Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s a proper Fall Friday after a thoroughly autumnal week! Temperatures were in the 40s and 50s, and there was some rain, some clouds, and some mottled sunlight. All in all, it feels right. (For a nice poetic expression of this, check out David Solheim’s “North Country”).

After an exciting weekend of sports last weekend, this weekend is more of a rest and recovery time. I feel like there will be some yard work in my plans, but I still might kick my weekend off by watching some baseball and maybe the Immanuel Navarrete fight (although I don’t think Joet Gonzalez will give him much trouble).

Otherwise, it’s books, writing, some layout and book design, maybe a nap, and certainly quick hit and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s a rainy Fall Friday, and it just feels right. I have an immeasurable stack of grading, writing, and reading to do this weekend, but I am also looking forward to the cooler temperatures of a proper fall. 

Plus, there’s plenty of fall entertainment on tap. Penn State facing Iowa in a make-or-break game for both teams. The Formula 1 guys are back in Istanbul for a second year in a row (and Sainz and Hamilton will be starting from well down the grid with engine penalties). The NASCAR crew is at the Roval in Charlotte. Most importantly, though, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury meet for the third time with the WBC, Ring, and Lineal heavyweight championship in the line. Fury is favored (-270) and I suspect he’ll take care of business in six or seven rounds.

Even if the perfect blend of sport and work isn’t to your taste, do check out these quick hits and varia:


Friday Varia and Quick Hits

We’re enjoying one last taste of summer this week and most people I know are savoring it realizing that winter is right around the corner. My plan is to have a jog today and a bike ride on Sunday and maybe spend Saturday by the smoker.

With some chicken and a duck in the smoker, I’ll by re-reading some NDQ submissions with one eye on the UND-NDSU game. Ohio State might have its hands fully with Rutgers (!!) at the same time while my mighty Spiders enjoy a bit of a breather against Elon after tough games against Villanova and Virginia Tech. The Cup guys race at Talladega which is mostly entertaining (although I suspect that I’ll be out on my bike for most of it)!

And there are always some quick hits and varia.

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s the first Friday of Fall and the leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, and the cool evenings hint at things to come. 

Of course, there’s football these days and the long tail of a baseball season in which the Phillies refuse to give up.  The Formula 1 guys are in Sochi for the annual Russian snoozefest (which might be enlivened by rain showers?). The NASCAR guys are in Vegas. The Eagles are playing on Monday Night. But all of this pales to tomorrow’s heavy weight championship fight between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk. As always, the world stops when a heavy weight championship is on the line. Anthony Joshua is a -225 favorite in the fight, which feels about right to me. I think I like Usyk’s -200 just a bit better, though. This is a classic example of styles making fights. If Usyk is about to avoid Joshua’s power in the early rounds and batter the champion and keep him off balance, we might see Joshua wilt down the stretch. It is genuinely intriguing.

No matter how the fight goes, I have a nice gaggle of reading and some writing to take care of this weekend. And, as always, some quick hits and varia:



Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s an early fall Friday which means cooler temperatures, changing leaves, apples on our apple tree, and football for the backdrop for the hustle and bustle of the academic year. We’ve had just enough recent rain to make some fall foThis really is my favorite time of year.

I’m excited to switch between the Penn State “white out” game against Auburn on Saturday night and the Bristol NASCAR night race. Ohio State’s game verses Tulsa will provide a nice flickering backdrop to some weekend reading and writing. Without Carson Wentz to bring in local viewers, my Eagles aren’t on TV much out here in the Red River Valley, but I’ll be following them on my laptop. I’ve heard, but can’t confirm, that the Phillies season is over.

I hope that you all have some enjoyable weekend plans and, if not, maybe my quick hits and varia can help!

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

I woke up early this morning to watch a bit of the final England-India Test before taking the dogs to their club only to find that the match had been abandoned due to COVID concerns. Such is life in the new normal.

Fortunately this looks like it will be one of those lovely fall weekends with temperatures today reminding us of what summer felt like before cooling across Saturday and Sunday with some clouds. Fall in North Dakota really is the best.

This weekend is also packed with sport. My Ohio State Buckeyes have a huge game against Oregon tomorrow. The NFL season is kicking off (although the Eagles won’t be on TV in my area, I was able to enjoy a bit of the Cowboys’ loss last night). Tonight, Oscar Valdez fights Robson Conceicao on a substantial Top Rank boxing card (and for heavy weight fans, Tony Yoka fights this afternoon in Paris; he’s an interesting guy who is starting to move up the rankings). The F1 party heads to the Monza for some low downforce fun and the NASCAR circus races on Saturday night at Richmond. The Phillies will also continue to work hard to give Atlanta some space atop the NLeast standings. What more can you want?

