Author Archives: Wyrd Smythe

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts.

Happy With; Mad At

In a previous life, when I had a small step-son, he asked his mother if she was “happy at him.” This prompted a grammar discussion that confused him because sometimes she was “mad at him” so why was “happy at him” wrong? It stuck with me as one of those out of the mouths of babes views of life.

It prompts a bit of thought about which emotions go with which propositions. We’re happy with, but mad at. On the other hand, we can be angry with or angry at someone, but only pleased with them.

We can also be happy, glad, angry, pleased, mad, or sad, about someone.

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First Trek, Now Who?

If you know me at all, you know I was already a science fiction fan when Star Trek began. (It’s a rare occasion I get in on the ground floor of something.) I adored Kirk and crew. It took some episodes, but I came to love Picard and crew even more. The Trek story still unfolds, but I left that fold around the fifty-year mark. (Or rather, Trek left me.)

More recently (the rebooted) Doctor Who became my favorite SF TV series, but it’s starting to look like it won’t have the staying power that Trek did. I haven’t been as engaged the last many seasons, and the shift to the 13th Doctor hasn’t worked for me.

Currently I’d have to say my favorite SF TV series is The Expanse.

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Looking Forward

I was asked why post #1000 looked backward rather than forward. It’s a fair question; I’m generally not one for looking back. I’m not terribly attached to the past (certainly not bound by it), but that doesn’t mean I completely ignore it. (History repeats, in part, because we don’t learn from it.)

As with years, counting posts begins with 1, so the odometer number 1000 is the end of a count sequence (one-thousand posts), which makes looking back seem fitting. That post was also a blog birthday so all the more reason to review.

This post, #1001, is the first post of the next thousand.

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Number Nine

1000 posts posted!

July the 4th means it’s another Blog Birthday. 9 years of con carne (albeit one of them vegan) and 999 posts (not including this). It’s numerically kinda cool because the arithmetic mean is 111, another triple number. A more accurate average is around 125 posts per year, since I was on hiatus for all of 2017 (to recover from the shock of 2016).

There is also that 999 is what I call an odometer number, but that might take some explaining. Metaphorically, it’s the kind of number that makes you look at your odometer and say, “Hey! Check it out!”

Even little 9, as the last single digit, has some cool properties.

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Random Past Blast

So this is my nine-hundred-and-ninety-ninth post here on Logos con Carne (which turns nine tomorrow). I’ll talk more about that when I do the anniversary (or perhaps more accurately, the birthday) post. What I’ve been struggling with for days is what this post should be.

The celebration post, as usual, will look back at the past year (as well as the past nine), which leaves this post wanting a topic. Yesterday I was looking at some old photos and got the idea of looking back at my own (much longer) past.

I figure it’s gotta be an easier post to write than trying to explain a tesseract.

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Sideband #69: Inside a Tesseract

Four years ago I started pondering the tesseract and four-dimensional space. I first learned about them back in grade school in a science fiction short story I’d read. (A large fraction of my very early science education came from SF books.)

Greg Egan touched on tesseracts in his novel Diaspora, which got me thinking about them and inspired the post Hunting Tesseracti. That led to a general exploration of multi-dimensional spaces and rotation within those spaces, but I continued to focus on trying to truly understand the tesseract.

Today we’re going to visit the 4D space inside a tesseract.

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BB #69: Random Bubbles

Alas (and also alack), with all that’s been going on lately, my Artistic Muse has temporarily fled (she’s almost as prone to suddenly vanishing as her sister, Lady Luck). As such, I’m not feeling much inspiration towards posting right now.

But my Nine Year Blog Anniversary is nearly here, and I’m determined to publish post #1000 to celebrate it. Pulling that off requires three posts between now and then (not to mention figuring out what to write for post #1000).

So today I thought I’d take care of a bunch of random notes.

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Jay and Silent Bob

Last night I watched — for the second time this week — Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019), which is the latest episode of a saga polymath auteur Kevin Smith has been telling since 1994 with his first film, Clerks. The arc of that tale contains one of my very favorite movies, Dogma (1999), wherein we learn that God looks exactly like Alanis Morissette.

If you’ve never heard of Jay and (his “hetero life-mate”) Silent Bob, you’ve missed a minor cultural phenomenon. Clerks is a cinematic landmark on par with Reservoir Dogs, and is preserved in the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” In my book, it’s all three.

I’ve been waiting well over a decade to see these guys again!

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The Subtle Art

A few weeks ago a friend loaned me The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (2016), by Mark Manson. I just finished it, and — while I’m not a big fan of self-help books — I give this one an Ah! rating. Manson’s approach, contrary to our modern norm, is not about finding happiness, but about choosing the pain worth seeking (and letting the happiness come through our fulfillment).

The subtle part is that not giving a f*ck doesn’t mean one stops caring. The subtle part is learning to be selective about what matters to us.

The counterintuitive part is that chasing happiness leads to misery.

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Canadian Camping 1996

Walleye for dinner!

Well, that’s a surprise. My Ideas folder has a document I thought was a description of my first Canadian camping trip with my buddy (let’s call him) “Scott”. I’ve been meaning to post it one of these days. Having just told a story about my dog Sam, I thought maybe it was time to post some of the other memories stories.

The surprise is that the document is about a trip in 1996, the 10th (or so) annual pilgrimage we’d made. That first time we didn’t really know what we were doing and both under- and over-prepared. That was of a vacation with a lot of pain, but which engendered fondness in retrospect.

Enough fondness that we did it annually for over 15 years.

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