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
January 28, 2015 - 6:03 p.m.
Wow this is taking me a long time to get started. I didn't have time to write before went out but I've been home for hours now. Where did the time go? Must be those darn Chronoklepts.
What's really gone on is that I can't decide what to write about combined with my hands hurting from what I guess is arthritis. Typing is difficult. Oh and I'm having trouble seeing too. Don’t you dare say that I'm getting old. My body might be worn out but I'm still immature so I'm not old.
I headed over to Heather's yesterday afternoon. Even with the snow there was no trouble getting there. I hopped on the bus and it took the usual amount of time. That's foreshadowing.
I guess it was my turn to make dinner. Not that we actually take turns, but I made it yesterday. I tried something new, a slice of provolone on the grilled chicken breast. As usual it was yummy. I don't cook many things but what I cook I cook well. Pro Tip, don't overcook chicken. It's better to take it off too soon than to late. If it is not cooked through you can always put it back on. I did that yesterday.
I watched an episode of Cosmos while Heather napped. I know I’m supposed to love it but I don't. It's better than the Sagan original but it suffers from the some of the same flaws. It spends too much time in Gee Whiz graphics which don't actually teach you anything. The best graphic was from the original series showing the evolution of man in 45 seconds through an animated line drawing. That taught quite a bit. You could see how the external structures derived from previous ones.
Heather and I as is our want on Tuesdays caught up on The Librarians. I have officially changed my mind. It isn't a fun but shallow show. It is actually good. There's some excellent writing and acting. Unlike most TV fantasies I don't want to throw things at the TV set.
When it was time to leave I did what I always do, I checked the MTA website to see when a bus was coming. It tracks them with a GPS in real time. It said, "no bus on route try again later." Uh oh. I kept trying . Finally it said there was one five miles away but it took forever for it to cover that five miles. We watched more than an entire episode of Parenthood while I was waiting for the bus. I'm so glad I didn't just wait outside It was in the teens.
I don’t' know what went wrong but something did. the trip home went fine. But as it was so long since the last bus came the bus was packed solid. Good thing I get on early as I got a seat. And this was at 1 AM!
Today is Wednesday so I must have my weekly meeting with Carolann. She can help me do the scary stuff I need to get my life in order. You wouldn't feel it was scary but it is to me. To paraphrase Edmund Kean, dying is easy, calling insurance companies is hard. Actually listening to messages from my health insurance company was the hardest part.
Talking about this isn't easy either but it's a different kind of hard. I don't have anxiety about it. I just have a natural reluctance to discuss my failings. But I also think it's important to realize there's no shame involve. It's important to me and it's important to me that you realize there's no shame in things you can't help. If you have a phobia or mood disorder or even psychosis there's no more shame involved than in my Crohn's disease.
I( rewarded myself by buying chocolate truffles a Trader Joe's. There's an article in the Times on how comfort food doesn't work. Nonsense! The experimental design was unrealistic. I'm happier with chocolate in my belly.
I was so happy today to read Yoram post on Facebook about Triplanetary by e.e. "Doc" Smith.. Raise your hand if you read it. Raise your hand if you have even heard of it. It's the first book of the Lensmen series. I just found out that it was written well before the others and was retrofitted to become the prequel. So why did that make me happy? I never hear any of my friends discussing classic science fiction. It's always the new stuff and mainly fantasy not SF. I grew up reading science fiction written for the most part before I was born, from the "Golden Age" of Astounding Magazine. I read Asimov, Clark, Heinlein, etc. Smith preceded all of them. Asimov said that he never got more pleasure out of reading any science fiction than Galactic Patrol which was published in Astounding when he was 17.
So here's the thing. The science fiction I grew up on were about ideas. The writing, plots, and characters were secondary to the concept the story revolved around. Asimov's Foundation stories are not about Hari Seldon or Salvor Hardin but about psychohistory. There's no other genre like it. For some of us the lure is irresistible. Are you an admirer of Paul Krugman? Then you owe a debt to Isaac Asimov. Krugman became an economist because that' the closest he could come to psychohistory.
This was such a huge part of my life and I rarely have anyone to talk about it with. Science Fiction conventions are now all about movies and TV shows, not writing. And the published science fiction is often of the school that things the less actual science fiction is in the story the better it is. I like science in my science fiction. I like it to explore a fictional science.
Science fiction affects the way I see the universe. It's why I say "the universe" not "the world. The earth is just a tiny part of the stage of history. I know very well that the laws of physics might very well mean that we never conquer the stars but I know that we should want to. I want spaceships and robots. There's no such thing as "There are some things people aren’t meant to know." We're meant to try to know everything and to be bound by nothing but basic laws of nature. And even those restrictions can sometimes be finessed.
There's a great film, Things To Come by the granddaddy of it all, H.G. Wells. I have seen in so many times. My father saw it in the theater when it came out. I'm totally with Cabell in this speech from the end of the film. I can't embed it from the point I want just follow this link, Things to Come.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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