How Beautiful We Were — And How Foolish

Aesop Fan linked this from Gerard Vanderleun’s blog in blogs.

He noted that the original has about 5 links per stanza.

What he didn’t note is that most of those are now broken or lead to nothing and I don’t even remember what it was.

    May 5, 2006 The [Linknotated] Law of the Blogger

    NOW this is the Law of the Blogger – as old and as true as the sky;

    And the blogger that keeps it may prosper , but the blogger that breaks it must die.

    Like the visits that pump up your hit count , Blogger Law runneth forward and back —

    For the strength of all blogs is the Blogger that never cuts anyone slack.

    Blog daily from news tip and hat-tip; blog long , but blog not too deep, ;

    And remember the Pundit’s for linking, and forget not that he has to sleep.

    The new blog may free flame the Bozos, but, Cub, when thy archives have grown,

    Remember the Big Blogs are hunters — go forth and make Scoops of Thine Own.

    Keep peace with the Lords of the Blogsphere — the Pundit , the Malkin, The Bear;

    And trouble not Lileks the Bleater , but always mock Kos in his lair.

    When Pack meets with Pack in the Blogsphere , and neither will put down the flame,

    Lie down till the Spewers have Blathered — it always will save you from shame.

    When ye flame on a Prince of the Pack , ye must fight him alone and afar,

    Lest others take part in the Blog-Pile , and all Blogs be diminished by War .

    The URL of the Blogger’s his refuge, and where he has made him his home,

    Not even the Pundit may post, not even the Hewitt may come.

    The URL of the Blogger’s his Castle , but when he has blown it too plain,

    The Lileks shall send him a Fisking , and so he shall blow it again.

    If ye post after midnight , be patient , and wait for the next working day.

    Your readers are reading from cube farms and commenting only for play.

    Ye may post for yourself , or your country, blog your cats if you must, and ye can;

    But post not for the pleasure of Flaming lest you be but a flash in your pan!

    If ye plunder a post from a weaker, remember to link for his pride;

    Link-Right is the right of the smaller; if you’re wrong it’ll be him that lied.

    Now these are the Laws of the Blogger, and as true and as blue as the sky;

    You can link , you can wink , you can blather , but in the end you can’t lie.


I was both charmed by the well… pilk? (Is it filk if it’s not sung. Poetry, so Pilk) and things like calling Roger L. Simon A Prince of the Pack, which he undoubtedly was. And so was Gerard, and in a different front, so was Jerry.

And I’ve been feeling maudlin all day. I was on the blogs back then, but hidden and under deep cover. By the time I dared to come out, I was told the age of the blog was done and I’d never get a following.

I’ll note I have, and also that in 12 or 14 years (depending on which you consider: my early blogging, or blogging after coming out of the political closet) of blogging I broke every one of these rules, except the lying (I’ve been wrong. Very wrong, but never knowingly) and the blogging every day (more or less.)

I once went to war with Esquire because they p*ssed me off. In fact, going to inadvisable war seems to be one of my trademarks. (There is a a reason my husband has a t-shirt that says “I am with the excitable Latina.”)

One of my last interactions with Gerard was taking exception to someone he quoted who thought too well of Europe and too lowly of the US. But he emailed, and we talked, instead of turning it into a full blown blow up. (A gentleman, you know.)

This combined with the Super Bowl, which as a rule we don’t really watch, but we used to go to a party with friends from Dan’s old working place, starting in the seventies. Some have died, some have moved a away, some have gone (or always were woke) and that landscape is blasted for good and all.

And I was thinking…. How beautiful we were.

You know, for people my generation the 90s were a golden age of stupidity. We had grown up learning we’d be blown up when “the hammer fell” And suddenly the Soviet Union just crumbled away and fell. And everything was possible.

Most people went soft-liberal. I went full on Libertarian. (Yeah, I do like going to war against everything in general. Your point is?)