I suppose you could eagerly request a little list of quick hits and varia and who am I to deny you?

Here you go:

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Clueless Milo (if you zoom into the background you’ll see why) 

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s a lovely Fall Friday here in the Northern Plains with temperatures in the mid-70s and recent rains providing some late summer greening. It’ll be a nice backdrop to the long weekend and the mild temperatures will ease the transition to winter.

In fact, it feels like college football season! And while I’ve already seen the start of the Buckeyes’ 2021 campaign, I’m looking forward to keeping at least one eye on Penn State, Richmond, and UND who all kick off their seasons this weekend. The boys of summer are still playing and we’ll probably pay a bit of attention to the Phightin’ Phils as they try to make a late season run against the Braves. The England-India test match is getting more and more interesting each over after a first day that saw 13 wickets! The Cup guys start their playoffs at Darlington on Sunday night (although this race has all the feeling of a “long rain delay), and the F1 circus descends on Zandvoort in the Netherlands for the first time in 36 years. Finally, Josh Warrington runs it back against Mauricio Lara on Saturday for the first boxing weekend of a packed fall schedule.

Of course, none of this may be your cup of tea, but perhaps something in these varia and quick hits will make your holiday weekend a bit more fun:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s finally Friday! For some reason the first week of the semester feels a bit longer and more tiring than most other weeks of the academic year. I think it’s mostly because there’s so much excitement and anticipation that I burn a bit too brightly making it hard to sustain my energy. Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to having a few days to recharge.

Fortunately, this is a good weekend to recharge. The weather will be cool and fall-like, but the days are still long enough that you don’t feel like you’re living in darkness. Since the baseball season is coming to the end (at least if you’re a Philly fan) and the third test in the England-India series had a disappointing start, I can watch a good weekend of motor racing without worrying about what’s going on elsewhere. That means qualifying and racing at Spa on Saturday and Sunday morning and racing in Daytona on Friday and Saturday night. 

In between, I’ll be working my way through a bit of a backlog of articles and other reading as I start to plan out my fall reading and writing work.

In the meantime, here are some quick hits and varia:

Happy Doggo Day (a day late, but not, as the saying goes, a doggo short)

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

Fall has sprung here in North Dakotaland with rain today and temperatures hanging out in the 70s. Before long, it’ll be time for chili, soup, and watching football under a pile blankets and hoping for the wind to carry the leaves into the neighbors yard! 

I like summer well enough, but like many people I struggle with the unstructured time and prioritizing. The start of the academic year, for me, marks a return to the comforting constraints of a regular routine and the persistent priority of teaching and meetings. To say that I’m kind of tired of summer might be an exaggeration, but I’m certainly ready for school to start again even as the threat of of a COVID compromised semester looms.

Plus, it’s a terrible sports weekend with the Phillies frittering away their brief lead in the NL East, the Yordenis Ugas vs. Manny Pacquiao feeling a bit like a nothing-burger, the F1 guys on summer break, the Cup guys heading to the annual Michigan fuel-mileage snoozefest, and the NFL wandering a bit listlessly through the pre-season. I plan to mostly catch up on some reading and put a pork butt in the smoker.

As part of getting back to a routine, I want to try to blog a bit more regularly and that means a regular flow of quick hits and varia. I should say, though, that if you want a higher quality product (with fewer typos and more substantive content!) than what I’m producing here, then go and subscribe to the new Pasts Imperfect newsletter. Delivered weekly to your inbox it will provide you with a great gaggle of ancient world related varia and some useful professional information as well. 

You may also find some useful stuff in my little lists of quick hits and varia as well:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

I know my blogging has been a bit inconsistent this summer and for that I apologize, but today feels like as good a day as any to get back into the rhythm of writing consistently. Like any effort to get into a new habit, today will be kind of half-assed, but I suppose it’s better than nothing and eating an elephant and all that.

This weekend begins the calm before the storm of a hectic fall semester. Fortunately, there’s a crucial baseballing series for the Phighting Phils against the Reds. There’s a massive slate of boxing on Saturday including the return of the fighting Maloney brothers. I can happily spend my mornings with the second test of the England-India series and then slip over in the afternoon to watch the Windies verses Pakistan. Road course racing for the Cup guys at Indianapolis is a great offering on what is supposed to be a balmy Sunday. 

For those who prefer to turn the AC on and read, there is a little a gaggle of quick hits and varia:


Santa Roll