Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1685 Fudge Factor

We humans are interesting folk. Some of the things we do seem so prevalent they must be hard-wired in our genes. Like our morality. We don't have excess amounts of it. Maybe because it seems to shrink to fit our genes.
Case in point: The other day I was slowing down for a yellow light. Easier than ever to do these days, as most intersections have countdown crosswalk lights. You can actually time yourself to the second as you approach an intersection. As I pulled to a stop with perfect timing, the fellow in the lane to my right blew through the yellow-turning-to-red.
Naturally, he only halfway made it. Fully half the time his car was in the intersection while the light was red. A jackrabbit starter coming off the green in cross traffic would have nailed him. Or worse, a perfectly legal driver timing the perpendicular intersection would have hit the green, kept going, and T-boned him.
But no. Because they've now timed the intersection so the green doesn't start until the red has been on for a couple of seconds—accommodating our shrink-to-fit morality. Good idea, much safer.
Except the yellow blowthroughers have caught on.
Humans always play the fudge factor. It's only a little bitty donut. It's just one illegal download. I'll jaywalk here where traffic's light... Those little extra sins we allow ourselves.
Case in point 2: I'm driving in a 30 MPH zone. And I'm actually going 35. They won't cite you for just five miles over the speed limit right? I guess so. The vehicle ahead of me was doing the same thing. And it was a school bus.
So if sinning becomes the social norm, is it still sinning?
Someone hand me another piece of fudge. I'm only a little over weight...
America, ya gotta love it.

1684 Cart Damage

I was out driving around not long ago and had one of those days where things occurred to me. Like I was at Costco and noticed this sign in their parking lot. It was one of those signs you see where companies seek to limit their liability for things beyond their control. Especially hard when the place in question is their sole property and they are encouraging you to use it so you'll shop there.
The sign said, "Costco not responsible for damage caused by unattended carts." Sounds perfectly reasonable. The wind, perhaps, blowing an unattended cart into your right rear quarter-panel and causing some damage.
Unfortunately, in their desire to be specific, they open the possibility of the reverse of their statement. As in, they are responsible for damage caused by attended carts.
So if a little old lady plows her borrowed motorized cart into your quarter-panel, Costco is to blame. Of if a horde of youths, suddenly bent on random acts of vandality, decides to play shopping cart demo derby, well, you're okay, because Costco will pick up the tab.
The law of unintended consequences. Or in this case the law of unattended consequences.
That struck me the other day too when I was driving by a Starbucks and saw the drive-through line. Which, by the way, was an interesting facet of the recent power outage and ice storm—the longest lines I've ever seen at coffee drive-throughs. It's as if in a crises we have this primitive atavistic urge to seek out a mocha.
Anyhow, what occurred to me was how Starbucks recently announced that in select locations they'll now be serving wine. That's really gonna be fun at the drive-through. And good in a crisis.
But, um, the nearby Costco better hide their carts.
America, ya gotta love it.

1683 Shroom for Thought

Read an interesting article the other day on Magic Mushrooms. Seems scientists have determined that their psychoactive ingredient, psilocybin, may have promise as a treatment for depression.
Somehow I think I'd prefer someone driving under the influence of Prozac.
Naturally, the psilocybin would be administered under controlled circumstances. But the interesting thing about psilocybin is how it works. Scientists thought it would cause certain areas of the brain to perk up and get excited, but no. It causes a certain area of the brain to dull down—the area of the brain most responsible for grounding you in reality.
So it dampens your perceptions of reality. No surprise there, it is a hallucinogen. Hallucinations are, after all, not real. And that's where it gets really interesting. Turns out clinically depressed people are too real. They are too caught up in the depressing reality of day-to-day existence and get into negative-reinforcing depressing mental loops.
They need a flight of fancy. Which is, if you stop to think about it, all hope really is. A feeling based entirely on an illusion. Or, if you prefer, a hallucination. Scientists have shown that only one psilocybin experience a year is enough to lift the worst depressed person out of the negative cycle.
You gotta admit, it's kind of a bummer, however real, that people who are negative and depressed are more grounded in reality than us hopey-changey people. Maybe there's a middle ground.
As I've quoted before, the optimist says the glass is half full, the pessimist the glass half empty. The pragmatist says we got twice a much glass as we need here. But as my friend Jada said, "The opportunist drinks the water while the rest of them are arguing."
Opportunism---hope and reality combined.
America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1682 Scanner Day

