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Playing the Lottery

To say I have mixed feelings about playing the lottery is to put it very mildly. I once watched a woman spend fifty dollars on lottery tickets in the middle of a very cold winter while she and her daughter were wearing clearly inadequate clothes for the weather. I’ve heard the snarky geek saying a thousand times ‘Lotteries are a tax on the mathematically challenged’.

And yet, every time there is a really big payout, I go buy a ticket. Just one. I always buy it at least a day before the drawing. And then I begin to daydream…

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Your argument is invalid:

Neil Patrick Harris and Puppets. It’s a web series. Awesome.

Oh, and don’t feed the trolls at YouTube.

Neil Patrick Harris and Puppets

Have a great rest of your day!

 

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This little video has a catchy tune and an important message: Don’t do dumb stuff that will kill you.

For many years, an unofficial competition has raged, the Darwin Awards. At the link you will find over 400 documented cases of ‘What the f*ck was he/she thinking” for which we will never know the answer because the person died.

There’s a tendency to a great deal of schadenfreude in these cases, and to some extent, rightly so. When a person has spent his life fighting helmet laws and dies from a head injury after a car wreck it’s funny, right?

Except that it’s not. And deep down we know it, and that’s why we laugh. To err is human. “Man is the animal that laughs at himself” as Valentine Michael Smith said (via Robert Heinlein). And we laugh at ourselves because it hurts so bad. So yeah. Sometimes we abandon compassion, for a moment, because the ultimate human moment is to laugh at death, and the many, many ways we bring it on.

And then, we get back to shared joy and shared pain. We continue to try to improve our lives and the lives of others around us. We abandon judgment and embrace compassion. We seek knowledge. And still, we get it wrong. To err is human, remember?

As Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) said:

Easier To Fool

Mark Twain (from Facebook meme, originally from an image in public domain)

People believe a lot of untrue things, sometimes as many (to misquote the White Queen) as three before breakfast.

I’m sometimes guilty of that myself. But my challenge for myself, over the next several years, is to use my compassion and my ability to write to help people distinguish between useful knowledge and ‘knowledge’ that causes problems for people by preventing them from investigating further, which is perhaps one of the best definitions of truth.

The Darwin Awards (film)

The Darwin Awards (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back to the Darwin awards. There are lots of dumb ways to die. We invent more every day. It’s entirely possible that you or I might succumb to one of those. More importantly, however, there are a lot of dumb ways to live, ways that hurt us and the people around us, and we don’t have a nifty internet meme to identify them  and point and laugh.

Maybe instead we shoule be looking for ways to teach, to share, and to help people, rather than laughing and judging. So yeah, go ahead and laugh. The video, especially, is adorable. And then…

Maybe its time to start identifying ways to live better, and to keep on spreading joy until there’s no room for the sort of fear and hate that keep infecting the world. Or as Lennon said, ‘Give peace a chance’.

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FOR YOU LOVE PEACE .......... MAMITA SUFFER PA...

.. (Photo credit: LUZ-2011)

Happiness Results from Full Participation in Life

How many of us have groaned or sighed when some happiness guru or another has said ‘just think positive’? How many of us have growled at the speaker or the book and thrown the remote or the book across the room in anger?

Do you know why you get so angry? That kind of deep anger covering up an even deeper injury? It’s because you’re being asked to take half (more or less) of reality and pretend its not real. It doesn’t work, because ‘think positive’ is only a bit of the answer, and the wrong bit, at that.

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Doctor Who TARDIS Mk VII

TARDIS Mk VII (Photo credit: >Rooners)

The Doctor in Doctor Who is the embodiment of quantum physics. His D&D alignment is Lawful Good, because he is the law (of time), which of course is chaos, which makes it all confusing. At least, that’s how I see it.

Is he another British metaphor for Jesus, like Aslan and Gandalf? Or is he something else entirely? If so, what? And what is the Tardis (or who)? Is it intentional that the Tardis makes me think of R2D2?

What is it that makes us love the Doctor through eleven (soon to be twelve) incarnations? Is it his compassion? His joie de vivre? His silliness? His completely mindful living in the present?

Please feel free to discuss. The best of science fiction always has a philosophical underpinning, which is what builds our suspension of disbelief. It explores our universe, our humanity, the meaning of life.

What does Doctor Who mean to you?

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Dalek voting

Vote! Keep your priorities straight: Participate and then Exterminate. Or maybe simply participate and realize your entire reason for existing is bogus and decide to go against the crowd and become a proud citizen of the Universe. Maybe that will get that crazy Doctor off your back.

On a more serious note, yes, I know that Daleks would necessarily be aliens and not citizens, and even if they were citizens of an Earth country it would almost certainly be Great Britain and not the United States. Besides, they ain’t never gonna change, so the whole idea of them voting is laughable. So if you see one at your polling place, take cover and call the Doctor.

