Shoes and Gum?

Better. Air temperature higher this morning. My aft porch wireless thermometer informed me fifty-five degF, so I assayed a constitutional in the park. It did not tell me that dihydrogen oxide was falling but that was endurable. In fact, it was a ‘frog-boiling’ rain, the kind that gets you wet but you don’t realize it until just shy of soaking. But even then pleasant and most satisfying. May actually make the day worth while which will be a marked improvement for the rest of the week.

Which, of course, raises the question of whether sundae is first or last day of the week. I will ignore the question of keeping since that makes saturn’s day eve the first day of the week and thus counts days from dusk rather than midnight or dawn depending on whether one is nerd, geek, or bog. I consider sundae the end of the week since I worked for many years and in that frame mundane day is the start of work so the start of THE week. And I will plead that I am too old to change and even that there is no need to.

But shabbat commences at dusk on Freya’s day and not at dawn on sundae like the evil christianist evangelicals maintain.

The podcast was an episode of the "Linux Luddites". Since the gym was closed on Thor’s day for employee goof-off and I would modally have listened to a Linux podcast on Thor’s day, I started listening on my stationary bicycle on Thor’s day morning here in my book clogged study. And I just stayed with it each day.

Intriguingly, none of the Linux podcasts I listen to particularly instructive and, at best, marginally insightful, but they are mostly well done. Somehow the Brits are much better at podcasts than Americans. Ditto Canadians are better. Which raises the question of why are Americans so inept at podcasting? I don’t have an answer to this question but I will place some cogitation-time against it. Film at Eleven.

But I was led down a herring track by a comment about the unipurpose of Unix clients. The track was a consideration of the dichotomy of Unix monotasking and Ian McGyver-Alton Brown multitasking. This is fundamentally the difference between the sedentary (leading to agricultural and maybe civilization) and hunter-gatherer lifestyles. The latter could not afford monotasking implements unless they were in a situation of temporary sedentaryness. This follows by the absence of any means of transport other than their own bodies. So anything you carried about with you had to be either fundamental to survival or a multitasker. I am not at all sure anthropologists and paleontologists and archaeologists have that in consideration when they mumble about HGs.

So why do we moderns have our fascination with multitaskers? We can fairly readily afford the burden of monotaskers. Indeed, many of our multitaskers are associated with restricted transport. I myself carry a Victrionix (R) super-tinker because it does much of what I want and I am willing to accept its inefficient and ineffective nature. That is, monotaskers are always (almost) more effective and efficient than multitaskers. This is implicit to the concept.

But it doesn’t answer the question.

I sometimes think that we have some genetic predisposition to multitaskers. We get a feeling of satisfaction from the facade of efficiency. But I think it transcends that. When I look at the monotaskers I would need to carry to equal the bits of my multitasker, I am discouraged by the jangling mass and volume.

On the other hand, I carry at least one pen as well. And the pen, arguably, is a monotasker. This is a bit ambiguous and illustrates the nature of the discussion. I can wrote various things with the pen as well as do maths and even draw or sketch. But the same may also be said of the bits on my multitasker knife. So the discussion is muddled from the get-go.

Again, cogitation-time is indicated.

But the day has begun well. For a change.

Sleep Breakng

Yesterday was better. Not higher temperature. On the edge of shivering much of the day. But we issued forth for family breakfast observance of the holy day (Thanksgiving,) delayed by cross-obligations, a lesson in network mechanics if the dowager parent (grandparent, great-grandparent) were at all interested or attentive. But things went well – better than usual – and hence it was satisfactory if not exactly uplifting. And now all we have to dread is the BIG holy day, Newtonmas. Or for most of the family, Christmas.

I am divided on whether I prefer Newtonmas or Winter Solstice. Both are preferable to prevaricative religionist appellations. I don’t object to them observing as they will but I consider evangelism to be criminal. Harassment. Bullying. Speaking for Deity.

When we returned to Castellum SCP we were en-visited by plumbers who had finally arrived to install new taps so that my drippage might be made a bit less stressful. So we fluttered about while three new sets of taps, all direct, were installed. With only moderate panic from FD SCP. Some modifications – minor – of counter-tops were necessary to accommodate a decade of change in taps (even though they are also restoration pseudo-antiques!) and this put her design investment at risk and hence a bit of panic. But it was endured, cheque enscribed, and back – belatedly – to Freya day routine.

It was still too low temperature this morning for me to assay a constitutional – I have high hopes for tomorrow – so I am running a bit ahead of schedule and managed to consult a few articles. One, a podcast also, [Link] entitled "Early birds vs night owls" was a bit perverse and irritating. I was rather upset by a statement:

"But in modern society, we’re pretty much trapped in a 9-5 routine, which means that poor night owls are at a natural disadvantage, and constantly face sleep deprivation."

