Wind on My Face

Wind chill, winter weather advisory, whatever. I washed my face with snow, cracked a window open, turned on the overhead fan, and now I’m ready for bed.

I’m thinking of installing a second overhead fan. It will be like sleeping inside a wind turbine. But I need to feel the wind on my face or I don’t sleep.

Book Notes: Alex Berenson’s The Power Couple

I knew, of course, that aside from being the person who saved my sanity Alex Berenson was the author of spy thrillers. I hate spy thrillers but there’s nothing I can think of doing to express my ocean-deep gratitude to Berenson other than buy his books. He’s literally the most important man in my life after my husband and my father. And if that seems exaggerated, imagine being a neurotic hypochondriac with OCD during a pandemic. It’s like being an alcoholic locked in a bar and told that a tornado is approaching. The temptation to go off the deep end is intense.

So as a sign of gratitude for keeping me moored in reality I bought Berenson’s new novel titled The Power Couple. And guess what? It turned out to be a very enjoyable read. VERY. Minimal spy stuff, and what there was of it wasn’t at all obnoxious. The novel is more mommy lit (a genre I love) than spy lit. I hope somebody buys movie rights because it would make for a great movie.

People are complaining in reviews that neither protagonist is likeable but that’s the whole point. The idea of “a power couple” is being skewered in the novel, and of course the characters are obnoxious.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this novel nearly as much as I did. Now I wonder if I should buy Berenson’s other novels. I looked at the blurbs, and they sound like hardcore spy stuff, which I really can’t stand. On the other hand, I like the way he writes.

In any case, a very good novel, very entertaining, reads in a flash.

Shoveling Snow

I had to shovel out the driveway today, there’s so much snow. And I kept thinking how there are so many people who hate shoveling out driveways every day for months while I’d love to live in a place where I get to do this more than once a decade.

My plan is to shovel it at least three times today. Not because anybody in the house is planning to drive anywhere but because I probably won’t get another chance until I’m in my dotage.

Scholars and Side Gigs

People are surprised that I can be an effective Chair while maintaining my busy research agenda.

But it’s not surprising at all. The same qualities that help me publish a lot make a productive administrator.

If you have a certain personality trait, it will manifest in different areas of your life. This seems very obvious but people keep forgetting it.

People who are prolific scholars are so well-organized that they have very developed interests in other areas. It doesn’t have to be administration. They can be into DIY projects, or running a major local organization, or being in a music band.

Show me a good scholar and I’ll show you somebody who’s simultaneously successful in some unexpected activity on the side.

The Fire Extinguisher Story

Since there are still people who believe the lie about a police officer killed with a fire extinguisher in January 6, here’s an article about how even the New York Times has retracted that story.

I knew this story was a lie on January 6. And every day since then. If you didn’t, ask yourself, what’s wrong with your sources? What else might they be lying about?

Equitable Math

This is from

This is about absolutely nothing other than thinning out the competition for good jobs. The students who think math is about making TikTok videos won’t compete for good-paying jobs in tech with the kids of the people who invented “equitable math” and who are all in private schools with real math.