A passion for timeliness and a late-appearing fruit of passion

Well, it’s Monday again, to the surprise of essentially no one.  That’s just what happens after the weekend, isn’t it?

I’m starting this post while still at the house, sitting on the “piano” bench in my room, because it’s too chilly to sit at the bus stop for too long and do the writing.  This is not merely a “chilly for south Florida”* chilly.  It’s about 45 degrees Fahrenheit out.  I don’t know how windy it is‒I haven’t been out yet‒but that’s not shorts-wearing weather even for snow birds.

Thankfully, fleece hoodies with the hoods up are more than adequate against such modestly cold temperatures, and walking is much warmer than riding a motorbike.  I have more extensive covering I could wear in a pinch‒a long, black duster I got originally to be part of a costume, but which is also quite handy for cold weather.

Anyway, there’s not much going on.  I had thought last evening about writing a topical blog post this morning, something relating to a book I’m rereading, called On Being Certain, but I’m not terribly into that right now.

I didn’t do anything useful at all this weekend, really, apart from getting some physical rest‒well, I walked 3 miles to 7-11 yesterday, but that was because I currently have no better means of travel, and I had some things I wanted.  It was worth the trip, I’d say, though 7-11 is pricey.

Still, the good thing about my current disrupted commute really is how much I’m walking.  Twice last week, I chose not to ride the buses back from the train station in the evening.  The first time was just because I wanted to do it, and was early enough for it to be workable; the second time because the bus that had been scheduled to come just hadn’t shown up, and the next one wasn’t for 30 minutes.

I made a good deal of progress before that next bus finally passed me:  more than half the distance I would have ridden it.  I felt quite smug, as though I were the one passing it, not the other way around.  On each  of those two days last week, I walked more than 8 miles total.  All the other days I walked more than 4.  So my walking really is getting boosted.

It occurs to me that I still haven’t done any of my “audio blogs” or podcasts or whatever one might want to call them.  Maybe I’m setting my bar too high.  I’d been planning to record them using Audacity and a decent mic, at least, but maybe I should just use my phone.  I’m using it for this, after all.  What do you all think?  Which should I do?


Okay, well, now I’m at the bus stop, but there’s still a good fifteen plus minutes to wait until the scheduled time for the first bus.  That’s just the way I do things.  I hate to be late to nearly anything, and at least since the time when I was in junior high, I always tended to get to school before nearly anyone else.  I just preferred the quiet solitude before the cacophonic arrival of all the other people into the area.

This has continued through pretty much the rest of my life (so far, anyway), and has, if anything, become more pronounced.  Indeed, my early awakening may well be distantly related to that sense that I can’t stand to be late (and being on time = being late to me).

If it’s related, it is pathologically so.  For instance, I first woke up last night at around 12:30.  I swiftly went back to sleep, at least, but still woke up more or less at least once an hour, and it became harder and harder to get back to sleep‒and it took longer each time‒such that by about 3:30, I mostly gave up.

But there was not too much point just to getting up and leaving early.  Oh, I suppose I could have walked all the way to my old, standard train station, and I would have arrived in time at least for the second train, if not the first.  But then, even given the weather, I probably would have started the day all sweaty.

Ending the day sweaty is okay‒you can shower and change clothes and all that‒but starting it that way can be a bit unpleasant.  And in Florida, at least, it leaves you at increased risk for skin fungus, or at least for mildew smells in your clothes, and there are very few smells that I find more repulsive than the smell of most fungi (though baking and brewing yeast are exceptions).


Okay, well, now I’m a bit anxious.  I looked on the “Myride” site and though it shows that there’s a scheduled bus arrival at 5:49 (in 2 minutes now) there’s no “estimated time” of arrival actually given until the next bus arrival time, which would be 15 minutes from now.  It’s really not cool for them to fail to have the first bus actually run, especially on an unusually cold morning.

Getting on the next bus will mean getting on an even later train, and so on.  Maybe I should have walked to the train station after all.  But if I left now for the train station, I’d be much later.  And there’s always extra work to do at the office after a weekend off.  But when one bus (or train for that matter) ends up canceled, the following bus (or train) is always that much more crowded than usual, and I hate that.  If it’s always crowded, at least I know what to expect, and I’m mentally prepared, if not exactly happy about it.  But if it’s a change from usual, it’s stress-inducing.

BCT used to run a pretty good bus service, but it seems they’ve been slipping lately, because this is now 2 different buses in the space of 4 days that are late or canceled.


Okay, well, the first bus wasn’t canceled, but it was five to six minutes late, and I can’t say that I’m okay with that.  It’s one thing for buses to be late when it’s rush hour‒such traffic is a chaotic system, and it can be effectively impossible to plan for every contingency when one has limited resources, as everyone does.

But at well before six in the morning, even in south Florida, there is barely any traffic at all, certainly not the kind of traffic that would slow a bus down.  People don’t tend to get in the way of buses, and police rarely pull them over, and the number of stops they make has a theoretical maximum, and they almost never have to stop at every stop.