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silk

silk (Photo credit: SJ photography)

Note to self: I don’t care how warm and light it is, don’t wear your silk jacket in the rain. Now you smell like wet caterpillar spit, and you have no one to blame but yourself.

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Overthinker Masked for Guy Fawkes Day (Bonfire Day)

Overthinker Masked for Guy Fawkes Day (Bonfire Day)

Remember Dances with Dragons, that adorably assertive and clueless little boy? Or perhaps The Perpetually Grounded Son, who spent over a year being the source of many stories about the woes of being a parent? Or Teenager, who got tired of me calling him the Perpetually Grounded Son?

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Fibonacci spiral with square sizes up to 34

Fibonacci spiral with square sizes up to 34 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image via WikipediaI have been spending the last several days planning knitted objects based on the Fibonacci sequenceand doing some swatching, and playing Lord of the Rings Online. I thought that was geeky enough until my husband pointed out that the purpose of building knitted objects based on the Fibonacci sequence was to show them off, explain what I was doing to a room full of math geeks, and preen (or alternately, mention it as a test to see if others knew what the heck I was talking about).  True that. I am possibly a HUGE geek.

 

That said, reading Ta-Nehisi Coates‘ column in The Atlantic often helps me normalize my geekiness. There are others just as geeky as I am. This column, for example, discusses old school CRPG and other RPG games and people are flying their geek flags big time.

I was feeling totally and completely normalized and less geeky than average until I came across this comment to the post (the whole comment thread is worth reading):

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Hit List (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 20)After I bit the Bullet and completed my review, I thought I was done.  But no.  She posted an excerpt from her next book, Hit List, on her blog, and I had to go read it.  (Had to, I tell you.  It’s a law, or something).

I read it, and I’m going to like this one, unless she jumps the shark after the first chapter.  LKH wisely moved Anita out of St. Louis for this book, this time to Tacoma, Washington, and hooked her back up with her old (platonic) pal Ted (who is like Dexter, but not as sexy, and does his killing on the up and up, now, has a license and everything).  There is a mystery to be solved, and obvious bad guys.  Moving the story out of St. Louis reduces some of the Mary Sue effect, so maybe Anita can even get hurt. 

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It’s about the doing.  Happiness is being in the moment, whether that moment is a sink full of greasy dishes, an armload of laundry, or the arms of the one you love.  (This takes work.  I still hate housework, can still only get past anger and resistance into the moment on rare occasions).

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from yankeegalscafe.com

Not last night, but the night before, I woke up in the middle of the night (like I often do), obsessively checked my email on my phone (really, I’m that obsessive), and tried to drift back off to sleep.

“Moooooooooo.”

(Huh?)

“Mooooooooooooooooooooo.”

I have a history of sleep disorders, such that I assumed I was hallucinating, and tried to go back to sleep.

“Moooooooooooo-oooooooooooooo”

(WTF????)

I shook Husband’s shoulder.  “Do you hear that?”

“I was sleeping.  Go back to sleep.”

“There’s a cow out there.”

“Go back to sleep.  There’s nothing out there.”

“MOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”

“Honey, ‘Nothing’ just mooed again.”

(A side note here.  We live in Independence, MO, near the city center, but we have plenty of indigenous wildlife, including deer.)

He half opened one eye.  “It’s probably a doe calfing.”

I really, really wanted it to be true, because I couldn’t wrap my head around why there would be a cow wandering down the street.  It made more sense for it to be zombies, though, because that was an awfully deep voice for a doe.  (Hey, I told you I have a sleep disorder.  Zombies seem reasonable at two in the morning when something is mooing outside your semi-urban house).

Morning came, sunshiny and nice, and the whole issue slipped my mind until I happened to flip through and catch the evening news on KCTV-9.  Here’s a link to the story about the steer in my neighborhood.

A Black Angus Steer

To recap the story at the link:  Troy and Troi Hudson, who live more than ten miles from me, bought a new steer they named Bruno at about noon on Tuesday.  By 1:00 PM, Bruno had jumped the fence and was wandering down Truman Road (I live less than two miles from Truman’s family home and his Presidential museum.  There’s a lot of Truman around here).

Bruno went on his merry way for thirteen hours, with police and animal control and the Hudsons all trying desperately to capture him (although why you’d want to taser a distressed steer eludes me).

Finally, at 3:00 AM, shortly after he ran bellowing past my house, they cornered him and got him on the trailer.  The Hudsons sold him the next day and bought a (presumably) more docile heifer instead.

Poor Bruno.  I’m going to dedicate this tried and true video to him:

“Cows with Guns” by Dana Lyons, movie by Humans Are Teh Suk

Unfortunately, no one told Bruno that if he wanted to “run free with the buffalo”, he had to head south, to Lee’s Summit, rather than west. Poor steer. Where are the chickens in choppers when you need them?

 

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