Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire

I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m going to be writing anything of real informative substance today, despite the fact that I brought my laptop with me and am using it to write this.  There will be no sugar discussion and no discussion of the neuropathology and pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s today.  For that (and other things) I apologize.

Unfortunately, I had almost no sleep last night—perhaps two or three stretches of nearly a half an hour at a time, not really any more.  In between, I’ve been having trouble with GI issues, presumably from something I ate.  I felt like I was going to throw up a lot of the time, though I never did.

That’s all very pleasant, I know.

I apologize for being such a downer, but it’s apparently just the way I’m built.  I’m not one of those people who was put in this world to bring joy or to be a shining light or to cheer people up.  Not that I think anyone was “put” in this world for any purpose.  People just happen like everything else, and things just happen to them.

I think my first real, visceral encounter with this fact happened forty-two years ago this Thursday, December 8th, when John Lennon was murdered.  I had just turned eleven a month and a half earlier.

I’ve written before about the fact that I literally cannot remember any time in my life when I was not a Beatles fan, being the third born in a family of three children, all of whom were/are Beatles fans, with my birth coming at the very tail end of the sixties.  All my life I’ve known most of the Beatles songs by heart.  I don’t remember learning them, they’ve just always been there, like nursery rhymes but better.

And then, of course, John Lennon, who had just released his first new album in years, was shot dead outside his home by a “fan” who likened himself, apparently, to Holden Caulfield.  This was, perhaps, the beginning of my realization that the human race is not worth preserving, protecting, or saving, which later came to be expanded to pretty much all life on the planet and possibly in the universe.

John Lennon, who brought great beauty into the world, whose work continues to bring joy to millions upon millions of people—and who rightly said that it was more appropriate that the Beatles were honored with MBEs than soldiers, since the soldiers got their honors for killing people and the Beatles for making music—was dead on the pavement in Manhattan.  Meanwhile, the man who killed him, instead of having been dunked up to his neck in Drano for ten minutes a day until it finally killed him, is still alive, with three hots and a cot daily supplied by the people of New York for the past forty two years.  The killer has lived longer since that murder than John Lennon had lived when he was murdered.  And the killer is still eligible for parole, though for his sake, he should hope he is never granted it.

I had originally put that cockroach’s name in the previous paragraph, but I decided not to include it after all.  I have no desire to contribute to any perverse reward of him being famous for having destroyed a brilliant artist.

Meanwhile, the likes of Donald Trump and Herschel Walker and Vladimir Putin are well-known public figures, the former alive and “well” in his late seventies, and are even admired and respected by a fairly substantial group of people.  And, given the number of people who wear tee-shirts commemorating and revering Che Guevara and other historical politically/ideologically motivated murderers, and the failure of so many on the left to recognize how like the Soviets and the Maoists—and other, preceding Inquisitions—their attitudes of ideological conformity and historical revision are, it seems unlikely that history will vindicate and lionize those who actually worked toward enlightenment, toward peaceful, just societies, the rule of law, freedom of expression, and above all the necessity of free exchange of ideas for advancement and improvement; there is very little reason to hope that the human race will improve.

Such improvements as have been made, as have happened, are the products of a vanishingly small proportion of the members of the human infestation.  The vast majority of humans are no more advanced than the average australopithecine as far as their personal contributions to society go (to be fair, they are mostly no worse, also).

And don’t make the silly, naïve mistake of imagining that other animal species are kinder or gentler or more in balance with their world than humans are.  They are simply less competent, less powerful, and so cannot exceed their natural equilibria.  If their predators are removed, prey animals multiply until they drive themselves into starvation, usually taking other species with them.  When predators gain advantages, analogous catastrophes occur.  It has happened numerous times in natural history.

Life, to a very good first approximation, is characterized by selfishness, fear, pain, and loss.  “Nasty, brutish, and short” doesn’t begin to provide an adequate summary, though “quiet desperation” is indeed the state of many humans.

Honestly, I’ve become so disenchanted with this planet, with the universe itself, and with existence, that if I were so inclined, I might dedicate myself to the destruction of all life, simply to prevent the pain and suffering of future generations.

But I’m not certain enough, and I have no respect for certainty that exceeds the degree of its justification in evidence and argument.  And I don’t have much sympathy for those who willfully infringe on the autonomy of other creatures, intelligent, pseudo-intelligent, or otherwise.  So basically what I try to do now is endure, perhaps hoping for something that will change my mind, until I can make my quietus.

But I will say this:  if John Lennon’s killer were brought before me and I had a weapon, I would gladly kill him.  I dislike having to share air with him.  I know that he suffers, and that he had no more choice in doing what he did than anyone else does, but I don’t really care.  There are plenty of far more innocent, far more benevolent, people than he who suffer, and who die, while trying to do their part to make the world ever so slightly better, or at least to do no more harm than they absolutely must.  It’s not a matter of thinking that he “deserves” to die, though by most estimates he probably does.  But “deserves” is a vague term, and is used too often to justify atrocities.  So I would not claim any right of justice or vengeance or anything of the sort.  I would be making an aesthetic choice.  “My” world is uglier with him in it, and it would be that much less ugly with him dead.  I don’t want to see him suffer, nor do I want him to suffer.  I simply would like him gone, just as I would like to paint over a stain on a fresco.

On that pleasant note, I’ll call this blog post to a close.  Apologies for being such a downer, as usual.  I wish I could feel “justified” in trying to be optimistic, or at least to feel supported in that by a preponderance of evidence and rational argument.  Alas, I cannot bring myself to that conclusion.  So, I will instead conclude this writing for today.

Though there’s only one lunar day per month, this is the weekly day of the moon

Okay, it’s Monday morning, and I’m writing this on my smartphone, so I’m not going to try anything too ambitious.  I didn’t bring my laptop back with me to the house because, again, I brought home some music (sheets and a book) under the absurd notion that I might play some guitar or possibly “piano” this weekend.  I don’t know if that was me being in an optimistic frame of mind or me deceiving myself‒or if, indeed, there is any difference at all between the two things.

In any case, as is presumably obvious, I did not play or even listen to any music this weekend.  I barely did anything at all.  I mean, on Sunday I did my laundry, getting terribly stressed before starting it that I would find the machine in use already, even early on Sunday morning, but thankfully that didn’t happen.

