A brief return to the laptop, but without any dancing

I’m writing this on my laptop for the first time in quite a while, though I am still doing it at the bus stop.  I’m using the laptop because I’ve been getting significant stiffness and pain in the carpometacarpal and metacarpophalangeal joints in my thumbs.  The right is worse than left, but it’s symmetrical enough that I’m fairly sure it’s from my phone, since I use both hands to write on that.  So, I’m giving them a break (but hopefully not a fracture).

I know, it’s all so exciting, isn’t it?  Just wait until I write a blog post about watching paint dry.  You’ll barely be able to contain yourself.

Oh, right, I forgot to note that today is February 1st, the first day of the second month of 2023.  It’s time to pay rent and other bills, and then, only twenty-eight days later, it will be time to pay rent and other bills yet again.

Time flies when you’re having…I don’t know, certainly not fun, but when you’re just grinding through each day with absolutely nothing that’s of any interest or importance happening, and with only stressful things happening at work.  Or, well, the only things of note at work are stressful.  For instance, we had two of our most prominent employees leave this week under dicey circumstances; by that I mean, they’re probably now going to go on either to be arrested or to overdose or to go back into rehab.  My boss is very forgiving, at least, but there’s only so many games of Russian roulette they can play before they get a loaded chamber.  Nature doesn’t tend to make exceptions.

As for everything else, well, I still haven’t figured out how to check the poll results from my story poll.  I’m not sure anyone has responded or even noticed, other than a family member.  I don’t mean to disparage family.  Cat forbid!  I’m very glad that some of my family members read this.  But I’m not sure if more than two or three people (two of them family) ever actually read all the way through any of my blog posts.

Maybe what I should do is, sometime later this week, find one of those samples of pseudo-Latin writing that looks like normal paragraphs and copy and paste it after one or two short introductory sentences, and at the end leave an exhortation to comment but not to “like” if you have seen or recognized the nonsense.

That seems like a lot of work, though, so I probably won’t do it.  But it is frustrating to wonder how many people actually read my blog, even among the ones that “like” it.  Not that I want to discourage the likers!  I enjoy the little hit of reward that generates as much as anyone.

It’s interesting, also, to see new likes for older posts, some of them getting into quite high number counts (for me, anyway).  I have to think that those, at least, really must be among my more enjoyable posts.  One of my most popular ones is the one where I announced that I was going to be beginning to write The Dark Fairy and the Desperado, in which I included quite a few of the illustrations that I’ve included in the posting of the story itself.

But I still don’t have any real feedback on ongoing writing, or on whether or which story I should continue to, or start to, write.  I suppose that’s just as well, since right now, I don’t feel much creative impulse at all.  I haven’t played guitar more than twice this whole year, short though it has been.  I have occasionally thought of short story ideas as one or more curious little event impinged on my awareness, and I interpreted it in my usual, bizarre fashion, similar to what I described yesterday about things like “Deerfield”.  But none of the ideas stuck in my head, and I certainly didn’t write any of them down.

I haven’t even copied my old “notebook” entry in which I had jotted down lots of story ideas into my new phone.  It’s still just in an email I sent to myself  when I got the new phone.

I’m circling the drain, anyway, orbiting just outside the event horizon of a black hole.  It must be a large one, because though the tidal forces are palpable, and are quite uncomfortable, they haven’t spaghettified me yet.  I can look out and see—because of gravitational time dilation—all the lives of the people around me proceeding speedily, with some perceptual distortion but otherwise normally, while I’m just slowly creeping through time, every second lasting an eternity on the scale of the outside world, with less and less chance of ever escaping, and greater and greater difficulty interacting in any real way with any of the people in the outer universe.

I don’t know when something will nudge me over the horizon, but the singularity awaits, and it ain’t the one Kurtzweil envisioned.  I wonder what it will be like.  I probably will never know; that’s the irony of such things.

Anyway, I’ve reached what should be the end of my first draft, and it’s definitely been faster, or wordier, than it would have been via the phone.  I’m not sure if readers can discern any difference, other than the fancy quotation marks that Word automatically applies, and which get copied and pasted to WordPress when I do the copying and pasting, but which don’t appear when writing directly on WordPress or through Google Docs.  It’s not really important, though I do like the fancy quotation marks.

Any comments—about this blog entry, or about previous topics, or about anything remotely related to this blog—would be welcome.  And do feel free to “like” and share.

Oh, and with that in  mind, why not listen to some of my music, which is on YouTube, but also on Spotify, iTunes, and so on.  I would like not to be the only one who ever listens to it.  It’s not great stuff, but it’s not too bad, either.  Given that it’s all done by me, and recorded using USB mics, and mixed using the free program Audacity, I think the songs came out pretty well.  Except for the keyboards*, I had to teach myself how to do everything I did in them, and I had no studio, just the back room of an office** and a bedroom.

I’m probably tilting at windmills, but whatever.  It doesn’t really matter.  Who knows how much further I’ll go on?  It’s already truly felt like the longest time***.


*I took piano lessons starting when I was about nine years old, so I already knew how to play piano.

**You can see it in my videos of me playing guitar and singing and so on.  That’s where I work.

***This is a very oblique reference to the Billy Joel song The Longest Time.

The numbers don’t decide…or do they?

Huzzah.  It’s Monday.

I’m sure you’re all celebrating the beginning of a new work week and the last Monday in January of 2023.  Yes, that’s right, the first month of this new year is already all but gone.  And, as with almost every month nowadays, I say “Good riddance.”

I’m not sure what subject(s) to address, today.  I guess I could start out by announcing that I passed my potential palindromic recording number on Friday without hitting it.  We reached 26266228 in the morning, but then there was a lag in business and the next recording number after lunch was 26266601.  We skated right past after coming so close.

Anyway, that was the final extension I had given myself, after passing 26211262, 26222262, 26233262, 26244262, and 26255262 over the latter part of 2022.  Those were all good palindromic numbers, but I missed them all, and given the repeating 26 and the repeating 62 of this last one, it felt like a nearly ideal last hurrah.

I had thought that if I did see one of those recording numbers, I was going to promise to myself not to go the Heming way, nor to fall prey to Kurt’s co-bane*.  But that refuge is gone, and I’m not going to reset the target, either.  I’m not saying that I am definitely going to kill myself, because Cat only knows what will happen at any moment.  But I’m definitely not going to promise not to kill myself, and there seem fewer and fewer things in my life for which to live.