It took 9/11 to rock me back into contact with reality. And for a while I even trusted our government to at least defend us.

The last two years… Between realizing our intelligence agencies are a pack of ill-intentioned morons (I always knew they weren’t too bright, but seriously) whose true allegiance is to their erstwhile ivy league masters, and realizing that our military too will lie to the commander in chief, in the interest of continuing stupid wars… Well–

I suspect from here on that’s it. We’re going to plumb new depths of disillusionment and cynicism.

It’s better to know than to not know, but —

But I’m glad we had our age of illusion and dreaming. The time we were beautiful and stupid.

Oh, and looking at my blogging career, I’m going to tell you what people say isn’t necessarily so. I managed to make it when everything was already lost and the age of blogging is past.

Let that be a lesson to it. DO IT YOUR WAY. It’s more likely to work than all the opinions of the experts.

157 thoughts on “How Beautiful We Were — And How Foolish

  1. Oh how dumb I was, back in those hazy days of the 90’s. I thought the FBI were honorable men and women. I thought Scully and Mulder were the fictional versions of the real agents who kept us safe from evildoers. Ah. Aha. Aha ha ha ha ha…

    Today, I would not speak to an FBI agent without an attorney present. And if I saw one on a snowy road in Wyoming, waving me down to help them, I would accelerate down the road. I’d rather pick up a man in a hockey mask carrying a chain saw.

    1. There’s a chance a man in a hockey mask carrying a chainsaw is a Canadian lumberjack. 😛
      He’s a lumberjack, and he’s OK…

      1. That was a fun Halloween party. The eye makeup and beard did wonders, along with the nail polish. Rather startled the Mexican grandmothers when I stopped for the next morning’s doughnuts a couple miles from home. 🙂

      2. Snicker, snicker After an especially vapid campus safety announcement at Flat State U, one of my fellow grad sufferers, er students said, “And let me guess. If we see someone walking the grounds late at night wearing a hockey mask, carrying a chainsaw, and wearing really strange gloves, it’s just someone from Campus Services trimming trees on his way home from practice, and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions.”

    2. My circle of friends and family didn’t watch a lot of X-Files -DS9, Due South, and British costume dramas were our fandoms back then- but I was under the impression that basically Scully, Mulder and their boss were the only good people in the X-Files version of the FBI. If so, the show was actually pretty realistic.

    3. $SPOUSE and I watched Bones and Seeley Booth and some of his FBI fellow agents were honorable. The full series is in our TDW stack, but I do recall a story arc where somebody (insider, I think) frames Seeley and it takes some doing to extricate from that.

      I wonder just how much CBS is getting in taxpayer slush funding for the multiple FBI series. For that matter, various series that featured heroic CIA agents (Covert Affairs comes to mind) makes me wonder how much that was subsidized.

        1. Brennan’s father killed the crooked deputy director of the FBI, leaving the charred corpse tied up on the roof of a building.

          And gets away with it.

        2. I forgot that bit, though faint memory says the DD was also involved in the frameup of Booth. We watched Bones pretty much from the beginning, and the full compilation was reasonably affordable. Something like 72 discs.

          Broadcast TV isn’t fully dead in our household, but beyond a couple of game shows (Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune) and the regional public TV offering of Midsomer Murders, the rest is cable (HGTV and/or DIY) and our DVD stash. We’re rewatching older Midsomers and I’m seeing Inspector Morse for the first time. We’ll work in Bones shortly.

          (Bandwidth issues say no to streaming, until/unless we get Starlink. $SPOUSE thinks that the game shows won’t be available on streaming, and I have yet to look.)

          1. I loved Inspector Morse (or “Morose”). I never did manage to count how many tenure-track positions suddenly opened up at Oxford over the course of the series. 😉

            1. Is that similar to Cabot Cove, Maine being the Murder Capital of the US? [Crazy Grin]

              1. One of the nice things about Lord Peter Wimsey is that while he and Harriet do stumble on some cases, there are a number where he’s at least one remove, and gets brought in because he does this stuff.

