Sunday, September 23, 2018

Finding magic

Sometimes, a little magic is needed to make things extra special in this life.  As an overly-practical person (honestly, I’m probably part Vulcan), my belief is that magic in not real.  Yet, I know that sometimes things are magical.
When Sarah was young, she asked for a real magic wand for Christmas.  Her disappointment that Christmas made me so sad.  If only I could have granted her simple wish.  But really, knowing that magic isn’t really real makes us appreciate magical moments all the more.
Last Thursday morning, I set my alarm and rolled out of bed extra early.  The weatherman predicted a fabulous day, and he was completely correct.  We had heavy fog, a good sign for this time of year that the day will be clear, not humid, and divine.  I loaded the kayak, and headed to the nearest lake (Greenbo).  The lake was all mine that morning.  No fishermen, no other kayakers, not even anyone fishing along the shores (that I could hear or see).  AHHHHH...I slid my kayak into the water and paddled way back, all the way back, into a cove.  Thick fog on the glassy water merged into a solid cloud of gray.  The marina behind me disappeared quickly, and no doubt I disappeared just as fast into the fog...nothing but the soft sound of my paddle cutting the water.  THAT was magic. 

Fog lifting on Greenbo

The air was still so that there was little drift when I stopped padding.  The fog made my hair damp and my clothes feel wet.  Fish swam up and circled to see what was this strange green vessel floating on the water.  As the fog began to lift, the world around me came alive.  Hawks shrieked above me, woodpeckers tapped on the trees, birds sang, I heard squirrels cutting nuts with their teeth, walnuts or hickory nuts dropping into the water, fish splashed – lots of fish in that lake, and turkeys everywhere.  Turkeys are’s OK.  Turkeys are magic. They travel in flocks along the hills clucking to each other.  They aren’t all that pretty, but they’re big and plentiful around here.  I’m grateful for turkeys and hawks; they are magnificent. 

Late morning in September on Greenbo (after the fog)

Sarah and I did a road trip together this weekend.  We went to Indiana to visit my dad (her grandfather).  I was grateful to have company; I usually make the trip alone, and it’s a little more than five hours of driving each way.  We talked about everything, and even though we disagree on many of the world’s issues, it’s OK.  

On the way home, we stopped at IKEA, the first time either of us had visited one.  IKEA was pretty awesome – such a big (BIG) retail place, but much more awesome than that, was the rainbow that appeared in the sky as we pulled into the parking lot. We were in central Ohio, toward the western side between Dayton and Cincinnati where everything is flat and the rainbows are HUGE.  This rainbow was magical.  People all over the parking lot were standing around looking at it, and some employees stepped out of the store to take a look.  The world seemed to stand still for a few minutes as all marveled at the rainbow.  If God could put enough rainbows in the sky all at once, do you suppose we would have a few moments of world peace? 


Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Old KYLady is not in the mood to work anymore tonight.  She could go to bed, but no.  She will post to the Old KYLady Blog - The Journal of Despair and Woe.  Well, sometimes it is.  Sometimes it’s the Journal of Continuous Mundaneness. Tonight, it is the Journal of What Is.

What is happening these days?  Working and thinking, more thinking, more working.  Pretty much, that is it and all of it.  I’m thinking that I work way too many hours for my paychecks.  Certainly, University #2 seems to be in a downward spiral.  It’s too bad because I love the students there, but the handwriting seems to be on the wall.  My days there are numbered unless they get out and recruit.  So, even though it’s counterintuitive and perhaps even irrational, I applied for a full-time professor job there.  It was like pulling my own teeth to update my CV for this opportunity... a task that I’d been putting off for months, like no exaggeration, at least six months.  If you have not applied for a job online, you would have no appreciation for the frustration of uploading a detailed CV or resume, and then typing all that shit into an online form.  GRRRRRRR.  It’s a wretched bunch of crapola.
So now, my CV is up-to-date, and it’s time to hunt for more work.  Perhaps, better-paying work.  The problem for me is that I’ve not published in a peer-reviewed journal, I’ve never presented at a conference, and hell, I’ve never done anything that really matters in the academic world.  As an adjunct, nobody pays for conference fees...except me.  It’s hard to think about forking over $800+ to attend a conference for a few days to even see what goes on at one.  I’m disinclined to volunteer to present at one until I know what these things are like.  Granted, I attended conferences long ago in my Big Oil days, like in the 1980s and 1990s...and these were oil industry conferences, not education industry ones.  They were fun.  I had fun at them.
Meanwhile, I’m taking a course (self-paced, online) to learn more about setting up networks for IoT devices, and some basic programming of IoT least, that’s what I believe the course is about.  I’m only 75% finished with first module, but it’s some interesting stuff so far.  Also in my spare time, I’m making instructional videos about very basic use of Microsoft Word and Excel (for my students).  I suck at making videos, by the way.  I need a faster computer processor...something else I’ve been procrastinating on...buying a new laptop.
Has this become a Woe and Despair post again??  Maybe old KYLady needs to make a visit to the liquor store and buy a bottle of cheer.  But for now, the night is late, and there are classes in the morning.