Dredged from 2015:
Life in my household:
Dementia was getting ready for bed. She asked, "What's the difference between and algorithm and a logarithm?"
Hyena blinked a few times. "An algorithm is a cleary defined operation, process, or routine for dealing with a specific situation. A logarithm is..." A quick discussion of significant figures, scientific notation, slide rules, exponentiation, and finally logarithms followed.
We have well over a hundred years between us. It amuses me greatly that this kind of discussion still takes place...
Last night, as I was tucking Dementia into bed, we got to talking about Arthurian romance, and the fact that it is, systematically, a mess. There IS a main narrative thread, but it is possible that the only absolutely consistent narrative point in the whole thing is the king's name. I found myself thinking about composing a fundamental Arthurian quiz, and found myself looking at "match the version with the source" questions: Things like, "Match the nature of Arthur's releationship to Morgause with the source: Maternal half sister, paternal half sister, aunt; Thomas Malory, Mary Stewart, T.H. While." It's maddening. (By the way, the answers to that are correct in the order given.) It's beautiful, it's wonderful, it's a train wreck.
It occurs to me that I may have to break down and finally read MZB's "The Mists of Avalon." Ah, well. I survived "Moby Dick", I can survive that.
Dredged from 2013:
People like Peter ("I believe in productivity, not creativity.") Drucker need to be punched. Repeatedly.
Truly creative people, the kind who are successful enough to get asked how they do it, are generally too steeped in creative impulses to realize the level of magic involved; they are fish trying to think about water, or humans trying to think about air (which can be done, obviously, but it took genius to do it the first time).
Non-creative people just shrug and go about their business. The rest of us, the unhappy fragment who have been hit by lightning just often enough to know that it is real, that we want more, and that we will probably only ever get enough to keep us hungry, are the ones who spend time and effort worrying about what creativity is and how to get it.
My own experience with creativity and time management is that, if you are able to procrastinate, you should, because the story or poem will force itself out of your fingertips when IT is ready. Sitting down at the keyboard and trying to force the issue produces suicide-inducing drek. But then I am not a COMMERCIAL writer, and have long since given up hope of becoming one.
"There are only four rules you need to remember: Make the plan, execute the plan, expect the plan to go off the rails, throw away the plan." - Captain Cold, in TV's "The Flash".
I was in Libertyville today, and needed an Ingress fix, so I decided to visit the labyrinth across the street from the First Presbyterian Church. There's a nice, friendly little welcome sign at the beginning of the path, but there are also several "Church Parking Only" signs in the adjacent parking lot. Something of a mixed message. I parked anyway, and walked the path. When you get to the center, you are facing a two person bench, basically an outdoor loveseat-- or a throne. I reached the center, did my best courtly bow to the empty throne, and then walked the path back out. The observer can never know what is in the actor's heart...
Department of counter-steerng:
The following is from electoral-vote.com
Suppose Trump is impeached and convicted, then it is "Hello, President Pence." What the base doesn't know but the Democratic politicians know very well is that if Trump is up to his ears in scandals for 2 years, he won't get any legislation passed. If the Democrats retake the House in 2018, then he won't get any legislation passed at all. On the other hand, if Pence becomes president, he, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will have breakfast together every Monday morning to discuss which bills they want to pass that week. With Pence as president, there are not likely to be any more scandals and the Republicans may be able to pass their entire agenda. Democratic politicians can't tell their base: "Be thankful for Trump; he's incapable of getting anything done," but they know it.
Dredged from 2016:
A haiku born of walking the mall on a Saturday night:
Mixing perfumes fill the air;
It is hard to breathe.
Had a visual migraine last night, my fourth. The first one was in December of 2015 (I am keeping a log), and was the worst, and SCARY, since I didn't know what it was, just that the center of my vision had filled up with a writhing kaleidoscope, and I could no longer read. Better visual hallucinations that crippling pain, I guess...
After 12 weeks and 4 days, Dementia's Neopet, the redoubtable Mister Gebo, is once again free. We don't know why the account was locked; best guess is that someone wanted the account name, and, finding it taken, logged on repeatedly until it was frozen. It's a minor triumph, but a triumph none the less, and we will take it.