                1. “Murder Must Advertise,” for example. And, “The Nine Tailors,” where he basically gets involved by accident.

            2. There’s a great line in the Inspector Lewis series where Robbie is tasked to do some public speaking or such, and he calls out to Hathaway something like: “Help, save me from this. Give me a murder!”

              Laurence Fox got in some really good lines. On a band reorganizing after a long hiatus (“Midnight Addiction” episode) : Rough paraphrase from memory:

              “It’s supposed to be face-meltingly good blues, but it’s more like people at the retirement home whinging about the biscuits.”

              I figure no chances of an Inspector Hathaway now that Laurence Fox had the nerve to say things that offend the easily offensive. He’s not in the J. K. Rowling league.

              1. Myself and a family member saw him in Becoming Jane on some streaming service like a week before he decided to go publicly politically incorrect. He had stumped us during the viewing by looking vaguely familiar, so we’d spent a lot of time on Wikipedia figuring out who he was and how he was related to the other Foxes. (We hadn’t seen him anything else it turned out, it was just the family resemblance throwing us.) So when the kerfluffle started, I was like “I know that guy!”

          2. We have been able to get some game shows (Em likes Family Feud) through our Roku, and I presume with a Roku and Starlink you could too.

            1. Jeopardy and Wheel are streamed through Sling, but the WB/Discovery doesn’t seem to be. Both $SPOUSE and Kat-the-dog have a serious Jones for House Hunters and HH International.

              Nope, not gonna. I value my life and my ears. Kat doesn’t believe in “indoor voice” yet.

      1. Lavishly subsidized, I’d bet. It used to be both blatantly and lavishly subsidized. My father-in-law has recordings of a whole long-running radio drama (I forget what it was called) from his heyday back in the 50s composed entirely of heroic true stories of “the dedicated men of your FBI,” as its tagline went. Now it’s all behind the scenes, but there’s no doubt that it’s still going on and even bigger than before.

        1. The title was, I believe, “This is Your FBI.” At least you knew up front what was going on, and the FBI did a better job of at least pretending to be on the side of Law. Now? I only wonder what is being covered up. I know it’s “my” FBI, it’s one the enforcement arms of the communcrats.

  2. Sarah, thanks for sharing this. It did indeed trigger a round of nostalgia in me.

    One of my earliest posts on Blogspot was on the question of “How can you determine a source’s biases?” – or more broadly, “How do we know what we know?” And that question seems ever more urgent with the advance of time and events.

  3. “Oh hello,”

    “Hello, I’m with $TLA.”

    “Oh, sorry, I need to call a lawyer before I say any more.”

    “What? But I’m-”

    “A Fed, therefore a declared enemy of Liberty. Lawyer comes before your ilk.”

    1. In D&D terms: Pay the devil to defend you from the demon. The demon cares for nothing but itself; but the devil fears the consequences of breaking contract (and likely despises the demon on principle).

      1. On the Chaotic other hand…

        One might not F you, depending on mood and/or situation. The other will go out of his way to F you, on principle ond protocol.

          1. I rooted for the evil DM. Devils were lawful evil, but the law was the sort that ground you into paste, pitilessly. Demons were chaotic, but the sort of chaos that never truly benefits you.

            One of the more interesting homebrews was the Spite Cleric class. Their deity got the better of one of the greater devils in a rather insignificant manner, but all his clerics were now targets for devils that wanted bonus points from the head devil.

            Fun times for the party. Random encounters had a 5% chance of including level relevant hellspawn. Pact sorcerers were encouraged to murder the spite clerics. Even had a hidden devil lawyer in one campaign.

            Proper evil foes is what makes for great adventure and better heroes. It’s also fun to play the bad guy every now and again.

