Wednesday, September 11, 2013

3765 Out of mind

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels;
it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled."
--Michael Crichton--


I am annoyed by people who wrote "lol" at the end of statements when you know darn well they didn't really laugh out loud.  The Man knows people who say it ("l-o-l") in response to something funny, when the normal response would be to actually laugh.  How sad is that?

1950s, Beatnik coffee houses, poetry readings, nodding heads and snapping fingers instead of applause.   2020s, people sitting in their rooms watching a comedian on screen, good jokes, nodding heads and choruses of "lol, lol" instead of laughter.



What's with the hanging toes?  I see a lot of women who seem to buy sandals that are far too short for them, so that their toes hang over the ends of the shoes by an inch or so.  Do they think that's the way sandals are supposed to fit?  Don't their toes get stubbed?  Don't their toes drag in the dirt on every step?  I don't understand.


When I was very young I used to play a game with myself on long car trips.  I'd pretend someone from 300, 500, or 1,000 years ago was sitting next to me, and I'd explain everything we passed to them.  I'd imagine their questions and responses.  I still do it every once in a great while when I'm alone on the road and the radio choices are crap.

I wonder if these imaginary conversations say anything about my personality.


In August, a sports writer in Kansas City committed suicide.  Before doing so, he set up a website, "Martin Manley: My Life and Death", into which he apparently poured everything he wanted to say, and which "went live" the day of his death.  The site has more than 40 subpages with titles such as, "Why Suicide?," "Why Age 60?," "Growing Up," "The Heavens," "First Two Loves," "Pictures," "KC Star," "Legal," "911 & Conspiracies" and "COOL STUFF."  It would appear that he put a lot of time and effort into it, and intended to leave it as a kind of memorial.  He wrote:
"Today is August 15, 2013. Today is my 60th birthday. Today is the last day of my life. Today, I committed suicide. Today, is the first day this site is active, but it will be here for years to come."
He paid the site host, Yahoo, for five years, the longest for which Yahoo would allow prepayment.

I haven't read it, but from what I've read about it, nothing there was the kind of thing that would encourage anyone else to commit suicide.  It's his view of his life, the interesting things that happened to him, the workings of his own mind, and his logical reasons for wrapping it up.  Sort of "it's been great, see the other sections for how great, but now I'm done".

Well, Yahoo took it down.  Gone.  Erased. Done. (Some people were afraid that would happen, so there's a copy from cache available to those who know where to look.)

I am furious!  Yahoo had no right to simply destroy it all.  I hope he comes back and haunts Yahoo corporate offices!

The man wrote a memorial to his life, made it available to others, paid Yahoo to keep it for him, and Yahoo tore it up by the roots and threw it away?  They could have just broken the link, and turned the text over to family.  But they didn't.  All that work, and, shrug, it's all gone.

(There's a small bit about coordinates to a buried treasure in an arboretum, which has some people tromping around trying to find it, but it's fairly obvious that was a joke, and a lure to pull readers, sort of like the blurb on the back of a book jacket.  That's not why Yahoo pulled the site.  I suspect it was simply the act of "suicide" associated with the site that shocked their feeble-minded lawyers.)

Here's a story:

Monday, September 09, 2013

3764 Rachel Carson lives

Monday, September 9, 2013

"There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher."
--Victor Hugo--


One of the biggest differences between the city house and the country house is the presence of paper wasps, yellow jackets, ground wasps, hornets, and the like.

At the country house, if you leave a car parked outside for a few days, every door seam, trunk lid, hood seam, wheel well, gas cap cover, will be full of yellow jacket nests.  You quickly learn to be very careful opening things.

Every high house eave corner will at some time or another acquire a huge round hornet's nest. 

At some point every summer you are guaranteed to step on a ground digger yellow jacket nest.  They love lawns.  Teleportation is a quickly learned skill.

Anything left outside that has a sheltered spot, a small hole, a covered area, like deck chairs or empty flower pots, will gather irritable inhabitants. 

It's a serious problem.

Today I was sitting on a chair on the patio at the city house, and through painfully-acquired habit I checked the chair for wasps flying around it before sitting, and I was careful not to let my fingers curl around to the underside of the armrests.  When I realized what I was doing, I realized that I haven't seen a single wasp here.

Not one.

Rather than being pleased, I'm worried.

Why no wasps?