1.the customer is always bewildered
I have simple computer needs. Internet, Word, WordPerfect,
Excel, cheap printer, reasonable processing speed, visible screen, and perhaps the ability to burn a CD. My wife recently a stately pleasure dome decreed, in which I had my own desktop upstairs instead of using the computer she does writing projects upon, so I lugged my kinder-than-words-can-express younger brother (or rather, he drove me) to the local Big Chains. My favorite part of the experience is at Big Chain B, where the ad in the paper had just what we wanted, but the store did not display the "loss leader" as a "packaged set". Instead, one had to track down the salesguy and be shown which components would be sold if one opted for the "half of what a computer costs" sales computer.
I got the computer, along with more paraphernalia for mail-in rebate madness than anyone could imagine. Now if I can just figure out how to assemble the self-made-man computer table.
2.An unmanned probe finding water on Mars tells me we need more unmanned probes
I love that during my lifetime we have made three strides which are obvious but important--walking on the moon, confirmation of planets around other systems and strong indicia of water on Mars. But the talk now of a potential manned trip to Mars intrigues me,because as fun as it sounds, the unmanned ones just deliver so much more bang for the buck. I say these Mars missions prove how much we get out of unmanned exploration. Speaking of which, what's up with the Hubble? We need more visible spectrum space telescopes. We don't need to abandon the one we have.
3. It's not what's in the sky, but what's right up front of you.
Before I treed (and then un-treed) my 99 cent kite, the 3 year old male member of the cute nuclear father/mother/sister/brother family flying kites (looked like Caspar-ish kites to me, but they said "Nemo") ignored the fact that his kite ascended beautifully, and instead stared raptly at the attention his mother was giving his big sister. It's not what you're flying, but who gets to sit on first class during the trip.
4.it's all in what you read into the water splashing
I watched two infant baptisms today. I like the idea that one adult's notion of anointing is one baby's notion of a bit of cool water being rubbed on the head. The communion wine tasted more like Welch's grape juice today, and I felt like a Methodist again. I supose I'm a Unitarian Universalist and a Methodist, or neither, I'm not sure.
5.Romance is where you find it
The coolest story I heard today is about a couple's wedding that will take place in a Veterans of Foreign Wars hut in rural Texas, not far from the lake. Perhaps the most lovely wedding I ever attended, by the way, took place not on a Malibu hillside or in an ornate church, but instead took place on the roof of the restaurant Nepenthe not far from Big Sur. I had the roast chicken, by the way.
6.Bashful, grumpy and sleepy
I think lately about conversations I've monopolized (I'm much better at being the insightful soft-spoken wizard than the leader), negative things I've said, or the just sheer lack of energy I have sometimes, and I'm amazed that I don't feel more foolish more often. At least today my "gotta rest" took place during a wonderful thin man movie. Myrna Loy was so cool, wrapping her mind around an entendre so invitingly. But I would like to not be torn between work and rest, play and relaxation. I wonder sometimes if I'm a Type A with B hybridization, or a Type B with A hybridization. I know that I have a large bit of alpha but a good bit of beta, a fair dollop of zeta and perhaps a sad bit of something more boring that I'll call a more prosaic zed.
7.Diversions as a way of life
I think that it's okay to give oneself permission to explore one's own creativity. I think it's okay to go looking for ways to lose one's life in thought and action, and thus save it in fact.
The 'zine book, though not particularly revelatory, confirms a bit my theory that it's better to sell oneself to oneself and one's acquaintances in fifty copy doses than to try to sell out to achieve million copy doses. Further, the only way to begin to control quality in one's output is to begin by first having an output. That's true in every pursuit, but the grandest number of folks in creative pursuits fail to be first prize winners. The system depends on the failures--call them elegant eccentrics, beautiful losers, or just plain losers. But if ninety nine percent aren't out there trying and failing, the winnowing system won't work. But "success" is such a difficult thing--is it money? Is it fame? I don't think so. Success is surely controlling one's message, and spreading it to be the people one wishes to hear it, as far as one can. I don't see how it can be worth it to gain a living but lose one's soul. I don't really start from a "commerce is bad" mindset. I think commerce is good. But if one does not control one's own product, then one becomes product oneself. I'll pass. I'll devote myself to production, but eschew corporate seals of approval for now--that is, until I start my own corporation.
The related idea is not original to me, but I'll play with a bit more anyway. Each set of words affects some greater culture-picture, however small the ripples may be. Even the drones help build the nest. Even the fertile males die before they see the next generation grow. Each gravid queen carries on a new population. As an aside, any day now, fire ant queens and princes will take to the sky, thousands of them mating, ineffable, unstoppable, irresistable, and frightening.
10.preliminary steps are much harder for me than the "big" steps
Want me to write a novel? Fine, give me 30 days. Want me to set up a computer table from a prefab kit to set up the computer on which to write the novel. Hmmm. That could be a REAL project.