Dunwich Complainer – Avalanche 2022 (In Rumble-Rama)

Yesterday as I lolled around in my lazy recuperative stupor, I was suddenly aware of a booming sound and the sensation of shaking.  At first, I assumed I was still goofy from the COVID and had imagined it but then I saw that the dogs had picked up on something too.  I thought, “Maybe a truck came down the driveway and banged into the house.  So, I got up and went to look outside.

And what I saw was a boulder sitting on the lower driveway.  I could see where it broke off from the wall.  What I had heard was it falling, bouncing and rolling to a stop.

I was still kind of lethargic yesterday so I left it as, “to be continued.”  Today I felt more myself.  So, I investigated.  It’s roughly 4’X2’X1.5’ and I estimate it weighs about 1,500 lbs.

Looking at the exposed surfaces it looks like over time the rock has been fracturing and finally the weight was too much for the remaining stone to support.  It’s these lousy New England winters.  Freezing and thawing incessantly wreaks havoc with structural integrity.  It’s why I’m the broken-down husk of a man that I am.

So, this boulder is a metaphor for how the world wears down even the best of us and then sends us crashing to earth abandoned and out of sorts like a modern day Humpty Dumpty.  Very sad.  Very abstract, so deep.

But now I have to move the darn thing and then figure out how to prevent the dirt that was being held in place by it from eroding away.  Camera Girl will see me like a modern-day Sisyphus toiling to roll this huge stone up the hill.  What’s next?  The extinction level asteroid strike?  Yeah, why not?

The Decline and Fall of photog

So just when I assumed I was on the brink of health, tragedy struck.  Of course, in my case it’s really tragicomedy.  Last night I was preparing for bed and I had earlier taken one of those horse pills they call a 12-hour Mucinex.  Now I remembered that this medicine dehydrates the user but I never worry about such things.  I was brushing my teeth and I felt kind of wonky.  The next thing I know I’m lying on the floor near the sink with Camera Girl shouting at me things like, “Should I call an ambulance?” And, “Are you alright?”

Now it was the funniest thing.  I could hear her perfectly well and kept saying, “Calm down.”  But it was as if she couldn’t hear me.  I think she was in a panic.  But it was enheartening to see what a decisive manner she reacted to my impending death.  In retrospect I’m very proud of her.  But in the moment, I finally broke through her fear to convince her that I had just blacked out due to my policy of “sweating it out,” probably some combination of low blood pressure and dehydration.

As I attempted to get up, I discovered I was still clutching my toothbrush.  I flung it toward the countertop but was informed later that I failed in my aim.  Once I convinced Camera Girl that I hadn’t suffered a stroke I gathered my shattered dignity and impaired equilibrium and hoisted myself up onto my feet.

Word of my collapse has spread far and wide in the family.  Relatives were calling up and questioning me on when the burial service would be performed.  Eventually it seemed easiest just to say Tuesday.

This latest manifestation of my mortality has made me think.  I might consider extending my locked bathroom door policy to include tooth brushing.  But realistically Camera Girl is a resourceful woman she’d probably get a screwdriver and pop the hinges off the door.

So, I’ve discontinued the Mucinex and today I’m feeling decidedly chirpier.  Although my balance still seems a little iffy.  I’m attributing this to my ears being clogged.

But this morning I noticed a tender red welt on my jaw line.  I accused Camera Girl of getting me with a sucker punch.  This angered her.  She brought up that she would have had to hit me on the jaw standing behind me.  I defended the possibility gamely.  I said that an upper cut snuck in under the arm I was holding my toothbrush with was highly likely to cause just such an injury.  To her credit she just walked away.  Probably speechless in the face of such blinding intellect.

The less likely possibility is that I hit the sink countertop with my jaw as I was collapsing.  The funny thing is that I never noticed it until by chance I put my hand up to my face today.

Well anyway, I’ve recalibrated my recovery schedule.  I’m hoping by tomorrow morning I’ll be at 65% capacity.  Which is still pretty good.  And I’ll take the rest of today to convalesce and recuperate.  And based on my perusal of the news today I’m not missing anything.  Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for Nurse Camera Girl to spoon feed me my mush.

Welcome to the Hotel California

 

So I’ve returned from the dead.  And it was a transcendental experience.  Like one of those California, peyote fueled spirit journeys that most of the Eagles indulged in back in the 1970s I faced my demons and have come back with enlightenment.  Or at least, I’m five pounds lighter from profuse sweating.

