I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
December 02, 2015 - 12:15 p.m.
I started writing this with 200 words about my computer and I decided to move that to the back. Sometimes I override my immediate writing desires in the interest of better writing. Sometimes I give in to them. Yesterday I called used the phrase “geniusical Jean Rohe.” Why the neologism? I had an urge to use alliteration and “generic Jean Rohe” kept wanting to be written. I found the euphony irresistible but the meaning was the exact opposite of what I wanted. I couldn’t find anything similar sounding that said what I wanted so I made up the word and justified it with humor. I’d have probably been better of just cutting it out but sometimes I can indulge myself. My Gentle Readers will understand. At least if I explain it to them the next day.
I often wonder how my musical friends that I lavish praise on take it. I know they often appreciate it as they know I’m sincere. I did make a deliberate decision to not hold back on honest praise. My readers deserve to hear how I feel and the artists deserve to know that they are appreciated. But I hope they don’t think I’m putting them on a pedestal. When I think about my musical friends the first thing I think of is them as friends. Immensely talented friends but friends. I don’t put anyone on a pedestal. I know that everyone has flaws. I also have a pretty high opinion of myself so I pretty much see everyone as equals.
I’m listening to Dave Palmeter on WUMB. He played Nanci Griffith’s version of Wall of Death. He told people to look up on the web what the Wall of Death was and implied it had to do with motorcycles. And yes there is a stunt motorcycle show called the Wall of Death but that’s not what the song is about. I heard Richard Thompson explain it. It’s what I have seen called the rotor. It’s a ride where you stand with your back against a rapidly rotating cylinder and when you are up to speed the floor drops down and you are pressed against the wall by centrifugal force. It makes much more sense in the context of the song as the patrons don’t ride the motorcycle Wall of Death, they watch professionals do it. Since I’m me I wrote Dave and told him and linked to this website that explains the ride, Halfbakery. And then being me I told him the story of me listening to WFUV for ages and now looking for a new station and finding WUMB. They play what WFUV played in the 90s, when they were proudly City Folk. I still get mad when I think about the people that felt I was wrong for not changing what music I liked to what WFUV was playing instead of changing stations to one that plays the music I like. I still have loyalty to WFUV and of course I still love what they play on Sundays and I still love the people working there. But I’m not going to listen to music I don’t like because of that.
Now buried in the midst of this entry I’m going to write what I think is the core of today’s Wise Madness. Festivus started the day after Thanksgiving. Every year I write a Festivus edition of Wise Madness. Every year I create a Facebook event for Festivus. This year I’m not doing it. So yes instead of writing a Festivus edition of Wise Madness I’m writing about there not being a Festivus edition of Wise Madness. Just search for Festivus here and you’ll find how often I wrote about it. I took the name from Seinfeld but that’s about it. Festivus is the holiday to avoid the issue of what do you say to someone that doesn’t celebrate the same solstice holiday you do. It includes Christmas, Chanunkah Solstice, and every other holiday of the season. It celebrates celebrating. I came up with it with friends ages ago. Every year I have promoted it and celebrated it. I made a Festivus Pole. I gave Festivus presents. So why am I keeping it private this year? It started as a something I shared with friends. I always hoped to get more friends to celebrate it with me. But that didn’t happen. So saying “Whee Festivus” to people will just remind me that I don’t have someone to share it with. So I will keep Festivus in my heart and I still know how to keep Festivus if any many has the knowledge but I’m not going to make a big deal of it.
Even so I do have to quote Charles Dickens in A Festivus Carol: “As Tiny Tim observed, The Flying Spaghetti Monster bless us, Every One!” Oh hell.
Now for the coda about the computer. Computer Coda is the name of my Jonathan Coulton trbute band. I’m back on the Windows 7 machine and the newest version of Word. Will that make thing easier? I hope so. Maybe I’ll even start writing macros to automate the things I often do. And once again I start off writing about my computer. I’m going to keep it this time. Nah, I’m moving this to the end.
I spent quite a bit of time yesterday working on this computer. Yesterday I was forced to write on the XP machine because this one was hung up updating. I asked on Facebook for some advice and Eliot found the solution. The computer had 198 updates in the queue. That was just too many Eliot said I should turn off automatic update and choose to do just 5 updates at a time and only the important ones, not the optionals. The first step was searching for new updates and that took 45 minutes. Actually doing the five updates took maybe 10 including the reboot of the computer. So that was almost an hour for 5 updates. Eliot knows a lot more about computers than I do but I trust my reasoning and my math. When trying to do all the updates the computer would slow down when it was 15% complete with the configuration. So I figured I could do 15% at a time, that’s 30. To play it safe I did 20. That worked fine so the next time I tried 25. That worked fine. I did it again. That worked fine. So that’s 75 updates of 198. Then I went to sleep. In the morning I started the process again. It found no updates? What happened to the other 123? I have no idea. Is this computer up to date now? Again I don’t know.
Now for breakfast. I’ll keep it simple bacon and eggs.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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