Idea: The Everything Universal Disclaimer

Since many (read: 5) of my nodes are about using household implements to do something dangerous and/or illegal, I cop a fair amount of flak for failing to warn readers of the potentially harmful effects of the stuff about which I write. Since I invariably accompany such information with disclaimers to the effect of "anything you do to yourself is your own damn fault," I fail to see the problem. I don't think that I should be obliged to explicitly explain every way which you should not use a deadly projectile weapon, or exhaustively describe how drugs can also be bad, when I write up a preparation procedure for an unfashionable psychedelic drug. Anyone who has made it this far should already know that deadly projectile weapons should not be pointed at people, and potent hallucinogens should not be taken unless you know better.

And so, for the convenience of those who node about Interesting Things, (such as How to Electrocute Yourself, How to Blow Your Mind, and How to Stick a Skewer Right Through Your Uncle's Arm), and the safety of those who actually need to be told, I recommend that we create an Everything Universal Disclaimer node. This node should contain a warning against every possible mode of abuse for everything. Then, when I node Making High Explosives from Sherbert and Mothballs, I can easily hardlink the Disclaimer at the top of the node, rather than composing a lengthy comprehensive list of every way to explode yourself, and inserting "Don't" at the beginning of each of them.

Some ideas for the Disclaimer:

  • Anything you do to yourself is your own damn fault.
  • Do not insert. Anywhere
  • Keep out of reach of children and idiots.
  • Drugs are bad. If you do drugs, you're bad.
  • Do not have sex with horses. Seriously, don't.
  • Everything you just read is bullshit
  • Before you perform any of the actions described in the linked writeup, ask yourself WWJCD?
  • Taxidermy is not recommended as a hobby.
  • Don't take the contents of the linked node too seriously.
  • Don't take the contents of the linked node too lightly.
  • What would your mother think?
  • Even reading the content of the linked node will spell fiery doom for your eternal soul.
  • Do not feed the troll
  • Beware of the meme
  • The content of the linked node is presented for informational purposes only. Anyone who is offended by it or who uses it for nefarious reasons is free to do so, so long as the writer isn't blamed for their stupidity.

And similar. A link to this node would serve no actual purpose other than to stop people from telling me that I'm glorifying drugs, or giving dangerous toys to kiddies, or whatever I felt like doing before you told me not to, and will damn well feel like doing afterwards, as well.

I'd put a footnote about this only being a joke, explaining that you shouldn't take it seriously, but that would be against the spirit of the writeup. And I'd actually create the Disclaimer node if it wasn't E2 suicide for a newbie to node about noding, which is essentially what this is.

She asked whether I'd taken any time to grieve for my marriage to Nancy. I asked what she meant and she explained that even with all the bad things about it, it was still big part of my life, and had certainly been important, so it's only natural to grieve for it. I told her no, I hadn't. Between all the stuff going on with the divorce and the day-to-day, I hadn't had time to grieve. I'd taken a lot of random days off work, but I used those just to catch my breath. This made me think about Mom and Dad dealing with Alan's death, which I told her about - Mom's tight grip on her emotions and so on.

"So, maybe you really don't have a model for grieving," she said.

Perhaps I'm just not good at it yet. I mean, I think I grieved for the end of my relationship with Hana, though Hana would probably say that marrying Nancy later that year was a strange way to do it. Still, there was a period of time, as Hana and I were breaking up and for a while after, where I was in mourning. I remember telling Nancy I didn't want to be in a relationship with anyone as it wouldn't be fair to them. After a month or so that changed.

With Hana, the relationship suffered for a few months but then it died and was buried in relatively short order. I wept as she told me to go away - but go away (and move on) I did. With Nancy, on the other hand, the relationship suffered for years and then spent months on life support. Now it's dead but it just won't lie down. I have to beat it into the grave as its rotting fingers claw at my feet. How can I grieve for something that I have to kill anew every day? And how do I greive for what beauty there was in the relationship when every day its other half appears more putrid, behaves more obscenely, but still speaks in the same voice I've heard for years?

More and more I am faced with one unavoidable conclusion: the person I met and fell in love with was actually this creature I'm trying to leave, only covered in perfume, guile, and a skin that was newly dead at the time. A while back I began to wonder, "What happened to the Nancy I knew?" More recently that became, "When is the Nancy I knew coming back?" Then, "Maybe the Nancy I knew is gone." And now she keeps showing me more proof of something I wish I could deny: "The 'Nancy' I first met never really existed. She was a mask that I believed in and imagined was my friend and lover. Her current behavior isn't that different from what it's been since a shortly after I married her. This is who Nancy really is."


I must learn some astronomy.

It was a lovely day here in Maryland today. About 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the highest.

I went out to peek at the full moon under the stars just a bit before sunrise. It seemed the stars were moving. I stared and stared and finally, dimly, realized it was wispy clouds floating by at a pretty fast pace, not stars moving. The air at ground level was perfectly still.

