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Monday, January 30, 2006


After the trip

I mede it on the ward's tempe trip to the Washington DC Temple. We missed a turn and headed for Baltimore, which took us about an hour out of our way, but we made it there. I went in the visitor's center and saw the new film "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Resstoration". I enjoyed it. I was faintly hoping to see a little more of DC, but didn't ask, and the people I went with wanted to get home, which is what I expected, Some other time, maybe I can go see the political sites and memorials and landmarks.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Same, same

I've been involved on work related to my knowledge base and the Independent Learning blog. I finally put a link to it here, so anyone that wants to can see what I've been doing on that subject. There is a site, called the truth laid bear that rates blogs by popularity. "Independent Learning" is a Multicellular Microorganism, since one person has linked to it, while "From the Ground" wasn't even listed. I've added it to the ones it checks, but it's probably going to rate as an "Insignificant Microbe".

I've checked out the next two Anne Perry novels, and have started "Death in the Devil's Acre". I also picked up an SF work I haven't read, "Glory Season" by David Brin.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Catching up

I'v recently decided, once again, to modify my approach to the knowledge base. I've been trying it from the ground up, and it's just not working. I decided to do another high-level down approach, which is going much more smoothly. I've been more active on the Independent Learning site this week.

I finished "Rutland Place" and "bluegate Fields" by Ann Merry, and just finished reading "The Eternity Artifact" by L.E. Modessit, so it's back to the local public library for another round. I haven't been listening to any music, though.

Every once in a while one of my sisters-in-law forwards an e-mail from one of her friends or relatives. I hadn't heard from her in a while, but just got one. It's related to the depressive anger I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Am I feeding the anger, or feeding the better side of my nature? I'm not a good judge, but I'm working on feeding the better side.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006



I did more rewriting of my history notes, another review of how little I really know about history.

I finished reading "Savage Messiah", the author's name is Robert Newcomb. I wish authors didn't feel like they have to make each villian or monster worse than the last. I'd rather see more human drama than gory effects.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006



At Church Sunday, a couple invited me to go with them on the next trip to the Washington DC Temple on Jan 28. I'll just get to go to the Vistor's center, but I'm looking forward to it.

I went to the local library to pick up then next two Anne Perry books, "Paragon Walk" and "Resurrection Row". I found also "Elantris", the first work by a new writer named Brandon Sanderson, and "Savage Messiah:, the fourth in a series by ... Newcomb. I've finished three of them, but not the other one yet.

Yesterday the local library was closed, but the University library opened at 1 pm. I didn't do much to notice MLK Day, except study. I've been rewriting overviews of subjects, lately concentrating on history, rather than breaking new ground.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Reading and writing and...

With the "fractal method" of writing in mind, I took another crack at outlining a story I've been working on for a while. The author of this piece talked about accomulating experience and ideas before writing a book; composting, he called it. I've been doing that for some times, Maybe this time I'll get farther with the book.

I've given up GOVSIM. It's depressing, and takes too much time, that I want to be giving to the knowledge base.

I got a note from some company that wants to put a pay-per-click advertising spot on my Independent Learning blog. It's tempting, but I'm cautious. I've heard the term, but I don't know how it works. I would have been happy to put one advertising-related page on my Sapience Knowledge Base website, but since that's dormant (it is still up, though)...We'll see.

Yesterday, one of my roommates told me that he had encountered a new book about the founder of Mormonism in the local library. He offered to check it out for me, but said no, I was going up there and would look at it myself. I thought it might have been Richard Bushman's new biography of Joseph Smith, called Rough Stone Rolling. He said, no, that wasn't it. I went up to take a look, and, yes it was. So I sat down and read it. Some 500 pages, in one sitting. Amazing? Naw. I do that kind of thing all the time. It's [so far been] a highly useless skill. It helps that I'm already familiar with most of the story. I think the book did a fairly good job at balancing Joseph's prophetic and human sides. I do have a couple of quibbles, but I don't know that I need to point them out.

I had left my library card, so I didn't check out the next Anne Perry book, but the library does have it, so if I get there today, I'll grab it, and probably the next one, for the weekend, another library-closing holiday coming up soon.

AFter that, I spent an afternoon composing a personal letter to a family member.

Later, I spent the evening evening listining to an Oldies station...60s and 70s popular and rock. Overall, I think I like that station better than the contemporary country one, but I'd still like to make my own collection of personal favorites. I'm not interested in just one genre of music. I might have spent it working on my knowledge base, or on writing. There aren't enough hours in the day. As others have noted.

