30 April 2015

thoughts while watching the nfl draft...

1. architects get their first job by a completely different method.

2. john gruden would benefit from some grammar lessons.

3. this is a list. the draft is a list. compare & contast.

4. 4. nfl draftees choose flashy outfits. is this typical of their generation?

5. on a related note, clothing a linebacker would consume a lot of pinstripe.

6. the investment in this activity is out of proportion to its return.

7. a packer is an odd mascot.

8. ferguson. baltimore. nfl draft. compare & contrast.

9. we don't really reward the character and intelligence we speak so highly of.

10. i wonder how long past the initial moment these boys stay excited about simply having been selected.

27 April 2015

just one thought about baltimore (short)

the protesters in baltimore looted first a drugstore and then a liquor store. c'mon, baltimore protesters, you can do better. have a little subtlety. maybe throw a grocery store in there, or, i don't know, a bakery. who doesn't like a little cream cheese icing with their protest?

seriously, though. it's a protest. what are you protesting, locks? entrepreneurs? intact windows? shelved product?

breaking and entering, and looting, has less than nothing to do with protesting an injustice. i mean, those activities ARE injustice. two wrongs don't make a right and whatnot.

that's all i have.

26 April 2015

a bit about singing

i was singing along with the radio and got to thinking about singing and my voice and how it's low-ish and how when i'm singing in a group setting like church or whatnot, people will turn around and look, and i seriously don't think it's because i am off-key or anything. i think i have a fairly distinctive singing voice. not to say it's beautiful, not like that. distinctive like authentic and unique.

i can sort of read music, like i can tell if the next note is going to be a step up or a couple or a bunch of steps up. i can guess where it's going and usually hit it on the first try. what i can't always do on the first try is find my place, since i don't sing with the ladies, if there aren't enough men around, i can't find the note i am supposed to be singing. but if there are guys or the song it simply pitched right for me, i can hit it.

so i am an okay singer, and i was driving along thinking about all this and thinking about how my mom was a great singer. she had a talent and had had lessons as a child, and she would sing with community choirs and whatnot. i mean, when she was, you know, on the wagon. i was thinking about my singing and her singing and realised that as great of a singer as she was, she never taught me a single thing about singing. i won't bore you with the details of singing with my mother, but i will say it didn't involve being on the wagon and it didn't involve her teaching me anything.

so, my mind kind of took off down that track a while -- how she didn't teach me a goddamn thing. didn't teach me how to cook or sew, how to sing or play an instrument, didn't teach me how to brush my teeth or my hair. i learned it all by watching people and copying them, making mistakes, enduring ridicule. (there are things a teenage girl should know, in order to avoid ridicule.) okay, it's coming out all dramatic and it wasn't all that dramatic. it was just fucking hard work and sort of lonely.

that being said, i am okay with my voice. in fact, i kind of like it. but, i do wish i knew a bit more about how to use it well.

24 April 2015


i've been sort of struggling through john grisham's "sycamore row". it's very similar to most of his other stuff - underdog lawyer facing a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make it big. this time, it's not precisely once-in-a-lifetime, as the smalltown lawyer protagonist has had another big case, which was featured in grisham's "a time to kill". 24 years is a long time to wait between sequels, but i guess it works okay. i mean, 24 years haven't passed for the characters - it's more like three for them - and in grisham's novels the character development takes a back seat to plot and setting, so that's all good.

it's not that the book isn't well written or compelling. it's as much of both as anything he's written. it's just that it seems like i've read it before.

i found this list of grisham books. the one's i've read have a (Y).

(Y) A Time to Kill (1989)
(Y) The Firm (1991)
(Y) The Pelican Brief (1992)
(Y) The Client (1993)
(Y) The Chamber (1994)
(Y) The Rainmaker (1995)
(Y) The Runaway Jury (1996)
(Y) The Partner (1997)
(Y) The Street Lawyer (1998)
(Y) The Testament (1999)
(Y) The Brethren (2000)
(Y) A Painted House (2001)
(not sure) Skipping Christmas (2001)
(Y) The Summons (2002)
(Y) The King of Torts (2003)
(Y) Bleachers (2003)
(not sure) The Last Juror (2004)
(Y) The Broker (2005)
(Y) The Innocent Man (2006)
(Y) Playing for Pizza (2007)
The Appeal (2008)
The Associate (2009)
(Y) Ford County (2009)
The Confession (2010)
The Litigators (2011)
Calico Joe (2012)
(audio) The Racketeer (2012)
(current) Sycamore Row (2013)
Gray Mountain (2014)

now i am motivated to go back and read the ones i haven't read. guess i better get started on the one that i have... i feel gri-shamed into it.


