Saturday, October 31, 2009

2643 Becs' question answered

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Demetri Martin’s fortune cookie:
"When love and skill are combined, expect a masterpiece."

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A few posts back (#2629) I offered to answer any question asked. Becs asks, "If you got to give a "Last Lecture" like Randy Pausch, what do you think you would talk about?"

Well, first I had to find out what Randy Pausch's lecture was about. It was easy to find on YouTube. I watched it in bits and pieces over several days. He spoke on childhood dreams and aspirations, and making them happen, how they happened for him. He was lucky - his dreams were within his abilities to make happen.

I don't recall ever having any childhood dreams, other than surviving long enough to get out of the house, so I guess I'd have to talk about something else.

I'd probably pick doing one's own thing.

From birth we are pushed and prodded, led and lectured. We are told we have to do this, adhere to that standard, meet those expectations. We have to wear the right clothes, hold the right beliefs. We finally get out on our own, and we still hear those voices in our heads. Advertising tells us what we want and need to demonstrate "success", otherwise we are less than those who do have these things. Books and neighbors tell us how to raise our children. The work environment pressures us into a mold, to suit the company, not us. Our families and (some) friends demand deference and homage, again to suit themselves, not our needs. And we accept all of it, because we've been taught that all these outside influences, society, knows what's best for us better than we do, and it's important to satisfy those influences in order to be respected.

Uh uh. Bull poopy. It's all brain rot.

We need a healthy dose of skepticism. We need to know that we are important, that our needs are as important as those of anyone else. We need to know that anyone who judges us on our adherence to the standard wisdom is not worth impressing. We have an instinctual sense of what we want and need, and we mostly need the courage to go against society's demands. We need to learn to live our own life, not a life defined by others.

And that's what I'd talk about.
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2642 Doggy hike

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Alimony: Bounty on the mutiny.
-- Salada Tea tag line --

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I went on a doggy hike today. Six people, one dog (not the intended ratio), on the access roads in a large park next to the Stewart Airport. Not a particularly strenuous hike, but up and down a lot of long hills. Lots of hunters. Every time someone shot a gun, the doggy tried to run back to the car.

A comfortable pace for me is about 3 miles per hour. This group does a lot of strenuous hikes, kayaking, skiing, and so on, and they moved a lot faster than is easy for me with my short legs. We were out there 2.5 hours, with no stopping and sitting down, so at their faster pace I figure we had to have done at least 8 miles. Don't know for sure.

Poor Max the doggy picked up a thousand ticks. I guess I'll have to check me tonight.

Then to Panera for lunch. First time ever to Panera Bread. I didn't like it. It's too much like a fast-food joint, but the prices pretend you don't have to clear your own table and scrape your own plates. I got the asiago roast beef sandwich, and the bread was so hard I couldn't bite it. I took it apart and ate the insides separately.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

2641 Karaoke and kisses

Friday, October 30, 2009

Archilochus: The fox knows many things,
but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
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I met The Man for karaoke last night. The evening was a mix of good and bad. He was sweet, and I fell in love again, but we had only five hours. The club wasn't very crowded, but for some reason it was very loud. There were some girls there (in the black and white striped shirt in the video clip) flogging some brand of beer and leaping all over the place, and the world series was on. There were supposedly four waitresses and two bartenders, but we couldn't find the waitress for our section for over three hours. The good part of that was that when The Man asked the bartender if we could please pay our tab, it listed only half our food and about a quarter of our drinks. The Man shrugged and paid it. It didn't seem worth trying to find the waitress to straighten it out, and it really wasn't our fault.

Here's a 1 minute 40 second clip of two of our favorite singers, having some fun. Ignore the sound - it's oddly distorted. Smack in the middle one of the beer girls tried to get me to taste her beer, fully aware I was recording, and then some guy, also fully aware I was recording, stood right in front of me. That's my voice yelling at him to move, damn it! This clip might explain why I enjoy karaoke, even though I don't sing. It can be fun.
video
[I included both the Blogger and YouTube versions. One or the other might work. I don't know. Blogger seems iffy, and I have it as "private" on YouTube. Please let me know if you can see either, or neither.]


The Man says next time, I have to get up there, lose my virginity, I can do "Wipeout", or "Tequila". Uh, no, I can't.

The Man gave me a birthday card last night, one of those cards that shouts I love you, and when a man picks out a card like that, either it has no meaning whatsoever except that it was on the front of the rack, or it's chock full of meaning. Having been married to a man who'd go with the former (if I got a birthday card at all from Ex#2, it would have been congratulations on your graduation or some other totally inappropriate message - he'd just grab the first pink one with an envelope), I choose to believe the latter of The Man. He'd be fully aware of what he handed me. Since he doesn't have to say or do anything at all....

