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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Start with the Day

Today is Tuesday, I’m pretty sure1.

I think it’s Tuesday because I don’t work tonight. Ollie was supposed to have therapy this afternoon2. I’m fairly certain Erin doesn’t have anything after work. And Cy told me his instrument was at school because he took it yesterday3.

Today is Tuesday. Though, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure how today is Tuesday. That said, in a week is Super Tuesday, the first big primary of the 2020 election cycle.

I can honestly say, on this maybe Tuesday, that the only person for whom I’ll cast a ballot is Bernie Sanders4.

On this maybe Tuesday I looked to see my inaction yesterday resulted in someone not getting what they wanted5, I schedule a day off, and I tried to nap and totally failed.

And now, for the first time in a while, I’m watching Coco with Ollie6. Waiting for Erin to come home and in need of putting laundry away and doing dishes and thinking about things that only I can think about7.

Which leads me to needing to focus on other things.

I say good day to you8.

  1. Actually, I know it’s Tuesday and am laying the groundwork for other thoughts.  

  2. Therapy was canceled because he’s not feeling well, which makes sense given that I wasn’t feel well and he’s all over me all the time and in my face a lot. I’ve also preemptively canceled his therapy and group for tomorrow as he’s worse now than he was this morning.  

  3. Oddly, my memory of taking him to school yesterday is somewhat lacking. As in a lot lacking. While I kind of remember taking him to school, most of the morning and afternoon is a blur.  

  4. Incidentally, the person I think can and should win and will ultimately be the fourth sitting president impeached by a congress which owes an Independent nothing, Democrat or Republican be damned.  

  5. Someone I don’t know from some center in the United States wanted to switch shifts with me on a day I’m unable and unwilling to work.  

  6. Cy took off to do other things as he claims to hate, with a capital hache, Coco.  

  7. My list includes: spaghetti, the universe, conceits used in Doctor Who, politics, the organization of my office, cutting boards for the 101 books that need binding, the future and the past, how to pay for a new computer, and so on.  

  8. A That 70s Show reference, Fez to be specific.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Every Paper is Written for Some Reason

Every paper is written for some reason. Ours is because we want to sell it and get money. If what we have written brings happiness to any sad heart we shall not have laboured in vain. But we want the money too. Many papers are content with the sad hearts and the happiness, but we are not like that, and it is best not to be deceitful. EDITORS

The Story of the Treasure Seekers, Edith Nesbit

Friday, February 14, 2020

To-Do List 2020-02-14

to do list

2020-02-14 08:10:30 AM

  • Fiona for Ollie
  • call Cy our of school1
  • nap time
  • go to work and listen to old people talk about stupid corporate greed day2
  • Write stuff3

  1. Not so rare and limited to once a year Valentine Flu.  

  2. aka Valentines Day 

  3. Story I’m writing and reading to Cy as I get enough pages written.  

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A List

  • Be a dad
  • Be a husband
  • Go to work
  • Eat more regularly
  • Find purpose
  • Work on taming Lello the hamster
  • Consider the daisies in the field and stuff
  • Write more stuff

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Beautiful Creature

I don’t always sleep well at night. And sometimes that means I get up and with the lights off and my wife and children asleep, I wander around the inside of the house looking out. Fortunately, I have light as my ally, unlike TV1 where the difference in light prohibits people from seeing me.

One night I was wandering about, thinking maybe I’d heard something, and looked out one of the windows, and there she was, the most beautiful white skunk is ever seen. Quite possibly the only attractive skunk I’ve ever seen2.

That skunk became an obsession. There are, of course, white skunks in the world. But this kind of coloration on one in New England seemed to be anomalous. It wasn’t what one would see when encountering the trash panda’s stinky neighbor. No, not at all.

On the other hand, I wondered if, like the squirrels and chipmunks, this skunk had decided to make the neighborhood home and I began to look forward to those times in the middle of the night where I was inevitably awake3.

However, I never saw the skunk again. I’ve seen other things. Dogs and cars. Mostly people out during the witching hour4. Cars that have no reason pulling into our one-way in and out neighborhood. I’ve seen large trucks and police cars and all sorts of things pass by. Yet, the one thing I’ve wanted to witness one more time was a white skunk.

Since then, as has often been the case over the years, I’ve invented monsters and imagined creatures. I’ve wondered at the sky and worried at the winds that blow, the giant old trees that still surround the house and propriety. I consider what I would be like to use those hours in between sleep to write or read some more. Maybe cook.

All of it is diminished by the once seen completely white skunk and invariably I go back to bed and close my eyes and will myself a return to dreamless sleep5.

Also, the year we moved in the marmots moved away or were killed and that made me very sad. For, you see, I also want me a marmot for a friend.

  1. In TV and movies, the obvious differences in light that would otherwise keep people outside from seeing in or people inside from seeing out don’t work like that and the visibility is almost always two way.  

  2. When I first started reading Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, my family was on a vacation, as you do, and we stopped in a state park and I went for a walk as neither of my parents wanted me sitting around reading when: NATURE. As I made my way down a trail, I came across a very big and very much in charge of that trail skunk. Since I had no idea to witness or be witness to a skunk spraying, I turned around and ran back to the car. I’m haunted by this experience to this day and have still not seen a skunk spray someone.  

