Saturday, October 29, 2022

News and Updates

1. The Phillies are now up one game to none over the heavily favored Houston Astros, having gone down 5-0 and then scoring six unanswered runs to win 6-5 in the 10th. To make that kind of comeback against a team known for its ferocious pitching does send a message, yes it does. The next game starts in less than an hour as I write this, but at least for the next few hours there is a small but non-zero chance that the Phillies could win the World Series in a sweep. I’m not blind enough to reality to put money on that, but I have to admit that fact that this is even theoretically possible after one game has been played is deeply satisfying.

2. Kim, Oliver, and I spent much of the afternoon cleaning out the chicken pen from two years’ worth of accumulated chicken exhaust. By this point it’s pretty much just fertilizer with no particular odor so it’s not a terrible job that way, but it was six inches deep and every square inch of me ended up covered in dust, and even after a very long hot shower my eyes still burn like I hadn’t slept in a week. The chickens were unimpressed.

3. The midterm elections are less than two weeks away and for the life of me I cannot figure out how they are at all close. On the one side we have normal candidates, with a range of pluses and minuses. On the other side we have conspiracy theorists, raging psychopaths, insurrectionists, open bigots, and Russian sycophants. I grieve for my country.

4. I fully expect the GOP to launch any number of baseless criminal investigations and impeachment votes if they should retake the House of Representatives, because if there is anything a criminal organization resents it is being held accountable for its actions and if there is anything that criminal organization cannot do is differentiate being held accountable for their actions from petty revenge politics against those doing the holding. This, at least, I will put money on.

5. I went up to Madison for an advising conference last week – it’s one of the few such conferences that I consider useful enough to attend, and I always get some good information from it. But it did give me some pause. The fire alarm went off about two minutes before our scheduled lunch (which was already laid out in the big conference room – taco bar!) so we dutifully trudged outside. It was something real, it turned out, though not anything serious. After about fifteen minutes somebody came out and announced that it would likely be another forty minutes before we would be allowed back in. And then a minute or two later they came back and said that we advisors could go back to our conference. Yes, the building was on fire, but you know, go ahead. Nice to know where you stand, I guess.

6. It was good that I checked with the third of the various campuses I work for as to whether they had gotten my HR stuff correct, because they hadn’t. They’d shorted me about $1800 or so. It turns out that in order for me to get my money I had to tell them exactly how much I’d been paid over the summer, which struck me as precisely the sort of information that they should already have. I’m not sure why I am expected to do HR’s job when they can’t do mine – I’d pay good money to see anyone in that department explain the influence of neo-Harringtonian republicanism on the Federal Constitution of 1787 in a way that both makes sense to undergraduates and incorporates a PowerPoint slide of Aaron Rodgers, if I’m being candid here – but if I wanted my money that was the hoop I had to jump through. I submitted that on Thursday. We’ll see how it goes.

7. So far this academic year I have been a professor, an advisor, an HR professional, an accountant, and an IT guy, except that I only get paid for the first two since we supposedly have people doing those other jobs on staff. I should ask for a raise.

8. I should be grading. I do not feel like grading. Maybe I should ask the HR folks to grade my papers.

9. Someone handed me a wheat cent in change the other day, which doesn’t happen very often anymore. It’s nice to see them still floating around, though.

10. Oliver and I made a scythe on Friday. He had a costume party to go to and decided to use my old Death robe – my friend Julia used to have a medieval feast every year and I’d always go as The Plague, which was funny back in the 1980s. But while I still have the robe I no longer have the staff that went with it. It took us a couple of hours and involved spray paint, stick-on vinyl, cardboard, a ruler, and an absurd length of PVC pipe, but it doesn’t look half bad if I do say so myself. This is how we do parent-child bonding in this family, and the world looks on in awe.


LucyInDisguise said...

1. Place the bet. While it is probable that you will lose, with the right odds one bet could change your life! (That’s more or less what was on that slot machine I was playing last night! That’s why they call it gambling!)

2. “The chickens were unimpressed.” And even less so am I. [rant[] Okay, I gotta call you on this one … The reason the chickens ejected that shit from their bodies is that it is toxic! Whatever possessed you to do that to yourself and your family? As a degree holdin’, college edumacated, more or less intelligent-but sometimes not quite bright elder professor of knowledge and thinking and stuff like that you should know better than to do shit like that without at least the minimum personal protective gear, if not full biohazard suits.

