Sunday, November 14, 2021

News and Updates

1. Yeah, these lists are about as good as it’s going to get around here for a while, I suspect.

2. I spent the last week home on my own, which had its good side. Kim was away at a conference. Lauren and Oliver are off at college. It was just me and the cats, and nothing really to do but go to work, come home, grade assignments, and go to sleep. Sometimes a boring week is just what you need.

3. I spent some of that time plinking around on the piano at odd hours, which is fun to do when you know that nobody is going to be disturbed by it. I nearly have “This Year” by the Mountain Goats figured out now.

4. Fortunately for me Lauren’s sneakers died a valiant death on the hills of a sprawling campus, so I went up one evening with a new pair for her and we had a lovely dinner together. It’s a grand thing to share a meal and a conversation that way.

5. I have a new pair of sneakers as well, not that anyone else would know. One small silver lining of the current Plague is that my annual sneaker purchase got delayed by a year because for most of 2020 I didn’t bother wearing shoes at all. But all good shoes must come to an end and so last month I went out and bought another copy of my standard black “it looks like a work shoe from a distance” pair of sneakers from our local shoe shop. They’re still here in their box, next to me as I type. Eventually they will come out. And won’t that be a time?

6. I finished a book on Monday. The next one was already picked out, but to be honest I didn’t even open it until Friday. It’s a good book by one of my favorite authors, but the thought of starting it was more than I wished to contemplate. It’s just been like that of late. Now that I’ve started I’m enjoying it, though.

7. If you’re not terrified about the future of the American republic in its struggle against right-wing extremism, you’re not paying attention. The lamps are going out all over the United States. Whether they will be lit again in my lifetime, I don’t know.

8. We’ve had our first snowfall already, here in Our Little Town. It wasn’t technically snow, though – it was “graupel,” which is a word I had never heard before. Graupel is apparently an opaque sort of round sleet balls that look like snow from a distance. Eventually it turned into normal snow and now it’s all pretty much melted away though it’s still fairly cold for November. I am enjoying this very much.

9. It’s World Cup Qualifying time, so I’ve been grading exams by the light of heroic fixtures such as Finland v Bosnia, Norway v Latvia, Netherlands v Montenegro, Belgium v Estonia, and Iceland v N. Macedonia – all of which have been entertaining enough to pass the time but not so much that I couldn’t grade exams.  Throw in the occasional NHL game and it’s been a fine weekend of sports, is what I’m saying.

10. This is especially welcome since Dr. Quackencrock, QB, and his Traveling Cloud of Entitlement has made me even less likely to watch American football than I’d been prior to him publicly doubling down on his bullshit antivax propaganda and getting essentially zero punishment from the NFL for violating any number of their stated policies while putting other people (do they count?  apparently not) at unnecessary risk for their safety and health. Every day I get less interested in American football, and every day the NFL reassures me that I’m correct to do so. World Cup here I come.


Ewan said...

I managed to stretch out my reading of the most recent Charles Stross novel by re-reading the prior 8 in the series, but eventually that ended.

I *do* have the last Alex Verus novel still awaiting me. That's a pleasure I have managed to delay for three months now :).

David said...

Is this the Laundry Cycle or one of the other ones? I'm caught up through Dead Lies Dreaming on that one and looking forward to the next.

Not familiar with Alex Verus novels - I'll have to look into those!

LucyInDisguise said...

2. Need more Oliver news. Been far too sparse of late. Jus’ sayin’. (Unless, of course, he’s requested you don’t. Which, I suppose, is a possibility. In which case, carry on and just ignore the old fart from the desert.)

8. I went on Wikipedia the other day to look something up and was met once again with a plea for a donation. After careful consideration, I decided that my continued use of that resource would be unfair without such a donation. So, I threw a few bucks their way, and now I can say that I feel a little better about looking up ‘graupel’ and finding out that, as I suspected, what you got was what I know as ‘corn snow’. (Ain’t modern technology wunnerful?)

10. I find that I’ve pretty much lost all interest in watching sports. I use ‘pretty much’ a qualifier because I still spend time watching sports highlights and bloopers on YouTube. No real interest in the actual competitions, though.

11. I know. You didn’t do an 11. So maybe this is 1. (and I just hiccuped): Lists are always only about as good as they get. That is their nature. Doesn’t make ‘em any less important, though … or, for that matter, interesting! (Or, in your specific case, entertaining!)


David said...

2. Oliver's been chugging along down at Small Liberal Arts College and doing fine. It will be nice to see him for Thanksgiving break. I'll let him know you were asking for him. :)

8. It is! Sometimes. Looking up random facts is indeed one of those times though. I can't say I'd ever run into such a form of snow before, though I will say that the description was spot on.

10. Sports are pretty much the only things I can watch on television anymore, because they're both interesting enough to hold my attention and pointless enough that I can walk away at any moment if I need to do something that is actually relevant to my life. I can't do scripted anything these days - too much focus needed, too much stress produced.

11. Thanks! I try. :)