22 April 2015

math problem of the day

in an effort to stave off complete brain decay, i decided yesterday that it would be beneficial to work some basic math problems every day. i figured google could spit me out some algebra worksheets or somesuch - something of the type traded around online by grade school teachers who for whatever reason can't come up with their own damn stuff. thanks, lazy teachers, for facilitating the preservation of my brain.

so i googled "math problem of the day", and what to my wondering eyes should appear but "math problem of the day"! right there at the head of the results list.

here - you can go there yourself:

math problem of the day

so. at "math problem of the day", there is a math problem for each grade 1-8. hey, now. i can COUNT. there are EIGHT problems per day! bo-nuuuus!

i was thinking maybe the levels 7 and 8 might be challenging but 1 through 6 would be a piece of pi. (1) HAHA. piece of pi! get it?? (2) HAHA. easy! i thought they would be easy!! hahaha...

here are the problems from today:

1. Mini's house number has three digits. The middle digit is more than 6, but less than 9. Which of the following could be the middle digit?

2. Jesmine has three number cards with numbers 1, 3 and 9 and she wants to arrange them to make the greatest number. Which of these is the greatest number she can make with these cards?

3. In a certain code language, BLUE is written as CLUE and RAT is written as SAT. How will the word BUT be written in this language?

4. Robert has invited two of his friends to his house. He wants to buy a Pizza, three packets of chips, and three cartons of juices for the occasion. One carton of juice costs $10. The pizza costs 6 times as much as one carton of juice and the cost of 3 packets of chips is $36. If Robert has $100 with him, how much more money does he need?

5. A man bought 5 kg of rice at $100 and sold it at $160. How much profit did he make per kg of rice?

6. he sum of the ages of Peter and his sister is 23, and the product of their ages is 130. What is the difference between their ages?

7. Kiran walked 6 km in 50 minutes and then took a bus to travel the next 14 km in 20 minutes. If his journey continued in the same pattern alternating between walk and bus, how much time will he take to cover a total of 80 km?

8. In a hostel, there was enough food to feed 120 students for 6 days. If 30 students left the hostel to go home for vacation, how many days will the supplies last for the remaining students?

grade 1. right away i'm all confused by the verbiage, but i took a breath and read it again verrry slowly and perused the choices, and located the correct answer. okay. passed the first grade.

grade 2. easy peasy. 931.

grade 3. again, easy peasy -- although their solution described a code which replaced the first letter of a word with the next letter of the alphabet, and i had just assumed "replace b with c" and would have been screwed if they'd given me FISH.

grade 4. omg, how much does a damn pizza cost?! but then i saw it's not pizza, it's Pizza, and i know name brands always cost more. anyway, save your money, bob. your friends are NOT worth it. i got through this one fine - just tallying up the charges - and determined ol' bob needed to take out a second mortgage to have a few friends over.

grade 5. simple. $60 profit divided by 5 = $12 per kg.

grade 6. this one had me stumped. i tried P+S=23 and P*S=130, then (23-P)*P=130 and pretty soon i was on the road to a quadratic equation. what the hell? i ended up just plugging in some damn numbers until i got to the answer. that is obvs not the recommended method. the recommended method involves finding factors of 130 that add up to 23. OH, RIGHT. anyway, i got it correct and i did even more work than required, so obvs that's bonus points for moi.

grade 7. easy peasy. write "6, 50 -- 14, 20" in columns down the page until you get to 80 on the 6 & 14 side, then add up all the 50s and 20s. i am certain there's a formal method (i.e., formula), but i have fingers and toes to count on -- i don't need no stinking formula!

grade 8. easy! i just subtracted 30 from 120 to get 90 and did a proportion. 120/6=90/x. 120x=540. x=4.5 days, right? right. except for the little detail that the closest available multiple choice answer is 8 days. fucking hell. i guessed 8 and got it right.

