The slowest afternoon in history

Can anyone explain the elastic nature of time? Far from the impartial marking of minutes and seconds with metronome-like clarity, it actually is cruel and capricious. The few hours of work remaining on a Friday afternoon stretch at the speed of lava flowing to fill the remaining clock with a lifetime of impatience. You can’t make it go faster, you can’t skip ahead, and you certainly can’t ignore it.
So much to do, and so MUCH time to do it.

I need another doughnut and a nap.

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A few minutes of quiet

I know its been really quiet around here. I spent most of 2017 in stunned silence, unable to understand how we arrived at where we are today. If the giant suck at the heart of our national conversation cannot be resolved, we will soon be headed into a time that will make the horrors the of the 1930’s and 1940’s look like a children’s picnic.

Nevertheless, I wish to continue writing and thinking about things more prosaic than political. A certain someone and his coterie of hyenas will henceforth go without mention, at least within the narrow bounds of Almost Wisconsin.

Maybe I’m just whistling as I pass the graveyard.

Looking to the future, as so many are inclined to do at this time of year, I can see exercise equipment, slim lunches, and a whole lot more time reading this pile of books I’ve collected. Probably now would be a good time to stop buying them? Yeah, right.

Having only just passed the shortest days of the year it’s too soon to think about activities 180 degree from this point in the orbit. But January will sometimes surprise you, even here in the land of grey cold wet. We must take our small victories where we can find them.

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The worst portal into another dimension

Not every portal into another space/time is going to have an epic vista. Some will have a view you’d rather not see:

T-Rex’s litter box

Dracula’s bat boy

Beethoven’s last movement

My Little Tarantula

The Straights of San Francisco

Nancy Reagan’s body glitter

The costume shop from Xanadu

The Bee Gee’s barbershop

The Wolfman’s telescope

The Donald’s money shot


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We really don’t want to hear it

I’m really very sorry to be eavesdropping on your conversation. I try to pretend that I’m not privy to your opinions and salacious musings, but I really can’t help it. When you talk in public on your cell phone what am I supposed to do?

Traditionally, I would cringe quietly and pretend that I don’t hear it. (Japaneses paper houses worked the same way.) But, you know what? That cedes the public space to rude people. You don’t really deserve that kind of consideration.

I’ve decided that from now on I’m going to make a point of listening. Grab the popcorn, this is gonna be good. If I hoot and cat-call, you have to remember that I can only hear half the conversation. Perhaps if you put it on speaker?

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The trouble with mirrors

I’m not at all sure that mirrors are benign. I think that the objective reality they appear to represent probably doesn’t actually exist. It’s a mind trap.

There is plenty of literary precedent. Mirrors have long been portrayed as tools of witchcraft. Snow White and Maleficent had a really tense relationship, initiated by a sentient mirror. Professor Dumbldore’s pensieve, in spite of its ability to move a plot forward, never seemed to have a beautiful or uplifting story to tell. Even when Frodo looked into Galadriel’s mirror it clearly had an agenda.

I would encourage people to search Google, while we still have an open internet, for more examples. I found a few interesting ones. As a study in narcissism, one artist installed mirrors at the Bronx museum in 2005. Panasonic has built a mirror that highlights your flaws. Finally, I found an actual spell for reversing malicious intent.

It’s clearly unwise to trust a mirror. Maybe we could do with a little less self-examination? One doesn’t have to look long to find ridiculous, unhappy, or evil selfies flooding your news feed. Who needs it? I think maybe a wiser course would be to simply look out a window instead.


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Native American Flute

I’m a fan of music made in the moment, improvisational tunes made by groups on the spot, on the fly, and hopefully on the beat. I attend a few local drum circles, and really enjoy playing in them.

Along with drums, these shindigs will often feature the Native American Flute. It’s a wonderful, soulful instrument that seems to be very friendly to beginners. You can basically learn to play in an afternoon.

There are a great many web links to pages that will tell you how to build, buy, or play them, so I won’t detail all of that here. But I will give a couple of links below from Carlos Nakai, who is generally considered one of the best players.

It’s a wonderfully satisfying instrument, full of heart and subtlety.


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Shelob’s Amazing White House

There is a huge, fat spider pulling the strings of the world. The web of billionaires connects from one to the next without regard to nation or faith. They have no need of such trifles, as the weak ineffective constraints of law or decency have at last fallen away. There is no impediment to power, no delay for corruption, no hindrance for greed. The monsters have free reign now.
The bloated mass of arachnid flesh knows nothing but hunger and desire, cares for nothing but pulling tiny mites and moths into its ravenous maw, reckless in its desire to own everything.

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