Yes, I have new insights.  For instance, I’ve discovered that every third news story involves Elon Musk, Twitter and Hunter Biden.  And what I realize is that none of this stuff will move the needle at all.  Now sure, Elon Musk can do a lot of good if he turns Twitter into a meaningful business.  And the first thing he should do is come up with a better name.  Twitter just sounds hopelessly lame.  Musk is a tech guy who makes rocket ships.  He should rename it “Atom Smasher” or “This Island Earth” or something cool like that.  But whatever.  The main thing is he needs to make this expensive toy a money maker and a business opportunity that does something useful.  Telling me about past management shilling for the Democrats is fine but it’s old news.

And all the rest of the news is the Republicans reporting on how hated Joe Biden is and the Democrats reporting on how beloved Joe Biden is.  Not exactly must see tv.  There was a little bit of news coming out of Florida.  DeSantis continues to telegraph his legislative and administrative actions.  And that makes him sound more and more like a 2024 candidate.  And that is problematic.

Hopefully DeSantis is smart enough to recognize that the GOP establishment is setting him up to be the Trump-killer.  And hopefully he realizes that attempting to fulfill that role will make him radioactive to at least twenty percent of the Republican electorate.  That is not a good look for him.  A better idea would be to have a sit down with Trump and thrash out a path forward for both of them.  That’s what grownups would do.  And DeSantis would have to swallow a lot of pride because Trump has already attacked him pretty hard in the last month or so.  Let’s face it Trump is one of the prickliest personalities in the world.  He needs a press secretary whose job should be to prevent him from saying anything about people who could do him some good.

But there’s no way around it.  Unless Trump is imprisoned by the Justice Department, he will be the 2024 Republican candidate for president.  And DeSantis is a very young man.  He’s doing extraordinary work in Florida.  Some might say being the governor of Florida is more powerful that being a Republican president of the United States.  He can continue to make Florida the envy of the nation.  And honestly, being Trump’s running mate would be a much, much better idea.  Since it seems that the Democrats have managed to game the Electoral College permanently there’s not much upside to going to war with Trump to possibly get the nomination but certainly alienate the Trump voters and lose in the general election.

So yes, I’m back and I’m surrounded by boring and stupid stuff as far as the eye can see.  By tomorrow I should be energized back to 75%.  And I’ll be able to opine on some of this dreck.  Today, this is what I could do.  Enjoy your weekend.

Surviving and Thriving as a Permanent Political Minority in America – Part 1

As I’ve made clear since the 2022 mid-terms, I no longer expect the Republicans to be able to win the presidency or majorities in congress for the foreseeable future, if ever.  But that’s not the same as just surrendering to the progressive agenda.  I still think there’s a chance that red state governments may take effective measures to protect their citizens from the evils that the federal government is rolling out even as we speak.

So, what this leaves me to do is contemplate what measures I should take as an individual to insulate myself and my family from the worst of the damage.  And this is the correct strategy.  It’s time to stop imagining we’re going to re-take the federal government.  The Democrats gamed the system so thoroughly and for so long that it’s next to impossible for the Stupid Party to win.  And, honestly, I’m pretty sure they don’t want to.  So, the correct mindset is to identify and perform the activities that you can in order to make the best life for you and yours.

And this is not a small thing.  The benefits you can produce and the problems you can prevent are enormous.  Basically, what you are doing is wrenching back under your control things that the progressives have stolen away from you via school-based propaganda and unconstitutional government actions.  You have to intervene either personally or through private groups or both to produce the outcomes you desire.  And you want to put yourself in places where there are more people that agree with you, people who can be allies and possibly friends.

So, let’s look at some of the examples of things that could be done.

  • School

Here’s one of the biggest impacts you can have on your life.  If you send your children to the public schools and don’t involve yourself in what they are being taught then you deserve to be called a member of the Stupid Party.  The first step is to find out what they’re being taught.  Request to see the lesson plans and syllabus for your children’s classes.  Pay attention to both important subjects like math and science and also the soft subjects like social studies and language.  Find out how extreme the problems are and decide whether it’s possible to allow the children to remain there.  Maybe by talking to your kids about the nature of the disinformation they are being fed you can inoculate them from the damage.  If there isn’t a way to change the worst of it then you must get your kids out.  Maybe this means sending them to a private or religious school.  Maybe it’s possible for them to be home schooled.  But whichever way you affect a change you are probably performing the most important service you can for your children.

  • Local Politics

Believe it or not, even in a deep blue state there are things that you can do to improve the local environment.  At the very least, when you are looking to move to a new home or get a new job look at the complexion of the community you are considering.  Without a doubt there are better and worse choices to choose from.  You can look at the voting record of your town.  You can read up on the referenda that the town has voted on over the last few years.  You can look for the telltale signs of a small town being invaded by the refugees from the local progressive stronghold.  Look at the local test scores of the schools and just look around for what kind of signs the town and the local businesses put up.  If you find yourself surrounded by BLM and rainbow banners then think hard and long about moving there.