I read this interesting article the other day. Seems the Transportation Safety Administration, those folks in charge of our airport security, are conducting some tests, measuring the potential radiation hazards from the full body scanners they use at over 100 airports.
They didn't test them first.
Worse, they have no plans to test what radiation exposure is happening to passengers. No, they are just testing what happens to airport security officers who are indirectly exposed to the machines.
While I applaud the concern the TSA is showing for its workforce, and would suggest private industry adopt similar safeguards for its full body scanners—if and when the need develops to employ full body scanners as well as random drug tests and Facebook background checks—it still seems a little callous to test the folks behind the machines and ignore the people they are forcing through the machines. Not unlike testing slaughterhouse cattle dispatchers for indirect exposure to the stun gun they use.
As one cattle/passenger, James Babb of We Won't Fly put it, "We have no idea how much radiation is being imposed on travelers by a properly functioning machine, a malfunctioning machine could be particularly nasty."
Another example of a large organization stepping on the needs of the little guy, like also happened in Samoa last December. Seems they, whoever they are, needed to move the international dateline. So Samoa lost a whole day. Yep, December 30th vanished into who knows where. I don't know about you, but that would totally screw up my calendar. Especially if it was my birthday. Or Christmas vacation. What do you mean we lose a whole day?
On the positive side, if I was an airport scanner worker, that's one less day to accidentally fry my organs.
Makes you wonder if in compensation one day the TSA will be offering frequent fryer miles…
America, ya gotta love it.

1681 Memory Reminders

I read an interesting article recently about the Google mind. I forget where I read it. The gist of it was that today's kids aren't remembering things the way us oldsters once did.
They don't have to memorize boring facts about the dates of Civil War battles or the angstroms in the visual spectrum because they have easy and ready access to the web. The article talked about psychologists who are studying the Google mind. The Google we all know and love that is reaching its tendrils into every fiber of our society. The Google octopus slowly and insidiously changing to Googleopolis.
It's our constant go-to source for any tidbit of info. When did Star Trek start? Who was the second man on the moon? Who was the female scientist that got screwed out of recognition for the discovery of DNA? It's all on Google.
Sort of like Shazam, which, in its original form, just functions as a portable memory device. Expose it to a playing song and it will identify the song for you. Fantastic. You don’t even need to waste valuable memory cells remembering favorite songs anymore. Aptly named app too. As the not-so-bright comedic marine Gomer Pyle once said when confronted with something wondrous, "Shazam!"
One good thing—the trendsetters in lazy memory have helped my future. When I reach my dad's age and I can't remember stuff I won't have to worry. There'll be an app for that. It'll follow me around to every corner of my house to remind me why I went wherever I went. Like a memory Roomba.
By the way. It's already kicking in. As I care for my memory-impaired dad, I'm getting more forgetful. I think it's catching. Either that or dementia is caused by eating dinner every night at 4:30.
America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

1680 Nega-positive

I wonder how some words creep into our language and assume meanings that seem counter-intuitive on analysis. Positive words that are really negative and vice versa. Like Vice President. Next in line to the president right? So how did being second also come to mean evil? He had all the usual vices. One of which was to aspire to the presidency...
Or take the word "neglectful." Pretty straightforward. It means full of neglect. But neglect is an absence of something. When something is neglected, it suffers from lack of attention. So how can you be full of the lack of something? One of those nega-positive words that always seems confusing to me.
Or how about News Anchors? We seem to accept that the most prestigious position on a news team is the anchor. But really. If we're going to use ship parts, why not use helmsman? The helm is the thing that controls the whole enterprise. The anchor just holds a boat in place.
And in other similes and metaphors anchors drag you down. "Her presence drug him down like an anchor." "The cement overshoes anchored the bloating floating corpse."
Maybe being an anchor is not a good thing.
Or how about the term "golden parachute." That's kind of scary when you think about it. Like a lead zeppelin. Not the free floatingest element in the periodic table. Gold is pretty heavy. If I had my druthers I believe I'd select a parachute of silk. I'm guessing gold would anchor me down pretty quickly, through the air and into about 6 feet of ground.
I wouldn't so much fly as plummet.
Like the news anchor reported about the vice-ridden vice president of a major company whose stocks plummeted because he was neglectful of his shareholders and got a golden parachute anyway.
America, ya gotta love it.

