Since my last post, I’ve been metaphorically becalmed. Which might sound nice, but it’s a term sailors use when there’s no wind, and they’re stuck in one place. Lately, I’ve felt as if there was no wind in my sails.
Some of that is seasonal. The short days, and then that damned “falling back” with its even earlier sunsets. The winter cold and the joy/misery of snow. (I genuinely do enjoy getting outside and shoveling, but it gets harder every year. Growing old is a pain.)
I thought maybe I could kickstart myself with a Friday Notes post.
For one thing, these are usually pretty easy to bang out. (Although, right now, the writing isn’t flowing. Each sentence seems to come grudgingly.) My problem certainly isn’t a lack of topics. As usual, the note pile is piled. My problem is I find it increasingly hard to give a shit.
Some of that is on me. Age, social isolation, general irascibility. I’ve gone from running on fumes to coasting downhill. And make no mistake, there is a certain peace in waking up every day and just being. No goals, no projects (no housework), just letting the day go by with music and a good book.
I’m waiting for that to grow old, but it fits like a favorite sweater. (Maybe because I’m growing old.) It’s got me seriously considering how much I want to keep blogging. But there has been a worthwhile return on the investment in terms of people I’ve met, and that’s reason enough to stick with it. People I get along with over time seem rare, and I do value them.
Besides the season and my general moroseness, I’m sick at heart over what’s happening in our culture these past years. Modern culture repulses me on so many levels. The polarization, the extremism, the mindless groupthink and tribalism. I’ve never been more disgusted with humanity. (And I have a long history of being very disgusted by humanity, so this is saying something.)
So, part of why I’ve found blogging so hard lately is that it feels like spitting into the ocean. Pointless. (Although I suppose the spitting can make one feel good.)
Anyway. Enough cheerful intro. On to the Notes…
For Minnesnowta, winter has finally arrived:
Very pretty, but the reason it sticks to the trees is that it’s wet. And therefore heavy. Which makes it backbreaking and exhausting to shovel. People have heart attacks!
But very pretty. The only thing prettier is a hoarfrost. (And those don’t require any shoveling!)
We’d gotten a bit of snow before this, but just a bit, and we’ve been enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures. Until now. We got enough snow that it’ll probably stick until we get more, so the frozen water on the ground everywhere phase of winter has begun. Time to reacquire those winter driving skills.
Speaking of which, a minor rant about a minor stick in my craw: the Minnesota Left Turn. Drives me crazy (for a very small value of crazy). And the thing is, they do it year-round.
I’m talking about such a broad shallow left turn that it all but clips the oncoming lane of the cross street they’re turning into. It’s as much of a straight line as they can make it, the merest deflection of the wheel to accomplish the turn.
Instead of proceeding into the intersection and making a properly sharp left turn. Using that big round thing in front of the driver. Grip it and turn!
It’s true that on icy roads, where inertia is so not your friend, sharp turns will introduce your car to the ditch. Or worse, the lamppost. At the very least, will jump start your heartrate as your car goes sliding beyond your control.
(A bullet I’ve managed to mostly dodge my almost four decades driving here. Only happened a handful of times and all without unfortunate introduction to unmoving objects. One time, though, as I was sliding at a good clip sideways through a snowbank along the freeway, I did think to myself, “Welp, this is it. Nice while it lasted.” But nothing flashed before my eyes except the billowing snow I was kicking up.)
So, I get why people make those broad left turns. When the roads are icy. But year-round? What’s up with that? Not a good way to make a left turn is what I’m saying.
Filed under: What’s the word for it? Politics has become sociopathic.
It’s no longer about compromise or getting along or even so much as recognizing the fundamental legitimacy of opposing points of view. It’s no longer about the common good or the body politic. It’s about my side winning the pot. Whatever it takes.
I find it depressing and reprehensible.
Give us this day our daily two-liter bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. Served from a room temperature bottle over lots of ice (to both dilute and increase fluid amount).
Which means I go through a lot of ice, but I seem doomed to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ice cube trays.