            1. That homebrew definitely sounds… interesting. Silver lining, though – survive and you’ll probably be level grinding like a pro! (Depending on your leveling system.) And a reasonable and interesting way of running devils.

              I’ve yet to do anything really monstrous to my players, but we’re only on Session 4. (Other than having their adopted father kidnapped, of course. Okay, maybe that wasn’t nice. But he was designed to be my character, and then I was elevated to DM, and I’m not sure how well I can run a DMPC as the head of the family without falling into railroading…)

          1. And that’s the other problem. They’re already struggling to keep their church and faithful alive in spite of about a dozen different cults, the lich gaining power over in that country, a handful of evil viziers who might be fiends or undead in disguise, their enemy deities and their servants…

        1. Well, yes. But I’m not sure how that could fit into the metaphor – the lawyer is the devil, and the Fed is the demon, so who exactly is supposed to be the deva? (D&D lower-ranking Celestial and divine servant similar to an angel.)

  4. Ah , blogs of days past. Some are still with us, some still readable,others well around the bend. Others moved on but still lurk about. Some I miss, others I do not.

  5. For a long time, I didn’t love my memories of the 90s and early 00s, because I was (even more of) a jerk back then. I’ve mellowed on that timeframe a little bit lately, but beyond nostalgia for one or two of my old muses from around that time, who started hanging out in my mindscape again recently, I couldn’t tell you why.

  6. Did you know that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is trying to mandate all healthcare organizations add gender and ethnicity fields to their databases? All Heinz 57+ varieties, and they’re trying to track equity (not equality!) by ethnicity. So your tax dollars can be discriminantly used equitably instead of equally.

    1. For ethnicity (usually stated as “Race”), there’s usually a space for “Other”. Write in “Human”. Or, given what we know of ancestry and ancient migration patterns, “All of the above”.
      If there’s a field for “Gender assigned at birth” (which I’ve encountered), do what I do, cross off “assigned” and write in “observed”.
      And as an aside, vote for candidates who pledge to repeal the 16th and 17th Amendments.

      1. They already have a race field, and a toggled field for just for Hispanic (so I guess you can be Caucasian, African, Asian, Native American or Pacific Islander AND Hispanic.)

          1. Probably the old Mitsubishi for me. Ran sub 12 second quarters and cornered surprisingly well for something that heavy. Notchy gearbox from the factory, but cleaned up smooth as butter. Surprised no end of little four bangers that thought they could hang.

      2. Race? Human. Or, if they want to know by ancestry, of African descent. After all, according to science, we all are descended from folks in Africa.

  7. You do realize, don’t you, that a good chunk of America did not see the Nineties as a golden age?

    To me the Nineties were the decade in which the Feds massacred 80 people, including about 30 children, at Mount Carmel, Texas near Waco; the decade in which certain semi-automatic firearms were banned, in what we expected to be the framework by which a series of amendments would eventually ban all of them; in which the GOP won the House for the first time in forty years on the strength of the pro-2A vote, and then refused to repeal that ban; in which the Congress UNANIMOUSLY voted for the Lautenberg Amendment, which bans two brothers who get in a fight on their 21st birthday from ever using a gun in self defense, ever again; in which lawfare was waged against gun manufacturers in order to bypass the Congress and state legislatures; and in which the two time elected president made no bones about the fact that he intended to crush gun owners beneath his heel.

    But hey, it became much easier to buy cheap toys from China.

    (And yes, the anti-2A push by the Clinton regime was eventually thwarted by the Smith and Wesson boycott. But it was a very close thing, and most of us did not honestly expect to win).

    1. It was also when it looked as of all vintage aircraft would be declared “inherently dangerous.” And then common sense made a rare appearance and we got the General Aviation Revitalization Act and a Silver Age for new aircraft availability. And some of the homebuilt ideas became production reality.

    2. Quote:
      “You know, for people my generation the 90s were a golden age of stupidity.”

      Apparently, you kinda missed that great big chunk of obvious.