1679 Some Bets Are Off

I worry that we are glorifying a human vice in our everyday culture. I bet you don't know what vice I'm talking about. Bingo—you got it—betting. And I'm not talking about cardrooms and the casinos. Prissbudgets like to look down their noses at those honest folks. No, I'm talking about the bettors everyone seem to think are gods of the economy, the Wall Street clan.
Consider how removed from reality they are. Recently Google took a hit on the stock market. Their stock price tumbled 9%. Huh? They reported revenues of $10.6 billion. The number of clicks on Google's ads rose an impressive 34%. It was Google's best quarter ever.
But their stock dropped 9%. Why? Because Wall Street had expected even better. That's right. Traders who had made their bets on even higher expectations came up short, so Google's price per share and the value of the company as a whole dropped.
Sorry folks, but that's just plain crazy. Valuing a company based on what crazed traders are misguidedly betting on it is way removed from rational.
But apparently it works. Or at least betting on the bettors does. Hedge fund managers who bet on market swings and make money on it either way, up or down, can make a ton of money betting on other stockmarketer's expectations.
The richest 25 hedge-fund investors earned more that $25 billion in 2009, six times as much as the chief executives of the 500 largest publicly held companies altogether.
Good betting? Perhaps. Another article reports seven hedge fund managers were charged with insider trading last week. I see. Betting's fine, but it helps if you stack the cards... And a stolen ace in the hole don't hurt neither.
It's even better not to gamble when you have a chance.
America, ya gotta love it.

1678 Poli Lie

One of the interesting things about being an independent is the ability to see through the smokescreens either side tries to blow. A friend of mine told me he majored in Political Science in college. Also known as poli sci. He said it was a useless degree. Not a lot of jobs for political scientists. Similarly, my own degree in philosophy put me on the unemployment rolls as soon as it was conferred.
The real reason political science is useless is that actual politicos don’t employ science. Science implies mathematical truths, and any kind of truth is far from the field of political success. I take that back. Half-truths are stock in trade.
It's not poli sci, it's poli lie.
Like we hear one side these days talking constantly about the "failed stimulus package". This is the successful-by-dint-of-repetition lie. Just by repeating the phrase over and over it becomes an accepted fact. Funny, because by any objective measure, the stimulus package worked. More people are employed. The three automakers are going strong. Manufacturing jobs are experiencing a resurgence. The economy has improved significantly.
Give us more failure please...
Along with half-truths are lies of misdirection. Which you could possibly combine with the half-truths of statistics. I saw an administrator making a case for his organization recently in a public forum. He said that in a survey, 71% of respondents gave his organization an A or a B. Of course that means 29% gave it a C or below. That works out to a C or less for all 100%.
Another administrator inadvertently summed up politics with a phrase he used to describe sewage lift stations. He said they really help "pump up the effluent."
As does politics.
That’s why the best degree in political science is a BS.
America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1677 Hogging Ground

Not long ago it was Ground Hog Day, and I have to say it's one of our odder observances. Not least because it's odd we should put so much faith and ceremony into the reputed prognosticational ability of a rodent. But also because I'm not sure what a Groundhog is.
Is it a rodent? Or is it a weasel? Weasels are pretty smart and certainly capable of seeing one's shadow. But I'm uncomfortable with a choice made by a weasel. Weasely choices always smack of politicians to me. I'm not sure I want the disposition of winter or spring to be in the paws of a weasel.
A brief internet search put my fears to rest. Groundhogs are rodents. Our seasonal predictions are in the paws of a glorified rat. What a relief.
But really, what a name. Doesn't Ground Hog sound like some sort of land grabbing conglomerate, snatching up all the available developable land to make a killing with a new mall or something? I suppose it's better though, than some of the other names it's known by.
Turns out Groundhogs, from the marmot family, are also known as woodchucks, whistle-pigs and land beavers. I guess Groundhog is pretty good after all. That whole whistle-pig thing is too weird to even contemplate, and if we bring in the decision about how much wood a woodchuck may chuck, presuming the process of chucking can actually be performed by woodchucks, we're never going to figure out the length of winter.
Which, by the way I don't get. Is six more weeks of winter good or bad? The time from February 2nd to March 21st, the official first day of spring, is about 7 weeks.
So only 6 more weeks is good right?
America, ya gotta love it.