People at the office come and go (except the owner, of course), and so do housemates and the like.  All my old friends are a long way away and/or have busy lives of their own, and I’ve never been good at maintaining interaction with people from a distance.  I’ve always made friends either at school or at work, wherever I was, and could get close to people because they were literally close, but when people go away, or I do, I can’t figure out how to keep in touch with them.  I don’t even know where to start.

And I have a hard time with phone conversations other than with family**.  Even getting text messages can make me feel anxious and panicky, though it’s a bit better.  Emails aren’t too bad, but people rarely communicate through emails socially, it seems.  And Facebook messenger and Twitter’s equivalent can fuck off and die.  I hate them.

Learning that all this is probably due to undiagnosed Asperger’s is, I guess, at least a bit of an explanation, so I don’t have to feel quite as much that I’m just a heartless jerk***.  But it doesn’t change the fact that I have a very difficult time connecting with people, and the fact that several of the people who have meant the most to me‒indeed, two of the top three, plus several others‒have severed ties with me doesn’t help.  I’m apparently an unpleasant person around whom to be, a lot of the time.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for me, at least, it is not better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, though I would never change the fact that my children were born, and so I would never change my life up until that point.  Not that such a thing is an option, but it’s a psychological and philosophical thought experiment.

They aren’t just useful in physics.

So, yeah, I’m basically just floating through things, and fewer and fewer of the people I know, who seem to like me, are around on a daily basis.  And I have no nearby friends who read much, or are interested in science or mathematics or any of the other few things I really enjoy.  I have neither the ability nor the interest in trying to develop online connections or join groups.  I can’t even get over the stress and anxiety of thinking about joining online groups for Asperger’s/ASD support, nor to seek out online diagnosis-related resources, other than books****.

Oh, yeah, books.  Just since Friday, I think I’ve flipped into about seven different books, trying (unsuccessfully) to find one that would keep my attention, considering but passing by dozens of others that did not even catch my mind that far.  That’s not a good sign, not if you know me. Why, Kindle says my current reading streak is 140 weeks, and that just makes me wonder what the hell I was doing in that week before, because why would I have gone a whole week without reading?  But now I can’t really read much of anything.

And nearly every day at work, I consider smashing my black Strat, because I can’t find the interest or even willingness to play guitar, whether my own music or someone else’s.  Nothing is interesting, nothing is rewarding.  Nothing is fun.  And it’s not as though I have some overriding or motivating goal; I don’t.  I don’t even think I’m likely ever to do those audio blogs/podcasts on sugar, or on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, or any other similar thing.  I’m almost out of gas.

And January isn’t even over yet.


*Ha ha.  I know, those are tasteless plays on words, given the subject matter, but I guess I’m tasteless.  Unfortunately, because of the two artists I’ve chosen, you might get the impression that I’d meant to promise specifically not to killing myself with a shotgun, but I don’t currently have or even have access to a shotgun.  I merely was going to commit not to kill myself.  But that commitment is not forthcoming.  The opportunity has passed.

**And even that makes me stupidly anxious, though once I get started, it’s fine.  I guess it helps that I’m the youngest of three; my siblings have literally been there my entire life, so they can never feel like strangers.

***Though that’s not ruled out.  There’s no fixed either/or dichotomy involved.  Just because there may be a clinical explanation for me sometimes acting like an asshole, it doesn’t mean I’m not also just an asshole.  And I have it on good authority that, at least part of the time, I am one.

**** But after a few of those, I couldn’t read them any more, because there’s no mechanism explored, no real neurobiology, just people talking about their lives, and I can’t easily do very much of that.  Even Simon Baron-Cohen’s stuff is far from deeply-understood neuroscience and psychology and so on, and the latest research papers are often all too superficial and yet narrow.

If anhedonia becomes interesting, does it thereby destroy itself?

Okay, well‒sigh‒it’s Friday.  This week has already been about two years long, so I’m relieved that it’s coming to its end and that I have tomorrow off.  If something surprising were to happen and they asked me to work tomorrow, switching weekends with my coworker, I would hope, I would want, to say “no”.  Knowing me, of course, there’s a very good likelihood that I would go along with it, because I’m stupid that way*.

It’s not as though I have any sense of looking forward to the weekend, other than that I’m intellectually glad that I’ll be getting some rest.  I’ll probably take some Benadryl to help me sleep, which, yes, I know, does interfere with circadian rhythms and sleep cycles and all that jazz, but at least it lets my body rest for a short while.

I don’t really get any relief or joy from sleep, even when I get enough of it, though I understand that many people do.  Many people really look forward to sleep.  The only time I ever enjoyed sleep was during the time I was taking Paxil, which didn’t last long, because it had untoward side effects (and coming off it gave me my personal experiences with sleep paralysis that inspired a scene from Outlaw’s Mind).  While I was taking it, though, I got real joy, both anticipatory and actual, from going to bed and from sleeping, though I was in the first year or so of medical practice, so I did not sleep all that much.

Nowadays I don’t really get any joy‒anticipatory, actual, reflective, or whatever‒from much of anything, let alone from my quite limited periods of sleep.  I’ve been having more and more trouble even finding books that I have any pleasure reading.  Even non-fiction, now, has become difficult.  I have well over 400 volumes in my Kindle library, and I am dismayed to feel that there’s nothing there that I want to read.  And when I go to Amazon to look for new books on subjects that I have previously enjoyed, there’s just what seems like recommendations from the dusty, dingy, tiny little book aisle of an old K-Mart whose manager doesn’t read nor understand people who do.

I’ve long known that I’m not a very good match for the algorithms of places like Amazon or Netflix.  They never have done a good job at finding things to show me that I want to read or watch.  This is despite my having bought those hundreds of books on Amazon.  Netflix is worse, or else they just don’t have many things in their library in which I have any interest.

To be fair to Amazon, the last time I went into a beautiful, two-story Barnes and Noble, in which I spent over an hour looking around, I left without buying a single book (or anything else).

YouTube does a slightly better job.  It even introduced me to the nature (and possibility) of Asperger’s Syndrome via the inscrutable exhortations of its algorithm.  But either that algorithm has degenerated or I’ve chewed through most of the material in which I have any potential interest, but In any case, I’m getting diminishing returns from YouTube.  And now that the BBC has canceled Mock the Week, I don’t even have new clips from that to enjoy.  Even I can only go through comedy panel show clips a finite number of times before I lose interest.  And they keep offering me the same two compilation videos over and over, no matter how many others I know exist, because I have watched them all.

