Friday, September 30, 2016

News and Updates

1. There was a water-cup incident on my desk while I was out a few days ago, and now I have my old keyboard from the early 2000s back in service.  It’s remarkably noisy and tactile, with big typewriter-style keys and a reassuring clickety-clack sound that faithfully recreates a late-20th-century newsroom.  There’s a group out there that does nothing but archive lost sounds – the noises that disappear when time and technology move on – and I wonder if they have something like this in their archives.  It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve ended up using in my daily life things that other people have put in museums.

2. No, I didn’t watch the presidential debate.  It won’t change my mind, and I’m already on blood-pressure meds these days.  I don’t need that kind of aggravation.  Besides, half my friends live-blogged it on Facebook and I got more than enough quotes and video clips that way to make me glad for my foresight in not watching the whole thing.  The fact that there are people out there who think that Donald Trump should be allowed anywhere near political power is a damning indictment of both the American educational system and American culture in general.  The man is mentally unhinged, utterly without morals or any intellectual activity more complicated than “Me Number One!”,  easily the most dangerously unqualified nominee ever put forward by a supposedly major party for higher office in this nation’s grand and often lunatic history, which is quite an achievement, and an extinction-level threat to the survival of the American republic.  I don’t need to watch him try to ad-lib his way through ninety minutes of his usual incoherent babbling and random accusations to learn this when anyone who has paid attention to him at any point in the last three decades would already know.

3. Apparently there is now a conspiracy theory circulating among the feeble-minded and desperate that Hillary had some kind of secret arrangement with Lester Holt during that debate.  Because obviously a woman with a quarter-century of experience at the highest levels of American government and a well-earned reputation for intelligence, ruthless competence, ice-cold composure, and thorough preparation could not possibly be expected to win against an empty blustering fool without male help.  You know, if you believe that, give me a call when your Nigerian money comes in and I'll cut you in on a deal on a bridge.

4. Although not, as my friend Abbe pointed out, Chris Christie’s bridge.  There’s too much traffic on that one.

5. There have been big changes out at the barn.  Rosie, the last of the roosters, has been sent off to a new home, which actually isn’t a euphemism for anything.  He really has found a more rooster-friendly place to live.  I feel good that he’s still around somewhere, but I do miss him.  In fairness, I am the only one who does.  Oh well.  We’ve cleaned up the turkey pen for the winter, as well as the corner pen in the barn that we might move the chickens into later since it has a door that we can open to let them run a bit.  And we’re merging this year’s hens with the old ones so that we only have one flock to deal with.  That makes sense when you’ve got less than a dozen birds.  And one of the feral cats had kittens, which Lauren is desperately trying to socialize on the grounds that they are cute.  They’re also tough, since one of them dropped from the hayloft onto the floor right in front of us the other day and tottered away unharmed.

6. Meanwhile Bristol the barn cat remains the single dumbest living thing on Earth.  Seriously – he is a standing refutation of Darwinian natural selection and one of the few animals that the turkeys could look down on when it came to mental firepower.  It’s supposed to be a cold winter.  I’m not sure that’s going to go well for him.

7.  The weather has finally turned to fall, at least some of the time.  It still gets up to 70F now and then, but we are having more and more days in the low 60s and nights in the 50s and even 40s.  We’re into apple cider season, and I can drink my tea without sweating.  The guy down the block has even cranked up his fireplace, giving the neighborhood a pleasantly smoky aroma.  Fall is my season, and I am glad to see the back of summer.

8.  Although if I see one more “pumpkin-spice” whatever I will go spare.  Seriously – pumpkin spice Cheerios?  That’s just wrong.

9. I think if I am going to survive in the modern working world I am going to have to learn how to get something out of the incessant meetings that it entails.  I spent an hour today in a videoconference meeting that I was assured by other, more informed participants was actually productive, and all I got out of it was older.  Although there were clowns, so there’s that.  No, no – real clowns, not metaphorical ones.  Make-up and everything.

10. Students are always surprised when they discover that professors actually mean what they say.


LucyInDisguise said...