1676 Graynyms

I wrote not long ago about the challenges we face when caring for our elder parents. We love our parents. And we have great respect for them raising us. So it's difficult as we find ourselves shepherding them in their mental decline. Trying to keep them safe and engaged and yet trying to carry on with our own lives.
And we're having to develop a whole new vocabulary to deal with it. Instead of neologisms they're paleologisms or graynyms.
I've talked with other folks who care for their dementia-disabled parents and we've come to the same conclusion. It's extraordinarily fatiguing, anticipating and protecting for all the dangers of obstacles, stairs, and mood swings they're likely to trip over.
I've decided that fatigue comes from "thinking for two." Like they say pregnant women are eating for two. Eldercaregivers are thinking for two.
Which also involves motivating for two. Elders often get overtaken by a desire to do nothing but eat and sleep. And use the bathroom of course. They've reached the age where doing anything seems absolutely futile and not worth the effort. You don't see a lot of 85-year-olds taking out a mortgage. Or even jumping in the Sweet Sixteen pool.
So you have to use additional energy to combat "elder ennui."
Then there's the forgetfulness. I've talked about how instead of daycare centers we should have "graycare centers." With the relearning and the reminding we need to do with our elders, maybe instead of pre-schools we should have "re-schools."
Or arrange a playdate for them for stimulation, a "graydate," with a "gray pal" instead of a play pal.
Lastly, they often act like they're 85 going on 2, so they could be called "doddlers" rather than toddlers. But they also act like rebellious teenagers, possibly because they're senile. Perhaps "seenagers"?
Sorry, that fatigue-for-two is kicking in.
Obviously, my own mental decline is well underway...
America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

1675 Clicking Around

Not long ago, when the power went out because of the ice storm, I found myself with some silent moments on my hands. Or perhaps on my ears.
It's interesting the sounds we take for granted, that we only notice when they're gone. (Yes, not unlike the good things in a broken relationship.) Sounds like the refrigerator clunking or its compressor motor running, the sound of the heater fan, and the constant 60-cycle hum of electricity coursing through the house, ready to deliver power to a host of labor-saving—and comfortingly loud—appliances.
During the silence, I noticed something I'd tuned out for a long time. The ticking of my clock. Tick tock. Tick tock. It refused to leave my brain. And may have damaged it.
Because not long after that, when the power was back on, I read an instruction online to click my mouse on something. And it hit me. Where did the cl- sound in "click" come from. Assuming that both tick and click are words that imitate actual sounds, how is the click of a mouse different from the tick of a clock?
For the life of me I can't distinguish it. The click of a mouse sounds exactly like a tick. We should say tick your mouse here. Tick and drag. Because there's no cl- sound in there at all.
And if you're going to insist on an imaginary cl- sound, why use it with a mouse? Why not use it with a clock. It sure makes more sense. Instead of tick tock, it would be click clock. I hear the clicking of the clock.
Or again, if we insist on click, for some sort of regional dialect thing, like we say Wooster-shur instead of Worcestershire, then let's be consistent.
Anybody care for a game of clic clac cloe?
America, ya gotta love it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

1674 Sounds of Silence

A while back we had this horrendous ice storm and power outage. Tree shrapnel is still scattered all over the county. Local woods look like someone went in with a giant weed whacker. When the ice storm was going on it sounded like someone was duck hunting in the distance. Violently loud pops going off willy-nilly.
It was one of the sounds of silence you noticed because the power had gone out. Amazing how a power outage puts you back into primitive mode. And funny too. I talked to a guy who had his power out for four days. During that time, he actually did go duck hunting. He said he really enjoyed sitting out in the wind and cold and rain and melting snow.
What he hated was coming home to no power. We don't mind camping when we're camping. We hate camping at home.
Perhaps because we're reminded about what we're missing while we're at home. The TV doesn't work. Who has a battery-powered TV? Even if you had power, you may not have had cable. The computer has UPS back up—for a couple of hours—then it's dead too. And who cares? Because, again, no cable modem working. True of your whole neighborhood as well, so no wi-fi. About half the area cell towers were out so limited phone too. Kindles, Tablets, Laptops—all good until the battery runs down—and then?
How many people caught themselves plugging their charger into a dead socket? Funny, it didn't seem to work.
I learned to re-appreciate local radio. Music, entertainment, news updates on the storm and outages—all with a 9-volt battery. The same kind I use in my smoke detectors. From the box I buy at Costco.
Thank goodness for the power of radio.
Our not-too-silent friend...
Because that sucking sound you don’t hear? It’s the sound of silence…
America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