There are certainly inefficiencies and errors in their algorithms or deep learning systems or shallow learning systems or whatever the fuck** they’re using.  But a lot of it is probably a problem*** with me.  I’ve always had peculiar tastes relative to most of the people around me, and I think that’s gotten to be more the case as time has progressed, which is what time tends to do.

Mind you, if I’m with someone I like or love and doing something they enjoy, I can enjoy it with them, and indeed, I’ve always had a fairly broad ability to do so.  But those days are past, now, as I have no one I like or love around me, and I don’t really have a desire to find any new such people.  It’s just not worth the effort‒the return on such speculative investment is quite low, and the inevitable long term cost and injury is almost always severe.  I don’t have to walk across a hot stove too many times before I just stop walking on the stupid stoves.

So, I’m corralled into a seemingly increasing region of anhedonia****.  It would be a rather pleasing irony if someone could get real joy from sharing their thoughts and experiences about and with anhedonia.  That seems unlikely to happen to me, though.  Therefore, I’m going to call it done for today and for this week.

I hope you all have a nice weekend.


*That’s far from the only way I’m stupid.  Like all other finite beings (which is all beings as far as I know) I am infinitely stupid, in the sense that there is a functionally limitless amount of information and understanding that I do not have.

**Note to all autocorrection people:  I rarely discuss any member of the family Anatidae.  I am, however, inclined to using profanity to express things more grittily than by “ordinary” words.  There is neurological research pointing toward the idea that this is legitimately different in the effect it has on the one swearing and the one hearing (or reading) the swearing.  Why do you think people with Tourette’s syndrome sometimes have coprolalia?  There are, to my knowledge, very few tics where someone involuntarily shouts out, for instance, “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah”.  Unless that were to mean something profane in their society.  Someone with OCD might do so, but that’s a different kind of disorder.

***Reminder to self: look up the etymology of probably and problem.  In what specific ways are the words related?  Do they come from the same roots?

****Are there any fictional characters called Anne Hedonia or similar?  There really ought to be.

And bitter shame hath spoiled the sweet blog’s taste

Hello.  Good morning.  It’s Thursday again‒the last Thursday of January in 2023, if my reckoning is correct‒and so I’m here writing what used to be my sole weekly blog post, back when I wrote fiction most days of the week*.

I’m at the “other” bus stop this morning, the one that’s a stop earlier than my usual one on the bus route, because that same homeless person has again used the bench of my usual stop as a bed.  The bench where I now sit is better sheltered and longer, but it has a handrail sticking up in the middle, and one on each end, so it wouldn’t make an easy bed.

Mind you, I’ve slept in more difficult places than that, and I’m bigger than that lady, so it should be workable for her.  However, it might not be as safe a place for a woman to sleep precisely because it’s better sheltered.  It’s also less well-lit.  Though it is right here at the very edge of Broward and Miami-Dade counties on one of the main roads of the area, it still might be risky in the quietest part of the night.

Oh, well.  It’s an inconvenience, and I don’t like things that upset my routines and expectations, but it seems churlish to begrudge her the spot.  I don’t expect she’ll be using it all that long, since I suspect the lives of most homeless people are rather erratic.  Still, I might be wrong.  Maybe I’ll be gone before she is.

I mean, I will be gone from the area in the immediate sense before she is; I’m catching a bus that’s due in about 15 minutes.  But I think you know what I mean.

Sorry about all that.  I don’t mean to make “the daily bus stop report” a feature of this blog.  What a thing that would be to make people wade through right at the beginning of their reading!  At least I can take comfort‒so to speak‒in the fact that very few people will be affected by it.  Still, if I mean to court new readers, I should do better, and what writer doesn’t want, at some level, to court new readers?

I was thinking yesterday about someone like Herman Melville, an author whose works were unnoticed during his lifetime, but were lauded after his death.  I want to suppose that’s better than nothing…except, no, when you think it through honestly, it really isn’t.

I mean, if some convincing supernatural entity came and offered me the deal that I could be a world-famous author, but it would only happen after I’d died‒and if the evidence was very strong that its powers were real, so I would have honest reason to believe it, at least provisionally, especially if it could give me a glimpse of the future‒then that would be some consolation.  It would not be as good as having people read and like my work while I’m alive, but it would be far from horrible.

In the real world, though, if you become famous and beloved only after you die, like Van Gogh, it does you absolutely no good at all, and you never, ever know about it.  Even if there’s an afterlife (which seems unlikely), I suspect you’ll be too busy there to notice anything about your work from before you died.

Is it good enough to be Ozymandius, famous and mighty in your own time, and have all your creations crumble into sand after you’re gone?  Well, the crumbling is going to happen to everyone and everything in the long run no matter what, so it doesn’t seem too horrible.

In other news, I’ve already lost interest in 11/22/63, not through any fault of the story or its writer.  I even went and got the first 2 Stephen King short story collections and read The Jaunt, but it wasn’t as creepy or interesting as I remembered.  Then I got a Kindle Unlimited Japanese  “light novel” that seemed potentially interesting.  It’s peculiar and somewhat humorous, but too all over the place for me to think I’m going to stick with it.  None of the nonfiction books I own are interesting, and even my own stories‒most recently In the Shade‒are hard for me to read.

None of my old sources of engagement are working, and nothing new seems interesting at all.  I’m trying to restart watching Stranger Things, but it’s very slow-moving, and I dislike many of the characters and one or two of the actors**, though I can at least fast forward through the older sister’s scenes.  She’s played by a young woman who seems to be a perfectly fine actor, but her character is so irritating.  Where’s that Demogorgon*** when you need it?

I don’t know, it doesn’t really work for me.  It certainly doesn’t really remind me of my youth in the ’80s, though I lived in a very different kind of area than Hawkins.  I want to like and enjoy it.  But I have difficulty doing that.

People at work occasionally recommend that I take a vacation of some kind, but I can’t even comprehend the suggestion.  No matter where I go, there I am, and that’s my problem.  I can’t even think what I would do with a vacation.  As I said, I don’t like changes to my routine at the best of times.

What I think I’d prefer is just a “dirt vacation”.  That’s similar to the proverbial “dirt nap” but with the added recognition of the fact that it will be no mere nap.

I just haven’t yet worked up my nerve to book the trip yet.  But maybe I’ll get there soon.  I hope so.

By the end of the week, I should know whether the palindromic number I’ve mentioned before occurs.  It’s got something like a one in ten-thousand chance of happening, so don’t put big money on it.  Still, it’s not the sort of thing that’s so rare one could see it as a miracle.  One in ten-thousand chances happen to 800,000 people a day, on average (if we’re counting one-a-day events) after all.