100% overall!

so, my brain isn't dead, but damn it's rusty. i was using all the tricks i could come up with plus some really lame tallying and guessing.

oh, by the way... their solution to grade 8: "The supplies could feed 120 students for 6 days. If there was only one student, the food will last 6 x 120 = 720 days. After 30 students leave, there are 120 - 30 = 90 students remaining. For 90 students, the food will last for 720/90 = 8 days."

ugh. there are a couple months' worth of "math problems of the day" between me and that solution.

20 April 2015


i got a new samsung s5 smartphone the other day. it's taking all my creative powers to set the damn thing up... we weren't early-early adopters, but we had iphone 3's and then we had 4's. we didn't need 5's and we didn't want 6's, but iphone is a bit of a machine and it just marches on and on and on. i could barely keep up with the updates because they were so hungry for space.

so, i am not new to smartphones, but having had only had the one sort, i am quite used to only the one sort. it's a challenge to learn something new, find all the new stuff and put it in all the new places. at first, it's all fun and games, but then reality settles in - you have to communicate using this thing. huh. maybe not so fun now, eh?

i wanted a clean break, a phone without all the baggage. i was tired of the iphone universe. i wanted expandable memory and file management. i wanted a new otterbox... although admittedly, the new power cords and car charger are a bit of a pain.

anyway. that's what i am up to.


15 April 2015

a time to build up and a time to tear down

in a couple weeks, my company's offices are moving to a new building. well, not new-new. new to us. it's a remodeled shopping mall. i think it will be better than it sounds -- the pictures i've seen and the floorplans are both positive. (also, not technically "my" company, but you know what i mean.)

today we had a ceremony to say goodbye to our current building. the company has been in it since the 1920s with an addition built in the late 50s, so there's a bit of history in those walls.

we're a 200+ year old company and i'd say the average employee tenure is something along the lines of 15-18 years, with a good portion being in the 25+ years range. so, there's a bit of history there, too. history in the way we do things, like we've always done things.

our current building is a hot mess of structural issues - leaks, mold, darkness. it's like a cave, but not a good cave like the batcave. just a regular cave, with bats.

it's got too much central space and not enough windows. where the 1920s building is cobbled onto the late 50s addition, there are jinky hallways and small but odd gaps in the walls. a good bit of our parking is on the roof of the 1920s building. not sure if it was "always" there, but at least my whole 25 year tenure. the weight of the cars combined with the simple fact of a flat rooftop contributes to leakage every time it rains and sometimes when it's not.

feelings about the move vary widely. some are thrilled and eager, ready to leave the history-steeped walls, hoping the "way we've always done things" stays behind, too. some are concerned and anxious, unsure how they'll find power in a new location where office geography is flattened to sameness. some don't seem to care either. i am more in the eager camp, but still, it's bittersweet.

this building is like detroit's tiger stadium or north carolina's rockingham speedway... a venerable structure in its day, but way past it's prime and specifically lacking any concerted effort to save it. it's time to throw the used building away like used coffee grounds. sure. that's understandable.

but still, see... so many of us have been in there together for so long, it'll just be sort of sad to leave it behind, to be dismantled by liquidators then demolished by developers then replaced with an anonymous glass tower.

14 April 2015

the gravity of truth

i went for something else, but i came back with this:

But disputations were not just formal arguments. They were public performances that trained university students in how to seek and argue for the truth. They made demands on students and masters alike. Truth was hard won; it was to be found in multiple, sometimes conflicting traditions; it required one to give and recognize arguments; and, perhaps above all, it demanded an epistemic humility, an acknowledgment that truth was something sought, not something produced.

who produces truth? what are they talking about here? isn't it true of truth that truth is just there, everywhere, underlying everything, like gravity? truth can't be produced. isn't that obvious? i do know people who say ethics are situational, but i've never heard someone say that truth is situational.

epistemic is an adjective, a descriptor, and it means in relation to knowledge or in relation to how valid the knowledge is. so an epistemic humility would be an assumption that knowledge is up for question and scrutiny, and by extention: questioning and scrutinizing knowledge can get you closer to the truth.

put your knowledge out there. don't be proud and hold it up on a pedestal. don't be jealous and hold it back for the proverbial rainy day. put it on out there and see how it holds up. maybe it holds with truth and maybe it doesn't, but in the end, it's just knowledge.

