Misk-uh-LANE-us Observations

It’s been a while since I’ve done some general-purpose updates, so here you go:

  1. Life on the home front is progressing smoothly. I’ve added a few extra things to the apartment, including a pair of lovely oak bookcases from my mother and a self-built chalkboard with magnetic primer in my office. Not bad, although I may sand the chalkboard and repaint it just to smooth it out a bit more.
  2. Two recent neighborhood additions: A new person in Apt. 3 — a “mid-20s guy” as my landlord put it — and a 1-year-old German Shepherd puppy. The latter belongs to my neighbor, a police officer, who has now joined the K9 unit with his new little bundle of black furry yipping. Which isn’t bad, actually, and I give Todd credit for bringing me cigars to defray the dog’s occasional noise. He’s more bothered by it than I am, I think.
  3. The writing group seems to be flowing well. They’re a fun(ky) bunch and although we don’t do a whole lot of writing, we do socialize and pass witticisms in lieu of generating work product. So it works out in the end. Plus there’s pizza.
  4. Time flies. It wasn’t that long ago that I sat down and thought out what I wanted to accomplish in the spring/summer seasons … and now we’re in mid-May. I won’t hit a few goals as soon as I had planned, but others are actually ahead of schedule. For example, in a few weeks I’m heading to Kalamazoo for FCC amateur radio license testing.
  5. Saw The Avengers yesterday, in 3D. It was a fun movie. The brief scene with Hulk and Loki at Stark Tower was, all by itself, worth the admission price. From a cast perspective, I have cautious optimism that Chris Hemsworth could be more than just another brainless beefcake actor and I rejoice that Robert Downey Jr. found his way again after a rough spot a decade ago.
  6. Last week I met my old college friend Matt for cigars at Grand River Cigar, but because the smoke shop was hosting a Xicar event the place was packed with more than 30 people, including a local priest, a biker with a home humidor the size of my office and several upstanding citizens engaged in local GOP politics. I lingered for more than four hours and had a couple of cigars, a few drams of Dalwhinnie and so much great conversation that I ended up a bit hoarse.
  7. A few weeks ago I attended a fun and oh-so-nerdy game night in DeWitt with a group of guys. Picture it: Three rounds of a game focused on the Constitutional Convention, with three lawyers and me. Woohoo.
  8. In a week or so Rob is hosting the next cigar night; we’ll have grilled steaks and Brad is tentatively scheduled to bring his homebrew. Should be a grand old time.
  9. Work has been crazy — I’ve had so much contract stuff crossing my desk that it’s a challenge keeping up. Nice problem to have.
  10. So … Barack Obama was outed by Joe Biden. Cute.
  11. The Vegas trip is coming up. I’m excited. We’ll start the week on the Strip and end up downtown — on Freemont Street, I hope, instead of the hoosegow.
  12. It’s still not clear where I’ll be in early August — I’ve been invited to an Italy trip with my church choir, but I’m also required to chair a session at this year’s Joint Statistical Meetings in San Diego. Of course, the two events overlap. I thought I might be able to get out of the JSM commitment, but now it appears I will be presenting a new Web strategery for our section at the executive committee meeting, so … ugh.

I’ve been reading a really rather unexpectedly snarly book about English use and abuse, but the contents leave me scratching my head. In all my years in West Michigan, for example, I can’t recall ever hearing miscellaneous enunciated as misk-uh-LANE-us.

All for now.

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