I suppose I got a lot of rest, which I needed, because I was still pretty wiped out from the virus or whatever that I’ve been fighting.  I watched some YouTube videos of mainly British comedy panel shows, most of which I’ve seen numerous times already, and on Sunday I watched The Accountant again; that’s becoming one of my favorite movies.  And I watched the Gallifrey Gals’ latest reaction video to Doctor Who.  And I took a few moderate walks, during one of which I spoke to my sister on the phone, which is always nice.  That was pretty much all the socializing I did…for the week, really, not counting interactions at work.

I didn’t read at all this weekend‒not a single page of a book.  Nothing gripped me enough to make me even open the Kindle app on my phone, let alone to grab one of the books I have in my room.  Last week, as you may recall, I reread The Chasm and the Collision.  I also reread one of the stories from Welcome to Paradox City, and I reread “I for one welcome our new computer overlords” in the version that’s in Dr. Elessar’s Cabinet of Curiosities.  They weren’t as fun as CatC, but they were decent stories and I still like them.  But I didn’t feel the urge to read even any of my own stuff this weekend.

I’m on the train on my way to the office now, and wondering what I’m going to do in general.  I keep intending to get back into some kind of better shape, so I don’t die a corpulent grimace of a blob of some kind.  I’m working on it.  I am walking some, trying to work my way up, and I do upper body training to at least some degree every day (except when sick…and after even a few days, it’s remarkable how much more difficult it becomes).  I’m trying to adjust my diet, but that seems to be my most difficult hurdle; eating is one of those rare self-soothing behaviors that’s biologically reliable, and from which it’s difficult to quit cold turkey as it were*.  Still, there are further interventions on which to work.

I’m not giving up on it.  I have something I want to try to do sometime in the relatively near future, and I would need to lose weight before doing it.  I’ve also toyed with the notion, in the past, of perhaps running a marathon some day.  I’ve had difficulties with jogging because of my back, which has at times been sensitive to me running, and some chronic ankle and knee weakness, but since I’ve been walking my two plus miles a day just from and to the train station, I think those areas are getting stronger, and sleeping on the futon on the floor is probably also helping.  Maybe I can gradually work my way up.  I’m not as young as I was in college when I first got into serious running condition, but if anything I am more stubborn.

I need to have something to do with my time, and I certainly don’t “have a life” as the expression goes.  I’ll try to get back to my medical postings soon, anyway, and I apologize for frequently putting them off.  There’s the follow-up to the neurology based post and the discussion of sugar I first sort of introduced last Thursday.

I don’t know what else I might end up doing.  I’m really rather rudderless now, and feel like I’m becoming more so as time goes on.  I have no real sense of a future, just the endless trudge that is the directionless present.  At least the weather is a little cooler down here for walking.  That’s a slight boon.  So much of the year it’s way too hot and humid.

Anyway, that’s it for today.  I hope you all have a good start to your week.


*Ha ha

I don’t feel well this morning.

Okay, well…sorry, I’m not going to be picking up today on the rest of the sugar-based post that I mentioned and half-started yesterday.  I also won’t be doing a follow-up neurology post, either.  I’m actually just going to write a very brief dispatch, if I can do that, mainly to let you know why I won’t be doing those things I just mentioned.

I just really don’t feel well this morning.  I was up during the middle of the night, but that’s not unusual; I even sort of felt somewhat clear-headed for a time.  But then, when I woke up this morning, before my alarm, I felt somewhat confused and disoriented.  This was not in any seriously alarming way.  I knew where I was and who I was and what day it was and so on.  I just felt vague and hazy and out of it, like I hadn’t truly slept at any point at all during the night, or had maybe had apnea episodes or something.  I felt rather uncoordinated as I got ready for my shower and got my clothes and all that stuff out, but not as though I were having an inner ear problem.

Well, perhaps just a little like that.

Anyway, I got showered and dressed, though I felt like it all took me longer than usual.  And now I’m waiting on my morning train.  I’m going to work, even though I feel under the weather, because I already missed one day this week, and because last week the office had a poorish week because of the holiday, and yesterday my coworker with whom I share some responsibilities had to take the day off because he was having particular trouble with his back.  I’m hoping he’ll return today, because I’m really not feeling great, and also because this is supposed to be my weekend off, after having worked the previous two Saturdays.

It seems I’m not the only one who is off kilter.  When I got to the train station, a northbound train was just arriving (I missed it), and I thought I must have lost more track of time than I’d appreciated.  But it turned out that it was the first train, the one I only catch when I really can’t sleep at all, and it was running almost 15 minutes late.  And now, my train is running about 30+ minutes late, and the southbound trains are running late, and the next northbound…well, you get the idea.  I wonder if there’s some computer virus issue going around that affects train systems and weird devices like me.

Probably not.

Anyway, it’s frustrating, because if I’d gotten here as early as I usually do for my usual train, I would have caught the delayed 1st train, and would already be on my way, instead of having to wait here, already feeling crappy, for a more-delayed train that will be more crowded because of the delay, as is always the case.

There are apparently a full three trains now expected to arrive at the Hollywood Tri-rail station, according to the tracker app—all late, but set to arrive within ten minutes or so of each other.  I would frankly wait for the second one if I weren’t sure that it too might not be even more delayed than currently listed*.

Geez, Louise, I don’t need this on a morning when I feel like I do.  I just want to lie down and go to sleep and stay that way.  I hate this stupid world and this stupid life.

So, anyway, my apologies for being so erratic and not doing what I had meant to do yet on the requested topics.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get a good rest this weekend, and by Monday I’ll be prepared to pick up on one of them.  Meanwhile, I hope you all forgive me, and that you have a good weekend.


*I did end up doing that, since the app and a security officer confirmed that the next train was only ten minutes after my delayed one, and that one was packed, and all my usual seats were taken.  Now I’m on a nice and sparsely populated train, at least, though I’m still quite behind my usual schedule, and that’s stressing me out.  But it’s better than being packed into an overcrowded and delayed train.

From Cyber Monday to confidence mistakes

Well, it’s Monday now, and we’re “seeing how it goes”, I guess.

This is the last Monday of November in 2022.  The Monday after Thanksgiving is sometimes called “Cyber Monday”, but that’s really just a marketing gimmick* invented by companies that sell electronics and related things, to encourage people—preferably without making them think too much—to buy computers and phones and items in those categories as part of their Christmas (or other holiday) shopping.

