Friday, October 29, 2010


And now for something completely different...

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday.

Over the years I've thought long and hard about why this might be the case. Here are some of the reasons I've come up with:

----- Most other holidays are either religious or national in character. As such, they're rather provincial and exclusionary. Halloween transcends limits rather than imposes them.

----- Most other holidays seem to impose themselves on me. There's little room for personal creativity. Halloween, in contrast, allows us to be as creative with our costumes and our decorations as we want to be.

----- Most other holidays insist that we be Christian or American or seriously thankful for our food or at least halfway appreciative of hard-drinking Irish buffoons - whatever. Halloween is the one holiday that frees us from ourselves. We get to choose to be whoever - or whatever - we want.

----- Halloween empowers us to go out into the often off-limits night in the mask of our choice and interact with strangers, whatever their class or race or religion or ethnic origins. In some ways, it seems to be the holiday that most closely links neighbors together and creates the illusion - if only for a few brief hours - that we're all in this together.

All of which is after-the-fact analysis, of course. One of the best things about Halloween is that it's about dressing up and getting treats and having fun - not anything weighty. If Halloween conveys any message at all, it seems to be little more than "Don't get caught by the psycho with the chainsaw!"

In fact, Halloween is so unserious, it even allows us to make fun of the most serious subjects of all - insanity, dismemberment, and death.

My only quarrel with the way we celebrate it is this: Some towns refuse to treat it with the respect it deserves and shift trick-or-treat hours from Oct 31 to more "convenient" times.

My own town - like many in central Ohio - told the treaters to make their rounds last night. Why? Well, because Friday this time of year is all about high school football, and Sunday is of course The Lord's Day, and Saturday night - well, I guess Saturday night belongs to the drunk drivers. The bottom line is that Halloween was officially observed days earlier than it should have been, and, well... that's just wrong.

Or maybe I should say that's just WRONG for all those people who believe in absolute morality.

I mean, really - would any town council declare December 28 to be New Year's Day? Would any community in all of Ohio take it upon itself to declare July 1 the best day to celebrate American independence because of a conflict with a golf tournament? Would Christians start celebrating Christmas on December 22 if their city leaders told them that was for the best? I doubt it. Why are we lovers of Halloween expected to just grin and bear it? Is it because people who dress up as clowns appear to be pushovers? Is it because little girls in princess outfits have yet to be granted the right to vote? You'd think things might be different in Chicago, where the dead have been known to vote early and often, but no - the cops there want us to limit our doorbell ringings and front porch beggings to daylight hours!

Ok, well, we are talking about Chicago. Maybe that's not such a bad idea. Still....

The sad fact is that it's only October 29 here and Halloween has already officially come and gone. *Sigh*

Maybe if I'd had more than ONE solitary treater come to my door last night, I'd feel differently. As it is, I already can't wait for next October. And the October after that! Heck, given the way Halloween went last night, I think I have enough candy for the next 100 or so Halloweens!

What do you think? Were my pumpkins too scary? Is that what kept the kids away?

Maybe next year I should carve a watermelon instead?

A Messy World Gets Messier

So, as reported earlier, I spent about two hours Monday night at a Diabetes Management class to help me better understand the disease which my Significant Other was diagnosed with back in August.

Wednesday afternoon I spent another hour up close and personal with a test known as electronystagmography in an attempt to better understand my own recurrent bouts of vertigo.

I first became intimately familiar with the pleasures of vertigo some 12 years ago when I had a bout of labyrinthitis (i.e., an infection of the inner ear). Back then I was basically too dizzy to leave my bed for a week or so except for the most essential of reasons. It was a month of two before I stopped feeling wobbly and more or less back to normal.

I was pretty stable after that until about two years ago when I started suffering from so-called drop attacks - sudden spells of vertigo that left me falling to the ground, unable to precisely orient myself in space.

In the last few months, these very rare attacks have become less rare.

On Labor Day I was sitting in the car at the car wash, quietly waiting our turn with the Scrubbing Brushes, when without any warning whatsoever I felt as if I'd been pushed off a cliff. It was extremely upsetting and discombobulating, to say the least, and led to a six-hour visit to my local ER to rule out a stroke, a heart attack, and other serious conditions.

As near as can be determined at this point, it's just that old inner ear of mine again, refusing to play nice with my brain.

