grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm working a 12 hour day here at the NY store, and another full day tomorrow.  It's only our fourth day open, so things are slow.  The store looks good, but there are lot projects to work on before we're ready for the grand opening.

My mom is apparently running a fever of 102 F (44 C) and has gone back to Holy Family Hospital.  I'm starting to grasp that she's really ill, and that this won't be over soon.  :(

New York is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  I'm staying with usakeh, and many roads in her town are still blocked off by fallen trees and severed power lines.  There a long lines at every filling station.  I fear this is just the first taste of our societal collapse as climate change accelerates, but it's great to see the way people here are rallying  to meet the challenge.  They're even excited to see a new comic book store. :)

I think I'm finally figuring out what I want from Grounded, so I guess all the driving around has been helpful.

I just saw a short video by a Mount Holyoke professor in which she discusses correcting a congenital vision problem she had, and how she trained her brain to correct it in her 40s.  

The big election is on three days away.  I hope the candidates I support win, but more than anything I fear that no matter who we elect, we won't do what we must to save ourselves.  It's frustrating that years of Bible-thumper ranting and cynically poisonous Republican rhetoric have made scientifically valid warnings that we're on the brink of disaster sound like just more political bloviation.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Here's an article from the New York Times, summing up what the scientific press has been reporting for years, that the extreme water shortages of the past decade should not be seen as a drought, or as below average.  They are, rather, the new normal, and this only the beginning of how bad it's going to get for our world.  Our society's only hope is some crazy mad science.  Write your congressman.

Seriously.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I have sore throat, so I'm loafing as much as possible today. The great storm which apparently socked the hell out of south and mid-Atlantic states left the merest dusting of snow here, after I went to some trouble to secure studded tires for Skull Jr. Typical. :)

X-mas is bearing down, but I am mostly ready. I have gifts for friends and loved ones (mostly), and I got a tree yesterday (which we shall trim this evening), and we've hung stockings (monster stockings which I got at my store), and the Team has sent many X-mas cards, and gotten together with friends and swapped pressies... it's been nice, this year. I much prefer the holiday season when I have my act together.

Mami y Papi will visit for Xmas eve, we'll dash out to Andover to see my family on the day itself, and then back home for a little household cheer on Boxing Day. M will be going to Germany, getting to know a new friend, over New Year's. I'll be looking for something to do on the 31st, but I am, apparently, cool enough to have been invited to TWO parties on New Year's Day. If possible, I shall go to both.

Xmas is my favorite holiday, but it is so precisely because of the secular nonsense that's built up around it. I'm not a Christian (and even if I were, the holiday doesn't really have anything to do with Josh from Nazareth) and I find the insistence of some, who claim that they are, on grounding any celebration in what they value quite tedious. I'm basically an atheist, and content to be so, and Christmas doesn't have to mean any more to me than 'that time when we put up lights, and decorate conifers, and swap gifts, and shop wildly, and send cards, and feast with family and friends'.

On a related note, we have had a nice Xmas rush bump in business at work, so it looks like we'll finish 2009 in the black, if only slightly. I shall be 40 in a few months, and I foresee the need to disrupt myself from my comfortable rut, but the rut does appear to run on towards the horizon.


Creatively, I'm still running a D&D 3.5 game using the Midnight setting. It's so much more work than designing stuff for 4th, but the setting requires the clunky lack of balance that 4th edition was specifically designed to fix, so what the hell. And I have a great group of players. Who knows how much longer it will last, but I have a couple of plot hooks to throw out at them, and then I expect the players to drive things to a thrilling conclusion. And then, we'll see. Perhaps the writing will come again, if I can accept that muse seems more sub-creative and transformative than path-breaking in its proclivities.


This weekend is also a good one for watching cool TV shows. Dr. Who Waters Of Mars premiered in the US last night, and it was terrific. There are two episodes of Dollhouse waiting my viewing as that plunges towards its finale, as two installments of Venture Brothers season 4 (which has been very satisfying). Also, M and I are making our way through Babylon 5, and we're at the half-way point of Season 3, having just seen Severed Dreams and Ceremonies Of Light & Dark. Oh, man, the show was so good.

Oh, and a couple of weeks ago, I happened to watch the pilot of the comedy/drama Chuck, and simply loved it. I watched the next four episodes, and this first impression was confirmed. Light, frothy, charming fun, with pretty people, Jayne from Firefly, good humor, and an actual plot arc bubbling away underneath. It'd be cooler if there were any people of color in it (besides Tony Todd in a minor part), but otherwise I recommend it.



ETA: I have been poking through older entries, and I stumbled across this post about the war in Afghanistan. I now take back what I wrote about the Bushies not fucking that up.
grinninfoole: (feistyduck)
As I type this, a thunderstorm is rolling in from the west, and I'm posting this just to record how beautiful it is.  The wisps of cloud, the first patters of rain which are beginning to fall in my garden, the bolts of lightning over the fields and hills, the gorgeous summer light, still visible around the edges of the cloudbank, and the mighty rolls of thunder from seemingly all directions.  It's marvelous, and one of the things I have been looking forward to with my new house.  Yay house!

 Feisty is a bit apprehensive, so I shall close this post, and close the back door. 
grinninfoole: (Default)
[profile] I saw the film of Al Gore's slide show tonight with [profile] sydneycat and [personal profile] millari.  It's an excellent presentation in itself, and the film adds a personal, reflective dimension, which at times felt odd, but which in at least two places improved Mr. Gore's message by interleaving events from his life and family history with his message about climate change.  (Specifically, the scene from 1989, when he was holding Senate hearings on global warming, and his account of the death of his sister and how that led his family to stop growing tobacco.)

The earth's climate is, of course, an immensely complicated system which we'll never completely understand, but Mr. Gore does a fine job of making clear what we already know, what that clearly indicates for our future as a species, and, happily, holds out hope that we can still make a positive difference.  I hope everyone in the US sees it.  I hope that we are all convinced by it, and that we, and the rest of the world, act now to save ourselves.

Seeing it, I am reminded of something that struck me late in my stint in grad school.  Starting in the 70s and on into the 90s, many scholars (such as Latour and Woolgar, Shapin and Shaffer, and Sandra Harding)in the history of science worked to explode the idea that science was a privileged viewpoint, that it was uniquely truthful, all-encompassing, and authoritative in its pronouncements on all things, by its very nature.  It's thanks to these scholars that people like W. W. Rostow are historical artifacts and not mainstream thinkers today.  However, the baby that's been lost in the bathwater, that critics like these assholes have also missed, is that scientists are, first and foremost, people who care deeply about evidence.  Rhetoric matters,  Experience matters.  Funding sources matter.  Politcal ties matter.  Class, gender, nationality, theoretical commitments and all sorts of other things shape the questions asked and frame the debate over the answers given all matter, but the professional culture of science with its sedulous concern for data matters, too.  And while that sub-culture is just one among a vast multitude, its practices are designed toward one goal: understanding the universe better than we do now.  And that means that scientific expertise, while it can be bought, bent and broken, nevertheless has a resilience and insight into the world that we ignore at our peril. 

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