Hey Internet! It’s been a while. Sorry about that. You know that this whole personal blog thing is “sunsetting” don’t you? Anyhoo, how you doin’? Are ya listening?
As indicated in the previous post, this has been a very busy fall semester. The lovely little college where I work now has the largest student population in its 176 year history. I feel very lucky to have spent the last 15 years working there. The past few years have been especially exciting, and sometimes a bit scary. Higher education is changing, they say, and small colleges like ours are especially challenged by the changing landscape. If you don’t believe me just do a Google search: higher education challenges. Books, studies and monographs galore.
Trying to predict what will happen with higher education in the future is impossible. Believe it or not, as a young nerd I realized in the 1970s that there would be a convergence or melding of the technologies of computing, telephony and television. Duh, who didn’t know that, right? It was obvious. But the ways in which those technologies actually did blend were so varied and profuse as to defy any detailed prediction. Smart phones, streaming video and music, and all the crap we so take for granted now– who could have predicted? As technology impinges on education another unpredictable convergence evolves before our eyes. What’s next?
It is mid-to-late autumn now, the first snowflakes and brief snow squalls have flown, and the garden has been put to bed for the Long Winter of Zone 5b. The final cabbages were small and dense, hit by a few frosts. And this year only half as much garlic was planted– about 300 cloves. The photos below are before and after the planting. In between a picture of a lonely radicchio.
I was up on the roof a few weekends back brushing out the chimney. It was a chilly but sunny afternoon. Got a nice panorama of the back yard. There was hardly any creosote to be collected at the chimney’s cleanout door. But enough to blacken the clothes and hands of course.
An unexpected crop this fall was black walnuts. There is a pretty tall tree on our property and usually the squirrels or some other rodents take all the nuts. This year there were just too many I guess. There were tons of apples too– I dehydrated lots of them. Anyway, the walnuts have a smelly and objectionable outer husk that must be removed before setting the nuts in a dry place to cure. The inner shells are very hard. I’ve been cracking them in a vise on my workbench to monitor the curing. The nutmeats are smaller and stronger tasting than store-bought nuts, and a lot smaller and harder to remove from the shell.
This fall has been more temperate than last, the couple of cold snaps surrounded by days warm enough to get the bicycle on the road. The autumnal foliage was pretty good this year, though not spectacular. It’s so beautiful here anyway that the fall colors don’t even have to be spectacular.
On a couple of recent bike rides through Sutton, the town just north of mine, I found some interesting graffiti under an overpass of Interstate 89. The road is a favorite for cyclists, dog-walkers and other folks looking for a quiet stroll. Not much traffic, hence, a good place to spend a few minutes tagging the concrete abutments without fear of the interruption. Maybe that begets more interesting graffiti.
Back on a beautiful late September day, an old friend, the dog and I climbed Mt. Kearsarge. Actually we drove most of the way up, but the mile or so hike was well worth the spectacular view. The weather was so clear that Mt. Washington was faintly visible on the horizon, as well as (maybe) some of the Boston skyline. There were lots of folks up there that day, and one woman was kind enough to point out the unusually clear and distant views.
In closing, I’d like to thank you for stopping by.