        1. Obvious glowie is obvious. Y’know, I kind of thing if I’d stuck with the State and gone stupid and went that way, I’d probably do the same thing- be obvious. Because that way you only snag the other stupids.

          If your choices are create criminals from the innocent or become an obvious glow worm, well… Choice is simple.

          Not that I buy that with Dinna Ken, mind (stealing that from 11B).

  8. ’90s? Yesterday to me. ’80s dialup modem bulletin boards, the day before yesterday.

    The ’50s though, barroom, dorm room bull sessions, every place face to face, college girls seeking Mrs. degrees (T’weren’t, t’ain’t, nothing wrong with that.) long distance phone calls, telegrams, only to announce deaths or weddings, most distance communication; letters, always written in cursive. Hot rods and bird dogs, gun racks and dirt tracks, ten cent burgers and nickle cokes, stamp collections, elder’s recollections. yes sir and no mam, very seldom heard a damn and never in mixed company without a followed apology.

    Yep we where quite beautiful back then, and well more than a wee bit foolish.

  9. The 90s were interesting to me as a natural-born cynic. There was a famous pundit who talked about “the end of history” and even as a teenager, I laughed in “you sweet summer child.”

    As a side note, for the last thirty years we have had five U.S. Presidents, and four of them were born in the 1940s. (And the one who wasn’t was a Boomer.) The previous 30-year streak was U.S. Presidents born in the teens and 20s, but a little more varied, with one 1908 birth year.

    I’m sure there’s a thought in there about the death grip that age bracket has on the political scene.

      1. Feinstein has allegedly said she will serve out her term and not run for reelection. I say allegedly, because she seemed surprised when someone asked her about it.

        1. She also says d something like that before the last election. A lot of California Dems got upset when she changed her mind.

  10. With Working at DEC I had access to news and took part in that in the 80’s and into the 90s. My entry into reading blogs started from Slashdot when there was a pointer to U.S.S. Clueless sometime in early to mid 2001 (Maybe 2000?). Mr. DenBeste had pointers to a variety of sites, and all of them became interesting after 9/11. I have toyed with blogging ( but it goes in fits and starts. I’ve enjoyed the Huns and Hoydens as a group,

  11. IMO, the ’90s were when the greatness that was the 80s started to get rolled back. I’ll be the first to admit I was a bit young during the 80s. But everyone just seemed happier in that decade. It was Morning in America, and the Gipper was in the White House. And the culture at large just felt *happy” (even if many of the cultural influencers of the day publicly attacked Reagan).

    In the 90s, for whatever reason, it felt to me like things started to sour and trivialize. We went from a supreme court nominee getting booted because he smoked a joint a few times, to “didn’t inhale”. We went from Gary Hart’s campaign crashing and burning due to Monkey Business, to President Sexual Harassment. And don’t forget the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

    You can argue over what should have mattered (Douglas Ginsburg’s marijuana use, for instance). But the culture did change, and overall for the worse imo.

      1. In 1991 when the USSR was dissolved, sure. And we’d handed Saddam Hussein his first defeat. But attitudes started to shift quickly. 1993 saw the US get embarrassed by a bunch of guys with assault rifles in Mogadishu, and we did nothing in response. Things didn’t get any better afterwards.

        Wasn’t all bad, of course. The early ’90s is when Rush took off and started the conservative revolution in Talk Radio. And the internet started to become a thing for normal people throughout that decade. But the optimism I remember from the ’80s had gone.

    1. One Big Tell is that the music of the 1980’s, even when its makers meant it to be depressive, is upbeat and still fairly popular. The other decade with still fairly popular music was the 1950’s. The times were certainly not perfect, but there was a hope and even cynics felt it some.