I think the term Black Friday was something that happened more or less organically; it’s hard to imagine retailers and marketers deliberately choosing something that sounds similar to the names given to the dates of various stock market crashes and so on.  No, it was a term born of legitimate lamentation about just how unpleasantly busy malls and other commercial establishments become on the day after Thanksgiving, when a good percentage of people in the USA would have the day off, and would be unable to deny that the Big Holiday was coming, and that they hadn’t gotten much, if any, of their shopping for it done.

But, of course, smart marketers still took advantage of the term and began setting Black Friday sales and the like.  When there’s a source of available resources, of one kind or another, and a busy ecosystem, something will eventually arise to exploit the resource.

Although, to give full disclosure, apparently it took millions upon millions of years for fungi (and possibly other types of microorganisms, I’m not sure) to evolve that could break down the wood of the oodles of plants that had grown and died in the “carboniferous era”, and that’s why those wood carcasses just lay around, and got buried, and for quite a few million years sequestered that carbon, but were converted by pressure and time into coal and so on.  There was a lot of it, obviously, but it is finite, and we’ve gone through much of those millions of years of cellulose creation (from the very air), and returned a good chunk of it to the atmosphere from whence it came, in a precipitous fashion.

It’s going to take more than just tree planting, I suspect, to counter that, because we can’t plant (and grow) many millions of years of trees in the space of a human lifetime.  The solutions are going to have to be at least a bit cleverer than brute natural selection, and probably multifarious, or else brute natural selection will do what it usually does and eliminate a great many forms of life.

It remains to be seen whether the human race will be smart enough to survive for much longer.  The various faces of politics and social media and the like don’t exactly fill me with optimism, but it’s difficult to make reasonable predictions about such things, because we don’t have any good prior data from which to draw our conclusions.  There have been no previous technological civilizations on Earth, and we’ve found no evidence of any out in the rest of the galaxy or beyond, so we just don’t really know one way or the other.  Anyone who confidently make claims about the future (without explicit or at least implicit caveats) is overconfident, more or less by logical definition.

I’m not one of those people who is impressed by confidence, by self-assurance, let alone by dogmatism or arrogance—though back when I was a pre-teen and into my teens I held a spot of envy for such attitudes.  Honestly, though, now I think overconfidence is generally reprehensible.  Holding beliefs that do not scale with the evidence has been a source of some of the greatest atrocities the human race has ever committed, against other humans and the rest of the world.

Beware of people who are certain without adequate reasons for certainty.  And by “adequate”, I mean reasons that would convince a disinterested extraterrestrial of good intelligence and emotional restraint without any preconceived notions one way or the other, not that would convince some naïve group of humans, even a lot of them.

Overconfidence is truly dangerous, and most of the confidence that people tend to try to invoke or evoke or project is overconfidence.  It’s not a coincidence, nor is it wrong, that “con artist” is short for “confidence artist”.  I recommend against trusting anyone who wants you to trust them rather than to be convinced by their evidence and argument.  It may do you good to remember that “trust” is really always just another word for “calculated risk”.  Try to make your own risk calculations as accurate as you can make them.

Anyway, that’s my meandering blog post for today.  I don’t really have energy to write much more.  I had a particularly bad week last week, so I haven’t made progress on reviewing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease, and I want to get a better review in before I write any more about them.  I also have a request—from my sister—to write something about the problems and dangers of sugar.  That’s something that doesn’t require nearly as much review, but I’m not up to doing it today.

I don’t feel much better than I did last week, if any at all; I’ll have to see how the day goes.  But it’s not as though the holiday season is over.  Also, the daylight is getting shorter and shorter, and will be doing so for more than three weeks—although, this being near a local minimum of the sine curve, the rate of change is shrinking, and will reach its minimum absolute value right when the daylight reaches its minimum.  Of course, that also means that even once days start getting longer again, the change is going to be very slow at first, and hardly noticeable.

I honestly don’t know how (or if) I’m going to make it through until Spring.  No one has yet given me any good arguments for doing so, certainly none such as might convince a  disinterested extraterrestrial with no preconceived notions on the matter.  And, as I’m the closest thing to an alien that I’ve ever met, I’m better at making that judgment than many others might be.

But I don’t know for sure.  I do know that I’m tired, and I’m sad, and I’m frustrated, and I’m lonely, and I’m confused, and I don’t feel well.  I also can’t seem to sleep very well at all, even for me.  My world is a miserable place, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better over the course of my life.  I don’t know whether the future is therefore likely to be better, or is more likely to be worse still, or what.

I do have my doubts that it’s worth much effort, though.  Again, I guess we’ll see.  Or, perhaps, we won’t see.  Maybe no actual answers will ever be forthcoming.  If so, that’s okay.  I’d rather be uncertain than have firm beliefs that don’t have good, sound, reasonable bases.  I hope you feel much the same.


*Like “non-GMO” and “organic” and “gluten free” are, for the most part, though for those with actual celiac disease, that last one can be a truly serious matter.

Well, here we go again.

It’s Saturday—the one that comes two days after Thanksgiving, though I don’t think it has any special designation—and as I said I would, I brought my laptop with me, so I’m using it to write this post today.

I didn’t play any music or write any fiction yesterday.  Obviously.  I mean, I haven’t written any fiction in months, now.  I’m not sure how many.  And although on three occasions I’ve done a tiny bit of plinking on the guitar and once on the piano, it’s really been nothing like what I did in the past.  I just don’t have the desire to do it, even though I used to enjoy it.

As I’ve said, I used to enjoy fiction, mostly fantasy/sci-fi and horror.  I have a difficult time forcing myself to read any fiction anymore; even the Japanese light novels are getting daunting.  Non-fiction that I would normally have enjoyed, like books about physics, or biology, or psychology, or even politics and sociology, are all just blah.  Most of the videos I want to watch, I’ve already watched, over and over again, and though I am able to enjoy things repetitively, and I always have been, I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve just about squeezed what I can out of the ones that I like.  I haven’t even been able to get more than a few dozen pages into Sean Carroll’s new book.

And now, here I am, sitting at the train station on Saturday morning, ready to go into the office.  The person who last triggered my meltdown on Monday*, was off yesterday and will be off today, enjoying his holiday, and will get paid for his bending of the rules.

All the people I love in the world are elsewhere, with the ones they love, presumably enjoying their holiday weekends—I certainly hope they are—or just enjoying themselves in a faraway land, experiencing other cultures and so on.  And I’m here by myself, near the distal dorsum of America’s flaccid, syphilitic penis.