Anyway, that’s enough.  Really, that’s too much.  Sorry.  You all have a decent day if you can.

TTFN

anhedonia

[P.S.  To the people who program autocorrecting for phones: STOP PRESUMPTIVELY STICKING AN APOSTROPHE IN “ITS”!!!!!  An apostrophe is used there only when it’s a contraction‒like that time, just now.  It’s not necessary when it’s possessive.  When “it” requires an apostrophe, I can add it myself, as I did each of these last few times.  I don’t need you auto-incorrecting my punctuation.  Morons.]


*I tried to write posts for my other blog, Iterations of Zero, on Sundays, but that didn’t pan out very often.

**Meaning I don’t like their acting, not that I don’t like them as people.  Also, obviously, Winona Ryder is good, and always has been, and the girl who plays 11 is good, but some of the other child actors are just out of their depth.

***I and my friends always pronounced “Demogorgon” with a long e sound, as in “demon”.  The way the kids in Stranger Things pronounce it, it sounds like they’re referring to some manner of floor model Medusa that you can try in the store before deciding if you want to buy one for yourself to take home.

“Hump Day” calls to mind a camel’s back, which we know can be broken by a straw

I’m starting this post at the house, seated on my “piano bench”, as I did a week or two ago when it was quite cold out.  It’s not cold today; it’s already over 70 degrees (F).  I just want to minimize the potential time in which I have to worry about the “shouty” lady, who really hasn’t been shouting so far this week, but has been laying around at my “usual” bus stop.

She was still there when I got back to the bus stop last night at about quarter after eight.  So she had been there for at least 15 hours yesterday, unless she wandered off during the day, which is certainly possible.

Anyway, that’s not very important, I just feel too socially awkward to want to have to worry about being approached by anyone, let alone someone to whom I can offer no consolation for what are surely myriad troubles.

I want to keep this post relatively short, because the last few have been absurdly long, especially considering the fact that I’ve been writing solely on my phone.  I think it can’t be encouraging for casual readers if I write thirteen to sixteen hundred words every day.  It would be one thing if there were significant substance to the posts, a deep analysis of some topic, but they’re just random, meandering blather.  That’s best in relatively small doses.

It’s only Wednesday, but the week already feels so very long.  I’m mentally exhausted, though physically I’m getting slightly more fit, walking 4 or so miles a day, sometimes more.  But even physically, yesterday I was in exceptional pain, even for me, all up and down my left side, focused on my lower back and hip but down to the ankle and up to the arm.

My whole left arm felt not just painful but numb, and was even vasoconstricted.  My left hand was pale and cool to the touch compared to my right hand, confirmed by a coworker.  I don’t know what I did to trigger it, but it was apparently some form of what they used to call causalgia, if memory serves.  I do have an old soft-tissue injury to my left shoulder that never completely healed.

I don’t think I can do this‒meaning, anything‒much longer.  I’m coming up on the last chance to get a “message from the universe” in the form of the most strikingly palindromic possible recording number yet, at the office.  I’ve missed all the others‒as expected.  Palindromic eight digit numbers are a rarity, especially when the first three to four digits vary only slowly.

Of course, I don’t really think the universe is capable of, let alone inclined to, deliberately send me a message in the form of a recording number.  This is really more like a game of chance I’m playing.  It’s not quite a variation on Russian Roulette, but it’s not really that far off, either.

I don’t want to let anyone at work know the nature of my game*, lest they try to fake an outcome for me.  I don’t think they would succeed, but they might try.  Of course, if I got even a hint that they were doing such a thing, I would just call the “game” off and consider it lost‒or won, depending on your point of view.

It’s sort of like how most people would say I won the game of Russian Roulette I played more than 10 years ago, but I sometimes think of it as having lost.  Very little net good has happened to me in the intervening years.  I won’t say there weren’t good things, but it’s been an unquestionably net negative, and the slope of that curve doesn’t look to be changing, certainly not in the positive direction.

Oh, by the way, those last two paragraphs were written at the bus stop.  The shouty lady is nowhere to be seen (or heard), and while I’m slightly concerned and hope she’s okay, I’m glad not to have to stand for twenty minutes while waiting.  My back and hips already hurt this morning, but it’s primarily on the right side today.  It’s good to keep some variety, to keep one guessing.  We wouldn’t want the pain to be boring, would we**?

Anyway, it’s also drizzling a bit this morning, so it’s good to be able to get under the bus shelter.  The water doesn’t bother me, but it’s hard to write when you have to keep clearing raindrops off the phone.

Okay, it’s become more than a drizzle, now, and the bus will be here in about five minutes.  I guess I’ll call that good for today.  It’s not good; very little has been good for me in a while.  But we’ll call it that.

Rest would be good.  Sleep would be good, if it were restorative, or at least entailed true oblivion.  I want to go to sleep.


*They already know my name, so there’s no need for them to guess it.

**That’s a slight joke.  Sometimes one hears of pain described as “boring”, meaning it feels as if something is drilling into or through some body part.  There are so many delightful and multifarious types of pain in this world, aren’t there?  It’s enough to make you want to throw up.

Where does a true blog wait? At the bus stop, sometimes.

It’s Friday again, and‒again‒I’m sitting at the bus stop, writing this blog first thing in the morning while waiting for the bus.

That woman who was screaming on a few previous mornings is screaming in a different region of the intersection now.  At this point, I honestly suspect she’s actually mentally ill.  There’s also a person with some form of fidgitiness or movement disorder or just some anxiety syndrome who has come and sat on the (small) bus stop bench not far from me.  I suppose he might either be on some kind of drug or withdrawing from some kind of drug, rather than having a primary disorder, but the woman is almost certainly mentally ill.

Of course, there’s not much one can do for her unless she asks for help or is openly a danger to herself or to others.  Actually, in Florida, even if she needs help, and asks for it, she’s probably out of luck.  Public services are rather limited here, despite this being the third most populous state in the US, and obviously quite wealthy.

The man I mentioned before couldn’t sit still for long before he got up and walked away, across the road to some other place.  I don’t know if he was hoping that I would speak to him or some such, and gave up when I didn’t even look at him other than in peripheral vision, while writing, or if he really was just stopping to rest.  If that latter, well, more power to him.

This end of the nation’s dong isn’t especially hospitable, so you should find rest when you can.  I would like to find some rest.  It would be so nice to go to sleep and to stay asleep through the night and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed rather than just groggy and resigned.