1673 Adult Professions

I wonder sometimes about the verbal habits we get into. And then how they seem to become a permanent part not just of our verbal culture, but our verbal DNA.
That was one right there. In the year 1800 no one would have used "DNA" as a term to describe ultimately ingrained behavior. Or ultimate ingrained anything. DNA wasn't discovered until Watson, Crick and Rosalind Franklin, the woman scientist who got screwed out of the credit because sexism was wired into science's DNA at the time.
What got me thinking about this was the other day when I drove by a sign for a place that said "Family Chiropractic." It seems like just about every chiropractic place is Family Chiropractic. So much so that I think we mentally ignore the family part. It's like "Family Dentistry" or a "Family Practice" physician.
So you have to ask yourself. Is there an alternative? An "adult" chiropractic clinic perhaps? Because you know, the term adult is fraught with potential misconceptions. Maybe that's why chiropractors, dentists, and doctors take such great pains to distinguish themselves from it.
Adult is a fine term when used with an adult mobile home park. But you use the term "adult" in conjunction with the word "toys" and you conjure up an entirely different image.
Adult physicians most likely work at different types of clinics altogether. I can't imagine what adult dentistry would be like. At least not in the adult toy sense. Although one of those sonic plaque removers would make for a great pain inflictor for the kinky.
And I suppose that would be the turn you'd expect from Adult Chiropractors. Whether in your DNA or just caused by a crick in your neck, they're your cure for all kinds of adult dysfunction.
Really help you get the kinks out.
America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

1672 Naked Newt

I'm always fascinated by the phenomenon of labeling. It's the opportunity for businesses or things to clothe themselves in words that reflect them in the best possible light. Sometimes labels can also tell more about a thing. Especially the nutrition label you get on foods.
I've often wondered whether it would be nice if politicians had the equivalent of a nutrition label. Maybe call it a cognition label, or better yet, a label describing their veracity.
Not Nutrition but "Trunition."
"What's his trunition factor? I don't know, what's his self-serving size and how many additives does he have on his coattails?”
It could also pare things down. Get rid of the layers of protective clothing. On second thought, I'm not sure I'm ready for a naked Newt.
On the subject of nutrition labels, I saw something interesting the other day. It was a label for a pear sent by a mail order company in a box of pears. The label was loose and presumably represented all the pears in the box.
The description that caught my eye was this: "Coated with food grade vegetable, petroleum, beeswax, and/or shellac-based wax or resin to maintain freshness."
This from a company that uses other labeling on its packaging to extol the virtues of its small company and the caring hands-on nurturing and oversight it applies to each of its products every step of the way. The label essentially says, "We're not sure what the heck we put on it¾but it will be fresh."
Thank you for that assurance it's something.
They went one step further in the assurance with this statement: "May contain trace amount of allergens not listed in ingredients."
Just in case they accidentally rolled their pears through nuts, soy, wheat, dairy, or, I don't know, eye of newt.
America, ya gotta love it.

1671 Fashionists

I read an interesting little factoid the other day about useless attempts to legislate conformity. Turns out a Shreveport Louisiana official has introduced a bill to ban the wearing of pajamas in public. If he was smart, he would just fine folks instead. That way he could introduce a ban to bill people for wearing PJs in Public.
This too shall fail. Fashion is as fashion does, and the best thing to do is wait it out. It's all context anyhow. How are pajamas different than sweatpants, or tights, or MC Hammer jams? And really, were 80s parachute pants that much of a stylistic upgrade?
The story said that what set the thing off was when Parish Commissioner Michael Williams saw youths wearing pajama bottoms at Wal-Mart and felt a line must be drawn. He said, "Today it's pajamas, tomorrow it’s underwear, where does it stop?"
Oh, I don't know, a moo-moo?
Sorry to break it to Parish-man Williams, but obviously he hasn't seen those "People of Wal-Mart" photo spreads circulating on the web. Pajamas are the least of our worries. Eight Ball jackets, camo bustiers strangulating muffin tops, and Wrangler-induced carpenter pencil holders are more of a concern.
Personally, I'd much prefer a loose garment like pajamas that tend to drape and conceal rather than constrict and reveal. As far as being worried about wearing underwear in public—what's the difference between a bikini, and a bra and panty set, other than context?
And as for his question of where it will all stop. I've been watching a lot of old Star Trek episodes lately. According to them, the future will apparently hold a fashion obsession with garments of velour.
Which surprisingly, looks like a lot of people are walking around in Pajamas...
America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, February 06, 2012