Airplanes flew over, high at this time of the night/early morning. Phantom star movement continued as the clouds raced then one very faint point of light really moved! The stars around it remained still. It was faint but still discernable and then it just faded away. The movement was slow and with a slight arch.

I’ve seen “shooting stars”, they move fast and straight. This was different. Was it a satellite I wonder?

The sky changed from generic dark to blue and the clouds became more obvious as they pinked up with the rising sun.

I need to take an astronomy class. Night owls like me should know these things. Now the sun is up and I find my head nodding so I’ll take that as a signal to stop noding and go sleep.

a bit of reading later + help from some noders and I’ve got these sources to study:
  • Strange lights in the night sky by Rook who really did see a satellite
  • recommended by liveforever who says “Very probably a satellite. You can check, if you have the exact location and time.” (I do and will)
  • psydereal’s Look, the stars are falling down to remember one reason to love stars
  • knile said “ Might've been Geminids you saw. Peak was a week ago. Happy Holidays!”
  • winter solstice
  • summer solstice
  • autumnal equinox
  • constellation
  • vernal equinox
  • analemma
  • amatur astronomy by Tmaq has a ton of good softlinks plus his homepage which features the Mount Wilson Observatory Science page.
  • Doyle's Aperture matters and The great globular star cluster in Hercules - very nice info on plus great softlinks I've also found:
  • ("AN ASTRONOMY COURSE FOR STUDENTS USING THE INTERNET") I'm lucky to have some good local resources:
  • The Baltimore Science Museum
  • some good google caches on the search terms "nasa astronomy observatory public" and "UMCP astronomy observatory" - (active pages no longer available)
  • franki recommends and says "They have a mailing list that sends out whenever something interesting is happening. Well worth a look. Mailing list only sends out 2 or 3 times a week on average."
  • Any other E2 and/or internet resource suggestions would be most welcome.
    please /msg me

Winter solstice 2002.

Christmas in Northern Europe is an act of defiance. Here in the north, Europe or New world, this celebration is brave – a festival of light when the sun is hiding, a spendthrift feast day with dishes made from horded preserves, dwindling supplies. A day of joy in the season when depression comes naturally. A celebration of rebirth when the tree branches clutch the dark sky like arthritic skinny fingers, and among the wild animals the weak, the frail are being found in the morning, belly up in a ditch, succumbed to the cold and lack of resources.

This may not be news to you. But as subtropical person from the Southern hemisphere, it strikes me strongly.

I don't care for the Christianity layered onto it, but I appreciate this tradition.

In the last three days I have been listening to: Squirrel Nut Zippers, Dillenger escape plan, Merzbow and shoutcast internet radio stations. DSL Broadband is great for broadening musical exposure. It takes me about 5 minutes using kazaa lite to answer the question "what does band X sound like". And E2 keeps me supplied with groovy new bands to look up.

The new flat is good. Not swank and flashy, but relaxed and homely. the worst I can say for the flatmate/landlord is that he is cheerful and talkative.

I haven't been nodding much. E2 right now is for me about the catbox. A place to hang out, where everyone knows your userid. This is bad, I guess. I should be concentrating on work. Or noding. Or something.

On leave until new year. I am seeing The Two towers tomorrow. Doesn’t look like I am doing much until new years, but I have a copy of Delphi 7 (thanks, WinMX), so I can hack some code and listen to internet radio. Unless of course, I get distracted by E2. I’m not alone, I am wired into the web of the world. Or something.

Happy Birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear fakester, happy birthday to me.

A few things I have acomplished in the last year of my life on this planet.

I quit smoking....everything. My taste for cigars as well as the herb to end all herbs has been exhausted.

My grades are up and I will soon be excepted to university.


I don't think writing is as lonely as some commentators and biographers have claimed. In fact, I don't believe it's possible for a writer to produce anything of substance in total isolation. This realization has left me seeking my "first audience" for the new plays. There are so few people I know who read plays. That's not true, I do know people who read plays, but I know hardly anyone who reads not just to see what part they might play, or if it will sell-- but rather to see what it is.

E is a person who knows how to read a play. He emailed me about going to see Dialogues des Carmelites at the Met. The opera was very strange, stark, subtle in the first act then, almost cartoonish in the second. I can't say I liked it much: except it did give me the idea that one might draw parallels between young women who become nuns, and those in the grip of anorexia. Both seek peace and freedom through total enslavement.

All this was still whirling through my mind when I talked to E after the opera, I began talking about how frustrated I was with my life as a struggling playwright. I think I might have spoken a bit boldly, but E seemed to hear and understand. We were in an acting ensemble in high school. I can only hope he doesn't remember anything about me (I was awful then)

This morning R worked on a letter to a master chef he admires. He's looking for a job since he'll be out school shortly. I hope he finds a job that he likes. I think it's stupid that everyone spends so much time working. Perhaps, being a Carmelite nun wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.

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