Saturday, November 21, 2009

2668 Bridges. One crossed, one burned.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The author of The Starr Evidence, a compilation of Clinton/Lewinsky testimony,
is Wall Street Journal reporter Phil Kuntz.
I can't believe that name is real.
Especially in that context.
But it is.


I was supposed to go to a dance recital this evening, it's been on my calendar for many weeks, but it's too late now to get washed and dressed and out the door. Phooey.

I found a message on my phone late this afternoon from a friend with whom I haven't talked in a while. We've lately had a prickly relationship, but she had called to invite me to go to dinner then dancing with her this evening. I was going to have to turn her down, because of the recital, but given that she might be a bit sensitive about being turned down I thought about it a while before I called her.

As it turned out, she'd changed her mind because she was tired from other events of her day, so I didn't have to say anything. Which is just as well because I really don't want to start ramming around with her again anyway, and I might otherwise have had to invite her to my thing.

She was in a good mood, so I let her talk. We were on the phone for over an hour and a half. Didn't feel that long at the time, and I wasn't watching the clock. And so now it's too late for me to do my thing.

Oh well. Shrug. Now I'm tired, too, so I guess it's ok. May have dodged a bullet, so it might be worth it. I just wish there was something worthwhile on TV.

2667 Things that go boom.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ignorance is not knowing something you should know.
Nescience [ne'-she-ence] is not knowing something you should not be expected to know.
If someone calls you ignorant, correct them. You are probably nescient.


It's been a while since I visited here. Miss Thunderfoot is still alive, and I don't understand how. She drinks water, sleeps in the nest box in the kitchen (I put a heating pad under it), and occasionally wanders the house. She is no longer interested in milk, nibbles a tiny bit off the top of canned cat food, and other than that I'm pretty sure she has eaten nothing else in the past ten days. She has refused tuna fish, tuna can water, baby food, pureed peas (an old favorite), and cantaloupe. She hasn't asked for food. It doesn't seem to interest her. The vet has nothing to recommend other than putting her to sleep, but after a horrendous experience twenty years ago, I swore I'd never do that again.

So, we wait.


Remember the excitement in September of 2008, when some physicists were worried that the Large Hadron Collider at Cern would create a black hole that would eat Earth? Remember how we heard nothing else after it was turned on? Well, there was a faulty electrical connection that instantly fried the works, and it has taken the past 13 months to repair it.

They'll be turning it on again this weekend.

I'm hoping for another barbecue.

There are photos of the insides at It all seems so very ridiculous to me, so much money, time, effort, materials, expended simply to satisfy curiosity. I can think of so many better things to do.


I once had a coworker at The Company who is now (probably still) working at Cern. He was the most arrogant person I'd ever met. The man didn't just speak - he made pronouncements, in a very loud voice. He not only didn't listen to others, he didn't care what anyone else had to say on any topic. He wasn't exactly nasty, he simply didn't consider anyone else in the world worthy of his consideration.

For a long time after he left, he sent email "reports from Cern", all about what he was working on and how exciting it all was. I don't know how I ended up on his email list.

I think part of my hoping for catastrophic failure has a lot to do with my feelings about him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

2666 Why are we being "dumbed down"?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Definition: Apophasis - mentioning something you won't mention,
such as "I won't even mention his arrogance!"


Someone from some third country asked on an "answers" forum why Americans in general compare so unfavorably to Canadians. He described Americans as unhealthy, inconsiderate, not generally very bright or aware, and interested only in celebrities and fast food. He got a lot of responses describing him as an ass and worse, and bragging that the US is "the best in the world!", describing Canadians as lazy and "We can whip their butts!", and shortly after I typed in my response, his question was taken down.

On that site, questions and responses can be flagged as obscene or spam, and apparently the powers don't bother to check - so if someone gets pissed at you, they can have your entry removed, and too many of those reports will get you banned. I think that's what happened here, which pisses ME off, because it was an observation with merit, and "why?" is always a valid question.

This was my response, written with little thought, off the top of my head, but still material for further rumination:

I agree with your assessment (the comparison of Americans to Canadians). The blame can be laid in many areas: our educational system, economic system, political system, social mores, virtually everywhere. I think it all stems from the concept that "all men are created equal", which is true, that all people start out equal, and deserve the same opportunities. But in practice, it has become an attitude that the opinions of all are equal, and that all deserve the same consideration - that the village idiot's opinion is as valuable as that of an intelligent, educated, successful person. We don't recognize our betters, let alone respect them. (Intelligence is a disadvantage. Our educational system has deteriorated because we no longer demand excellence of either students or teachers.)