      1. Yup. And the big music wave of the 90s was… grunge. Really says a lot, imo. Sure, there was a lot more to the 90s than just grunge. And people mock pop which was introduced in the 80s. But I think the contrast is important. Pop might have been overly light and fluffy, but it was fun and upbeat. Much of the 90s music wasn’t.

      2. Well, what was the music of the 1980’s? I take it you mean groups that were ‘of the 80s’ and not just everybody who released an album between 1980 and 1989. Looking through my music library, I see:

        Aldo Nova
        Bon Jovi
        Pat Benatar
        Def Leppard
        Dennis DeYoung went solo in 1984 with ‘Desert Moon’
        The Eurythmics
        Lita Ford
        Billy Idol
        Iron Maiden
        Huey Lewis & The News
        Motley Crue
        Guns N Roses
        Stevie Nicks went solo in 1981 with ‘Bella Donna’
        Night Ranger
        Alannah Myles
        Ozzy Osbourne went solo in 1980 with ‘Blizzard Of Ozz’
        Quiet Riot
        The Scorpions
        .38 Special

        Along with a lot of great albums by groups that started in the 1970’s, even the 1960’s.

        1. I’m sure we could add a lot of groups to the list with minimal effort (for example, the Bangles come to mind at just a quick glance).

          And then you’ve got groups that would fall into what you describe as “started in the ’70s”, even though they’re typically thought of as 80s groups. Duran Duran is a perfect example of this. They formed in the late ’70s, but they’re considered practically synonymous with ’80s music.

          1. For that matter, you could call post-Bon Scott AC/DC an 80’s group. Meat Loaf only released one album before 1980 — hardly anybody’s heard of ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ right? 😛

        2. Hmm… Didn’t Fox say a couple of threads ago that people are still making 80s-style music decades later? I wonder if there’s a list of such things somewhere.

          …Outside of Fox’s personal meme collection, I mean. You know damn well the woman’s got an entire sub-folder of such things stashed somewhere.

        3. Heck Timbukthree said “The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades” was mocking things, but people took it as be positive to their shock/disappointment/disgust. Let ’em be shocked, disappointed, and disgusted. I’d rather have hope than despair – and if they have issues, they can kiss my derriere!

          1. Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” was similarly intended to be negative. But it wasn’t taken that way by a public that was engaging in a reborn love and respect for their country.

            And after writing that, I think that touches on part of the reason why the ’80s was such a great decade. The ’70s was a mess, and the repeated drumbeat (particularly during the last few years when Carter was in office) was how awful the United States was. The ’80s was the backlash reminding people that no, the US is not awful. And yes, you can shout that to the world at large.

      3. > “One Big Tell is that the music of the 1980’s, even when its makers meant it to be depressive, is upbeat and still fairly popular.”

        Puts me in mind of this:

    1. When you leave a comment, there is a check box you can click telling WordPress to E-mail you every new comment on that post. Some folks post a comment just to click the box, so they put ‘c4c’ because comments without text are rejected.

      They’re still working on an algorithm to reject comments without meaning. 😀

      1. I’ve commented on a half a different comments this afternoon. Not one has through gone through quickly. I must be on the “think about what you post” WP plan this afternoon … Or would be, if I could even take back what I’m posting. Since I can’t take back posts, WP is just being WP.

          1. There is a place for communists.
            Alright TWO places. One involves the Whirling Blades.
            The other involves the Groucho Marxist, “POP! goes the weasel.”

    2. Many Word Press sites will allow you to get New Posts (from the owner) automatically.

      However, if you want to see comments via email, you have to “click a box”. (Usually the box is under the comment field that “you” use to make a comment.

      So if “you” want to see other people’s comments via email, you need to click the box.

      Some people “don’t have a comment to make” but want to see other people’s comments via email so they “enter” the “c4c” in the comment field and click the box.

      1. WordPress is also emailing responses to threads below your own comments. That started happening a few(?) months ago, and you don’t have to have an account for that to happen.

