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
-Bertrand Russell

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

October 18, 2014 - 12:14 p.m.

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

This could have been a much better entry if I had remembered that Stephanie Jenkins and Annie Keating were playing in Brooklyn last night I had it in my Facebook Calendar but not my Google which is the one that matters. Do you know why I forgot? This is an easy one, I'm an idiot. Oh great the period key on my computer is sticking, something slipped beneath the key.

But I did forget it so what did I do? My laundry that I desperately need to do? Of course not. Food shopping? Nope. I did nothing till I get a Facebook message from Heather that her phone wasn't working and I went over there to see if I could help. The phone could text but not make or receive calls. When I called it would ring and go to voicemail. When she called it would ring then just stop. She tried removing the battery and even resetting the phone before I got there. There was nothing left but to bring it to the Verizon store There's one a mile from her and we walked We went in and when Heather said, "My phone isn't working" the three men behind the counter said, "Neither is anyone else's in three part harmony. OK it was actually in unison but it sounds so much better to say in harmony. The network had issues. it was fixed soon after we got back to her apartment. I should have called Verizon first on my phone.

I had planned on making soup at home so I took the fixings over to Heather's and made it there. It was my usual, chicken brother, garlic, potato, sausage, cheddar soup. I asked Heather to grate the cheese and didn't tell her how much to grate. By the time I looked she had grated more than twice the amount I usually use. I figured that I'd just throw it in and see how it went it went great I also added ginger for the first time. Next time I'm thinking of making it with quinoa instead of potato.

You know that I'm inordinately proud of my cooking. That's because I used to not cook at all and worked at learning what I know. I like to think that I can cook very well for a person that knows so little about cooking except on a theoretical level. But that's very much me. I'm the intelligent layman. I went to he opera this week and as always loved it I grew up listening to my opera because my father always had it on. I talked to him about it. I learned a bit about it in college music. That's enough to know more about opera than 99% of the people. But the reality is I know enough to know that I don't know about opera. I know 1% of what Damon knows and forget my friends that work in Opera.

Anything in the sciences is much the same way but there I'm more knowledgably. I know pretty much as any non-professional in most sciences. I know enough to realize how bad most popular science articles are.

Valerie Vigoda has a Kickstarter for her next album Just Getting Good. We've been talking about it and it reminds me that it's another case of me being the intelligent layman. She is one of the musicians that I can discuss creating music with. I have a zillion musician friends but that's not what I talk about with most of them. Why? Either they do things instinctively and don't verbalize it or more often they don't want to dumb it down enough for me to be able to understand. But there are a few that enjoy letting an intelligent layman get a glimpse of the process. I got the last entry in Valerie's Quotes Page. I'm inordinately proud of that too. Read what I wrote, go to the kickstarter page, then pledge

Knowing something about many things was useful on Jeopardy, not so much in real life But it makes me happy. I always want to know stuff for its own sake.

Yes I am aware that I started by calling myself an idiot then followed it up with me being an intelligent layman. I'm not an idiot you know. Well OK I am but not that kind of idiot.

So I promised that I'd write about Ebola. I have posted quite a bit about it on Facebook. It is one of the things I know the basics of and the science behind. It isn't mysterious to me. What is mysterious is how people react to it. If you look in the papers and even more so on social media the attention is on Ebola in the US. Ebola is not one of the 1000 biggest dangers in this country. It has a very low infection rate. It just isn't that communicable. All those precautions must be taken because it does have a high mortality rate But I'm not afraid of getting it at all. I'm ten thousand times more likely to die from the flu. So are you. It is a huge crisis in Africa. There's it's a major killer and threatens to become worse. Yet that receives far less attention. Is it because the victims are black? Is it because they are far away? Is it because people figure Africans are going to die anyway? It's all those things. But that's where are attention needs to be. We should be treating it with all the urgency of war. And by us I don't just mean the U.S. but the world. We need to be throwing everything we got at it not grandstanding in the Senate demanding that we stop all flights from West Africa. Aid workers will be discouraged from going if they can't come back and it will weaken the already week economy of countries overwhelmed fighting an epidemic. It would be condemning people to death to counter something which is not a serious threat to this country. If you have a congressman or senator who is advocating the flight ban let him or her know how heartless and foolish it is.

I'll get off my soap box now and make breakfast. What's on the menu? Oh I have leftover pancakes. I'll make some bacon to go with them This will be yummy.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile October 18, 2014
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