Posted by: David | August 4, 2007

Extra Day Off

Had this Friday off. The president of the college where I work gave us all the whole day off as way of saying thank you for a year of hard work. We are poised to begin the 2007-2008 school year with the largest entering class of first-year students (we don’t call them “freshmen” anymore, for some reason) in the college’s history.

So I took a much needed bike ride. Meant to get started early to beat the heat, but didn’t leave until 10:30. It was pretty hot and humid by then. Took Route 114 south to Henniker.

Yup, it’s still there. Unchanged. Maybe.

And on south to Henniker. At the Harvester Market, the regular meat sale is underway.

I’ll take one truckload please. Love the meat.

Stopped in at the Henniker pharmacy to get a Vitamin Water and a notepad and pen since I was having so many great thoughts on this ride, and I might want to write some of them down. Not bothering to get the reading glasses out of my travel kit would mean that whatever I did write down would be extra illedgible, besides being just plain stupid …

I use a pen
that has no ink
to write down thoughts
I do not think

What I don’t think
could fill a book
or ten, perhaps,
don’t even look.

I invented some new attentional disorders for the DSM-IV. I heard they we looking for some new entries in Axis V. The first one is ESAS: Extremely Short Attention Span. The second is MAD: Micro Attentive Disorder. Needless to say, MAD and ESAS go hand in hand. But I believe that MAD can be induced in people with normal attention spans by extreme information overexposure and illusory multi-tasking. “Knowledge workers” are at risk as they are often forced to drink from the firehose- symbolically. Full blown MAD leaves sufferers unable to comprehend the simplest texts- road signs, tomb stones, cereal boxes, etc. One’s attentional scrutinizer becomes a broken top, spinning out of control. It cannot really focus on anything for more than half a second before it gets bored and starts looking for something else.

Interesting gravestone in Henniker cemetery. Makes sense. Sort of.

OK, this sign at the Old Henniker Book Farm really doesn’t make much sense. Why is “(5pm-7pm)” in parentheses?

This web page ad makes sense, but is deeply disturbing. The expression on the kid’s face says to his uninsured guardian “Don’t die yet beeyotch!!”

The ride continues to Contoocook. It is really hot and humid. In Tooky I stop for more Gatorade. I’m an idiot to be riding in the heat of this oppressive day. But I stop to visit a friend in Davisville, take a brief rest, and he cuts up some watermelon for us. That really helped. I make it home by about 2:00. We’ve got our 20 year-old air conditioner going. It uses way too much electricity, but it sure helps on those awfully hot days. Thankfully we don’t get too many of those in New Hampshire.

Saw this heron at the Andover Town Beach the night before. Unrelated to the narrative of this post, but the heron is symbolic of birth and beginnings. So there.


  1. The “5pm – 7pm” is probably in parenthesis because it’s not the local time. That would be the time they are open in Bangladesh, if you’re on a train that crosses in to Kazakhstan during their open hours. I mean, that seems like the most likely explanation, right?

    You should go inside some day and ask them. If you can find time during the sixteen hours per week they are open (except for the last week of the month, when they’re only open for 13 hours).

    What is a book farm, anyway? Besides a place that they hold odd hours?

  2. You slacker! Hope you enjoyed it and got lots of miles out of the day!

  3. If I happen to ride by during their hours I will stop to ask. Maybe. I don’t want to be pelted with moldy hardcovers early on a Thursday morn …

    Lisa, I went about 40 miles that day. Have yet to do over 70 this summer, so you’re right, I’m slacking. Chalk it up to stress from busy times at work.

  4. They have been “thanking” people with days off a lot around here…a day off of pay too. I am glad you were able to spend some time outside…can’t wait for spring.

    Thanks MTAE! Odd that you should drop a comment on this old post, since I happened upon this very same post the other night, discovering and correcting a bad link while in search of some other already forgotten minutiae … Spring is almost here!

  5. It popped up in my Google Reader as a new post…which would have happened if you updated it. Funny that this is two years old.

    That’s what I thought! All I did was to correct a link that went stale. I’m honored to have popped up in your Google Reader. I tried that Google Reader briefly. It set off my ADD real bad … but I’ll keep trying it because I believe in Google, and in you.

  6. I was trying to get back to your “reverse mortgage”. According to my bank, it is simply a mortgage balance turned into a credit line. Whatever is owned on a mortgage becomes available as a credit. That is as far as I understood it. However, I am not sure about the implications. It would mean that the mortgage balance is left to one’s heirs to pay off. — I don’t have any mortgage. I was even smart enough (Hamlet: “Oh my prophetic soul!”) years ago to see the bubble as a bubble and work “submerged” here in order to pay social security only in Switzerland. — However, I also paid the local income taxes but through other people. I learned that from my father. He found out that foreigners working in Switzerland without papers pay taxes — and these, in Switzerland, go to one’s town, not to the central government. As a result, the people who should have checked their residence permits looked the other way.

    I think these reverse mortgages are aimed at older folks who have pretty much paid for the home that is now too big for them to live in and maintain. In the absence of heirs, it would be a way to recover some of that investment. Maybe doing it that way works better over a longer term than just selling the home outright. Financial instrumentation of this sort boggles my mind. However, I expect that if reverse mortgages were a scam then they would not be as popular as they seem to be.

  7. Are these ESAS and MAD real? Are they REAL?!!! Do you believe in these classifications? Do you know how they are made?! Geez.

    No they are not real. I made them up. Yes, I do believe in them. Our mental attention centers are brutally assaulted every day. It’s a wonder that we can focus on anything at all. And now there is the DSM-5 (formerly known as the DSM-V) to consider. I would also add HAD to the list- Hyper Attentive Disorder, which condition renders the sufferer unable to divert attention from one thing to the next. This over-concentration of focus causes all sorts of terrible accidents due to limited peripheral perception.

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