knowledge can be true, but knowledge isn't the truth. truth is something outside knowledge and outside all of existence. you can argue with knowledge, but you can't argue with truth. well, it's like arguing with truth, but what you are doing is testing your knowledge against truth. "is this true? is what i know true?" you're not arguing about what constitutes truth, per se, you are arguing about how well your knowledge matches up to truth.

maybe it doesn't. no biggie. just get yourself some different knowledge. easier said that done, am i right? it's hard to let go of knowledge or to admit that knowledge that you really love doesn't match up well to truth. that's where the humility comes in. don't be proud. if your knowledge doesn't match up well to the truth, let that knowledge go and get some that does.

why, though. who cares if your knowledge aligns with truth. because -- truth is this thing that exists outside our realm, so our desire to match our knowledge up with truth is, a law of physics, and as such is compelling, like gravity. it's hard to fight gravity and it's hard to fight truth.

just as difficult as it is to fight gravity or fight truth, it's equally difficult to see gravity or truth. you can see the effect of either but you cannot SEE either, because they aren't things, per se. they are forces, and they pull on us.

hmm. wait. i started with "truth is something to be sought" and i ended up with truth as something that's seeking us!

13 April 2015

and in the bubble, there was a flower, and that flower was alive.

and then the guy on the radio said, "...mass extinction event 250million years ago, before the one that took out the dinosaurs." and the lady goes, "BEFORE the dinosaurs?" and he goes, "yes, long before the dinosaurs." and the lady goes, "huh." and i was like, huh.

a mass extinction event long before the dinosaurs? who knew? okay, you probably knew. (according to wikipedia... in the past 540 million years there have been five major events when over 50% of animal species died.) this guy on the radio went on to say how these mass extinction events happen in cycles and we could very well be on the tip edge of one now, and THEN, i was like, YES.

see, this is what i have been saying. global warming, climate change, whatever you want to call it. i've been SAYING it's just natural, SAYING it's just the circle of life of the planet. i am certain there's nothing we can do to stop it. i am equally certain we are exacerbating it, sure. but we're like the fly on the hippo. the hippo can feel us, and we may make a diff on our little tiny part of the hippo, but damn. it's a fucking hippo, if you get me here.

so, sure. i drive a civic. i recycle. i shop at the farmers market. i'm all about doing my part. but i am not deceiving myself. i know my part is tiny and ineffectual, and more about making myself feel better than making any difference for the planet.

10 April 2015

pollen prompt

today i participated in a workshop on creative editing, and ironically it was pretty tired, but one good thing that came from it was that we did a short creative writing exercise which produced a blog post. the exercise itself was tired... draw a piece of paper, paper has a prompt, write for 8 minutes on the prompt. other people got prompts like "dream come true" and "one fine day". i got...

pollen? well. good on me. with writing prompts, i prefer material to ethereal. here's what i wrote:

twice a year, pollen is the bane of my whimsy. pollen forces me to drive with windows up and sunroof firmly shut, because pollen completely fills the air and the air fills my lungs, so by the mathematical law of (association?) -- pollen fills my lungs. pollen is literally worse in middle tennessee because of geography -- middle tennessee is in a geographical bowl. the bowl limits air movement and so traps pollen. when i was a child, pollen didn't bother me -- but now my lungs are older... and pollen is worse! all these bradford pear trees -- that were all the rage in the 90s -- are simply little pollen factories. have you ever smelled a bradford pear in bloom? smells like fired catfish.

twice a year - in autumn and spring - pollen is more prevalent. in the spring, it's obvious that things are growing - case in point, the aforementioned bradford pears. in the autumn, new growth isn't as obvious... maybe it's plant dust in the fall, not pollen. unless plant dust can be pollen? what is pollen, anyway? i always assumed it was a byproduct of plant growth. maybe i'm wrong about that -- but i am certainly right about this -- pollen, my bane, is zyrtec d's boon.

those 8 minutes of writing just about made my hand fall off. i can't believe i used to write for literally hours. research papers, book reports, original themes, essay tests and exams. all those take longer than 8 minutes - by a long shot.

it's not an impressive piece of writing, but it's got it's tiny gems. trees that smell like catfish. the bane-boon dichotomy. those are keepers.

it's interesting how long it takes to write anything worth reading. not that THAT happens here, in this blog. nah. these posts are more along the lines of 8-minute output... although i generally spend much longer than that, it doesn't particularly show. how long would it take to write something worth reading? depends on the writer's talent, sure, but no matter your talent level, you've got to get the ideas out there, and then you've got to go back and shape them up, reorganize, draw the sense out or put the sense in. a good blog post could easily take several focused hours.

me? i don't have that kind of time to spare. plus, it's not exactly my goal here. i am primarily trying to spend a few minutes several times per week exercising my brain. i want to write something interesting, sure. i want people to read this and enjoy it, but i can't afford the time to invest in actually making that happen.

