This is yesterday’s blog post

It’s Tuesday morning, and I’m back waiting at the bus stop, which in many ways is preferable to the way things were yesterday, and so many days before, though I won’t get into the specifics.  I had a rather significant exacerbation of my insomnia last night/this morning, by which I mean I woke up extremely early, even for me—and I’m writing this at 5 am, so “extremely” early is early indeed.

I came very close to just getting up when I couldn’t sleep and walking the five miles to the train station (rather than waiting for the bus to go the other one) and getting the first train of the day.  The only thing that really stopped me is that I didn’t want to start the day all sweaty*.  It’s not so bad to end the day that way—there’s no one to whom I’m coming home who has to deal with my sweatiness, and I can just doff my clothes and get a shower and get ready for “bed” when I get back to the house.

Other than that, there’s not much going on in my life.  As you all know, I’m not writing fiction anymore**, and I’m not writing any new music, nor learning any new songs.  I think the last thing I did that was “new” on the guitar was figuring out the tune to Baker Street, especially the sax riff.  That might have been before New Year, though, so it’s been a while.  It didn’t take very long, though it was quite satisfying for a moment.  That sax riff is amazing, and almost everybody recognizes it when they hear it.

Otherwise, everything is mainly empty, and it’s harder and harder for me to distract myself.  I wish I could just go catatonic or something.  But I don’t think my psychopathology is of that type.

Everything is also very noisy, and that’s irritating.  I don’t wish I were deaf—or deafer than I already am—but I do wish everything were quieter.  I particularly wish people did less loud talking, and especially less loud talking about nothing at all.

I started trying to read and work through problem sets—at least all the odd numbered problems, so I could check the answers after doing them—in my old, used copy of Thomas & Finney’s Calculus text, which was the one I used in my undergrad days.  I’ve completed one problem set, very early in the book.

It’s easy stuff, of course, at that point in the text, but I figure reviewing and practicing isn’t going to hurt.  I knew someone in college who literally did every odd-numbered problem in the textbook so he could master the material, and when test times came, he got terrifically high scores on exams that everyone else found difficult.

Obviously he’s inherently very smart—that made him fun, because it’s nice to be around someone smarter than yourself, so you can learn things—but as with many people who are very smart, he also worked quite hard.

I think it would be nice to try to master some more mathematics so that I could actually do some of the calculations related to General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics at more than a rudimentary level.  I’ve also tried to restart reading Sean Carroll’s Spacetime and Geometry, which was really good as far as I had gotten before, but which I stopped partly due to limitations on my mathematical skills.

I think I should probably just try to muscle through things this time, and just file away the bits I don’t understand yet—mostly mathematical formalisms, since the concepts aren’t that difficult—and maybe then get them more and more as I come back to things later.

Of course, all this is really just a fantasy, an idea of me trying to “recapture my lost youth” by attempting to complete some version of a Physics degree on my own.  It’s a pipe dream.  I don’t think I have the will to carry it through, because I really don’t have the will to do much.  The only advantage the idea has is that all the other things I do for fun are steadily losing their charm, so maybe I’ll be able to focus on it by default.  I doubt that will be enough, but who knows?

I suspect it won’t be, though.  I feel like everything is coming to an end for me.  That’s all right, I guess.  It’s not as though I’ve really brought much joy or happiness to anyone in the world, and the people I love don’t tend to find me tolerable over the long term.  I think I’m probably a net loss to the world, and the loss of me would not be a net loss.

I would like to go out in a unique and semi-dramatic fashion, though, as long as it doesn’t cause too much unnecessary inconvenience for other people.  It can be slow and drawn out, and may even, in the process, lead me to some new personal insight or adjustment or revelation.  I don’t know.

That’s all probably a fantasy, too.  I’m not sure exactly what I’m thinking or what I’m getting at.

I’ve just passed 800 words or so, and someone once told me that about 800 words is the best length for a blog post if you want people to want to read it.

I’m sorry, I don’t think this has been very coherent at all.  I’m not feeling well in general, in case it’s not obvious; I’m having some GI** trouble, the cause of which is uncertain.  I’ve taken medicine for it, and that’s obviously done at least some good—after all, I’m waiting for the bus so I can head into the office—but it’s not completely taking care of it, and I feel the temptation to just head back to the house.

