Apparently my son-in-law is diabetic.
I didn’t know this. He didn’t know it. (He may not know it yet, because he’s in ICU in Dublin, responding to insulin therapy but set up for dialysis if that proves necessary, and his state of consciousness is … iffy.) The onset was so severe and unexpected, there were no symptoms before very late Wednesday night and they didn’t become truly worrisome till yesterday afternoon (Ireland time, which I think is about eight hours ahead of US Central Standard).
I found out about it … well, barely two hours ago, I got home and there was a text from Susan on my phone that our daughter (sroni) had sent her a message by Facebook, so I started questing for details because Susan is still at work.
We’ve wound up using a range of electronic communications. I contacted sroni through Facebook text, got information, relayed it to Susan through phone texts, sent a summary message to my son Kevin (still in China, yes) by WeChat; then sroni went to a different part of the hospital when her husband was moved to ICU, and switched over to Skype on her tablet.
So many avenues, and we used them all because they were there for us to use.
People got by before these various conduits of information were available. Their lives were full and complex, so it’s not a matter of how unfortunate they were. All the same, I feel that we ARE fortunate, to be able to keep one another informed — and become informed ourselves — at such speed, over such distances.
The world is not what it once was. People used to say the globe was shrinking, meaning that the speed of travel and communication had made distance less of a barrier to people in different parts of the world. In that sense it was true, but ‘shrinking’ implies constriction, and my world is larger now that it was even when my children were born. The conquest of these barriers has changed not only what we can do, but how we think.
I am not unhappy about that.
Apparently my son-in-law is diabetic.
[I’m re-posting this because I just noticed I failed to change the original post, over a month ago, from ‘private’ — while I was making sure everything looked right — to ‘public’.]
Number of my fics where the “f”-word has appeared: 20
Number of times some form of the word was used: 37
Number of characters in my fics who have used it: 12
Greatest offender: Faith (who else?), with 24 of the total 37
– Eleven times in one fic
– Three times each in two fics
– Twice in one fic
– Once each in five fics
Second worst offender: Xander (once each in five fics)
Others: three OCs, Gunn, Joyce, Kennedy, Marcie, Nancy Doyle (twice in one fic), and an otherfandom character in a crossover
Number of fics with f-word appearance per year:
Much of my initial reticence came from the fact that — though done for my own pleasure, and published online for anyone to see — my fics were written primarily as something I could share with my kids, who even by 2000 were still early teens. Obviously, as they got older, I became less concerned with their reaction … but, you know, I’ve just never been inclined to use rough language in my writing except for the specific purpose of making a particular effect.
The world has other ideas these days. That’s them, though. I’m me.
Here’s MY stuff.
I found out about LiveJournal more or less by accident. As a Buffy fanfic aficionado, I was constantly following links to stories recommended by people I trusted, and since I was in-theater in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time, I would find a story on a machine in the internet tent, copy the whole page to a thumb drive, and then read it on my own laptop back in my hootch. LJ was a major pain for that, because my copy attempts kept picking up all the comments at the end of the post; unwelcome to me at the time (more effort to get at what I wanted), but the commentary is what actually got me to eventually join the LJ community. Feedback was enormously more easy to give and receive through the LJ interface — though it took me a long time to reach the point where I could recognize the fact — and it’s been my primary online interaction ever since.
Maybe the new changes in ownership and policies will diminish or even ruin all that. It hasn’t for me, not yet, and I can hope it won’t.
Hufflepuff: Knowledge is its own reward.
Ravenclaw: Knowledge is power.
Slytherin: Power is power. Knowledge is one way of acquiring it.
Gryffindor: This – is – SPARTA!
We keep hearing about political forces in California trying to mount a movement for secession from the United States. I’m like many, many people in thinking 1) we’d be better off without them, and 2) but even so, you just can’t allow something like that, it’s wrong in principle. Now someone in this blog post has lined out several (if not all) of the reasons it not only shouldn’t happen, but probably couldn’t. (The following is all direct quote, except for the segment in [brackets].)
- Federal land in the state. Almost half of the state’s area is Federally owned; National Forest, BLM [presumably the Bureau of Land Management, not Black Lives Matter], military bases, and so forth. What would become of those Federal lands? Would the new California national government pay the United States fair value for those lands? Or would the state just seize the properties? If so, how? Which brings us to:
- The military. Never mind for a moment that the several military bases in California are Federal property, and that the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen on those bases work for the Federal government and are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, not the state of California. Would California start their own military? Their own army, navy, and air force? How would they pay for it? More to the point, who would serve in it? Who would lead it? There is no Lee in California; no Longstreet, no Jackson.
- Water. California doesn’t have enough native water to support its population. Instead, they depend on water from the Colorado river. If California secedes, how will they pay for this water? Rivers can be dammed and/or diverted. Colorado, Nevada and Arizona could certainly find good use for the 4.4 million acre-feet of water that go to California every year.
- Electricity. California imports about 1/3 of its electricity from its neighboring states. Given that the state is not fond of building new power plants — at least, the wealthy coastal elites who effectively run the state are not fond of building new power plants — what will California do for power? Will they continue to pay to suckle at the United States’ power grid? If so, how will they pay for it?
- Currency. Will California start coining money? Who will set monetary and fiscal policy for the new nation — the people who are running California’s economy now? Welcome to the Greece of the West, folks.
