Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena

Random Bits from Facebook

January 1:
"You know the relationship is over when you realize that you have been deliberately putting the brown lettuce on HIS sandwiches." --Mystery writer Sue Grafton, from an appearance at Scotland Yard Books in Winnetka, IL

Sue Grafton published "Y is for Yesterday", the 25th of her Kinsey Milhone "Alphabet" novels, earlier this year. If "Z" is ever published, it will be posthumous.

The wheel turns; the world is diminished.

January 3:
It's Perihelion Day! Yes indeed, folks, today is the day that the earth passes closest to the sun, and the day that the earth will receive more solar radiation than any other day this year. I think that this is a really good example of cosmic irony...

January 3:
The "Literary Trivia" calendar offered a multiple choice question, asking who wrote a particular rhyming couplet. Dementia glanced at it and said, "This counts as brain damaged, in this household." And then she read the couplet aloud. Hyena didn't bother to state the author's name; he just recited the other half of the poem.

All that is gold does not glitter;
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither;
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken;
A light from the darkness shall spring;
Renewed shall be the blade that was broken,
And the crownless again shall be king.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on this day in 1892.

January 4:
From the Dredge. Shared because there is not NEARLY enough Yeats in the world. The original circumstance was that a friend, who I knew loved this poem, had lost a beloved pet. And though I had never thought of this poem as elegiac before, the knowledge struck me like lightning.

For the world's more full of weeking than we can understand.

From 2013:
Posted for Avens, who will likely understand.

The Stolen Child, by W. B. Yeats

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

January 5:
Got your tinfoil hats ready?

Spook Number One: We have convinced Intel to give us a hardware based back door into every CPU they build from now on.

Spook Number Two: That's good, but it will take years to get full deployment by attrition.

Spook Number One: Maybe that's why we have ALSO convinced them to announce that there is a previously undiscovered hardware based security bug in all of their previous CPUs.

Spook Number Two: So you're using a fictitious hardware security flaw to propagate a deliberate hardware security flaw. That's brilliant.

Spook Number One: <>

Spook Number Two: There's a reason I haven't turned my back on you in sixteen years.

Spook Number One: <>

January 6:
Hybrid geekery:

As a general rule, I have not been impressed with the math skills of game designers, though every now and then one manages to surprise me and get something tricky RIGHT for a change. Of course, in a world where most people lack the math to be anything but utterly bewildered by pretty much everything, this isn't surprising.

Today, I read an entry in the D&D 5e DMG about facing multiple relatively weak opponents which consisted of a couple of paragraphs and a table, all of which amounted to, "The combined lethality of N similar opponents is equal to the lethality of one opponent multiplied by N rasied to the power of 3/2." Which, as it happens, is a well-established rule of thumb that has been kicking around in military simulations for a LONG time.

It's always kind of fun to look through the skin to see the bones, and find the bones in the right places...

January 8:
Life in my household:

Dementia: My daily rune casting was Haal, Thorn, and Neid.

Hyena (scowling): Disaster, Challenge, and Hardship.

Dementia (grinning): I read it as Challenge, Will, and Self-reliance, but still...

We see the world through different lenses...

January 12:
And this morning we had Hyena's Irreverent Seminar on Gnostic Cosmology. 'Cause stuff that's complex, non-linear, non-utilitarian, and boring is REALLY hard to remember...

Dementia: I KNOW why suffering exists!

Hyena: Oh?

Dementia (grinning): It's COMPLICATED.

January 13:
Discussion at the poker table had gotten mired into a heated discussion on investment strategy between a highly ethical financial planner and a rather less ethical accountant. Eventually Hyena raised his hand and said, "I vote that we ban investment discussions for the rest of the night." Everyone except the accountant raised a hand. During the next lull, the financial planner asked, "What should we talk about now? Dungeons and Dragons?" Hyena gaped at him for a moment; he had attended about fifty of these tournaments, and this was the first time role playing games had ever been mentioned. He went to his bag, pulled out three books, and said, "This is the first time since I have been playing here that I have had these with me," and then handed the D&D 5e core books to the financial planner. The books were passed around and pawed at; three of the players admitted to having played D&D in the long ago. Eventually they went back to playing poker. As it happened, Hyena won the night.

January 14:
On Wednesday, January 10, my watch band broke. This was the third band I had had on that watch (over the course of about ten years), but also the third watch I have worn with that band (over the course of more than 25 years). When I put the two together, six or seven years ago, I noted that it was the third time around for each, and joked about it being a competition.

And now it is over. I can repair the band, but I can't make it reliable, so I will repair it, consign it to a collection of oddball keepsakes, and replace it. It is a trivial sadness, but a sadness none the less.

I HATE entropy...


January 15:
And I have just demonstrated that I can no longer do the greatsword trick with my right hand; too many things wrong with the shoulder and elbow. I can still do it on the left, though...

The greatsword in question is 53 inches long, 38 inches of it blade. It weighs 6.6 pounds. The trick consists of standing with your hand in the middle of the grip, with the sword point grounded. Upper arm vertical, forearm horizontal. Snap the blade up to a horizontal position with as little motion as possible, with everything except your grip and the sword where it started. I am told it is a scary move to watch.
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