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


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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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.


View story at Medium.com


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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Master has given Dobby a sock

P1010180My wife has given me the gift of warm tootsies. Ever since I’ve been free of wearing a cast/boot on my foot I have been wearing these black sandals with a Velcro strap across the top. They’re two sizes too big but hey, it was the only thing that would fit my swollen left foot. My foot has gotten a little smaller since but it’s still quite impossible for me to fit me into my own shoes. This was fine during the summer but it’s October and we are in northern North Dakota, but a short drive from the border with Canukistan. The temperatures at night are already dropping into the twenties and that’s not sandal weather.¬†Carjo turned to the trusty Interwebs and found a moccasin with EEE width. They came in the mail today and with great anticipation and a little foreboding I tried them on.

Sweet mercy, it worked. They fit, they’re warm, and with the rubber sole functional into December. By then I can likely fit back into my winter footwear without much problem but we’ll deal with that when the snow piles up. For now this boy is a free elf.

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Some Times the Grumpy Old Man in Me Comes Out


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The Beers of Winter are Coming


Back when I made my big beer buy in August I laid in a fair amount of dark beers in addition to my usual IPAs. This weekend was nothing but below average temperatures, wind, and overcast skies. That’s the perfect weather for something like the above. This week it will warm up and I’ll go back to the pale and bitter. But on a cold dark night, there’s nothing like this. Dark as sin with a creamy mouthfeel, roasted malts and hints of nuts and chocolate. I should have bought a second six of this.

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Caturday – Two Old Men and a Little Girl


There are feral cats in our neighborhood and the neighbors are working to get them rounded up. The male cats are nasty and territorial. Daniel and Sneakers have been rather territorial in response and had managed to convince these tomcats that our yard is not welcome to them. The females are perpetually pregnant and hard to catch. All but one has been snared and sent out to the country to live as barn cats, which is still better than the life they had. The kittens are now scattered among a few houses up and down our block. Of course one of them ended up here. And there she sits, napping with the big boys on a soft fluffy blanket. For some reason she worships Jasper and think Sneakers is the bees knees. I’m just glad she fits in and faces a winter inside, with a full belly, plenty of toys, and a quite warm place to nap. It’s what every animal deserves.

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