June 28, 2017 Tau Day

What, you may ask, is Tau Day? It’s 6/28.  Because in Math formula 𝛕 is 2 π (2 pi), which because saying 2π R is so much harder than 𝛕 R to get the formula for the circumference for a circle, (and I think you’d have to say 𝛕 2 R squared instead of π R suqared to get area).
(I’m also irritated that the old mail program had a set of symbols one could use- not extensive, but it did include Pi, and other greek letter symbols. It’s been updated and now there are hundreds of colorful icons and smiley faces and flags and pictographs and bullets and images of objects one can insert, but not a common symbol like Pi. ARGH!  (OK, stole them from elsewhere)
The weather this week has been cooler, thank goodness. Of course, we attribute it to the presence of the air conditioners Mark gave us. We are in “lots of lemoade, tea, ice-cream, fruit, stirfry and salads for meals” mode. I have made many rolled sandwiches to keep in the ‘fridge, about every other day. Even cooler it’s been too hot to eat much. I feel it’s good to have something easy to grab without thinking with both protein and salad in it, and the lavash fills the bill.
Thursday John and I went over to Mark’s. While I was sick he started without us. He’s trying to empty his storage locker. He’s going through boxes and boxes of books (“Do you know anyone who wants three cases of old Analogues?”) Bruce had a box with 17 of Terry Pratchett’s Disc World books. I took it because sooner or later the kids will leave home, and unless I die before then, they aren’t taking mine! (Since these have only been read by one person, they are in much better shape than mine.) While we have managed to get most of his place clear of the cat toys Bruce had collected for Smokey, Mark has now started getting stuffed dogs. I am charmed, there’s a really gorgeous full sized beagle! (no name yet) I have to say, when it’s hot, working in the locker is cooler than anywhere not climate controlled! I hope he can find a buyer for his miniatures, there must be war-gamers out there who are still collecting and playing with them. The question is, as always, how to find them?
I have discovered (having finally left the house again) that my phone no longer connects to facebook. It asks for my password, I type it in, it says it’s wrong. I even went to the computer, and changed the password and it still won’t recognize it. I wrote it down, I know what the password is, it’s not taking it. I’m frustrated!
  Avi’s kids are now on Summer schedule and Willow is exhausted. Willow watches them from around noon until five (barring doctor appointments etc.) She says it’s only a couple hours more than “after school”. Avi is working from home now, and the big issue is keeping the kids out of her hair so that she can actually get work done. It’s very hard to convince kids that if their mother is in the next room, that they shouldn’t go in and ask her a question- especially if the question is “Willow says I can’t… fill in the blank, can I?” She’s checking out her bike, and trying to think about places to take them, so they will be out of the house- maybe use the Science Museum pass. Bianca doesn’t like Goss Park, so swimming lessons are out. I’m a bit worried about her, but she says she’s OK.
Kat is doing MUCH better now that she’s got an air conditioned room to which to retreat. She’s working on a short story for an anthology about the grotesques common in the decorative borders of medieval manuscripts for a brief period; they featured snails and bunnies, (and parts of them) fighting knights and other humans. Best guess is that they were being humorous, or maybe they made these bizarre things to cover a blob of paint they dropped by accident?  Anyway, they’re weird and fun, and make me want to do some more scrolls myself.
We reserved for Pennsic. I’ve got my classes liked up (fewer this year) and classes for GNEW (coming up very soon!). I have also been planning the clan for Twilight Covening. Another lady, Miriam, came up with the same idea, so we’re ganging up on it together. I still need to send in my bio.
I made another strawberry rhubarb pie, and we ate it up. This is good because the last rhubarb pie I made went moldy before we finished it, and that “broke my heart”. This one was better anyway. Last time I put too much filling in, and 2 parts rhubarb to 1 part strawberries, and not only was it too tart, it also didn’t have enough crust to filling. This time I did the fruit 1:1, and put a full crust on it, and it was very good indeed. (I did not get a picture.)
Saturday morning the girls went out. They took a great load to the dump, and thence onto more errands than I want to think about. Meanwhile, I was home working on the CTCW website. I’ve been wanting to post descriptions of the workshops and panels and speakers. The upside is that I’m not doing it all myself, the downside is that working as a group takes SO much longer. We all have to check with each other. Maryalyce called and we made final decisions on which workshops to go with right away, and which to hold as spares in case we don’t get enough more in the next month. (WHY do speakers always wait until the deadline has passed before they submit? I could understand if it was a year in advance, but ususally we don’t get proposals submitted until after we have attendees writing to ask for how the already posted workshops are going to be scheduled.) So I have the workshops that have been proposed and accepted up, and now am working on the panel descriptions. Later Maryalyce created a new page reframing recruiting volunteering as “work study” or “internship” (let’s hope that gets us the help we need), and it wouldn’t post. But I remembered that posting requires a separate diddling with the menu on this website. (Feh) But I got to feel proud of myself. (Even though I really am not as good with the computer as I’d like to be.)