Oh, well, what are you gonna do?  My boss at work sometimes sarcastically asks if I really think that the other people in the office are going to be able to do things to a level that I tend to do them, but my response is that yes, I do.  I’m not expecting people to grasp science and the like as well as I do, or to have the same enthusiasm for reading, but the things I ask for are things that should be graspable and doable by nearly any “normally” functioning human, since even I can do them, and I’m far from normally functioning, and barely human.  If they don’t succeed, it’s because they aren’t trying, or at least not very hard.

It’s like something I used to say to my kids when they would say they would try: “Good.  That means you’ll succeed, because this is something I know you can do if you actually try.”  Or words to that effect.


Anyway, that’s nearly it for today.  The bus arrived‒late‒but it looks like I’ll be able to get on the scheduled train, at least if it’s running on time.  Surely a simple 44 degree temperature isn’t enough to throw off all the public transit in south Florida?  Yes, it’s chilly for down here, but it’s not that cold.

Okay, well apparently the train is running about 3 minutes late.  That’s not horrible, but I still don’t think it should be considered okay.  Those responsible should feel embarrassed, though perhaps not ashamed.  People plan their days around the freely published schedules of the transit companies.  They make the schedules‒those schedules haven’t been forced upon them by a consortium of riders‒so they should stick to them.

The same goes for people at the office, come to think of it.  But apparently that’s just too much to ask of ordinary human beings.  If that’s really true, then ordinary people are not worth keeping around.

But I don’t think it’s true.  “Ordinary people” will for the most part live up to the standards to which they are required to live up, barring disease and disability.  And even people with chronic pain and dysthymia and depression and insomnia and apparent neurodevelopmental disorders can make it their business to get places on time and even early, and then to stay until all the work is done, even if everyone else has already left.  All that’s needed is just a little bit of passion**.

*Well, compared to whatever the temperature is currently in Michigan, or New York, or North Dakota, for instance, it would probably seem nice.  But you still wouldn’t want to sit at a bus stop for 45 minutes with just a hoody for your jacket in such weather.  And believe me you wouldn’t want to drive a motorcycle without layers and gloves and so on…though a good helmet will keep one’s head nice and toasty, at least.

**If that ending seems like a bit of a non sequitur, that’s because it was written in response to the fact that the person sitting in the seat in front of me on the train had a carton of passion fruit juice, and that made me think, “If there’s a passion fruit, why is there no ‘apathy fruit’?” which seems it would be much more an appropriate foodstuff for humans.  I put that last sentence in the main body of the blog solely for the purpose of writing this footnote.

Transport, motorways and tram lines, starting and then stopping

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Saturday silliness secondary to slightly soothing sleep

It’s Saturday morning, the first one of 2023, and hopefully all of my readers are reading this only after having slept late in a nice, warm, cuddly bed, preferably with loved ones‒a significant other, a spouse, dogs and/or cats, whatever‒nearby.  If you drink coffee or tea, hopefully you’re having a warm cup as you read*, especially if you’re in a chillier clime than south Florida (though the current 60 degrees Fahrenheit feels slightly chilly here).

I had nearly five full hours of sleep last night, which compared to the previous three or four nights feels like an absolute surfeit of sleep, a veritable treasure trove of slumber.  To be fair, I don’t really feel fully rested, but I feel so much closer to being rested that it’s worth paraphrasing Tolkien and saying that it’s reminiscent of the taste of a slice from a loaf of fine white bread to one who is literally starving.

It’s interesting how much our appreciation of things is dependent upon contrast.  Stepping into a highly air-conditioned room feels terrific after you’ve been outside working on a very hot summer day.  But after being in that room for an hour, you might start feeling uncomfortably cold.  At that point, stepping back out into the heat can feel like a wonderful relief in its turn.

I suppose nervous systems really must be formed in such fashion, because they have to especially take note of those things that are outside the “norm” of a stable background input, as these are the sorts of things that have a higher chance of being relevant to the organism.

Although, to be fair, there are absolute levels of things that will always be unpleasant simply because of how extreme they are.  I don’t think anyone would enjoy being shoved outside naked in an Antarctic winter for even a minute, though one’s discomfort would likely be short-lived…as would one, oneself in such a situation.  Likewise, I don’t think most people would appreciate being plopped into the middle of Death Valley on a particularly hot summer day, without any water, and again, without any clothes.

I really need to stop doing things like that to people, especially when it’s just to demonstrate hypothetical points.

As you can no doubt tell‒or at least reasonably surmise, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while‒I am working today, so I am at the train station waiting for the first train of the day to arrive.  As I said, it’s slightly cool for south Florida, but there’s little to no wind, and I have a nice hoody jacket to wear, so this is fine.  At least I’m not sweaty and sticky.

I still haven’t discovered how to check the results (so far) of my poll, but to be honest, I haven’t really tried, either.  I was so sleepy all day yesterday.  I was also grumpy, and rather dopey, and a bit bashful, as always.  I was definitely not happy, and not particularly sneezy, either.  But I am, and always will be, Doc.  And, appropriately enough, I just got on the train, so, Heigh-Ho Heigh-Ho, it’s off to work I go.

I was going to wonder how many of you have seen the movie to which I was making somewhat oblique references in that last paragraph, but it occurred to me that many of my readers are probably comparable in age to me, and so will have seen it.  Youth these days will probably have been protected from viewing certain depictions of people and things in animated movie versions of fairy tales, just in case anyone is “offended”.