Now, I don't tell this story because I think it's especially interesting, or because I'm looking for sympathy and understanding, or because it provides the essential background information you need to truly appreciate my adventures in the Land of Tinnitus (which I'll spare you). Instead, I am offering it here as merely one more example of how extremely problematic and imperfect the allegedly perfectly designed human body really is.

The inner ear is such a little thing, really, its total weight amounting to a ridiculously small part of our overall heft, and yet even a relatively minor problem with it can leave us unable to perform such common daily tasks as standing up and walking from Point A to Point B.

A tiny virus can mess it up. So can small amounts of any number of common and ordinarily safe drugs. A simple head movement can throw it (and the crystals that it harbors) out of whack. Even a change in barometric pressure might induce an out-of-the-blue attack of life-changing dizziness.

Imagine if Ford built a car that might flip over every time the barometric pressure changes! Imagine a Ford sales representative trying to assure you that, despite this minor idiosyncrasy, this car was perfectly designed. Now imagine yourself actually buying this car instead of walking over to the Chevy dealer who sells vehicles that are much more likely to keep all four tires safely on the road.


If the inner ear were a car component, lawsuits would be filed, the government would insist on a recall, and the manufacturer would soon be bending over backwards apologizing and trying to make things right or face bankruptcy.

Why don't theists hold their allegedly perfect creator gOds to the same standards they hold automakers?

If contemplating the absurd beliefs and antics of these theists *isn't* making YOU dizzy by now, maybe you need to have YOUR inner ears checked out!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

God's Chosen People?

The following passages come from a recent story published by Haaretz:

Israel, where the incidence of breast cancer is among the highest in the world, launched an international breast cancer awareness month on Saturday.... Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in Israel. The high rate is attributed to the "Jewish gene" – three mutations in the genes BRACA1 and BRACA2 – which raise the likelihood of breast cancer by 60 to 80 percent. These mutations are relatively common among Jewish Ashkenazi women, at a rate of 2.5 percent (as opposed to 0.3 percent among the general population).


What kind of gOd afflicts his "chosen people" with such a terrible disease?

Or stands by and does so little to protect them?

A callous gOd?

A cruel gOd?

A gOd without the power to help?

A non-existent gOd?

Of all the possibilities, the last seems to me to be the only one that makes any sense.

If another one makes more sense to you, please tell me why.

(To learn more about how Ashkenazi Jews also seem to have a much greater likelihood of suffering from another health problem, go here.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Sign From Above?

That's part of a photo that appeared in my newspaper on Oct 16 with the caption "Fixing an 'act of God'"....

I'm not sure when the damage may have occurred, but the short accompanying story made clear that lightning did it.

Too bad whoever wrote that story didn't clarify exactly which gOd he or she may have had in mind. Since it was a Christian church, one might perhaps be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion that Zeus is still pissed off at all those who have turned their back on him and embraced a false religion, but you never know - maybe Jesus and/or his daddy are just sadistically toying with their devout followers yet again.

Given that people have worshiped thousands of named gOds over the centuries, how might we discover which deity or deities are responsible for this, that, or the other thing at any given time?

What's that, you say? It's best to reject them ALL as the vain imaginings of various folks unless and until someone gives us a non-absurd definition of gOd and can then go on to provide us with some good evidence that one actually exists?

Come here, Oh Wise One. If you've got the time, I think I want to marry you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This Messy World

It seems that a single week can't go by without my yet again encountering someone happily pointing at the world and proclaiming it the work of a perfect designer.

For as long as I can remember, I've looked at the same world and seen a terrible mess.

I was reminded of just how messy it can be when I accompanied my Significant Other to a special class in Diabetes Management last night.

I learned a lot during the 2+ hours we were there trying to understand a diagnosis that had come like a shot from the blue about 8 weeks ago.

Virtually everything I learned reminded me of just how fragile and imperfect that part of this world known as the human body really is....

Diabetes, as you probably know, is a disease that involves that body's inability to properly use and regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

According to the nurse who taught the class - someone who herself has now been battling the disease for 36 years - there's a strong genetic component involved as well as a variety of often poorly understood environmental triggers. The general risk factors are the same as those for breast cancer - family history, obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise, etc. - but the two diseases tend to provoke very different reactions. If you get breast cancer, you get a casserole; if you get diabetes, you get blamed. According to the nurse (Beth), such blame is unwarranted. Not every obese person is condemned to get the disease, and not every thin person is going to be lucky enough to avoid it. One of the most common causes may in fact be a virus.