I think I stay here because, honestly, I don’t feel like I deserve anything better, and anyway, this apparent ASD that I probably have—or whatever psychopathology I have that mimics it—makes it very difficult for me to contemplate changes to any given situation, even though it’s far from ideal.

After I got out of prison, I decided to come back to Florida after a brief visit to my parents, instead of staying with them (I was invited to stay), because I hoped to be able to see my kids sometime relatively soon.  That, of course, did not happen, and I don’t give high odds on my ever seeing them again.

I’m certainly no good at being pushy about trying to get my own way in interpersonal relationships.  I didn’t fight my divorce or any related stuff, never fought about how much child support to give—I was happy to give as much as I was asked.  Frankly, there was nothing better for me to do with my money.  I honestly have little to no inherent sense of having any rights of my own, certainly with respect to other people, though I will tend to demand that people keep their hands off of me, literally and figuratively.

So, I missed the last few years of my parents’ lives that I could have spent with them, in the vain notion that I might get to see my children sooner.  And, of course, that was why I pled guilty in the first place, though I consider myself innocent according to the law as I understand it.  I certainly never willingly broke any laws, but was trying to help people who had chronic pain, such as I have.  I’m not claiming my thought processes were clear or ideal, and I was certainly naïve and foolish, but I never meant anything criminal, and certainly made no profit.

But I figured, three years’ plea bargain (with time served counting toward it) was better than a chance at a longer sentence, especially since I’m not a likeable sort with whom a jury might be expected to sympathize; or so I was told by my court-appointed lawyer.

This is the way the state extorts people into taking “shorter” offered sentences rather than going to court to fight legitimately for their side and their rights.

Anyway, I gave all that up for what turned out to be a pie in the sky notion.  I lost my medical license, my community, my use of skills that I’d put years and years of effort into gaining, and I lost the last years of my parents’ lives, and I lost my children anyway.  I wish I were just some selfish prick who was good at looking out for number one and living for his own enjoyment.

Well, no, no I don’t.  I despise such people.  But sometimes I envy them their ability not to care what anyone thinks of them, or what impact they have on others, no matter what they do.  I mostly don’t worry too much what other people think of me, but I do want people I love not to hate me.  I’m not sure I’ve been very successful at that.  I’d also like to be able to be with my kids and I certainly didn’t want to be divorced, or to disconnect from various other people, but I’m not good at people, it seems, though I was always good at being a caring doctor.

Oh, well.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s all pointless and irrelevant, and I don’t expect I’ll ever see my kids again, any more than I’ll see my mother and father again, though for different reasons.  I guess not seeing my kids is my punishment, or whatever the proper term is, for being utterly incompetent at human relationships.

It sucks, but I can’t get the rules changed as a special dispensation for me.  And I certainly don’t want to inconvenience my kids in any way; I want them to have the dreams they want to achieve, to do what they want with their lives and to enjoy the world as best they can.  Same with my old friends, and my ex-wife, and her family, and everyone else I’ve known.  I’m not interested in being the center of anyone’s attention, unless it’s something they feel good about.  For instance, if they like my writing or my music, I don’t mind if they pay attention to that.  But I’m certainly not worth derailing anyone’s plans out of any sense of obligation or anything along those lines.

I have no idea what I’m trying to say, today.  I’m getting bored with this blog, both today and in general.  I’m calling it good for now.  We’ll see how Monday goes.


*I want to make it clear that he was not the primary cause, he was merely the last straw…but he does often put himself in that position.

Blah blah Black Friday blah blah blah

Well, it’s “Black Friday” today, in the US, anyway, though I guess the commercial notion of a Black Friday Sale, at least, has spread to other countries now, as well.  It doesn’t make much sense to have it be a thing in other countries, considering that Thanksgiving‒as the holiday celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November‒is specific to the US, and Black Friday started because it was the biggest shopping day before Christmas, since most people were off work with the Thanksgiving holiday.  But what are you gonna do?

And, since pretty much no one but government workers gets a full four-day weekend anymore, especially given the ubiquity of “Black Friday” promotions, I am of course going in to work today, and I will be working tomorrow as well.

Amusingly, I just heard my first two iterations of the announcement that the Tri-rail will be operating on a Sunday schedule on Christmas Day, which is a month from today.  But, of course, Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, so of course it will be on a Sunday schedule, and if  Christmas is on a Sunday, then so is New Year’s Day.  Ah, well.at least this won’t be as long a time span for the repetition as the one for Thanksgiving was.  I wonder what will happen after New Year’s.

I’m writing this on the smartphone again, because I didn’t take my laptop with me Wednesday when I left the office.  I decided instead to take some music (a book and some tabs and three recently printed piano pieces) with me since I had Thursday off, and thought I might play some.  I was weirdly giddy on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon, maybe because I had gotten past the immediate crisis of Monday night.  It was Monday night, wasn’t it, when I had my 988 issues?  Also, I guess the office was kind of in laid-back mode and we had lots of food on Wednesday.  It wasn’t good for business, though.

Anyway, I did fiddle around a bit on the guitar and then on the piano, but it mostly highlighted how rusty and stiff my fingers are.  I also ate some junk food during the day and watched some videos, and then a movie, and that was pretty much it for my Thanksgiving.

As an aside, there must be at least some tendency for people to take today off, since I was, quite literally, the only person boarding the northbound train on my side of the track just now.  There were more people waiting for the southbound train.  Maybe people who go north are more likely to take the day after Thanksgiving off because it’s…colder up north?  That doesn’t make any sense.  I see that there are a few more people at the next station.  I guess there are still tendencies for people to take the day off, or perhaps just to start later, on the day after Thanksgiving.

Sorry, I know I’m just writing nonsense and gibberish and gobbledygook, but frankly, that’s not far from my usual tendencies.  I honestly feel like I’m crashing from my weird little, post-immediate-crisis high on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.  None of the treats and snacks and special foods of the holidays really bring any joy to eat, not in and of themselves, anyway.  I even bought a beer to drink yesterday, but I got, I think, five sips of it down before pouring it out.  A can of Coca Cola was good, I guess‒there’s something special about Coke in a can, though more than one would quickly just be the source of a sticky feeling in my mouth.

