- So, it’s been a while since I posted one of these.
After the election it looked like the Republicans would be increasing
my health insurance premiums by something on the order of
800%, so I took on more teaching hours and thus
have been too busy to add much content to the web site.
But all my students are on spring break at the moment, so let’s
see what I can furnish in the way of updates.
- First of all, adding to the need to work more hours is that for the
first time in a while, I once again have car payments to make.
The hybrid battery of the Aluminum Lung conked out again, and it
didn’t seem worth it to spend thousands and thousands of dollars
just to restore a sixteen‐year‐old Honda Insight from
“junk heap” back up to “decrepit jalopy”.
It had a wobbly mirror and most of the paint had come off the roof and it
could no longer handle hills: in San Francisco town I had to map out the
flattest routes in advance, and one time when I tried taking Marin Avenue
up to Grizzly Peak, the car went full nope on me and started rolling back
down the hill, even with me flooring it in first gear.
I was lucky to get $500 for it as a
Still, after I signed over the title, I got pretty weepy.
I had a lot of fond memories of that tiny little escape pod of a car,
most of them revolving around who was sitting in the passenger seat.
- The new car is a CR‐Z, another two‐seater Honda
hybrid—I was able to pick up a 2015
factory remainder, so it’s essentially a new car that sat around
for a couple of years until the dealership cut the price in half to
In a way it’s a Giggle Time All‐Mo version of the old
car—the mileage isn't nearly as good
(35/38 mpg instead of
60/66) and I had to settle for the color that
happened to be available (deep metallic
which looked meh next to the Insight’s indigo
it’s also not quite so bare‐bones: it’s got an
integrated MP3 player where the Insight had a
cassette deck, and it’s got a rearview camera and auto‐dimming
mirrors and stuff like that.
Also, the dashboard changes color depending on how aggressively
I don’t know whether that’s a standard thing these days.
- About that MP3 player: the track names
appear on the radio’s screen, but if they’re over
sixteen characters long, only the first fifteen will be displayed.
Also, the letter C and the left parenthesis character look the
Which means that when the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Fuck You (An
Ode to No One)” came up, the radio displayed it as
FUCK YOU CAN OD.
For a moment there I was expecting an NPR report on the opioid
- Since, as noted, I’ve been taking as many teaching hours as
possible, I’ve wound up accepting assignments in all sorts of
One was in Tomales, a town of 204 people in
It’s pretty rural out that way.
After my second class there, I was walking back out to my car, and
coming the other direction and eventually passing me without incident
was a flock of sheep.
- One tutoring assignment took me to a library, where I happened
across Macmillan’s Encyclopedia of Religion,
Volume 5 of which covers
- I’ve also been teaching a class held in a conference room that, based on what I found on the whiteboard on my first day, looks to have been out of use for a while: