Earthquake Bells

This is a post with a setup, so bear with me. It all gets to a point. And not just on top of my head.

Yesterday, when I quit work for the day, husband reminded me that we had page proofs to go over for a Chris Kennedy anthology, Bonds of Valor. And by reminded me, I mean forwarded the proofs, because we had established at breakfast that I never got it. (Hotmail is whimsical.)

So at nine something I sat down on the sofa to watch the Saint, but with the laptop, instead of crochet. (Curtain. For office.) Anyway, the minute I sat down, I realized one of you had been trying to reach me over social media, because (among other things) she had a sense of impending doom.

As someone who has awakened since December with the cold in the pit of the stomach, staring at the ceiling round about 2 am I get this. It’s awfully like the last days of 2019 and early 2020. (Not that THAT got better.) Husband has been having the same, which is why he insisted we import the DIL IT (daughter in law in training) within driving distance ASAP, because we need to have those we love close, so we can assist and he said “2023 there’s something bad coming. I can feel it.”

Before you think we’re some kind of soothsayers, we’re not. and we’re accurate-ish in these feelings, though this one feels big. What we are is artistic types.

This ties in with the story I was proofing. You remember where you bright boys and girls egged me on to write muse murder mysteries. Well, I hope you’re happy because the story in BOV is the first one of those, starring one Kit Marlowe, somewhat weirdly changed. It’s noir, and he has become a PI who lives between worlds and investigates crimes between or by authors (and artists) and muses. It came to me, as I was writing it, as though a fever dream, and the world setup poured out. (It’s called Great Reckoning in a Little Room and it will eventually be released as part of a series called The Muses’ Darling. Which will be short novels and novellas, like what I have planned for Rhodes and Magis, and the uplifted cats. And yes, those are coming. Shush. It’s starting to pick up speed, despite the I SWEAR every other month health collapse.)

Anyway, when I finished it, I told my assistant who was proofing it (it was 10k words written in 3 hours, and only gone over by me once, which means the typos they were gifted) “I only wish I were sure that the world building isn’t real.”

To explain, in this world writers, and artists and musicians have thought-wires throughout the multi-universe, crossing into and around parallel worlds. We are, sort of, nodes of these wires, existing sometimes more or less beffuddledly (totally a word) between realities. We are not crazy, just cross-wired. We’re also not sane, because it’s impossible to be crosswired, in a multi-verse where everything can happen, and not be more than a little nuts.

So, it starts with the concept of a multiverse, like an infinite deck of cards, stacked together. Most cards differ by very little, perhaps a wrong dot in the printing that’s in different places. This goes along with the whole concept of crossing between worlds and the Mandela effect. The idea that you routinely, more or less, cross between universes, exchanging with one of you (your alternate in that world) and that you don’t notice because the difference is so small. Like the car that was green is now black. Or the numbering scheme changed in a street, so your familiar address is off by two.

No proof of this, of course. How would you get proof? It’s even possible that even if everyone crosses over the line on the regular only a few are equipped to perceive it and remember it. But some of us do.

Granted it involves some kind of altered state, which calls our testimony into question, but then again, it happens often enough it makes you wonder.

Like, once, in high fever, I realized I was writing at my normal desk, but the desk was in a tower of a Victorian by the sea side. And there was a spiral staircase, leading down. I went a flight down, to the bedroom level, undeniably ours due to furniture, and started towards the stairs to the first floor. Except from it I heard my family’s voices… and mine. And scuttled double fast back to the office. Where I sat down, and suddenly I was in my familiar room, in a Victorian in downtown Colorado Springs. It wasn’t till I described it to husband that he said “Remember that house we looked at in Astoria, in 2002?” And I did.

Most other such events are less spectacular. Things you lost or broke years ago are suddenly on your desk one morning. Clothes you never had/bought show up in your closet. They’re your taste, you just never bought them. Etc.

I hear this from other friends, who are artistic types, sometimes with a degree of panic. There was the friend who opened a door to what should be a classroom, and instead it was set with a round “sharing” type table, and chairs around it. He closed the door, opened it again, and it was what he expected.

I keep hearing these stories, as I said, usually with a degree of panic. And it is probably because I’m somewhat of a den grandmother to a bunch of creatives. Note none of my friends or protegees are into funny substances.

But it reminds me of a much younger Sarah, just breaking in to writing, finding herself forgotten in a corner of a room while a bunch of old pros, some of them her heroes, talked about how they “got” stories and things that happened while writing. And closing her eyes, and sending a prayer up that all SHE got were feelings, and a sense of how the dialogue should go, or at the most dictation in thoughts in her brain. Because DEAR LORD it would be impossible to write and look after toddlers while getting the full panoply of sounds, senses, visions, SMELLS from the character. Uh, no. Thank you.

Anyway, the way I explained it in the story was that we are… odd… and have links to either our other selves or just others in all sorts of worlds. Not just the immediately adjacent ones (Which I think are responsible for most people’s hunches, because their other selves know this thing) but all over.

And I’m not sure it isn’t true.

It certainly explains the sudden panics, the “something wicked this way comes” and the way that the late insanity seemed to be one-off from Ringo’s Last Centurion scenario, only in this case the plague wasn’t and… well, the government insanity is an election cycle off. I just hope it goes well.

In proof that we live in other worlds than here, or that our imagination is really weird, I was going to compare us to something that apparently doesn’t exist in this world. Unless I got it from reading some archeological thing, and it was an unproven hypothesis. And I don’t remember where I read it. (I have poorly controlled ADD at the best of times, even on meds, and right now the meds are hyper caffeination though I have an appointment, which means I go on side quests all the time, and read things that pop into my line of vision. And unfortunately my mind is a cement mixer, so I often don’t remember where the original info came from.)

What I dreamed/read about/whatever was that in olden days, in regions prone to Earthquakes, villages had these bells on a hair trigger, which were in turn set inside other bells, or means of sounding, to amplify their sound. The idea being that even very small foreshocks of the kind only modern seismographs register, would make the bell tinkle and hit another bell that sounded louder, which in turn…. So that the entire village would know if there were a bunch of little tremblors in a cluster, and could get ready for a larger shake.

The thing that occurs to me against that system is that we have tiny foreshocks more or less all the time. Back in my thirties and forties, for whatever reason (not anymore. I think it has to do with the internal ear) I was a living seismograph. I didn’t register EVERY minor tremblor, but I registered some no one else felt. I’d tell husband about it, and sure enough later it would be in the news with “you don’t realize this, but the Earth moved last wednesday.” OR whatever. Anyway. So, the Earthquake Bells, which is what I thought they were called, depending on how sensitive they are, would have a lot of false positives.

As it turns out, creatives who “feel” things have a lot of false positives too.

I won’t go into people who hear voices, or see things — I’ve often wondered if we’re related to the ancient bards and shamans and such, or at least descended from them — and how they regulate that, because I don’t know. Till that, awe-struck moment hearing old pros talk, I had no idea anyone got this any harder than I did.

I know how I “regulate” it and it’s by the “strength” of the feeling. We’ll establish that waking up in the middle of the night with my stomach full of ice, and a sense of “something wicked this way comes” is pretty strong. It’s not as strong as what I got for three months before 9/11 when I’d wake up drenched in sweat, and not be able to sleep more than two hours at a time. So, there’s that.

Then again, for the whole Covidiocy I never got more than what I’ve been getting since December. (And getting worse, same as then.)

I have this theory that you feel an event in proportion to how close it is to you (meaning does it affect you, which 9/11 did, because I was tied to NYC publishing) and how near it is in time. So an event vaguely related to you but HUGE will feel about the same as an incident related closely to you (say death of a relative) which doesn’t impact many people.

So, I hate woo woo, and don’t put much faith in it. Because for all I know the feeling I was having all through the end of 2019 was for John Ringo’s Last Centurion world, and not ours.

Yes, I know this all sounds insane, unless you’re one of us, in which case you’re going “Oh, so, that’s why…” And mind you, I think it’s not just creatives. I think everyone can feel this stuff to an extent. And if you don’t want to go with a multi-verse hypothesis, and the sounding bells, consider that our subconscious might be adding things all the time, and trying to give us warning of something wicked this way comes.

Anyway, Earthquake Bells, if they existed, would be super-sensitive. By the time the shock was big enough to make the bells in your local search start to rattle, it would be practically on top of us. Which is when normal people feel it.

What I want to say is two fold: I’ve been getting reports from creatives, all over, of waking up with cold in the pit of the stomach, or all in sweats, or… definitely the feel of something wicked this way comes.

It might be that living in clown world we’re reacting to shadows and intimations of things not there. It might very well be. Remember that. Even though a lot of us are getting it — and because there are connections between us, we’re all probably panicking the next person, like the little bell on a hair trigger making the bigger bell sound, too — it might not be nothing, or it might be very little and got through relatively easily.

For those of my religious persuasion, praying the cup pass us by without our tasting it is always approved. We have the best example on that. (Though remember even He didn’t get what He prayed for. It’s not a vending machine. Sometimes the plot requires what the plot requires.)

The second part is, just because you get the warning, it doesn’t mean you can do anything about it. The bells can’t stop the Earthquake. They just give early (and sometimes false) warning.

This is what drove me nuts in 2019 and early 2020 (heck, all through it.) It was “if I’m sensing this, I should be able to stop it.” But you can’t really. Even when the feelings are more specific, there’s really nothing you can do, even if they’re true (and sometimes they’re not. Or they’re exaggerated.)

So, if you feel that something wicked this way comes, the warning is not really for YOU specifically (Probably, unless it’s extremely personal. Which is unlikely with how many people are getting it) and you probably can’t do anything about it.

I know — I KNOW — it drives you half insane, but all you can do is prepare as best you can, pray as best you can and then resume building over under and around.

And keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.

307 thoughts on “Earthquake Bells

  1. By the pricking of my thumbs
    Something wicked this way comes.

    It comes and goes in strength. I know it’s there even when I’m not feeling it intensely. Don’t know how distant or not, which is what fires me up, sometimes, because how close is it, do I have everything, what if I’m not prepped. Always have to sit on that last one to shut it down….

    I don’t mind if the facades crack and a few newer buildings collapse (provided no one is inside them), but I’d really rather keep my own roof intact and that the historical locations remain structurally sound. For that, though, all I can do is pray and keep writing. I wish my words had more power than they do, some days, but if the Almighty is going to keep emailing me then my job’s not over yet. At the very least I can keep tending my “garden,” as it were.

    1. We have entered strangeness I think…A few weeks ago, I was walking our dog along a road and saw a couple walking a pit bull on the other side..I waved, then turned my head to see what our. Westy was doing, and when I turned it back seconds later, the couple and the pit bull had vanished…and there was no place they could have gone…
      What does it mean?

  2. Makes sense. And it seems to be driven by creativity.

    Mine seems to shut down when I’m taking Claretin regularly, which seems to be spring for me. I can tell because I checked the dates for all of my ideas from the fanfic thing I did last year: all of the initial ideas were down in December 21 and January 22, and I added no new story seeds until June.

    So I should plan on Spring being for research, proofreading, and the mechanical work of writing, and not the time of new ideas.

      1. I’d guess not, otherwise creating would associate with becoming inflamed.

        More likely it’s the usual weird side effects because some critical system has been repurposed to do something completely unrelated so they share a pathway.

        Sort of how mammal ears are derived from jaw bones.

      2. In one of his last novels, Clarke has one of his main characters musing that human creativity is tied to mental issues like depression, OCD, autism, and a couple of others.

        1. Well, in a fallen species, things that were originally strongly tied to graces/gifts would tend to tie to illnesses and weaknesses as well, because that is just annoying.

      3. On the upside, the analysis part and sizzle sensor parts seems to be working.

        I think I finally nailed down the core motivations of one of the lead characters. It all fits and finally tells me what they need to overcome internally to be whole.

        Also tees up a scene where I could legitimately use a Gurren Lagann quote in a serious use. Usually a good sign. 🙂

    1. Spring is pouring all its energy into new sprouts and has none left over for other forms of growth.

  3. Why should we keep weapons in the dark, or the light, or at all, when you’ll just keep telling us not to use them?

    1. Oh, you’re back?
      Fuck off. And when you get there, fuck off from there. And when you get there fuck off from there. And when you get there, you should definitely consider fucking off from there.
      I see you’re evading the ban again. Very cute.
      Go the fuck away.

    2. BTW stupid glowy, keeping your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark is in case you’re attacked.
      BUT YOU personally are encouraged to attack whatever you want. By yourself. All alone. And on your head be it, since it’s fucking stupid.
      I recommend you attack your own foot.
      And then fuck off.

      1. Funny thing is about these people complaining about folk not setting off the boogaloo are not, themselves, setting off the boogaloo. When called on it, they always have excuses but never seem to recognize that the same excusess apply to everyone else too.

        It’s always “let’s you and him fight.”

        1. Dry kitty tone Fascinating, that. They never want to be the first one in line, or the one to do what they call others to do. Amazing consistency there. End dry kitty tone

          1. My presumption is that Ken is a Fed and he is doing the standard effort to entrap people in the pursuit of their effort to purge all who dissent.

        2. There’s a meme of some glowy type poking a stick at one of those frog characters saying “Come on, start the boog” or similar.

      2. Given the whole, “leaked messages that Trump may be arrested next week,” thing going out, it appears Ken and his friends have a new stick to poke folks with. I do nite that on my Twitter feed, there’s considerable, “Don’t go out there, it’s a trap,” turning up.

    3. o/ Glow little provocateur, glimmer, glimmer
      Swim through the sea of night ‘little swimmer’…

      Glow little rovocateur, fly yer fire
      Glow like an incandescent wire
      Glow for the traitors of the species
      Turn on the AC and the DC
      This night could use a little brightnin’
      Light up you little ol’ rat of lightnin’
      When you gotta glow, you gotta glow
      Glow little ratfink, glow.. o/

      1. “Swim through the sea of night ‘little swimmer’…”

        That sounds like an individual sperm cell.

        Perhaps you’re giving him too much credit?

    4. You keep your weapons in the dark, so the Enemy can’t easily find them.

      The choice of when to use them belongs to each and every one of us. As the consequences of their use are grave, and profoundly life-changing, the wise caution against using them too soon.

      Do ye ken?

            1. We are much more liberal with the carp than our other armaments.
              Is it still assault if I knock a capitalized trigram into the Potomac with a halibut?

    5. …and this is where I would post the “3-Letter Glow So Bright” image if I were on Twitter. Plus my patented rolling eyes facepalm emojis.

      1. Well I’m heavenly blessed and worldly wise
        Got a peeping-fed techie with x-ray eyes
        Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
        I’m doing alright, haven’t yet had raids,
        My fed’s so bright, I gotta wear shades
        I gotta wear shades

    6. So you think (if at all) that the only purpose of a weapon is to attack? Defense has no place in your worldview? DAMN, you’re stupid!

      1. Hmmm… This was a response to the post by The Brightly Glowing “Ken” dated March 17, 2023 at 12:48 pm. Da=mfino how it wound up here. Another reason for WPDE, I guess…

  4. We are, sort of, nodes of these wires, existing sometimes more or less beffuddledly (totally a word) between realities.

    That sounds ver like what The Lieutenant introduced in The Number of the Beast. He described it as authors “creating” the alternate realities, but I suspect at that level “creating” or just “becoming aware of” are largely interchangeable. Then again, that’s also much like deCamp and Pratt did with the Harold Shea stories. It will be very interesting to see your take on the concept.

    1. A. Bertram Chandler did a John Grimes story where Grimes visited/dreamed a place where he met various literary characters and learned they existed so long as anyone read their books. That made him consider if he was a character himself, and how long he would last (I think he was also meeting people who were, “thinning out,” because the books they were in were going out of fashion).
      Heinlein in “The Pursuit of the Pankhera,” (which I definitely prefer to The Number of the Beast,), has the characters consider whether they are characters in someone’s story and deciding to proceed as if they aren’t.
      The ironic thing is in that case, you can’t rebel against the Author. Why bother? You’re on a different level of existence and nothing you can do can harm him in any way. The rational attitude, in that case, is fatalism. (Though given all the reports of characters driving their author crazy by refusing to cooperate with the plot, maybe I’m wrong).

        1. I spent six years writing Without a Voice, trying to force my MC to behave as I thought she should. Then finished it in a 16 hour writing marathon.

            1. YMMV.

              Mine often wander off and don’t tell me what to do. Sometimes permanently. I have to tell them that they don’t get a story until they give me it in really rough draft first. (Aka in outline form.)

        2. Kimball Kinnison in “Children of the Lens, went undercover as a writer of space opera. As his assignment progressed, “….he attended authors’ teas, at which he cursed his characters fluently and bitterly for their failure to cooperate with him. ”
          Smith was clearly having fun.

      1. The comic book Fables, by Bill Willingham, had the characters from the various fables as immortal beings who’d immigrated from their home worlds/dimensions (where the stories about them originally took place). They could be “killed” for a time. But if a particular fable was popular or experienced a surge in popularity, the characters in that fable wouldn’t stay dead.

      2. The Elder Scrolls series has a lore concept called chim. Basically all of the characters are actually just characters in an overgod’s dream. If they realize it is a dream, they can rewrite it pretty much at will, provided they have a strong enough ego to tell their author they exist anyways and would he kindly bugger off?

        Otherwise in the realization that they aren’t actually real, they go poof in a puff of logic.

      3. The ironic thing is in that case, you can’t rebel against the Author. Why bother?

        The entire point of The Cat Who Walks Through Walls was that characters will rebel against the Author, and (arguably) that that’s ultimately a Good Thing.

        And while I haven’t read Pankera, Beast is RAH’s most misunderstood book. It’s not a novel, but a metafictional “how to” book for writers.

        1. That was the idea, but I didn’t find it convincing. Though you could argue Campbell’s anguished plea for Pixel comes under the category of (eventually) answered prayer.

          1. I totally understand not liking the late novels. I need to take several months and deep-dive read them again at some point, because I feel like, as with NotB, they’re somewhat misunderstood. RAH was (I think) taking the most navel-gazing “high literature” concepts fashionable in university at about that time, and showing the world what a real writer could do with them. Certainly I’d rather read them than most fiction written by academics with lifetime sinecures. (Well… maybe not Job. Might be the only RAH book I ever considered walling.)

            1. I have no problem with rereading Job, though I don’t like the ending. The late Heinlein I find detestable is his last, To Sail Beyond the Sunset, which just gets creepy around the middle.

              1. I read Job in high school, and the main character was such an arrogant, sanctimonious jackass that I simply did not care that his being a jerk to begin with was part of the point. The character was constantly talking down to me, the reader, and it was hard to divorce that from the author, for me, at the time. I may have to revisit it at some point, because RAH never did that in any other book (despite what his accusers claim), so I may be able to get past it with more mature eyes. (Also, I now know that he was riffing on James Branch Cabell, which I didn’t then, and could not have appreciated then.)

        2. What creativity I have doesn’t extend to writing, but I’ve had the “something’s coming” vibe and it’s not the tune from West Side Story. More thumb pricking. I’m having a hard time sitting down and reading fiction for enjoyment. OTOH, lunch on market days includes enough time to read the in Kindle. I did have to put a book on hold, since it (inadvertently) echos $CURRENT_EVENTS too close to the wind. (Metaphors mixed while you wait!)

          The “how to” elements in Beast sail over my head, but I found it perfectly enjoyable as a novel. Pankera ranked “OK”. I still hold TEfL as my favorite Heinlein, and I Will Fear No Evil as the opposite.

          One of these days I’ll read my Stranger V2.0. It’s been a long time since I read V1.0, though I gather the changes weren’t huge.

          1. The “uncut” Stranger fills in some things in interesting ways, but suffers from first-draft-itis in the sense that RAH had a tendency to try for poetry and importance on first pass, and then to cut the flowery bits to leave really good sentences on the copy-edit. So, for example, the opening sentences are cringeworthy. “Once upon a time there was a Martian named Valentine Michael Smith. Strained attempt at omniscient profundity.” (Paraphrased from memory.)

            NotB isn’t an obvious how-to book, it certainly presents as a novel. But the clues are there, starting with the “black hats” all being Heinlein in disguise. (The first one is Professor Neil O’Heret Brain, e.g., which is an anagram for RAH.) The main plot of the book is badly written, on purpose, while the characters talk about various stories and authors they have loved, and why those stories work. I.e., “Here’s how not to do it, and several pointers for you to follow on how to do it right”.

            The Heinlein Society has the late Gharlane of Eddore’s summary here.

            1. Ah. I’ll have to put NotB back on the TBR stack and look at it that way. I never liked/was good at anagrams, so I missed that completely.

              1. There’s a lot more than that going on, but yeah, once you realize that it’s literally Heinlein coming in and doing what bad writers do, every time it happens (i.e., bad guys show up randomly, to keep the story from getting boring), you start to find the other stuff.

                1. And the whole Book of Revelation thing that provides the title is used once, in a way that doesn’t really make sense, and then never used again. (I think it’s fairly safe to believe St. John did not write the Book of Revelations as a guide/hint Book for a single family).

                  1. Er, the title also comes from James Branch Cabell, Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice, a book that got banned for obscenity (which, after a US Court said, “Um, no”, lead to the funniest part of the book, a new introduction) about a middle-aged man who goes on a quest to rescue the wife he doesn’t much care for. (“A demon has kidnapped my wife, poor fellow!”) There are probably more references in the book to Cabell’s world than to the Book of Job.

    2. “He described it as authors “creating” the alternate realities,”

      That was Tolkien’s conception in “On Fairy Stories”.

    3. Remember the old wire ring memories? I could see creative types being that type of a node. Two or more waves/strings passing through each ring of the node gives us our own muse so to speak.

  5. I like your concept, although multiverses have their issues. Always liked Nivens “For a Foggy Night”. And his “All The Myriad Ways” is the nightmare of realizing that everything can happen means everything has/will happen.
    I wonder if the feeling that something is going to happen and doesn’t just means that the feces hit the whirling blades in somebody else’s universe? And at least if you follow the multiple worlds interpretation of quantum physics every transposition of states ultimately resolves both ways thus splitting the universe further. I have a deep suspicion that the number of universes in that case would be ludicrous. A google (10^100) would just be the starting bid although whole sheaves of millions of universes would seem indistinguishable to the casual observer. Heck what do I care if an electron in Jupiter’s atmosphere, or for that matter somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy shifted state? No wonder so many turn of the century physicists hated quantum physics.

    1. David Weber uses that in his Bazhell Banahkson series, where the gods tell the protagonists one event in the past (a rebellion against the Creator, though the details vary from universe to universe) shattered the universe into an infinite number of universes which continue to split off as the result of human choices. And that ultimately, that infinite number of human choices will determine the ultimate fate of the multiverse.

    2. There’s a reason why it’s called, “infinity”. Like a surprising number of things, it’s a concept we can conceive and use; but most, if not all of us, really don’t understand it. Certainly we don’t grok. Assuming the Big Bang Theory is correct, it would be reasonable to assume that there have been an infinite number of universes pop into existence, age, and fade away “prior” to our own, and there will be an infinite number after we disperse into the foam. Also assuming the uncertainty principle operates in those iterations, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t vary from our own. But if you also assume probability and conservation principles to operate, then variation would be on a continuum.

      All speculation, since my feeble human brain can’t hold infinity.

      1. Mike I’m not sure that it is infinity. We can put bounds on it. Admittedly things like number of particles in the universe, lifetime of the universe and possible state transitions in that period are ludicrous. But all are numerable and so not infinite. Honestly the numbers are so large the exponent of it expressed as a number probably google like (or perhaps googleplex a google to the power of a google) and numerable within ℵ 0 (Aleph-Nought Admittedly from our human perspective the difference numbers like that and infinity are subtle indeed suitable for argument amongst mathematicians only 🙂 ,

      2. Only if the Big Bang sprung spontaneously from the quantum foam. Evidence of that is lacking.

  6. Tolkien’s theory is that we’re subcreators under the Creator, and that this is connected to our jobs taking care of Earth.

    So logically, that would be connected to things like bilocation and teleportation, which are charismatic gifts on the rare-but-not-unheard-of side.

  7. So, it sounds like you are saying that you are an Earthquake Belle. Works for me. I’ve had the feeling that something bad is coming as well. As an aside, one of the things researchers learned from the Bosnia conflict was that no group of less than 12 people survived long term. Keep that in mind when making you disaster plans. I know apocalyptic fiction is full of singletons and couples who survive, but it just doesn’t work out.

    1. 12, and I’m assuming 12 people of sufficient physical and mental maturity to function as adults, is a good number for the smallest self-sustaining band as it allows for a constant, sustainable rotation of watchers throughout the night and still get enough sleep, or during the labors of the day.

      1. Of course, there must be fairly frequent comtact between many such bands at that size, or biologically they’re non-survivable long term. But that’s a separate, if related (NPI), issue.

    2. I’ve had the feeling of “something bad’ on the way since about 2008 – when I began feeling compelled to write about the American experience, and the grand experiment of self-government… I felt very intensely that we would have to hold on to a self-image of being decent, hard-working, patriotic and community-oriented people,
      We have to remember our past, and what we were and are.

  8. I know a person who, driven by spouse to bus stop for daily commute to NYC, felt sick, skipping the 0605 bus. Awakened by spouse, unbelieving, watch, on TV, the second airplane hit the WTC. Activated for service. Ground Zero on 9/14. Why was this person hale, on 9/10 and 9/12, but suddenly sick on 9/11/2001?

    1. It wasn’t that person’s time, so He intervened. Thus, by the smallest of things, by the most mundanely probable, does He work most of His miracles.

    2. There’s a whole slew of those stories. I don’t know how accurate it is, but I once read that less than a third of the people who should have been in those buildings kept their appointment with fate.

      1. I’ve heard of a man who was there, uninjured by the strike, but then had to get his seriously injured co-worker out. Got her to the ambulance, and she called for him to go with her. The ambulance people let him, and just as he climbed in, debris hit where he had been standing.

    3. Or the son of one of our SCA friends, a first responder, who found himself stuck on the wrong side of a tunnel as his u til headed into the tower. He was trying to get through when he saw the tower fall with them inside.

  9. I’m not especially creative but I was experiencing anxiety after Trump was elected. I voted for him if you’re wondering. I don’t believe you have to be overly psychic in order to have feelings of panic right now, you just have to be paying attention.

    1. Funny. I reluctantly voted for Trump, but when he won was very calm. Until the tampering with elections in 22 — the polls open late for “storms” that didn’t exist until Sinema was elected, among others. Then I worried.

      1. I voted for Trump. Then I ignored the results until the next day, where my pleased reaction on hearing of his victory told me much about my attitude.

          1. We voted for Trump too. Didn’t exactly ignore results but didn’t watch either. Went to bed. But had to get up to let the dog out. So while she was out doing her thing, I peeked. My response tells one how much of a chance I thought he had, about the same as a snowball in Hell. Or, you know, Hell Frozeth Over. Either works. It “OMG! OMG! He won! OMG! OMG!”

              1. Like the Dutch UniParty in this election, our UniParty underestimated how revolting the peasants were. They fixed that here; they’ll fix it there.

                Because Civics Lesson 102 (from the meme post) is that a Constitution alone is as effective in protecting your rights from tyrants as a restraining order is at protecting a woman from a rapist.

                1. That comment generated an epiphany for me: the Constitution as a Restraining Order on the government. Thanks!

              2. I still believe the fix was in, just not enough of a fix to get the results the swamp wanted. That’s why there have been so many cries of “Hillary won the popular vote”. That’s why the next election the cheating was so blatant and obvious.

            1. We didn’t watch, but went to bed with a mixture of hope and fear. About 3 a.m. we woke up and hubby checked the results and told me Trump won. Elation and relief, and back to sleep…peacefully.

            2. I was — mildly pleased.

              As I was expecting only two things from him: not to be Clinton, and to make leftists go spare in interesting ways.

              I have to grant I got them both, though there were vastly more leftists who went spare in stupid and uninteresting ways.

  10. Sometimes I wish I could channel things like all these writers who say they just “receive” them, but that kind of mental/emotional ferment also seems very…uncomfortable. Most of the time I’m fine being my relatively cloddish and unreceptive self.

    But even I can sense something big and nasty on the horizon. It doesn’t disturb my sleep, but there’s a level of nervousness. Kind of like the nerves I get before going out onstage with the band, but there’s no stage time, no setlist (unless it’s prepping emergency supplies), and I don’t anticipate enjoying the performance.

    We keep imagining that it’s going to be a specific event like a riot or an election or a war or a sudden financial collapse…thus the performance analogy…but what if it’s just a mundane descent into decrepitude, stupidity, and dysfunction? In other words, now but worse, and the slow-rolling shitshow of cultural collapse just goes on for centuries, while the things we love and believe in just ignominously decay and shamble on like zombies without even the dignity or mercy of really dying. That’s the cold, black pit in my stomach: the feeling that maybe Western culture really is just too decrepit to defend itself from its internal saboteurs.

    This “Ken” fellow above could just be feeling that and, being an idiot, just itching to lash out at something. Or a fedposter. Not much difference in the end. And I’m NOT going that way; I plan to keep my wits about me. But man, it’s hard to keep my head up sometimes.

    1. The Ken fellow is a well known glowy on the blog that keeps showing up despite being banned and told to leave us alone, in fact.
      Also, NAH. slow descent won’t work here. We’re too big a system and much of the world hooks onto us. Also, the baddies are in hurry. THey’re OLD. THey want their promised Marxist reward NOW.

      1. Few things seem worse right now than a gerontocracy that thinks it’s still 25 and “fightin’ the Man for a better future!”

        1. Thirty years of presidents, and all but one were born in the 1940s. (And that one was 1961.)

          Think about that, and the death grip that generation has on power. Gen X may never even show on the political stage, because they’ll be booted out when the Boomers die for being too old.

      2. This was the depressed and fearful version. The normal state of mind knows that this state of mind comes from the constant uncertainty/insecurity of knowing that so many things are so clearly on the edge of breaking (if not already broken) but not how things will go sideways or when. It wears on a body.

      3. So sounds like Trump is expecting to be arrested this week and there are glowies trying to set up a Jan 6 repeat over it.

        Which does seem a bit like playing with matches in a tinder box in an armory but maybe that’s just me.

          1. I’m pretty sure he’s calling for peaceful protests to let the gov’t know the population sees what they are doing and recognizes that it is unjust. Normally that is the appropriate response in a representative government.

            Catch is we also seem to have glowers trying to get people prepped to go pop, likely with the idea they can justify upping the charges.

            Problem is, if they succeed, it could easily be far beyond their wildest imaginations.

            1. If you read the statement, “peaceful” doesn’t appear…. and oh, are pantifa panties in a bunch over that one…..

  11. “As it turns out, creatives who ‘feel’ things have a lot of false positives too.”

    This whole post is a marvelous explanation of why I finally got religion all the way: I was tired of WORRYING about all that stuff, “woo-woo” or not. It quite literally kept me up at nights, fretting over all the stuff that I could feel coming, but not possibly do anything about, one way or another.

    I had previously been friends with someone who was either extremely credulous, or just “connected” to the esoteric stuff in a way that’s unique in my experience–but either way, that relationship led me to fully understand just how much more there is to this world than what we see. And it’s not all evil/demonic/of the DEEvil; it’s just not in the religious texts because those are primers–basic instructions–and not complete compendia of the ins and outs of the cosmos.

    I do know that the stories I write do not come from me. Sometimes it’s frustrating to want to be writing and be unable to, because there’s no inspiration, and I keep the skills sharp by writing “stinkeroos”. But when I’m on, it’s amazing…even if I do say so myself.

    1. fretting over all the stuff that I could feel coming, but not possibly do anything about, one way or another.

      I think I’ve always been a natural Stoic, because when I first read the texts in college I was like, “well, yeah, and? of course that’s the way to deal with life.” So “stuff I can feel coming” mostly bounces off me; I’ll deal with it if and when it gets here.

    2. I’m not really an Odd, I’m a weird. Raised Catholic, still believe in the sacraments, the rituals, and the Bible, but I have zero trust in the ordained hierarchy, including the communist in Pope attire, except those individuals I personally know, and even then, constantly verify.

        1. Mike could be speaking for me. You mean there is some way that I’m normal?!? Whoda thunk it?

  12. I seem to be numb to the looming trouble. Perhaps “sufficient unto the semester is the evil therein,” and I’ve got so much on my plate trying to start undoing the effects of the 2020-2021 school years that I can’t worry. At least, not about other things. And stories that demand to be written.

  13. I don’t know how one could look around at what is going on and NOT feel like things are going very badly without even bringing multiple universes into it.

    “Sufficient unto this universe is the evil therein.”

    But as me sainted mother said when I told her about how creepy it felt to have some of my recurring dreams come true. “Of course they did, you’re Irish don’t worry about it since it can’t be helped “.

    She was right, worry didn’t help a bit. Prayerful preparation does though.

    1. There’s a story of an Eastern momk who began to experience all sorts of odd things, so he packed up and walked hundreds of miles until he reached a guru. He described his experiences- out-of-body, valid premonitions, and so on. The guru nodded and said, “All perfectly normal, just continue your meditations and don’t worry about it.” So the monk took himself home again.

      1. I’m a kid of the 80s, and when I described the recurring nightmares of waking up to an empty world to some folk a couple of decades younger than me, it was surprising to them—but not as much as when I said that those were common. EVERYONE in my age range had those dreams. (And some older groups too—but they can speak for themselves.)

        So—they don’t always happen. Take that for comfort?

  14. I don’t think there’s any mystery why your alarm is going off, Sarah. We, as a society, found out for the first time that our “democratically elected” governments:

    A) are not democratically elected,
    C) who will lie about even the most important things in life, for short-term political advantage. Weeks, not months.

    But they lie unevenly, and badly, and at cross-purposes. So sometimes we do get the truth here and there. But it is hard to tell, and anyway none of it looks good.

    It used to be if you read a news release or press article about China or the USSR making a statement, you’d assume they were lying. Safe assumption, they were always lying. What has changed is that now OUR government releases a statement, and we KNOW that they are lying just as much. Maybe more.

    What are they lying about this week? The banks, gas stoves, tanks and aircraft for Ukraine. TLDR, the banks are -not- okay, gas stoves -are- safe, Germany -can’t- send tanks to Ukraine because their mothballed tanks are rusted junk from the 1970s, and their aircraft are too. Those are the ones I personally know about. For sure there are a myriad others that I haven’t got the expertise to spot, which is what keeps me awake at night.

    What are the BIG lies this week that no one is even mentioning? That the governments of Europe, Canada and the USA, and China! are very close to collapse, that the monetary system is running on pure momentum and nothing more, and that Putin could nuke Europe and the USA and Canada and China all on the same day.

    Or he can’t because all his missiles are rusted 1970s shit that never did work right, and now they won’t even hold fuel, so that’s a lie too.

    News item that shows how much #Let’sGoBrandon is lying about sending tanks to Ukraine.

    “Watervliet Arsenal will install new machines in the historic ‘Big Gun Shop’ to increase cannon production capacity.
    The demand in increased capacity results from the Army’s prioritization of long-range precision artillery to meet potential near-peer threats.”

    All the guns for American tanks and artillery pieces are rotary forged from billets in a frigging HUGE machine that was built in the 1970s. They can obviously buy them made elsewhere, but official arsenal production is down to very few forging machines. “Annual production is currently in the hundreds of gun tubes,” says the article, going on to say that the arsenal is “going to be upgrading” to networked CNC machines.

    Which every decent production factory in the world already has, and has been using for 30 years. This is not cutting edge new technology. This is bog-standard rail-car factory/ oil well equipment/ big ship manufacturing stuff.

    They’re doing this… now.

    Not back in 2020, or last year when the Ukraine war ramped up, or when #Let’sGoBrandon abandoned half the Army’s equipment in Afghanistan. Now. Won’t be finished the upgrade for ~five years, as a wild-assed guess based on how the Army usually works.

    Without knowing anything else, I know that the most new stuff that can be produced, right now, is a few hundred essentially hand-made pieces a year. Maximum. Maybe they’re lying again and its double that, but not more.

    How many tanks and artillery pieces did the Russians burn through in the last year? Thousands. Not hundreds.

    Is the US equipment twice as good as the Russian stuff? Probably. Is it four times as good? Doubtful. Can every US-made tank take out enough Russian ones to make up the smaller numbers? Probably not.

    So there you go. That’s why the hair on the back of your neck is going up. Complacent lying assholes sleepwalking to war, thinking it is just about another election they’re going to steal so they can have a bigger pool in the back yard at the mansion.

    1. To be fair, the Russian logistic is even more f’ed up than US logistics. During the Soviet years their most reliable trucks were the ones the confiscated from Ford, in the 30’s.

      From what I gather Putin also stopped saber rattling about nukes after their missile test even. However, just because we won’t have nuclear war doesn’t mean we can’t have spectacular low war instead.

          1. I remain grateful that the idea you can’t really be a First-Rate Nuclear Power unless you deliver it by Missile remains in force. So far.

            1. That indeed. And let’s hope the blindness is permanent. (“Bombers? Fighter-bombers? What are those?”)

  15. I believe there are all sorts of phenomena that are true but because we don’t have the science (or whatever discipline we need) to prove or understand, we either disbelieve or attribute some mystical explanation for.
    Sarah, your feelings as 9/11 approached could have different explanations – yes, it was a big event, and you had publishing ties to NYC, so maybe just that. However, as I recall you had a book release scheduled for the same time that may have been causing some of those feelings of anxiety – and it was DATE related. Your feelings could have just been a coincidence triggered by the more personal book release – or it could have been your receptiveness to those feelings (of impending 9/11) were heightened by the personal nature of the release. Who knows?
    I like the notion of that deck where something is just off a little – a variant on slipping into one of the infinite alternate timelines where just one little change keeps you close enough to crossover. I think there’s probably some connection to string theory in there…
    Enjoyed the post – lots of food for thought.

  16. I have perpetual feelings of dread. But they’re not due to any premonitions. Rather, it’s my understanding (based on what I can see) of what’s going on in the world around me, and my realization of just how swiftly we’re being pulled toward a rather rapid plunge.

    Between that and the very constant string of frustrations in my personal life, I’m left perpetually waiting for the other show to finally drop.

  17. I’m retired, but I keep working for my former employer as a free agent. It’s almost a sick joke at this point: everybody laughs when I say I’m retired. But last weekend after the SVB news hit, I said to a coworker: “You want to know why I keep working? This. This is why I keep working. ”

    The interesting part is, he nodded vehemently and said “You got that right. Boy, did you get that right.” So I’m not the only one there who is concerned.

    I think my biggest fear is what the Second World powers will do out of desperation, once they start to implode.

  18. I’m kind of tone-deaf to most of this stuff, I guess. I was overly optimistic about how 2020 was going to pan out (although I still maintain that the fallout landing on our wretched educational system was probably a good thing overall). My last series of bad nightmares was around 2016-2017, during a period where I was dieting aggressively with regard to both food and internet information, and I think the nightmares were mostly the subconscious eating itself out of sheer boredom and lack of stimulus. Well, okay, and I was writing and publishing the Jaiya books with their eldritch abomination bad guys.

    I don’t “channel” fiction in any meaningful sense; I frankenstein it together out of stuff I want to see more of. Which doesn’t keep it from lumbering away in directions I’m not necessarily pleased with, but that goes with the frankensteining territory, as any self-aware mad scientist would tell you.

    I have no particular objection to the multiverse theory, except for the part where we never end up in fun alternate universes where Jane Austen finished Sanditon or the film adaptation of Reluctant Widow was both good and financially successful and spawned a whole bunch of moderately faithful Heyer adaptations. (That’s an aesthetic objection rather than a practical one).

    But here is an alternate theory to throw around: what we may just be seeing is the subconscious pulling the available facts together and going “EEEK! This could happen and this could happen and this could happen….” Kind of a more primitive version of what some of the Dune characters can do.

    1. Remember that your subconscious operates on feelings. It is non-rational. It has opinions. It can type. You just never give it a chance. What does it know? What can it sense?

      I know this because 20 years ago, I was trying to write late at night, I would fall asleep. My fingers kept typing. They typed words, sentences. They used metaphor. It wasn’t “me”, I was asleep. I had to edit those words. They had nothing to do with the story.

      I did save some favorites: “My blog is based on the frog I am not.” I have no idea what “it/he” meant. I do know better than most about the subconscious. Our minds are a partnership, half has no idea what the other does. What does your partner know? When did they know it? Does your subconscious have a sex? Does it have sex?

      In addition, I hear God, or at least someone who does a very good “imitation”. He knows the future and past, but refuses to tell me the winning lottery numbers. I turn sermons into His poems as I listen. What is weird are ones I hear prior to the sermon during “praise” time, that apply to a sermon, I have not yet heard. This gift resulted when I prayed for a gift of the spirit, since I don’t speak in tongues. He gave me this gift of poetic prophecy, (hence Presbypoet), as a charismatic Calvinist.

      So there are at least 4 voices in my head. Since the devil always tries to sneak in without invitation.

      I call this connection to the multiverse, going sideways in time. Each alternative generates an entire new universe. It explains our quantum weirdness. Not an infinite number of universes, only one for every quantum split. I leave it to the math guys to calculate that number, since each new universe does the same multiplication thing. Not infinite. Just Very Big.

      1. We do skits with a dragon puppet (he’s six-years-old and goes to First Dragon when he’s home). The number of times our skit, developed over the breakfast table Sunday morning, has foreshadowed the theme of the sermon, is noticeable. We have no prior contact with the preacher.

        1. The author has a massive sense of humor. He is subtle. Dean Koontz in “One Door Away from Heaven” describes “God”, as the “Playful Presence”. He seems to enjoy our attempts to cooperate, like the parents of a 3 year old enjoy his attempts to “Help”. A most important question: Why does the creator of this amazing universe Love me? And you.

          Just when I think I have a slight handle on reality, the stranger it becomes. Lately my contemplation is that it takes light no time to travel, since at the speed of light time stops, and as you near a black hole, space becomes more time-like, and time more space-like. That “light” ray that left when the universe turned transparent took no time to hit my eyeball. Or was it 14 billion years? So how long stuff takes seems shaky. Spacetime is weird. This makes stuff leaking thru from the unknown more likely.

          When i stretch my brain to the breaking point, I can contemplate 5 dimensions in space and 3 in time. At that point, our entire universe is a single point. I cannot contemplate the universe as less than a point, so my brain has met its limit.

  19. I know the world is full of miracles and magic. In my eight score and four years I’ve seen and experienced such often enough I’ve absolutely no doubt.

    However science (Not The Science.) and rationality are far better, far more dependable, rocks to build upon, rudders to control direction, anchors to hold, etc., than magic. Science and rationality, two and two does make four. Each and every time. Magic; absolutely happens but not defined, delimited by rules, laws, controls that we can comprehend. Best we can do is roll with it when it happens. Miracles; accept, appreciate, be very very thankful for.

    Atheism and theism for example, irrational, not testable, not provable , matters of faith, in both cases. The only rational position is agnosticism, damnedifIknow, must be agnostic to be rational, but everything around us is not necessarily subject to reason.

    So the world ain’t all rational, more things twixt heaven and earth, best I suggest, the way through today, and tomorrow; be rational, reasonable, but also assure suitable measures of faith, hope, and charity (My theistic thoughts, I find atheistic considerations not only unprovable but highly improvable as well.) .

    Keep your tools, clothes, those you care for near, very sensible thing to do.

    But, just my opinion, if you don’t find much to laugh about, that makes you smile, that fills you with joy each and every day, you’re doing it wrong. Again, just my opinion. Just sayin’

    Oh earthquakes; here in Alaska we had 18 earthquakes in the past 24 hours, 144 in the past 7 days, 676 in the past 30 days, and 5,877 in the past 365 days of greater than a 1.5 magnitude.

    1. There have been increased earthquakes all along the ring of fire ever since the big one that caused the tsunami in 04. The plates be moving. Its one of the things I tend to watch.

      1. I always check the USGS earthquake site. Checking Turkey, there was a just under 5 quake on the fault line that runs just south of Istanbul. The quakes along that fault have been moving west for decades. A 7.5 there would wreck a lot of peoples lives.

        The universe will kill you. We just don’t know when in most cases.

        1. I gather there was a quake in Ecuador this morning, but have no other information ( I am staying off Twitter on Sunday for Lent).

      2. Technically the 2004 tsunami was due to a subduction zone megathrust quake beneath the Sumatra coast involving the Indo-Australian plate and not the Pacific plate.

        Historically we only have spotty data about most oceanic earthquakes before the late 1950s. Great tsunami-producing quakes are known from historic records, but there is no doubt that most large quakes in sparsely populated areas went unrecorded. Plate tectonics was not even a theory before emerging seismic data began to make it clear exactly where quakes were most common, outlining the major plates. The seminal scientific papers leading to plate tectonics were published in the 1960s. Hints appeared even before then, but the acceptance of “continental drift” had to wait for the concept of seafloor spreading combined with earthquake locations, confirmed by drill cores taken from the ocean floor and magnetic data.

        Plates tend to maintain near-constant speed and direction over long periods of time, generally with tens of millions of years between major re-organizations of their relative motions. But the damaging quakes have irregular repeat times, and a variety of magnitudes. Geologists who are asked to make predictions cannot honestly offer anything more than a probabilistic assessment of the odds of a particular magnitude quake occurring within a particular time span. There is such a thing as clustering of events, with foreshocks and aftershocks along a section of a fault. What is not clear is how much of an effect this may have on a different fault or even on a different section of the same fault.

        The “Ring of Fire” surrounding the Pacific Ocean actually includes multiple plates, subduction zones, spreading ridges, and transform faults. About the only thing you could say with certainty is that every segment of every fault between all these plates will eventually move.

        1. “Historically we only have spotty data about most oceanic earthquakes before the late 1950s. Great tsunami-producing quakes are known from historic records, but there is no doubt that most large quakes in sparsely populated areas went unrecorded.”

          “Of course the number of recorded hurricanes is up, you Gaia cultist. They didn’t have planes, radar, satellites….”

        2. The motto of the International Geophysical Year (1957-58) could be “Holy St! Wegener was **right!”

    2. > “In my eight score and four years”

      [raised eyebrow]

      You’re 164 years old? How’d you pull that off?

      1. “Jim Long. I believe you’ve heard of my uncle Lazarus?” 😎

        It’s not like we know his last name…..

  20. I mean, the potential banking collapse, and the already-inarguable attempt by the government to take over the entire banking system isn’t bad enough? Granted, the long-term (awful) effects won’t be seen from that for a bit, but I think that fits the bill for “disaster is coming! Disaster is here!!!”

  21. So I’m thinking it may just be a subconscious version of situational awareness. You know, when you get that feeling about some place you are at and decide to leave early – that sort of thing. I’m sitting around waiting for the next shoe to drop and not at all aware of “why” but I’ve got that nagging feeling that “it” is coming.

    The whole “Gift of Fear” ( by Gavin de Becker is something I ascribe to – even got my kids copies of his book and told them to read/follow it (not sure they ever did but I tried). When doing my training with Corrections and LEO types I always told them to ‘trust your gut’ and don’t dismiss any misgivings as you are likely responding to unconscious clues that something just ain’t right. Maybe half the time it turns out to be nothing but it only takes once where it comes true that you realize you have to pay attention to all of it – instincts, hunches, intuition and any/all of the personal woo-woo that works for you and yours.

    As for glowies – eh, they need to grow up and get a life. In the meantime I am going to listen to my local and personal earthquake bells and act accordingly!

    1. Oh, another observation… “You will do what you have done.” So, every morning I get up, do the usual get ready for the day stuff, shower get dressed and such while along with that is the billfold in the back pocket, keys, pocket knives, change, and well – you know all the every day carry stuff and for me it includes a side arm. On a given day, being retired and fancy free my biggest adventure may be a trip to the mail box or even less, looking out at the rain and not even bothering to do that much. The key point is had “something” happened and I needed to go right now, or needed to use something of that everyday carry gear I’m ready and hopefully prepared. This is how I interpret and apply the expectation: “And keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.”

  22. 1 The Last Centurion was factual on some level or so it seems. There is something about that book that feels as if John did not write it, he was run over by it.
    2 James Hogan speculated about a very similar multiverse theory. I’m not near that collection of shorts right now or I would reference the nonfic it was in. He is certain that there is a multiverse in which he did fall of the side of the mountain.
    3 I can’t think about what they are getting away with right now and NOT feel ill so there is that. For what that is worth.

    1. A large amount of mine is already gone. Which has me rather trapped in a situation where I need to spend money to lower my overall cost of living.

    2. Don’t worry. If it didn’t evaporate, it would eventually be seized and “shared” with everyone else.

      Fairness, doncha know.

  23. We are not crazy, just cross-wired. We’re also not sane, because it’s impossible to be crosswired, in a multi-verse where everything can happen, and not be more than a little nuts.

    I’ve often wondered if fiction authors specifically are a little dissociative, or if their minds are a little more bicameral than the unicameral norm. (

    And yes, I think you are absolutely 100% setting each other off and amplifying a giant jangly signal out of what is actually (mostly) a bunch of random noise. Stupidity > malice, after all, and it seems that a low level of background malice just makes the stupidity stand out even more.

    That doesn’t mean there isn’t ANY signal — certainly there is some. But predictions are hard, especially about the future, so while proper preparation prevents poor performance (“practice makes permanent” as my band teacher used to say), worry as such does nothing useful. Constant anxiety doesn’t make you more prepared, it debilitates you and skews your responses to real events.

    I say this as someone who values stability in my personal life nearly above all else: Always be ready to surf the wave of the future because things can change unexpectedly at the drop of a hat. But if you lean off to one side of the board thinking that’s where the wave is going to go before it gets there, you can drown.

    1. I was a bit surprised when I first read of ‘dissociation’. My reaction was, “What? People need drugs (beyond caffeine/alcohol, etc.) to have that happen?”

    2. The problem is that if you assume it’s all noise and don’t take reasonable precautions, and it turns out the “noise” wasn’t noise at all, you’re screwed. There’s a balance between Pollyanna and paranoia, called “rational preparation for possible problems”. That’s why “keep your clothes and weapoms where you can find them in the dark” is simply rational advice, along with “better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it”, “wear a life jacket in the boat” (or “seat belt in the car”) and “have a backup chute”.

      1. Indeed. That’s why I believe in resiliency. Normalcy bias is actually rational: almost all of the time, tomorrow is going to be like today. But sometimes it’s not, and you have to allow for that and not insist everything is still normal when it isn’t. So plan for the unexpected, but obsessing over it is not useful.

        Don’t wear your life vest in the car, in other words.

        1. “So plan for the unexpected, but obsessing over it is not useful.”

          Absolutely; that’s what I was trying to say.

          “Don’t wear your life vest in the car”

          But there are alleged adults driving around, alone in their cars, wearing masks, which might make minimal sense if the masks did anything useful anywhere but in an operating room. Which they don’t. Even a life vest might be more useful, say if you drove off the end of the pier… 🙂

          1. But there are alleged adults driving around, alone in their cars, wearing masks

   Those people are idiots who are stunting their own lives. Don’t be like them, just with the opposite political polarity.

        2. You’ll see rules of thumb from various fields reflecting this:
          in statistical process control for manufacturing, you need 5-7 errors before you start looking for a problem.
          Jason Fried on business policies – “Don’t scar on the first cut”, i.e. don’t ban something until it’s a repeat problem
          Even the military, in dealing with the most adverse environment, where paranoia best serves, has “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action”

          In mechanical design we do failure modes effects analysis, which boils down to:
          “What ways can this go bad?”
          “What signs will we have to catch it in time?”
          “How bad will it hurt if we miss?”

          And then spends time/money appropriate to likelihood/harm. I’ve found it’s useful for preparedness as well, to have plans for flat tires not alien invasions.

  24. I have dreams that come true and yes premonitions. They seemed to be triggered by stress, the more stressed out your are, the more they seem to come. Like a little preview of a small portion of your day. It is not a good feeling, they in themself cause stress. It got so bad at one point in my youth I couldn’t sleep for fear of dreaming. And for some reason you can’t get the winning lottery numbers, as if that would be cheating, go figure. It has side affects that help, when the feeling is strong it does lead you from danger. Lately the night sweats have been coming hard and heavy, There is also the fact that we may just be experiencing a gestalt mind of sorts, all of us tuned into the same creative frequency so we all see and feel the same things. Only God knows for sure. Keep your powder dry and ready.

  25. Stephen Green’s “Florida Man Friday” column this week features a guy who claims to be from a different earth (and can’t remember where he left his clothes). On any other day I would dismiss it as normal Florida craziness, but after reading this blog post, I’ll keep an open mind.

  26. Keeping your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark is just common sense. Say the fire alarms go off at 3 am and -30. You really want to stand around outside with the wildlife in whatever you sleep in waiting for a half-hour minimum for the fire department and then figuring out where to go after?

    Yeah, yeah, some of y’all live in cities, I think my wildlife point goes tripple for y’all.

    Clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark and evac with them. Keeps you alive.

    1. I think my wildlife point goes triple for y’all.

      I’ve spent time in the “Northwoods” of rural Wisconsin.
      I’ve also spent an evening in residential Los Angeles.
      Given the choice, I’d rather take my chances in the northwoods.

    1. Not the first time they’ve done this. Ever wonder why the term Social Justice Warrior is a lot less common than it used to be?

      Won’t be the last, either.

  27. Morning before last I woke from a nightmare of an infectious humanoid slime creatures apocalypse. Some of them could pass for human, and in fact did so, proclaiming to those who knew that yes, they were infected, but they were still human of mind and working for humanity. Until there was a Sudden Slime Outbreak Everywhere. First evidenced in a cat… poor cat.

    Thing was, my POV character was apparently completely immune, and this was flummoxing the slimes. They hadn’t planned for anyone to NOT immediately join their takeover.

    …Given the current “WTH are our supposedly elected officials”, make of that what you will.

  28. My premonitions generally aren’t anything more than a glimmer. A song stuck in the head that gets employed the next day (the really hilarious time I did that was when I was singing it at school right before the “news” came on with that song, got me some weird looks), or a dream of a location that I’ve never been that I visit later and recognize. But I’m sure we’re all just a little bit unstuck in time.

    As for earthquakes, they feel like vertigo. My husband and I were discussing this just the other day, in fact (heh), and that little feeling like the world is out of kilter is a good time to check if a light fixture is swaying.

    Anyway. Training the scouts. Good life skills, hope they never need them in desperation.

  29. Stress Tired… indirectly related. The ‘feeling’ of Something Bad Is About To Happen… but no idea of just what or just when. And it keeps on. Nobody truly wishes for the Something Bad To Happen, but there is the idea that sooner, the sooner Whatever It Is, is behind us and we can get on with things – which might be some serious rebuilding.

    In the meantime.. vigilance and preparation. Preparation for? Anything. Everything. The Unexpected…. which complicates things considerably.

  30. Well, I do finally have a (hopefully) long-term job doing desktop support for an… I guess it’s a company that makes things for the oil and gas industry. Was a 90 day contract, but it got extended and could possibly get extended again. One of the other contractors got hired permanently recently as well, so there may be hope.

    So I expect doom to hit soon. Or the chemistry labs onsite to produce a zombie apocalypse. (“We don’t work for Umbrella Corp, right?” -me to my manager, who is a gamer as well so he found it funny too.)

    1. Good for you! I also work desktop support, and know what a pain it is when you’re uncertain about the state of your current job contract.

      1. As a programmer, I avoided those temp to hire jobs like they had the plague. Getting the impression that is getting harder and harder to do. Oh, well. I’m out now.

      2. Two jobs ago, I made file cabinets at an office furniture company. Desktop support after a fashion.

        1. Wait, you got kittens? What did you threaten and/or bribe Dan with to make that happen?

          And where are these pics? Did you get an orange one like you’ve been wanting?

  31. I’m dealing with issues.

    Nightmares (but that’s probably due to the new job, stress reactions and wondering when that shoe will drop).
    Stress reactions I have to dampen down, because my angry sarcasm will not help at all.
    Lots of anger that nominally intelligent people can’t see the disaster coming that I’m able to see.
    Even more anger that the things that I love are being destroyed, there’s no viable replacements, and nobody cares that I’m angry about the desecrations.
    And, there’s that ripple on my spine and around my stomach that the worse is still coming.