I do wish at least that this state were just a little less full of desperate and disgusting people.

I’m talking about the people in the state government when I say that, by the way, not people such as I mentioned above.  Also, some of the voters are a bit contemptible, the ones who imagine that they are solely responsible for all their own prosperity, even though the vast majority of them have not even a superficial grasp of how the universe into which they were extruded functions, from the subatomic to the cosmic, from the unliving vastness of intergalactic space down to computers and medicine and information technology and chemistry and biology and electricity and automobiles and the internet/the web and even television.  I don’t know how so many people can apparently stand not to know about these things, let alone sometimes still act smug and self-righteous.

As for troubled people like the shouty woman and the fidgety man, well they just make me feel a bit sad, really.  I mean, I don’t want either one to intrude upon me writing this blog post‒and neither one did, by the way.  Even when the shouty lady ended up walking past, in front of me, she was just muttering something about “catching the bus when it’s free” or something (as far as I know, it’s never free).

If I had unearthly powers, I would probably try to provide some help to either or both of them; I certainly gave a lot of money and stuff away when I was in medical practice.  That’s a big part of why I had to go with the public defender’s office (well, it’s an adjunct office, actually, but it’s the same idea) when I was charged with the bullshit I was charged with.  I was never very good at taking care of myself for my own sake, and I’ve gotten worse at it even since then.

So many people are so grasping and parasitic.  There are people in the office who regularly come to me for medical advice‒and even OTC treatment‒even though it’s thanks to the government of their poxy state that I can’t practice medicine anymore.  Cat forbid that they take responsibility for learning about and seeing to their own health.

From time to time, I think that I’m too high-functioning a person really to have any autism spectrum disorder‒but then, looking back at the things that happened to my life, and the way I have done things, especially once my separation and then divorce happened (and at many of the ways I managed things before then) when I was down here in Florida, far from my family and friends and everything, and when I realize how hard it is for me to arrange and keep track of the functions of daily life, I think…yeah, that ASD stuff actually explains a lot.  Knowing it doesn’t make it easier to counter, but I prefer to understand things as much as I can.

It’s not as though I don’t understand, intellectually, how things are done and how to do them.  I’m able to understand a lot of things.  But I can’t seem to pull myself or anything together, I can’t seem to organize my life or deal with ordinary things.  I can write novels and stories and blogs, I can write and perform and record and even produce songs (the latter not to a terribly high standard), I can draw, sometimes pretty well, and I can practice medicine and do science and operate computers…but I can’t promote my own works or stand to seek out anyone who would help me do so.  The social aspect of such things veers toward horrifying for me.

I’m able to survive‒often I don’t really want to survive, very often I don’t want to‒but thriving seems beyond me.  As Radiohead sings, “I’m not living, I’m just killing time.”. That’s from True Love Waits*, their last song from their most recent album, though the song itself has been around a lot longer.

Anyway, the bus will be here soon, and I will ride it, then ride the train, then walk, the trudge through the day and reverse the commute process at the end.  And tomorrow, since I have work tomorrow, I will do much the same.

And on Sunday I will do laundry, and then on Monday the cycle will begin again.  Sisyphus, eat your heart out!

Actually, that sounds more like a job for Prometheus than Sisyphus.  Are there any mythical figures who specifically eat their own hearts?  Whence did that expression arise?  I have to admit that I do not know.  It doesn’t really matter, but if anyone has any reliable information about the origin of that expression, I’d be glad to learn.

In the meantime, have a good day.

my bus stopadjusted

P.S.  The fidgety man just got on at a later bus stop from where I waited.  I think he just didn’t like sitting still, or perhaps he didn’t like sitting next to me.  It’s hard to hold it against him.


*It’s not a promise or anything optimistic.  The full title verse goes, “True love waits in haunted attics.  And true love lives on lollipops and crisps.”. In other words, the notion of true love is not something to be taken very seriously.  It eats like a child and “lives” like a ghost.

Introspection, Extrospection, Emergence, Reductionism…let’s call the whole thing off.

I’m sorry about how long yesterday’s post was.  It’s amazing, as I think I’ve mentioned before, just how much I can write‒on my phone, no less‒when I literally have nothing planned about which to write.  Small wonder that, when I do have a subject, or a story to tell, I tend to write perhaps too much.  Though I guess that assessment is really the individual reader’s to make.  Some may think I’ve written too much, and some may think too little.  Most will never know because very few people know about my books at all, and I have no knack, nor money, for self-promotion.

Speaking of stories, some woman was standing in the street median across from the bus stop, screaming as if in heated conversation at 5:20 this morning (just now, in other words) about someone having cheated on her after having gotten her pregnant.  If this were twenty years ago, I would have thought she was psychotic.  Nowadays it seems safe to draw the tentative conclusion that she is actually talking to someone on her smartphone‒though perhaps that’s a misnomer for such devices when they are used for such purposes.  Honestly, why do people even want to be with other people?  Everyone is so pathetic, and I’m certainly no exception.

There are those who say that an appetite for delusion is necessary for people to find any will to live at all‒from delusions about their driving abilities and personal attractiveness to delusions about meaning in the universe.  And there are those who speculate that one of the hallmarks of clinical depression is a diminution of that ability to delude oneself, particularly about oneself.  Perhaps.  It’s probably not quite so simple as that, but that does capture at least part of the character of the experience.

Oh, well.  It is whatever it is at root.  The underlying causal structure may have little resemblance to the overarching phenomenon.  Nerve cells don’t resemble little brains, individual starlings don’t have the appearance of tiny murmurations, and water molecules do not in any way resemble ultra miniaturized oceans.

The materials to which the laws of quantum mechanics directly apply do not behave in ways that are analogous to any “large” phenomenon which they engender when gathered together and interacting in their trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions, etc.  Anyone who finds this surprising at all has really not thought about things very hard or very clearly.

It may be fallacious to imagine that a wave function collapses when measured, or when it interacts with other “particles” and decoheres; it may be that our experiments of such things are simply too artificial to capture the nuances of the immensely common submicroscopic interactions of such fundamental things (though I don’t doubt that they actually have bearing on how quantum mechanics behaves).

The problem with concepts like imagining that, for instance, the Copenhagen Interpretation is “correct”, and that measurement and observation is what causes the wave function to “collapse” is its implicit assumption that if we cannot “see” something in any strong sense, it can’t be considered “real”.  To me that seems an astonishing level of hubris and narcissism, especially from a species as pathetic and benighted as humans.