This is the veriest of stercus tauri.. Point is that if one is an "early riser" getting up at 0330 or so, then 0900 is the equivalent of noon for someone who rises at 0600 and 1700 is the middle of the evening. So one-sidedly saying the imposed work schedule is nasty to night owls is prejudice and bigotry.

But I cannot say that I am surprised. Journalists are whacked these days. Their appearance of even-handedness is pure pretense and facade only. Predominantly, early risers are intros, geeks and nerds, and not extro bogs, who are the preferred audience for some reason. Besides night owls are somehow more acceptable than early risers, who only serve to assure the continuation of the species and the organization. Those who persecute early risers have short lifespans, mostly because outsiders – them! – execute dawn attacks and slaughter the night owls in their slumber.

Although I do have to wonder how one can observe some of the supposed effects of sleep deprivation on night owls, especially the mental ones, since they are not known for mentation anyway. But it seems likely the journalist is a night owl and hence is exercising her own dissatisfaction with the pains of civilization and society.

Tag Deferred

Survived. But it was a challenge. Happily, (?) the family gathering is not till this morning so some of the stress of anticipation has been maintained. But FD SCP and I managed to endure the day and have our own – abbreviated – observance. She spent most of the day asleep while I tried to find some television content that was not terminally maudlin nor terminally boring. The search was largely a failure. Couple with that that my primary box is whacked for some reason that I have not yet fully understood, much less corrected, and the internet connection was so sparse as to be non-existent. I do love it when the schules are desessioned.

Because of the latter I have no real content to masticate and so I am at a loss for any pithy commentary.

The temperature is much reduced this morning, which has not enlivened my spirits. In fact it has temped me to access the spirits. The kind in a bottle, not superstition. We shall have enough of that when the family convenes.

I do detest these massive holidays. They warp the space-time of the week and beyond. This feels more like Sundae than Freya’s day. And if it were sundae then tomorrow would be mundane day and this madness would be ceased for a while. I used to daydream about technological hibernation, being able to hide in a box, unaware, during the bad times of the year, summer and winter. But now that these are basically all of the year staying awake seems a pointless exercise. I fear that indicates times of great upheaval ahead.

At least I will not be drug out into the maelstrom of shopping, except possibly by entrainment of others’ wake. It occurs that I have not been actually – physically – shopping in some months. The internet is much easier if less demonstrative. Perhaps that is also what is wanted. Less sensation, more dull. Civilization is a comic book.

Looking for Thankful

The day of dread has arrived. Yes, Thanksgiving. The local newsrag has a column written by the newest bible thumper in town. I am not sure if that’s a matter of vanity or naivety, but this week he wrote about what is proper and improper in Thanksgiving prayers.

Basic stuff for christianists, right? Wrong. It’s all extro stuff. I suppose the majority of pulpit pushers are extro but I am constantly amazed at how unimindedly extro they are as a group. It has been years since I ran into one who was the least bit intro conscious, which is probably why I avoid services like they were Ebola.

So it occurred to me what would an intro thanksgiving prayer be like. It certainly wouldn’t be about bragging because intros don’t brag well. But I’m not sure it would be necessarily thankful since there isn’t much about thanksgiving for an intro to be thankful about. I suppose, if they didn’t have to any family activities or such with extro it might be “thank you for not having to endure the extro ordeal of a highly stressful social gathering.” Or if you did, as most of us have to, it’s likely “help me endure this extro Hell.” Which is not very thankful but it is accurate.

Of course the rational, nerd intros are going to realize that these prayers are ineffective and while the first is harmless the second is actually harmful because it raises false hopes that intensify the awfulness of interminable hours with TOO MANY extros when the prayer fails.

On a happier note, I see [Link] that a lithic hafted axe has bee discovered in Denmark. Big deal! Axes are discovered every day. Old axes are discovered every day. But it is a big deal since this one is still hafted.

Yep, that’s a 5.5 KY old ax complete with haft. That’s handle for the extro bogs. And that’s something exceedingly rare. And it’s something to be thankful for.

Unlike gatherings with extros.

Blind Vision

Lower temperature this morning. Coupled with last gym day of the week due to the craven staff taking a holy day tomorrow instead of supporting their customers. And they wonder why we aren’t nicer to them? Also, the podcast, an episode of the CBC "Quirks and Quarks" was befouled with too much space rubbish. Much of which was incomprehensible because modern academic diversity means the majority of faculty can’t speak intelligible English. Even Amerikan English.

I didn’t notice outbound but inbound I noticed, happily, that the guvmint of Greater Metropolitan Arab finally got around to re-striping Arad Thompson Road. They repaved the road, with enormous inconvenience during the middle of daylight three months ago. And then left it sit, a grave risk to all except those who drive over-sized pickup trucks whose lamps are permanently stuck in bright mode. Apparently their bake sale of Marijuana brownies netted enough money to but the necessary buckets of paint? That is, there were enough brownies not eaten by the town’s conscript real estate agents parents to actually make some income.