The trouble with that is, it’s too easy to fall into the trap of just not going in at all, and not doing anything at all, and just withering away.  Which, I guess is not necessarily that bad.  But, as always, I don’t want to inconvenience people.  Heaven forbid that anyone should be inconvenienced by me.  I already hate myself; I’d like not to add too much fuel to that fire.

However, my belly pain is actually starting to increase somewhat, and I think I’m going to have to go back.  The last thing I want to do is have a “crisis” on the bus or the train and have to make my way back from there.

Further bulletins as events warrant, I guess.

*It turned out that I had some form of enteritis, also, including a low-grade fever, so it was probably just as well that I didn’t even try that walk.  Perhaps the developing issue contributed to my worsening insomnia, now that I look back at it.

**Which I guess is no loss, since no one seems to care about the fact.

***That’s gastrointestinal, nothing to do with the military.

The sound and the fury of sore thumbs

I’m writing this on my laptop today because my thumb joints (especially in my right thumb) are severely painful and inflamed.  Okay, technically it’s the base where my thumb attaches to the wrist and palm, not the actual interphalangeal joint within the thumb, but I’m not going to split hairs or phalanges right now.  Although I guess I just did that, didn’t I?

I’ve tried to cut out any other activities that cause my thumb(s) to hurt—other than handwriting things at the office to fix incorrect or missing information on paperwork, and even that hurts—but it has been to no avail.  It seems extremely likely that it’s the writing of blog posts on my phone that is making things—thumbs—act up.  I wouldn’t give it a 100% estimate, but it’s mightily close.

Fortunately for me—though perhaps not for you—I hardly use my thumbs at all when typing on a laptop keyboard.  So this gives them a bit of rest.

I guess it’s just as well that I haven’t gotten any feedback encouraging me to complete either of my partly completed stories or to start a new one, because if I had done so on the phone, I probably would have needed to give up on that.  Ditto for if I had decided to write it out long-hand, since the use of pen and paper even a few dozen times a day seems at least to cause the joint to flare up, and writing a book by hand again would probably have caused similar problems or worse ones.

I did listen to and begin editing that voice recording I made while walking to the bus stop on Monday, but I’ve decided not to post it.  Quite apart from the fact that I merely said inane things—which was, after all, as expected—the fact that I walk pretty quickly gave my voice a peculiar wobble that reminded me just a bit of Katherine Hepburn, though with a lower frequency of wobble.  No disrespect intended to the great, great actor that she was, but I just felt weird about the recording, as if I were doing a disrespectful impression.

I’ll try to make a sedentary audio recording sometime soon to upload here and as a “video”, if I can keep up my motivation to do anything at all.  No promises!

I’ve noticed that my readership, as well as my “liker” ship has gone down recently, possibly because my writing has become more depressing as I’ve become more depressed, though I feel as though my writing has been pretty depressing all along.  Also, I haven’t been reading (and liking, when it’s accurate) other blogs as much as I used to do, largely because I haven’t been reading (or liking in any sense) much of anything lately.

I’ve been forcing myself to reread some things that I know I’ve liked in the past, so I read a bit of Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality—he’s as good as it gets for entertaining and reasonably deep science explanation—and then skipped over to reread Max Tegmark’s Our Mathematical Universe, which is also a great book.  Tegmark even refers readers to Greene’s book for a discussion on the possibility of making new universes deliberately if inflationary cosmology is correct*.

Anyway, I’ve gotten somewhat tired of even those two excellent books, and was going to switch to Brian Greene’s Until the End of Time, which is not better (or worse) but at least discusses things like the eventual end of our universe as we know it, and so seems more appropriate to my mindset.  However, I did receive a pre-ordered Japanese light novel yesterday that I hadn’t recalled was coming, so I’m reading that first.  I will probably be done with it by midday today, even only reading it during breaks and lunch, and even though today is payroll day.

It’s a pleasant enough story, but of course, even though it’s about a “loner”, it entails the loner having friends and a girlfriend and doing various activities, and anyway, he was never a loner because of awkwardness or rejection of or by others—he’s one of the most self-assured characters in the story—but simply because that was what he preferred, no sour grapes required.

This is the second, and apparently last, of the “light novels” of this series.  The characters are nice, and their interactions are free of the usual stupid melodrama that so often infects fiction about “normal” people when there are no deadly forces facing them, just the idiocies of other humans, so that’s pleasant.  I hate when stories create “drama” out of nowhere by introducing unrealistic misunderstandings and conflicts.  If you just gave your characters supernatural enemies to fight, you wouldn’t have to invent personal difficulties that make them look like kindergarteners on a playground, but with less sense of fairness and personal responsibility!

