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
November 30, 2015 - 12:28 p.m.
I’m back in Brooklyn and writing on yet another computer. I was going to start with tech details but realized that I’ll lose half of you if I do. So I’m moving that to the end. I know what My Gentle Readers want, food and commuting. No? Food and friends and music? That’s what you are going to get though as I spent a quarter of yesterday commuting you’ll get some of that too.
I realized that it was a holiday weekend and you might have not caught up on your Wise Madness. You should go back and read the last few editions. If you want to do that after reading this I’ll just catch you up that I went up to visit Joe and Emily and their kids aka the VanMerc clan in Southborough MA for the holiday. We are now going to pick up where I left off on Saturday.
Immediately after I finished my last entry I found myself in bed with three beautiful girls of age 21 … combined. That was Maggie, Cate, and Ellie, Emily and Joe’s daughters. Here’s a trick for remembering their names, Ellie is really Eleanor and Cate is Catherine. Eleanor of Aquitaine was played by Katherine Hepburn in the Lion in Winter. who is the closest thing we have to Katherine Hepburn today? How about Maggie Smith? OK got it? Hey it took me a few Falcon Ridges to get their names straight. Until the last few years the VanMerc clan was my once a year family. I’d only see them at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Everyone needs to learn this backstory so I don’t have to repeat it again. This WILL be on the test.
What did I do with the three girls? Watched videos on my computer of course. We spent two hours doing that. That’s a fine way for me to spend my time. When I’m there I have three kids and two dogs, Moon and Max, to play with. Kids and dogs are my favorite kinds of people. Yes I am totally aware of what I just said. Last night I had a great hook of a song based on that. Now it’s gone of course. Why? Yes, you got it! I’m an idiot.
Saturday night we had a second Thanksgiving dinner which couldn’t be beat joined once again by Sarah and Drew and a cast of new people including I believe five children and one dog. All of Joe’s friends have common one syllable names which makes it very hard to remember them, there was Tom, Dick, and not Harry but Tim. It was like living in a first grade primer. The one person that I knew well that was there was Ethan. You might know him from Pesky J. Nixon. He brought his dog Lupin aka Lu. So I had another dog to play with.
This was not a sit-down dinner. We just took what we wanted to. I was told it was OK to not eat the turkey, I just had the French stuffing which has sausage in it as my main course. I also had tons of cold cuts. Oh and I drank alcohol … to excess! Well if you are grading on a curve since I don’t normally have more than one beer and that it’s unusual for me to have even one. But Emily made chocolate Irish cream which is pretty much the best thing in the world. She made it strong. People drank it in shots. I had a few cups. I am pretty certain that I was not drunk, my guess is that I didn’t have enough to be legally impaired. But I am very aware that alcohol impairs your judgment so I might very well have misjudged how impaired I was. I will tell you that I don’t like the feeling. Not that I’m going to let that stop me from drinking it next time Emily makes it and I’m around. I mean it is the best thing in the world. I might drink a higher percentage of it in coffee which is amazing and involves drinking less of it.
After dinner we made music. There is a lot of music in that house. Ethan and Joe played guitar, Was it Dick on the piano and Tom on the clarinet? That sounds right but I was not just an idiot but a possibly impaired idiot at the time. I can remember quite a bit of what we sang, Stand, Wagon Wheel, Who Will Love You, … OK not a lot of what we sang. But hey that’s not too bad. I was singing too. When I remembered how a song went I wasn’t shy to sing it for the others. We kept singing after the people who weren’t staying there left. Drew and Sarah stayed.
Yesterday morning I was awake before the bacon and coffee was ready. Yes I am very proud of myself for that. Joe ripped the CDs I brought and set up this computer for me. He’s a computer professional and has unused but outdated ones around like this one.
The timing coming home was a bit tight. My bus left at 3:30 and we left at 2:30. There was an accident on the road to Boston that cost us a lot of time. I was worried I’d be late. We got to South Station at 3:20 and I made my way to the gate and on to the bus by 3:26. Good thing I had an A ticket and could jump the line in front of the B and C tickets. It was a very comfortable bus the Wi-Fi was out. That meant I couldn’t install Office and write Wise Madness that’s why I skipped a day. We made good time. I got off the bus at 8:10 and was back home by around 9:00. So I spent seven and a half hours traveling yesterday. If I had a car it would have been closer to four. I’ve done Boston in three but I won’t speed that much anymore.
Now onto the computer. I have upgraded from XP to Windows 7. It’s an Lenovo Thinkpad. I have installed Office 365 on it. I realized I can do that as I paid for a full year. As there is an online element of it why isn’t office synched across computers the way Firefox is? Is there a way to do that? It would be nice to have my macros back and not have to set all my defaults again. Yay, I just figured something out. I hated that I had to switch to “No Spacing” every time I used Word as I could not alter the “Normal” Template to not skip two lines every time I hit “return.” Joe told me that I could change my normal and I just figured out how! Life just got a little easier. There is one problem, I can’t get the speakers to work. They aren’t on mute. The tests say they are fine but no sound comes out. I can hear with earbuds. Can anyone suggest what’s wrong and how I can fix it?
I better get going, I am always late for therapy since it was moved up an hour. Today I’ll make it on time.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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