Not that this is unexpected.
As almost none of you know, since I’ve never spoken of it here and only briefly mentioned on that killer-of-blogs, jumper-of-sharks Facebook platform, I am on sabbatical.
“What?” you mouth slowly to yourself, in that confused fashion you’d think by now you’d be used to, given the propensity of confusion swirling amidst your life, “I didn’t know CherkyB was an academic. I thought he, like, did stuff.”
For once, you’re right. I am not an academic, though “do stuff” is probably more than I’d like to commit to with respects to describing my job. For almost the past two years, I have been able to tell people that I am a “Power Architect.” Then, I get a blank stare and maybe a, “So you have a background in construction?” and I realize that, while being a “power architect” is an excitingly snazzy title compared to my previous one of “binsplit guy”, I’m still not really ready for the cocktail circuit with either of those titles.
Not that a proper title would, per se, make me ready for the cocktail circuit, as I can’t for the life of me pretend that socialism is the proper order for a sophisticated society rather than the evolutionary dead-end that it obviously is to anyone whose aspires to more than living off other people’s money. But I digress.
I am not an academic. I work for The Company. And one of the perks of working for The Company is that every few years, they give you a couple months off as a “sabbatical”. This has been a long-standing policy of The Company that started back in the days when it was a new and cut-throat industry, and you had no idea which companies would make it and which would not, and so you worked day and night to try to just stay alive. Thus, the danger of burning out was ever-present. Nowadays, it seems we have our act together pretty well and can accomplish substantially more without burning out, yet the sabbatical lives on as a time-tested tradition in much the fashion that we thought having The Company dump a large portion of money into our 401(k) every year was. Right up until they dialed that way back.
Today is officially my first day of sabbatical – my second sabbatical – but it comes on the heels of a 4-day weekend. So I’m already on my fifth uninterrupted day of family time, and I’m tired. The Mrs. Decided I should take The Childrens to their swimming lessons today so she could stay home and clean the house. This after I nearly died yesterday after sitting on the floor of the living room, which was the only clear space in the whole house, to go over the Colorado Big Game hunting regulations handbook with HannahC and was overcome with dust allergies that caused me to sneeze and cough and my eyes to water for about three hours until I could find the Benedryl (it was in with the dog’s medicines, of course). Apparently, that particular carpet has not been vacuumed since we took the Christmas tree down in January.
I used to vacuum a lot, but I have a rule that I won’t vacuum any room where I can’t see the floor. So now I don’t really ever vacuum. The Mrs. actually moves the vacuum around from room to room so that it’s in a different place every day when I come home from work, but she’s recently admitted that she never actually turns it on cuz she can’t vacuum a room where we can’t see the floor. She puts it in a room as a reminder to herself that she’d like to vacuum that room as soon as The Childrens pick up all their junk, but then she makes HannahC work on 4H projects all day long and makes MaxieC watch TV and play Playstation all day to keep him quiet so HannahC can work on 4H, and, well, not much progress is made on the floor thing.
I’ve only managed to go fishing once so far. I caught a single Bluegill. HannahC caught about 11, of which 6 were big enough to eat. It was one of those days where every time I went to put my line back in the water, HannahC would come romping up with another fish for me to clean, so I didn’t get to fish much during the peak catching time. We were there for about 2.5 hours and caught all the keepers in a span of about 20 minutes about 45 minutes after we got there. Then, nothing.
HannahC was using new high-technology bait - worms that have been fed something that makes them fluorescent green. Now, I don’t know if they are the glow-in-the-dark worms that I’ve seen at Sportsman’s Warehouse. We’ve been meaning to check each night, but always forget. These were from Walmart, and they cost about double what non-fluorescent green worms cost (which means they’re $3 for 12 instead of $3 for 24), but they’re big crawlers that you can cut in half before baiting a hook. I’m not at this point willing to declare that the fishies love the green worms more than regular worms, but they sure love them more than a Mepps Aglia gold spinner with a Berkeley Gulp Alive minnow trailing on the feather-dressed treble, which is what I was fishing. Scientifically formulated attractant that fish can’t resist, my ass.
Lure Researcher: “I’ve come up with a breakthrough formula of pheromones and long-lasting scents that promises to be the most powerful attractant the fishing world has ever known!”Around these parts, a “keeper” bluegill is only 6-8” long.
Boss: “Do fish like it better than worms?”
Lure Researcher: “And I’ve slightly changed the formula of our slow-selling plastic swimbaits so that they can absorb the stank and stink for hours.”
Boss: “How does it do versus worms?”
Lure Researcher: “And we can sell them packed in little jars with extra liquid so that you can re-charge the swimbaits after you use them.”
Boss: “But does it work better than worms?”
Lure Researcher: “Well, like regular worms?”
Lure Researcher: “Yeah, you know, it’ll depend on the individual fish, but yeah, probably.”
Boss: “How about them green worms?”
Lure Researcher: “Uhhh……”
Boss: “Aw hell, them green worms is cheatin’. Ship it.”
On an unrelated note, I’ve decided that for my upcoming birthday, I’m going to get me a high-quality fillet knife.