Flashback Friday

I’m not much for reviving anything I wrote in the past, really. With the blogger mentality, as opposed to that of the accomplished novelist, I think of what I write down as “throw-away,” in the same way I think of anything I might say out loud. This is of course not good, as every blogger wants to write a novel. (Probably not true, but by the next paragraph, I’ll forget I wrote it anyway.)

Were was I? Kidding. Now I’m trying to figure out if any memory from my life that I conjure up at this moment could be something I had never remembered before. Something that happened, say, that just . . . happened . . . and I went on with my life, never to remember it until February 3, 2023.

I’m gonna say, no. I read somewhere, a long time ago, that after a certain disturbingly short time, memories are actually “memories of memories.” As if a first-order memory, if you will, only happens within a day or two of the remembered thing. I don’t know. This is all sort of weird, and a bit pointless as well, except it does sort of explain why memories become so fallible if they are re-written each time they are called up.

It means that flashbacks–at least the unwritten kind–are actually a form of fiction. You take something that happened, more or less, or at least the perceptions you experienced during something that happened in the past, and fill in all the gaps so it makes sense to you, and then relate it other people around you. And, the key, they are always inaccurate, sometimes to a degree that would make them totally unrecognizable to anyone else who might have been there. It can be in the form of a blog post, but generally most effective at a smallish party where beer drinking is involved.

So fiction is a “thing.” It seems, maybe, a fundamental, human thing. It’s what we DO. And since we’re all either novelists here, or aspiring novelists, it is something to ponder, to tap into, possibly nurture, even though in a sense this makes us even more unreliable than we started out. I think maybe the difference between writers and non-writers (to make a broad and suspect generalization) is that writers have more fun with it.

Punxsutawny Phil

I clicked on a link “find out what Punxsutawny Phil saw.” This led me to a page with a video in it, front top and center, which started playing an advert, natch. I clickly, or quickly, closed the window because the answer to the question is either “saw his shadow,” or “didn’t see his shadow.” This does not require a video preceded by an advertisement.

I think we agree Phil is a boy groundhog, so, no need to refer to their shadow.

So I still don’t know. However, for reasons I will outline, I don’t care. Phil — we will call him simply, Phil, since not only is it difficult to spell the name of this Pennsylvania town, but even harder to type it without error — and his shenanigans have been recorded for 135 years now, or so, and in hindsight, it is easily ascertained that his accuracy for these predictions is only 39%.

If you’re a betting person, that means you can safely bet against him for even money, and you’ll come out ahead over time. Statistically, that is. Maybe 135 isn’t a big enough database. Because this also means that you can assign some slight predictive value to believing the opposite of what Phil says. And it’s real hard to believe the premise for this whole myth can make any sense no matter how you spin it.

My prediction, based on nothing at all, is that winter will be over soon, no matter what Phil says.

To sum up: Bill Murray came around eventually only by realizing that it’s OK to be sort of crazy because we’re human and that’s what we do best.

Mocking the AI

Hello world! This is my blog. This is where I present interesting, thoughtful details from my life. My S.O. is interesting, but not thoughtful. Ha ha. It is a nice day. The current temperature at the airport is 28º F, and the high later today will be 43º F. Significant ice and sleet accumulations will continue to have impacts across portions of the South and Southeast through Thursday. For locations across the Deep South and Southeast, the threat of heavy rainfall increases as the storm tracks across the region.

This morning I walked my dog, and we met many interesting people along the way. I had a thoughtful discussion with a person I met in front of a building.

Tomorrow I will walk my dog again. They like to go on walks. I like to walk, too, because it is good for my heart health.

Please like my post, and click on the advertisements that appear on this page.

AARP

If “Kia” is the sound a hamster makes while being sodomized, AARP is the sound a dog makes when it’s fooling around with a tennis ball and accidentally swallows it. Just a thought. Anyway, I got some physical snail mail from AARP today, and I was so relieved. I haven’t heard from them in three days, and I was worried sick. Mainly, because even though it’s just 2023, we mustn’t drop the ball on our goal of receiving one ton of AARP mail in my lifetime. There are trees out there, clogging the environment, that need to be utilized, to realize their fate, as it were.

I kid AARP. They do serve a purpose, and a good one, for the most part, but I don’t understand why all the physical mail. And did you know there is no way to make them stop? OK. If you die, but it still takes awhile, and it’s not unusual to go to any cemetery and see a fairly sizable stack of AARP envelopes piled up by the newer headstones.

Then I thought, maybe since they are targeting retired people (hence the name) they think that all old, retired people don’t know about the Internet and still relish seeing mail in the box every morning when they trudge through the snow out to the gate by the highway. I see a fundamental flaw in their reasoning, since, let’s see, people who turn 55 today and begin receiving their AARP mail were born back in 1968 and were still teenagers when the Internet was invented by that Gore guy. AARP marketing department seems to be operating on an old model.

I know I’m being curmudgeonly, as is my wont. I can easily imagine my counterpart back in the 1790s bitching about how AARP keeps sending a messenger on horseback by the house to yell out their latest insurance offerings, when Ben Franklin invented the post office quite awhile before. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this.

So, half a ton of paper so far. Fingers crossed.

Yay

Yesterday the AFC Championship playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals was played at G.E.H.A. Stadium in Kansas City MO. The Chiefs won.

To all my friends on the West Coast in California and Oregon, and my friends on the East Coast–NYC, DC, etc., I would like to say, you know that vast area, the hollowed out area between the West Coast and the East Coast? The one you might have glimpsed out the airplane window some time in the middle of your flight? Well, think of all the inconsequential cities that lie in that zone, and know that for one glorious, shining moment, Kansas City was less inconsequential than Cincinnati.