        OTOH, I haven’t found a way to turn it off, either. (I don’t have an account, so mileage might vary if you are logged in.)

        1. No, I have an account, and I can’t turn it off. OTOH, the times I want to get comments, I don’t. shrugs tail Ya know, WPDE.

      1. Is there a way to stop the comment mail? I never tick the box, yet I get seemingly every comment in my inbox.

                  1. There’s Silane (SiH4) or its evil cousin, SiCl4. Both were (are?) available in semiconductor country. I’m not familiar with the III-V compounds for what’s needed to make LEDs, though in the ’70s and ’80s at HP, the original LED crystal growing fab budgeted one small explosion per month.

                    Palo Alto FD wasn’t happy with us. When we moved to San Jose, (both III-V and Silicon fabs), the SJFD people were really unhappy. OTOH, the LED people had the crystal growing equipment well tamed by then, along with Fluffyproofresistant rooms to do the deed in.

          1. The Reader thinks we can postulate the 3 Laws of Software Thermodynamics and apply them to WordPress.

            The software doesn’t do what the user hopes it will.
            The software doesn’t do what the user needs it to.
            The user has to use it.

            Editorial improvements welcome.

            1. I recall reading a C book going on and on (and on and one and..) about how C let you do things All Those Other Languages didn’t allow. Which was HILARIOUS to a FORTHer, who knew Forth allowed one to do ALL OF IT, and the stuff C didn’t allow. It might not be a good idea, but you could do it.


              2 ( – ) 1;

              What does that do? It defines the instance of ‘2’ to have the value of ‘1’.
              Good idea? NO! Possible? Yup.

              1. Never worked in Forth. In early LISP dialects you could to things like that e.g.
                (setq t nil)
                (setq nil t)
                The first would set the contents of the object t (true for the language!) to the contents of the object nil (false/empty for the language) the second did the reverse, doing such broke your running copy of the lisp interpreter(it was/is primarily an interpreted language) and meant you had to exit the interpreter and restart it. Later versions of Lisp would prevent this, in the first case you’d get the error
                Veritas est Aeternam , can’t setq t
                (truth is eternal) in the latter
                nihil ex nihilo, can’t setq nil
                (nothing from nothing, though I think I remember the message as nihil ex nihil (sic) on Tops 10 Lisp which is a misquote of the Latin)
                Bored but helpful MIT grad students trying to removing one (of multiple) ways to unintentionally screw yourself in lisp.

                1. I spent a decade maintaining Forth for some embedded systems. Generally, I liked it. The worst thing to deal with was something someone who swallowed all the Comp. Sci profs stuff did (and UTTERLY FILE to properly document as it was “obvious”). It was even worse than the “Joe code” stuff… at least I knew I couldn’t make “Joe”s code any worse.

  12. The ’80s for me were sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. A LOT of rock-and roll. Sometimes seven or eight shows in a week. And it was the building period of my career. Growing the company to become the Number One provider. Most of my online interactions were via email and one-on-one with customers and friends. In the ’90s, I was on CompuServe and didn’t blog, (although I made my first web site — naked HTML code right on the metal in about 1995 — using the first version of Netscape). I started blogging in 2002 — subsequent to 9/11 and the explosion of the Blogosphere. I was a Small Mammal in the TTLB blogosphere.

      1. I’m struggling with trying to monetize my photography. And the way I’ve chosen to do it is to work two, sometimes three blogs and social media. I have one thing to do to get my storefront active. But it’s DNS. Which, having read all the RFC’s really IS rocket science. Heh. Indeed.

  13. Ot, but apparently the magic of vitamin D has run out for me. The fever is up to 101.3, which given “normal” for me is about 98.0, is worrisome. Aches, and someone turned up the gravity, but no sore throat and not much of a cough, just drips.
    And of course our practitioner closes her office on Wednesday….