Quick! Google the question “what PPE should I wear to handle chicken shit?”. Click the following very sensible link …

And that was just the first link of five pages of links. Seriously! The internet has at least some useful information, but you need to expend a little effort. [/rant]

3. Viking and I just finished shopping online for a replacement christmas tree. $284.64 with tax on Amazon. What has that to do with the midterms? We have already cast our ballots so we have time to sit back, relax, and tremble in fear and anxiety. Shopping online helps take your mind off that. Next up, shopping for a casket for our beloved country. Shipping may be a little bit of an issue …

4. You’ll get better odds betting on the Phillies.

5. So (and this is the important thing), did you ever get to eat the tacos? Also, if you did, was it worth the effort? Enquiring minds want to know …

7. Only five career hats to do your professoring job? ROFLMAO. Just yesterday I wore nine to end my week. I get to wear eleven tomorrow (End Of Month reports due). Wimp …

8. NO!!!! The HR people will just utterly fail to screw it up. Give it to the accountants - they have rules to follow to ensure that everything gets thoroughly fucked up. Irretrievably.

9. My wife got a 1914-D wheat penny in ‘Good’ to ‘Fine’ condition from the cashier cage at Stockman’s Casino last week, which I sold to a coin dealer Thursday for $295.00. Who woulda thunk that cashing out an 89¢ ticket would pay better than the actual slot machine?

10. I am, in fact, in awe! Absolutely ecstatic that you and Oliver were able to spend such time bonding together. Seriously! (See #2 above*) 🥴


PS I thought I was done, but, nope. Risk assessment/mitigation is an essential tool in human survival - Please take it out for a short walk and give it some exercise. And wear your seat belt, too. 😉

David said...

1. I'm from Philadelphia. Pessimism is my birthright. I'm still worried they're going to lose the 2008 Series somehow. Plus I have in fact made money betting against my hunches because I'm just that out of step with my times. I suspect any bet I make will turn out wrong, and I just can't bring myself to put money on the Astros for the sake of "reverse juju." Also, I'm the kind of guy who goes into a casino with $20 worth of nickels and plays the nickel slots in order to a) get an hour's entertainment and b) find some collectible coins. Gambling is kind of wasted on me, in other words. Sigh.

2. Well, we wore long pants and long sleeves and masks, so we weren't totally just bathing in the stuff. We all have glasses, though I admit the safety goggles provide more protection. We've cleaned these out before without trouble, but I suppose it never hurts to take precautions.

3. Retail therapy is a wonderful thing! I am torn between wanting to vote early and get it over with and wanting to go to the polls to give flak to any limp-dick camo-wearing asshole who tries to intimidate me. It's a quandary.

4. No, the odds of winning a bet on the Phillies are pretty small, but the odds that the GOP will engage in useless revenge politics are high and the odds they'll try to impeach Biden, Harris, and probably Garland are nigh on 100%.

5. We did! They were pretty good. Far better than anything you'd find on Great British Bake Off, for example. Plus there were chips with a passable salsa. WIN!

7. Well, five this month. I'm slacking. I had to go through all of my pay stubs for the last three years as part of that project, and it turns out I have 11 employee classification numbers total. I have no idea what some of them refer to, if I'm being honest here. But nine this week? You're working to hard for The Man!

8. Point taken. Of course, the accountants can just assign any grade they want and justify it under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

9. WAY COOL! I haven't seen an old-timer like that in a long time. The one I found was 1948 (in great shape, by the way).

10. It was a very good way to spend a Friday afternoon. :)

I always wear my seatbelt. I spent five years on a rescue squad. I've seen what happens when people don't wear seatbelts.

David said...

Some days I'm on top of things, some days I'm not. :)

1. That tells you how often I go into casinos, I guess. I believe the last time I was in one was 1996. I spent my $20, got an hour or two's worth of entertainment (and a couple of free if rather watered down drinks), and came home with half a dozen old nickels for my time. Not bad. I regard gambling as an entertainment expense rather than a way to make money, and that was cheaper than a baseball game.

4. I have never understood Vegas lines ever since they went to the whole +140 or -60 thing. I understood 3:2 or 2:1. But betting on the GOP to do performatively cruel, destructive, and pointless things is not even money as far as I am concerned - even money means "50/50" to me. Betting on the GOP to do those things is a sure bet, like betting on the sun rising tomorrow. It will happen and I will win that bet, if not much money for it. And the country loses. So I am absolutely sure your explanation is correct, but it will no doubt slide off my brain and into the same black hole where I keep people's names and the quadratic equation by this time tomorrow, alas.

And now you know why I don't gamble. ;)

9. I have maybe dozen coins worth more than $20 in my collection. But to me the fun of it was always the fact that they were interesting, and it was something I could share with my grandfather and my dad and, later, with Oliver. Lauren never got interested in it, and we share other things. I'm not really looking for a buyer - it's not worth the hassle for the money. But it's cool stuff, and that's good enough for me.