They say that it is good to learn at least one new thing each day.
Yesterday I learned that rush hour traffic exists (on I95 and the Capitol
Beltway) on Saturdays. (Non, je ne comprends pas ... [how do you
Today I learned that if you screw up badly enough, you can get
Cheddar cheese to burn with a visible flame (yellow, by the way),
instead of just quietly turning black and smoking. Surprisingly,
breakfast was still rather tasty ... but unsurprisingly, the house
now smells funny. (Sorry, B.)
The thing about falling snow is that even at its absofuckinglutely
most annoying, it's still pretty. (The same cannot be said
for already-fallen snow, as one of its more annoying modes occurs
when it's all dingy and ooky-looking. *shrug*)
Cursed be those who use rare or nonstandard screw threads on things
for which users will need to obtain large numbers of screws later.
Fie on them! *ptui*
Apparently my bass is only too quiet when maugorn
is present. Other times I'm told it's too loud. (The word I got
last night was that the bass parts sounded really cool, but I
drowned out the bouzouki and the drum. Whoops. In other news,
the fingertips of my left hand are really sore now, after spending
a big chunk of Friday night on bass guitar and the second half
of last night's gig on double bass. (The marathon strip-the-willow
set felt like it was going to kill my arm and/or a few of the
dancers, who were having too much fun to stop dancing even as one
of them later said he was trying to remember the location of the
nearest hospital in case he danced himself into a heart attack.)
Related to the preceeding item, I've realized that completely
filled mixers make me nervous, even when the mixer is filled simply
because it's exactly the size we need. (And brand new,
so having a channel suddenly die on us was unlikely.) I just get
unreasonably twitchy knowing that there's no room left to plug in
anything else. It worked out just fine (except for not turning
up the drum and bouzouki when I started tugging at the bass); the
'problem' is a personal mental one.
I need more comfortable dressy flat shoes. The ones I wear to visit
Mom and for coat-and-tie gigs (last night was coat-and-tie-and-kilt)
are nowhere near as comfortable as my pumps, my medieval/Celtic shoes,
or even my winter boots. I probably shouldn't wear shoes that make
my feet hurt; I've got a surplus of physical pain in my life already.
Not that I'm likely to get around to doing anything about that
until/unless I start needing to wear those shoes significantly more
often than I do now.
And more 'news' than 'observation': I think Perrine has forgiven
me for Friday. She was mad at me all of Saturday. But since what
she was annoyed about was my having left her alone for so long and
feeding her really, really, really late, she couldn't express her
anger by snubbing me -- she needed her togetherness fix. So she
sat on my hip in bed, and later curled up by my ankles, but glowered
at me whenever we were both awake, and refused to take treats from
me. Today she seems her normal self, even wanting to play a while
before breakfast (despite having given me the "I'm hungry" signal
as I woke up). Playing "pounce on the disappearing string" with
her as I was falling asleep last night may have helped. (I poked
a scrap piece of rawhide lace out from under the blanket and slowly
reeled it back in, giving her a chance to pounce and grab it as it
disappeared, thrusting her paws under the blanket to catch it.
Perrine likes that game.)
So my cat was mad at me, but she couldn't punish me by ignoring me
without making herself more unhappy. (Fortunately she did not reach
the peeing-on-things level of feline annoyance.)
Let's see -- I left the house last Sunday and returned home on
Wednesday. Then I dared to leave the house again on
Thursday -- only for a couple of hours to get my guitar picks
(er ... fingernails) repaired and shop (unsuccessfully) for screws
(fie, I say!), but she didn't know that as I was leaving. Friday
evening I went to silmaril's birthday party and stayed
late, including the aforementioned missed feeding, and yesterday
I bustled about clearly preparing to leave the house yet again.
And Perrine hates it when I leave. (Yes, my cat is a bit clingy.
