Things leave, but nothing goes away.
-Nanny Chu

I have been writing a book every day for twenty five years
(the actuary of words takes no breath for Christmas).
I write the number here in longhand because it is a long number.
Not quite half my life, but very close to being so.

It is some first draft, this life I'm having now.
Characters arrive and then depart, pursued or otherwise.
The Art Director is aging, he dresses me differently as we move along.
The Cinematographer has eyes that are less precise in their focus
compared to when he was first hired.

I stay with him because we are friends,
and we are comfortable together,
and because -at this point- he has the intangibles
those things that any new man might not bring.

This is what we say of the old players; not as quick on paper,
not as sharp in the light, but look at the intangibles:
He is good in the clubhouse of me.
Patient with my own failings.
Forgives me when I slip from metaphors made of film
to those found on fields alone.

In the beginning I was a Location Scout.
It's how I got into the business.
Start at the bottom or off to one side.
Get involved, do something.
Be an intern in your own experience if needs be.
Work for nothing to be yourself.

We argue over this here.
She puts a fridge magnet up (on the fridge)
which says (famously)
Life is not about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.
I disagree with this, mostly entirely.
Life is about being yourself only.
But then, of course, who we are varies over time
as does our location, inside and out.

We are filming today, in Maine,
beneath a high sky such as they have here.
There are damsel flies and dragon flies,
absurd blue wings settling to drink sweat.

High up there, now passing from left to right, a large plane crosses.
Very large, loud. Presidential cargo maybe.
Followed by four fighter jets.
Two directly behind the big plane, left and right,
two more directly behind them.

These are not metaphorical planes by any means.
Their sound hits the ground here a little behind them,
but it's a boom none the less.
They look lower than we think they should be.

The President, the one in nominal charge
of the country Americans have here
is apparently in Washington DC today
not on a plane towards Canada.
Who are they really and where are they going?

I am the President of my own ambitions.
My ambitions, at this point,
are to keep close count on what's happening.
To remember who I am and what, precisely,
seems to be expected of me.

Someone said that the life of others
is a highlight reel of babies and death, diplomas and divorce,
while our own seems more like the repetitive reporting
of some endless bake sale on occasion interrupted
by heartbreak.

So far this seems about right.
I consider my body to have become as a local paper
mostly available and for free.

On this subject of regional news
I had a friend come to visit
from far across on the other coast.
He drove himself to it.

He is also in this film business
but his specialty is the editing of lives
and I envy him that skill.
He was generous with himself
and explained many things
and then after that he left
leaving kind notes in the guestbook
but no razors there to help me.

I still have fond hopes.

On politics:

So somebody finally noded Mitt Romney, by which I mean that I did (unsurprisingly nobody else being inspired to), to expectedly mixed reviews. Some criticism assumed that my negative observations were attacks from the left end of the political spectrum; naturally those who know me, know me to be solidly dedicated to the libertarian position -- and not because I view government as an evil, but simply as incompetent to chew whatever it forever seeks to bite off, whether under the left of right heads of the reigning duopoly. And so, my critique of Romney is from the true conservative position, the position of "I won't suck it up and compromise just to get the two-headed behemoth's other head in the door, to do the same things under slightly different rhetoric."

And, let us face facts, whatever Romney's rhetoric, he has only ever actually governed from the left, from the position that government is indeed the problem solver, and ought to have the power to regulate your personal drug and alcohol use, bar your gun ownership, and compel your health care choices. What Romney claims he'll do has never been consistent; what he's actually done when he's had the power has been to grow and strengthen government at the expense of the people governed. And, naturally, Obama's certainly no better on either score, nor has Obama brought about the peace dividends so many of his supporters have expected of him -- exiting Iraq but remaining mired in Afghanistan, picking sides in Libya, and inching towards involvement in Syria.

And then there's Gary Johnson, who confessedly remains to be noded more extensively than the existing blurb (though I noted his superior executive experience and achievements way back in February, with his hand victory in the 2012 Florida Libertarian Straw Poll). Look, Gary Johnson is simply a likable, relatable, down-to-earth guy who simply happens to have more executive experience than Obama and Romney combined, and to be the only one of the three to actually successfully govern conservatively. The two party system likes to sucker people into the notion that there are only two candidates who could possibly win, thereby preventing real change from being accomplished; and the people simply need to wake up and tell 'em, "enough!!"