  3. Apparently, prior to the bourgeoisie deciding to get eight or so hours straight of sleep a night. The sleep rhythm was to go to bed and sleep for several hours. Wake up for between one and three hours. Then go back to sleep for the rest of the night. During this time, tack was mended, clothes were sewn, people read or talked. It was a gathering of the family.  

  4. 3:00 AM, if you were at all curious.  

  5. I deal with bad dreams and night terrors and a lack of sleep paralysis while I’m sleeping and have kicked and punched Erin while going through a thing I’ll wake up from and in no way remember.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Platypus

The platypus is an interesting and from an outside observers point of view the platypus doesn’t make sense. It is one of five1 mammals that lay eggs. It has a ducks bill and the tail of a beaver2. And the male of the species has poisonous barbs on its rear feet. While certainly nowhere near apex predator, the platypus is an adaptation that’s also a marvel.
But why the platypus? Why did evolution dictate that the platypus should exist and in Australia of all places3?
The obvious and only correct answer is:
We don’t know4.
Nor, for that matter, can we know. I mean, short of developing some weird technology wherein we are able to observe evolutionary time travel from way, way, way before humans to today. But that’s about as likely as a steam engine flying into a time vortex after giving Marty McFly gifts from the past.
After spending some hours searching the interwebs5 I discovered its not legal to own or possess a platypus outside of Australia. They’re a nationally protected species along the lines of the panda bear6 and as such aren’t allowed anywhere else , which is partially a lie as there are some zoos that are setup for the specific needs of the platypus and have permission and appropriate licensing.
I guess, on a side note (as opposed to my somewhat copious footnotes), if you’re a religious person who believes in God and are a Creationist7, then I’m curious how one twists and turns and wiggles and bends to get to reasoning that explains (1) monotremes and (2) the platypus. I’ve heard some answers:
  • God is testing us
  • God has a sense of humor
  • We will find out in the fullness of time
  • No one can know God’s mind or will
You get the idea. They’re excuses more than anything else. Much like the excusss that exist to describe why there are dinosaur bones deep in the earth. Except the excuse here is:
Combined matter from other planets used to form the Earth8.
Not exactly stellar reasoning.
Back when I was still attempting to justify belief against reality, I proposed (and I’m probably not alone in this) that Evolution was God’s means of creating and before homo Sapiens were sufficiently evolved to allow for God’s children, the world was left within the greater cosmological matrix of advancement and development. Today, I recognize the argument as apologist and a failed attempt to explain something that has a reasonable answer of:
I don’t know.
Except, I want to know. Or wanted to know.
Today I’m more happy realizing the back-bending and back breaking task of explaining everything, even through a religious or possibly an idiots point of view[9], is a waste of time and energy and I’m good with:
We don’t know.
Which is the best answer for the platypus, which I want as a pet (along with the panda and the armadillo), monotremes, and quite possibly 99.9999999% of everything we don’t yet know. Though I also allow for the probability that we can know and when we do, I look forward to learning what I can and happy with another answer to the science of life.

  1. The monotreme, which consists of four species of echidna and the platypus.  
  2. Approximate visual comparisons. The platypus doesn’t actually have a ducks bill and it doesn’t actually have a beavers tail.  
  3. Unless, of course, you live in Danville, USA, part of the tristate area, where platypus’s are rather common and abundant and don’t do very much. The prime example being Perry the Platypus or Agent P.  
  4. We (or I) don’t know needs to be a far more common answer to just about everything. Does god exist? I don’t know. Is evolution real? I don’t know. Kissing. God doesn’t exist. Evolution is real. The answer, though, still needs to be used more by everyone.  
  5. A considerably amount of this time was most likely used to pursue other lines of thought and personal research on a variety of topics. The topic list will most likely never be shared.  
  6. Panda bears win here due to my theory they were bred to be pets and are partially domesticated. Check YouTube for videos of people directly interacting with pandas.  
  7. In this sense, we’re going with the stupid evangelical American Christian who not only chooses to believe God crated the world in a total of 7 days, but that those days (a mistranslation in case you’re wondering) are equivalent to the 24 hour day we now experience, and the world is approximately 6000 - 7000 years old.  
  8. In case you were wondering, I’m partial to the name Sol 3 and not Earth as a designator for our planet.  

Monday, February 10, 2020

Everyone Needs an Enemy

Will Rogers said:

I never met a man I didn’t like.

And for him I hope that’s true. In reality, everyone needs an enemy. That individual or idea or issue that’s so diametrically opposed to who and what we think we are that the enemy in part defines us as individuals.

Did Will Rogers know that?

I’d think the answer is no. He didn’t know he needed an enemy and probably thought he didn’t have one. Or he knew he had one (or many) and chose to like the enemy anyway.

It’s a thing1.

One way to view this is in the philosophy of:

We’ve always done it this way.


It was good enough for [insert noun object] and it should be good enough for you.

