Category Archives: Paul

When I’m Sixty-Four

The Younger Daughter said that I was a Nintendo. I hadn’t thought of that. I just sort of was thinking about it terms of powers of two – I’m now 2^6 years old. What are the odds of getting to 2^7th? Less than stellar, even before this pandemic swept across the globe.

My brother was the first to point out the obvious. His email this evening was the first time that anyone had actually made the Beatles joke. Will they still need me? Will they still feed me?

Well, yes, to the latter. I just finished off a nice chunk of carrot cake in celebration and there was a lovely dinner earlier (at home, of course), so my status hasn’t changed there.

But it was during dinner that the phone started to light up. First it was the notices from the City alert system, telling us that the Mayor was putting a “shelter in place” order into effect at midnight. The banks, grocery stores, essential services (which is a pretty long list, really) all will stay open while exercising all of the social distancing that we’ve been practicing for the last couple of weeks. But shopping malls, other retail stores, offices, most other places are off limits and everyone should stay home for at least the next couple of weeks.

Then the Governor put an order into place for the entire state. California, which by itself would be the sixth biggest economy in the world, is on lockdown in an effort to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths in the next month to eight weeks. And even if it “works,” we’ll probably still have thousands or tens of thousands of deaths here, with hundreds of thousands or even millions across the US.

Happy Birthday to me, right?!

Despite the low-level anxiety of this whole debacle (and the white-hot rage every time I start reading about the current resident of the White House and his cult) I’m feeling a bit numb to it all. Maybe I’ve just been exhausted by it all already.

Either way, we’ve done all we can to prepare, both at home and at work, and now we’ll just do the best we can. As will everyone else, for the most part.

Welcome to the next power of two! (Is there an actual term for that, the equivalent of “decade” or “century”?) I doubt it will be dull.

Now, go wash your hands! And stop touching your face!

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Los Angeles, Paul

Courage

We’re going to need it.

I won’t even bother repeating what I think about the current head of the US government and those around him – go to my Twitter or Facebook feed if you’re curious. Be prepared for massive amounts of profanity.

This is going to be a bad week.

I just deleted a whole big, long rant about economic crises and health crises and you can read the news yourself.

We’re going to need to keep moving forward, keep fighting, and keep watching out for one another.

This is going to be a bad week.

 

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul

Taking A Wild Leap

It’s February 29th, which doesn’t happen that often, so I figured I might comment in my unique and inimitable style. But first, what did I have to say about this unusual date four years ago? Oddly, pretty much NOTHING AT ALL about the date, but a bunch of really nice pictures of Clay Lacy’s DC-3.

It’s no doubt an amazing aircraft, but… Leap Day? Nothing?

Okay, so let’s make up for that a bit. Acknowledging that it’s a day that only comes once every four years and even then not in years evenly divided by 100 unless it’s also a year evenly divisible by 400 (a good summary here), the random synapse firing that occurred to my somewhat sleep deprived brain was along the lines of, “That’s messy. I don’t like it. Why don’t we fix it?”

And by “fix it” of course, I’m not talking about coming up with some weird and unique calendar that somehow does away with that quarter of a day (“ish”) that’s extra. I’m talking about moving the planet’s orbit so that it’s a precisely even number of days long.

Go big or go home!

Since the Earth’s orbit takes it around the Sun in 365.25 days, the easiest way to get to an even integer would be to get rid of the 0.25 days. Moving the Earth closer to the Sun would make it orbit faster, so it would be easier to go to 365 days than to 366.

But…

If we go to a precise 365 day orbit, all of those folks born on February 29th would never, ever again have a birthday. Plus, of course, by moving the Earth closer to the Sun when we’re already destroying it with climate change would mean that we’ll fry and die that much sooner, so maybe that would be a second negative on that plan.

Plus, with a 365 day year, we still have that somewhat annoying “extra” day in there that means that if this year your birthday is on a Monday, next year it will be on a Tuesday, and the year after that a Wednesday, and so on. Still messy.