When I first got her, she followed me around from room to room
for several days straight, waking up to follow me if I stood up
while she was sleeping. Abandonment issues? She was wearing a
collar but starving to death when I found her on my back porch.)
What she'd do if I had a regular job, I do not know. Every time
I take a shower, she tries to pin me to the bed with her cat-gravity
before I can put clothes on, and gets all "I need to be Petted and
Scritched a WHOLE LOT, Right NOW", because she knows that showering
and getting dressed usually means Leaving The House, which she
doesn't want me to do. This doesn't usually stop me, of course.
It just makes me wish she coped better with my going away every so
often, as most humans have to do.
And since I've mentioned
I've been pondering a slightly different explanation than
the one put forth by Robin Wood. I'm thinking that super-heroes
are, in gravitic terms, anti-cats. That is, we often see super-heroes
(and super-villains) performing feats that require not only the
great strength so many super-heroes are known for, but also incredible
inertial mass. No matter how strong you are, if you mass ten slugs
(~300# on Earth) and get smacked by an automobile massing a dozen
times as much (a couple of tons) going thirty or forty miles per hour,
well regardless of how strong (and indestructible) you are, you're
going to be accelerated ("flung" might be a better word) far more than
the car will be slowed by hitting you. To stop the car,
you'll need womdigious amounts of friction between you're colourful
boots and the pavement (and crouch to line up the force vectors just
right so that you don't just get knocked over or lifted into the
air), or an inertial mass close to or exceeding that of the vehicle.
(Superman, and other super-heroes who can fly via unexplained
propulsion or by gadgetry (so this would include Iron Man, but not
Storm[*] or Angel) could be argued not to be constrained by this
analysis, as they could counter the force of impact with whatever
propulsive force enables them to fly. So we'll have to look for other
evidence to determine whether Mr. Kent (and possibly Mr. Stark's powered
armour) are similarly anti-feline[**].)
But these same super-heroes are often seen walking or standing
on surfaces that would not be able to withstand the pressure of
that much weight over the area of the soles of their shoes, and
when they climb into an automobile we do not see the suspension
bottom out (with the exception of a few individuals already known
to be unusually heavy, such as The Blob). Therefore their
gravitational mass must be much less than their inertial mass,
precisely the opposite of the effect observed in cats!
(Again, those with the power of mysteriously-propelled
flight are not covered in this argument, as they could counter
their weight by "flying" at zero altitude. But here, Mr. Stark's
boot-jets would not exempt him.)
Therefore, assuming that the different kinds of mass must add
up to the same quantity over a large area, we should be able to
predict approximately how many super-heroes -- at least of the
non-flying variety -- there are, by counting up the feline population
and measuring the average difference between feline inertial mass
and feline gravitational mass and estimating the difference between
inertial and gravitational masses of typical super-heroes. Once we
determine how many cats are needed to cancel out one super-hero,
we can estimate how many still un-heard-of super-powered individuals
are waiting to come out of the
closet er ... phone booth.
Hmm. This suggests that spay-and-neuter campaigns have the side
effect of reducing the number of super-heroes and super-villains being
born[***]. But that may not be a bad thing -- have you noticed how much
of a mess super-battles tend to make? Cats can do a hell of a
lot of damage to furniture and carpets and anything that can be
knocked off a table, but how many cats would it take to smash as
many cars as a typical encounter between Mr. Parker and Dr. Octavius?
In the future, we should also calculate the energy expenditures
of super-heroes and figure out how much time they would need to
spend eating in order to have that many calories of metabolic
energy available to them. Anybody feel like tackling that one?
[*] Of course, Storm could summon a perfectly-timed
tornado-force gust of wind -- more of a microburst -- to stop
the speeding car, but that's a different sort of maneuver.
[**] What's the best word to use for this concept, "anti-feline",
"contra-feline", "counter-feline", or something else? "Felinverse"?
[***] Or created through exposure to meteorites, freak chemical
accidents, irradiation, or arachnid bites.