Evidently they finally decided the third busiest road in Greater Metropolitan Arab was a great negative in terms of attracting new residents which are the only kind the city council cares about. Established residents are nothing but tax cows to be milked until dead and then sold for fertilizer or per food.

Of course part of this could be that the street maintenance employees have been dedicated to the temporary installation of seasonal lights (Christmas primarily since Greater Metropolitan Arab is a sink hole of protestant evangelistic prejudice,) that have no evident value except to impede traffic and enrich the Arab Electron Uncooperative. We cannot fault those road maintenance folks for not eliminating danger and peril since they were politically directed to the more important task of adorning green sward and telephone poles with wire frame angels, wreaths, and crèches. Never mind the safety of the citizenry, they already reside here and their biers will be well lit.

Despite this morass of political and religionist dementia, the employees of the municipality are, by in large, good folk who would be doing the right stuff if not for their elected masters’ delusions and dementia. At least we can hope it is that and not some repodenialist conspiracy to re-establish chattel slavery and a fascist regime? I am surprised there have been no brags about the absence of Ferguson-style demonstrations, but then the minuscule african-american community is probably smart enough to stay out of sight.

Enough! This has gone beyond an attempt to relieve some of the holy day angst and agony with humor. The best we can say is that at least we have a striped street.

Second Day Seconds

The situation is deteriorating. Temperature situation that is. Which is not enjoying or whatever the word is for improving my outlook. Also the day of horror is approaching and the anticipation is grinding me down. Is there a country anywhere that has no holidays? Nor bogs, nor religionists, nor worthless political office holders? I doubt it. Just because the majority of humanity are bogs. So much for the wisdom of calling ourselves "sapiens".

I have come to the conjecture that the primary punishment for intelligence is that we consistently misuse it. We know that humans have an evil side and are greedy and mean and nasty and instead of trying to find effective ways of dealing with that we invented religion and government and law. All metastable failures. And that evidently is the best that we can do because we don’t seem able to even try to do better. Perhaps going quietly into the night would be the best thing?

Perhaps Black Friday is the better side of Thanksgiving? And the commercial aspect of Christmas?

And I’m not about to get into l’affaire Ferguson.

Holiday Harrumphs

Once more into the breach – of week in, that is. And it portends to be a particularly nasty and trying week. The great American holy day is this week with all the falseness and pretense that has been attached to it, especially by the religionist-corporatist cancer. But this morning has not been bad. The air temperature is not at all bad and the rain seems to have abated for now. Lower temperatures are foretold for the end of the week which should improve the holy day enormously by offering up all sorts of excuses for ‘why bother?’

The podcast, an episode of the CBC’s "Best of Ideas" was about the social impact of drones in Pakistan. It was singularly unconvincing. Even the natives supposed to be man-in-the-street discriminated came across as theological fascists and distilled evil. It occurs that with all the intensification of religionist fervor, that religion is becoming the hardest aspect of diversity to advocate. Even christianists seem fascist these days with gleams of death camps in their eyes?

While we’re on the morbid side of maudlin, I ran across an article [Link] yesterday about a research out of U Leeds that those air blowers for drying one’s hands in institutional toilets spread a multiplier of 27 more microbes than paper towels. Even the new burst blowers have a multiplier of five! I realize this sounds like a throwaway Sheldon line on "Big Bang Theory" but since this has an academic source it has at least been refereed somewhat, so probably not too far off.

This might be ok if towels were a ready alternative and folks could vote with their selection but my experience is that most of these places only have the blowers and frankly don’t care if they kill you. So the only way to vote is by absence. Which is hard if it’s a public school or governmental building.

On a more positive side, I see the campus of the Boneyard is having a Winter Holiday Chemistry Magic Show. [Link]

I have rather fond memories of such despite the rather distasteful association of science with magic. I find that chemists are more prone to do this than most science nerds, mostly because of their historical roots – supposedly! – as alchemists. Of course alchemy was marginally legal in most places and could get one an involuntary roasting or worse. But that’s all part of the bad boy of science image that a lot of chemists try to project. I suspect it’s the intimacy with ethanol and self-constructed controlled substances. Still the activity is both entertaining and educational; I know that one of the reasons I studied science, which includes chemistry, was due to George Toffel and his chemical demonstrations. Closer to the campus, I seem to recall Gil Haight doing some such although he wasn’t quite the showman George was. But the idea of the show does dispell some of the horror of the season.

And lastly, one of my colleagues sent me this cartoon:[Link]

yesterday during the interminable rain. I found that my weather app, from Weather Underground, performed admirably, provided data by the Yankee government’s National Weather Service, which has proven itself the last winter or so to be more accurate with its predictions than the local television weather beavers. And I don’t have to abide the grating idiocy of the news readers. It is a sad indictment of Amerikan television that the weather beavers are the (relatively) erudite ones.

Also, we should never forget that Mother Nature is a feminist.