Sunday, Mark came over, and we played Scrabble. I hadn’t played for years, and warned him, when he asked if we had a board, that as a bad speller, I was a pretty bad Scrabble player. He said he didn’t mind and we dug the board out. Luckily I made lots of little words I could spell. Willow spent the morning straining the calendula oil. (She also made comfrey oil and, I think, more plantain oil this week. I wonder if other herbalists get bullied by their plant friends?) When she was done she did one game with us. There was one round in which each of us got the 50 bonus points for using up all 7 letters in our rack! That was pretty amazing. Then Willow and Mark did it again, but I didn’t manage to make it a triple header again. Oh well. Once was pretty cool. We stuck Mark with adding up the points. We showed him where we’d put up the Air Conditioner he bought us, it wasn’t on, because it wasn’t hot enough.
Monday I got caught in one of those distractions that happen so often (to me at least). On the way to the back porch to hang out a load of laundry, I noticed, having dug out a rats nest from under the shelves where the trash bags had been stacked in winter and then a stack of boxes were finally taken away, something that had spilled on a shelf, and I decided to wipe it off. That reminded me that things were on the “wrong” shelves and should be re-sorted, which reminde me that they all needed wiping, which led to emptying the whole shelving unit, rechauking it so it would be level, sorting all the cans, wiping them off, checking for corrosion, chucking some in landfill…. Long story short- it took about 8 hours.
I am left with mixed feelings. Is it because it wasn’t what I’d intended to do that I feel like I “accomplished nothing”, because it kept me from doing what I’d planned to do? Is it because this is “housework”, which “everyone else” does in their spare time while holding down a full time job (or two), and I should be doing it better? I don’t know. Clearly I need to brood on it more.
Meanwhile, I forgot to bring the laundry, and it started to rain. Oh well.
Willow made one of her signature dishes: lay down a bed of sliced onions, on these lay a chicken filet per person, cover with mozzerella, bake for a half hour or so, add some barbecue sauce and back for another five or ten minutes. We served it with noodles. It’s nice.
She’s gotten a new therapist, the other was really good about communication issues, but not doing as well with emotional ones. The new one seems to be doing better.
Recently we’ve noticed a new cat in the area, she has spots like an occicat.I suggested we call her (or him) Cerebus (which means Spot), but the girls started calling her Cera instead because she’s so pretty. Sadly, we noticed that
our cats may be fighting with her. At very least they are not getting along well. I don’t mind other cats staking out territory, but when they claim OUR property and chase our cats away, that’s annoying.
Today I took Kat out to see the optometrist, and then again to pick up prescriptions at Costco. I feel like we’re doing too much driving around, but I suppose it’s getting us out of the house. The other day as I was trying to cram a week’s worth of produce into the refrigerator, I had a mini epiphany: since Willow is going out every day (at least most days), she can pick up the perishables and we don’t have to get everything in one trip. On the other hand, it seems hard to dump any more effort onto her. We’ll see how it goes.
I find I’m still bugged by the article I read last week that said “Neurotypical” people know that “What are you reading?” means ‘May I join you?” I just don’t think that’s true. Perhaps I’m not “neurotypical”, but if I ask someone what they’re reading, I am asking what they’re reading. “Everyone” doesn’t know that you have to make up an excuse to start talking to someone, and I doubt many people can tell the difference between someone reading while they are waiting for someone or something, and someone who’s reading as a signal that they want to be left alone. I will be so happy when this recent fad for defining people by their personality quirks has been replaced by some other way of driving us all crazy. (Please, don’t take that as a challenge!)
The news continues to be depressing. I take heart from the little stories of individuals being good to each other. But it’s still heartbreaking when I read so many cases of Police not being held to the same standards of responsible use of firearms and other force as the rest of us. In my opinion, they should be held to a HIGHER standard. We need to give them more training, more psychological care, and probably retraining for other jobs when this one gets to them.
Thursday the Republicans unwrapped the “Better Care Reconciliation Act”. As could be expected from (what was it 11?) a few old, rich, white males, it was a travesty. So bad that they probably (I hope) can’t get it passed. I’ve seen stories about the many protests, which is good. But I’ve also read about them arresting protesters, and trying to make protests illegal. I’m not sure that that isn’t worse than the so called health care act. There is something seriously wrong with the way those people are acting.
