Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s a quiet and early Friday morning here in North Dakotaland amid the “frog days” of summer. We’re expecting some gentle rain tonight over the weekend to soften the transition from the summer to fall. Despite all the uncertainty facing our return to the classroom, the state of the nation, and a tangle web of half-finished (and likely half-baked!) projects, the first signs of fall are a welcome reminder that things will happen no matter what we do. It’s comforting.

This weekend offers plenty of things to do in the rain from Formula 1 racing to baseball, the NBA, and the NASCAR guys. Jamal James returns to the boxing ring for a shot at the WBA interim welterweight title. James is from Minneapolis and has been outspoken regarding both the George Floyd’s death and the protests that shook the city. It’ll be good to see him do well. 

I hope you all can find ways to enjoy the waning days of summer even as uncertainty and tragedy abound. Perhaps some quick hits and varia can offer a nice start to your weekend:

IMG 5246

Friday Quick Hits and Varia

It’s the first weekend of the “frog days” of summer where the heat and humidity start their their August-long crescendo and our humble river valley feels better suited for frogs than people.

This week has been a sports whirlwind with the painful end to the brilliantly begun England-West Indies test series, Phillies baseball back (and then not so much), the NBA back (with the Sixers playing Saturday night), NASCAR in New Hampshire, and the F1 guys at Silverstone. It’s been fascinating to see how various sports have been making things work in our COVID-inflected world.

This weekend, though, will be dedicated to putting the final touches on a book project for The Digital Press and next week will involve rolling up my sleeves and getting to work in earnest on a book scheduled to appear this fall. There’s also the little matter of my syllabi for fall semester, my own book project, and a stack of grant proposals quietly judging me.

I also just really want to finish the novel that I started. 

I hope your weekend is filled with excitement as well.

Enjoy this little gaggle of quick hits and varia:

IMG 5224

IMG 5220

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

With a week left in July, the “frog days” of summer have come early here on the Northern Plains. We have a heat advisory and temperatures are set to lick the mid-90s.

Fortunately, there’s plenty to keep my occupied out of the heat as I begin my month-long taper into the start of the fall semester. The rubber match in the England-West Indies Test Match series started today. The Phillies open their COVID season this evening. The NBA is on the horizon, and while my summer reading list is in shambles, I refuse to go the entire summer without reading a novel. 

Hopefully your weekend offers something entertaining, intriguing, or, failing that, productive. Here are some quick hits and varia:

IMG 5178He is not a rocket surgeon

IMG 5196Upside-Down Dog

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s summertime here in North Dakotaland and temperatures are going to hit 90 degrees once again. We can only hope that the warm weather, like our blustery winters, will keep the COVIDs away. The surge in cases around the U.S. is terribly alarming.

Globally, the show goes on. I’m up this morning trying to enjoy the second Test Match between England and the West Indies. Tomorrow the Formula 1 guys are in Hungary and the NASCAR is in Texas. Next week, the NBA and MLB are scheduled to return and the slate of boxing scheduled for Tuesday night on ESPN is among the best of the summer.  

The semester is also looming, there is at least one more book to nudge through production before the summer is over, and I’m supposed to have finished another chapter for the book I’m “supposively” trying to finish.

If you’re interested in what I was up to this past week, here’s a sneak peek at the next book from The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota: Calobe Jackson, Jr., Katie Wingert McArdle, David Pettegrew, eds. Foreword by Lenwood Sloan, One Hundred Voices, Harrisburg’s Historic African American Community, 1850-1920. You can download a copy here.

Or you can check out this quick hits and varia:

IMG 5182It’s Milo’s 7th Birthday 

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s a long weekend here in North Dakotaland which hopefully means that people have some time off to relax and enjoy the warm summer weather (in a socially responsible and socially distant way).

This weekend will also see the return of Formula 1 in Austria, the Indy Car and Xfinity kids on the Indianapolis road course, and the NASCAR guys at the Indianapolis oval. If I didn’t have so much relaxing scheduled for the July 4th weekend, I’d sit and watch all four races!

So whatever your plans are, I hope you all find time to enjoy the weekend, as well as this short list of quick hits and varia:

IMG 5110

IMG 5106Dog Days

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s starting to feel well and truly like summer here in North Dakotaland with plenty of brilliant cloudless days making it easier not to be in the Mediterranean.

Things are slowly turning toward a new normal here on the Northern Plains with masks and distancing becoming less of an awkward compromise and more of a way of life. I suspect some of this has to do with practices developed over the course of brutal winters when life slow downs, the days grow short, and the prospects of venturing out are always less appealing than staying at home by the fire. 

The situation is giving me time to read and write and keep the dogs exercises, and refresh my weekly list of quick hits and varia:

IMG 5088The Bargepole Abides.

IMG 5073Milo Guards

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It Friday (I’m pretty sure) at the end of a windy and stormy week in North Dakotaland. It was punctuated by periodic dog vomits (at 3 am) and fits of panic at the rumble of thunder. The only good thing is that it interrupted a long and involved dream about teaching. Other than that, it’s been a brilliant week. Just brilliant.

Now on to a short list of quick hits and varia:

IMG 5073

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s finally Friday in another long week. While the weather feels like early summer here in North Dakotaland, the national climate feels a bit too much like late fall when the anxiety of another long, cold winter is starting to take hold.

That being said, with the return of boxing over the last few days, continued efforts for change in NASCAR, and ongoing national conversations about racism, the police, and the role of violence in our society, maybe there’s more spring in the air than I can sense right now.

Whatever the season, here are some quick hits and varia:

IMG 5056Traditional SubWoofer Position

IMG 5060Bracing for Storms

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

I’m pretty sure that today is Friday in North Dakotaland and while I wish I could say that the world was slowly returning to a kind of post-COVID normalcy, it, in fact, seems to imploding. The only thing we can hope is that some good comes from these dark days. 

It does seem kind of pointless to be posting on my blog or fussing around with my scholarship or doing much of anything these days. Writing or reading this blog seems like a low priority. 

But, if you’re here (and I do appreciate you as readers!), do check out the voices that Eric Burin brought together in his Protesting on Bended Knee: Race, Dissent and Patriotism in 21st Century America (2018) or check out Gayatri Devi’s short essay on this week’s NDQ blog on mainstreaming racial slurs.

Or check out this little gaggle of quick hits and varia:

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

After a week of summer here in North Dakotaland, we’ve settled back into a lazy spring with temperatures wandering through the 60s and visiting the upper 30s at night. With plenty of sunshine and a gentle breeze rather than a howling wind, I’m looking forward to the weekend!

Bonnie Larson Staiger’s poem “Still” got me thinking about the blustery North Dakota winds in the summer. Do check it out over at the North Dakota Quarterly page.

With the world cautiously awaking from its COVID-induced slumber, there’s Cup racing on Sunday (at Bristol no less!) and plenty of whispers from the NBA, boxing, and other motorsports that a return is immanent. In fact, the Aussie’s announced their summer cricket schedule this week and it sounds like the West Indies are headed to the UK soon in preparation for their tour.

It’s also the start of 1000 words of summer! This will be the first time that I try to write 1000 words for 14 days. Needless to say, I’m anxious and excited!

So there’s a lot to look forward in the next couple of months despite all the uncertainty, in the meantime, here are some quick hits and varia: