Monday, October 26, 2015

Re-living the undergraduate experience

Sunday afternoon I drove over to Manhattan, Kansas, where I had attended Kansas State University. I had done the 5-year plan as an undergraduate because I never could decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I finally left with a B.S. after majoring in Economics, Geography, and Pre-Law. I went on to law school, but I don't know that the question of what I want to be when I grow up has ever been resolved. 

I had been through Manhattan once or twice since I graduated, but this day I had enough time to walk around campus, drive around town, and even do a six mile hike out at Konza Prairie. It was a beautiful day, perfect for a hike and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 
I have a college friend who still lives in Manhattan and I had arranged to meet her at the Tallgrass Brewery's taphouse for dinner. I had a little time after the hike before I was to meet her for dinner, so I made my way to campus. A lot of my memories of college seem to be lost in a smoky haze, but some of them came back as I walked around places I used to live and buildings where I had classes. There are a lot of new buildings on campus, of course, and that confused me, but once I got to the center of campus things looked pretty familiar. 

I pulled into a parking garage at the Student Union, thinking that would be the easiest place to park and my best chance of finding my car when I returned. As I was about to enter the garage, I reached for my wallet and realized I had left home without it. I found street parking in Aggieville instead (an off-campus area roughly analogous to "the Corner" in Charlottesville) and went through my pockets and the car for loose change. I ended up wandering around Manhattan with less than $10 to my name, thereby bringing an unforeseen and less than welcome element of realism to my re-living of the undergraduate experience. 

I was parched from the hike so I bought a big coke at the Student Union and then just walked around, (an activity that was both free and entertaining), before bumming beers and dinner from my friend in the evening. She's such a good friend that she even offered me gas money to get home, but I had mom's car with a full tank of gas. It was like college all over again. 

Even though it was a cool and pleasant day, it felt good to
finally reach some shade.
This is a partially reconstructed  spring house
from the homestead site established by
immigrants from Sweden.

This empty lot is the location of a house where I lived for my
last two years or so in Manhattan. I didn't expect a historical
marker, and indeed there was none.

This building was the old Nichols gym, which had burned many
years ago and stood as a ruin when I was there. Only the walls
remained and there were trees growing inside. It now holds a
theater among other things.
Thompson Hall, where the Geography department was located,
it was very near my off-campus apartment.

This is Water's Hall on the other side of campus, where the
Econ department was located, but it was near the dorm I lived
in for my first two years.

My friend Becky and I at dinner at  the Tallgrass Taphouse

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jake the Pug

None of the previous dogs in this household ever had furniture
privileges. Jake considers it to be a right, not a privilege, and
so it is. The first night I was there I sat in his chair. The next
night he got up in the chair first and glared at me.
Jake doesn't normally sleep in the bed but
he's been sleeping in mine for a few nights.
I'm in Kansas hanging out with my mother and her dog, Jake. Jake is a pug, about seven years old, adopted from the local shelter.

The first night he slept pressed up against my leg, but after
that he just staked out a place in the corner of the bed.
Jake at Sunset Park

He's not a bad dog to sleep with, but he's noisy. He snores, snuffles, and grunts.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall garden

I'm in Kansas in time to see my mother's garden before it's hit by frost. We planted a lot of this when I was out here last May so it's nice to see it at the end of the season. As with all gardens, some things did better than others, some did better than expected, and some didn't. Most things did very well, even surviving through the heat and wind of a Kansas summer.

The dog is my mother's pug, Jake. There will be more pics of him coming later, I'm sure.

[Things are going well out here, much better than expected.]

Saturday, October 17, 2015

One more for the road

I heading to Kansas for a couple weeks. I'm leaving Clay with just nine dogs to care for (Mickey is out for a couple weeks with a potential adopter).

I got everyone out for one last hike on Friday.

First up was Maya, Theo, and Trooper.

One thing about being at the tail end of the pack,
I get to observe a lot of dog tails. Maya and Theo
always carry their's up and curved when they are
on the trail and excited.
It sometimes gets a little crowded
for three dogs on a narrow trail.

Maya will often move off to the side or even
drop back to walk near me, except when
Summer is along. She doesn't want to cede
 the lead position to another female dog.

After two miles, I took Trooper and Theo back home and picked up Max and Summer to take their place for another two miles.

Summer has her nose to the ground most of the time when we are walking. The other two
use their eyes and ears more to scan the forest and look for deer.

I took Summer back home and picked up Sparky for the final two miles. Everyone got at least two miles, Max got four and Maya and I had six.

Sparky walks fine with Maya and Max, but I have my doubts about how he'd do with either
Trooper or Theo. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fall color

Theo the Great

I don't know what this grass is, but it sure is pretty right now.

This is in our pasture and that's Jasso in the upper left.

Max and Theo

Theo and Max jumping a log
Theo, Max, and Maya

The river is becoming easier to see through the trees as they
drop their leaves.

I would love to be able to get this picture from
the front of the dogs, it must be quite a sight.