I’m very tired, though I did basically nothing yesterday.  I slept about four hours last night, which is pretty good for me.  I had a weird dream this morning, about some dark city* or world where a political movement at first made people optimistic and hopeful, but then just turned their society into a dystopia once it got going, which seems to be what dogmatic ideologies tend to do once they achieve real power.  This is surely one of the reasons why free speech and free expression are so crucial, and fuck “safe spaces” and “hate speech”.  Those are the sorts of notions used by totalitarians and the like to suppress dissent, because they don’t even want people to have the mental option available to them to think about alternatives to the Party line.

I used to get slightly irritated by the expression “get over yourself” when it first cropped up, but now I think it needs to be a mantra in response to all the neo-narcissists out there who’ve been raised to think that there ever was or ever will be a place they can feel “safe”, even as they tell other people how they are “supposed” to think.  Sorry, the universe is fundamentally unsafe, and it always will be.  Life is short, everything is trivial, and almost nothing that ever happens is about you, whoever you may be.

Even someone like Genghis Khan is just as dead now as all the enemies he killed, and though we still remember his name‒Temujin‒that means nothing to his anonymous corpse.  Everyone who lived more than 120 years ago is dead.  However many people were alive in the world in 1900, they have all succumbed to the creeping Holocaust of time.  So will we who are alive today.

Anyway, I don’t know what point I’m trying to make.  Maybe I’m making the point that there is no point, and doing it in a meandering and vague way just to make my meaning clear in both words and tone.  But I doubt that I’m that clever.

Cleverness rarely works, anyway.  Cleverness, such as one often sees in TV and movies and such, has too many moving parts, where everything has to go just right, or the cleverness fails.  Things don’t tend to go “just right” in the real world.  Alertness and adaptability, along with straightforwardness‒keeping things as simple as possible‒is probably a better strategy.  I call it “chaos surfing”.  You can’t make the waves, but if you’re alert, you might be able to ride one for a little while.

That’s that.  I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving, those who are in the US.  A particular greeting to my cousin, who reads this blog.  I meant to send you a Happy Thanksgiving text yesterday, but I forgot, and I apologize for that.

Hopefully I’ll feel a little better tomorrow.  I think I’ll bring the laptop this evening, because this phone writing is getting slightly irritating.  Enjoy your Black Friday shopping, if that’s what you’re doing.  I’ll keep trudging along for now, though I don’t really want to do it, because…well, just because I don’t seem to have any better or clearer ideas at the moment.

Belated TTFN for yesterday.


*The atmosphere of the dream clearly owed much to the atmosphere of The Batman, which is the movie I watched yesterday.

There is no room upon the hill

It’s Monday, and I was loosely considering writing the second part of my discussion of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc., today, but yesterday (and to a lesser extent Saturday), I got my head thrown for a loop by something that other people would probably consider minor, and because of that, I didn’t do any preparation, such as reviewing some of the latest information on the subjects, so I’m going to put that off a bit.

It’s rather strange how fragile my mental state has become—or perhaps it was always so, but I didn’t know, because my surroundings were such that I was not as vulnerable, or because I avoided the mistake of ever getting used to anything going as I expected or hoped.  In any case, my usual Sunday routine is to get up relatively early and do my laundry in the morning.  It’s two to three loads, and it’s the only day in the week that I can do my laundry, given my schedule, so I’ve kind of carved that out as the way things work.

It was my understanding that the new people living in the outer part of the house knew that; I’d asked the owner to make that clear, and hitherto it’s been good.  It feels like it shouldn’t be much of an imposition on anyone, since the remaining six days of the week are theirs to do what laundry they will as they please.  I do pay for the cable and internet, and for (more than) half of the water and power, despite there being only one of me.

I laid in just a little bit—for me anyway—yesterday morning, which means until about 8:20 am, before going out to do my laundry, only to find that there was a load in the wash and the dryer, just getting started, and the lady was there with some man I haven’t seen before, though he’s not important.  I tried stammeringly to remind her that I need to use the laundry on Sunday morning, that it’s the only day I can do it, and please to leave it free in the future, but I think that I didn’t say half of that, and not just because of my very rusty Spanish.  I was just so stressed out, and felt so angry and anxious and irritated that my words kind of froze up, and I don’t have any idea what my expression looked like.  I also felt almost as though I was going to cry, which is quite embarrassing.  I finally said, “por favor” a few times before retreating into my room.

I know for a fact that my face doesn’t adequately convey my emotions—apparently neither does my voice nor my writing—because I frequently find that I when I am horribly depressed, and having suicidal thoughts, and am trying to send out some kind of request for help, and expect that it’s obvious, and that someone will say something about it, people act just they way they normally act.

I don’t know, maybe they aren’t acting like they normally act, but I’m no good at reading them.  In any case, my experience of their behavior doesn’t seem to change.  Thus, my frequent reference to the line from Brain Damage, the penultimate song from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon:  “And when the cloudbursts thunder in your ear / you shout, and no one seems to hear”.  (It’s followed by what is, for me, an even more poignant and heartbreaking line:  “And when the band you’re in starts playing different tunes / I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon.”)

Maybe it’s just that people have seen me get depressed and stressed out so often, and I’ve tried to express how horrible I feel so often, but no one has done anything or recognized it or something, but I haven’t killed myself yet, so it’s probably okay just to leave it, he’ll get over it and keep on going, since that’s what he’s always done so far.  But, of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results, as the dot-com bubble, and the housing bubble, and the 2008 banking crisis reminded us, though it feels as though most people had never realized it before, and probably most people have never internalized the lesson even since those big slams.

Anyway, there’s a reason that the reference to the straw that broke the camel’s back became a cliché.  When a rope is fraying steadily, for a long time it looks like it’s still holding—after all, it doesn’t tend to stretch as it frays, especially not if it’s a modern, polymer rope—but when it fails, it does so abruptly, and often catastrophically.

Too many metaphors.  Too much mixing thereof.  Sorry, but I’m having trouble being very organized.

Anyway, just having my laundry schedule screwed up—I had to wait hours for the person’s laundry first to be done in the wash, then for them to clear it from the dryer while my first load of wash waited, finished washing, in the washer—really fucked me in the head.  It didn’t help that I couldn’t go for a walk as I’d hoped to do, since it’s been pissing down rain for the last thirty-six hours or so, with a fairly steady wind that makes umbrellas pointless, since your lower half is going to get wet no matter what.  Frankly, it’s significantly more inconvenient than the “subtropical storm” was a few weeks ago.

