The Crotchety Old Man

Feb 04, 2019
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Worth Watching?

Worth Watching?

I’ve been recording my favorite television shows to watch on my schedule for a long time. The ability to fastforward through commercials and boring parts of reality shows made DVR a much better option than OnDemand. Then I got Netflix. No commercials or waiting a week to find out what happens next. I still DVR a few favorites (mostly reality shows), but increasingly, my favorites are on Netflix. Because of all the options, finding things to watch on Netflix can be a challenge. I watch whatever catches my eye on the “home” screen and shows I’ve heard about elsehwere. I’m especially keen on documentaries, biographies, and historical fiction. Here’s a sampling of my favorites. Grace and Frankie. Lifelong frenemies and …

Jan 21, 2019
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Forced Procrastination

Forced Procrastination

Procrastination has never been my thing. Waiting until the last minute freaks me out. Being on time or early is a lot less stressful. I’ve been behind since a three-week bout with the flu last January. Losing Andy in March put me furher behind. Doing things at the last minute is my new normal. Most evenings and the biggest part of my weekends for the past year have been devoted to work. Try as I might, I can’t seem to get caught up. Every time I get close, something else falls on my plate. A three-week break over the holidays was my time to catch up and work ahead. That didn’t happen. For three glorious weeks, “I’ll work on it …

Jan 07, 2019
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Winter Garden Update

Winter Garden Update

Last fall, the weather folks forecast a milder-than-average winter for North Georgia. Compared to Kentucky where I grew up, even tbe worst winters here in Athens are mild. I decided to take my chances on a winter garden. The results, so far, have exceeded my expectations. In previous years, I planted pansies and violas in the fall and nothing else until February or later. Emboldened by the forecast, I set out collards, cauliflower, and broccoli plants. I also sewed seed for turnips and peas. I like turnips, and they are easy to grow. Fresh peas are vastly superior to canned or frozen. Snapdragons are another experiment in my winter garden. Snapdragons, petnuias and diantus and other half-hardy annuals can surive …

Jan 01, 2019
By Michael Rupured
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Down Time

Time off between Christmas and New Year’s Day is standard operating procedure at the day job. I add vacation days to either end to extend the break as long as possible. This year, I took off three full weeks. I brought home a ton of work. January is crazy busy. Class starts the 9th, a billion reports are due the 15th, and I have a big presention on the 20th. Thinking about all I need to do makes me anxious — and there’s no end in sight. I didn’t leave the house the first few days except to walk Toodles, get the mail, or take out the trash. The work stuff could wait. Netflix required my full attention. After several …

Dec 31, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on A New Holiday Tradition

A New Holiday Tradition

I had no plans for Christmas this year. Vision issues and my diabetic puppy make travel difficult. Dinner with Andy has been the extent of my holiday celebrations for more than a decade. This year would be different. I decided to cook rib roast for my Christmas dinner. It’s not the kind of thing one cooks for a solo meal. I called my great friends T & J and invited them to dinner on whatever day best suited them and was pleasanlty suprised when they suggested Christmas Day. The table I never use in my eat-in kitchen theoretically seats six. It’s barely visible beneath potted plants, piles of stuff for class, and visual reminders of things I need to do. …

Dec 10, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on My First Class: Reflections

My First Class: Reflections

The final exam included three extra credit questions. I asked about behavior changes because of the class, the impact the class will likely have on the future, and the most beneficial topics. As there are no right or wrong answers, the score was based on how  The first class I’ve taught in 30  years is over. The final exam was last week. After several days of grading, the verdict is in. Despite my tough exams, better than half the class got an A or B in the course. Consumers in Society touches on the wide variety of spending decisions made over the course of a lifetime. It’s stuff nobody tells you about being a wise consumer that everyone should know. …

Dec 03, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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My Favorite Story

Friends often ask which of my novels is the best. I never know what to say. Best what? Technically speaking, my newest release at any given time is the best. Each novel is better than the one before. Every trip through the publication process is a learning experience. Whippersnapper is my favorite story. It is NOT a romance, despite the cover, blurb, and my intentions to write one. It’s a heart-warming story about relationships in Fallisville — a fictional small town in Central Kentucky. Peggy Tucker is a straight, middle-aged widow of the Southern Baptist persuasion who is determined to lose enough weight to land a new, God-fearing, honest, and sober husband. She runs into young Tellumo Magnamater at the gym. …

