Friday Varia and Quick Hits

Yesterday walking to my car, I finally felt the first blast of real winter here in North Dakotaland. What was odd was that it wasn’t even really that cold (27° F). I reminded me that winter is not so much a season or even a temperature, but an experience.

Fortunately, as the semester limps its way to conclusion, I have a warm fire at home, a comfortable chair, a couple of manuscripts to read, and some music to enjoy (and it is Bandcamp Friday!).

Speaking of music: 

It is also a decent weekend in sports with Australia looking to avoid a draw in its first test of the summer, two impressive cards of boxing (including a heavy weight championship), a Sixers game, an Eagles game, and a slew of college football. I know that I will have to get up from my chair from time to time (for healthy and safety reasons, if nothing else), but I won’t like it.

This won’t impair my ability to produce some quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

Apparently we’re due a final gasp of fall weather this weekend with temperatures soaring into the 40s. This doesn’t quite feel like Thanksgiving and I suspect is a harbinger of the new normal. That said, I’ll take a day that doesn’t involve multiple layers of clothing this late in the year and embrace the chance to open the windows and let some cool air into the house. 

That said, it’s still pleasant enough to sit by the fire, enjoy the warm smells of holiday cooking, and watch some festive football. Readers of this blog probably know that this weekend is more than just another casual sports day and the highlight of the weekend is “The Game” between OSU and Michigan. I’ll also enjoy the Eagles on Sunday night and I’ll keep an eye on the Spiders and the UND Fighting Hawks as they play in the FCS playoffs. There’s also solid slate of boxing and basketball on offer. I don’t reckon I’ll move much from my chair today.

That said, I still have plenty to do including finishing my powerpoint for my talk on Monday. You can check out the announcement for my talk and information how to attend here. Start to prep for my spring classes (including submitting my book order for Roman History) and catch up on some grading in my fall classes. I’m also so very close to being done with page proofs for NDQ 89.3/4!

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

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

We had about two weeks of fall this year before winter arrived. We got 10 inches of snow over the last 24 hours or so and it feels like the long winter hibernation has begun just a bit earlier than usual.

This is fine with me actually. There is plenty of sports related stuff to watch on TV this time of year with the NBA and the NFL attracting my attention as NASCAR and F1 season come to a close. Boxing is evergreen and I look forward to watching the Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Denzel Bentley middleweight fight on one of my treadmill runs.

I also want to reestablish my reading discipline. I feel like It has really slipped lately, but some snowy weather is always a good impetus to stay inside with a book.

By the way, I now have a social media account on los elefantes

In that (hopeful) spirit, I offer some quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

After a brief interruption of our traditional fall programing, we’ll be back to enjoying seasonally appropriate temperatures in the 30s and 40s. The leaves are off the trees at least ensuring that the weak rays of wintertime sunlight have greater access to our homes, yards, and sidewalks. It’s a fair compromise, I think.

As Australia seeks to negotiate not only beating Afghanistan today in the men’s T20 World Cup, but also beating them soundly enough to ensure that they have a significant enough points differential to advance, I’m oddly comforted by the altogether simpler scenario offered in tomorrow’s game 6 in the World Series. If the Phillies don’t win, they’re done and if the Astros do, they’ve won. The Eagles played last night (and won) and the Buckeyes face Northwestern. The Cup guys wrap up their season in Phoenix Sunday afternoon. I’m interested in the Bivol-Ramirez fight for Bivol’s light heavyweight title and his place on nearly every pound-for-pound list.  

It’s the calm before the late November deadlines, travel, and holidays this weekend! My goal this weekend is to get some reading done and get a head start on some late November projects so that I can enjoy the holidays.

Now onto some quick hits and varia:


Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s been one of those perfect fall weeks here in North Dakotaland with temperatures from the teens to the fifties, low grey skies, drizzle, blue skies, and wind. Leaves have swirled and piled themselves and then made new piles which in turn dispersed. It’s a nice time to live in North Dakotaland.

Usually by this time of year, my attention focuses almost exclusively on football, but this year is an exception. The Phillies are in the World Series starting tonight and we’ll be nervously watching the games this weekend. I still expect to have enough time (and bandwidth as a fan) for the Ohio State-Penn State game, the Formula 1 race in Mexico, and depending on how Game 2 is going, the Lomachenko fight on Saturday night. Apparently the Eagles are on national TV on Sunday. I feels like a fun and exciting weekend.

I do have some work to do, though. My stack of books that I need to read is getting structurally unsafe, I have a book that I’m editing and need to finish, and a book that I’m going to publish next month is almost ready to go! I need to keep focused this weekend and not end up too distracted.

