2-7-2918 Love Your Robot Day

Hello again, a bit late, but little happened. This past week I’ve been sick. I am not convinced I caught it at Birka, but let’s admit that it’s sealing up 1200 breathing people in a concrete and glass box in midwinter- with stress. It certainly makes the tools to take the option available if your subconscious wants to tell you to take a few days off. It worked out well for me as I’d planned to take this post-Birka time to finish Willow’s pink shawl. It’s still not quite done, but if I can keep this short I may be able to finish it today. I am not sure this lovely variegated pink yarn lets the pattern show up well, too bad. I do like the pattern. I simply estimated how many repeats I could do to get it as wide as possible, while having it cover shoulder to butt, but I think I might have been able to do another repeat, although that would have made it even more crowded on the needles. I’m using those circular needles with exchangeable lengths of cord between the needle tips. Last night Willow tried to pull it out at the bottom to see how wide it would go once it’s blocked, and one of the tips came off. Luckily I was able to rethread the stitches onto the cord and only had to pick up two or three, so no harm done, but she was embarrassed. The exchangeable parts is a lovely idea, but this is not the first time that a needle has fallen off mid project. I think perhaps the plastic may be wearing. I also rather think I should have a longer loop- but maybe it would get in the way. It’s hard to tell.
At least this allowed me to sit and veg while I wasn’t feeling well. Drank gallons of tea and juice. Had two cups of garlic lemonade a day (with a good quarter cup of chopped garlic in each) which I’m sure made any room I was in smell pungent. I didn’t see to get very sick, however sitting up was better for breathing. I also took Vitamins, homeopathic, and did acupressure. But mostly I figured I’d bought this cold and paid for it, I might as well just DO it.
I wasn’t able to concentrate on the movies I had out of the library; I’ve gotten rather sick of the heavy dramas I’ve been watching anyway. I asked John to pick me a bunch of fun ones, and watched Newsies, Groundhog Day, the Incredibles, the Croods, Clue, Johnny Dangerously, Shrek, and the Mask. Laughter is good for you.   I followed that up with a LoTR marathon (I still have a half of the last Hobbit movie to go. I am still convinced that if you removed the unnecessary fighting and chase scenes, it would have made a good, if long movie. But not three.)
The weather has been fairly mild- especially if you compare it to the cold the previous week. We only got a few inches of snow when that big storm came through, and most of that has melted in the rain. Today, however we have freezing rain, and everything is coated in ice. Pretty but dangerous. I am NOT looking forward to the drive down to Feast of Lights tomorrow. I have to refill the stockings from the back-stock after Birka, and maybe reorganize the silver so it doesn’t take up as much room. I am looking forward to seeing my friends down there.
I dropped my poor car at Winkles on Friday, and Robert told me that the repairs would be over $2K, which would be better spent on a replacement used car. They have already found one in Florida, same make, low milage, and no rust, and I’ve gone to the bank to see if I can get a loan to cover it. I am not sure why anyone would want to loan money on a used car, but I’ll need it because what we get from Social Security is about what it takes to live on. Luckily when I was there they noticed that my license needed to be renewed- I’d forgotten. That was made more easy because I’d just picked up my new contacts. I seem to remember when I was younger that they wanted to put on your card that you wore glasses, but since I don’t have any that would be hard. I guess now they figure if you wear contacts you’re going to be wearing them. Willow pointed out that my luck is still pretty good. At this point, it’s not inspectable, but I’ve got it back while we look for a replacement.
I think I’m mostly recovered from the cold, although my energy is low. Kat may be showing signs of getting it, but how would we tell with Willow? Except for the runny nose, she feels like that all the time and just pushes through. Each of them cooked while I was sitting and knitting, that helped. I’ve caught up on the dishes.
Mark came over on Sunday and read to me, which was lovely. Avi’s family has gotten a “murder foof” (a kitten) called Abby the Tabby, and they are waiting to see if K’s allergy is mild enough that they can keep it. Liz called and told me that Meg came in second in an obstacle race that had a 5K trail you could go around as often as you could, last weekend when it was 10º out! We have now learned a new fun physiological phenomenon. When that cold, the bruises don’t come until you get in the shower and warm the flesh up! Isn’t that interesting? Aren’t you glad you never had a chance to learn that for yourself‽ I am. I suppose we can’t really feel superior when the SCA “sport” is hitting each other with sticks. John tried to see if he could do 5 push ups, went on to 10 then did another 10 later in the day. I am very impressed. (and yes, he was sore the next day.)