- Politics. California is a big, sparsely populated red state dominated by a few densely populated bright blue population centers — primarily Los Angeles and San Francisco. The state’s farmers and tradesmen are ruled, effectively, by a well-off coastal elite. Suppose rural northern California, the Central Valley, and maybe Orange County refuse to go along? What if those areas vote to stay in the United States? Will the new California national government stick to their newly found principles of self-determination and allow those areas to remain? And if they do, how will a tiny coastal nation consisting of a couple of major cities and a few hundred miles of coastline feed itself? Speaking of which:
- Food. California is largely desert. The fertile Central Valley produces less and less food all the time, strangled by excessive rules and regulations from the state and (to be fair) the Imperial government. Should the secession prove acrimonious, could California find the wherewithal to release Central Valley farmers (if there are any left) to start producing grain and truck crops?
- Foreign Affairs. Who would California’s international allies be? The most obvious one is the mother country — the United States — but just as in the first time this was tried, it’s likely there would be some hard feelings. Nations have no permanent friends, only permanent interests; who would serve California’s interests in an alliance? Mexico? China?
There’s also the 1861 question; should California announce their secession, would President Trump send in the Army to force them to remain? If so, California wouldn’t be able to resist the way the old Confederacy did. It’s highly doubtful half the professional U.S. military would defect to fight for California.
Honestly, the folks agitating for a secession of California aren’t thinking this thing through. The one thing California would have to do to make it as a separate nation is to switch political philosophies and adopt personal liberty, free markets, and minimal intervention by government in the economy and the property rights of its citizens — and this, True Believers, is everything that California is not. It would be a matter of decades at the most before California sank into a Venezuelan quagmire. We don’t need that on our western border, and California’s citizens don’t need it in their bank accounts.
I can understand the base sentiment of the movement, since some people in Texas (no, I don’t live in Texas, but I did for several years) were making some of the same arguments back when the constant tide of oppressive progressivism seemed on the brink of becoming unbearable. But a nation simply can’t allow portions of itself to opt out — it can’t, and hope to remain a nation instead of an endlessly subdividing collection of Balkan enclaves — and the preceding points show why, in this particular case, it’s not a good idea for the people in the state in question.
Life is tough. Sometimes (as in, pretty much most of the time) you just have to deal with things you don’t like.
Today is the two-year mark on my current job. Outside the Army, that’s the longest I’ve stayed in one position in the last fifteen years. Which makes it a shame that I’m looking for something else I can do … almost, anything else I can do.
The work isn’t that hard, but they keep changing the job. The company itself appears to be battling a loss of business nationwide, which means they keep cutting our hours — not mine, the total hours available to the store itself — which means they have to get by on fewer workers, which means those remaining have to do the same amount of work with fewer hands to carry the load. Several of the imperatives communicated to me operate in contravention to one another: cover my station, take care of the inventory that’s brought to me, carry out my closing duties (three shifts of every five are closing, two are morning), and do it all within the hours allotted me. Some of the things I have to do require me to go away from my station, but that’s not an excuse; some of them, if I can’t leave my station, require me to go over my hours once someone has relieved me. The totality of it makes a frustration that I don’t want to have to continue dealing with.
I’d like to get back into long-haul trucking; I loved being a soldier, but I actually more enjoyed the actual work of being a truck driver. The question is whether I could hold up to it physically now. I’m still fine at this point, but I’m at an age where things could start going downhill with no warning.
It would be nice to just pick a place and stay there. This one could have been it; the pay wasn’t great, but was adequate as long as other things were under control. As it is, I’d rather switch than stay and fight it out.
I hear there’s a new show, Riverdale, a darker or semi-subversive take on the old Archie characters and venue. Haven’t watched it yet, but I really enjoyed the 2015 re-imagining of the Archie universe, so I’ll probably check it out as soon as I have some time off.
One thing I did see, though: a comment, somewhere, that this new show reminded someone of nothing so much as the Vampire Diaries. Never seen a single episode of that (or wanted to, because I’m just not interested), but the comment is certainly suggestive.
Funny how it never occurred to me before, but ‘Riverdale’ has the same cadence (and same number of syllables, and same number of letters) as ‘Sunnydale’ …
In Chapter 11 of “Xander and Yet ANOTHER Demon”, a BtVS/SG-1 crossover which served as my unexpected introduction to the delightful imagination of Diane Castle, it is described how a drunken Xander took an equally drunken Anise on a quest for Twinkie-flavored ice cream. He was adamant about what he wanted, and loudly proclaimed that he wouldn’t return to that particular establishment until they stocked Twinkie-flavored ice cream
Well, that day is here.
Which leaves only the one question: can Buffy fandom predict the future, or can Buffy fandom CREATE the future?
My wife earns, as far as I can tell, nearly nine times as much as I do.
My wife is waiting until her next paycheck so she can afford a doctor’s visit to renew the prescriptions that ran out while she was making her most recent trip to Ireland.
Meanwhile, back at home, on one-ninth of her income, I’ve stuck enough into savings that I could replace my car if I unexpectedly needed to do so. (A pretty poor replacement, but I could do it.)
Something about that just doesn’t seem to add up.
(Yes, I’m being snide and tongue-in-cheek. I have money because I don’t spend it on unnecessary crap. Every time I eat at McDonald’s, part of me is aware of that as an extravagance. And so, because I’m willing to do with less, I wind up having more. Sounds like a paradox, but it isn’t.)