On handjobs:

I remarked in an earlier node that it was impossible to give a "handjob" to a woman, on the unstated presumption that a handjob was synonymous with the male masturbatory method, which requires the fixing of a hand-grip upon a certain object which is readily "grippable" -- and so, which is characterized by having a certain length and thickness and heft. This contention met with considerable consternation from those who felt that a female could indeed be the recipient of a "handjob."

I had no intention of diminishing or demeaning the vital importance, social significance, and theological sacredness of the masturbation methods of women, whether self-applied or provided by a lover of any gender. I am not claiming that there's anything at all wrong with any man or woman using fingers, thumbs, or the whole damn hand, to manually stimulate a woman to orgasm. I'm just relating my understanding of the proper terminology of sexual activity.

It seems to me that the natural terminological comparison to arise here is the oral counterpart to the handjob, the blowjob. Whoever performs oral sex on a woman is generally not described as giving a blowjob to a woman -- think how unnatural: "see that sexy vixen there? Boy did I give her one sloppy blowjob the other day." Hearing that would only lead one to assume the vixen in question had a penis. So maybe, in the final analysis, we ought to frame the game as "giving hand," much like "giving head."


Question of the day:
Would Schrödinger's cat play with a ball of string theory?

In auditing news:

artman2003 is done!! As for the rest:

Jet-Poop -- on page 5 of (slightly smaller gasp!!) 27!!
Dannye -- on page 4 of 20 as well.

etouffee is in the queueueue. I have some thoughts on who to audit down the road as well....

Blessings, all!!

The end of the summer is really here; I've had to move out of the basement I was living in in Northampton. My friends have been unbelievably generous with their home, and aren't kicking me out, but I'm kicking myself out. They need their lives back! I'm hoping to still be able to stay over one or two nights at a time so I can schedule two or three flight days in a row rather than limiting myself to once per week or less. I am a bit worried that this will slow down my progress, and that worry has been making me a bit low recently, but I think this actually might increase my flight frequency - because there will be so much more pressure to actually fly every day I can manage to be in the area. Also, while living with my Dad is less of an imposition (hey, I have a room in that house), there is the inevitable stress that arises from sharing space with parents and that house is 2.5 hours from the airport - so that will encourage me to both be in Northampton to fly, and to get the whole thing done as soon as possible.

I swore I wasn't going to move back to NYC until I was finished. I'm still holding to that, although the logistics got more complex. I will probably have to be in NYC for 1 or 2 weeks in September for work (and for a wedding), which makes getting in multiple flights the other weeks even more important.

My car is mostly fixed. The thing I really wanted done, fixing the air conditioner, is not - because it turns out that yes, it's a dead compressor, and getting a new (non-knockoff) one and installing it will be more money than I can afford to spend on the car right now. Hopefully I can hold out the month or five weeks until the weather cools off again, and put off the AC compressor until next spring. On the bright side, the car now has new brakes and new suspension bushings, and drives much more tightly; in addition, the damn driver's door lock has been fixed, albeit at what (in retrospect) is a pretty steep cost. Turns out the actuator for the electric lock needed to be replaced. Ah well. You buy a used luxury car, you accept the cost structure, right?

Things to do, in no particular order.

eBook edits:

  • Remove font specification to allow default font on ereaders
  • Prune CSS to remove unused styles and combine dupes if possible
  • Convert all single/double quotes to proper HTML entities
  • Ensure all centered text has both <p> and <span> centering to cope with different devices
  • Ensure all centered styles have text-indent: 0em to ensure centering is consistent
  • Add full frontispiece?
  • Get ISBN?
  • Check image tags for closing slashes for epub validation
  • Do content edit based on feedback expected from ARC readers
  • Poke zeph re: cover :-) :-)


  • Schedule FAA written test. A week from Monday, perhaps? Not going to fly much this coming week, school/instructor busy and no slots available
  • Schedule hood time and getting checked out to fly to other airports solo
  • Schedule night flight?

Dad's house:

  • Clear area for workbench.
  • Find/build workbench surface.
  • Find a gun cabinet or safe, install in new basement.
  • Find a lockable cabinet for reloading supplies, install in new basement.
  • Redo house WiFi infrastructure (new routers, new cable modem)
  • Start centralizing what tools I have which are spread over a couple of states. :-/

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