1. I am not a lover of cats (broadway productions not withstanding*). Like anyone living in a rural area we have plenty of cats to keep the number of trump supporters in check, but anything I may say that may sound supportive of the feline species beyond that should be considered as delusional on my part.

2. I am not a physician. More precisely, I am not your physician.

3. With regard to paragraph #2, if you are in fact on blood pressure meds, you should learn to breath. More frequently. In through the nose, out through the mouth. One method you can use to demonstrate that you are using proper breathing techniques is the insertion of punctuation devices. You should keep in mind that your readers occasionally worry about your health as we move forward through the days of our lives.

4. I am not an editor. More precisely, I am not your editor.

5. You should re-evaluate your assessment of Bristol. Specifically, the contents of paragraph #2 specifically refute the assessment in the opening line of paragraph #6. To wit: Trump and his herd of rodent-like** supporters.

6. Meetings, and specifically videoconferences & webinars were invented for the sole purpose of keeping you from doing what they pay you for so the can bitch at you for not doing what they pay you for.

7. Citation Needed.


* I have never actually seen Cats. Didn’t you catch that bit about not loving cats?
** My sincere and heart-felt apologies to the entire biological Kingdom which contains the Order Rodentia - No Offense Intended.

David said...

I am indeed on blood pressure meds. Sometime about two years ago I got the Physician's Finger-Waggle Conversation, where they basically tell you "Stop eating like you're in your 20s!" I had been borderline high for years, and he finally said that it wasn't really going to go down at this point, so I should a) stop eating so much damned salt and b) take these magic pills because magic. So I take them. I don't eat chips/pretzels/cheeze-doodles/etc except on Super Bowl Sunday (not that I'm a huge football fan anymore, but you have to have one cheat day to make the rest of the year easier and that's as good as any). I should probably lose some weight and exercise more. At this point I'm happy to be breathing at all. :)

I do like cats, myself, though I am aware not everyone does. Not sure how, but then I am under no illusions of being the American Standard for anything.

Bristol is stupid enough that he really doesn't know how to eat. I've long since given up on him being enough of a barn cat to catch his own meals, and honestly there are times when it's hard to get him to eat what you put directly in front of him (mainly leftovers, since the person who owns the barn also feeds him dry food). He's the skinniest cat I've ever seen even so.

Now consider that fact. Then take in a video of any Trump event you care to watch. Look closely at the audience. Take your time.

You know what? They know how to eat.

And you should see Cats sometime, even if you're not a fan of actual cats. It's a lot of fun just as a spectacle, and the music is catchy.

Also, which one do you need a citation for?

LucyInDisguise said...

Okay, I’ll play …

Uh, probably more info than what I was looking for there, tongue having been firmly plated in cheek. Being borderline hypertensive all my life I’ve also had to watch the salt.

I do so understand what you are saying about Bristol (I have a similar feline living under my front deck) - however, the ability to eat, or not, is not a reliable indicator of intelligence. I place in evidence the subjects responsible for your recent post, Fear Itself. Or the primary subject of paragraph #2. Take your pick. They can all eat, as you so aptly observers - not a single I. Q. point in the bunch. My wife is currently trying to train rocks in her rock garden who have more potential for learning.

Unlikely that Cats will appear on any street corners in the local not-metropolis, which is where they would have to perform as there is nothing resembling a theater here (except, maybe, the High School Gymnasium which doubles as an auditorium with all the acoustical problems you might imagine. And then some.)

Re: Cite. my bad. See, if i really was an editor, I would have made the numbers line up.

#10 - Citation Needed.


David said...

Hi Lucy -

I hear you on the rocks. Honestly the only advantage I see that the primary subject of Paragraph 2 and Fear Itself have over Bristol is that they can feed themselves. That's got to count for something. Having raised turkeys for the last two years, I am more inclined to see the ability to eat as a sign of intelligence than I once was. But I see your point. Lawsy, do I ever see your point. Sigh.

I've seen Cats three times now - twice back in the 80s as touring companies would come through Philadelphia, and once here in Wisconsin when a local high school put it on. So there's hope even in your local non-metropolis!

#10 concerns a student who seems to think that assignment deadlines are optional. It has been something of an eye-opening semester for this student, shall we say.