1670 Last Thoughts

I was talking with a friend recently, and we got on the subject of death and dying. A subject that's entered our conversations more and more of late, as we've both seen the demise of our aging parents—and we've also aged substantially ourselves.
So we started talking about buying things and about how certain things needed to be considered carefully, as they may be the last items of those categories we ever buy.
It reminded me of an observation I once made when I sold men's clothing. Only a certain age window was open for men to perceive value in Pendleton shirts. Pendleton's last so long that they have little appeal to the fashion-fickle young. And they also last so long you run the risk of having the shirt outlive you.
It's important to remember, when you reach 65, anything you buy may be the last of its category. Like a roof. Or a refrigerator perhaps. They certainly can be expected to last for 20 years. Would you buy one differently if you thought of it as the last refrigerator you would ever own?
Would you like harvest gold or avocado?
And your last car, of course, better humorists than I have pointed out that older folk tend to buy cars only slightly smaller than hearses.
Easy to get in and out of, and survivable in a crash. But more importantly, controls to ingrain in your habits early enough to keep them more or less automatic when your memory starts to fade and your mind wanders onto the rumble strip.
My friend had a more poignant thought. Not long ago he got a new pet. He could have recently bought his last kitten.
One more worry of aging. Syncing life expectancy with your pets...
America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

1669 12 Days of Holly

Not long ago I was reflecting on the holiday season. That season everyone is always talking about when they say, "Season's Greetings" and "Happy Holidays." The one that includes a not-being-made-war-on Christmas, but also includes Thanksgiving, New Years, Chanukah, and others.
I was thinking the 12 days of Christmas are a nice long period for a holiday. By the way, I know one of those days includes Boxing Day, which used to be when the servants got their gifts from their employers, then evolved into bring-back-your-boxes-full-of-rejections-for-return-day.
But I was wondering, does one of those days include "Gift Card Redemption Day?" Does Amazon dot com do huge business the day after Christmas too? Heck. They probably explode their cloud the day of Christmas.
Anyhow, back to the 12 days thing. Why not extend that privilege to other holidays? Like our recent snow and ice and power outage storm here in the Pacific Northwest. With all the school closures and people not being able to get to work, we were sort of having a 12 Days of Martin Luther King Day.
I'm thinking the romantic among us would go for a 12 days of Valentines Day too. You already have the dozen roses theme worked in. 12 days, 12 roses. 12 boxes of candy to counteract all those 12 days of New Years resolutions.
Don't worry about the 4th of July. We already get fireworks from June 22nd on.
But how about the 12 days of Easter? Perfectly possible, again with a dozen eggs to boil and decorate, an easy theme to explore. And you already have Ash Wednesday, Shrove Thursday, Good Friday and the big day itself. So only 8 more days to mark out before the ascension.
Cool. A 2-week spring break. Just the thing to lift our spirits.
America, ya gotta love it.

1668 Bridal March

The other day I had to write my commentary three times. Which was unusual, or perhaps coincidental, or perhaps ironic, or perhaps just plain spooky. Why? Because my piece was on the bridal march and weddings, and I've been married three times. I'm worried that what took place with my commentaries was an analogy for what took place with my marriages.
I had to rewrite three times because my power went out. The first time I had the piece completely written and down to the final edit. The power went out, eliminating everything. Except, thanks to the autosave feature in my Word program I was able to retrieve it. But then I screwed up and saved the wrong retrieved document. So I had to write it completely over. Not learning my lesson, I dashed off a second version of my piece, trying to hit the same ideas but improve as I go. The power went out again.
The third time I was very careful. I saved my work after every sentence. I crafted each sentence as I went. I saved after each edit. I spellchecked as I went along. Finally, I got to the place where you can settle down and reflect on how great things are. The satisfaction of a job well done. Then the power went out again.
But this time I had learned how to save, and more importantly how to save my retrieved document.
Here's where the analogy breaks down. That never happened with any of my marriages. Maybe because I write fiction.
Back to the analogy. I was eventually able to retrieve the first commentary I wrote. And when I compared rewritten-from-memory Commentary 3 to initially-written Commentary 1, they were nearly identical.
History and behavior does repeat itself.
And apparently, I have an amazing capacity to recreate drivel.
Final lesson learned: Do not write a commentary about the bridal march song.
How does that saying go? Beware the Brides of March...
America, ya gotta love it.