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I was supposed to go to a talk at the college this evening, but I feel flushed and there's a hot spot in my throat again, so I decided to take it easy. There's a hike tomorrow morning I want to go on.

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It has occurred to me that I no longer have to ask "What's senior?" Restaurants, theaters, stores, the metro, all have different definitions of "senior", and until now I always had to ask. I don't have to any more. I just am.

It also occurred to me that Ex#1 was four years older than I, Ex#2 was six weeks older, Jay was eight years younger, and The Man is fifteen years and six months younger. I can hardly wait for my seventies! At least one thing just keeps getting better....
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

2640 Asparagus

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Salada Tea tag line: A man who goes
to the bottom of things
usually winds up on top.

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I still have a few profiles out on dating sites here and there. Because they're old, they don't come to the top of searches, and my profile text flat out says I'm just window shopping and am unlike to respond to overtures, so I get a wink only about every two or three weeks.

Today's was from a guy with the handle "limp44long".

I don't understand why he chose that name. The "44 long" part probably is NOT his pants size, because he's actually on the short side.

I was very tempted to respond to him, to tell him he should change the name. "I don't care how long it is, nobody wants a limp one."

But I don't want to encourage him.

Silence.

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In other news, Roman was at the dinner last night, and sat next to me. He's dating, but still hasn't found a suitable woman. Sitting next to him and talking afterward I was shocked to find that I am still attracted to him.

No! No, no, no! I know too much about his faults - he's an angry man, there's a lot of undefined anger simmering under the surface and it doesn't take much for him to get nasty. No!

I got into my car (left the door open to talk), precisely to avoid a hug. We shook hands on parting.

He has bought a townhouse about a half-hour down the road, and will have a housewarming party in December.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2639 Used needles

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Alimony: Bounty on the mutiny.
-- Salada Tea tag line --

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Some late-night talk show host got a flu shot on the air last night. I forget who. I just happened to glance up and see it. The host said that the needle looked very small, how come it looks so much smaller than when he was a child? The doctor (who apparently has his own TV show and seemed to be a bit of a nut) responded that it isn't any smaller, it just looks smaller because we're bigger now. The host mentioned that it also seemed to hurt less. The doctor responded with some blather to the effect that it's the same, it's just that we're adults now.

Sorry Mr. Doctor Man, but today's needles really ARE smaller than they used to be, and they really DO hurt a lot less now than when I was a kid.

Needles today are disposable, so they don't need to be as rugged. Way back then, needles were sterilized and used over and over, so it had to be a larger bore because it had to withstand reuse.

Nowadays, they often come filled with the dose, and aren't meant to be used more than once, and even when you fill them yourself (as I did with some of Jay's meds), they are used only once and discarded.

The business end today is much smaller, finer. You can barely see the hole in the end. I can remember as a kid that the end of the needle was cut at a slant and you could clearly see the hole even when you were trying not to look.

Back then, when they were reused, the fine sharp tip of the needle would get burrs on it from being mishandled, especially when somebody was trying to save money by not replacing as often as recommended, and because the tip wasn't kept covered.  The dulled needle HURT!  It actually had to tear through the skin.  Today's needles are always sharp.  They practically go between the cells.

So, stupid doctor man, you are wrong.  I don't know why you would even say something like that.

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Dinner tonight - an Indian restaurant in Rhinebeck.  I don't much care for Indian, but this is a group of people many of whom I haven't seen in a while, and Rhinebeck is convenient. 
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2638 Crickets, truckers, and mixed feelings

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Archilochus: The fox knows many things,
but the hedgehog knows one big thing.

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Movie tonight was "Trucker", at Proctor's Theater in Schenectady. It was pretty good for a movie with very little advertising - much better than the synopsis would lead one to believe.

When I got home, I found Jasper chasing a cricket in the kitchen. He caught it and ate it, and then seemed to blame me for the disappearance of his toy.

Today is my 65th birthday.  Sunday, when I visited Daughter and Hercules, they gave me some birthday presents (no card).  Last night I sent an email to The Man about a radio show, and he replied to the email a few minutes after midnight and wished me a happy birthday.  And .... that's it.  I have received no cards, emails, ecards, or calls since I woke up this morning.  I expected something from Roman, at least, and birthdays are published in the monthly Mensa newsletter.  (Little Sister, if you're reading this, don't feel guilty.  You've got a lot going on right now, and you're not one I would have expected any notice from.  In fact, I'm not sure of your birthday, somewhere near the end of July, right?  And the only reason I remember that is because of that time Mom acquired some ruby jewelry, and she gave it to you, because "rubies are her birthstone."  I was jealous because she never gave me any opals.)  

