This past Sunday we went to the retirement party for a colleague in H's department. He is an avid golfer and skier and has managed to have a good life while being an academic. His wife taught high school French and they headed off to Europe nearly every summer, with their two boys in tow. Lots of nice speeches at the party by junior colleagues whom he helped to hire and mentor while serving as Chair a few years ago. A few speeches filled with quips and back-handed complements offered by members of his own cohort (along with the former University president) who are clearly all still living out the pills and politics of 40 years ago. But without a doubt a really nice party at an amazing house with a dramatic view of the river (which is really low--not much snow melt this year) from up high on the bluffs. I'd never go in to work if I had this view.