Meanwhile, of course, it’s perfectly okay to depict aliens as evil and dangerous, in movies like Independence Day and War of the Worlds, to say nothing of the eponymous Alien.  I therefore share the sentiments of the 12th Doctor‒who is also an alien‒when he said, “There’s a horror movie called Alien?  That’s really offensive, no wonder everyone keeps invading you.”


I’m being tongue in cheek, of course, and the Doctor was being deliberately curmudgeonly within the story, and of course, delivering a line written specifically for comic appeal when one looks at things from beyond the 4th wall.  But it is a shame when people censor not just themselves but works of art from the past for fear that someone might be “offended”, when most people‒even those who could possibly find personal offense‒know enough not to take such things too seriously, and to avoid them if they’re bothered.

Only a small fraction of tantruming kids** make a lot of noise over such perceived slights.  But they do make a lot of noise, and it’s easy for people who just want to go about their business to mistake that noise for a real signal, to use terminology from information theory and communications technology.

But of course, if you keep mistaking noise for signal, and jumping and fleeing at top speed in response to every rustle of wind as if it is a deadly predator, you’re going to exhaust yourself, and then you won’t have the wherewithal to detect an actual signal of danger when it comes…and soon the lion will have it’s jaws around your throat.

That’s a situation the lions would be quite happy to engender, since they can’t expect you to treat every signal as noise just from the get-go.  (Please note, much of this is metaphor.  I doubt there are many actual lions who spend much time contemplating information theory and signal to noise ratios as part of their strategy to bring down prey.  Many lions have never even heard of Claude Shannon, and only too many of them aren’t well-versed in the technical aspects of wireless communication.  Some lions don’t even have access to the internet, if you can believe it!)

Anyway, that’s enough for a Saturday morning.  I don’t think I’ve successfully discussed any particular subject, nor achieved anything edifying or beneficial or probably even entertaining, despite having written over a thousand words.

Now that’s what I call a result.

to sleep

*Though if you sweeten it, I recommend using a “non-caloric sweetener” rather than sugar or syrup or honey or any other similar, so-called natural sweetener.  Remember, rattlesnake venom is natural, too.  That doesn’t mean it’s good for you.  Anyway, table sugar isn’t any more “natural” than refined petroleum products are natural.

**To again quote the 12th Doctor.  He had some brilliant lines, which of course were particularly good because they were delivered by Peter Capaldi.

For a minute there, I found myself

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

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

It makes it hard to think about any future whatsoever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That fact would be worth almost anything.

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

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

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

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

As blog is full of unbefitting strains, all wanton as a child, skipping and vain

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday, the 5th of January, and this is my first official, “original recipe” Thursday morning blog of the new year.  Isn’t it exciting?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.  But people are supposed to pretend to be enthusiastic and celebratory about every little thing it seems, until there are so many celebrations and holidays that it becomes a relief when a rare day arrives in which nothing in particular is being celebrated.  There are so many sweets and treats and rewards and awards, day after day, that soon people feel entitled to receive a medal for not drooling and peeing on themselves, and a piece of cake for dinner because they skipped a cookie at lunch.

Eventually, many seem to think that, because they got their various “best attitude” or “cleanest desk” awards throughout their formative years, they’re just as worthy of admiration as someone who received a Nobel Prize in Physics or a Fields Medal or a Hugo and/or Nebula Award for science fiction.  It’s nauseating.  No wonder we consume so many acid blocking medications these days!

As you can probably tell, I’m a bit grumpy today.  This is in large part because I’m very tired again.  My insomnia has been reasserting itself over the last few days, with last night being worse than the night before.  Though exhausted and stressed from matters at work‒another contributing factor to my grumpiness‒I couldn’t get to sleep once I finally got back to the house, and then, despite that, I woke up starting at 3ish this morning, slightly earlier than yesterday.  It’s a weird situation when one finds oneself wistful and nostalgic for the times when one was (more) severely ill, because at least in those situations, one could rest.

In other matters, at the time of my latest look this morning, there have been two total votes on my poll from yesterday.  I would say that’s not a statistically significant sample of any kind, especially since the two didn’t choose the same option.  Perhaps the statistically significant result, which should have been obvious to me from the start, is that nobody gives a flying fuck at a rat’s ass what I do.

Well, why should they?

Apparently, the Tri-rail has given up on even the pretense of trying to run their trains in time in the year 2023.  So far, every train I’ve been on, and the other ones I’ve seen going the other direction, have been five to ten minutes behind schedule.  There are those who believe in some notion of “American Exceptionalism”, but sometimes it seems that we’re most exceptional‒at least among wealthy, “western style” democracies‒at being slipshod and disorganized.

Oh, I know, I know, NASA is pretty darn impressive, and always has been.  But NASA by its nature draws applicants from among the brightest, hardest working people in the country (and the world) and can be selective‒for now, at least‒about whom it hires even from among that group.  Of course it would tend to do exceptional things, even if that were the only factor that made it exceptional.

But to be exceptional is a judgment only properly to be applied after the fact, rather like “luck”.  There is no inherent “exceptionalness” which would mean someone or something is exceptional before it’s done anything at all.  Of course, one could say that everyone is exceptional in some way; certainly each person’s specific genes and environment are unique, and indeed each new moment in the universe in any given place is different in some sense from every other that has come before.  But this sort of “universal, uniform exceptionality” is trivial at best.  Or, as Dash so wisely noted in The Incredibles, to say that everyone is special is just another way of saying that no one is.

