Siesta? I Don’t Need No Stinking Siesta!

In the comments of the prior post, Lance writes, “it appears our host is taking a post semester siesta.”

Ah, sweet innocence. Just kidding. Actually, in addition to a couple of long days of work on course development, I’ve been doing a lot of physical labor. There’s a lot of work to be done in my yard, due to some areas that had to be dug up last year, and I have some fences to repair thanks to a big wind we had in April. And I’ve spent the last two weekends out at my friend’s weekend trailer helping him rebuild his deck. Next weekend we’ll finish putting on the new roof, and that job will be done.

Today I hope to get new dirt down in my front yard (torn up when they replaced my main sewer line last year) and get that re-seeded. And as soon as I can find someone to give me a hand for a day, I’m going to dig a lot of post holes so I can start replacing all of them along my fence line. Whoever put this fence up didn’t use any concrete to set the posts (I lie, they used a couple of handfuls at the very bottom of the holes, that’s all), and they put the posts up in the middle of each fence section, instead of at the joints. In one area they used 2x4s for the posts. Nearly everything is rotted out, which is why I keep having fence sections blown down in big winds.

Then I have to fix the broken rafter I recently discovered in my tool shed, and then get to work on this season’s repairing and painting of our house’s exterior, which requires patching a lot of cracked fish scales and replacement of several sections of lap siding.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I like doing that kind of work. Unlike teaching, there’s a much more evident sense of accomplishment, and I love the feeling of looking at a completed job and knowing I did it myself. Self-sufficiency may be the road to poverty, but there’s consumption pleasure in being able to do tasks like this. Plus it’s physically tiring so I sleep better than I do during the school year, when I’m just mentally tired and have a tendency to insomnia.

And so I really haven’t been paying much attention to the news lately, and have almost no idea what’s going on in the world right now, so I haven’t had much to say. I do know it’s Indy 500 month and the first weekend of qualifying is coming up.

I also heard about the accusation that Mitt Romney held down a fellow student and cut off his long hair while in high school. That’s quite the asshole behavior, but I wouldn’t make much of something he did nearly half a century ago (knowing how adolescents are), except that he can’t seem to bring himself to sincerely apologize, and in the first response I heard him make to it he was audibly chuckling. My two oldest have been bullied some in school, and every year we hear about kids killing themselves because of bullying. Chuckling about it is inexcusable.

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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30 Responses to Siesta? I Don’t Need No Stinking Siesta!

  1. hanleyjo says:

    I’m hoping that you’re not hinting Indy for your birthday present – alas it is too late I got you something else you will enjoy!

  2. pierrecorneille says:

    Not that it’s relevant to anything, really, but I was in Indy briefly this past weekend. We have friends there and we visit them occasionally (although we weren’t visiting them this time).

  3. Lance says:

    Hey, if you’re gonna be in Indy any time soon let men know and I’ll meet you some where for a drink. Or you and your family can hang out in our backyard for a burger and a beer.

    Oh, and you can validate my “alleged” African wife Kidist to certain idiots on Dispatches that insist on calling me a racist for not agreeing with their leftist group-centric screeds.

    Of course Kidist might be pissed at you for creating a blog that I use for an excuse not to work on myVictorian home.

    Oops, it’s after 1:00pm and I have a bathroom to tile…

  4. AMW says:

    My two oldest have been bullied some in school, and every year we hear about kids killing themselves because of bullying. Chuckling about it is inexcusable.

    I think it depends on his relationship to that person over time after the incident. If things got patched up and the two ended up on good terms, it’s no big deal to laugh about it years later. But if he never made up with the kid then, yeah, he’s an asshole and it’s inexcusable.

  5. AMW says:

    By the way, will you be out in California this year?

  6. James Hanley says:

    Sorry to be a disappointment, but I will not be in either California or Naptown this year. With the better half and daughter #1 going to Europe, and plans to take the kids to Harry Potter world in Florida for Christmas, our travel budget is already over-budgeted. The only place I’m going is Minnesota. (Although, Lance, I probably will be taking the family to Turkey Run for a couple days in early June, which requires going near Indy.)

    P.S. to AMW. Is there still funding available for those research grants we talked about last year?

  7. AMW says:

    Yes. Submit your proposal by August 15 to hear back in October.

  8. Dr X says:

    Oh, and you can validate my “alleged” African wife Kidist to certain idiots on Dispatches that insist on calling me a racist for not agreeing with their leftist group-centric screeds.

