They Don’t Like Me (and the Feeling is Mutual)

Computers, and new gizmos, and new problems with new gizmos, and . . .

I’ve mentioned that Day Job is a little different this year. Not quite “Earth after the dino-killing asteroid” different (although, half way through Monday . . .) but different. One of these differences involves two computer programs and two new pieces of electronic equipment. All of which have to play nicely together, at the same time. Every time. Continue reading

Fuelish Concerns in Old Europe

I’ve been doing some research reading about the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture of the Danube watershed for K-Familiar (and possibly L-Familiar as well). This society was dubbed “Old Europe” by an early researcher, and the name stuck even though most of her cultural theories have been set aside. (5000-2700 BC/BCE).

Note how it includes the edges of the Carpathian Mountains. Fair Use under Creative Commons:

Continue reading

Buffers and Civilization

I have yet to find a culture that didn’t want some kind of buffer or wall between civilization (theirs) and Others. This was especially true when one or more of those Others happened to be, oh, nomadic raiders, or an ambitious empire (or a country with an ambitious monarch who firmly believed that his personal glory was that of his country as well [*coughLouisXIVcough*]). If geography provided that buffer or wall, that was good. Egypt had deserts, South Asia had the Himalaya, as did China, and so on. Other people were not so fortunate. Poland has turned out to be the poster child for “people stuck on the best route between us and them.”

2020 marks the 100 year anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland, and the subsequent defeat of the Red Army by the Poles at the gates of Warsaw. The Poles give a lot of credit to Our Lady of Czestochowa, and for those unfamiliar with the, ah, long and warm relationship between Russia and Poland, it looked like a miracle had to have happened. Not to say that one didn’t, because Poland is Poland and the rules are somewhat different there, but dogged determination and white-hot hatred also played a role. Continue reading

The Best Laid Plans . . .

collapse when they collide with reality. Day Job plus Sunday School ate my Saturday. Trying to compress the entire history of Christianity in Britain between 644 (Synod of Whitby) and 1520s into half an hour, and make it understandable . . .

Saxons were Saxons, be they in England or . . . Saxony (below. Taken from a place where the Holy Roman Emperors had to post soldiers to keep people from sneaking back to worship the pagan gods after they were officially converted. Their dipping didn’t always take so well.)

One of those places Saxons were supposed to leave alone.

Saturday Post Removed

I have decided to remove the post because of the problems it was causing. I’m tired, I’m not in the mood to moderate comments tonight, and I have Day Job to think about.

I apologize for not keeping in mind that some topics are just too hot right now. I should have thought more before touching anything related to that one, other than very general historical comparisons.

There’s no real content for tomorrow. See y’all on Monday. I hope you all have a quiet, restful, and unexciting rest of the weekend.

V-J Day, 75 Years On

On this day, 75 years ago, the Imperial Japanese government surrendered unconditionally to the Allied Forces, ending WWII.

It seemed as if peace had come, at last, at least for the US and possibly for Great Britain as well. The US especially could pull up the drawbridges, turn its attention back to things inside the borders or perhaps in the hemisphere, and avoid a third round of war. Two in thirty years had been two too many, perhaps.

Original photo by LIFE photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt: Used under creative commons fair use. Original source:

Alas, things didn’t quite work out the way the optimists wanted them to, at least in terms of foreign policy. One side can want peace, but if the other side doesn’t, well, peace will take a lot more than “you stay over there, we stay over here, and leave everyone in between alone, yes?” Continue reading

Okra Tails – No Thank You

Okra is a vegetable introduced from Africa to the New World. If found a home in the South, among other places, and is considered one of the hallmarks of Southern cooking. It can be found as deep-fried nuggets and in gumbo and other stew-like dishes that need thickening as well as flavor.

It is also one of those veggies that attracts partisan support. Either one likes it, often in one particular way, or one vehemently does not care for the vegetable. I incline towards the latter group, especially when okra is served on its own. The texture gets to me. I don’t like slimy anything, especially not food, and alas, a lot of okra gets cooked to slimy.   Continue reading

Writing That Fast

Over at MGC, I mentioned “writing at pulp speed.” It doesn’t happen easily, or often, but when pressed, I can do up to 8000 words a day. This past week, I managed 7,000 words per day, for three days in a row. That’s a record. On Saturday, I managed two thousand more words. Sunday also saw two thousand words, as well as writing this and editing a short story. Saturday’s word count comes on top of outlining a 45-minute Sunday School lesson, plus updating or re-writing several Day Job things.

All it takes is the right book or story, the right mindset, music, and touch-typing. Continue reading