As I looked around the room at the 20 or so other people there, it was hard to find a common denominator. Both genders were represented, as were a variety of age groups and body types. I didn't do a count at the time, but I think there were three black people there - about the same percentage of people in the room as in this area of Ohio as a whole. Beth herself was white, thin, and seemingly too young to have been fighting diabetes for nearly 4 decades.

Nobody present looked as if they deserved to have this disease.

Who would deserve such a thing? Hitler? Stalin? Saddam Hussein? Osama bin Laden? As far as I know, they all seem to have managed to somehow avoid it.

It is a terribly complex disease, as I suppose most are once you take the time to learn about them in depth. It's not just a matter of the pancreas not being able to produce enough glucose-devouring insulin (although that's often a part of it). Turns out that the liver, among its many other functions, stores sugar. If you wake up with high blood glucose levels, it's probably because your liver is "leaking" sugar when it shouldn't be. One of the most commonly prescribed medicines for diabetes plugs that leak.

A few years ago they also discovered that there's a hormone in the gut that plays a critical role in regulating insulin production. If it doesn't send the right signals to the pancreas in response to what we eat, the pancreas won't produce the right amount of insulin even if it's perfectly healthy.

Then you have the way the cells of the body can become increasingly unable to use the insulin that is produced....

The bottom line is that you end up with too much glucose in your blood, for whatever reason. And too much glucose in the blood can lead to a wide variety of terrible complications. Blindness. Kidney failure. Heart disease. Amputations. You don't want too much sugar in your blood!

And it turns out that there's not a whole lot of difference between enough and too much. If I understood Beth correctly, if a lab technician draws your blood and sees 4 red blood cells per 100 with sticky glucose stuck to them, you're fine. If that techie sees more than 7 red blood cells with sticky glucose stuck to them, congratulations - you're diabetic.

That leaves a pretty small margin for error. We're not talking about the difference between black and white here - we're talking about the difference between fine shades of pink....

The older you get, the more likely you are to have diabetes. Like everything else in the body, it seems that the pancreas and its regulation gets more and more problematic as things slow down and wear out.

There is no cure.

Before 1921 - the year injectable insulin became available - there were no good treatments. Untold generations of human beings got and ultimately died from yet another disease in a long list of them that nobody understood until the last century.

It is very hard for me to square any of this with a perfect designer.

It is even harder for me to square it with the loving Jesus that so many Christians are wont to prattle on about as if they have never read a history book, opened a newspaper, or visited a hospital or cemetery....


As if that reminder of the extreme messiness of this world wasn't enough, I was presented with another one today.

For much of the afternoon my state of Ohio was plagued by severe storms that brought with them the very real possibility of tornadoes.

At last report, at least three tornadoes actually did form. Perhaps as many as five dropped down to play havoc with the lives of random people who no more deserved such destructive whirlwinds than the people in that classroom last night deserved their private inner storms. No one was killed or seriously injured, but no one needed to be in order for this world to once again be exposed as the dangerously unpredictable place that it is.

And dangerously unpredictable places cannot be called examples of perfect design.

And yet they are.

The vicious mental swirls that prompt people to say such absurd things are perhaps the most frightening of all. We're supposed to be the smart species, after all. If the rough edges of this world are ever going to be filed down, we're the ones who are going to have to do the filing. It doesn't help matters a bit to have people around who are blind to those rough edges. And it seems maddeningly counter-productive to have people around who are actually praising those rough edges for their "perfect" design.

In my estimation, it's like calling the fire department when your house is on fire, then watching in shock and disbelief as the firemen cheer on the flames as everything you hold dear goes up in smoke.

I think the human species can do better than that.

MUCH better.

Why does such a large part of it refuse to do so?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Update On Jan David Clark

You might remember Jan David Clark.

He's the Odessa, Texas man who killed his 59-year-old wife, Susan, while allegedly attempting to rid her body of a demon back in Feb 2008.

His murder trial concluded last week.

The good news (if anything in cases like this can be called good news) is that a jury convicted him after just 20 minutes of discussion.

It then sentenced him to life in prison after another 20 minutes of discussion.

He could have been sentenced to as little as 5 years.

As it is, it seems that other human beings are now safe from his attempts to exorcise Satan's minions from their bodies unless they happen to be unlucky enough to share a cell with him.

The bad news is that we can hardly dismiss his beliefs as those of a lone nut.

According to an Oct 19 story by Jim Mustian, 66 prospective jurors were interviewed before the trial began - and more than a dozen of them said that they believe in demonic possession.

That's about 1 in 5 adults in Ector County, Texas chosen at random for jury duty (or perhaps from a more selective list of registered voters).


How many are parents who might also end up believing that the best cure for their child's tantrums or autism or schizophrenia or homosexuality is a good old-fashioned exorcism?

How many might be spouses who think their own marital problems might be solved by simply beating the devil out of their life partner?

How many might actually be nodding in agreement with Rush Limbaugh's recent insinuation that President Obama is demonically evil?

The vast majority of us may now be safe from the madness of Jan David Clark - but when will any of us ever be truly safe from the madness of all those who share the same basic belief that apparently prompted his murderous behavior?

I Had A Dream....

There are a lot of things that people really have no business sharing with other people.

Colds, for example.

And Social Security numbers.

And recipes for liver meringue pie.

To which list I have always tended to add things like vacation photos and "cute" stories about the kids and overheated descriptions of "the weirdest dream I had last night!" Such things simply depend way too much on subjective associations and feelings that others can't possibly share. No matter how much these things may mean to the person compelled to share them, they're almost always tedious at best for others. At worst, they're like sitting at a bus stop as the two people sitting next to you slowly graduate from speaking baby talk to making out.


Well, this entry is a description of the weirdest dream I had last night. I don't think it's particularly overheated, but then I wouldn't, would I? The self-deluded teller of these tales never does.

Run while you can!


Ok. Now that I'm alone, I can safely record the details here just so I can get them out of my head and move on to more productive activities, like lunch.

As is often the case in my dreams, I was merely an observer, a camera, a fly-on-the-wall - not a participant. I assume this is because almost all my dreams occur while I'm asleep and I'm simply too tired to be bothered to do anything more strenuous.

This particular dream was set in a large high school conference room or library. The US Supreme Court was seated at a table. Apparently the justices had decided that it was good to get out of Washington once in a while and conduct its affairs in places where normal Americans could easily observe.

Well, what those few dozen Americans who bothered to come to this high school on this day observed was Chief Justice John Roberts confessing that he often got very sleepy during sessions and nodded off. To help solve this problem he'd hired an aide whose job was to stand in the back of the chamber (or in this case, the large high school conference room or library) and watch for the first sign that Roberts was getting sleepy - at which point the aide pulled out and shook a teddy bear with huge googly eyes. Roberts, seeing this bear, would either force himself to be more awake or call a recess before he lost consciousness. Problem solved!

Everyone seemed mightily impressed as the aide nodded and waved and displayed the bear after being pointed out by Roberts as he lurked even then in the back of the meeting space.

Apparently this was exactly the kind of wisdom all those present expected in a chief justice.

Roberts then announced that the question-and-answer portion of the program would soon begin, but first he asked for five M&Ms. When someone gave him the five M&Ms, he carefully placed them on the seats of the five suddenly absent justices and announced that these M&Ms were actually Rockettes. He then went on and on about how much he had always loved the Rockettes, and that the five very special members now seated before us would soon be dancing and kicking up their heels for the enjoyment of all those present.

As Roberts continued to praise the attributes and qualities of the "Rockettes" in increasingly offensive sexist terms, a lady in the audience got up and started to storm out. Just as she reached the door the justice who looked like a cross between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Granny from "The Beverly Hillbillies" loudly demanded to know if she was prejudiced against Christians.

"Yes," the woman turned and unapologetically declared. "Yes, I am."

"Oh, well, the only reason I asked," Justice Granny said, "is because my husband is, too, and I thought you could be his companion while we're in town. I only ask that you and he don't run off and found your own colony!"

This seems to have set off a general hullabaloo among the others present. One woman ran out clutching the folded up US flag that had adorned the casket of a relative killed in Iraq after she thought that another woman present hadn't shown the respect towards it that she should have.

It was at this point that I myself half woke up, convinced that the man in the old "Time to make the donuts" commercials was picking my pocket.

What I was doing in my own dream, I don't know. As I said above, I almost never appear in my own dreams. Why I should appear in this one as a crime victim, I don't know. I would have much preferred to have stayed and watched the Rockettes dance, or maybe eat them, but... it seems to be an ironclad rule that I never get what I want in my dreams.

That's it. I wish I had a stronger ending for this entry, but... I guess I'm not going to get that, either.

At least it didn't melt in my mind before I could spit it out.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Secret Fear

I suppose we all have secret fears.

Some people I've known have confessed to me that they're scared to death of clowns.