So let’s move the Earth even closer to the Sun and give it a 364-day orbit! This solves the calendar problem completely! Thirteen months of 28 days each! Uniformity! Standardization! Easy to remember!

Oh, right, it’s also boring. We would also fry and die a LOT faster, which most days I would consider to be bad thing, but frying and dying fast while being bored is so, so much worse.

Instead, I think we’ll have to move the Earth’s orbit out, away from the sun. This gives us a slightly longer year while simultaneously helping to cool the planet so that we can continue sans guilt to burn fossil fuels like they’re going out of style.

Moving out to a precise 366-day orbit doesn’t give us a fantastic, evenly divisible calendar. We would have to go out to a 372-day orbit to do that, and that might be far enough away from the Sun that we would freeze to death slowly instead of frying and dying quickly, so let’s table that idea.

No, the 366-day orbit gets my vote. It makes permanent leap years, which we’re already used to. We’ve all seen tons of February 29ths – now we would just see them every year.

We would also still have an annual variance in respect to which dates fall on which days of the week. The 366-day calendar gives us 52 weeks plus two days, but since there are seven days in a week, the match of days of the week to dates on the calendars would repeat every seven years. In other words, if your birthday was on Monday this year it would be on Wednesday in 2021, on Friday in 2022, on Sunday in 2023, on Tuesday in 2024, on Thursday in 2025, on Saturday in 2026, and again on Monday in 2027.

A little bit regular, but not boring!

(And saving the world in good measure!)

I hope that someone gets right on this.

Image result for make it so meme gif

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Filed under Astronomy, Deep Thoughts, Paul

The Other Lesson From Marathons

At my level, it’s not about “winning.” The Kenyans are not trembling in their running shoes.

You’re only “racing” against yourself.

Do the absolute best you can, and finish if you can with the best result you can.

And try again next time with the resolve to do better.

The deadline is almost here, for better or for worse.

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Sexual Harassment Training

It’s bad that it’s so long – California law requires managers to take recurring training of at least two hours every two years.

It’s really bad that the voice acting is so truly horrendous – were there no high school drama classes that needed the work?

It’s really, REALLY bad that the “story line” was so incredibly lame – this shit makes Hallmark Christmas movies look like Shakespeare by comparison.

It’s beyond really, REALLY bad that the “quiz questions” that you periodically take with a “big quiz” at the end were so obvious and common sense and just plain freaking STOOPID that I’m quite confident that I could have skipped the entire thing and simply taken the quizzes, been done with it all in five minutes, and STILL have gotten about a 98% correct score.

But the worst part?

There are soooooooooooooooooooooooooo many snarky remarks, come backs, snappy answers to stupid questions, and absolutely hilarious jokes that could be made – and every one of them would be a violation of the sexual harassment policies being taught.

Wait – the worst worst part is that I’ve got to kill two hours doing this again in two years.

Does it actually cut down on sexual harassment?

Sucker bet.

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Not Super Back To Reality Tuesday

Back to that place where the traffic sucks, I’m short on sleep, the office is busy and hectic, the winds are blowing, it’s cold, and if I can’t be a the Chiefs’ victory parade tomorrow in KC then I want to be on a beach someplace warm and just sleep and watch movies and read books for about six months.

Which also isn’t going to happen.

And then you turn on the news…

So you try to escape into a classic, favorite, 1960’s comedy that was one of your Dad’s favorites and you realize just how awful and dated and sort of disgusting it is, and not in a really good Mel Brooks sort of way.

One foot in front of the other, I guess.

The only way out is through…

I hope your Wednesday doesn’t suck.

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That Feeling When – January 30th

That feeling when FaceBook pops up with a notice that it’s the birthday of a high school friend – and you remember that he died this year.

And it’s the second or third time that’s happened in the last month or so.

It sort of sucks.

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