“Ignorance is strength.  Freedom is slavery.  Speech is violence.” One of those three statements is not from the original book, 1984, but spiritually it belongs right there among the aphorisms and axioms of Big Brother’s Party.  Of course, nowadays, if you mention Big Brother, most people will probably just be triggered* to think of some idiotic “reality show”.

I don’t know how I got on that track, but that’s one of the things about a free-form blog post: you never know what you’re going to get**.  I honestly didn’t much feel like writing at all, today, but “mood is a thing for cattle and loveplay, not fighting”, and also not for most anything else to which one has committed oneself.  An Impala that doesn’t keep a watch for lions and leopards and hyenas and the like because it’s not in the mood is soon going to be removed from the population and gene pool.  That’s more or less how it has to be, given the laws on nature.


day off

*Shouldn’t we be eliminating the use of the word “triggered”, given that it could be, well…triggering in and of itself, since it can invoke thoughts of firing pistols and rifles, which thoughts can cause recurrent trauma in those who are personally devastated by news stories of mass shootings, even if they’ve never experienced a single instance of true violence in their own lives?  It seems rather insensitive.  We really ought to put edge guards and drawer locks and padding on (and apply sanitary wipes frequently to) all surfaces, literal and metaphorical, should we not?  We need to child-proof the world, since it is, after all, populated merely and entirely by children.  Of course, it bears remembering that all the Powers That Be are children, too, so they certainly can’t be trusted with doing the child-proofing.

**This is in contrast to the Gump-ian box of chocolates, since with a box of chocolates, unless it is a prank or joke or a trap, what you’re going to get is a selection of chocolates.  Of course, what you’re going to get in a blog post is some sort of writing on some subject or topic of the writer’s choice, so perhaps it’s unfair of me to criticize the line from Forrest Gump, but rest assured that when I do so criticize, I do it for a very good reason: I am a Hypocrite.

A story I forgot to mention yesterday…and a poll!

Whew, I’m a bit more tired than I was yesterday morning.  It was a long and somewhat frustrating day at the office yesterday, and then I had trouble getting to sleep and subsequently a bit of that really early awakening with which I sometimes have trouble.  Whatever else you may say about being sick, I have been getting slightly better sleep since my recent illness started, and that is nice.  Hopefully last night was a minor fluke*, and I’ll revert back to my slightly improved sleep pattern at least.  I have reason to suspect it may be so, but it’s not guaranteed.

Oh, by the way, yesterday when I mentioned the possibility of starting writing again, and using solely the cell phone to do so, I neglected to mention the option of starting a new story that would be written entirely on the phone.  If I did start such a novel, it would almost certainly be Changeling in a Shadow World, a story I’ve mentioned here before.  It’s an old story idea; I even wrote the beginning of a prologue to it once, back in the day.  It has ties to other stories of mine, including Outlaw’s Mind itself and The Chasm and the Collision.  It even has bits that hearken back to my lost, first sci-fi/fantasy novel, Ends of the Maelstrom.  So I have some affection for it.

So, please throw that into your voting machines.  Come to think of it, maybe I’ll try to insert a readers’ poll here, if I can easily figure out how to do it.  I know it can be done, because I’ve seen other people do it, but I don’t feel like trying too hard about it.  I’d rather just get some feedback in the comments below.  There’s more flexibility that way, and it feels more like an interaction.  I know that, in some situations, a poll is simply efficient, but I think I still have a contained (shall we say “elite”? Yes, I think we shall) enough readership that we don’t have to resort to crude measures.  That doesn’t mean you can’t curse in your comments, by the way, as long as it’s cursing that serves a grammatical and/or rhetorical purpose!

One thing I will say, though, is that if I do this, and start writing fiction again, I want to stick to whichever story I pick until it’s done.  One of the things that kept me from ever having finished and published anything prior to going to prison was that I would have a new idea for a story, or something similar, and let myself divert from one to the other, and so I had a relatively wide selection of beginnings of books, but only two that I’d finished in even first draft form**.  I also had a handful of completed short stories, and the cheapo, low-quality screenplay I wrote in high school, with the notion of trying actually to make it, starring my friends and classmates.

I even filmed, or attempted to film, one scene, using a home VHS video camera one of them had, but it and the sound were really quite limited, and I had no personal experience with movie-making, and it was high school so we had a lot going on.  Anyway, it didn’t get made, which is not a tragedy.  My friend Joe said that the title*** was too good for the story, anyway, and he was right.

I did write some decent musical themes for it, though, including a bad guy’s theme that drew inspiration from the carousel in Something Wicked This Way Comes, and a main title theme that I can still play pretty much by heart on the piano, and which is probably the prettiest music I’ve written.  That may not be saying much, but it is what it is.

Okay, well, sorry about those various tangents.  I’ll do my best to stick with sines and cosines**** hereinafter.

