Monday, April 16, 2007

Waiting game

I'm in ArcGIS Hell right now. That special Hell where you have lots to do, little time, and the network is rrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeealllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyy slow. So, while I w.a.i.t. for one of 80 new and unique maps to generate an .rtl file so I can move to the next new and unique of 80 maps, I'll chat.

Come on. Get a chair.

You may think, "But I already have a chair. I'm at a computer, you ninny." But I know, being one, that there are some folks out there that don't manage the luxory of a chair at the computer. We may turn it on in passing from the kitchen to the laundry with an armful of tea towels, connect to the net on the way back to check on what that burning smell is (yes, dial-up at home. More money for the college fund, I convince myself. Curse you You-Tube!), and "surf" a page at a time a chore at a time. The chair we do have for that computer is conveniently missing a dowel, so is ready to collapse at a moment's notice. Which means, I have even more of an incentive to get my flabby toned butt working around the house.

Oh, good, that .rtl file is done. But it still waits another two minutes before it lets me actually print the bastard. Wait while I make another..... there, that wasn't so long, was it?

I could babble on about politics, or whole wheat recipes, or drunken fruit bats, but I really can't pass up on my favorite pasttime, turtle races.

Ahhhh, the glorious smell of creosote in the air as the tortoises run from wash to wash. The raucous betting environment as biologists wager their meager earnings on where Tortoise #728 will be found this time. The flying spit and urgent grunts of the coursers as they battle the talus slopes. Truly, the sport of kings.

Forgoing the talus for open sea, this race still has all the hallmarks of biologists looking to unmarginalize their profession. Websites, sponsors, celebrity nomenclature, endangered species, it has it all. I mean, those guys who named an owl louse after Gary Larson? I think it was just the lack of bandwidth that spared them from instant stardom.

Crap. Now my .rtl's are coming out with nothing in them. Nothing like waiting fifteen minutes for zip. Like, this blog. Waiting for something exceptional, and just getting crap. Welcome to my week.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

So it goes

One of my all-time favorite authors has passed on. He was a great influence, if not the influence on my philosophy of nearly everything. He will continue to be a great influence on anyone with a head on their shoulders who picks up a book of his and reads his unapologetic candor on life, love, war, humanity, God, knees and envelopes.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. November 11th, 1922 - April 11th, 2007.

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on the battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not.

So I will throw Veterns' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Breakfast of Champions 1993

May I add Slaughterhouse Five and Cat's Cradle and even Galapagos to that list of what is sacred. Vonnegut wouldn't like it, but I don't care, it's my list, and what one holds dear is really all that really makes anything sacred.

Whereas I was stunned with the death of Douglas Adams, and mourned for the loss of books that I'll never get to enjoy because they can't be written, here I mourn for the loss of a voice of reason and humanity in a world of insanity.

The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Hitler was

Kurt Vonnegut, March 4th, 2006 in The Free Press

He already said he was done writing, he was ready for the end, whatever that may be. I'm not sad to see a man ready for death gone across the veil, but I am sad for our own loss of that man.

The only proof he needed for the existence of God, was music.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. January 7th, 2006 Sunday Herald, on his requested epitaph

May you find what you're looking for, Mr. Vonnegut. We will miss you.

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