Science Question

Assuming you were standing in the middle of the desert, and there were no hills or anything, and everything as far as you could see is flat. Assuming you had amazing superhuman vision, how far, in miles, could you see before the curve of the earth would impede vision?

It was beautiful out today, so I spent some time on the porch with the laptop and a tray table, and I saw a plane far off on the horizon. I figured it had to be five miles up in the air or so, and the sun was setting in the west, and I just sort of let my mind wander and was wondering how far away the plane must have been. How far could I see? Bonus rambling thoughts about the speed of light and how even if the speed of light is 186,000 mps, I was basically seeing the light reflecting off the plane instantaneously, even though it was probably several hundred miles away, because at 186k per second, this thing could be no more than a few hundred miles away, that basically means that the light from the reflection on the plane was there in a fraction of a fraction of a second. Plus, I know planes fly along the curve of the earth, so I just generally confused myself wondering just how far away the plane is. Then I started to wonder about how long it takes the light reflecting off all the things in my yard must take a billionth of a second or less to reach my eyes from ten feet away.

And this, my friends, is why I rarely work outside and prefer a room with no windows when I need to get things done.








Being Nice Really Does Work

So my Comcast Xfinity On Demand went out, and I called up the help line, had to wait five minutes, then got connected to this really nice woman named Lauren. Described the problem and error message, told her I had already reconnected and done a cold boot on the box, and that my cable and phone were fine. She sent a zap to reset the box, and then we sat and chatted for five minutes while we waited for stuff to reset.

It kind of made more sense than just sitting there in silence, so I asked where she was, and she is in Pittsburgh, and both of us agreed that we are sick and tired of snow and that neither of us can find rock salt anywhere, talked about the Olympics and her favorite sport is hockey, so we talked about the Pens and how disappointed we have been with the Steelers lately, and so on.

At any rate, the problem is now fixed, but honestly, 90% of the time when I call help lines I am not mean or irate, but matter of fact and stern and forceful about what I want done, but this time, I just decided to roll with things. And you know what- I didn’t get agitated or internally angry, she was super pleasant and the issue was resolved, and it was just nice.

I am going to make a very concerted effort to not be such an angry person in the future. I’m not outwardly angry, and I never berate folks just doing their job like Lauren (because I was in retail and the restaurant industry and I know how awful people treat those workers), but I’ve spent too much time internally angry and bitter.

This approach seems so much better for everyone.








Interesting Interview

I remember an old X-Files episode called Folie à Deux, in which a man was driven to madness because he could see demons and monsters in his colleagues, and he frequently uttered, in vain, “They hide in the light.” Not sure why that episode of that show sticks out, and I know I have mentioned it before, but I really felt it was a creepy, disturbing show.

That’s what I thought about, immediately, when I watched this recentish PSH interview. His demons were right there, hiding in the light.

Parasocial relationships are an interesting thing. It’s weirder knowing the research, yet still feeling like you have lost someone you knew who, were they still alive, wouldn’t recognize you out of a one-man police line-up. Regardless, the death of PSH has just been gnawing at me for days. I feel like I knew the guy and identified with a lot of his thoughts, although it would be farcical to pretend I was as intelligent or sophisticated and talented, but at some level, there is just something about him that I knew.

Or maybe that is just what a great actor does, even in interviews like this. Or maybe he was an old soul and everyone picked up on it. Regardless, I have never felt this much sadness over the loss of a celebrity. Not even Jerry.








So That Happened, In Case You Forgot

Ten years ago, this happened:

At the same time that America was collectively losing our shit and screaming “what about the children” because some kids up way too late may have seen a breast for the first time in, I dunno, since the last time they saw mom naked around the house after showering or while changing or slipping into a swimsuit on vacation, we were raining down millions of tons of ordinance on a nation because some crackpots in another country attacked us, and I was cheering the policy.

So, yeah.








Yep, Starting To Look Like I Am Fucked

anotherdayinparadise

Spent the whole night icing and elevating the knee, and, as a survivor of a number of knee injuries over years of soccer, lacrosse, the military, and general clumsiness, it’s starting to look like I didn’t just stretch the ACL, but I may have shredded it and there may be damage to the patellar tendon and the IT band. Again, just self diagnosing, but this ain’t my first day at the rodeo and I did drive myself to the hospital after shredding my shoulder in another pet related injury, so while a commie liberal cat lover and criminally accident prone, I’m not a total Nancy Boy.

At any rate, it’s immobilized and I have had frozen veggies on it almost all night, and usually after a couple of hours if it is just a strain it will start to calm down a bit, but this one isn’t. On the up side, I am using the walking stick Walt bought me, so that is cool. When I take the brace off, though, I can see the bruising, so I’m reasonably sure that come Monday or Tuesday, I am going to cover my annual insurance deductible.

Having said all that, while I was sitting here motherfucking everything and being generally pissed off about the situation, I was stationary (more so than usual, because it hurts to move) and I had time to think. And I reflected on this. Here are some of the changes brought about by the ACA aka “OBAMACARE”:

acalove

My knee hurts like hell, and maybe I am a strange breed, but I can deal ok with physical pain. Yeah, it hurts, and I bitch about it and drama queen it up when I can, but seriously, just follow the old comedy routine and don’t do whatever you are telling the doctor it hurts to do when you do it. But there was nothing worse in my life than the summer I sat, cringing in horror, taking cold showers every twenty minutes and hugging Lily underneath the comforter while I went through multiple panic attacks every day before having my my Generalized Anxiety Disorder (and other things) diagnosed and started to receive help.

Which I did, because I had insurance. So yeah. The Health Care website roll out sucked. My knee hurts.

But let me regain some fucking perspective, and think how lucky people are now compared to just a few years ago. And again, those of you who are in the know will back me up- I will take a bum knee over the psychic pain that who knows how many people went and go through without help. And now they don’t have to. Shit is still fucked up and bullshit, but it is getting better.

So if you wouldn’t mind, please pass me the frozen peas. The spinach is getting warm.

Perspective.