Monday, January 31, 2022


From Slime Mold Time Mold's comparison of the writings of adman Ogilvy and imperial strategist Zhuge Liang

Zhuge goes out of his way to specifically mention fighting injustice. “If your will is not strong,” he says, “if your thought does not oppose injustice, you will fritter away your life stuck in the commonplace, silently submitting to the bonds of emotion, forever cowering before mediocrities, never escaping the downward flow.”

That frittering sounds familiar. I guess if I want to be an imperial strategist I better figure out how to stop submitting to the bonds of emotion and stand up to mediocrities. The Ogilvy autobiog passage about growing up in Lewis Carroll's house and sneaking out to go to church has got me wanting more. 

One More
One last day of January today and of course it's the fifth Monday of the month. Jan. couldn't let us go without just one more. 

Go ahead, storm
Snowstorm hopefully later in the week. I hope for precipitation at least, in whatever form, for all of the western states. 

Substantial is an understatement for this video: Line Goes Up, by Dan Olson. It's a cryptocurrency explainer and I feel much more informed now. I recommend it, even if you only watch the first 20 minutes. My brother is a crypto investor and I wonder how that story will end. He's pretty lucky so maybe he'll take the ride and get out in time. My gut reaction to avoidavoidavoid has been bolstered by the new info. 


Thursday, January 6, 2022


It felt as though we Americans attempted to have a 'normal' Christmas. While also monitoring the wild spread of omicron. And grieving. And still recovering from too many years of that guy. A few friends confirmed that they felt more put upon than excited about the holidays. Of course, even without a plague, many people feel meh or worse at holiday time. But this felt different because even those who loooove xmas were working with a lot of stress and separation and so on.  

To enter into the zeitgeist, we drove to Texas for Christmas with my mother-in-law. We mostly avoided the general public and only interacted with a few people. We're all boosted and it turned out okay. My oldest daughter and I took quick tests later that were negative and no one's had any symptoms. After getting back from Texas I flew to ABQ to celebrate my mom's 80th. I wondered if the flight would be canceled or if public health warnings would intervene but no, it all went okay. 

Today my high school senior is having her first day back school after winter break. The weather is ##%^)&* with a little snow on the ground, temps in the teens and a wicked wind chill. Besides feeling sorry for her having to go out in that, I worry that she's going to spend her day in an Omicron stew. Vaxed and boosted and masked, vaxed and boosted and masked, I repeat to myself. I was heartened to read this post by a public health expert: There Is Good News, linked from the metafilter discussion.

Here's a rad picture of the adoration of the Magi which is identified as a copy of a Bosch original. I recommend zooming in to see the little dragon on the black king's orb/pot. Now *that* is a gift. Philadelphia Museum of Art link to full painting. Love the shadowy donkey too.

The full image also has bagpipers on the roof, a cook (?) peeking around over Mary's left shoulder and some amazing crown/helmets. The more I look at it the more stuff I see: Mary looks like she's got a headache (fair), the wattle and daub stable wall, the half naked king(?) peeking out, the golden sheaves in the hay loft, and the shape of the painted board. I found the picture in this article discussing the black Magus in European art. 

Starting this year, I have hope as well as anxiety. I wish good things for readers and writers, the sick and the well, and all those who are caring for others.