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
March 12, 2015 - 11:36 a.m.
No idea what I'll write about today. I switch strategies, Usually I plan things about but sometimes I just wing it.
Yesterday was Wednesday so I had my weekly get my life in order meeting with Carolann. Not as productive as I'd have liked. When I called my insurance company they gave me trouble. They once again blamed the state when the state said, "We have no problem with it and its stupid to suggest that we would." I let her know that the guy from the state said that.
I went to the bank and got a form so I can have the money my school owes me put in by direct deposit. TD banks is always so nice. They have the best customer service of any bank I've used
I was supposed to have dinner with Heather but she canceled. I had defrosted chicken breasts. I put hers back in the freezer? Is that ok? Can you refreeze chicken? I'm never sure of that.
For the second day in a row I screwed up dinner. I made Cajun chicken cutlet. I forgot to pound it with a mallet first to make it thinner and uniform thickness. It came out too dry and not spicy enough. That never happens. Am I losing my touch? I always like my cooking the best. Oh and I undercooked the hasselback potato too. I better make an extra good breakfast.
I started reading The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I saw the movie and liked it quite a bit and at some point bought the book when I saw it cheap. When looking for another book I found it and started to read it. I have a definite gender imbalance in my favorite authors. Wharton is a bit Jane Austen who is the only woman in my literary pantheon. They both write comedies of manners centered on the viewpoints of characters who are unaware of the artificiality of their social milieu and so act as a guide to it. I am enjoying the book but she's not as brilliant as Austen, not many are.
A few days ago, not sure how many, I finished Dreams of a Final Theory: The Scientist's Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature by Steven Weinberg. I didn't even know that I added that to my "to read" list on Good Reads in 2011. Sometimes I go into the strand and go down that list and see what they have in stock. It's the kind of book I need to read more of science with substance. The book is over 20 years out of date but most of it holds up. He was writing about the Higgs particle back then and does a much better job of telling why it's important than anything I read recently. It has almost nothing to do with the particle. That's just evidence that the Higgs Mechanism is valid. And it's not so much because that's what gives other particles mass but because it gives strong evidence that the standard model of physics is correct. Correct is not the right word. But there is no right word. Theories are not right, they are good explanations of what we observe. Newton's theory of gravity has been superseded but for most purposes it works great. We can get a spacecraft to Pluto using it.
Weinberg is a kindred spirit. I even think he was born in Queens not that long before me. All I can find is that he's from New York City but I seem to remember him being a Queens boy just like Stephen J. Gould and me. He has a great chapter on religion. He has almost exactly the same take on it as me. He's of the "Well of course I'm an atheist" school but like me wonders a lot about those that aren't. He is not strident like Richard Dawkins. What I particularly like is that he thinks that the liberal religious people are not logically consistent. They are not even wrong. While the conservatives are the dangerous ones that do things like teach young earth creationism they have a consistent view of the world. If everyone's religion is valid and all that matters is that it works for them then what does god even mean? What's the truth? But he also realizes that doesn't make them bad people. It's just something puzzling about so many good people. I should have written this when it was fresher in my mind. Well I've been busy. Of course I've been mainly busy having anxiety and unhappiness. Those are not useful activities.
I'm tired of everything being such a struggle for me. I just realized that I have a probably schedule conflict between two things that I very much want to do. Thinking about reading the email to see if there is a conflict is making my heart pound. I know it's silly. It's knowledge. I like knowledge. I might not be able to do one of two things that I have been looking forward to for months. I should find out. It's just not so easy. I know I write about these things a lot but it's because I see how people don't understand. They say, "just do it." But it's like me telling you, 'just jump out of the plane with a parachute." Now the funny thing is I would do that with less fear. I can rationally examine my irrationality.
OK I'm going to make breakfast. I think it's going to be grits, eggs, sausage, and cheese, all mixed together. That's grits ala Gordon with sausage. It also comes in ham. I need to find a place to buy cheese curds so I can have it the right way, poutine grits and eggs. Talking about that made me feel better.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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