So I couldn’t finish my laundry and then go for a long walk or anything, or really do anything else while waiting for the laundry machines to be available*.  Not that I would have done anything edifying or useful, but I had planned (as I mentioned) at least to review some more recent stuff about the diseases I’d begun addressing.

This is not the only thing that stressed me out.  Saturday, I made the mistake of making a slightly substantive comment on a post in a blog that I follow, and another reader replied to my comment, starting the fucking idiotic response with “You’re missing the point”, and then spewing some irrelevancy about something that didn’t pertain to the point I was making; and by the way I had not missed the supposed point this person thought the original post was making.  It just wasn’t pertinent nor frankly in any way persuasive.

Anyway, I felt very angry—probably inordinately so—and made the mistake of replying (substantively, I think, and not rudely) to the comment, trying to make my own point clearer.  But now I don’t even want to go back to that blog, and I certainly don’t want to get involved in the comments section anymore.  Maybe some people enjoy such argumentative interactions, but they make me want to go full Hannibal Lecter, or maybe just full Thanos, frankly, and that just ends up making me feel more horrible about myself than I already do.

I’ve had lots of other little stressors getting to me far out of proportion to their actual importance—after all, nothing at all is actually truly important—and it’s just highlighting for me again, in case I should ever start to forget, that I don’t belong in this world, I’m not a member of this species, I enjoy very little about the fact of being here, and that little seems to be shrinking asymptotically toward zero.

I can feel each straw gathering on my back in such moments.  I don’t have any idea when it might break.  It doesn’t help that my back always hurts, of course, but it does make the metaphor apt.  I don’t know the extent of my endurance, and I guess I won’t know until it breaks.  But it is being worn down.  I can tell because I’m getting more and more stressed out by milder and more foolish things all the time.

It’s particularly frustrating, though in a different way, when someone, meaning well, asks me how I’m doing or “checks up on me” in passing, because I have to either just dodge the question—since I know people don’t really know what to do if you tell them that you’re doing terribly and wish your life would end—or just say, “Meh,” hoping that is enough to get across the message if they really want to know, but noncommittal enough that they don’t have to feel upset if they’re just trying to be polite.

But I’m not doing well.  I haven’t been doing well.  I’ve been trying to tell everyone that for a long time, and it feels like it’s silly for someone to ask.  If there’s no one who can help me get the load off my back, I’m going to collapse, sooner or later, and I honestly hope that it’s sooner.

Anyway, that’s an unpleasant way to start the week.  I’m sorry.  I’m not much fun.  And I’m sorry about that, too.  I’m sorry that I’m such a waste of a person.  It’s not how I would prefer to be.  It’s not who I’ve tried to pretend to be.  But pretense can only be carried on so far if it requires so much energy to do, and if it just makes you feel like a liar and a fake, when you already feel like a stranger and, above all, a monster.

Oh, well.  The universe wasn’t built for me, that’s for sure.  It’s under no obligation to be the way I wish it were, nor do I have any business complaining about the fact that I’m not who I might wish I were.  I don’t want to be anyone else, of course; I just wish I were a better version of me.

Maybe somewhere out there in the multiverse, if there is such a thing, there is a better version of me, possibly an infinite number of them.  Of course, there would therefore also be an infinite number of even worse versions of me, based on the mathematics of the situation.  I wonder if I’m close to the mean, or the median (these are tricky concepts when dealing with infinities, in any case), or the mode, or if I’m an outlier.  It doesn’t really matter, I suppose.  As far as anyone can tell, this is the only universe with which I have to work, and I am the only me that there is, and I am the only way I can have been.

How disappointing.


*I did at least get to watch Lydia Ko win yet another golf tournament, apparently a big one, and that’s always good.  I would have watched that anyway, but it’s still good.

The Monday misadventures of a moribund moron

I’m writing this blog post under rather unusual—but not entirely unprecedented—circumstances:  I’m already in the office (and using my laptop!) as I write this because I never returned to the house last night.

I had boarded the usual southbound train, but even as I did, I felt a vague sense of foreboding.  Well—it wasn’t all that vague, come to think of it, because there had been an announcement flashed up that one of the northbound trains was delayed thirty to sixty minutes due to an accident involving the train.  This never bodes well.  The Amtrak heading southbound had already dilly-dallied in the station about fifteen minutes longer than it ought to have, delaying the train for which I was waiting.  Still, the southbound train came, only about twenty minutes later than usual, and I got on it, foolish child that I am.

Two stops along, the train came to a station and the conductor and guards came around saying that everyone had to get off the train, that there would be shuttles coming to bring us down south to the next station or something along those lines.  I didn’t have much choice but to join the crowd, heading for the rough bus-boarding area of the station, but the noises from the nearby engine, and the crowd, and the tightly packed, noisy bodies—as well as the unexpected change in routine—were all quite stressful.

I waited for a while, texting my sister and a coworker, mainly to try to relieve my tension, trying to figure out if either the house or the office were in reasonable walking distance.  The office was ten miles north (workable in a pinch) but the house was twenty-one miles south.  By the time I reached it on foot, it would have been almost time to get up and leave for work.

A few city buses came and went—these weren’t the shuttles, but some people got on them, desperate just to get moving, I suppose.  I couldn’t really tell what anyone was saying or doing, because the tinnitus in my right ear had been acting up ferociously all day, and I could (and can) hear even less on that side than usual.  In any case, I wasn’t going to get on the bus, because based on my web search, it would take two and a half hours to get to my destination by bus, if they were even still running down my way by the time I used them.

Soon, though, there was an announcement that a northbound train was coming—going back the way I came—and it was coming on the side of the track that I was on.  The fact that I also had to use the restroom, and there are none of these in the train stations (nor on shuttles, which still hadn’t arrived after nearly an hour) made my decision for me.  I got on the train and rode the two stops back north, got off, and walked to the office, stopping for some unhealthy fast food on the way, because why the hell not?  It’s not as though I particularly want to be healthy (though I do want to be thinner—I’m putting myself on a strict calorie count/restriction now, since it would be nice not to be so fat when I die).

And that’s where I spent the night:  at the office.  My sleep was probably as good as I ever get at the house, though that’s not saying much, and the industrial-carpeted floor is as good for my back as the futon/floor I sleep on at the house.  The only real issue is that I don’t have a shower, and I can’t wear my usual Tuesday clothes today, which is a little distressing.  I also have to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row, which is quite annoying.  And, of course, I can’t change my socks and underwear.

