A Change In Trajectory, and Don’t Mess With the Almighty Matrix

free throw

Try as I might, my free throw attempts usually ended up somewhere in the next county.

I can aim a pistol reasonably well (within 15 yards,) a shotgun moderately well, but a basketball, not at all.

When the weather in beautiful central Ohio bites (so I can’t take a road trip) and (when he’s not screaming at the dogs for their loud breathing) Tipsy Mc NumbNuts  is sleeping off his hangover, I have time to read.  I finally had time to read 11/22/63.  I almost didn’t buy it because I thought I’d heard all the JFK conspiracy theories, and I’m not much of a fiction reader to begin with.  I did buy it because it was written by Stephen King, and, as is the case with most of his books, (liberal political bent aside) it was worth reading.

If anything it was sort of a sad story, and in a perverse way it shared the same moral of the story as Pet SemataryFor those who have yet to experience that particular tome, it ends on an interesting (if not deliciously macabre) note and reflects a pervasive theme in a number of King’s books.

churchpetsematary

Dead is better.  At least if you’re supposed to be dead, that is.

Not “dead is better” in the serial killer sense or in the jilted lover sense, (or even in the John Hinckley Jr. sense) but in the sense that screwing around with the natural circle of life can have unintended repercussions.  As much as I miss my grandparents, for instance, I wouldn’t wish any of them to be alive today.  All of them were ill and had lived out long lives before they died natural deaths.  Wishing people to live beyond the time of natural death seems a bit sadistic, especially considering that if my grandfather had lived (he died in 2006) he would be 99 this year.  He had heart failure and kidney failure, neuropathy from diabetes (couldn’t feel his feet) and was almost completely deaf when he died.

Being healthy and active at 99 would be another matter, as we humans will cling tenaciously to life when we can, but today it seems as our longer lifespans bring more illness, infirmity and misery than anything else.  The technology can keep one alive, but most of the time it doesn’t do much for your quality of life.  Sometimes the disease- and the end it brings- is better than prolonging the inevitable.

Science can keep people alive that should have long since been dead (and yes, I belong in that category at least three times over) and in the case of the young that might be a good thing, but it’s a mixed bag.  Science can keep your vital signs going on, but at what cost?

What ends up being missing?  When do we break the boundary of the matrix and then really start screwing things up?  How far can we screw up before the process necessarily leads to an end or a reset?

space time pee wee

I wonder what this thing does?

A big part of me believes it’s the hubris of humanity that believes that every little popcorn fart can change the world.  I mean, you have the global warming crowd going off about cow farts.  I can imagine a cow can put off quite a bit of methane, but in the grand scheme of things?   A cow is big, and it farts a lot, but really?  How much authority and how much leeway do we have to screw things up when we really try?  And how long have cattle been domesticated and processed into tasty meat?

Cow-fart

If cows fart like that, then why aren’t they powering our cars?

The Butterfly Effect is an intriguing concept in physics in which it is implied that every slight change of trajectory- even the gentle flap of a butterfly’s wings- can change the course of the weather or otherwise alter events to come in the future.  There’s no mistaking me for a physicist, but I can see how it can work.   How can anyone know ahead of time what the consequence of just a slight change in trajectory might be?  It seems sort of rogue.

Perhaps a better question is (and I am assuming that the universe has an order, that it was created, and necessarily has a Creator) what exactly is within our power to change?

What do we risk when we try?

philosoraptor-alternate-realities

Fanny, Fanny Fat Cat, Vintage VWs, and Pithy Remarks

Fanny’s attempt at making me stay home from work

Fanny has always been a large cat.  Even when I first found her as a kitten beside a rural road out in Fairfield County, Fanny was, shall we say, solid.  When I took her to the Vet to have her checked out and then spayed, the Vet’s comment was “That’s going to be a BIG cat.”  That’s sort of how she got her name- once the Vet had verified she was female.  It is somewhat difficult to discern the gender of young kittens- males don’t have their pee-pee half way up their bellies like dogs, and they don’t grow visible balls until they’re several months old.   I once had a female cat I originally thought was male so (before I was aware of her true gender) I named her “Bill.”   So now I don’t name a kitten until I have the Vet verify the gender.  I had been playing the song “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen, and once it had been determined she was female, the name Fanny just sort of fit.

