Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Cursed With Self-Awareness

“The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.” – Annie Savoy, “Bull Durham”

There are so, so, SO many excellent quotes from this movie, quotes for every occasion. In trying to put my finger on my current mood (and sort out the mood from the exhaustion) being in the midst of this week/month/year, this one came to mind.

I have a great deal of admiration for those who can be at the center of the whirlwind, a hundred bazillion crises flying around them like bullets in the biggest firefight in history, and they remain focused, calm (or at least, not panicked, which may be the same thing), and functional.

I have very little admiration but a fair amount of envy (which is a sin, and not one I’m proud of in this moment) for those in the center of the whirlwind who remain “calm” because they have no freaking idea what’s going on.

There was an old cartoon (Loony Tunes? I can’t find it now) where a bulldog is babysitting a toddler. The crawling toddler goes from one dangerous, life-threatening, ludicrous situation after another while the dog desperately tries to keep up and keep the baby safe, all the while being pummeled and smashed himself. Through traffic. Onto girders being hoisted up onto a skyscraper construction site. And so on.

That’s what I’m talking about. Maybe those people are lucky, maybe they’re truly clueless, maybe they’re “blessed.” Whatever. They wander through the whirlwind and come out the other side without a scratch or a hair out of place and probably an extra $20 bill stuffed into a loose pocket for good measure. Meanwhile, I’m fighting to get through and find shelter, dodging every bit of SPFX debris from “Twister” – yes, including the cow.

It is who I am.

It still sucks some times.

How’s your week going?

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No Context For You – April 23rd

Some days that whole “reality” thing seems a little bit less … “real.”

Is it that we can’t hold on to it as well those days, or that we don’t want to? Is it slipping from our fingers or are we dropping it like a hot potato?

What we have vs. what we want.

The lack of sleep isn’t helping.

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Student Driver

While droozling along behind a student driver this evening at 15 mph in a 45 mph zone, it occurred to me that we can do better in letting the normal drivers of the world know about the experience level of the young adults in our midst.

I understand the need for novice drivers to learn out there in the real world. I taught three kids to drive. I know what it’s like to be in the passenger seat, my head on a swivel, reeking of wisdom and experience, desperately trying to keep the flop sweat from drowning me.

The problem for the experienced driver is that a simple “STUDENT DRIVER” sign on the back of that car doesn’t tell you nearly enough. I need more information!

Is this a kid who just finished their written exam, doesn’t have parents who have taken them out to a big, empty, relatively obstruction free shopping mall parking lot for a little bit of practice before hitting the road, and they’re on their first five miles on real streets, terrified, seeing their (short) life passing before them?

Or is it a kid who’s already got several hundred hours from parking lot to surface streets to stop-and-go traffic to cross-country interstate and they’re ready for the Indy 500, just taking the stupid driver’s ed hours because they can’t get their license without that certificate?

In other words, is our student driver a “1” or an “11”?

Their instructor should know that. So put an electronic sign on the top of the vehicle where the instructor can let the rest of us in on the secret! On a bad day, maybe the kid starts out as a “6,” but they’re not on their game and they’re thinking about how they broke up with their girlfriend, so the instructor’s going to let the rest of us know by knocking them down to a “4.” Maybe they finally “get it” and they’re keeping in their lane and they’ve figured out how that little stick thingie can make the clicking noises and made those little lights on the four corners of the vehicle flash, so while they started out a “5,” today they’re driving like an “8.”

If you’re going to do this, don’t be skimpy on that electronic sign. Don’t limit it to just one digit, or even two. Make it three. And give the instructor an option to have it display “SOS.”

Or better yet, for those extra special days, “9-1-1!!”


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Plus ├ža Change

While watching the horror of Notre-Dame burning in Paris, along with the sadness of losing both Gene Wolfe and Owen Garriott in the same day, and then hearing that the Falcon Heavy center booster was lost (after successfully landing on Of Course You Know I Love You but then breaking loose in heavy seas on the way back to Florida) I was especially saddened to see that the way we all treat disasters like this is the same way we all seem to treat everything these days – HORRIBLY.

The trolls.

The stupidity.

The racism.

The hatred.

It’s all there.

It’s an attempt at humor to say, “This is why we can’t have good things.” But maybe it’s true. Maybe for all of the wonderful things we can do as a species, such as spending hundreds of years to build places like Notre-Dame or landing first stage rockets on barges in the mid-Atlantic, maybe we’re just too ugly, too stupid, too immature to deserve such “nice things.”

I don’t want to believe that.

But there’s an awful lot of evidence out there today.

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No Context For You – April 01st

I have no clue – it’s on my phone and was taken at 19:07 tonight. All I know is that my personal Rorschach Test sees that big thing on the left with a decidedly Georgia O’Keeffe vibe going on.

I’ve been enjoying my Bose wireless headphones quite a bit, pretty much on a daily basis for at least an hour or two once I get home from the office. The batteries will hold a full charge for close to a week at that rate (about 20 hours total is what they say, and I’m finding that to be pretty accurate) but I usually charge them overnight before they get too depleted.

Until last night.

One feature of these headphones is a little robot voice that will tell you what the battery status is when they’re turned on. (I think the little voice will tell you a couple dozen other things, like if there’s an incoming phone call and so on.) Last night, I found that when the battery starts to get low, you’ll get spoken warnings once the battery is down to about 10%.

I kept going since I was on a roll with a project. I got another warning. Or two.

Then I heard, “My battery’s low, please recharge me now.”

And all I could think of was Opportunity’s last message. “My battery is low and it’s getting dark.”

A headphone’s simple warning about battery status shouldn’t leave you wanting a pillow fort, hot chocolate, and some alone time.

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esrevinU ehT gnilttaB

!sdrawkcab ti gniod tsuj m’I ebyaM

)skool yi naht redrah hcum s’ti dna – siht od uoy nehw tuo skaerf kcehclleps ,IYF(


Filed under Deep Thoughts, Silly Shit

Battling The Universe

Trying to shape the Universe to the image of what it should be is exhausting. And frustrating. Also, I’m not being terribly successful at the moment.

Some part of my brain that got infected by the 70’s says I should let go, stop battling the tide, but instead go with it, learn to be one with it, understand the ebbs and flows and in turn gain the wisdom to shape it, not by force, but by persuasion.

Another particularly smartass part of my brain is now thinking of the movie version of “Dune” with Kyle MacLachlan riding a sandworm – I like the smartass part of my brain, but it’s not always the most useful. Like now.

So, turning our attention back to the sliver of brain that’s stuck in the 70’s, it’s suggesting that I learn to surf (the power of the ocean can not be overcome, but can be partnered with to bring fluidity, joy, and motion, blah blah blah) or ski (ditto with the big mountains, lots of snow, ice, avalanches, polar bears, etc). That brain sliver conveniently forgets that I swim about as well as your average cinder block so surfing is contraindicated, and I already know how to ski but I hate being cold and that’s a big part of why I haven’t been on skis in more than forty-five years.

70’s brain sliver is gonna get me killed.

Stupid brain.

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