Anyway, I really would appreciate your input about how I should go about doing a story and the blog posts‒using the phone should make it easier to work writing in, anyway‒and which story to write if I write anything.  Or are things in the world better in general without my writing any more new fiction?  It’s certainly possible that such is the case.  Although, if someone convincingly told me that my continued writing of new fiction would literally and significantly put the whole human race in jeopardy, that might very well give me an added impetus to write.  I am a would-be supervillain at heart, after all.

Well, let me know, please.  Also, have a good day, if you can, and if you are so inclined.

Oh, and I did put a poll in at the bottom, below the footnotes, so if you’re so inclined, would you weigh in with your choice?

*Which sounds like some part of the anatomy of a whale or a seal or some other, similar marine mammal.

**That’s Ends of the Maelstrom that I mentioned earlier, and The Vagabond, which at the time I called simply Vagabond.

***Night Vision.

****This is an example of that truly rarefied entity, trigonometry related humor.  Pythagoras would probably not approve, but he was a putz who repressed knowledge of irrational numbers and the dodecahedron (or his followers did) and who (as I’ve heard it) died when he refused to run away from would be murderers across a field of beans, because he hated beans.  Now that’s what I call a food intolerance!

I’m under the (warming and improving) weather

I’m really going to try to make this short, if not sweet, today, because I’m laden with a respiratory virus that hit rather suddenly and progressed very quickly yesterday afternoon.  I’m feeling quite under the weather, however much better the weather is than it was only a few days ago.  How under the weather, you ask?  Well, I woke up to my alarm this morning rather than hours before.  I guess my body is awash with enough immune cytokines and interferons and interleukins and related crap that they were able to suppress my insomnia.  I guess that’s a good thing, in its own way.  At least my system is smart enough to force itself to go into rest mode in certain, relatively extreme circumstances.

Of course, I’m going in to the office today, though ideally, I should not.  Indeed, I would not if it were not Wednesday.  But on Wednesdays, the payroll has to be done, so I’ll do it as soon as all the reports arrive.  But after that, I mean to leave the office.  It’s just too ironic that I’m sick enough that I’m able to sleep, but I can’t because of work.  I’m sure there are millions of people who can relate to that.

I’m writing this on my phone, by the way, because I deliberately chose not to bring the laptop with me yesterday when I left the office.  I felt like crap, and I just didn’t want to have anything extra to carry.  I will try to remember to bring it today, though.  The Thursday blog post is easier to write‒and feels more natural‒on the laptop.

I’ve been feeling an added impetus to do a “podcast” if you will, what I call an “audio blog” post, relating to sugar metabolism and its issues, since I uncovered how apparently insulin resistant I have become.  It seems appropriate.  Of course, right now I am just too hoarse and ill to consider doing such a thing.  But I will try to get around to it soon.  Obviously, it’s been something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot, both lately, and in the past.  Diabetes and related matters comprise a big chunk of the work of a typical general internist in the modern world.

Then I guess I’ll try perhaps to do an audio blog on Parkinson’s disease and/or on the whole cybernetic future thing.  I’m not, for the moment, planning on doing any specific outline of the subjects before doing the recordings, but obviously, I’ll think them through a bit ahead of time.  I’ll see how they do, audience reception-wise, before deciding whether or not to do more.  But I’m not likely to record anything before the new year.

Wow, “the new year”…just think about it:  within a few days it will be the beginning of 2023.  It seems like barely 12 months ago that it was the end of 2021.  How did 2 years pass in just over 12 months?

Ha ha.

Of course, now that Christmas has passed, the Tri-rail has, as I suspected they would, put on the automated message that, yes, they will be operating on a Sunday schedule on January 1st, New Year’s Day.  Which is a Sunday, so of course they are on a Sunday schedule.  The saddest part of that announcement is that there probably really are a few people out there who need to be told that information.  But I can’t help thinking that a person who requires that announcement to know that the trains will run on a Sunday schedule on a Sunday will probably still not get the idea.

I wonder how long it will be before they start auto playing the announcement about the next holiday that applies.  I’ll probably let you know when it happens.

Anyway, I think that’s about it for now.  It’s been difficult enough getting the post to be this long.  Stay well and healthy.  And wear masks if you have to go out in public when you’re sick.  That’s what I’m doing.  Or, well, I’m wearing a mask; more than one at a time is rather stifling, and probably doesn’t confer significantly greater benefits, though it may perhaps give some improvement.

The winter’s wind which, when it bites and blogs upon my body, even till I shrink with cold, I smile.

Hello and good morning.  It’s Thursday, December 22, 2022, which is another sort of fun day for twos, though it doesn’t fall on a Tuesday, so it’s not as fun as this Tuesday was.

Yesterday was the Solstice‒the winter one in the northern hemisphere and the summer one in the southern hemisphere‒and I completely neglected to mention it.  Instead, I went on an overlong, self-aggrandizing, self-indulgent ramble, and for that I apologize.  I doubt that I’ll be doing something like that again.

Now that the solstice has come, it’s officially winter in the north, so the Game of Thrones people can shut the hell up about it.  And in the south, summer has arrived.  Meanwhile, in the north, the days have begun to grow longer, or at least the daylight time has, relative to the night.  It won’t be noticeable for quite a long time, though; at and around the peaks and troughs of sine curves, the rate of change of the function is at its lowest, and the length of daylight over the course of a year is one of the oodles of sinusoidal processes in the natural world.