Thursday, January 12, 2006



Somehow, the day has gone by without me accomplishing a fraction of what I had intended. It seems there were several things I was going to write about, and I can hardly remember one.
I was on one of the internet forums where I regularly hang out, and got involved in a discussion about poverty. One of the members there had written a short piace along the same lines as the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:19-23), though not quite so hard on the rich woman. The author was taking a certain amout of flak for for it. The more she tried to explain herself, the more she exposed for people to pick at. I was was outraged, I was irate, and it took a lot of effort for me to tone things down and write civilly. I've learned the habit of self-censorship: I don't say a tenth of what I think, in part because I've been on the receiving end of what I saw her going through. Then people observe that I'm TOO quiet. Well...there's no pleasing everybody.
I heard a variant of Aesop's Fable about the man, the boy, and the donkey, telling how this could have been averted by planning in advance and sticking to the plan. I've also found bits and pieces around the internet about bullying, about anger management, about the fractal method of writing a novel (!!!), and other such odds and ends. And yes, I finished "Callander Square", and I'm ready to go look for the next one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Not so anxious

Finished "The Cater Street Hangman" and have started on the next in the series of Victorian era murder mysteries by Anne Perry: "Callander Square."

It seems that the best place to do music research is at the Evansdale Campus of WVU. I could make it up there, but it's a long walk and I'm short on bus fare, so it's back on my "someday" list. And it's still not a 100% certainty that I could do it even there.
The anxiety attack has (mostly) passed, and I'm emotionally on track again (at least, no worse off than usual), but my heart gave notice that it doesn't like me to hurry up the hill.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Anxiety attacks

I didn't even have a name for them, but now that I'm in the middle of one, it's not an unfamiliar sensation. I have an idea what triggers them, but there's not a whole lot I can do about it right now.

I've basically run through all the SF in the local library, so I'm sort of waiting for new books to come out, which doesn't happen nearly often enough for my taste (I can read a lot faster than I can write). I've decided, as a break from that, to start rereading some mysteries. A while ago I ran across Anne Perry and have read most of hers, so I thought maybe I'd start over with "The Cater Street Hangman", her first.

For quite some time, I've beek kicking around ideas of developing a computer game, although I don't quite have the computer skills (or the hardware, anymore) to carry ot off. I encountered a site for game developers, and decided to post an introduction in their "Help wanted". So far, looks but no responses. It's a common and frustrating experience. I'm just about convinced I couldn't sell ice at the equator.

Saturday, January 07, 2006



Part of the blues I've been going through is a persistent sense of anger. When I get up in the morning and take my emotional temperature, I frequently find that I'm angry...it find myself saying "I don't care", except that it's an angry reaction, not genuine apathy.
Underneath my depression, I find, I have more anger than I had really noticed. I've used a metaphor of digging down to bedrock: except that part of it isn't rock: it's permafrost composed of frozen anger, which sometimes melts and turns to muck.
I did some searching on various mental health related subjects, and came across some interesting ideas; some of which I'd heard before.

I've been wanting to comment on some of the books I've been reading lately. (I read fast). At All Costs, by David Weber (the latest in the Honorverse). Shaman's Crossing, by Robin Hobb. Knife of Dreams, by Robert Jordan. I've been wanting to comment on "Komarr" by Lois McMaster Bujold. I find myself identifying with both the heroine, Ekaterina Vorsoisson, and her husband, Etienne Vorsoiosson, for different reasons.

I don't know if I mentioned that I've been looking to build a music collection, and I thought I'd start with music from the early days of radio and recording. I've found a source that goes back to the 1920s, so I'm starting there. There are several oldies I'd like to add to my collection one day. I want to listen to them first, though, and although there are a great many that can be found on www.allmusic.com, finding a computer with music access is a bit harder.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Happy New Year

Nature takes no notice of the New Year; this is purely a social creation. I'm not much of a believer in New Year's resolutions; I don't see what makes them stick better than resolutions made at any other time of year. New month's resolutions, or birthday resolutions, or anniversary resolutions, or any other memorable holiday would work just as well.
I've been wished, and assured, by a friend that this year will be better than last. I hope so, but I have my doubts about it.

If I could have had one thing for Christmas, it would have been for peace and goodwill among my family. But that's never been a realistic hope, and I found that it wasn't in my power to give, either.
My parents used to tell me what a rotten, good-for-nothing lazy shirk I was, and offered up such bitter, acid, venomous, mocking sarcasm that I still have trouble sharing my more sensitive feelings. And they still drop sharp and pointed words into conversations, and wonder why I seldom visit, or call, or write. My brothers and in-laws (some of them) echo same, and don't send or return e-mails, and wonder why I keep my distance.
I don't have money, or things money buys, even sufficient for my own needs. But that gets no sympathy. If I'm poor, or lonely, or miserable, I most likely deserve it. Or so I've heard, time and time again. And if I imagine that I have other things to offer...well, if money isn't the only thing in life, it's a darn sight better than whatever comes next. I called that a lie, once, and nearly got thrown out for it.
Not that the rest of the world is a whole lot better. In private and in public, behind the back and at a safe distance, in the press and on the internet, we criticize and condemn one another, without kindness and without mercy. It makes me weary and sick. But if it isn't a physical sickness...does it count?
But still I keep moving. If life is a journey, I'm not done with mine yet. And so, I'll keep commenting this year...From the Ground.

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