    1. someone turned up the gravity

      You sure that’s not just a cat lurking nearby? 😀

      Cats concentrate gravity. Maybe someday, somebody will figure out how to use that effect for space travel.

              1. Minor Demons? I have a Void Cat that seems to be a serious demon. That is when he’s not grooming or sleeping, so maybe an hour or two a day…

              2. As every dog person knows, cats are not ‘Minor’ demon lords. They are ‘Major’ demon lords. The Reader speaks from experience first gathered at age 4.

            1. If I had to say I think most cats fall on the Chaotic side of things in the DnD alignment spectrum. Most probably tend to neutral chaotic with some wandering either side of the good/evil divide. Certainly they feel like chaos creatures in Mr Moorcock’s Chaos vs Law spectrum.

  14. @ Dorothy > “And of course our practitioner closes her office on Wednesday”

    It’s a rule.
    If she closed on Friday, you would get sick on Thursday.
    Hope you get over whatever it is soon.

    When I was supporting our pediatrician’s practice with our family’s ills (5 kids), at one point we had a standing appointment every Friday afternoon.
    And if one was actually sick, all of them got the same prescription for the week-end.
    (I exaggerate slightly. Very slightly.)

    1. Now I think you take littles to Urgent Clinics, like adults go to. Might still have Pediatric option. When our son was little we’d call the number for the Pediatric clinic. An answering service would take the information then call either an on-call Pediatric nurse (ask a nurse) or call the Pediatric doctor. Depending on the conversation with either we’d head into one of the Pediatric clinics with our son. I swear the early ear infections always heated up late Friday night. The later ones would have too, but we got where we could see one coming on and call for an urgent appointment before close of hours. There for awhile (until almost age 5) he was a frequent ear infection flyer. Not often enough to require ear drum drains (his ear canal would dry out between bouts). But frequent enough.

      Then there was the Ceclore reaction … he was in twice (Friday night) and Sunday. Sunday would have been avoided if the doctor on Friday had actually kept up with common Pediatric reactions to the medication being prescribed for common infections. We’d been in for the prescription earlier in the week. Switched to Ceclor to try and knock out the ongoing, every 8 to 10 week infection. He reacted to it. Pediatrician Friday night goes “Likely a reaction to new medicine. Will switch him off of it. If it is a reaction, he’ll feel better by Sunday. If not call.” Obviously not. Sunday get a different Pediatrician. Walk in. One look. ONE. Pediatrician say “Classic reaction. Ears better.” (because of switch) but “The reaction won’t show improvement for Weeks. All we can do is make him feel better with children’s anti-inflammatory OTC. A cortisone shot will also help and speed up the process.” (We hot him the shot.) The kid had what looked like swelling bruising at hips, lower back, knees, and elbows (not above torso). His joints hurt. It isn’t that the first Pediatrician did anything wrong. But definitely didn’t have enough information to help us as parents help our son. (Before age of internet information.) What doctors, and pharmacists, find interesting, is while he had a reaction to Ceclor, he does not have a reaction to Amoxicillin which is in the same class. Every time the latter is prescribed, even now after over 30 years, pharmacists question the prescription order.

  15. New York when the towers fell. For a while there I thought the world was going to become a peaceful place and prosperous. And free of course because with prosperity who needed power? (go ahead and laugh)

  16. Did anyone else wake up in the wee hours with a sense that something important had just happened, and the beginnings of the avalanche were in motion?

    1. No, but only because I work nights. I will say that the dream(s) I recall from the day before… were seriously weird… even for me, so… you know how ammeters have shunts? The weirdness shunt might have melted if not vaporized, and I dream ‘weird’ almost as a matter of course. So…. duck & cover?

    2. Something gave somewhere… Not sure what. I can’t get clear enough to get a good look. Something’s moving but I don’t think it’s on mortal levels. A very sharp point of failure, but… I don’t think the failure was the good guys. Not with the fact everything seemed lighter/less heavy after. Take it for what it’s worth.

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