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Thursday, September 29, 2005



I don't know how many times I have tried making "to do" lists and losing track of them. My latest version is a pocket-sized spiral notebook, in which I just list things I need, or want to do, especially ones I'm likely to forget.
I have a tendency to treat my "need to do" and "want to do" lists as mutually exclusive, and focus on what I haven't accomplished and get all stressed about it. I'm hoping this latest version works better.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Orc talk

American English is a dying language. In many circles, it is being replaced by Anglo-Orkish.
This phenomenon was described by the well-known linguist and philologist J.R.R. Tolkein, and discussed in his works, "The Hobbit", and "The Lord of the Rings". He goes to some trouble to discuss orkish language and culture, particularly in Bilbo's passage through the Misty Mountains; Pippin and Merry's captivity, and Frodo and Sam's journey into and through Mordor. There is a further reference in the scouring of the Shire, when the hobbits take note of the "lots of rules and orc-talk", due to an orkish influence brought in by Saruman and his agents.
In the appendix to Lord of the Rings, he mentions that "orkish speech is even more coarse than I have rendered it", but that he does not need to detail it any further, since examples are commonly encountered among the orc-minded.
Very possibly, he could be referring to references to people as rectal orifices, women as female dogs and men as the offspring of such, and the replacement of most english adjectives by a vulgar term for the reproductive act, or a more specific variant referring to a female parent.
I don't like to criticize other people's language: I've confined myself to refusing to speak orkish myself. How resistible is linguistic change?

Friday, September 23, 2005


Invisible design

Every so often someone observes that I don't seem to be doing anything with my life, that I seem to be drifting aimlessly. No, No, and again NO!! that's not the case.

I do have goals and a purpose that I'm working toward; it's just that my particular goals and purposes and means are unconventional. (Yes, I'm out of step with what people tend to expect of me, and yes I'm marching to a different drummer). I don't care to debate them. For anyone who cares to become more informed on what I'm working toward, check my Sapience Knowledge Base, (inactive pending better access) or my Independent Learning blog (active).

To use an analogy, my mother does crochet. Many a time, I've seen her completely unravel a piece which was well in progress and start over, because she had dropped a stitch or made some mistake early on, and the consequences showed up later.
Same idea. I'm weaving threads of knowledge together according to a pattern of my own design, expecting to produce something that's both beautiful and useful.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005



For anyone who knows me, does this ring any bells?

Monday, September 19, 2005


Bod mod

I have been told that a certain tall, slender blonde woman seen in town lately is actually a man who has had a sex change operation. I saw said person at dinner today, and while the overall appearance and dress was indeed feminine, I looked for and easily detected an Adam's apple, as well as rather masculine facial features.

At least one of us, I think, is seriously confused. And I suspect they create at least as many problems as they are supposed to solve. And 21st century Earth bod mods aren't nearly up to Betan standards. (see Lois McMaster Bujold, "A Civil Campaign").

Saturday, September 17, 2005



I had a sore leg Wednesday, but I was back to normal activity by Thursday, though I've been rather taking things easy rather than pushing to accomplish things. Over the last few weeks, I've been involved in a little back-porch theology. I still wind up listening more than I talk.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005



I don't recall if I mentioned that since the beginning of summer or so, I've been having difficulty breathing after surprisingly moderate exercise: like walking half a block uphill. I mentioned it to the doctor at the health clinic I've been going to. They have a specialist that comes in once a month who took a look and a listen, then scheduled me for some tests: an echocardiogram, a pulmonary (lung) function test, and a cardiac stress test, where they put me on a treadmill while they take an electrocardiogram. I got about halfway through it when my heart started acting up and my blood pressure went down, and I had a rather heavy, lead feeling as well as being seriously short of breath. Almost before I knew it, they had me on a gurney, were sticking an IV in me to bring my blood pressure back up, and were asking for consent to do more tests. One of them, I'm still not sure what was called, but involved sticking a catheter up the artery in my leg and taking X-ray pictures. Then they kept me overnight to do another test the next day.
After being asked the same questions by three different doctors, spending a night being hooked up to a heart monitor that I don't think anyone more than glanced at and an IV in each elbow, and a thick pressure bandage next to my crotch, and trying to make up jokes, a whole troop of doctors came in the next morning. I listened to the conference they were having outside the door and only understood about half of it. Then about five or six of them came in; the senior cardiologist explained what they had found rapidly in words of at least 4 syllables and a thick accent, said that the medications I've been on wear about right and there was a procedure but it wasn't done here and since I don't have insurance, probably couldn't afford anyway. Then he demonstrated a simple test that the young good-looking woman doctor had done wrong the day before. No one else said a word, and they all trooped out.
Later that day, two more doctors came in to practice their test (which involved pretending I was trying to have a bowel movement and then squeezing two fingers as hard as I could while they listened to my heart through a stethoscope (I still have no idea what that's supposed to tell them), and then they had me down for another tests.
This one involved being made to swallow a tube almost the size of a garden hose which they wriggled around taking an echocardigram from the inside. After recovering from that for a while (I think they did everything except cut me open to take a look!) a doctor came up to tell me the results, which were that there was really nothing wrong except that the left side of my heart is overdeveloped, which I already knew, and I might be just out of shape. Excuse me?
What seems to be clear is that the left side (which pumps blood to the body) is overdeveloped. The technician who did the test on my lungs earlier commented on the low numbers he was getting. Taken together, these results suggest that when I exercise, the overdeveloped left side is interfering with the right side, which pumps blood to the lungs. Since these don't have much capacity to spare anyway, I don't get enough oxygen in my blood, and everything, including the heart itself, gets tired too easily. But a lot of this is supposition on my part.

Friday, September 09, 2005



Not much is going on right now except that I'm keeping up with my various studies.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


I am suspected

Yesterday afternoon a detective from the Morgantown PD came looking for me and asked me to come into the station. He read my my rights and started asking some strange questions about my church membership and activity. It turned out that someone thought I might have taken a laptop computer from the Institute building last November or so, and he's still trying to track it down. I told him I didn't take it, I have no idea who did, I didn't even know one was missing. The detective also asked me what I would say to a report that I had taken a laptop in to the library and asked for it to be reformatted. I said it didn't happen. He asked if I thought the person who reported the incident was a liar; I said it's more likely mistaken identity. He asked if I had any idea who that other person might have been, or whether, who, or why someone would want to get me into trouble by making a false accusation, and I didn't know. After a few other questions, he let me go.

I'm more amused by it than anything else, because of all the ways I might go about trying to get a computer, stealing one from the church is about the last one I'd try. I've taken to announcing to all and sundry that I'm not telling where the computer is.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Labor Day

Not a great deal happened over the weekend. I've heard only a few reports of what is happening in New Orleans, and elsewhere on the Gulf coast, but it does seem that city, state, Federal, and other efforts to cope with the situation are succeeding and things are no longer spiraling out of control.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Walking around

I got a note the other day saying that I had to do some paperwork in connection with finding another place to live. I went down (an hour walk) and found out what paperwork I would need to have, and I could have gotten that information by calling. Oh my aching foot. It gets better and then worse, and I have to look up some information.

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