I’m really tired, but I am here at the train station, the first to arrive to get on the first train.  I couldn’t sleep, even though I got to sleep late because the Wi-fi had gone out and I was on chat with Xfinity (on my phone) until quite late trying to get it fixed.  My one source of relaxation and release is to be able to watch some YouTube videos when I get back to the house from work, and it certainly costs an absurd amount of money, so I become quite irritable when it doesn’t work.  It seems tentatively to have been sorted, but I have a likewise tentative appointment for a service call…on Sunday morning, the 25th of December, the only day I have off until New Year’s Eve.  It’s a date that may be familiar to many of you as the one on which we celebrate the birth of Isaac Newton*.

Well, it’s not as if I’m doing anything but laundry that day, anyway.

Wow, I feel like I’ve written a lot today already, but it’s only about 450 words so far, counting the footnotes.  I really am tired.  Stupid nervous system.  Why don’t you sleep??!?  Yesterday, of course, I wrote and wrote until it was way too long, and I excised whole paragraphs from the final post when I edited it.  I was almost hypomanic, just for a little while there‒or at least, that’s what it felt like compared to my usual subjectivity.  Maybe it’s just the way healthy, normal people tend to feel, and it’s so unusual that it feels bizarre to me.

I don’t really think I felt “normal” in that sense, though, or at least I didn’t feel it about myself.  I felt weird and loopy and still different and distant from all the other people in the world‒the humans‒but at least I had energy and a bit of enthusiasm.  The only times I remember having really felt “normal” were the two occasions when I was given Valium for medical procedures‒wisdom teeth extraction and heart catheterization, when I was about 17 and 18 respectively.

I recall both of those experiences with great fondness.  I even remember when my heart did a big whopping double-beat that I could feel all the way up my neck during the catheterization, as the cardiologist bumped the SA node or the AV node or something along those lines.  My reaction was to say, “That was cooool.”  And it was.

I don’t know what my point is.  There probably is no point to me.  Even my head is quite rounded.  I guess I could try to find a pointed stick to carry, since defending oneself with fresh fruit is more difficult than defending oneself against an attacker armed with fresh fruit.

There, that’s my most niche, nerdy reference of the day.  Or is it?

With that, I think I’ll draw to a close.  I don’t have a clue what sort of Shakespeare quote I’ll alter for my title today, nor what picture I’ll put in the post, but it’s Thursday, so there will be such things.  Of course, you who are reading this do know both of those facts, which is curious to think about…my readers right now know things about my blog post that I, as I write it, do not know.  Time travel‒you can’t keep it straight in your head; it’s too wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

I think I need a Doctor.


winter scene

*Though, in all honesty, he was born on December 25th according to the Julian calendar, so the equivalent Gregorian date is 10 or 11 days off (I don’t recall which, and I can’t be arsed to look it up).  Then again, most biblical scholars apparently agree that Jesus was born in the summertime, based on the descriptions of his birth in two of the gospels**, so Newton’s birthday is much closer to the Gregorian December 25th.

**The other two gospels, Mark and John, I think***, don’t even mention his birth.

***I remembered correctly‒I just checked.  It’s weird the things one remembers about matters such as this.

Bad memories, Good memories

It’s Wednesday morning, and not even really close to five o’clock yet.  I’m early enough to be the only person yet waiting for the trains.  I woke up this morning quite early‒obviously‒and though I briefly watched part of a lecture on exploring prime numbers and the Fibonacci sequence, I couldn’t really rest, and I’ve felt angry since pretty much when I woke up.  I’m not angry at being awake, though that is irritating.  I’m not even particularly angry at me, though I’m almost always at least a little pissed at myself.  I was angry and thinking about a stupid exchange from my first medical practice after residency, with one of the partners in the practice.

The substance of it isn’t important, it’s just odd that it came into my mind.  I mean, yes, it pissed me off at the time and I think I was not irrational to be pissed off (though I held my tongue), but it was more than twenty years ago.  Why is that making me angry first thing in the morning?  It is fun to imagine things I might have said then, had I been the person I am now.  I take far less shit than I used to take, largely because I have very little left to lose, and much of what I have‒indeed, sometimes all of it‒I frankly want to lose.  At least, I don’t feel that what I have is much worth fighting to keep.

It is quite amazing to think that it’s been more than twenty years since I finished residency and moved to Florida and started in private medical practice.  It’s been about thirty-one and a half years since I got married…and slightly more than half that long since my wife divorced me.  And it’s been about ten years since I’ve seen either of my kids in person or since my son has spoken to me in any way but via a semi-formal E-mail.  A lot has happened in the last 20 years, I guess; I’ve barely hit the highlights here.  But it still has passed rather quickly on the subjective level.

I’m saddled with a good memory, so I recall a lot of the things that have happened in my life, even going back to quite a young age.  I remember the very bad leg aches I used to get as a child, which make my current chronic pain almost feel nostalgic.  I remember really hating the noise of the cannons (and presumably, though to a lesser extent, the muskets) at the musket festival at Greenfield Village, but my memories of that place are otherwise extremely positive.  There were great molasses cookies from the old-fashioned bakery and candy sticks from the general store, and beeswax candles that my sister loved, and of course all the old rebuilt buildings and roads and horse-drawn carriages…it really was (and presumably still is) an excellent place.

gfield village

An evening at Greenfield Village


That’s better stuff on which to dwell than on the sometimes irritating personality of a former senior doctor.  I’ll say this, though:  he took good care of his patients, and he also made them feel well cared for, at an above-average level.  Respect is due.  Those things are not as common as they ought to be.  He was (and presumably still is) a good doctor.