Dredged from 2016:
Got Suchia in the water today for the first time since 2014. Didn't go far; Sterling Lake was REALLY high, so I was unable to get under the bridge and get to the north pool at all. Still, it was a lot of fun, and GREAT to be on the water again. (And here's to you, Brother Rat.)
Dredged from 2016:
Perspective: A year ago, I had a very lucrative job that made me miserable. There were rumors of outsourcing, but mostly I was saddled with a partner who simply COULD NOT do the job, who fundamentally lacked the mental horsepower. I worked flat out, all day long, twelve hours a day, and we were at best breaking even with the necessary work; a fair amount spilled over onto the other shifts. There were several times when, if the appropriate face had presented itself, I would have punched it, and damn the consequences.
Today, the job is GONE; I am terrified by the future, but I am still sleeping better, and am generally happier and more optimistic than I was then.
Just maybe, the horse will learn to sing.
It's towel day, two weeks after the anniversary of Douglas Adams' death in 2001. I am going to take a moment to revisit a bizarre bit of surreality involving one of his creations. Adams would certainly have enjoyed the surreality; he may not have enjoyed being misunderstood quite so much.
I read Adams' "Dirk Gently" books in hard cover, a rarity for me, because I didn't want to wait for the paperbacks. The main character was a con man who was absolutely cynical about humanity, whose self-honesty enabled him to perceive the otherworldly when he encountered it, and who had made something of a cottage industry out of spinning acceptable lies around the otherworldly that allowed those who had seen but did not wish to believe to forget. He had a line of patter about the interconnectedness of all things that enabled him to ask for money without the inconvenient necessity of actually producing results. He occasionally saved the world because it was the most efficient way to save himself, and make a profit in doing so. He is absolutely and in all ways a Trickster character.
Apparently a significant percentage of Dirk's fans managed to completely miss the cynical self service, drank suspiciously laced Kool-Aid that Dirk was serving at the moment, and BELIEVED. They think that Dirk believes the sewage he sells. This group of deluded fans has managed to produce two different television series, and a comic series, and there is no indication that any of them have the first clue of what a Trickster is, or that they are dealing with one.
Ah, well, people have been falling in love with fiction while completely missing the point since the invention of language.
I know I have done it a few times, myself...
A literary riddle:
When this child was ALSO a boy, she shrugged and decided to risk following the pattern and name the boy Mordred. How many children does she have, and what are their names?
(The trick here is to answer off the top of your head. This one is WAY too easy to Google.)
Dredged from 2012:
The world according to Dementia: "Real" means ANYTHING that can be looked up on Google or Wikipedia. (I love my wife...)
I was leaving the Nexus Game Fair this evening (after a five hour game of "Space Hulk" played on a 6 foot by 12 foot 3D map), and stumbled into a post-mortem of one of the conventions signature events, a re-enactment of the climactic battle from "Saving Private Ryan" done in 1/24 scale. They were talking about the tanks in the game, and I asked what tanks they were. I was told two Tigers, and two Marders. I quickly spotted the Tigers, and went looking for the Marders; I vaguely remembered them as low production tank destroyers. I found the model, and it was what I expected: Tall, open-topped and turretless. I looked at the model, and asked, "75 mm? Basically the gun from a Panther?" The moderator didn't know; he was not fundamentally a tank freak.
But maybe I am. It's been more than 40 years since I have played a game of PanzerBlitz, and yet I correctly identified the armament on an obscure tank-killer just from staring at a model...
Courtesy of the Utterly Tasteless Joke Department:
Bubba has a service contract with local animal control. It helps keep down the feed costs for his aligator farm.
It occurs to me that R2D2 might just be a deep cover Dalek...
At Nexus this afternoon, our game of "Legends of Draxia" was the last active game in the board game hall, and I made a reference to "being the last living cell in a dead body", and NO ONE caught the reference. It made me feel OLD...
In the course of conversation over gaming on Monday, Jeppson's Malort came up. I had never heard of it, and this evening I looked it up. I am significantly impressed by the hyperbolic eloquence which the horror of its flavor seems to inspire. I may actually have to try the stuff.