Find out if there’s a local Republican Town Committee and go to a few meetings and listen to what they talk about.  Hear what priorities they have.  Ask a few pointed questions about any recent progressive initiatives like low-cost housing or DIE programs.  Figure out if you’ll be in the minority or the majority politically.  And consider getting involved on a town committee if you have the expertise or the interest.  Finance, zoning and budget committees are especially useful.  Get to know your neighbors and let them know you.  That’s how you find allies and maybe friends.  Hiding your head in the sand is how we got in this mess in the first place.

Alright I’ll stop at two for this first part.  But you get the point.  Grabbing hold of your life is the only way to limit the damage the progressives do to you and your family.  Applying this strategy across the whole length and breadth of your life is how you take control and deny the Evil Party from ruining your world.

21NOV2022 – OCF Update – We Go On

 

Good morning.  The sun is shining the cold has set in and everything is in motion for the Thanksgiving holiday.  And everyone has his part to play.  Even I, the laziest man in Christendom, have chores and errands and must play my part.  Wonderful.

We fulfill these parts even as the edifice of western civilization degrades and crumbles all around us.  And I say, okay!  No more whining, no more railing against the corruption and greed that fuels the destruction.

Play into the storm.  Look for the advantage.  Protect you and yours.  Intelligence and reason are real.  Even if the world pretends they don’t exist, they do. Teach your children that the hot stove burns and poison kills and a loaded gun isn’t pointed at a friend.

There are plenty of things to do.  Ferret out the things that have value and hold onto them.  Find the good people and show them your value.  Don’t waste your time on nonsense.

Do something to make things better every day.  It doesn’t matter if it’s insignificant.  Make each day count in some way.  Even if it’s something you have to do anyway.  In your mind find a positive aspect and accomplish it.

Don’t lose touch with your people.  Reach out to them even if they’re far away.  In our all-encompassing communication infrastructure, there’s never an excuse for losing touch with the people that mean something to you.  Take a moment and say something meaningful to one of them as often as you can.

There’s no need or room for despair.  What’s needed is work.  Find something meaningful to do and DO IT!

The Republicans are useless and evil.  the Democrats are in charge of everything and satanic.  How is that different from 99.9% of recorded history.  Maybe we had Camelot in this country for a couple of hundred years and now it’s over.  Suck it up.  Move on.

Keep your eyes open for something better that comes along.  Don’t give up on politics but don’t expect the good guys to come over the hill and restore us to the 1950s or even the 1980s.  That’s highly unlikely.  Settle for someone doing something that makes things a little less horrible.

Believe in yourself and believe in common sense and believe in the good that you can do for your family and friends.  There is good and evil and there is right and wrong.  Use the brains that God gave you to figure out the difference and make the hard decisions.

And keep your eyes open in case there comes a point where you need to jump out of the way of anything really, really bad.  That’s the one that worries me.  But worrying doesn’t accomplish anything so keep that in the back of your mind and do all of the rest of it today and tomorrow and the day after that.

And that day after that is Thanksgiving!  So, get on with it and there’ll be turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie waiting for you on Thursday.  That’s good enough to keep me going.

20NOV2022 – OCF Update – This’N’That – Of Mice and Math

Sunday, the day of rest.  A good day to regroup and sets things in order for the upcoming week.  Especially this week.  Had a blast with the old grandsons yesterday.  Fun outing, good food.  Got home and skipped dinner.  Skipped all food and drink and maybe that was a mistake.  I was still recovering from that virus that was in the house the last couple of weeks.  But I figured I could skip the cold meds.  Big mistake!  Woke up at 4:30 am with a splitting sinus headache.  So, I beat a hasty retreat to the cold medicine and then sat up for a half hour to let it knock down my sinus inflammation.

But today I’m definitely on the mend.  So, I spent time working on minutia.  I’ve been using the Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball Mouse as my pointing device for the last six or so years.  It’s a great device in most ways.  But unfortunately, the switches for the left and right click buttons give out after a couple of years.  So now I have three of these things that double click when they shouldn’t.  I finally looked into the problem and found a YouTube video that shows how to replace the microswitches and eliminate the problem.  Now I’ll have to buy a soldering iron and some other bits of gear and become a technician.  Well, that’s kind of fun.  Plus, I’ll fix the other two mice and become mouse anti-fragile for the foreseeable future.  Yeah me.