By this I do not, by the way‒and this is very important‒mean to open the door to subjectivism and any relativism of objective facts, or any version of the “perception is reality” bullshit.  There is all the evidence anyone might need that there is an external reality, utterly independent of any consciousness that might or might not perceive it.  But its nature is not necessarily directly perceivable all at once, or understood at first glance.  It requires rigorous detective work.

How did I get on that subject?  By stream of consciousness, I suppose…or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it was by the stream of the unconscious, bubbling away and spilling over onto the surface of thought.

That stream is not like a stream of clear water, though.  Perhaps it might be said to resemble turbid water, but often it seems more like thick paint.  We can only see the surface of the stuff, but that doesn’t in any way imply that the interior doesn’t exist.  It’s merely not directly accessible to our eyes.

Then again‒and this applies also to what I was writing earlier‒the process of seeing and experiencing that sight is a neurologic process that is constrained by inputs from sense organs, not a direct, unmediated apprehension of the world outside.  Mere photons, unprocessed, can only deliver chaos to any random bits of photosensitive material they might encounter.

Thought‒of some form or other‒is required for sight to be in any way useful, or even actual, to any organism.  A closed-circuit TV camera and monitor do nothing but send signals, and cannot interpret or act upon the information.  If no one, or no program, or no other mechanism is being influenced by the information in any sensible way that affects its outcome, it might as well be a camera pointed at the surface of an uninhabited planet and sending those signals to a screen on some other uninhabited planet.

Again‒or still‒I don’t know what, if any, point I’m trying to make.  Probably nothing worth delving into too deeply, so I won’t bother with it much more, I think.  Instead, I’ll switch topics.

In the past, I’ve asked about whether people would want to have me write more of Outlaw’s Mind or The Dark Fairy and the Desperado.  One particularly astute reader pointed out that it was impossible to make any reasonable judgment without having the opportunity to read any of the latter story.  So, I think I’ll post that story here, all in one go, if I can fit it.

Don’t worry, I’ll insert one of those “continue reading” clickable thingies after the first few paragraphs.  Otherwise, it would be a ridiculously long blog post to get past if one wanted to scroll down to the previous one.

This doesn’t mean I promise to write more of it or of Outlaw’s Mind, or to write Changeling in a Shadow World, for that matter.  I haven’t yet figured out even how to check the results of my poll, and I’m pretty sure that it can’t be all that difficult, so don’t expect much.

Hell, I don’t even promise to keep writing this blog.  I’m getting tired of it, as I’m getting tired of pretty much everything, and particularly of myself.  There’s very little to be gained by pursuing anything at all.  But, perhaps, by posting DFandD, I’ll at least create the pseudo-closure of having all of my fiction to date be out there somewhere to read.  In case anyone wants to read it.

So, either I’ll post that later today, or I’ll just use it as my post for tomorrow.  I guess you’ll find out, if you care to look.

There’s a black hat caught in a high tree top

Well, it’s Friday, the 13th of January, and I don’t have any idea what to write or what to write about today, but I’m writing anyway, as you can plainly tell.  That’s a metaphor for life if there ever was one, don’t you think?

Of course, I could write a bit about the fact that it is Friday the 13th, but I’ve mentioned that previously, and it’s not all that interesting.  There’s no such thing as an unlucky day or an unlucky number; that’s all just superstitious, magical “thinking” stupidity.  But there are numbers that are interesting, and the the prime numbers are interesting to me.  I feel a sort of peculiar, protective affection for 13, since so many silly humans think it’s an unlucky number.

For similar reasons, I’m slightly less fond of 7 than I am of most other prime numbers.  It’s sort of the numerical equivalent of Prince Harry or, to pick an older comparison, Paris Hilton*.  It’s already receiving plenty of attention and support, far more than it deserves, so I won’t waste my effort.

There was an update overnight to my phone’s operating system, and now some “buttons” such as the return key, are no longer slightly-rounded rectangles but are more precisely slightly rectangular ovals.  I don’t like it.  The background colors are also slightly altered, and that’s frustrating, too.

In addition, the app buttons are changed, including the text app, and the phone is trying to push all sorts of new apps that it recommends “for me”…but of course, it’s not actually for me (or for you in case you think otherwise) it’s actually for the companies that make the apps, who have paid a premium to have those apps promoted.  

The system forces you to go through their stupid update-based notice thingy to decide on new apps, and many are pre-checked, so you have to opt out of them actively.  Similarly with their “bookshelf” function or whatever it is, and when you close the apps, the screen doesn’t go away, you have to dismiss it separately, which makes no sense and was not that way before.  The people responsible for all this should be burned to death with flame throwers as soon as possible.

I don’t know why companies do that sort of thing.  Gmail has done it with its updates, turning all the nice, well-demarcated shapes with edges and corners into soft, gooey, Play-Doh looking things, as if they really are trying to “child-proof” the world.  I don’t enjoy change without good purpose, and I think there are good reasons not to enjoy it.  If something is functioning reasonably well, most changes will be for the worse, especially if optimality is something not simply and easily achieved.

Just look at genetic mutations to get a clear example.  In an organism that’s functioning well enough to survive and reproduce in its environment, most changes in general are not going to be beneficial.  That’s one reason I hate social movements that say they are pushing for “change”.  Well, what kind of change, in particular?  I mean, the global Covid pandemic was/is a change; the war in Ukraine is a change; the diminishing respect for rule of law and the constraints of the U S Constitution are changes; an asteroid impact that wiped out civilization entirely would be a change.

Well, that last one would be beneficial, so it’s probably a poor example.

Anyway, I wish that people like Android** and Google (are they part of the same company?) and Microsoft and all those would reserve their updates to those changes that are at least attempts to improve functionality, not cosmetic nonsense or transparent and pushy marketing.  It’s very irritating to get used to the color scheme and key layout of a computer system and then wake up to find that it’s different, as are some of the basic functions, and for no good reason.

Even the icons to start writing and to save writing on the Google Docs app are different colors.  Why?  I mean it would be one thing if the previous color were some frequency of X-rays, and using the app was causing cataracts and retinal deterioration and even ocular cancer.  But it was just a sort of neutral blue or gray color, and was reasonably pleasant.  Now it’s sort of a yellowy orangey beige that looks vaguely like something you might heave out after you’ve already vomited all the food contents of your stomach but your body still wants to throw up some more.

It’s unnecessary.  I don’t like surprises, usually even when they’re positive ones.  And this is not a positive one.

