It’s the last weekend before the semester begins with a couple of truncated weeks — classes start on Wednesday, and we have next Monday off for the King holiday. But just because my break is wrapping up, it doesn’t mean that everything is, so here we go…
Late last week, Mrs. M was the victim of a fender-bender when an irate driver, deprived of what he considered his rightful parking space by someone who pulled in from the other side, jammed his car into reverse, trod on the long, loud pedal, and backed into the front of Mrs. M’s ride with some vehemence. While the folks at the body shop are working on her car, the other driver’s insurance has provided Mrs. M with a rental. Since Mrs. M’s car is an SUV, she requested a vehicle that gives her a similar high view of her surroundings. Well, apparently the fates have a sense of humor, as she now has custody of a Ford F-150 4×4 crew cab, which may come for supplemental oxygen for passengers with altitude issues.
Actually, the truck is black, and appears well suited for menacing Dennis Weaver in Duel. While I’m told it isn’t the loaded model, it certainly seems to have more than enough bells and whistles for the short term. So if you’re on the way to a certain Mondoville elementary school and your rearview mirror goes dark, just pull over — Mrs. M will not be late for class.
Speaking of automotive bells and whistles, a friend’s car apparently asks him periodically if he wants to take a break.
Upon seeing this, another friend mentioned that after two hours of driving, her German car “flashes ‘2 hours’ on the dashboard and blanks other information except speed and rpm’s. You have to turn off the engine for [at least] 10 minutes” before it will reset.
While I’m sure this is a well meaning effort to combat fatigued driving and “highway hypnosis”, I don’t think I’d care for this sort of thing. Backseat drivers are bad enough — I really don’t want advice from something with an actual back seat. If I want someone else to make travel decisions for me, I’ll take a train or a taxi. Otherwise, Hal, mind your own business.
The college puts out our alumni magazine a couple of times each year, letting folks know what’s going on around here. As it happens, this time they chose to give me a one-page feature, focusing on my fiction and including an “author shot” that I actually kind of like:
For those of you with an interest in such things, the Korean name plate on my desk says (I’m told) “Warren S. Moore”, which appears in English on the side facing me. It was a gift to my grandfather, who was over there as a military adviser in the 50s. The Maltese Falcon came from Mom and Dad, who bought it (I believe) from Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Bookshop. The banner with the armored knight was a gift from my Ph.D. advisor, and it has a companion banner on another wall of my room. The microwave and minifridge are there in case Gradeapalooza ever gets completely out of hand.
Anyway, I like the picture, and I hope you do as well.
And with that, I think I’ll close today;s installment with a bit of psychedelia. Almost nothing seems to be known about the Orange Swirl Society, although it is reported that the band included a guy known as Billy Synth, who later appeared in the early days of the punk and post-punk eras. The track is said to have been recorded in 1968, but was not released at that time (And if it is in fact of that era, the synthesizer work seems to be rather cutting edge). Whatever its provenance, I liked it. So buckle up, let the walls breathe, and check out “The Fourth Pipe.”
See you soon!