log (2011/05/13 to 2011/05/19)

There is some evidence on the hard drive ("hard drive") here that back on Friday, March 8th, I started to compose a weblog entry. But the nascent entry doesn't appear to have gotten as far as having any content, so what it might have said will have to remain a mystery.

I thought I would post today, though, in order to get in before Saturday, just in case ol' Harold Camping is right.

Of course come to think of it the Rapture would probably provide some really excellent weblogging material.

I was listening to Family Radio in the car today, just to see, and they were surprisingly calm. They had their regular Bible reading, and some music, and like Chapter Five of some inspirational book. They even had an ad for their pamphlet explaining how the world is going to end (well, to start ending) on Saturday; you can get it on the web, but you can also call this number and they will send you as many copies as you can use.

In the mail.

And I thought, well, shouldn't they really have said "express mail orders only"?

'cause if it takes longer than a couple of days to arrive...

... there's really no point.

As fun as it can be to make fun of (pardon any video ad that you're required to watch to see that page; mine appeared to be for an upscale prostitute), it does make me wonder deeply about human nature.

I mean, these people supposedly do believe that Saturday is The Rapture, so why are they going ahead with business as usual? Do they actually not believe? What does it mean to believe something, but then act as though it were not true?

One possibility, of course, is that those Family Radio employees who really believe it have gone on leave in order to Get Ready, so it's the ones who Aren't So Sure that are left running the station, and they are going ahead with Business As Usual in order to hedge their bets.

On Sunday I expect the station will continue to go on with Business As Usual, perhaps without the ads for the pamphlets with the dates in them, at least until Harold has time to figure out what went wrong this time, and update them.

Speaking of the End Times, a Very Large Tree (belonging to a next-door neighbor) fell over in a windstorm the other week, and entirely crushed the ol' Big Tub of Water.

(Flickr pictures to prove it.)

Which was not really all that devastating, despite the fond memories. We haven't opened it for a year or four, the kids having in some sense outgrown it and we adults being far too sedentary and/or doing other things. So it was probably more the Big Tub of Fecund Slime when the Enormous Tree hit it.

The tree has been removed since the pictures, but the crushed fence and tub, and the scratches and dents to the side of the house, are all still there, waiting for various estimates and contractors and possible insurance checks, and for us to basically take enough interest in the whole thing to hurry it along.

It is rather amazing that I am sitting here writing this (as you probably know all too well), rather than being in Second Life (where things continue as ever) or World of Warcraft (where I now have a second character over level 80, and headed for 85 with Spennix at some rate), or busy into the evening with work things (work has been one big perpetual deadline for months, due I think largely to the theory that it's possible to schedule ground-breaking research and first-of-a-kind development far in advance).

I have discovered, or concluded, or something, that I am a very reactive person.

I don't plan things out particularly, or rehearse them to myself in advance, or have a theory of how they are going to go.

Things happen, and when I notice them, I do stuff.

I get to work, for instance, by going out and getting in the car, and then successively doing whatever seems to be called for in the immediate situation.

I can give you instructions on how to get to work, if I have to, but I have to derive them, by imagining myself more or less vividly getting into the car, backing down the driveway, and then calling to mind what I would see next, and what I would do.

I have the feeling that for many other people, it's not like that at all, and that the plans and directions and stuff are primary, and the reactions sort of secondary. One has an idea in advance what's going to happen and what you're going to do, and so what you do is whatever the plan calls for doing next.

At least in theory.

So I've always liked the Greeting Card saying "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans" (possibly John Lennon); it validates the idea that those plans are sort of fictional, and really what happens is whatever happens, so what you do is react. Or act, in context.

Certainly in software development, even relatively routine software development, and probably product development in general, it's always seemed an enormous waste of time to me to plan six or twelve months in advance. The plan is going to be wrong, and there doesn't seem to be any good reason to think that what you're going to do in pretending it's right will be any more accurate or successful than what you would have done day-to-day without it.

So when there are planning and scheduling sessions and things at work, my mind sort of glazes over, or fails to make contact with the subject, or something, and I just want to get back to taking the next step in getting the thing working, without first having had to weigh in with a prognostication on how many steps there are left.

This does not always make me popular in planning meetings. *8)

On other subjects, there is an adorably cute little cat sleeping with her eyes all closed and her little paws tucked endearingly, on M's legs just across the room there. Tiny Mia is no longer a tiny kitten, but rather a still-petite cat, being about what twelve or something months old, and ten or something pounds heavy (she does not really greatly enjoy being picked up for weighing, or any other, purposes, but she is nonetheless picked up and carried around regularly, especially by the little boy).

And I'm just starting to think of us as having a cat, really.

(I still don't really think of myself as having a beard, and it's been like thirty-odd years now; of course the cat is more visible from here than the beard is.)

I've been vaguely thinking of NaNoWriMo this year (work will surely have calmed down by then, eh?), but I'm not sure what I'd do.

Blank verse is tempting, but fifty-thousand words of it?

We came into the town of Esk at night,
Yolanda, Ben, old Fred, Patrice, and me.
The windows were all shut against the chill
that rolled off of the giant cakes of ice.

"to SLEEP perCHANCE to DREAM aye THERE's the RUB."

I think I might go crazy from the rhythm pretty quickly, though.

This is really nice. *8)

I do like talking to y'all, and of course hearing my own voice (for textual values of "voice"). I speculate once again that it might be a good thing to switch over to wordpress or some other nice easy Content Management System, like what the secret Second Life weblog is on. I would probably post more often if I didn't have to hand-edit HTML and post files via scp. Or maybe I wouldn't! I dunno.

And it would lose some of the distinctive flavor of what it is like to post here.

Not that everything doesn't always change anyway... *8)

Maybe I will do this again soon!

Rapture permitting...