Phone it in Friday XXVII: Virtual Learning Hurricane Holiday

Hurricane Ian has been battering Florida, and South Carolina should be experiencing the effects of said battering today, albeit to a vastly diminished degree.  The weather is calling for high winds and lots of rain, but nothing that seems (to me, anyway) particularly dangerous.  I just wouldn’t recommend hanging out underneath any old trees.

Naturally, the slightest degree of inclemency prompts the shuttering of all operations for those of us in the cushier fields like education.  Fear of the “L Word”—Liability—means my administration has opted to close the school today, lest some witless teen driver find himself, wheels spinning, in a watery ditch.

Of course, in this post-The Virus era—here in The Days After The Age of The Virus—there are no longer inclement weather “holidays,” as there were in The Before Times, in the Long, Long Ago.  Now we can hop seamlessly online, teaching and learning from the comfort of our couches.

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TBT: The Weather

Hurricane Ian is swirling about, sending everything and everyone into a tizzy (folks in Florida, please be safe).  It’s also thrown a windy wrench into my schedule, which was already planned down to the minute for nearly every day this week.

Well, no use crying over spilt rainwater.  I’m thankful for the relative safety of the inland, and that we live in a time when we have some advanced warning about the impending meteorological apocalypses that routinely batter us.

This hurricane aside, we’ve been enjoying some pleasant weather here in South Carolina—it almost feels like fall!  The mornings have been crisp and cool, and even required a light jacket one day last week.  Here’s hoping the sweater weather descends soon.

Here’s hoping my readers in Florida and along the coastal regions of the Southeast are safe.  Audre, be sure to batten down the hatches.

With that, here is 29 September 2021’s “The Weather“:

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TBT: Counting Blessings

In searching through some old blog posts recently, I stumbled upon one from April 2020 about being thankful for the blessings in our lives.  The day before I’d written what I thought at the time was a doom-and-gloom post, but reading it now, it wasn’t too bad.  I do seem to remember being in an exasperated mood when I wrote it, so that probably explains, in part, the sense of contrition I experienced after writing it.

Regardless, it yielded “Counting Blessings,” a post giving thanks for God’s many blessings in my life.  It’s rather serendipitous that I stumbled upon this post again the other day, because the theme of counting one’s blessings is one I’ve been contemplating quite a bit lately.

Life is going well enough for yours portly (I’d better not say that too loudly!).  Work is clipping along and I’m hustling big time with lessons.  I have a great (and godly) girlfriend, dog, and house, and a supportive family.  Things could be worse.

With that here is 29 April 2022’s “Counting Blessings“:

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Hustlin’ with Private Lessons

The school year is back in full swing, and with the brief respite of Labor Day behind me, it’s a long stretch of mind-molding from here until Thanksgiving.

Fortunately, the school year means music lessons, and music lessons—as one former colleague, now retired, frequently reminds me—mean money.

I don’t love money, but I certainly need it.  And love teaching music lessons, so it’s a happy way to bring in some extra bacon while also teaching kids (and adults!) to make music.  There are few things I enjoy  more than nurturing a love of music; if I make a few quid in the process, well, all the better!

The Lord has blessed me with an abundance—perhaps an over-abundance—of lessons.  At the time of this writing, I am sitting at twenty-six lessons a week across twenty-four students.  Scheduling has been a bit of a nightmare, but I think I have it largely figured out (of course, whenever I think that, some conflict arises and I have to play scheduling roulette—ha!).

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Memorable Monday: Happy Labor Day [2022]!

Ah, yes—Labor Day.  The last day off (for yours portly, anyway) until the glory that is Thanksgiving Break.

I’ve been writing a brief, annual Labor Day post since 2019, and it’s interesting to see what has changed (and what hasn’t) in that time.  I don’t play video games nearly as much as I used to (or as much I’d like to), and my life has gotten much more interesting (read: busier) and better since 2019.  Even if Western civilization is collapsing all around us and we’re living in a banana republic, I can at least enjoy and appreciate God’s Blessings as the ship goes down.  And, hey, it could be worse!

Speaking of cautiously optimistic declinism, Labor Day seems to be a day immune to progressive chicanery.  It’s the product of radical labor unionism and the socialistic tendencies thereof, so it should be safe.  Of course, we’ve always been at war with Eurasia, so if labor suddenly falls out of favor for being too “white” or not “woke” enough, then I suppose we could end up changing it to “BIPOC Exploitation Memorial Day” or some such nonsense.  Columbus Day sure isn’t safe.

Well, whatever.  I’m not worried about the Leftist whiners today.  I’ve spent the weekend (presumably) in sunny Florida, enjoying getting to know my girlfriend’s family better and living it up.

With that, here’s “Memorable Monday: Happy Labor Day [2021]!“:

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Phone it in Friday XXI: Gratuitous Back-to-Work Self-Promotion Bonanza!

Well, it’s not Bandcamp Friday, but it is the first Friday of the month, and my first day back to work.  Why not celebrate both “occasions” with some shameless self-promotion?

You might say, “Well, because no one wants to read an ad,” but all I hear is, “Take my money, Portly—please!”

Here are the goods:

If enough of y’all buy my stuff, I might be able to retire… or just not have to work quite so much.

Eh, who am I kidding?  I’ll still do that.

Thank you for your support!

—TPP

TBT^2: Back to the Grind 2020

Well, tomorrow I head back to work.  Classes don’t start for nearly another two weeks—I guess in thirteen days—but I’ll be back in endless meetings, OSHA training, and AFLAC presentations, followed by a lot of registration stuff.

The last couple of school years were really a slog, especially last year, when we were kind of getting back to normal, but still dealing with the inconvenience of Virus-related mitigation measures.  I’m praying this year for some sanity—no masks, no vaccination passports.

Well, teaching always includes some insanity.  It keeps the job fresh, and keeps us young (while simultaneously aging us rapidly, it seems).

I’m not sure how I’m spending this last day of summery freedom—probably writing blog posts and teaching lessons!—but Summer 2022 has been a pretty good one all around.

With that, here is 12 August 2021’s “TBT: Back to the Grind 2020“:

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Phone it in Friday XX: Miscellaneous Late July Update

By this time next Friday, I’ll be back at the grind, starting with some teacher meetings.  The public schools in my area have shifted to a semi-year-round schedule, so those unfortunates will start classes on Monday, 1 August 2022.  Yikes!  That means teachers in the public schools have already been back, which doesn’t seem right.  No one besides an administrator or grounds crew should be darkening the door of a schoolhouse in July.

Of course, heading back on 5 August 2022 seems pretty dang early in my book.  I notice that my school keeps inching up the return time for faculty a bit more each year.  I’m still a tad baffled as to why they want us to start back on a Friday.  Classes won’t resume until Wednesday, 17 August 2022, though, so I still have a little time before I really hit the ground running.

The news cycle remains slow, it seems—just more of the usual bad news.  As I am writing this post, I’ve spent nearly $400 in gasoline (petrol, for my British readers) this month in a car that gets around 32 miles per gallon.  Granted, I’ve been keeping the road hot with lessons and seeing my new lady friend, but, goodness, something has got to give.

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Bull Terrier Tuesday: Murphy’s Vet Update 2022

As the long summer days roll on and families squeeze in last-minute vacations, yours portly is resorting to an old chestnut with an extremely niche audience:  Bull Terrier Tuesday.

If you want to know about my dog, the nine-year old bull terrier Murphy, keep reading.  If you’d rather not know about my adorable, stubborn old girl, feel free to read some of my other posts to tide you over until the real substantive content returns.

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