At least, as I commented to my sister, there’s no one waiting for and/or worrying about me.  There’s never anyone waiting for me to worry about me.  My presence or absence has no impact upon anyone in the world, beyond the immediate and superficial.

So, anyway, here I am at the office already/still, and I don’t have anything else to write about today but the stupid events that happened yesterday evening, which would be far more tolerable if there were any good reason to bother doing any of it.  But there really isn’t.  There’s no point at all to anything I do.

No one has offered me any ideas for topics about which to write; so far there’s apparently nothing about which anyone is interested in my point of view, nothing of worth or of note in my life anymore.  I don’t have any place that I consider—or that feels at all like—home anymore.  I’m lonely and I’m empty, but I find other people stressful and frustrating and their behaviors borderline inexplicable and irrational.  And they’re too loud and chaotic.

On top of that inherent noisiness, of course, there’s that constant, very high D half-sharp* in my right ear, 24 hours a day, that’s been going on for about 15 years or so now, and which has gotten worse recently.  Every now and then, I get a brief run of tinnitus that suddenly pops up in my left ear**, and when it does, I’m horrified that it might be the onset of a permanent noise such as exists in my right ear.

The right ear tinnitus started suddenly, while I was working at the Treasure Coast Forensic Treatment Center, where the heavy metal doors were controlled remotely via a buzzing electromagnetic lock system, and they all had to be slammed shut.  One day while I was there, a shriek suddenly started in my right ear, that piercing, steady, banshee sound vaguely reminiscent of the background noise of an old video monitor that only very young people can hear.  It’s been going on ever since.

Thankfully, it’s only ever lasted less than a minute at a time so far in my left ear.  I don’t know what I would do if it persisted.  I’d be inclined to shove pens and/or pencils into my inner ears bilaterally, but I know that, since tinnitus is related to damage to nerves and closely related structures, such interventions might just do harm without helping stop the noise.

Medical education can be useful sometimes.

Anyway, that’s that.  I’m at the office already, and I’ve told you my dull and dreary, but nevertheless very stressful, tale from last evening to this morning.  If you want me to write about something else, than give me suggestions, as I mentioned yesterday.  Ask me questions.  Ask me anything.  I can’t promise I’ll be able to write about any and/or everything anyone might ask, but I do have a pretty broad knowledge base, and I’m good at learning new things as well.  I would really be interested in your inquiries or suggestions.

Later.


*There seem to be some other notes mixed in, but it’s hard to tease them out, and the D half-sharp is definitely the most prominent one.

**It’s never the same pitch as in my right ear, of course—this is only to be expected, since the nature of tinnitus and the damage that causes it involve processes that are utterly unlikely to coincide, pitch-wise, between the two ears.

A call for topics

It’s Monday morning yet again, despite my best efforts‒the beginning of yet another pointless work week in the dreary tail bit of the year, when the sun sets at 5:31 pm local time, thanks to the outmoded “daylight savings time”, making people like me, who are already dysthymic/depressive and are also subject to some seasonal affective problems that much more unstable.  Spread the word: daylight savings time causes significant morbidity and mortality* and does no one much, if any, good.

I’m writing this on my cell phone again, or “smartphone” if you will (though dumbphone seems like a better term given the way most humans use theirs).  I deliberately didn’t bring my laptop to the house with me over the weekend.  It’s not as though I’m writing stories anymore; I’m just writing this ridiculous blog.  So there’s no particular impetus to make the writing process easier for me, as using the laptop does.  I might as well use the smaller, lighter device when I don’t feel like carrying the heavier one.

I had a reasonably boring weekend, which I guess is a good thing.  I watched a few movies, and I went on some comparatively long walks‒I think I totaled about 12 miles over the course of the two days.  I also spoke with my sister on the phone on Sunday, and that was good.

That’s about it.  That’s the extent of my non-work life.  It’s the best I have to offer, and it’s as like as not just to get worse as time passes.  But I was able to force myself to get almost eight hours of sleep on Friday night and Saturday night, thanks to Benadryl and melatonin.  Oh, and of course, I did my laundry on Sunday, as I always do.

Sorry, I know this is really boring so far.  I don’t know what to tell you.  I didn’t really have any subject in mind for today, other than my brief diatribe about daylight savings time and depression/seasonal affective disorder.  Obviously, it’s a topic that affects me significantly (no pun intended), but there’s otherwise not much for me to say about it.

Eliezer Yudkowsky has an interesting bit of insight into it that he gives as an illustrative case in his excellent book Inadequate Equilibria, dealing with, among other things, the reasons why no one has done research on much stronger light-based treatments for SAD.  But you can’t expect depressed people to take initiative to do remarkable things to help themselves, since a major part of the problem with depressive disorders is comparative inability to take positive action.

If anyone out there has any requests for subjects or topics for me to discuss in a blog post, I’d be more than willing to consider them, though if it’s not a subject about which I have any expertise, I may not be able to do anything worthwhile with it.  Still, I have a fairly broad knowledge base regarding general science, especially biology and physics.  I like mathematics, though I’m not that deeply knowledgeable about esoterica thereof‒a regretted failure of my youthful imagination when I was in college.  Similar things could be said about the deep aspects of computer science; I wish I had known how interesting the subjects were back then and so had pursued them more than I did.

Of course, I have a fair amount of personal knowledge in the reading and writing of fantasy/science fiction/horror, though I haven’t read any new stuff in a while.  I haven’t even read any of my own books in a long time.  I think the most recent horror I’ve read was Revival by Stephen King, which was pretty good.  I haven’t read much if anything in the way of new fantasy since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I’m reasonably well versed in slightly older comic book lore, especially Marvel.  And of course, The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings are among my favorite books.

I enjoy Shakespeare, but I don’t consider myself any kind of scholar of the Bard.  I like his works and his words in a fairly straightforward fashion.  I also like Poe quite a lot, as you might have guessed from my recitation videos of some of his poems.

Anyway, that’s a quick summary of some of the subjects upon which I might at least feel justified in opining.  So, if anyone has any suggestions or requests in these or even other, tangentially related subjects, I would appreciate them.  I like to feel useful or productive in at least some way, so I can justify my existence to myself.  It isn’t easy.  I’m a much harsher judge of my usefulness or worth than Scrooge at his worst, and I expect no ghosts of past, present, and/or future to visit me to give me some epiphany that changes my character.