I had a positive moment yesterday, which came at the end of a long, fairly frustrating process.  The details aren’t important, but basically I was trying to do something that in the past has always ended up requiring a few hours on the phone with tech support and with them remotely controlling our computers to do what needed doing.  I was trying to do it on my own without contacting them, and I followed the basic steps‒the good thing about computers and related systems is that they have internal logic that is consistent and explicable.  Still, I hit an impasse, and knew I was missing something that the tech support people had always needed to pull off in the past, sometimes with difficulty, but I hadn’t been able to see it, and it wasn’t part of the standard steps of the whole process.

I tried watching some videos but they were superficial, and I was steeling myself to get in touch with “the IT crowd”, when something clicked, and I thought I realized what to do.  It took about twenty minutes of watching to see if I had succeeded, but turned out that I had.

Such moments are remarkably euphorigenic.  I mean, I know I’m reasonably “smart” about some things.  Certain types of endeavors have always been easier for me than they are for most people, though there are other things that other people do readily that I find all but incomprehensible.

But every now and then one does something that was difficult, and it brings a joy along the lines of having solved a difficult puzzle, but with the added benefit of being useful, and of being something many other people wouldn’t have seen, or not as readily, anyway.  It’s particularly zingy when it happens in a field in which one is not actually an expert, but it can even happen in cases where someone is.

For instance, there was a case in residency in which a code was called for a man in respiratory distress, who was having “Cheyne-Stokes” respirations.  Without intervention he probably would have died, but such situations are run-of-the-mill in a hospital, and he was being intubated before immediate danger of death threatened.  He wasn’t my patient, but it occurred to me that he was a relatively young man to be in that situation, and from group rounds I thought I remembered that he had a drug problem.  So I asked if anyone had tried Narcan*, and they hadn’t.

They got the Narcan out of the crash cart, gave him a shot of it in his IV, and Wow!  He practically exploded to life.  I’m sure it was unpleasant for him, especially since he was already intubated, and abrupt opiate withdrawal is not pleasant for anyone.  But he was alive, and now it was clear that some “friend” had brought this patient‒who had been put in a corner, single room somehow‒a dose of heroin or something similar, and he had overdosed while in the hospital.

I had a slightly different type of feel-good moment as the Senior Medical Resident on a nighttime consultation in the Rehab wing of Jacobi Hospital for a patient who was having palpitations and a very fast heart beat.  A quick EKG revealed a benign kind of supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).  I tried a quick vagal maneuver that didn’t work, and then gave a push of adenosine to the patient and the rhythm broke.  The patient was very happy**, as was the rehab resident, who began almost deferentially calling me “Dr. Elessar” after that, though she was just as much a doctor as I was, and certainly just as expert in her own field.


SVT – Supraventricular tachycardia

And once, during an ICU/CCU rotation***, I helped nudge an obviously dead-on-his-feet Cardiology fellow (they have a very rough schedule) by asking if maybe we shouldn’t quickly cardiovert a patient who was intubated but conscious and was now going into ventricular tachycardia****.  He sort of blinked as if he didn’t even know what language I was speaking, then shook his head and said, right, yeah, that’s what we should do.  We did, and it worked.


V-tach – Ventricular tachycardia

I can tell you, there’s nothing quite like the facial expression of someone who’s being externally cardioverted at bedside‒this is basically the same as the defibrillation scenes you see in TV and movies, and it uses the same equipment‒while conscious.  It’s not a pleasant thing for a patient to experience.  However, she converted immediately to sinus rhythm, and afterward grabbed my hand and squeezed it before I stepped back, showing her appreciation, so I guess it was worth the moment of extreme discomfort for her.

It’s one thing to know intellectually that one is reasonably intelligent, but these little events that demonstrate competence and success, however inconsequential (or sometimes quite consequential), really do give a person a boost.  The opportunities don’t come as often now as they used to come, so I have to relish them when they do.  I was rather giddy for a few hours at work after my minor success yesterday, and jokingly said to my coworker, paraphrasing Apollo 13, “I…am a steely-eyed missile man.”

It’s silly and unimportant, of course, but I rarely feel good about myself, so I’ll cut myself a bit of slack.  it didn’t help me sleep any better last night, though.  And then I woke up in an angry mood, but I guess it was ego-syntonic anger, in that I wasn’t angry at myself but at the memory of a twenty-year-old, unimportant interaction.  Beggars can’t be choosers, as they say.

*For those of you unfamiliar with it, this is a drug that blocks the action of opiates and related compounds, and it does so quickly and strongly.  It’s not fun for the patient, but it can be life-saving and more.

**I don’t recall if we transferred the patient directly to a medical floor or merely continued to consult and ask Cardiology to take a look‒in a public hospital, we didn’t necessarily get to follow up on particular patients long-term.