I'm sad because all the people I have carefully taught over the years to make no fuss over my birthday, have made no fuss over my birthday.  And if anyone does now, too late, I'll be annoyed.

But ... one card in today's mail would have been nice.
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2637 The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of Charades.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Garrison Keillor says he speaks Danish well enough to get into trouble,
but not well enough to get out of it.

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Last Thursday The Man showed me some YouTube clips of a comedian and communicator he finds fascinating - Demetri Martin.  Martin's obvious intelligence probably makes life difficult.  He thinks about and does things that are ... uh ... not normal, like a lot of complicated word-play.   He's OCD-wracked.  For example, he became fascinated with palindromes, and wrote a 224-word palindrome that actually makes sense (well, sort of).  He provides an entertaining glimpse into a very strange mind.

There are several short clips of his standup routines on YouTube, most of very poor recording or editing quality.  The best thing out there is the six-part "If I" program, which is a glimpse into a very strange life.  (If you watch only one of the following videos, go for part 3.)

Here is part 1:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKnzPHtf9u4&feature=player_profilepage#]

An aside - I had to snort at the book he held up.  Jay and I used to amuse ourselves finding the errors in that book.  In about 20-30% of the problems, the answer the book gave was not the only possible answer.  The authors didn't consider other possible solutions, and didn't pose the question in such a way as to eliminate other solutions than the one they saw.  Arrogance.

And part 2, where he climbs into his mind a bit more:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98RECgRc5HA]

Part 3, in the series of rather ordinary photos, did you wonder why the middle guy is identified as Hawaiian?  Wait for it..... It's so bad it's good.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hUHDIOazIU]

Part 4:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzsEtafv-FA]

Part 5:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyfipbbArq0]

Part 6:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjlkfl9i-lA]
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Monday, October 26, 2009

2636 Random thoughts

Monday, October 26, 2009

Comedienne Rhett Butler:  "I apologize for all my shortcomings."

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I had no idea what I had been committed to yesterday.  It turned out to be a friend of Daughter who has discovered that the Native American belief system satisfies and comforts her, and she wants to share it.  So it was four of us neophytes in her family room while she droned on for four hours about creation stories, and white buffalo woman, and rituals, and circles.  It was all very touchy-feely, which is not my cup of tea, but Daughter is still searching for her own path, so I went along with it.  (Twice I had a very difficult battle with sleep, you know, where your eyes start to unfocus and you can't get control back?)

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Driving home I was thinking about religion in general, which led to a general thought I have to think about some more.

It occurred to me that the belief of one person is more likely to lead to truth than the belief of two people. 

What I mean by that is that when a person finds another person who has the same belief as they (on any topic), the two reinforce each other.  Both become less likely to question further, or to examine more closely, or to drop parts of the belief that are not workable.  Further, they will feed each other possibilities that, simply because both accept the possibility, will become part of the belief, resulting in a spiral away from the truth rather than toward it. 

It has me wondering if the current emphasis on teamwork in corporate creative endeavors is a good idea.

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Also while driving home I was listening to the "Tribal Derivations" CD from Beats Antique (you can listen to samples at the link).  The beats, rhythms, are based on the antique Middle Eastern, and many of the instruments are the old old ones, but they've built on the antique base, and there's a new-age speculative flavor.  I had always interpreted the "Beats Antiques" that way - "beats" as the noun, and "antique" as the modifier.

As I was listening to the added bass and keyboard and synthesizer and tuba, I thought, "Yeah, it beats antique."  "Beats" as the verb, "antique" as a noun. 

It cracked me up.  Their name is a pun.  Love it.

A commenter on the Amazon site described this CD as "a hypnotic,opium filled fantasy full of deep smoky images from the past, seeping under the wooden floorboards of a jazz club down a back alley and with the right password, you gain access to its delicious rhythms."  Yeah.  That's IT!

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Back on the "ask me questions" post, Becs had asked, "If you got to give a "Last Lecture" like Randy Pausch, what do you think you would talk about?"  (Should have known Becs would get all literate on me, and make me think!)  Well, I'm not ignoring the question, I have some thoughts, I just first need to find out what Randy Pausch had to say.  I've heard of his "Last Lecture", found it on YouTube, but never got around to watching.  (I understand there's a book, too.)  Anyway, I'll get to it....
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