09 April 2015

neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night

i need to get some new email. not new regular email from actual people, of course. not that. i mean, i need to get some new regular email from NOT actual people.

it goes like thislywise --

1. regular mail from actual people. this is stuff like soccer schedules and... well, emails from actual people that arrive on a regular basis are pretty much confined to soccer schedules.

2. irregular mail from actual people. this category includes notes from family, camp friends, stuff like that. actual people don't actually get in touch on a regular basis. these could be surprises or they could also be expected replies to inquiries. either way, they aren't regular.

3. irregular mail from not actual people. here we have bill pay confirmations, paypal notices, kiva telling me a lendee is paying me back, various order confirmations, etc.. these emails come from entities, not people, but not on a regular basis. they have meaning, generally attached to a transaction of some sort.

4. regular mail from not actual people. sometimes confused with spam, these are emails from entities with which i have relationships - loyalty programs, memberships. generally, these are discount offers, coupons, stuff like that, and at least one per entity arrives every day. gap. avon. jc penney. pier 1. bed bath & beyond. places where i have purchased something at some point, meaning there is a chance i will purchase again. they're so shamelessly insistent. every freaking day! i reported a few as spam and made them quit, but that does seem a bit disingenuous. they aren't precisely spam - i asked for them. and, truly, it's not that i don't want them AT ALL. i just don't want them every. freaking. day.

so. i would appreciate these regularly occurring retail emails on a different schedule, like once per week, but that doesn't seem to be an option. it makes me ignore them, and that's exactly opposite of what they want. they could be so much more effective by arriving less often... and maybe containing better offers.

anyway, i can't do anything about that, so here is what i can do something about. i need to get some new regular email from not actual people -- AND -- not retail entities. something inspirational or interesting, but not complicated. some meat to counter all the retail carbs. something concise and useful.


06 April 2015

serf, not surf.

remember serfs? feudal economy? the lord of the manor owns the land, divides it into smaller plots which he allows the serfs to live on in exchange for the serfs' farming the land and working in the forest, the mine, the quarry, etc. the lord takes a portion of the crops and in exchange provides protection from the weather (house) and from outsiders and a system of justice for the manor.

these were agricultural serfs, working the land. they weren't free - they were bound by the lord to the land, but if things went well, their work enabled them to sustain themselves and their families. as opposed to free men who worked the land to sustain themselves, serfs worked IN EXCHANGE FOR protection, justice, etc.

i don't want to get into a big explanation of feudalism. you can look that up.

so, feudalism. blah-blah. time marches on, and a few hundred years later, the industrial age dawns. men go to work in factories, in exchange for money, which they used to purchase goods and services. we're back to "in exchange for" but it's not in exchange for something concrete -- it's work in exchange for a philosophical construct designed to facilitate exchange.

it's a progression.
1. free men live on and work their own land and protect themselves, to manufacture their own sustenance.
2. agricultural serfs live on and work the lord's land in exchange for protection and the right to manufacture their own sustenance.
3. industrial laborers live outside of and work in the lord's factory, making something solid in exchange for something they can exchange for protection and sustenance.

yes. i am totally shortcutting it, and that's because i know you are smart enough to keep up.

so here we are in the post-industrial knowledge economy, where we live outside of and work in the lord's factory, making something that isn't solid at all, in exchange for something we can exchange for protection and sustenance.

so. now.

now, we are on the verge of a sea-change -- where the feudal system will resurge in the knowledge economy. we will live in the lord's houses and work the knowledgescape to grow the knowledge crop. we will do this in exchange for protection and sustenance.

this will happen in part because of the rise of the power of knowledge and in part because of the collapse of exchange based (i.e., monetary) systems. when the exchanges collapse, compensation for labor will revert to direct - we'll be paid in housing, food, clothes, entertainment.

might not be today.

might not be tomorrow.

but one day soon, we will be knowledge serfs.