It would be nice if some rescue mission were to happen to save my soul, but I don’t see it as plausible, and I don’t think anyone thinks it’s in their interest‒or anyone else’s‒to save me, in any case.  So in the meantime I’m just stumbling along like a wind up robot that’s been forgotten by the child that wound it up, legs moving and shifting until the mechanism breaks or the spring finishes untightening.  And damn, that’s an annoyingly efficient spring.


*I don’t have the data for this, but I strongly suspect that, if the sun set at least a little later‒say an hour later, even‒things would be slightly easier for people with SAD.  It might be difficult to tease out the statistics, but SAD doesn’t just kill by increasing rates of suicide, though I’m pretty sure it does that.  People experiencing exacerbations of depression have higher rates of numerous other illnesses and accidents beyond the obvious. 

When Friday night arrives, will it or will it not have a suitcase?

It’s Friday, and the trains are back up and running, and I’m heading in to work, so I am also writing a blog post for today.  Callooh.  Callay.

I’m writing this post on my cell phone, if that term is still strictly accurate to describe the modern “smartphone”, because I didn’t bring my laptop with me when I left the office early on Wednesday.  This was not an accident; I decided that, even though I had a raincoat and an umbrella, it was possible rain might get into my backpack and damage the laptop if the rain was heavy enough.

That turns out to have been a thoroughly unnecessary precaution.  I don’t want to make light of the travails of those who had a worse time of it, but around here, the recent subtropical storm was not that intimidating.  Neither power nor internet went out, I didn’t even come close to needing to close the storm shutters, and the rainfall wasn’t all that impressive.  We’ve had far deeper puddles from a typical summer afternoon storm.

I guess that’s all good, though the trains didn’t run yesterday, nevertheless.  It was probably possible for them to do so, but I respect the decision of those responsible.  They can’t know ahead of time how debris and damage might affect the tracks, putting those riding the trains in danger and potentially derailing‒pardon the expression‒operations on longer and larger scales due to mishaps.  It was a sensible precaution to suspend service for the day.

I could have made it to the office by bus, but that’s a very long ride, and my boss basically told me just to enjoy the day off.  He has commented, in other contexts, on the fact that I’ve never taken a vacation in all the years I’ve been working for him, and that’s true.  The only time I’ve taken off has been on the two occasions when first my father and then my mother died.

As I said to him, though, what would I even do with a vacation?  I don’t have anyone with whom to go anywhere, and to me, vacations are things one does with other people.  I don’t even watch TV or movies with anyone, anymore, nor do I tend to watch shows that anyone else around me watches.  The closest I come to watching something with someone else is watching one of the many YouTube “reaction videos” for shows that I have watched.  I suppose that sort of situation is probably one of the reasons people like these kinds of videos; it feels like sharing a show you love with a friend who hasn’t seen it before.

Yesterday, during my “day off”, I decided to make use of it by going for a nice long walk (I even jogged about 40 paces during it) and then watching some movies of the sort that always used to get me motivated to get/stay in shape.  These tend to be specific kinds of action movies, and the ones I watched yesterday were Hit Man, Man on Fire, and The Equalizer.  Good, clean, violent, revenge-type fun where the strength of the hero is at least as much his cleverness as his physical prowess.

These were the kinds of characters I admired most‒of those in action movies, anyway.  And though the main character in Hit Man is a sort of born-and-raised, brutally trained and modified to be what he is kind of person, he’s still basically a relatively believable, and very clever protagonist.  And of course, both of the latter two movies were made when Denzel Washington was probably as old as I am now, or nearly so, and he’s never been an action star type.

I don’t think any of these movies are realistic, of course, but they tap into a sort of primal motivation that gets me going, and works far better than any thoughts of simply being healthy.  The whole “to live a long and healthy life” thing doesn’t push you much if you don’t even want to have lived as long as you already have lived.  But the feeling of wanting to be able to be a badass, to be able to carry out necessary violence in appropriate circumstances‒even if it kills you‒that can get even a person like me motivated.

So, I did some extra push ups of three different kinds‒it was appalling to me how few I could readily do at once, especially since I can do 35 dips at a time (and that despite being a fat pig).  I guess they really don’t work quite the same muscle groups.  I also did extra ab exercises and lunges and some other stuff.

It’s all silliness, of course, but as the writer of Ecclesiastes put it, all is vanity.  Still, vanity that gets one up and moving and trying to get in better shape is at least a locally useful kind of vanity.

Anyway, that’s how I used my “day off” which was one of the first I’ve had in a while that wasn’t just because I was sick, not counting alternate Saturdays.  Of course, in a few weeks I’ll have Thanksgiving off, but I don’t do anything on Thanksgiving.  I don’t have nearby family or close friends with whom to spend it, and if I were invited to join someone’s family’s celebration, I would probably feel too awkward and tense at the prospect to take them up on it.

It’s a bit of a depressing situation, but I don’t really know what to do about it.  I used to have family and loved ones around me (these are not mutually exclusive groups), but some members of those groups have ended up distancing themselves from me often enough‒and causing a great deal of non-intended pain in the process for me‒that I find that the sense of risk is greater than the urge to try to connect with anyone new.

Also, it’s led me to the provisional conclusion that I’m simply not beneficial to have as a family member or loved one or close friend, since I am the common denominator in all these situations.  So I also don’t want to inflict myself upon other people, least of all the sorts of people who would be kind enough and patient enough to want to be close to me, and to whom I would want to be close.  So, I’m not liable to change things on my own.

Most of the close friends and loved ones I’ve had in the past were either family, who were forced by blood to have me as part of their “in group”, or people with whom I’ve been almost randomly and fortuitously (for me) put together in school or university or work, or who, in a way, sought me out because they found me interesting.  I’m not as interesting as I used to be, though, and even those who most thought me interesting, such as my now-ex-wife, eventually found me intolerable.  She’s a smart woman; I have a hard time faulting her judgment in this.

Anyway, speaking of Saturdays‒and I did mention them not long ago‒I am apparently going to have this Saturday off; my coworker with whom I alternate Saturdays asked to switch and take this one over the next one, so I said yes.  Thus, I won’t be expecting to write a post tomorrow.  If something changes, well…you’ll know because I will have written a blog post.

In the meantime, I hope you have all had pretty good weeks, and that things are going well for you, and that all your potential disasters have turned out no worse than tropical storm Nicole turned out for me/us in south Florida.  Thanks for reading.