The other thing today was about was to delve into vector analysis.  I never had the time back in the day to play around with the more advanced theorems to get a solid handle on the tensor notation.  In the past I’ve been exposed (as if to a disease) to Del Notation, Dyadics, the Laplacian and equally complex concepts.  The Kronecker delta and how to expand the determinant was something I had to memorize in order to solve some problems in physics.  But if I’m being honest there was very little comprehension on my part at the time as to how these manipulations made sense.  Now I’ve got some time I think I’ll take another whack at it.  The question as to whether I still have sufficient brain cells to thread my way around it and whether those brain cells can retain it remains to be seen.  But it might be fun.

So, amid my other occupations I’ve added electronic technician and math student.  That should make Thanksgiving week an interesting time.  Maybe I’ll buy the microswitches and soldering iron on Black Friday and get some huge discount.  I’ll probably also have to buy some kind of giant magnifying glass on a flexible arm just to see the attachment points for the switches.  It’s a pity I can’t purchase new eyes too.  But once again, the future we were promised all those years ago before Blade Runner hasn’t quite materialized yet.  Well, no need to get all whiny about it.  Magnifying glass works too.

So here we go into Thanksgiving Week.  Turkey, gravy, stuffing, pumpkin pie, old movies and family.  What’s better than that?

19NOV2022 – OCF Update

 

Today I escape from The Compound and bond with the old grandsons.  We’ll watch pathetic superheroes skitter around the big screen and eat some popcorn and then hang out at my local steakhouse and talk about their latest adventures.

It’s a source of wonder and joy that they actually like me.  Reliable sources inform me that’s not a typical result.  So we’ll spend some time and absorb some calories and maybe fifty or sixty years from now when I’m just a headstone in a field one of them will have a stray thought about me and maybe smile.  That would be perfect.

So things will be a little slow starting out today.  Enjoy your Saturday.

Per Un Barbiere di Qualità!

Princess Sack-of-Potatoes’ birthday party was a great success.  My daughter’s in-laws were very congenial and we all good-naturedly performed all the kids’ party rituals.  We dutifully sang off key to ‘Happy Birthday” and applauded the blowing out of the four candles.  We watched as the cake was cut and the opening of the presents and even a spirited game of pin the tail on the donkey.  Only for some unknown reason it was tape the nose on the clown.  This particular clown looked like some kind of nightmarish psychopath which I found quite disturbing but the kids were unperturbed.

When we had all eaten enough burgers and potato salad and cake and ice cream and all the presents were opened the parents gathered up their kids and headed home.  Camera Girl agreed that the event was a great success and we began some of the clean-up.

But I was in the mood for something interesting.  Lately I have been watching YouTube videos of the operatic aria “Largo al factotum” from the Barber of Seville.  It’s the song that everyone remembers from various classic cartoons of the 1940s that has the famous stanza, “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ipb9xbXSAY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJIpVj_YkNo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKDXr_fimQ8

I watched about a dozen different versions, some going back to the 1920s.  And it occurred to me, “What an interesting character Figaro is!”  Here is the swaggering braggart.  He is a big fish in a little pond.  In his own mind he is a hero, a Hercules of a thousand great labors.  He is always in demand and always acclaimed by the crowd.

And of course, he is merely a legend in his own mind.  His actual trades are barber, dentist, wig maker and a sort of go-between for couples in love.  He passes love notes and such things.  So, he really is a nothing.

But he has a quick wit, the gift of gab, a way with women and enormous self-confidence.  And putting those things together creates a formidable character.  Some people may recognize someone like this.  I knew someone of exactly the type.  They always have a treasure trove of amazing personal stories.  And their personal lives tend to be an awful mess.  They combine recklessness, selfishness and even a bit of cruelty along with their natural abilities as a clown, a skirt chaser and a leader of the riff-raff.  In many ways they are fascinating personalities but they leave a trail of angry women in their wake and never seem to grow up.

And it occurred to me that is why I enjoy the aria.  I recognize the type that Figaro is the symbol of.  And the scene captures that reality splendidly.  And the music is wonderful.

And what a great character he would be to put in a story!  Somehow, I’ve got to have a swaggering braggart in one of my stories.  It would just be too great a thing to ignore.  And in fact, I need him to be a recurring character in a “world” that I make.  It will be a sort of an homage to an old friend that I knew long, long ago in a place far, far away.

Ah, bravo Figaro! Bravo, bravissimo!  Fortunatissimo per verità!

12NOV2022 – OCF Update

Today is Princess Sack-of-Potatoes’ birthday party here at the Compound and there will be about thirty people and I’ve been elected to grill duty.  After a day of heavy rain and wind we’ve been blessed with sun mild temperatures and a light breeze so everything looks good.

So stay tuned.  I’ll be back with some things to say later on.