Winter Morning Music

red and orange solar flare
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Standing under a heater vent blowing 70-degree air on me, I still get goosebumps listening to Ed Sheeran singing “I See Fire” from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Removed we may be from the foothills of Erebor, but we never seem far from the breath of the great drake.

For there are days beneath brown hills, Santannas blowing dry from the Northeast bending the palms and sending crackles of static through hair and wool, when if you listen closely, you can hear the chuckle of the Old Wyrm amidst the howling tempest, and your breath stops, waiting in dread for the ridges to explode in flame.

Mugology: Easing Back into the Classroom

Returning higher education after an absence of over three decades – even when retirement allows me to focus on my studies – demands a  gradual approach. Collegiate study skills are muscles, and atrophy after too many years languishing in the workplace. Dive into a college classroom alongside students fresh from a dozen consecutive years of study, and you are going to be outclassed, and possibly overwhelmed.

I’ve decided to start easing back into the pool with lectures, enrichment style, courtesy of the wonderful folks at The Learning Company, who publish a series of university-level courses aimed at geezers like me under The Great Courses brand. I have now been through a good half-dozen of these, just listening, and I can feel the study-muscles starting to twitch. My next step: taking notes. The step after that: scheduling 3 per week. Finally, I’ll be taking notes, doing three per week, and completing the recommended reading.

By that point, I figure I should be ready to go back to the classroom. Hopefully, that will happen sometime this coming year.

But this post was about a coffee mug, one they sent to me recently, perhaps in recognition of the fact that I’ve purchased so many of their courses.

Morning Hydration

Daily pre-noon intake (mostly liquid): Left to Right

Overnight oats with protein, blueberries, and unsweet almond milk; Black Rifle coffee (10oz) in Geek cup; English Breakfast Tea (32 oz); water (64 oz); water with BCAAs and electroylytes (32oz).

By noon, solid foods are looking REALLY good.

Books of 2021: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Expanding my reading to include the detective fiction genre after bingeing “Longmire” on Netflix – and heeding Susan Wise Bauer‘s enjoinment to approach a new subject or genre chronologically – I naturally began with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. After running through the four novels and five short-story collections composing the Sherlock Holmes canon, I can attest that I am not just hooked, I am downright fired-up.

In addition to a growing stack of books from Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Robert B. Parker, and Craig Johnson, I am working on an essay about Holmes. There is a lot of pulp out there, but in a genre known rather more for its pot-boiler tendencies than its literary chops, I am finding much to appreciate beyond pure diversion.

That said, next up is a little Jesse Stone, purely for diversion.

Camp Santa

Opening the holiday greetings a few years ago, I was pleased to find a card from the Ventura County Council. I work with the team there rather a lot, and they are dedicated, caring, and inspiring.

Enclosed was this gift, a little blessing to a patch collector like myself: a limited edition council-specific patch with the Council’s legendary summer camp, Three Falls, with a visitation by Mr. Claus and his personal herd of Rangifer tarandus. This one will not find its way to eBay: it’s a keeper.

Merry Xmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Good Festivus, and a belated chag sameach to all, and to all a Happy New  Year.

Perfect Timing

Look what showed up at my door right before I watched Biscuit Week from 2018 of the Great British Bake-Off.

There are no coincidences in the multiverse.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