02 April 2015

irony or life? false dichotomy.

remember y2k? maybe you're too young, but 16 years ago, in 1999, a vast number of people were in a panic over the great calendar rollover. going from 1999 to 2000 doesn't seem like such a big deal from this side, but at the time there was great consternation over computer systems' being able to handle 4-digit years. the panic was immense. frogs! locusts! planes falling from the sky! thing is, as immense as the panic was, it really wasn't unfounded because the threat was real.

the first widespread use of electronic calculating machines (precursors to computers) were made by IBM and made use of punch cards to store data and programming. if you don't understand how data and programs can be stored on punched cardstock, this is not the place to learn. what you can learn here is that these cards enforced an 80-column limit. hmm. okay, i'm not going to explain all this. suffice it to say that punch cards and their 80-column limit inspired space-saving tricks, and one of the most reliable was to drop the century distinguisher. 1976 becomes 76. 1983 becomes 83. you get the point. as programming move from cards into types of magnetic or digitized storage, space remained an issue, so the century remained dropped.

in contrast to something programmers WERE thinking about - saving space - there was something programmers were not thinking about - lifespan of their programs. invariably, these young men and women really didn't think about the future. who does, at that age. they assumed life would simultaneously go on exactly as it was, rendering their programs forever relevant - and dramatically change in ways that would render their programs irrelevant and cause some future person to routinely replace them. either way, they didn't need to worry about it.

these programmers' concern for saving space coupled with their not concerning themselves with longevity of their work caused them to not care and merrily spew un-prefixed years throughout their code.

aaaaand, here we are in '99 faced with an instance where those prefixing numbers are going to be a Really Big Deal. calculations are literally counting on 00 being less than 99 and will literally calculate accordingly. what calculations, you ask? well, i don't really want to get into the weeds here, so let's just say... all of them, underlying everything from air traffic control to grocery store point of sale. trust me, this was a Really Big Deal.

so. it was a RBD an people understandably panicked. some went off the grid and planted potatoes and beans, so they could be self-sufficient when the world ended. others madly reprogrammed like every computer system in the entire world. the rest of us stood by and watched the clock.

in the end, the rollover went pretty smoothly. i'm certain some systems weren't ready and those systems choked on themselves, but none of the really big ones - the banks, the stock exchanges, the governments, the aforementioned air traffic control - none of these failed. it was a credit to all those hardworking programmers. there was a real crisis and it was really averted.

now, it's forgotten. or, worse perhaps, minimized. "y2k, the problem that never materialized. a lot of geeks panicking over nothing. snerk! snerk!" when the truth is, it only looks like nothing now because those programmers worked so hard to make it nothing at the time. i think that's ironic, but maybe it's just life.

01 April 2015

brain moppers

we're planning a trip for this weekend. long car ride, hotel stay, restaurant meals. i like trips...

this will be a long drive for a short visit. my old man's uncle is turning 80, and the fam is throwing a surprise party. (i am not totally on board with surprising an 80-year old, but nobody asked me.) the party is like 7-1/2 hours from here, and we're only spending one night. 48 hours total, 15 driving. that's like a third of the time. i enjoy long car rides and all, but yikes.

trips are the sherbet of life, good for cleansing the palate, clearing away the tastes and smells of the last course, making way for the next. trips refresh.

when i get busy, my brain gets full, tenses up, cramps. there's no room for creative thoughts. i can't come up with blog posts. i can't troubleshoot everyday work issues. i become a snapping turtle, on a short fuse.

a trip is an excuse to put all the everyday busyness aside, just push it over to the side, and play the license plate game. while you're merrily occupied with finding maine and alabama, subterranean brain processes will dig into your boxes of everyday issues and examine what you've got.

some are pickers, looking for treasure they can sell for profit. some are nursies, triaging the ouchies for repair. some are organizers, little martha-stewart processes, rearranging the issues by size, then by date, then by colour, all the while remaining open to creative accessorizing. some are just there to mop the damn floor, everybody watch your feet!

ride in the car for 7-1/2 hours. search for the alphabet on passing billboards. stop at the rest area and marvel at how different the weather is here than it was where you came from. doze off and wake to eat a locally made fried pie from the only gas station in this godforsaken wilderness of midwest farmland... no offense.

ride in the car. take your mind off your brain, and let the processes do their picking and repairing and organizing and mopping.

7-1/2 hours later, you'll be thanking me.