Oh, well.  What else is new (ha ha)?  I had a brief glimmer of hope that my enforced change of commute might come to an end today, but it looks like that isn’t happening.  I’m not really surprised, but I am mildly disappointed, and it doesn’t help my energy level.

Oh, I did have a slightly interesting thought about Friday the 13th, thinking of the movies by that name as compared to the Halloween movies.  I had thought for a brief moment that at least the Halloween movies are named after an actual holiday, and it was also one that comes around a bit more often than Friday…the…

…then I caught myself, because I know that any month that begins on a Sunday is going to have a Friday the 13th in it.  And on average, one in seven months will begin on a Sunday, and so there will be, on average, just under 2 Friday the 13ths every year‒the day, not the movies, thankfully.  And in non leap years, if February has a Friday the 13th, so will March!  So there are quite a few more Fridays the 13th than there are Halloweens.

Just imagine if we had 2 Halloweens every year.  Wouldn’t that be great?

Anyway, that’s a lot of writing about nothing. I apologize for the last few days, and for my foolish notions of seeking help, when I don’t think I deserve, or merit, or am worthy of help, or frankly that it would be a good use of anyone’s resources.  Also, I probably would/will not know how to accept help.  Sting had a great line from one of his songs*** that feels pertinent to this: “And I wriggle like a fish caught on dry land, and struggle to avoid any help at hand.”

Of course, if someone could offer me a goodly dose of Valium and Fentanyl that I could use in a pinch to make a basically painless exit, that might at least be worth keeping in my pocket, just in case.  But otherwise, I can’t really imagine doing anything that would involve serious changes.  I don’t like change, and I don’t like surprises, and I particularly don’t like phone calls out of the blue, especially from someone who has in the past made me feel guilty for being depressed.  It all just stresses me out and makes me feel worse about myself.

I mean, if my son or daughter called me, that would be a different matter.  That would be brilliant.  But I would be deeply ashamed if they did so out of a sense of obligation rather than just because they wanted to do it.

I don’t know what the hell I’m getting at.  Nothing much, probably.  Anyway, it’s Friday, and I don’t work this weekend, so you shouldn’t be seeing any new blog posts from me before Monday at the soonest.  If something catastrophic‒depending on one’s point of view‒happens and I don’t write anything even on Monday, well…that’s a change that most people wouldn’t find too unpleasant, unlike the stupid muddy, puss-like color and shape changes on the phone apps and keyboard.


*Interesting…both examples have “initials” P. H.

**And that name doesn’t makes sense.  Android means “man-shaped” and nothing about the operating system or the phones is man-shaped.  Even their little symbol isn’t really man-shaped.  I’m android.  Nothing about the phone system is.

***Be Still My Beating Heart

Transport, motorways and tram lines, starting and then stopping

It’s Wednesday morning at less than 10 minutes before 5 o’clock‒indeed, as the day begins, at least for me‒and I’m writing the first part of this blog post at the house, at least for a few minutes.  It’s slightly chilly out, you see, and I’d rather do the writing here to the extent that it’s practical, rather than sitting at the bus stop.  That location has the advantage of having few distractions, and I do rather enjoy writing in such places; I think I enjoy the novelty of being able to write using my phone while just sitting, or even standing, just about anywhere.  But novelty tends to wear off before too long‒though I seem to be more resistant to that tendency than many are.  In any case, though, on a chilly-ish morning, it doesn’t seem worth it to spend quite so long at the bus stop.

Of course, as is probably obvious, I have not sorted out my recent transportation issues.  I probably never will.  My brain never was particularly inclined to deal with such matters, and without any local personal supports or prods, there’s nothing to get me over the very high wall of activation energy of that sort of reaction.  I’m definitely regressing.  And I’m okay with that, because there’s no reason not to regress, and there’s no reason not to deteriorate, and there’s no point in trying to achieve anything.

I’ve done all the achieving stuff in my life, much more so than most, and yet here I am, living alone in a single room in south Florida, about to go wait for a bus to a train to a walk to a job that has nothing to do with what I trained (for a very long time and with a great deal of effort) to do as my career.  What I would like is to find some comfortable ditch somewhere, go there, lie down, go to sleep, and just keep sleeping and let the elements take me.

***

And now, here I am at the bus stop at 5:18, waiting for a bus that’s not scheduled to get here for another 31 minutes.  Thence to the train station and so on.

Interestingly, last night I got on a slightly earlier train from work than I had the previous day, and so I decided to walk the four and a half miles back to the house from the train station.  As you might guess, it took only about an hour and a half, including time to stop and get something to eat (take-out) on the way.  That led me to the realization that I could, in principle, walk to my “usual” train station in the morning and, unless something slowed me down a fair amount, I would be able to get on the very same train that I catch by taking the bus south to the “prior” train station, which is what I’m doing now.

I go south because that’s the quickest/earliest route to catch the earliest potential train available.  I just rechecked all the schedules this morning.

Of course, I could get a bike and get to the station faster and catch an earlier train, but that would entail getting a bike, and then either locking it up at the station or lugging it with me.  Neither one is terribly appealing, and anyway, a bike is sort of an investment in the future, and I do not wish to invest in the future.  I don’t feel that I have a future in which it’s worth investing.

Also, at least if I walk, I’ll be living up to my namesake.

Anyway, right now I’m using the 31-day bus pass I ordered a few months ago in case of just such an emergency.  It would seem a minor shame to waste it.  You see what I mean about not wanting to make investments in any kind of future, right?  They get in the way of choices you might otherwise want to make.

The northbound bus just arrived on the other side of the road.  I’ve figured out that I could, if desired, take it north to the 7 line then go to my usual train station, but given the inefficiencies of transferring buses, it would again simply get me on the very same train…and that’s assuming nothing goes wrong.  At least walking would be exercise.

I’ve definitely gotten in better shape in recent months, as far as that goes.  I walked a total of just under eight miles yesterday, and I only have a mild rawness in a few spots in the soles of my feet, nothing like any true blisters or anything, and though I’m slightly stiff, I’m not truly sore or anything.

We’ll see.  The one downside to walking to the train is starting the day off sweaty, but that’s going to be a serious problem only as we get past wintertime, and I hope that’s going to be a non-issue for me.  That’s my tentative plan, anyway.  I’m certainly too mentally fatigued to want to bother trying to live much longer.  It’s boring at best and thoroughly miserable at worst, and most of the time it’s somewhere between the two poles.