This attitude is encouraged by advertisers and exploited by politicians. The result is an unrealistic sense of entitlement. It explodes into all areas. Many of us know that certain things are bad for us, but others like those things, want those things, and therefore think they deserve those things - and there are those who laugh up their sleeves and give it to them, because they can make a lot of money on their stupidity. Economically speaking, stupidity is GOOD. Politically speaking, stupidity is GOOD (look at the last election, the way herds of stupid people were manipulated).

Stupidity is encouraged, stupidity is spreading, because those who know how to work it can profit from it. We are encouraged to think we are so very wonderful, because it's profitable, and it makes it easy to control the herd. But other countries laugh at us, and China is well on the way to outpacing us economically. Most Americans are not aware of how little we are intellectually respected (beyond our military power) because they refuse to look beyond their own affairs.

When I travel, I pretend to be Canadian, because the arrogance, crudeness, discourtesy, insensitivity, and loudness of other American tourists embarrass me.


2665 Pigeon Impossible

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

An absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.


This is good. Very well done. I giggled at the end.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2664 Singles mingle

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fundamentalists, whether Muslim, Christian, or Jew,
hate to love
and love to hate.


Last Sunday I went to a play (a local theater group, "Twelve Angry Men") with a singles group. After the play, six of us went out for an early dinner. It was a very long dinner, three hours, because everything that could possibly go wrong with our orders and the tab and the serving did, culminating in the waitress losing a credit card. It just plain disappeared.

The manager "comp'ed" the meal, and promised a thorough search of the restaurant including the garbage. (And I hope it was the waitress who was assigned the latter task.) The woman whose card it was accepted that. I'd have insisted on a signed admission that they lost the card, and that the restaurant would be responsible for any costs associated with the loss of the card.

All the delays meant a lot of time for talking, and talk they did. I'd always tried to steer clear of single's groups in general because they get pretty inbred. After a while, everybody has dated everybody else. A majority of the conversation Sunday evening was who was currently dating whom, who was sleeping with whom, who dressed inappropriately, who doesn't follow the social conventions (Agh! I often don't, I think, because I'm never quite sure what they are!), who takes liberties, and so on. The men were just as into the gossip as the women.

It was enlightening. I will tread very lightly with this bunch.

2663 Time.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Men must be careful to never mistake human justice
for divine justice.


Mac fans should read this: Mac The corporate culture is changing.


Miss Thunderfoot is very weak. She's skin and bones and wobbles when she walks. She's been on the special kidney failure diet for a while, but she has stopped eating both the canned and dry food. Yesterday she moved out of the den and into the kitchen, I don't know why. I fixed a nest box for her, and Jasper has been pretty good about not terrorizing her even though she's in his territory. I've been giving her milk yesterday and today. I know milk is very bad for kidney failure, but she's so thin, and I know she has to be hungry, and she dearly loves a bowl of warm milk, so I see no point in not giving it to her. She laps it up and tries to purr.

I see no point in trying to delay the inevitable. I'd rather just try to make it easier on her.

I thought she wouldn't make it through last night. She'd been barely moving for days, and then yesterday she wandered the house like she was searching for something until she finally settled in the kitchen. She sat in front of the refrigerator and called for milk, exactly the way she used to ask Jay for milk, nine years ago. That was their special thing. I weaned her off milk treats after he died, which wasn't that hard because she never asked me for milk. I wonder if now, when the end is near, if she's thinking of Jay when she asks for milk. If maybe it was Jay she was searching for yesterday. She was HIS cat, and his last six months, when he was in the hospital bed in our bedroom, she pretty much lived under his bed.

Humans and animals in a final illness often have a burst of apparent improvement before the end. I've seen it over and over. It's like the mind/body finally accepts what's happening and decides it's ok, and stops sending "illness signals". Every once in a while someone will say "Dad got out of bed today, and started working in the garden!", or "Mom is in the kitchen cooking up a storm!", and I think, "Uh oh."

I was supposed to go to a movie last night, but I canceled. My first daughter, my mother, my husband, and all my cats and dogs have died in my arms, so I wanted to be home for her if it was her time.