when you go to toss the teabag from your mug and realize that you never tossed the one from the previous time, so your tea has been unusually strong but somewhat less in volume, and you didn’t even notice.  This happens more often than I care to think, these days.


LucyInDisguise said...

1. It was 41°F for a high temp that is now the coolest in the recorded history of this part of the country. The mountain tops all around me are covered with their first coat of snow. The projected high for next Friday is 82°F. Don’t have to sell me anything - Global Warming is a bitch, and it’ll only get worse from here - Neil DeGrass Tyson is worried that we may have actually already passed the tipping point:

3. Boxing up memories always seems strange.

5. May be confirmation bias, but there are those who say we do it intentionally. I would never do such a thing as pulling out to block some self-entitled jerk from speeding down the Interstate in search of someone to kill. Honest Sam™.

6. The renovation is cheaper than cleaning the place.

7. Sometimes it’s what my wiff wants. I, on the otherhand, will not set foot inside Taco Hell.

10. CONGRATES! to Lauren.

11. MORE TABITHA. (Come on dad; you’re getting a little behind on the equal time laws …)

12. Yeah, but they never show you the price tag until 9 years, 3 months, and 24 days later. Surprise!

14. Lipton Instant Tea eliminates the necessity of keeping track of the bags. Heretical, I know, but it also eliminates the evidence of dementia.


David said...

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a national treasure and it is a damned shame that so many ignorant and powerful people refuse to listen to him. I've looked at some of the data over the years, and I have to say I'm not entirely convinced we haven't already passed the point of no return. I have never figured out how to embed images in the comments, but there's a cartoon I've long loved of a human in the embrace of Mother Nature, apologizing for destroying Nature. Don't worry, she says, Nature is resilient. You mean it will be okay? he asks. Oh no, she says. You are destroying the conditions necessary for your own survival, but Nature will go on. You mean? he asks. And she replies, "You're fucking yourselves over and you won't be missed."

Confirmation bias, yeah, that's it. My guess is that people who drive professionally have even less patience for assholes on the road than the rest of us do.

The girls are getting older and living their own lives, and they've been quite deliberately getting scarcer here for that reason. I write about my reaction to things, since the blog is about me, but otherwise I try to let them live their own lives, and I file a lot of things under "not my story to tell" these days. Sometimes I ask them if it's okay to blog about something, though. Glad to know they have fans! :) I will pass on the kind words to Lauren!

I like instant tea, at least when it comes to iced tea. But I regard it as a separate beverage, not tea. It's tasty and I enjoy drinking it, but if I want tea there needs to be leaves in my cup somewhere. Just not so many as I have had lately!

LucyInDisguise said...

"My guess is that people who drive professionally have even less patience for assholes on the road than the rest of us do."

Oddly enough, patience is the one thing a Professional Driver can not afford to be without. Climbing 12 miles up a 6% grade loaded to 80,000 pounds at <30 mph while cars are racing by at more than double your speed tends to teach you to be patient. Fail to learn that and you won't survive long in this profession.

The best part about the assholes is seeing Karma in action about 30 minutes after they pass you. Sometimes, causing you to giggle uncontrollably ... other times, you can only look away from the horror.

There are YouTube videos about such things...


David said...

Yeah, as someone who ran with a fire/rescue squad for five years, I've seen a few of those videos up close.

I find that more and more my attitude has become "How much of a hurry am I really in?" and the answer generally is "not much."