Perhaps this accounts for the rather limited list of quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

Just when I thought we were on our way to winter, we ge a weekend of weather in the mid-60s. This will provide a nice couple of days for some yard work and perhaps a longer run than I’d be inclined to take if the weather was in the more seasonable 40s. I’m not sure either of those qualify as a good thing, but it is what it is.

This week has been pretty exciting and I hope you’ve had to chance to celebrate New Book Day with your fellow readers here, at North Dakota Quarterly, and at the The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota. If you haven’t checked out the release of Jurij Koch’s The Cherry Tree (translated by John K. Cox), you really should. It’s a special book. Go here for more on this release and for a free download of the book

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This weekend is an exciting one for sports fans. The T20 Cricket World Cup get underway in earnest with Australia taking on New Zealand. The Phils continue their tussle with the Padres in the NLCS tonight, Saturday, and Sunday. Formula 1 is in Austin for the annual party there and it’ll be on TV opposite the Cup guys in Miami. I’ll probably tune into the former.

Of course, I have a growing stack of books and articles to read, at least one book to bring over the finish line, and some writing odds and ends to wrap up before later fall deadlines (as well as a course to prep!). It’s not the most fun time of year work wise, but it is what it is.

And that’s also probably the best way to describe this week’s quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

With the first snow flurries yesterday, it almost certainly feels like fall has arrived here in North Dakotaland. The snow didn’t stick enough to be officially the first snow (at least by this blog’s reckoning), but we’re getting close. This weekend should see temperatures soar into the lower 50s, but our days above freezing and well and truly numbered.

The Phils are still playing baseball, the Eagles are on national TV on Sunday night, and there is a day full of boxing tomorrow including the Kambosos vs. Haney tilt for all the lightweight belts. The Ohio State kids get a rest but the Penn State – Michigan game should give me plenty of college football to enjoy. The Sixers start their season next week with a pair of nationally televised games. The Cup guys are in Vegas. Phew.

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I also have a stack of books to read, a pair of books to finish, some tests to grade, some courses to prep, and a good bit of other work to manage. In the meantime, enjoy some quick hits and varia: 


Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s genuinely fall now here in North Dakotaland with temperatures dropping into the 20s at night and the trees doing their pre-winter color show. It feels like time for chili and football and the anxious hope that the heater pops on without any issues. 

Of course, the boys of summer are still at it. The Phils play today at 1 to try to extend their season just a few more weeks. The Cup guys are at the “Roval” in Charlotte and the F1 circus is at Suzuka. The Australians are starting their summer campaign with a series of T20s against the Windies and the Eagles and Buckeyes are both undefeated still. In other words, there’s a lot going on!

Fortunately, my fall deadlines will keep me from being too concerned with the sports on TV or the fall colors outside my windows. We’re just a few weeks away from the start of my favorite winter pastime which is reading my the gas fireplace surrounded by snoring dogs.

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

Some days don’t really get started until they’re upon you in a fierce and irresistible way. Today is one of those days. So, Friday Varia and Quick Hits is late. 

Fortunately, it’s also a beautiful day outside and the chaos of the morning should give way to some genuine conviviality this afternoon and evening. It’ll at least be enough to keep me from fretting about how the Phillies are pissing away their playoff chances, the Eagles position themselves for the kind of disappointment that only Philadelphia fans understand, and an F1 driver’s championship that should be all but clinched this weekend in Singapore. 

Not to mention the horrors in the aftermath of Ian in Ft. Myers (where my brother and parents live) and my stack of responsibilities with early October deadlines.

At least I can celebrate the publication of the very first novel from The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota. If you haven’t checked out Brian R. Urlacher’s The Library of Chester Fritz, you’re really missing something. It’s exactly the kind of early fall read that sets the tone for the season! Go here to download a copy for free!


So sometimes a little chaos has a way to keep me on my toes even if it means that I’m a bit late with this week’s quick hits and varia.

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s going to take everything the sun has this afternoon to reach 60 degrees as the trees are changing and the nights are getting cooler here in North Dakotaland. I’m starting to think that my days ambling about the countryside on my push-bike are getting numbered and the trusty treadmill will have to come back into service soon enough.

It seems like the cooler temperatures are also going to bring some rain this weekend, but fortunately there are plenty of things to keep me occupied. Saturday night is a particular bonanza with the Cup guys at Bristol, the Ohio State team playing Toledo, the Phillies playing the Braves, and the GGG-Alvarez fight all happening more or less at the same time. The Eagles play on Monday night. And this should leave me plenty of time to mess about with Isthmia data and make some progress on a couple of editing and publishing projects.

It should also give me a chance to pull together a more robust list of quick hits and varia, but for now, these will have to suffice:

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