In 1776, Dr. Lyman Hall worried “I’m afraid I’m not quite certain whether representing the people means relying on their judgment or on my own.” which he resolved with the advice from Edmund Burke “A representative owes the People not only his industry, but his judgment, and he betrays them if he sacrifices it to their opinion.”  Apparently these Senators go along with Burke, they’ve decided what seems good to them and want to force it on us. Frankly, that’s pretty much the same thing as liberals are doing when they force Civil Rights Equality with regards to race, gender, religion and sexuality on everyone. Currently, there’s a small, loud, and powerful group that feels that unequal rights is what made America great. The larger group that supports equal rights must work to get around the power imbalance if we want to get what we want. One poll I saw said that 63% of Americans want the ACA kept or expanded, 25% want it repealed and only 7% want it cut even more. I think this is a good sign that this concept is now in the front of people’s minds. We will have to fight against inertia- the system that is in place is going to be really hard to dismantle!
I have just finished doing another New Normal. Once again I neglected to find a guest and had to do it on my own- this week I took a page from our panels and talked about fiction books with good perspectives on doing magick. If you are interested in listening to me babble, the link to the archive is here: http://tobtr.com/s/10108561
This week I watched one of the movies John got from Netflix: Pyramid. It was about some archaeologists (and their film crew) who found a tetrahegonal pyramid during the Arab Spring, and when the government wanted to evacuate them, they let good protocol go, and went into the pyramid, where they discovered booby traps, man eating sphinx cats, and a corporal Anubis who ripped our their hearts to weigh against a feather looking for someone with a pure heart. Sort of gross and a bit annoying when they messed with the real myths and archeological technique in order to pursue a “horror film” story.
I went back to watch the 1934 Wolfman. There is so much potential in Universal’s story. Yes, Larry Talbot’s being turned into a violent animal when he doesn’t want to is horrible. (I wonder if that is the tragedy of modern police and soldiers?) But I find the fathers hubris (refusing to accept anything but the teachings of science) leads to a true Tragedy on the ancient Greek scale, denial carrying him stubbornly along his path to the point he kills his own son. I think his story could be expanded to an entire film. But that is probably why the movie lasted so well.
I’ve finally seen Sharpes Challenge, & Sharpes Peril, 2008 I’m going to miss the characters, but I expect that was the end of it. They’d killed off most of the Chosen Men by the end of Waterloo. They began with Sharpes Rifles in 1993 (when Bean was “only” 34), finishing up with Sharpes Waterloo in 1997, but then decided to pull him and Daragh O’Malley, as Harper, back in 2006 & 8 for the last two movies, set in India, which I really enjoyed. I thought they’d aged them realistically, but then it had really been ten years for the actors. I don’t know if I’ll find the time to read the books, I’d probably enjoy them, but I got bogged down reading Cornwalls Utred series, in the Alfred the Great period, and probably couldn’t take the amount of writing it would take to convey the horrors of war that the movies managed to do with visuals.
Speaking of not finding the time, I started watching Dog Soldiers, a modern werewolf film and lost interest after about a half hour. It was a great deal of violence and not much story. I watched a few more old Disney film, both versions of Freaky Friday. I actually think the remake was better. I resented the heck out of the portrayal of the housewife in the 1976 version, and also seriously disliked all the activities that both the teen and her mother were supposed to have crammed into one day. I think my favorite moment was when the kid (in her mother’s body) was managing to get through as a psychiatrist, by simply saying “that’s interesting” and “how does that make you feel”, but exploded when one patient said she’d read her daughter’s diary, and directly told her not to do that, and that her daughter was probably just fine- which was what the patient needed to hear. I watched Escape to Witch Mountain (’75), and Return from Witch Mountain (’78). The kids were pretty good, but I mostly enjoyed Ray Milland, Donald Pleasence, in the first and Christopher Lee and Bette Davis in the second as having fun as the villians. I’m pretty sure I saw a more recent remake Race to Witch Mountain (2009) with Dwayne Johnson recently, but I don’t remember it as being anything special.
I’ve continued reading about werewolves, and started a couple of books recommended by friends, an Earl Stanley Gardner my mother certainly read, loaned to me by Mark, and The Good Fairies of NY. Brain candy, but one needs that sometimes.
That’s everything I can remember about this week. (Maybe this week I’ll remember my camera, or figure out how to get the phone to talk to the computer!)  Have a good one!
“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its widthand depth. “ H .L. Mencken
Carl Jung said: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” I’m trying to figure out what it means about me that I am STILL annoyed that the peaches and plum I got for the fruit salad last week were not ripe. Nor are the melons ripening in my pantry. There were pineapples at $2.50- that were really hard and green. Why can’t they sell fruit that’s ready to eat? Will modern people even know what a ripe piece of fruit is supposed to taste like?