That book won’t last me more than about half a day, probably.  I always get weird when I read those stories, anyway.  I feel almost as if I am the characters, and I begin to think and even talk to myself as if I were—heck I even find myself thinking that way when playing phone-app euchre immediately after, in my thoughts toward my “partner” and the other two “players”**.  It’s very strange, and it doesn’t last long, but it’s quite melancholy, and tends to make me feel worse about myself once I return to myself, and no one needs that.  Just being me is bad enough as it is.

Not that I would prefer to be anyone else.  It’s a bit like Winston Churchill’s purported quote about democracy—I am the worst person in the word for me to be…except for all the other people I could be.  Something like that.  It doesn’t quite work, but you probably get the idea.

Anyway, I’ve already written more, and well before the bus has arrived, than I usually write at all using the phone; there’s no doubt that I write quickly on my laptop.  I should probably wrap this up soon.  I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow if my thumbs are still killing me.  I’ve tried various treatments, both topical and systemic, and even tried wrapping my thumb up a bit, but so far to little avail.  It hurts like a son of a bitch***, and the joint is getting unstable, so that when I shook my hand in the air—briefly—trying to distract myself or loosen it up somewhat, I could feel it pop out of joint slightly, and that didn’t help with the pain, as I’m sure you can guess.

I suppose, if I write at all, I’ll write tomorrow’s post on the laptop.  I honestly feel like wrapping this whole thing up, along with everything else, not just for the day, but for good, so to speak.  There’s no point to any of it.  It’s not helping my depression, that’s clear.  It’s not eliciting any good recommendations about help or insights, or any mythical, heroic rescue of any kind.  It’s not providing any kind of therapy.  And it’s not getting me started back to writing fiction again.  So what’s the point?  It’s just the proverbial, Shakespearean tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I’m in pain all the time, I’m alone, and I have no capacity to act on my own behalf, which means that frankly I deserve it if I crash and burn—literally or figuratively—and just die without any revelation or meaning or recognition.  But I’ve always really known that I deserve that, anyway.  I’ve never even really been in denial about it, or at least not for quite a long time.

I don’t know.  If I write tomorrow, I guess you’ll see it here on my blog.  If not, I don’t know what I’ll be doing, if anything.  I can’t make any promises one way or the other, honestly.  Sorry about that, Chief.

would i lie to you

*Greene points out that it would likely be quite disappointing, since, based on General Relativity and the best of the rest of our theoretical understanding, in the original universe, the new universe would just turn into a tiny black hole, and the creators would have no access to their new universe.  Of course, this presumes they don’t discover some means by which to access other universes semi-directly, but if you can do that, why do you need to make a new one?  In any case, as far as I can see, a very small black hole is going to become an immediate, violent source of Hawking radiation that would fry anything around it with tremendous force before it fully and rapidly evaporates, but presumably such an advanced technological civilization could shield themselves from such things.  A bigger question is, when the black hole evaporates, what, if any, effect does it have on the nascent universe?

**They’re all just computer generated.  I have no interest in playing any kind of game online with strangers.  I can’t even deal with interacting with the other people on online support groups or subject-matter groups about things in which I’m interested; I surely don’t want to play card games with strangers.  Anyway, I have more in common with simulated, computer-generated people than with “real” humans.  I even talk to them sometimes.

***This expression, presumably, refers to a puppy.  Do puppies tend to hurt a lot?  Well, they do when they bite you with those tiny little, needle-sharp teeth!  Ba-dump-bump, crash!  Waka, waka, waka.

She told me to walk this way…

It’s Saturday.

I say that just in case you didn’t know.  I hope most of you are relaxing at home with your family and/or loved ones as you read this.  As I write it, I am of course sitting at the bus stop.

You may recall that yesterday my back was acting up especially badly.  It did so all day, pretty much without relent, despite copious use (probably to toxic levels) of OTC meds.

In the evening, after I had ridden the train back down south, I was waiting for the bus and watching the app that tracks arrival times at any given stop, with real time updates on delays or earliness.  The timing of the train’s arrival had been such that there was a bit of a wait (about twenty minutes or so) before the next bus.

But the bus didn’t show at the predicted time, and when I looked back at the app, it had just skipped ahead to the next bus time, half an hour later.  It seemed they had simply canceled that bus without notifying anyone.