Nov 26, 2018
By Michael Rupured

Crotchety Goes Shopping

Some people love to shop. I’m not one of them. Other than the grocery store, my shopping excursions are few and far between. They don’t last very long, either. Git ‘er done — that’s my motto. I’m also a bit miserly. My penchant for the cheapest available option comes from Mom’s example, re-enforced by hard times in the decade or so after I moved out on my own. When the price is right, function trumps quality. New bedding has been a need for quite some time. The Bed-in-a-Bag I bought some twenty years ago has served its purpose. I’ve bought sheets lots of times, but he comforter is threadbare in spots and worn around the edges. I started my search …

Nov 19, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Weird Accumulations

I am a selective hoarder. Throughout my house are boxes, drawers, and other containers chocked full of things I’ll never use but can’t bring myself to throw away. To find out if my odd collections are universal or unique, I’m sharing them here. Beverage Containers. No event is complete without keepsake plastic cups, water bottles, mugs, thermal to-go cups, mason jars, and other containers emblazoned with some logo or message. I politely decline when possible, but still end up with more than I could ever use. Writing Utensils. Scattered around my house are mugs, plastic cups, and small boxes overflowing with pens, pencils, highlighters, and markers. Some were gifts (fancy pens mostly) and some I bought (markers for various purposes), but …

Nov 12, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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No Time for Writing

There’s more to being an author than writing stories. Making readers aware of new releases is a big part of the job. “Managing the brand” across numerous social media platforms is another requirement. A boss would tell me I need to do better, or else. She’d be right too. The marketing part has always been a challenge. I put a lot of effort into promoting new releases then do no more than my weekly blog post. My writing career is on hold. I haven’t added a word to Cold Revenge (the fourth Philip Potter story and my current work in progress) since August. A blog post every week is about all I can manage — if that. I say a …

Nov 05, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Crotchety’s Difficult Exams

Crotchety’s Difficult Exams

The verdict is in. After three tests, even students who are doing well in my class agree: Mr. Rupured’s exams are REALLY hard. Well I’ll be damned. Some would take pride in the reputation. For a different course, I might too, but this class is not supposed to be difficult. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bunny either. The content is easy to understand (says the professor), but students have to do the work. The final grade is based on assignments (20%), four exams (50%) a comprehensive final (20%) and attendance (10%). The class (Consumers in Society) is a broad overview of the field of consumer economics. It’s the only 1000-level (freshmen) class our department offers.  The class isn’t …

Oct 29, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on A Winter Garden

A Winter Garden

Mild winters are one of my favorite things about living in the Deep South. Blizzards and subzero temperatures are extremely rare, and cold spells never last for more than a few days. Clear, sunny skies and highs well above freezing are the norm. In Kentucky, hard freezes in mid-to-late October pretty much put an end to the garden. November, December, and January were dedicated to plotting and scheming for the coming season. With few exceptions, nothing blooms until the early season bulbs come up in late January and early February. The growing season in Athens is much longer. Something is blooming just about all year. Camellias carry much of the load from November to March, with numerous others contributing for a …

Oct 22, 2018
By Michael Rupured
Comments Off on Countdown to Finals

Countdown to Finals

My first semester teaching a college course in more than thirty years is rapidly drawing to a close. The weeks since school started have flown by. The last day of class will be here in no time. The teaching I’ve done for more than thirty years is dramatically different from teaching a college course. Participation in the workshops I’ve taught in the past is voluntary. There are no grades, and I rarely see anyone twice or for longer than a few hours. Seeing the same students every Tuesday and Thursday for 15 weeks is a nice change. I look forward to each and every class. A few of my 46 students show up only on test days — if then — …

Oct 15, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Gaydom’s Golden Age

Never has there been a better time to be a gay man in America. Well into the 1960s, homosexuality was a sin, a mental illness, and a crime. Police routinely raided gay bars and often published names in the local newspaper of anyone arrested. Gay liberation has been one of many fronts in the decades-long fight for equal rights. We’ve come a long way in my life time. Police stopped raiding bars (mostly) in the early 1970s but continued to publish names of men arrested in sting operations. Local gay bars became a safe place to meet other gay men. By 1979 when I exploded out of the closet, Lexington’s gay bar was packed six nights a week.  The crowd …

Oct 08, 2018
By Michael Rupured
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Grateful

Floods, fires, tornadoes, terminal illnesses, and other ugly events have recently impacted the lives of more than a few dear friends. My heart goes out to them. Their misfortune reminds me  just how lucky I am. Yeah. I said lucky. So I’m slowly going blind, recently lost someone very close to me, and am dealing with a diabetic chihuahua. There are far worse things. So much good luck has fallen my way I consider my life to be charmed. Sure, I’ve worked hard, but — subject to change without notice — bad luck has mostly passed me by. Any adversity in my life has largely been the result of my bad choices. I hit my low in the early 1980s. After …