***I think this was the rotation in which once while on call I literally did not sit down for thirty hours straight, and in which, due to the call schedule, I worked 21-days in a row, had a day off, and then worked another 10 in a row.  It was a busy month, but a hell of a learning experience in many ways.

****Much more acutely dangerous than SVT, especially in a critically ill patient.  It can easily progress to ventricular fibrillation and even of itself can cause cardiac arrest.

Great Hypnos, child of Nyx and Erebus and twin brother of Thanatos, why keeps’t thou thyself thus so strange from me?

Well, I have my laptop with me today, and I’m at the train station even earlier than I was yesterday.  This is related to the fact that I woke up even earlier today than yesterday, though I didn’t go to bed or to sleep any earlier.

It is 12-20-2022 on a Tuesday, which is kind of fun—because there are a lot of 2s in today’s date.  I don’t mind the zeroes, but I wish we didn’t have that numeral one in today’s date.  I do remember that the Tuesday on which fell, using the European date writing system, the twenty-second of February of this year was 22-02-2022, which is about as palindromic as such dates can get*, and the ultimate twos-day.  Matt Parker did a video a few years ago about February 2, 2020 for Stand-up Maths, claiming it was the most palindromic, because it worked in European or American dating order.  He had a point; I’ll put a link here if I remember.  But that date did not fall on a Tuesday.

I had to check online to confirm the days on which the dates above fell.  I could probably have worked it out for myself with a bit of figuring.  If I had plenty of energy, it’s the sort of thing I might do—but not right now.  Right now I have almost no energy.  I’m frankly exhausted at nearly every level, though perhaps not according to the literal definition of the word, since it implies something that is fully empty (is that an oxymoron?) in the literal sense.

I feel like I am very close to that point, though.  I’m so tired of doing what I do every day, just to maintain the various functions of life that continue to require maintenance, from eating, to brushing teeth, to working, to buying food, to getting to and from work, to doing laundry, to all those other things that are just repetitive maintenance for a life that I don’t even want to keep doing.

There’s a famous fact of physics that, if there were an airless hole straight through the middle of the Earth**, and if one jumped into the hole, it would take—if memory serves—forty-two minutes to get to the other side of the planet.  I believe Newton figured this out, himself.  Of course, this is highly counterfactual, since there would be air resistance and worse in such a hole, and a large portion of the Earth isn’t even really solid, so you couldn’t maintain a hole, and the Earth’s interior is far too hot to survive passing through even at high speeds.  But still, it seems like it would be nice just to jump into such a hole and fall, going back and forth through the planet without stopping, forever, or at least for the rest of one’s life.

Actually, come to think of it, that’s an experience that’s the same as any form of free-fall.  Anytime one is moving unimpeded along a geodesic in spacetime, one is in the same circumstance.  That was Einstein’s great insight that I believe he described as the happiest thought of his life:  when he realized that a man falling from a high roof would effectively experience no forces whatsoever while falling, and it led him to the principle of equivalence—that acceleration and gravitation are locally indistinguishable—which then led him down the path to General Relativity.  So, just being an astronaut on the ISS would be the same experience, internally, as falling through such a hole in the Earth, though I doubt they’d send me up there just so I could get a break.

Maybe someday there will be free-fall vacations, where a person can book a flight to be put in orbit for a bit, with no engineered gravity, and just allowed to go to sleep.  Maybe one could even climb into a sensory deprivation tank during that time, and the lack of gravitational acceleration would truly allow them not even to experience proprioception related to gravity.  It seems like it would beat just floating in a bath of Epsom salts.

Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like to get away from it all, and I do mean from it all.  I can’t relax my mind, I can’t relax my body, but both of them are just achy and tired all the time.  And everything I do is utterly without a point.  I mean, from a certain point of view, everything anyone ever does is without a point, but people can at least have their own, internal purpose, the things that give their lives and deeds meaning to them.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s even rather admirable and heroic and beautiful in its way.

But I don’t have any purpose.  I don’t even have a dugong***.  I’m not going anywhere, I’m not achieving anything, and I don’t get any satisfaction out of anything that I do.  I really am like someone who has kept a Great Ring.

I need just to give up.  I don’t know what I’m achieving by any of this, but I’m pretty sure it’s nothing.  Not that I’m achieving “nothingness”, mind you.  That would, in a sense, be an achievement (ironically).  I’m just achieving nothing, by which I mean not achieving anything.  I guess that’s probably obvious.  Sorry.

I wonder if Michael Jackson’s old doctor makes house calls, if he even is allowed to practice medicine after finishing his remarkably short (shorter than mine) prison term..

I’ll bet he’s not commuting on a train to and from work, living in a single bedroom in the back of an old, cinderblock house, not doing anything for fun, not spending time with his kids or any friends or anything.  And, above all, if he has trouble sleeping, we know he has some tricks to take care of that problem.

Oh, well.


*Speaking of palindromes, yesterday we missed the last possible palindromic recording number for the year in doing our verification recordings at work, which was what I had set as a deciding factor regarding my future plans.  So, the universe has sent me no positive message.  Not that I was expecting it to do so.  The universe could hardly care whether I live or die.

**Actually, straight through any two places on the surface of the Earth would give the same basic result, but I’m going to keep things simple.

***Get it?