Monday, July 12, 2004

Let's Bash Those Yucky Gays Again!

Few things make me madder than the despicable prejudice and hatred thrown at gay folk by straights, of whatever ilk. And now we have Bush revoltingly churning up the bile by his ever-so-euphemistic gay marriage prohibition amendment. Let's get real here - the issue isn't marriage - it's outright disgust at gays because they prefer to get involved with the genitals of someone just like them. Because marriage has always been the 'official' license to screw, the bigots are frothing at the mouth at legitimizing those acts they so paranoidly fear. Meanwhile, people dear to me are raising children in a legal environment that is profoundly anti-family because they cannot ring those wedding bells. Now that is plain injustice.

Patch Frenzy

Always astonishes me! Here we have, at most, a subtle change in the game and people are slavering to get their hands on the update as if it were manna from heaven. And this has been true with every update from the IL-2 demo onwards. Obviously, it's exciting to see improvements in your favorite game, but such obsession! It baffles me.

Something To Say?

Not really. I'm just sitting here while making some CD copies, listening in as my son watches a 'Dr. Who' in the next door room. It's a remarkably uneventful evening really, but entirely typical. Very enjoyable. I love these periods of almost meditative serenity. They don't need to carved into a schedule - they are very much part of my daily life, at home or at work. How could I have got to be so lucky? I look around at the whirlwind lives that so many here seem to live, and I can hardly believe it. Do we really all live on the same planet? Sometimes I wonder whether I would feel the same if transplanted to a truly slower culture, a Mongolian farm, a Mediterranean island, a Central African village for example. Would I then become the speed freak? No - I would fit right in without a second thought!

Sunday, July 11, 2004

A Candlelit Bath

One of the beneficial side-effects of two days without electric power earlier this week was the rediscovery of the gorgeously subtle light of the candle. So I filled up the bath tonight, lit three white candles, and lay back in that flickering yellow balm. It was most satisfying, and my thoughts roamed hither and thither. Not settling on anything substantial, but then there was no need for substance. A series of purely ephemeral moments, and very soothing.

I love baths. They are slow and deliberate. No rush. They take control of time and wrest it away from the insistent hurly-burly of clocks and schedules. Almost an altered state, but one of tranquility and resonance with life.

A Bowl Of Soup

It's been a rather dreary, sleepy sort of day, not helped by the wretched heat of a St. Louis summer or by an excess of alcohol at a very enjoyable Scrabble party last night. So I thought I would have a bowl of soup. Clam chowder. It was very good!

Considered Eccentric

My wife told me yesterday that I am considered 'eccentric' by some of our friends. I was pleased and yet rather taken aback at this characterisation. I have always regarded true eccentrics to be really weird people, and to find myself in their company put me in a position I had not really anticipated. Of course, eccentricity is a matter of degree as well, and I may well be focusing on the end of the scale. Investigating further, I gathered the root of my 'eccentricity' is my by-passing completely the competition/success/status/control paradigm which is the seeming norm for people of my class, education and generation. That was reassuring - I am proud to be eccentric that way!

Inspector Lohmann

It's always pleasant to be reminded that however unusual or unique you judge yourself to be, there is someone else out there who is much more like you than you might imagine. Hence my pleasure to be e-mailed by Inspector Lohmann

Friday, July 09, 2004

You Have To Be Obsessive

To keep a blog running. How else can you do it? It has no practical value - makes no money, cooks no meal, washes no clothes - beyond establishing a daily history (if you choose to use it that way) or recording the ramblings of the writer. Thus something beyond the blog itself has to drive you. In the past, I would have been easily caught up in the blog world, so much so that I would have felt uncomfortable if I did not post at frequent intervals. This would be a dereliction of duty! However, I am not the same. I just don't feel those old drives anymore. It's an interesting feeling - I live much more for the present these days, and whatever is happening in the present occupies me fully. In the old days, the present was to be avoided - I either dreamed about the future or yearned for the past.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


Very nice to see that. How much sweeter than the revolting 'Bush-Cheney'! The sooner those hideous conservatives are swept out of office and America returns returns to decent liberal freedom-loving values the better. It's time to move on and drag America out of the cultural, legal and social dark-ages that the current admininstration seems determined to re-establish. This has been a grim four years. Even the Supreme Court - hardly the most liberally proactive of institutions - has seen fit now to bloody Ashcroft and his authoritarian efforts. Perhaps things really are turning. I feel hope returning after a long period of despair.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

The Astonishing Athlon

I have been building my own computers for a long time now. It's really very easy - anyone who can put together a Lego toy could make one. The skill really only lies in selecting the right components.

Thus I was saddened to read recently in the The Inquirer that AMD's Athlon series is going to be phased out. I'm talking about the 32-bit Athlon K7 here - not the new Athlon 64 K8 series (in itself a wonderful processor).

Almost every machine I have built has been based around an Athlon, starting with a 850 MHz Thunderbird and ending up with an Athlon XP Mobile Barton which I am overclocking to 2.2GHz. Quite a performance leap, and they have kept pace with every game that I have chosen to play (mostly IL-2 & Forgotten Battles). I have very warm feelings towards these fabulously reasonably priced, high-performing, reliable chips. I will be sorry to see them go, but they will be powering my computers for a while yet.

Why Do I Hate SUV's So Much?

Because they are ugly, road-hogging, gas-guzzling, unsafe, ridiculously overpriced, and completely inappropriate for suburban and commuter driving. I am astonished that people can be so deluded as to actually spend (or more likely borrow) good money on such monstrosities. Not even station-wagons can challenge the sheer awfulness of the suburban SUV. A well-designed SUV (and there aren't many of those) belongs on a safari range or a ranch. No where else.

When someone does SUV-henge (along the lines of Nebraska's Carhenge), then they will have found their true destiny.


Just can't get over the beauty of Eric Satie's nocturnes. I play them over and over.