Adventures and Travels

Life is for

I’m going to be offline for the next four or five days. There may be strange adventure involved or perhaps just a break from what we’ve been dealing with the past few weeks. But I’ll tell you one thing, it’s too damn cold now for a midnight swim. Later.

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The Difference Between Early and Late Fall

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The tree in the center of this photo was covered in russet leaves a couple days ago and it was beautiful. Temperatures last week ranged between the 70s and 60s during the daytime and it was lovely. Today it’s in the 30s and rain is misting down. The cats are upset because they weren’t ready to resign from the Fall Hunt yet. Carjo threw Sansa and Arya out for taking out their frustration on each other. That pretty much took the piss and vinegar out of them.

It’s not winter yet but our first snow can’t be real far away. The latest predictions suggest a mild winter but those long range forecasts are as often wrong as they are right. Soon enough the Alberta Clipper will push down its thumb on Montana and then North Dakota. The parade of good ol’ boys n’ girls leaving this state will be slow, bitter, and complete by January.

The cat’s bitterness will fade soon enough. Daniel will go from hunting all day to sleeping all day. They’ll take to their winter beds, rising to eat and bat toys around, maybe running a few wind sprints down the hall, through the kitchen, and sliding into the living room. Then sleep again. Sounds like a solid plan to me.

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Things I Don’t Have to Think About Today

Things I Don’t Have to Think About Today.

Some very horrible people in the nerdverse are acting very horribly, as is their wont. These frightened little man-children are trying to cloak their misogyny as ethics in gaming journalism (which is already oxymoron without even getting sexual politics in it) but no one other than mouthpieces on Faux News are buying that. Neither should you.

John Scalzi was apparently asked by one of these frightened children to check his privilege and John does quite eloquently in the link above. Well played sir. And for you self-righteous homophobic misogynist radicalized pencil dicks, crawl out of mommy’s basement and try to see the world as a bigger, richer place than you’ve ever imagined. Or go back under your shells and stay there.

 

 

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Dirt Under My Fingernails

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This fall I’ve been helping my cousin, The Singing Farmer, moving machinery and trucks around for harvest. This has been a strange year for farmers. The planting season was very late, well into June. When our big hail storm hit a month and a half later, my cousin figured the whole crop was lost. But what happened was that well over half the wheat came back because it was so far behind it hadn’t headed out yet. So here we are, harvesting in October.

Twice in the last week I’ve gotten to drive a combine out mud holes. The ground has been so saturated with rain that any low spot is dangerous for heavy machinery. I haven’t driven anything “heavy” in a long time but it felt good, like I was accomplishing something tangible. I’ve spent most of my adult life working at a desk, moving ones and zeroes in one form or another, sitting though interminable meetings, dressing in business casual. Standing on the platform of a moving combine with dirty hands, dust on my jeans and a cool fall breeze felt like a different reality. Not necessarily a better one. I’m not cut out to be a farmer and I’m OK with that. But I will continue to savor the change of pace, the break from my computer screen to do something outside, something real.

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Daniel and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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It’s in the mid-forties today and the cats had a horrible time deciding whether to be inside or outside. In theory, they were desperate to go out. We’ve been gone for a couple days and they had severe cabin fever. But this morning it was in the thirties and windy so we saw a lot of the behavior shown above. This was Daniel and Arya after about a half hour outside, bunched up like sparrows on a twig on a winter day. They’ve been in and out, and in and then begged at another door to go out because hey, it might be different by going out this door. This afternoon the sun is finally shining and they’re out again, looking for those dying wasps in the air and fat shrews under the fallen leaves. Sundown hits around seven and they’ll be ready to come in by then. Until tomorrow when we play this game again.

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Uniformity

Jerol Central Park

I’ve never had a job where I had to wear a uniform. But a post by Carmen Esposito on the AVClub, an article on Medium.com, and the subsequent thread about the topic on Metafilter got me thinking about these things.

http://www.avclub.com/article/exposing-myself-210331

View story at Medium.com

http://www.metafilter.com/143521/SHORTS-long-as-hell-Pockets-everywhere-Its-2000

When I was in high school in the early 70s there was a definite way to dress, even for guys in a small town: big bell jeans, a long-sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up on the forearm (preferably flannel), tennis shoes or boots (but not cowboy boots or you’d be labeled a shitkicker), and of course, hair as long as you could get away with. There were those that did not adopt the uniform but those were more a case of being clueless rather than nonconformist. I read an interview with Roger Daltrey where he talked about the “blue army” at Who concerts in the 70s, young American males in jeans and jean jackets creating a sea of faded blue under the house lights. And really, few articles of clothing were more comfortable than a pair of Levis that were faded to the point of softness and then eventually cut down to shorts. Yes, I remember it well.

I used to consider myself a somewhat sharp dresser. I learned early on that while I looked ridiculous in anything that smacked of the current fashion, classic menswear hung pretty well on me. A sharp suit, navy blazer with khaki slacks, a crisp dress shirt, polo shirts and Levi 501s, crewneck sweaters, vests, all of those worked on me. Especially when I was thin.

Most of the jobs I have held in my adult life have required some variation of business casual and I’ve had little problem with that. When I used to work as an analyst for an insurance company I was always taking meetings with VPs and directors so I had to dress the part of the Corporate Warrior. I saved money by ironing my dress shirts rather than going through the dry cleaner and had built up enough dress clothes that I had some variety. A few years after I lost that job (a tale of corporate skullfuckery if there ever was one) a former coworker told me that whenever a man came into that department the women there would judge him on his “Jerol factor”. One of the analysts always dismissed them with a “nope, not crisp enough to be Jerol”. I admit, that did my ego good.

At the publishing company I started with Corporate Warrior and discovered that no one, even attorneys who were management, bothered. I had no issue switching back to business casual and even wore jeans half the time. We editors had absolutely no contact with customers and needed no image to project. It was a very loose atmosphere and I got quite used to it. When I started working with for the oil company here in North Dakota our manager tried to subject everyone to her standard of what business casual should be. It was ridiculous but at the time it paid the bills so I adhered to that rigid witch’s standards.

Now days, I am responsible to no one but myself. But I have to admit it’s a uniform of sorts. There’s a couple pairs of Old Navy jeans that fit my fat ass, I have a plethora of t-shirts, long and short sleeved, and it’s is cold I wear a flannel shirt or a sweatshirt over that. In other words, I have reverted to high school. The photo above is from seven years ago, on a sunny day in Central park. Yup, I’m the heart of America’s fashion world wearing jeans, a crewneck shirt, and blue Chuck Taylors.

But it’s getting to be time to change the uniform. Half the problem is that I am a fat bastard. I’ve gained a good twenty pounds since breaking my ankle and I was already overweight. But I am turning the corner on that and once the weight sloughs off enough I think it’s time to start dressing like I care again. At least when I’m in public…

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Suspension and Displacement

reader staying up all night

I’m kind of foundering today. My attention span has been a little shakier than normal this week, my time has been siphoned off on things other than writing, and even today, when I have had a big block of uninterrupted time, I’ve gotten little written words to show for it.

I have got some reading done. That’s an expected bonus of fall. I’m reading Lev Grossman’s The Magicians and I’ve found it to be strange yet intriguing. The tag “Harry Potter at College” is pretty limiting for this book, it’s far more than that. I also find it quite interesting that Grossman tells a large share of the story without dialog yet it the narrative never feels like exposition. I’m only up to the halfway point but I am very captivated.

I suspect this fluctuation of ADHD will past. I’ll hit my writing groove again and my reading won’t suffer. The only thing that hopefully will suffer will be the time I waste.

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