One or two folks of the female gender have actually confessed to me that they're terrified of butterflies.

Once I even saw a painting some guy had made of a vagina with teeth. Apparently his secret fear was that someday a woman's genitalia was going to chew off his penis.

My secret fear isn't quite that bizarre, but it is, I think, even more disturbing in its own way. At least to me, anyway. Which I guess is why it's my secret fear, huh?

Anyway, my secret fear is this: The Chinese are bombarding us with caramelized microwaves, or poisoning us with juicy cadmium, or otherwise slowly but steadily turning our great big huge American brains into pureed neuron sauce.

It just seems to me that too many people are acting way too stupid for it to be a coincidence.

I mean, really - Sarah Palin? For PRESIDENT? I'm thinking it takes a huge amount of microwaves, cadmium, and maybe a ton or two of cyber LSD disseminated by Twitter to prompt huge crowds of people to gather and cheer on THAT possibility.

A rather more mundane confirmation of my hypothesis that all our noodles are being secretly cooked al dente came today when I invited a woman into my house and she quoted me an outrageous price for a service I'm embarrassed to admit I asked her to perform.

Yes, I'm talking upholstery here.

Wanton reupholstery, to be exact.

To explain as briefly as possible: My in-laws died this summer. Among the many items I ended up with as a result are a pair of smallish wingback chairs that I tried to sell at an estate sale for $25 each. NO takers. I mean to say, I sold all sorts of outright shit for more money than that (including 3 silly little fountain pens for $50!), but these babies couldn't be given away. So I thought, what the hell - maybe I'll keep them. After all, they keep my butt from hitting the floor when I go to sit down just as effectively as expensive newborn chairs from my local furniture farm. (Or wherever it is that new furniture comes from. It's been so long since I've got any, I'm afraid I don't quite remember the details. In vitro pillowization...?)

Ok, so... just out of curiosity, I invited a local upholstery person of the female gender into my house today to tell me how much it might cost to recover these chairs so that it might actually be obvious when a cat has decided to puke on them. I made it clear that I was willing to pay good money for this service as well as any other that might relieve me of the need to sniff out the site of the accident (or act of revenge, or private little joke, or mad experiment in alternate eating habits - it's never easy to tell with a cat, is it?).

Who knew that one small woman's definition of "good money" could be soooooo different than mine?

I was thinking maybe $50 a chair, plus tax and postage.

She quoted me a figure of $1100.

As the minutes passed and she didn't join me in laughing and rolling around on the floor, it slowly dawned on me that she was serious.

Ooooo.... Awkward!

As politely as possible, I told her that I would think about it, then escorted her to the door before dropping to the floor and resuming my laughing and rolling around.

On the bright side, I didn't inadvertently encounter any cat puke while I was down there.

On the not-so-bright-side.... $1100. Yikes! Only Chinese microwaves, cadmium, and maybe a ton or two of cyber LSD disseminated via Twitter could explain a figure that out of touch with reality.


Or maybe - just maybe - my own brain has been so thoroughly cooked by those microwaves, it actually mistook an $1100 bargain for a brutal mugging.

Some new stuffing was promised, after all.

And the stubby little wooden legs were going to be given a right good polishing....


I guess the bottom line is, either Upholstery Lady is mad mad MAD for seriously tossing out a figure like that (especially in the morning, when I like my women the same way I like my coffee - i.e., NOT talking about upholstery) - or I'm mad mad MAD for expecting a much lower one.

It's all just one more sign (in a long list of them) that there's a terrible disconnect between the World Out There and the World Inside My Head.

To paraphrase something I once read from T.S. Eliot (maybe in a letter to his power company), "I really hope I'm the problem, because if I'm not, it means that the problem is the universe itself."

Except I don't hope that at all.

And my secret fear is that the problem is the universe itself.

Or at least those damned Chinese!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Chipmunk Gene

The thing that's nice about hitting yourself in the head with a board is that it feels soooooo good when you stop.

But then what?

Fortunately, I have several other skills I can fall back on after the swelling has gone down.

One of those skills springs from what I suspect is my Chipmunk Gene - that little bit of DNA that prompts me to go scurrying off every day in search of as many delicious tidbits of information as I can find.

I think many people share this gene with me (and of course with the chipmunk) - it just expresses itself differently in different folks.  Some are prompted to collect shiny baubles (gems, jewels, rich bald-headed husbands); some are prompted to collect Manly Things (tools, guns, arterial plaque).  I collect information the way black suede collects white lint.  I'm not sure why, all I know is that the more I have stashed away on my computer, in my office, or in my head, the better I feel.