    Seriously, did someone actually think you were making that up? Well, we know there are more than a few people there who can’t process the idea of a libertarian with a sense of decency. So like all hardcore partisans, they need to erase facts that don’t fit.

    Evan after years as a former libertarian, it took me quite a bit of time to be convinced that there were liberals who weren’t driven by envy and overcompensation for their own denied racial biases, but they do exist. On the other hand, I think there are fewer and fewer in the Republican fold who aren’t reactionary zealots with, shall we say, some unsettled attitudes about a multi-colored America.

  9. Lance says:

    James Hanley,
    Turkey Run is my favorite Indiana State Park (with the possible exception of the Indiana Dunes State Park). Kidist and I have been there twice together.

    If it wouldn’t be butting in on your family time perhaps Kidist and I could meet you folks there for a couple of hours.

    (I’m starting to feel like a groupie.)

  10. Lance says:

    Dr X,

    Seriously, did someone actually think you were making that up? Well, we know there are more than a few people there who can’t process the idea of a libertarian with a sense of decency. So like all hardcore partisans, they need to erase facts that don’t fit.

    I think I finally convinced democommie that I was married to an African woman, and spend months at a time living in Ethiopia with my in-laws and friends, but he still insist that I am a racist because I don’t hold his views on certain liberal touchstones, such as affirmative action and other racial preferences.

    He actually compared me to Strom Thurmond for Christ’s sake.

    He also likened my marriage to the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings.

    I must admit, that while the comparison of my marriage to that of slave and master was repugnant I was flattered to be compared with T.J. in any capacity.

    Hmmm. Actually I may have to talk to Kidist about a little role playing. Now, where did I put my powdered wig?

  11. James Hanley says:

    Lance,

    I would be delighted to meet your wife, because you’ve made her out to be quite a worthy person to know.

    Meeting up is a real possibility. It’s just my wife, kids, and grandma, because my kids have been itching to go back to Turkey Run. (For those who aren’t as privileged as Lance and me, it’s a region of sandstone canyons, former Lake Michigan lake bed, later gouged out by an outpouring from Lake Michigan when a natural dam broke, sometime after the last ice age, and it has Indiana’s prettiest stream flowing through it–it’s a magically beautiful place.) So having you and Kidist come by wouldn’t be a problem. It will be midweek, although the dates aren’t yet set (we’re going to play it by ear and go in early June, whenever good weather is forecast), so I don’t know if that will work well for your or not. But I’ll email you with info when the time comes. If you can come in the day we could take a hike on the trails, or you could stop by for dinner.

  12. James Hanley says:

    AMW,

    Great. I really need to try to get a proposal submitted. I might pick your brain via email next month.

  13. Troublesome Frog says:

    Lance:

    He also likened my marriage to the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings.

    I stopped reading that thread before it got there. Holy shit, that’s pretty far over the line.

  14. AMW says:

    Sure thing. Also, remember that my University has world-class lab facilities and easy access to about 2,000 subjects. If Adrian would be a tough place to run the experiments you could always send me the software and protocols and I could have the experiments run for you out here.

  15. James Hanley says:

    AMW,

    No software, but a lab experiment based on a computer simulation run a decade ago. Basically a game choice scenario, where subjects choose between entering a prisoner’s dilemma or a hawk-dove game, where the potential payoffs overlap so that a priori one is not clearly more valuable than another. Pushing back the boundaries of standard game theory a bit to see not just how people behave in games, but how they choose between available games.

    The specific protocols are the sticking point, primarily due to my lack of practical lab experience. Adrian would definitely be a tough place to run it, which is why I’m looking your direction.

  16. James Hanley says:

    [Democommie] also likened my marriage to the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings.

    Sometimes I kind of liked that guy; other times I was convinced he’d been dropped on his head as a child. Comments like that are far out of line.

  17. Lance says:

    James Hanley,

    Mid week in June would probably work well for us. Kidist’s schedule at the hospital is Sun -Tue and I don’t teach again until July.

    Send me an email when you know the exact days.

    I would be delighted to meet your wife, because you’ve made her out to be quite a worthy person to know.

    She is a delightful person. Me on the other hand…

    As to democommie; In the thread I actually tried to reach out to him at the end of our sparring match, but he was having none of it. As Dr X mentioned, democommie is one of those progressives for whom anyone that is a libertarian is a de facto “racist tea-bagger”.

  18. James Hanley says:

    Lance,

    I will do that. As I said, it will probably be last minute, because we’ll just be looking for good weather a couple of days out, so it will be short notice.

