Spleen, world. World, spleen. Now play nice.

I've got a grant proposal to write. The first question on the form is "What's your website?" so I need to create a website for the project. Fine, I started writing. And I find myself continually distracted by the inabilities of the people around me to recognize simple and straightforward *evil* when they trip over it.

We have in the United States two political parties, the Party of Malevolence, currently in power, and the Party of Incompetence, busily waiting for them to fall out of it. We're trapped between Bumblefuck and Murderthug.

What we are suffering from is poor storytelling. Look at the whole Marvel cinematic universe for a case example. There are two teams, the Good Guys and the Bad Guys, and the Good guys will always win and the bad guys will always lose and that's it. As a culture we've learned that winning makes you good, so if you won you must be good, never mind how many innocents you slaughtered in the process.

Yeah, OK, recently they've backed off from that a bit and made effort to Save The Innocents. But at this point that entire genre has gone so far off the Suspenders of Disbelief that it doesn't matter any more. The Bad Guys will always score just enough hits to allow the defending Good Guys to work up a good head of Righteous Indignation, whereupon they throw physics out the window, dial up the super-powers to about 25 or so (even those heros who don't *have* any), and engage in some righteous ass-whooping. The righteous ass-whooping is the orgasm of the story, and all the rest of it is just window-dressing setting up the stage for it.

Damn, there's too much going on here for me to keep hold of it. We can end the positive feedback loop and get back to telling better stories by focusing on building rather than fighting. In a fight, everybody loses, it's just that some folks lose a little less than other folks. If we build something, the project is the story, and its coming into existence is the success, and it leaves us richer by one whatever-the-fuck-it-is.

It will almost certainly be necessary to remove some of these malignant boils from our species. Rather than indulge our sadistic impulses, we should simply end them as quickly and expediently as possible, redistribute all the resources they have managed to sequester, and move on. Gloating is actively counterproductive, no matter how good it feels. We don't want to glory in the defeat of our enemies, we want to get back to making something beautiful.

So the evil that we're tripping over is that we've been subsumed by the sports-game mentality. Playing games is fine, it's fun, and it only becomes a problem when we start mistaking games for life. The model is not the thing. We need to look at what *surrounds* the simulation and not get bogged down in doing ever-better simulating. We're already *too good* at lying to ourselves.So since Thursday I've bought and installed a second, bar-sized (3.3 cu. ft.) refrigerator, put a couple of bread-boxes in the corner, and hung a big hanging basket next to the new fridge. I've also gotten some trays to put the spices on, tho' one of the tray needs legs so it can go above the other tray, and I'm not done with that part yet. (Bought steel bar-stock, bent it to shape, drilled holes in 'em for mounting, and drilled 'em too small. And my arm is too tired to drill 'em out wider for at least the next two or three hours.)

Place looks vastly better. Liam has already started ignoring the new changes and dumping his purchases on the counter, and I've already nagged him about it. We'll see how long *that* continues.

Pass me the idiot hat

...So I got the idea to put all the spices on the top shelf of one of the lower cabinets. On trays, so they could be stacked. Didn't work well; kept knocking over the bottles on the lower tray. So, solution: Put legs on the upper tray so it wouldn't hit the lower bottles.

The trays are 20"x14", so I got two 3' long steel bars to form legs with. And then I formed them for the 20" side instead of the 14" side, and now have to un-bend the bars and re-bend 'em.


Oblique progress

I didn't get most of my list done today, and I still feel great about it.

Met with Brian at 8am, and he brought his wife and friend Randy with him. After we spent a couple of hours discussing his (non-)campaign, we went back to my place and I gave him about a quarter of the stuff in the driveway I'm still trying to get rid of. And then he gave me a ride to and from the resale store to pick up the breadboxes I bought on Monday.

And then the new mini-fridge arrived, and I rearranged and cleaned the kitchen. And then made dinner for Garrett and Darius, altho' Garrett was a no-show, which seems to be a pattern with him.

Tomorrow I want to swap the big hanging basket in my bedroom for the little one, and hang the big one in the kitchen. And then mop all the moppable floors. And then it's time to get back to writing Para and Schmoo.

Yay, progress!

Busy bee

Zoomed right down my list today. One logistics phone call, confirmed by email, two contact follow-up emails, purged the fridge, went food-shopping, and set up an eggplant parmesan for dinner. Two things left on the list: Swap out the large hanging basket in my bedroom for the small one, so that tomorrow I can put up the large one in the kitchen, and go to a Bus Project event.


I'm not going to Ikea any more. I can't really point to the reason(s?) being in the store is so unpleasant, but it is and the unpleasantness is not worth either the occasional bargain or the reasonably decent meatballs.

Progress is slow.

Gary will be by with his pickup today to help me take the entertainment center to the Salvation Army. That still leaves me with a couple of pickup-loads in the driveway, which I still have to sort through and dispose of. And then will come finishing up the modifications on the cargo trailer, which will include reinstalling the blown-off roof. (It's not open to the weather; I'd added corrugated steel roofing on top of the existing plywood, and apparently didn't use long enough screws.) This will include completely reorganizing and cataloging the *contents* of the trailer, since the modifications will include reinsulating the walls and ceiling.


I was outside 'til 2am last night sorting and arranging stuff for the charity pick-up, was up again at 5am doing more of same, came inside to hit the john at about 8:10am, and came out again to see the ass-end of the departing truck, with only a third of the stuff I'd intended to donate gone from the front part of the driveway.

Now to find a way to get rid of the rest of it.