In the “strange thoughts” department, I’ve been trying to figure out my attitudes toward money, and have found that they are so convoluted I can’t even come up with a clear question about it. I don’t seem to feel too badly about charging someone less than I’d get for making something at minimum wage, but I do feel uncomfortable if I actually ask to get paid in that range, even though I think it is appropriate for people to get paid for their work. I’d have good dental care if I could afford it, but when a crown costs most of what I get to live on for a month, I can’t pull that out of that amount. I find it hard not to wonder how much of that is profit and who’s getting it? Supposing everyone simply exchanged their labor as one hour of my work equals one hour of yours. Should adaptations be made for amount of time training takes, or only until it’s paid off? How do you adapt that for people like artists or readers or taxi drivers who work sporadically, not full time? Do we take talent into account, and if so how? In that case I think market forces would handle it, people would only buy from those whose work appealed to them. But that still leaves me wondering how we get people to do the important, yet unpleasant work. As with so many things, there may be more people who want to and are able to do something in one area and too few in another. How do we get them to where they are needed? I am pretty sure that people don’t need to be making as much as the richest are, and that allowing people to simply make as much as they can without any mechanism to create a balance for the public good is not good. I still wonder what my real beliefs are, and how I got them.
I started reading a fascinating book on kindle: Legal Systems Very Different from Ours. I’ve only just started it, but so far am enjoying it. He starts out with Imperial China. An interesting bit is that while there were many capital crimes, and many were convicted of them, there were still few executions, as there were several mitigating factors. I am looking forward to reading more. He has chapters on Romani, Amish, Jewish, Islamic, Pirate, old Icelandic, Athenian, Somali, early Irish, some Native American law, and others, along with discussions of the causes and effects of these laws on their cultures. I’m reading some Medieval Ghost Stories (for Pennsic), and am pretty much done with the books on the Library of Alexandria (for the MENSA Regional Gathering). (I was just invited to come down to Fertile Ground Gathering, so that’s cool.) I’m not sure what fiction I’m reading now- having read through the whole Haunting Danielle series, I’m starting a new novel A Discovery of Witches, and a couple on Kindle called Harley Merlin and the Secret Coven, and Loose Ends. I’ve only just started and will let you know how they come out.
I’ll be honest, part of the reason I switched to re-watching old feel-good movie was the ones I’d watched recently were so awful. Have you seen Blade Runner? It was made in 1982 and set in 2019, so it should be “now”. Yes, it wasn’t that “futuristic” except they were exploring the “what makes a person real” question with some nearly undetectable biological technology. The didn’t bother explaining HOW they were able to make them so much stronger and “better”, only that they did, which is natural when you’re trying to make a perfected human, and that they made them die early since they were nervous that being superior they’d want to take over. Do they ever simply make them human? And if so, why, when we already have humans? The question about what are we, can be explored in practically infinite variations. I’d just never gotten around to watching it. A story about a hit man killing people because someone thinks they don’t deserve to live doesn’t appeal to me. Yes, the imagery was noir, which is unusual in SF, but I’m still not sure why it’s a classic.
Closer, on the other hand, was quite simply horrible. It had a lot of pretty people treating each other very badly, In theory, they wanted love, but they were so nasty to each other, they seemed more interested in scoring points than in making the others feel better. Well, duh, that’s not going to build a relationship! Alpha  was about a young neolithic man taming the first wolf. It had all the usual tropes like falling through the ice, starting a fire with friction, and knapping flint, and while the people involved were fairly appealing, I spent most of the 90 minutes yelling at the screen because either they didn’t get anyone to tell them about the neolithic period, or they decided to ignore whatever the experts had told them. It was painful to watch. So I rewatched old movies I’d enjoyed.
I have to get going, I need to pack for the weekend, and make the whipped cream cake to share with the kids before I go tomorrow. I
A few years ago I wrote a blog-post about robots we love and just reread it, it’s still good. I’m not entirely sure whether it’s good or bad when you enjoy your own writing. It you’re interested, here it is: Love your Robot Day


I am not unhappy about moving into my 67th year. I do wish I had more older women to talk to about what to expect. I am trying to figure out how to get rid of stuff I don’t want, but keep the stuff I do. I realize that I actually LIKE wearing (some) patched clothes, as the patches remind me that I’m wearing clothing for comfort, not for style, and screw anyone who has a problem with that! After all, there is nothing I can wear, either clothing or make-up, that’s going to make me LOOK like I’m not in my sixties and very overweight. It’s not happening. So I may as well just go with it.