There’s no point, there’s no fulfillment, there’s no joy, and there’s no help.  I probably wouldn’t be able even to accept help if it were offered.  I would freeze up and not know what to do.  Any help would probably have to be forced on me, even though I would want help and long for it.  It’s weird, but it’s true.

Anyway, in about nine minutes my bus is due, so I’m going to call it quits for today, at least.  I’ll do editing when I get on the train.  Enjoy the latest rotation of the planet if you can.  You might as well.

For a minute there, I found myself

Wow, I’m really tired.  I had a terrible time falling asleep last night, even though, once again, I was tired and “shagged out” as if after a long squawk, in the words of Michael Palin’s pet shop owner from the dead parrot sketch.  And then, of course, when I finally did get to sleep, I didn’t even come close to sleeping through until my alarm‒though, rather amusingly, I fell back to sleep about half an hour before my alarm was due to go off, so I got to enjoy being awakened by it when I was thoroughly mired in unconsciousness and confusion.  Nevertheless, I did still get up and do three quick sets of (bad) pull-ups before taking my shower, getting dressed, and so on.  And here I am at the train station, waiting for the second train of the day.

I know all this must make for incredibly tedious reading, and for that I am truly sorry.  I’d prefer to write more about potential stories, and which ones, if any, my readers prefer, and about potential “podcasts”*, and all that stuff, with an eye to the future.  But when I revert to insomnia‒after an all-too-brief respite caused by a rather severe illness, the remnants of which are not even gone‒it’s just terribly discouraging.  It’s a special kind of teasing furlough, like getting a weekend off from being in prison, but having to go right back up the road after the weekend, for a sentence the length of which you don’t even know.  And there’s only one reliable way to escape.

It makes it hard to think about any future whatsoever.

Ah, well, it probably really doesn’t matter.  What do I want with a future, anyway?  I don’t have “a life” at all in any appreciable sense.  I can’t even read fiction‒including even comic books and manga for the most part‒anymore, and that’s long been one of the highlights of my life.

I’ve occasionally been able to watch some shows, most recently Wednesday, and I’ve even gotten through five episodes of The Rings of Power, the latter while I was sick.  And, of course, I’ve watched all of the episodes of the modern Doctor Who, most of them more than once, but these are the sorts of things that in the past I had always done with other people, with whom I could share the enjoyment, and even talk about the shows and so on.  It’s just not as much fun to do by myself, even when I watch some of the “reaction” videos of other people watching the shows for the first time, which is almost like watching with a friend, but not quite.

Even the prospects of getting healthier, sleeping better, trying to conquer dysthymia and to integrate into my self-understanding a probable diagnosis of Asperger’s all seem pretty unmotivating.  What’s the point, for instance, of seeking out an official, confirmatory diagnosis of the Syndrome Formerly Known As Asperger’s, at significant personal time and expense?  What, ultimately, would this even do for me?

What’s the point of trying to find a therapist with whom I can work, and that I can work into my schedule‒perhaps through BetterHelp or similar‒to try to mitigate my dysthymia/depression?  It feels better, so to speak, just to feel horrible constantly rather than to have brief respites of feeling a bit better, a bit more “normal”, only to have that feeling slip away again.

It’s even hard to pursue further learning in mathematics and physics, both of which I find deeply interesting.  I have tried to use Brilliant to work on my skills, but though their interactive, stepwise, animated approach is interesting, and I can see why it would appeal to many people, I find it boring after a very short time after I start to use it.  I think I just do better with textbooks, and with problem sets.  I even bought a copy of one of my old college calculus textbooks, the Thomas and Finney one, and started working through it to re-hone and improve my mathematics skills, with an eye toward moving to higher level mathematics after that.  But I haven’t gotten very far.

I also got a copy of Sean Carroll’s Spacetime and Geometry, and the huge tome Gravitation, by Misner, Thorne, Wheeler, et al, which not only is the bible of General Relativity, but is also an excellent demonstration of its own subject.  This is all in an attempt to improve my formal understanding, at the mathematical level, of General Relativity.  Special Relativity is pretty easy, and the mathematics to deal with it formally is/are rather straightforward.  But I don’t have a deep handle on tensors and matrices and higher dimensional geometries‒not at the mathematical level, anyway‒which I’d like to have to be able to approach the subject at a real, quasi-professional level.

I’d also like to be able to do the same thing for quantum mechanics, which is at some levels more straightforward than GR.  I got Susskind’s Theoretical Minimum book on that, but haven’t been able to sustain my attention for it.  That’s my fault, not the writers’.  Anyway, I really want more than the “minimum”; I want to get deeper into the subject, mathematically, because the concepts are all reasonably clear‒although often explained in rather wooly terms by many popularizers‒and I would like to be more formally and mathematically adept at the subject.

And I deeply regret not having done more in pursuit of furthering my pretty good initial exposure to computer science, both at the software and hardware levels.  Related to that, I would like to have done more in circuit theory and more general electrical engineering.

Of course, I did have a lot of my time and energy taken up by biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and the other subjects related to becoming a doctor.  And, of course, “helping” my now-ex-wife study (to the extent she needed help, which was, let’s face it, not very much) when she was in law school was quite fun.  But the time and effort put into both medicine and my marriage have turned out now to be moot and pointless, though they were worth the cost due to the fact that my children are here in the world now.

That fact would be worth almost anything.

Anyway, I don’t have any point** here with all this, and I’ve gone on long enough today.  I’m just tired, and if I can’t find a way to stop being so tired all the time, I really don’t see any good reason to try to keep slogging forward.  All the way up until my next birthday, my age and the two digit number for this year are both prime, and it’s sometimes better to leave while still in one’s prime than afterward, as I mentioned in a previous post.  Meanwhile, though, I’ll see if I can find any other answers.

Oh, P.S.:  Does anyone know off the top of your head how one checks the results (so far) of a poll one has arranged on WordPress?  I’m sure the answer is somewhere in the WordPress “help” functions, but it’s not amenable to a superficial and obvious search, and I’d rather not have to “chat” with one of their “happiness engineers”.  It doesn’t matter much, but if you know,  would you please leave a comment below?  Thanks.


*That’s one of those amazing terms that was a brand new thing based on an entirely new and revolutionary technology, but now that technology itself is already obsolete, but the term lives on.  I think the closest similar thing that readily comes to mind right now is the expression “running out of steam”, which I would guess arose from the era of steam engines, which are quite obsolete, but the expression remains common.

**Now there’s a pithy summary of a life