  19. Lance says:

    James Hanley,

    Cool. I hope the timing works out. We haven’t been to Turkey Run in five years. Also I look forward to meeting you and your family in a non-cyber setting.

    The first park I took Kidist to in America was Clifty Falls State Park. We had been to the Blue Nile Falls (Tis Abay in Amharic, which translates to “smoking water”) on our honeymoon. I played Clifty Falls down, since I had never been there and also because the pamphlet I had said that the water flow would be lower in the fall which is when we visited.

    Still, when we came came to the clearing in the path where the “falls” were visible it was a comical disappointment. It was a mere trickle dropping about seventy five feet. My wife broke into laughter and said “That’s it! We drove three hours for that?”

    Luckily the rest of the park was quite lovely, many rolling forested vistas and a beautiful view of a bend in the Ohio River. She still kids me about the falls though. I’ll probably have to take her to Niagra to recover the honor of American waterfalls.

  20. James Hanley says:

    Or the falls on the Yellowstone River, in Yellowstone National Park. Those are pretty cool, too. Niagara’s closer, though. But Yellowstone has geysers, mountains, a gorgeous high mountain lake, and wild animals galore.

  21. Lance says:

    She has never been west of the Mississippi. I haven’t been to Yellowstone since I went to college in Idaho.

    I would love to take her on a month long trip out west. In addition to Yellowstone I would go to Yosemite, where I have never been, and also to the Grand Canyon, were I haven’t been since I was a kid.

    I love taking to the open road and just going where the mood takes you. I haven’t done much of that since my twenties but i would love to start doing it again.

    The next time we go to Africa (probably December of 2013) I plan on renting an old diesel Land Cruiser and driving from Ethiopia into Kenya and maybe down the Indian Ocean coast to Tanzania.

    Luckily Kidist loves to travel and as for now we don’t have any kids to tie us down.

  22. James Hanley says:

    She has never been west of the Mississippi.

    Dude, she has not seen America if she hasn’t been out west. What kind of loving spouse are you, to so deprive her?

  23. AMW says:

    If you go out west, don’t stop your journey too far inland. Visit some of the Cascades (Crater Lake springs to mind), and make sure you see some of the Coast, as well. As a born and bred Westerner, I’m with Hanley: you haven’t seen America if you haven’t seen the West.

    p.s. To anyone who hasn’t already seen it, I highly recommend the BBC’s Stephen Fry in America. In six episodes he visits every state in the Union. Seeing the U.S. through the eyes of a foreigner made me fall in love with it all over again.

  24. Lance says:

    What kind of loving spouse are you…

    The poor kind.

    Also she and I don’t have relatives out west so we have tended to visit the eastern half of the US. She has many relatives and friends in the DC – Virginia area.

    D.C. is often referred to as “Little Ethiopia” in the diaspora. It is not unusual to hear people speaking Amharic and wearing traditional Ethiopian dress as you walk the streets of D.C. There is even an Ethiopian Yellow Pages that is a couple inches thick.

    I do want to go west since it’s been over twenty years since I have been there, except for Texas. And I stayed east of the Brazos River even then.

    I lived in Dallas for about a year. Can’t say I particularly liked east Texas. Pretty much a flatter, hotter and drier southern Arkansas.

  25. James Hanley says:

    Can’t say I particularly liked east Texas. Pretty much a flatter, hotter and drier southern Arkansas.

    If that’s what you think of east Texas, I’d recommend you steer clear of west Texas at all costs.

  26. Lance says:

    AMW,

    I went to college in Idaho so I have been to much of the North West, but I haven’t been to most of Oregon or Washington. The Cascades are definitely on my list of places to see.

  27. Lance says:

    James Hanley,

    Actually I drove through west Texas with my family as a kid and have fond memories of the vast and rolling Texas hill country and the arid desert-scape of west Texas. It seemed more exotic and “cowboy-esque” than the boring grasslands, mesquite brush and strangled trees of east Texas.

  28. AMW says:

    Texas isn’t all bad. San Antonio’s not a bad town.

  29. AMW says:

    Lance,

    I grew up in Oregon and still go back on occasion to see family. In my experience, Washington isn’t as interesting as Oregon or B.C. It is, however, very attractive to look at from the borders of those places. And, of course, Ranier is stunning.

  30. Lance says:

    AMW,

    I hear nice things about Austin as well.

    Of course in a state as big as Texas there are bound to be plenty of scenic and interesting places. I just didn’t find the “Metroplex” a particularly nice place to live.

    To be fair I was only there about a year and given more time (and more money) I probably could have made it livable.

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