A while back, the high mineral content of my water having made the existing ICTs unpalatable, if not unusable, I ventured into the wilds (Target) seeking suitable prey. Which turned out hard to find. Only a small population lurking under a bush (shelf). More prominently displayed, fancy ones that made tubular ice slugs to slide into water bottles. Great for the Hydration Nation, those never far from a water bottle.
These, and the more normal fancy ICTs, came with a silicon rubber mat that flopped over the cubes to protect them from freezer smells. Purity in ice cubes! At about ten bucks a tray.
I tried both the regular and, for fun, the tubular. Both currently gather dust in a hard-to-reach upper cupboard shelf. (Out of sight, out of mind. I’m not a hoarder, but I hate throwing away anything with actual value. Never really got onboard the Disposable wagon.)
Anyway, back into the wild to find that small population of unregarded ICTs in plain old white plastic. They were perfect. Three fit in a cafeteria tray that followed me home from work, so I could schlep all three in and out of the freezer at once. Very handy; repetitious work annoys me. I was happy.
Except I kept finding ice on the tray. Apparent spills? No, a leak in the ICT! Huh. Bought replacement, but another tray started leaking. Long story short, every ICT I bought from Target very quickly developed a crack and began leaking.
I took them back to Target and suggested they find a better supplier.
I guess they did, because I can’t find those anymore. I liked them because the half-liter bottles of spring water I buy fit exactly. One bottle filled one tray. Very handy. But unusable.
Yet another venture into the wild bagged me these black ICTs. Which so far have survived the apparently grueling and too-much-for-some environment of my freezer. But black is a weird color for an ICT. So opaque. More to the point, these are too big for my cafeteria tray (note in the photo how it’s upside down below the ICTs to give them a flat surface to sit on).
And they take more water to fill. Four half-liters fills all three trays, but I usually just use one bottle per tray and go with smaller cubes. Then it occurred to me that Amazon might have a bigger tray. Should get here Wednesday.
Which is probably a lot more about my ice cube trays than you care to know about.
I haven’t seen much about the adaptation, and I haven’t noticed it talked about on YouTube. (I didn’t even know it existed until I logged into Hulu last night.) I generally don’t have much faith in modern adaptations (see this post).
Funny thing about the post I just linked. In it I wrote, “Why aren’t there adaptations of stories by Octavia Butler or Paul Beatty?” I hope this doesn’t turn out to be another case of being careful what you wish for.
Kindred centers on the very heavy, but ever timely, topic of race, so it’s an important book and one that needs to be done right. Ideally by simply sticking with what Butler wrote as much as possible. It will really boil down to how much this is a labor of love versus yet another grasp for success cynically using an existing well-loved property.
It’s available on Hulu, eight episodes of season one with more seasons planned if the show is a success. I have a lot of trepidation but will give it a try. Fingers crossed.
Microsoft has apparently added a new feature to Edge. As I type this, I’m seeing ghosts of one or more words I might type next with a tiny [Tab] sign indicating I can just press the [Tab] key to use those words. It’s actually pretty good, but a little hard to get used to. Does save some typing, though.
A note from what ought to be an increasingly distant memory but which lingers to this day:
It’s been interesting and terrifying watching this country erode away like a sandcastle. We allowed complete bullshit in the door, and this is what we got.
According to myth, vampires need to be invited in, but once you do so, they’re as hard to get rid of as bedbugs. We got Frank’s Monster and a host of mindless zombies.
It started with all the deconstruction and materialism. It started with the destruction of honor, honesty, and good faith. It continues with our bullshit “heroes” and comic book mindless destruction and violence.
This cancer will kill us (is killing us) if we don’t excise it.
The call is coming from inside the house.
On a lighter note… hmmm… nope, got nothing.
It’s old news by now that Christine McVie died on the last day of November. She was 79.
Like most people my age, Fleetwood Mac was a favorite band, part of the soundtrack of a bygone era of my life. Back in 1975 they came and played at my college, in the gymnasium. We sat on the floor about 20 yards away. I’d remember it better, but we made hash brownies. Awesome concert.
Here to play you out today, a favorite by the inestimable Ms. McVie:
Heaven gained yet another awesome musician! The music there must be incredible.
Stay warm, my friends! Go forth and spread beauty and light.