I waited about five more minutes before getting fed up.  My patience was far from its peak in the first place, after a day of significantly elevated pain, and the lack of notification‒much more so than the apparent bus cancellation‒irked me mightily.  I figured, “You know what, I don’t feel like waiting for the next bus,”  So, I started walking.

Of course, as I’m sure you could have predicted, within another five minutes, the bus on which I had given up went rolling past me.  I guess it had just been ten minutes late, but its transponder, or telemetry, or whatever they call them, wasn’t connecting with the system that updates the app.  That’s irritating, but I suppose it sometimes happens when you put naked house apes (i.e. humans) in charge of technology.

It wasn’t too bad, though.  I decided I would just continue my walk for the 4.5 to 5 miles back to the house.  I took a route through the neighborhoods, some of which I had never passed before, though I knew the way.  It was just after sunset when I started; there was a fairly stiff breeze, and the temperature was in the sixties, so it was a pleasant walk.  It felt almost reminiscent of being out trick-or-treating back up north in my childhood.

Regrettably, of course, there were no Halloween decorations, and no kids in costumes‒I was mainly by myself on the sidewalks, listening to my shuffled “favorite songs” list on YouTube Music‒but I did see, through the large picture window of a third-ish floor “luxury” apartment building, that someone still had their Christmas tree up, and it was fully lit.

That was actually rather nice, although slightly odd and certainly unexpected.  I can understand why someone would want to keep a festive, brightly lit item around even after its traditional moment had passed, especially during the comparative holiday desert that follows New Year.  Sorry, Valentine’s Day does not count as a festive holiday!  And Saint Patrick’s Day, in America at least, is mainly a drinking holiday‒though corned beef and cabbage can be a quite wonderful dinner if one has it!

Returning to the original topic, though, I found that, as I walked, my back began to relax a bit, and before a few miles had passed, the pain had reduced to a much vaguer sensation, then finally it became insignificant relative to my normal tendency even to notice it.  My right Achilles tendon began complaining slightly* by the end of the walk, but it tends to do that anyway, almost since college, after I badly sprained my right ankle while playing catch.

Sorry, I know, this is all rather boring for a blog post, but I felt like having a mild celebration of the fact that I had soothed my back some by walking.  It hurts more again, now, starting as soon as I woke up, but it’s not as bad as it was yesterday, and hopefully it won’t become so.  If it does, I guess I know what to do about it at least.  Just having that degree of available control makes things a little better, even if one doesn’t use it.

I keep thinking about better types of subjects about which to blog‒as you know‒including medical topics and physics and philosophy and psychology and whatnot.  I still owe you all a blog post or audio blog/podcast about sugar.  I haven’t forgotten.  I just have to decide to buckle down and do it.

But motivation, or executive function, or whatever they call it, is apparently often difficult for people with ASD, as I suspect I am, and also, of course, for people with dysthymia/depression, as I know I am.  That’s not an excuse, so to speak, though both are things I certainly didn’t choose.

Who would willingly choose to be depressed?  It’s truly a thing of horror, but it’s not even exciting or interesting or even disgusting horror.  It’s just a lack of any connection, a sense of learned helplessness that precedes any learning.  And, of course, it includes an inability to be optimistic or to feel certain of anything other than how horrible a person one is.

Maybe everyone, if they could see themselves without filter, without excuse, without delusion, would grow weary of themselves, would be disgusted, would end up hating themselves, and hating the world by reflection or projection.

I’ve read that the modern Catholic conception of Hell is not Fire and Brimstone, but merely a state without any connection to God, a complete removal from God’s presence, cut off from the source of life and light.  It’s rather like the Void in Tolkien’s universe, where Melkor wandered and first began having thoughts unlike those of his brethren, and to which he was consigned after the War of Wrath.  Anyway, that Catholic notion feels like a good metaphor for depression.  It’s not fire and brimstone; that’s all too dramatic, even melodramatic, and interesting in its own way.  Dysthymia and depression are much drearier and more dismal than that.  And yet there is pain.

Oh, well.  Maybe even in the Void, a good long walk can help temporarily ease some kinds of pain.  That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

*You wouldn’t think that something named for the mightiest warrior of the Iliad would be prone to whine, would you.  Then again, he was a bit of a snotty character, and he was invulnerable other than his heel in the original story, so he probably would have moaned a lot when in pain.

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.



[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.