Archive for November, 2020

History is weirder and more wonderful than we can ever imagine:

And everyone in town seemed to have an opinion. When William Barton was sued for divorce on grounds of impotence:

Several women also inspected William Barton’s genitalia, including one who agreed that William’s “rod and testicles appeared sufficient to serve and please any honest woman.” But some women had less glowing comments about William’s genitalia, supporting his wife’s accusation of impotence. Robert Lincoln, however, countered that these particular women had handled William’s penis too roughly and with such cold hands that “on account of shame, his rod retracted itself into William’s body.”

I can see porn stars as neutral court-appointed expert witnesses these days.

via Real Clear Investigations

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So far, retirement is boring

So, I retired from UCLA last June 29th. I have to say that, so far, it’s been pretty damn boring.

Financially, it made absolute sense to retire. With the changes to my deductions after I entered the UC Retirement system, my net pay went up a little more than twenty percent, even though my gross pay went down about two percent — and that will catch up next year. So, while I’m not a millionaire, money is not a worry.

But… well… there’s not much to do. Between pandemics and riots and lockdowns, the little things I’d planned to do to add some variety to life -try new restaurants, take short trips to new places, tour the Los Angeles area, join organizations to meet new people, etc.- have all been placed on indefinite hold. And, since I live alone, things are pretty quiet around here.

Too quiet.

(Except for my upstairs neighbor stomping around and playing her music too loud.)

And that’s the problem: very often there’s no one to talk to. I have hobbies, but part of the fun of hobbies, for me at least, is sharing them with others. Online message boards and Zoom get-togethers just don’t cut it. I could write, I’m a very good writer, but the lack of interaction and intellectual stimulus kills any sense of creativity or energy.

I suppose boredom is like that.

It doesn’t help that not only are places that might be destinations largely closed, but the neighborhood has gone downhill, too. Not just with business closures, but an increased population of mentally-ill, drug and alcohol-addicted homeless wandering the streets and a rising crime rate makes it less and less safe to just go wandering about.

And that adds to the stuck-at-homeness and the sense of ennui that comes from it.

Not that I regret retiring. In the last few months before I left UCLA, we had already shut down most operations and were working from home. Busy work. Useless time-filling tasks to justify our salaries. From what I’ve seen of my former coworkers, things haven’t gotten much better, and they’re all miserable. In at least that regard, I can say I picked the right time to leave.

Nevertheless, it’s clear I need to make a major change.

The question is “What?”

(Comments closed, since this is really just me mulling things over.)

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