Of course it was a really close game, but not, as we are not too proud to admit to ever having, an “ugly win.” That was earlier.

Notes:

1.) I am not a big football fan, but I admit this was fun to watch. Because we won.

2.) G.E.H.A. Stadium, for those of you who may have wondered, is pronounced: “Gee Ee Aich Aiee Stadium,” and not “Geehaw.” I can only speculate that the Government Health Employees Association insisted that everyone pronounce it that way as part of their agreement when they negotiated the name change in the first place. It’s unfortunate. However, the old moniker, “Arrowhead Stadium” was contributing in a small way to the probably unintentional degradation of the image of Indigenous Americans.

3.) Many fans still chanted that ridiculous fake “Indian chant” and did the “tomahawk chop,” but it was encouraging that many more did not.

4.) I miss baseball.

Panorama

This picture was taken this morning from the stairwell on the 30th floor of my apartment building, in downtown Kansas City. It would be fun to live on this floor and have this view all the time, but, alas, I’m much lower down. The image in the header for this blog is a somewhat distorted version of the view that I do have.

I was looking more or less directly to the east for this shot, which, here, is away from the heart of downtown. Out of curiosity I tried to determine how far away the horizon is at this elevation, and I think it’s about seven miles away. There is a ridge, the Blue Ridge, that defines the horizon from here, and as the Earth is indeed spherical anyway, this is all you get.

I will not identify every building in the picture, nor could I, but the sort of rounded, light colored building close to the center of the picture is the Federal Courthouse. To it’s left, and a little beyond, you can see a brown, cubicle shaped building with lots of windows. It is arguably the ugliest building in Kansas City, and is the building I used to work in back when SBC and the AT&T owned and occupied it. I dislike this building intensely.

I call the building ugly. I read that the real term for its architectural style seems to be “Brutalist.” I scoff. An architect I ran into awhile back said the style was “Aztec.” This makes more sense, as the Pontiac Aztek is arguably the ugliest car ever made, if you don’t count the Edsel, lending a certain symmetry to the notion.

On the left side of the picture you can see a slight bend of the Missouri River. It is flowing left-to-right in the picture, toward the horizon, as it heads toward the Mississippi River which is 240 miles from here as the crow flies.

Motherhood

My short time in Tucson, AZ, taught me to respect the quail mothers who had to work so hard to keep track of all the little chill’ins. Due to other wildlife, the attrition rate was high enough as it is. I couldn’t know, but chances are this mother started out with closer to a dozen chicks. Few of these little guys will make it.

Flashback Friday

Exactly one year ago today I wrote a post in my other blog at blogger.com. Obvious at first is that the weather was the same. Which of course makes sense as Earth’s orbit is relatively stable, tilt of the Earth and all that.

I was going to paste the old post into this one, but after I described the weather, it mostly devolved into a political rant, although mild, something which I have foresworn since then. Last year’s political rant is sort of like yesterday’s weather report–of interest to no one. It tickles me when I look at Google News and see in their list of links an article about some weather event from the day before. I mean, if I had a bird cage, and if Internet news was less porous, perhaps I would find a use for such an article.

So, to sum up, I’m not all that hep on flashbacks, at least until I resolve to write more interesting posts on a Friday, more suitable for dredging up a year later, and this ain’t it.

Another Day Dawns

I haven’t seen the sun in several days. Today is like the others. Outside, the air temperature floats just above the freezing point. It’s the kind of day where the sun on your face, were it there, would make the difference. Or the lack of wind. But, as I look out onto my courtyard, it looks breezy, and the sky is a mottled gray. I can only see buildings, from my vantage point here on the fifth floor, and maybe just a polygonal patch of sky. Gray. Gray of sky, gray of concrete, old bricks. The tiles on the patio are wet, as if it was raining a while ago, but maybe not right now.

Not much to say at the moment. I’ve been thinking about politics and AI–artificial intelligence. Maybe they’re alike. I don’t think much of either, at any rate. I will never get my mind around politics and the motivations of politicians, but my thinking on AI has begun to slowly evolve, to begin to move like the the giant steel wheels of a sluggish steam powered locomotive struggling to pull itself out of the station. Maybe later. If it hasn’t become a runaway train.

Just wanted to give the blog a little jog, a little impetus, like a playground merry-go-round, just to keep it going, somewhere between unmoving and spinning ’til you puke. And I’m filling time while I empty this coffee mug in preparation for standing up and walking to breakfast out there in the gray morning.

The City Diner

This might only be considered an advertisement for the City Diner if I knew you would ever be around these parts, which in every case I can conjure up is very unlikely. It sits on the edge of downtown and you might say is a well-kept secret. At least outside a certain radius. I’m surprised by the number of people who are familiar with downtown Kansas City but have never heard of the City Diner.

At any rate, I know about it, and the resident biochemist and myself frequent the place. The people are friendly and unpretentious, the kitchen is well run, the food good, and the black and white checkerboard pattern floor is sufficiently clean if not pristine. They also have a cool car license plate collection in the back room and I believe every state is represented, including some territories.

It so happens that Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) submits for the word of the day, door, and so we’ll cover that base and point out that in the picture below, the door to the utility room adjacent to the rear dining area of the City Diner is left open, yet it doesn’t seem to matter. It’s nice to know they have cleaning supplies.

You are all my friends, so if you come to town, I’ll buy you a coke.