Our Vet is very familiar with barn cats.  Usually those are the kind of cats that end up as her office cats.  In this area most barn cats are large, silver tabby cats.  One of her office cats- Fat Albert- is almost two of Fanny (male cats are generally larger than females) even though Fanny would be large compared to most male cats.  Apparently if a quasi-feral barn cat is spayed or neutered, taken inside, treated to a temperature controlled environment free of most predators, and fed a decent quality catfood, they grow very large.

The odd thing about Fanny’s size is that while she is over 15# which is too fat (and yes, I have to try to do something about that) she is also large-framed, so at least the fat is sort of spread out.  Fluffy-Butt (or FB as our tortoise-shell Angora is usually called) is about seven pounds and is a “normal sized” cat.  She eats more than Fanny.  Isabel, who is elderly, and has always been tiny (right around five pounds) eats more than either Fanny or FB, and I’ve been supplementing her with high-faluting old-cat food and wet food in the mornings to keep her from losing weight (the other cats just get plain old Cat Chow.)

Metabolism is a funky thing.  I wish I had Isabel’s.

I’ve also been somewhat neglectful in sharing pics from last Saturday’s VW show- there were indeed some tasty cars and I took a load of pics (if you are into classic VWs, the share site is here.)   There was one car there that was a dead ringer for the 83 GTI I had once.  I am still kicking myself in the ass for trading off that ride:

I had an ’83.  This is an ’84, which was the identical model.  Black car, blue interior.

Yes, it was for sale, but I don’t have five grand to blow on a car to play with. 😦

The name “Honda Killer” is very much deserved on the first generation GTI, because the cars were heavy (compared to most front wheel drive econoboxes) and geared low, and had the advantage over the Civics of that day because Civics still had carburetors and 1.6 engines.  The GTI had a crude form of electronic ignition- no more distributor points- yay!- as well as the Bosch CIS fuel injection (mechanical, and still required idle adjustments from time to time, but it was a port fuel injection) as well as a larger 1.8 engine with a higher compression ratio than any of the Japanese stuff.

I should have never sold that car.

Anyway, I was delighted at the number of old transporters and split windows at the show.  This particular show is one of the largest in the Midwest- but the Midwest is not particularly kind to the preservation of vintage cars of any type.

Got to love the old Transporters- but you should be a technician if you plan on owning one.

The ’47 was not only rare, but very tastefully restored.

This ’67 Ghia has a very sweet engine compartment.

I would like to have a Karmann Ghia myself. Dad has a very tasty ’69, but he took his ’77 Convertible to this show because the Ghia needs some touch ups on its restoration (it was restored almost 20 years ago.)

It’s pretty much straight stock, except for the paint colors.

Hopefully this weekend will be quiet and peaceful.  It would be nice, but probably won’t happen.   I know I’m already being railroaded into going with Jerry to the campground with two dogs tonight (though Sheena staying at home will be a reason for me to scoot out before he gets too drunk.)  Clara enjoys going to the campground, and she’s easy to handle.  Lilo is easy enough to handle too.  Sheena isn’t bad on a leash, but she doesn’t listen as well as the other two, and she’s not at all compliant with Jerry.  So Sheena will stay home tonight and I will make it to the car and escape, hopefully before he’s shitfaced.

It does bother me that here lately I’ve been at the point where human interaction is wearing on me really heavily.  That’s a warning signal that I need solitude and that I’d better arrange (somehow) to get it.  Last night poor Steve-o, who is rightfully excited about his upcoming opportunities, called to chat and was going on and on for almost an hour.  Usually I enjoy discussion on all things automotive, especially with other motorheads, but even he was wearing on my patience.   I was trying to finish laundry and was in the process of stewing tomatoes- stewing and freezing is how I preserve them so they don’t go to waste- and I’m just at the point where I need to get away from people for a little while.  I’m not nice when I’m crispy around the edges.  I have some new books I’d like to read without being interrupted and all that.

This world is not geared toward the introverted soul who needs a little contemplation and quiet now and again to stay sane.

I’d almost like to arrange a couple of days where I can stay at the campground- during the week when it’s quiet.  Jerry goes down there for the social factor on the weekends, to get wasted and hang out with his friends.  I would go down there so I could turn everything off and keep from interacting with anyone except maybe Clara.

Dogs have them too, but still.  Why can’t they put something in Mountain Dew that will clean the young punks’ teeth instead of rotting them?

A good argument for parallel universes?

It always cracks me up when I observe vegans who own cats.

Cats are obligatory carnivores.

So if you own a cat, you’re feeding it catfood, which has to contain at least some meat.