But not just *any* information will do, mind you.  I don't want to know what Tony said about Barb when Charlene walked out of the room.  Nor do I much care to learn anything about who may be sleeping with whom these days in Hollywood.  And I am positively allergic to rosters, standings, statistics, and anything else to do with sports.  I just don't care who has put a ball somewhere most often or the farthest or in the fastest time.  If ball placement ever *does* become essential to the survival of the species, I trust scientists will invent a much better and more efficient means to achieve the desired end than a 9 iron.  Until then, the executives at ESPN might want to start broadcasting static shots of dust mites or cookies if they want to attract my attention.  (NOTE: Broadcasting static shots of dust mites AND cookies is probably not the best way to go!)

All of which is mere prelude to what I really want to say - which is that I recently found a few tidbits of information that I've been DYING to share.

Those tidbits were gathered from the October 4 issue of Time magazine.  Specifically, from a story in that issue that (ironically enough) was related to sports!

You can read it for yourself here - or you can just keep reading this entry and trust that my brief description of that article will do it justice.

That brief description goes like this:  It seems that many sports figures are now wearing Power Balance Wristbands in the belief that it boosts their abilities even though the scientific claims being made for these items are utter bullshit.  As the article quotes psychology professor Stuart Vyse as saying, "A lot of these products are a sort of merchandized superstition."

So, ok - there *might* be some placebo effect going on here in that if you put a dab of peanut butter behind your ear before a tennis match in the sincere (albeit delusional) belief that it'll help you hit the ball better, you just might hit the ball better.  But that's a pretty lame reason to encourage others to put a dab of peanut butter behind their ears unless you happen to be the maker of Jif or Skippy.

The key passage of the article for me - the Grade AAA choicest tidbit of information that I shall be treasuring back in my den for a *very* long time - goes like this:

"Between 15% and 30% of any population or group will have what's known as high-range hypnotic susceptibility, which makes them inclined to look for outside answers, search for improvement assistance and be vulnerable to those giving them simple answers to what they're striving for," says Roland Carlstedt, a clinical researcher and the chairman of the American Board of Sport Psychology."


Yes Yes YES!! 

That perfectly explains the behavior I've observed in everything from group school projects to Intro to Philosophy classes to our national politics. 

15-30% of any human group are essentially sheep - creatures long on needs and short on critical thinking skills.  Those great needs and lack of skills sets them up for easy manipulation - by talk radio hosts, by religious leaders, and by all kinds of people who are basically selling their own peculiar version of wristbands with "a Mylar hologram designed to react with the body's natural energy flow." 

"High-range hypnotic susceptibility"!  Isn't it swell to finally have a NAME for this madness?


Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need to find that card Time sent me yesterday that offered to extend my subscription for another 3 years for a mere $40.

After all, we chipmunk types always sleep better when we know where our next info-meal is coming from.  :-) 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

C'est la Vie

Sad to say, yesterday afternoon didn't go exactly as planned.

It turned out that the French voice in my head is on strike.  Apparently it's quite upset at the French government's plan to raise its retirement age from 60 to 62.  Since I myself have wanted to retire ever since I was 3, I can't really blame it.

Nor can I really blame the Bulgarian voice in my head that was willing to cross the picket line to regale me with old stories of its life under the domination of a Soviet ventriloquist - but after 5 hours of that, I forced myself.

My plan for this afternoon is to lighten the mood considerably by sitting quietly in my room, hitting myself in the head with a board.

Wish me luck! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pitching My Tent

Ok, so... after posting for many years at Open Diary, I've finally been driven into exile by the latest, days-long service interruption.  It's pretty obvious that the site has some serious problems that the Powers That Be over there either can't or won't fix in the way I need them to. 

So, here I am... a stranger in a strange blogger realm after hastily grabbing all the words and thoughts and feelings that I could before setting off for what I hope will ultimately be a better on-line life for both me and the voices in my head.

Many of those voices are now saying that I should have done this years ago.

Others, however, are not so sure. 

One voice says I'm not going far enough - that I should abandon cyberspace entirely and return to the pen and paper land of my birth. 

I can only wonder which voice(s) will be vindicated in the long run.

Well, to the extent that the seductive French voice in my head lets me wonder anything at all. 

Ah, the journey here has left me so exhausted... I think I shall lie down for awhile and let that voice have its way with me for the rest of the afternoon.