Or any one of, quite possibly, a near infinite subset of other possibilities that dictate something has existed therefore it should continue to exist without question or change.

In my 20s, the single most contentious example (in my online anonymous group of friends) was Founders Intent in relation to the United States Constitution2. The position, which I then and now oppose, is that the Constitution is an established and therefore unchanging document. This argument is, by its nature, false as the Constitution was written with the express and stated intent of adding Amendments. Amendments that would further clarify and codify the established political doctrine whereby we all live3.

According to Lynn Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton:

H: My client needs a strong defense, you’re the solution.

B: Who’s your client?

H: The new US Constitution

B: No.

A: Hear me out.

B: No way!

A: A series of essays anonymously published. Defending the document to the public.

B: No one will read it.

A: I disagree.

B: And if it fails?

A: Burr, that’s why we need it.

B: The Constitution’s a mess.

A: So it needs amendments.

B: It’s full of contradictions.

A: So is independence.

— Alexander Hamilton, Non-Stop, original Broadway soundtrack.

The product of Alexander Hamilton’s genius is what’s not called The Federalist Papers, the basis of the founders arguments in favor of our form of democracy4, and the need to amend the original document.

In this scenario, my enemy is anyone who thinks the document was and is established and in no need of changing. Itself an absurd proposition as the founders had no way of conceiving of modern warfare, monetary systems, computers, drugs, and so on. In effect, the 52 old white dudes didn’t have the extent of a clue some people would like them to have had.

Yet, this isn’t even the easy enemy most people need or already posses. To this we look to religion and specifically the many flavors of Christianity5. If you’re among this group your default enemy is:

The Devil.

Didn’t see that coming, did you?

Satan, Lucifer, the Son of the Morning, or any other name attributed to the Christian antagonist6. And for many the most obvious enemy is (1) sin and (2) non-Christian people7.

Which is fine and good. But, it can be taken a step further and your enemy can be better defined as a Christiansee note 5 who doesn’t agree with or align with your specific brand of Christianity. In this context, groups like the Mormons8 or Jehovah’s Witnesses or Scientologists. These groups, to the larger Christian faiths are the biggest objects of Christian non-Christian debate and animosity.

Or, you could look at the deadly sins9:

  • pride
  • greed
  • lust
  • envy
  • gluttony
  • wrath
  • sloth

I’m sure there are more than these, but as an aspect of tradition, which is a lot of what religion is, these work.

Which has been and will be (in the future) the subject of movies and books and manga and anime and more. One might even think the Judeo-Christian world almost has a fetish over sins and heaven and the like.

Regardless, by defining the enemy, regardless of how, we then define ourselves. If your enemy is sin, then the sinner becomes your enemy. Which means that:

Love the sinner hate the sin10

A sentiment that’s inherently impossible and at odds with itself. As one cannot hate an aspect of something and love everything else. Guess which part you’re going to focus on?

Unfortunately, the idea of enemy is one that’s largely ignored by Christian people as they don’t want to sinpride. Yet, rejecting new ways of worship or even new ways of viewing religion, much like rejecting amendments to the US Constitution, is a form of enemy identification. One that, for many, is essential to their form of worship.

The enemy is an important part of our lives, which is mostly fine. Except for when it’s not. The amendments to the US Constitution establish the inherent right to believe and worship as you will. There are qualifiers to this, like no animal or human sacrifice and plural marriage (polygamy or polyandry) are prohibited, but you can worship however you want and you can disagree with how others worship11.

You can also disagree with:

  • the definition of marriage
  • tax laws
  • the type of nation the United States is meant to be
  • political parties
  • neighbors
  • family
  • immigration law
  • and etc.

The moment you disagree, though, you’ve defined your enemy.

And your enemy defines you.

  1. It’s not actually a thing and it is, which makes positions like everyone needs an enemy a lot of fun to take.  

  2. We’ll refer to this as example by political discourse and I’m sorry and will attempt, in the future, to be significantly more flippant in my postings.  

  3. Within the United States, but don’t quote me on this point as it’s not hard to create a counter-argument based on the courts, party politics, and arguments in favor of states rights over federal law and regulation.  

  4. A representational democracy, or you vote for someone who votes for you as proxy. This is also the basis of the Electoral College.  

  5. I’m going to define Christianity and Christian as any religion, group, or individual who professes belief in and worship of Jesus Christ regardless of how that belief and worship manifests.  

  6. It may be of some interest that Satan et. al. aren’t the primary devil or devils.  

  7. In the context of non-Christian, I’m an enemy because I don’t even allow for the possibility of God. Though I do allow for the need and necessity of individual beliefs and religious worship. I’m such a disappointment.  

  8. Full disclosure, I was born and raised Mormon and resigned my membership many years ago.  

  9. On the other side of this are venial sins or lesser sins the commission of which doesn’t necessarily deny one entrance into heaven.  

  10. As a result of a disagreement between my wife and I, I discovered that this paraphrased sentiment is from Gandhi and not a Christian or western ethos. Try to convince a Mormon of that.  

  11. Incidentally, because of Mormons, the reason you cannot have more than one husband or more than one wife.