Saturday, December 10, 2022

News and Updates

1. We’re coming down to the end of the semester at all of the various campuses that I work for these days, and so far so good. My class at Home Campus ended last week. My class at Remote Campus ends this week. My class at Online Campus never really ends, but there has been something of a drop in enrollment lately – I suspect the advisors there are waiting to see how the new course revision pans out in practice before sending too many students into it, but that’s just surmise on my part – which means that it’s not that big of a concern. My advisees are mostly set for spring now. Things are calming down.

2. It is grey and misty and foggy out there here in Our Little Town, which is lovely weather as far as I am concerned though it was a bit of a challenge to go out and get the chickens fed.

3. Last week Oliver finished the painting of Mithra he was working on to give to Lauren for her birthday, and it is indeed a work of art worth the wait:

This is the model he was working from, by the way:

We were suitably impressed and proud. Kim and I delivered it to Lauren last Friday, along with a bunch of other stuff, and then went to dinner with her and, eventually, Maxim as well. My family rules.

4. I do believe that a long-term project has finally left my hands, after several false starts, and all that is left now is for me to wait for results. This is a good feeling.

5. I’m trying to get more into the Christmas spirit than I have these last few years, and it’s kind of working I suppose. This does not actually mean I have gotten a start on my Christmas shopping, nor have I done anything concrete to prepare for the holiday other than put up my usual single strand of blue lights across the front of the house, but I hope to get the tree up this weekend and just to approach the holiday with more positive vibes than I’ve been able to muster recently. It’s a goal.

6. Every once in a while Ancestry sends me “hints” that they’ve discovered about people who might be in my family tree somewhere, and every once in a while they’re right. Somebody posted the death notice that was published in the newspaper for my great-great-grandfather, and that was nice to find – he was a Civil War veteran, one of those 90-day wonders at the beginning of the war when they all thought it would be over by the fall harvest. He did his 90 days and noped right out of that whole situation as soon as the opportunity presented itself and then lived to a ripe old age, which speaks to a certain intelligence I suppose. It might very well be why I am here at all, given casualty rates of the Civil War.

7. I’ve been mostly following along with the World Cup this week and right now there is a decent chance that the final will be between Morocco and Croatia and I have to say I’m kind of hoping for it. France won it all last time and doesn’t need to repeat. Argentina and the Netherlands put on a singularly juvenile display of middle school dick waggling in their quarter final game and neither of them should have been allowed to advance to the next round regardless of who won, honestly. So I’m cheering for the weird matchup to prevail.

8. I’m trying not to pay too much attention to the news, because mostly it doesn’t change. If you’re not worried about the survival of the American republic in an age of increasingly overt and violent right-wing extremism, you’re either complacent or complicit.

9. Speaking as a guy who just spent a fruitless quarter hour trying to reach a customer service person, I strongly suspect that at some point soon every corporation in the US will have replaced all of their workers with algorithms and machines and at that point they have absolutely no idea why nobody can afford to buy their products anymore. Say what you will about the solutions he proposed but nobody has ever proven Marx wrong on his diagnoses of the problems of capitalism.

10. I now have my new drivers license, and it does seem to be a step backward to me. The old one was in color, but we are no longer in Oz, Toto, and now we’re back to black and white. But I don’t have to do this again until 2030 which is roughly a hundred years from now in subjective time so I can live with that.

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