Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.


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Nothing like getting sick to take the wind out of one’s sails. I’m hardly ever sick, which came in handy back in my corporate drone days. I would use my sick leave for vacation time. Or pretend to be sick when I wanted a day off. Shocking to some folks I guess, some people are really, well, square? Met a lady once, she had a tale to tell. She worked for a big utility company in a big office in South Lake Tahoe. One day word came in that the office was going to be closed, and they were all being transferred to an office in Bakersfield. Some context here for my non-Californian readers. South Lake Tahoe is heaven on Earth, a vacation paradise. Bakersfield is cultural and actual desert hell.

So what happened that shocked this lady? Several people, on hearing this news, simply dropped everything and left. No giving notice, no nothing, just “Oh? I quit, bye.” She of course dutifully moved to Bakersfield to continue her career. She couldn’t understand why people would just walk out like that. Not a problem for me, they were free, not voluntary slaves. They valued their lives more than their careers. Apparently an unusual trait in some quarters.

Was there any point to this story? Some people have a hard time seeing things from other people’s perspectives. A lot of people really. Maybe most people. Or worse, they make up their own version of the other person’s perspective. Oh, say, how conservatives imagine liberals to be. Or liberals imagine conservatives to be. Just tossing that out there as an aside.

So yeah, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed on November 7th 1940, image above. Four months after it was opened. Oops. Turned out the wind made it twist and shake, the bridge was nicknamed Galloping Gertie shortly after it opened. There’s a dog in the car, the only casualty from the collapse. RIP doggie. The bridge was rebuilt, lessons learned, it’s still a windy crossing to this day.

The weather system that knocked down the bridge did get its pound of flesh though. Moving east, it became the infamous midwestern blizzard retroactively named “The Day the Duck Hunters Died.” Mostly in Minnesota. A lot of duck hunters were out in boats and not prepared for a winter blizzard, this being decades before accurate satellite weather forecasts. Or gore tex down jackets.

TIL that there are indeed Little Bighorn Reenactments. The Battle of Greasy Grass. Custer’s last stand. How a guy who was killed while attempting to commit a genocidal war crime was an American hero and martyr pretty much explains America. Well, white America.

After several days of sick inspired inactivity (Dayquil may knock out the symptoms, but it doesn’t recharge the batteries,) a lot of my chronic physical complaints subsided. I may have to revisit my theory that being out of shape was the problem. Maybe burning the candle at both ends and the middle was the problem. I’m not a springy 19 year old anymore, maybe 12 hour days are asking too much of my body. I will ponder this.

I had an epiphany last night. I can only recommend them, nothing like a good epiphany to clear the cobwebs from one’s brain. Can I explain it? Sure! One more book to add to the “todo” list. It’s a long list at this point. I’ve gotten rid of almost all of my stuff so I can concentrate on the list, but still, unlikely I will ever finish it. The epiphany involved God, sorcery, and my friend Johnny.

I read about a couple today who adopted a monkey to see if they were ready to have a kid. Yes, the astute reader (or even alert vegetable reader) can already spot the potential issues with that plan. Monkey vaguely shaped like baby, otherwise not similar at all. Ended badly, monkey went into dryer, maid didn’t notice, fried monkey. So they got a second monkey to try again. In other words, THEY WEREN’T IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM PREPARED TO HAVE A BABY. Did they ever have one? I hope not.

One can make a case that unqualified parents having babies is the root of humanity’s problems. It certainly isn’t helping. I’m still sticking with my theory: Cultures that don’t have safe outlets for people with unlimited greed and no scruples are ultimately doomed. This would include our civilization. Coal burning for power has doubled since the year 2,000. Yeah, we’re hosed.

So I’m pretty much recovered from my cold. My housemates thoughtfully didn’t lift a finger while I was sick, so I got to do all sorts of catch up cleaning today. On the plus side, I like living in a clean home. And tomorrow is Veteran’s Day! Basically I will spend the day going from one restaurant to the next getting free meals. I’m a veteran, says so right on my driver’s license! I wonder if free beer is included? Oh good, the water alarm is going off, the basement is flooding again. Story of my life. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Copyright © 2019 Doug Stych. All rights reserved.

(Image: The Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing on November 7th 1940. Credit: Barney Elliot, black and white low resolution still from a 16mm colour motion picture. Claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law.)


Written by unitedcats

November 10, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Posted in History, Personal

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