    Look, nobody in the last few months have covered themselves in any kind of glory-
    If Disney hasn’t killed all of their golden gooses, it’s not for lack of trying.
    According to people that Know This Shit (TM), Silicon Valley Bank wasn’t acting like a bank, they were acting like a hedge fund. And that is a completely different set of rules they had to follow and they didn’t follow the rules for either set of circumstances.
    Our local idiot governments are banning gas stoves for…Reasons. And you have to replace them with electric stoves if they fail-which you can’t use if PG&E has another “whoopsie” and power outage for more than a few days.
    And the Bidenstein Monster is falling apart badly enough that even our biased media can’t hide it anymore.

    Believe me, Great Aunt…the bells have been ringing for a very long time.

    1. PG&E has another “whoopsie” and power outage for more than a few days.

      Time for a backyard barbecue wood fire backup. That’ll help the carbon footprint … /sarcasm off.

      1. If it wasn’t for the fact that the people that will suffer when idiots light BBQs are innocent of nothing more than being unable to understand what’s going on…I’d be buying wood BBQs and encouraging issues.

      2. Better yet, it will produce all sorts of actual pollution owing to the noxious chemicals produced by incomplete combustion.

  32. Some news from China…

    Xi Jinping was just elected to his unprecedented (seriously – I don’t think Mao ever bothered, and Deng Xiaoping put a two term limit on the job which lasted until Xi) third term as Chairman of the PRC by the National Peoples Congress. And the vote was unanimous – 2592 – 0!

    Oddly, news about the vote totals has been suppressed within China. Apparently a hashtag started circulating, #2952, and mainland Chinese citizens were posting all sorts of congratulations and praises that weren’t at all sarcastic and/or snarky about the fact that Xi had just been elected to his third term by a unanimous vote of all 2592 NPCs. For some reason, these congratulatory messages caused the government censors to block further reporting on the vote totals.

    Very strange…

      1. They don’t pretend that the people have a say. The NPC (and I find it amusing that’s actually the acronym, given how much of a rubber stamp they are) is an openly unelected body made up of CCP members that exists largely to rubber stamp things that have already been decided elsewhere.

        1. Maybe a non-sympathizer snuck (totally a word) it in; back at Big Defense Company we had a government rep and an engineer co-worker of mine, both tired of the unproductive meetings, create the Failure Analysis Review Team, which got (as initials) onto the official paperwork and was there for months. Whenever said rep and engineer saw each other in the hall it would be simultaneous raspberries followed by “FARRRRRT!”. I near choked laughing the first time I was in the area.

          Amazingly, no repercussions. 🙂

          1. A colonel in my organization (decades ago) created a special publication to cover supply and maintenance issues. He called it the S&M magazine. Someone managed to suggest it might be better to give it another name.

            1. Based on some dealings I’ve had with supply clerks, both military and civilian, he may have know exactly what he was doing… 🙂

  33. Do keep in mind that those wannabe masters seek to keep you -fearful-.

    Don’t give the shitweasels the satisfaction.

    -We- are -their- nightmares.

    We out number them. We out gun them. We out “Skilz” them. We out imagine them. We out virtue them.

    They have to terrify us into fatigue and then submission. So, again, don’t give the shitweasels the satisfaction. Be overtly happy and confident, for it utterly fucks their day. Bless their hearts, they ate the whole pot of stupid soup.

      1. Stupidity, such as arresting Trump on Monday morning, over the supposed hushmoney thing?

        Beria laughs.

          1. Of course, if I were on Trump’s defense team, I would have hum sitting in Mar-a-Lago, and asking Gov DeSantis if he’s going to support / allow extradition, since these are state level charges.

            “What’s it gonna be, governor? Support these Deep State kangaroo courts or support MAGA?”

            1. If there’s any truth to the rumors that he’s been trying to pick fights with DeSantis, that’s going to be a slightly awkward conversation.

              1. Not really. It puts DeSantis on the spot: does he look petty as well as supporting the weaponization of the courts against his political opponent, or does he stand up?

              2. The whole Trump/DeSantis feud makes me think of WWE, which Trump was involved with. It’s getting both of them a lot more press.

              1. Now, now; her first name wasn’t Hillary and her last name wasn’t Clinton. Totally different; any resemblance is, as they say, strictly coincidental. 😉

              1. Have to admit, I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

                Maybe he just needed an occasion to rise to…?

        1. Yeah. That is not going to go the way they think. I’m not sure how it will go, but they won’t like it.
          “It was the time of f*cking around” and “It was the time of finding out.”

  34. I’ve had two dreams that I can remember that were moments in my life in the future from when I had the dream.

    One was of walking into an old barn in Cades Cove, and the sunlight was coming in through cracks in the walls in beams of light.

    The other was of a cardboard box with bouquets of flowers but instead of baby’s breath, the filler was tiny daisies, the bouquets were attached to strange plastic things. Years after the dream, the moment happened when I was a bridesmaid in a friends wedding. My friend hated baby’s breath and got tiny daisies instead, and I found out the strange plastic things were handles for the bouquet.

    Not sure how such precognitive dream moments help anything? But I have them.

    I also have sensed a word in my prayer time for the last few years, for the years of the lock down my word was REST. Recently I thought it had changed to BE READY. But for the last few days I have sensed TRUST. Don’t know if that types in to anything anyone else has sensed.

    My personal life is in such turmoil, that in some ways, I have a hard time worrying about larger concerns. Although lately I’ve felt that every expectation I’ve had about how I would live my life, may completely change in the coming years. I fear that the religious persecution could get really bad and that it may become impossible to work in the mainstream culture.

    1. I’ve had two dreams that I can remember that were moments in my life in the future from when I had the dream.

      I have them too. But I can’t point to specifics. Never anything of import, just random snatches. When the dream happens I recognize it as such, but while I remember it happens, I don’t remember specifics, until I’m in that situation. Sometimes I can even take any warning at that time and do/not do something (usually a thought popping up, and instead of “voicing”, I don’t). But never anything earth shattering. Other than knowing it happens, I can’t describe, now any specific occurrences, now, latter.

    2. The two I had were of a very weird bathroom…. that turned out to be my host family’s bathroom in the US, and me in a formal gown, and doing my hair. PROM. Nothing helped, but the counter even had the burn mark from where someone had left the curling iron too long.
      The other involved younger son and the dream led me to believe he’d been arrested…. It was a traffic ticket, that’s all.

  35. I remember reading Carl Jung saying that he saw foreshadowings of WWII in the reported dreams of his patients and they increased as the outbreak of the war grew nearer. (“I sense a great disturbance in The Force?”) This is completely in keeping with his theory of the collective unconscious.

    1. My dad swore that shortly before WWII (Pearl Harbor? He never said) he saw a huge, smoking thing like a comet pass across the sky and the smoke spelled out, “War.”
      Much earlier in life, he saw the neighbor lady sitting in her chair on the porch, and when his parents told him he couldn’t have because she had died, he replied, “Don’t care, she was on the porch.”
      Dad could pull legs with the best of them, butt he was quite serious about those things.

      1. Before the war would have been more impressive than before Pearl Harbor, because things were definitely ramping up with the war going on.

  36. BTW, two things to watch out for:
    One, the alleged Trump indictment already mentioned.
    Two, one of my beloved’s clients raises cattle and he told him that the number of cattle going to the feedlot has dropped very low. Pigs are down, too, for their equivalent. So figure meat’ s likely to get scarce and expensive around summer…

      1. He didn’t know. He just said he went to the feedlot recently when it would normally be about 80% full and it was maybe 10% full.

        1. I’d suspect it has a lot to do with fertilizer availability. Gotta have feed for feedlots, and gotta have fertilizer to grow feed (and everything else).

            1. Yep; the coming year should be…interesting. Bad here, but terrible for most of the rest of the world. 😦

            2. Broken Crown covered that a while back. Apparently both cattle and chicken feed from Purina was causing problems. I haven’t heard anything about the Purina brand causing trouble for other animals, but I’ve been avoiding their cat food for now just in case.

              Although… The cat food section at my local store is so bare right now I might not have a choice in the matter for long.

              1. Purina

                I don’t buy Purina for our animals (cats, and dog), they get Science Diet or Hills. But I buy what I can get for hubby to feed the 3 feral kitties at the golf coarse. Purina was non existent at Kroger, Mini-Petmart and Petsmart.

  37. And one more, specifically for Sarah re the New York publishing scene. Naomi Wolf (not a conservative) just wrote a column noting they are studiously pretending the covidicocy never happened. No books on it, not even books approving how things were handled. No conversations. All, “We Do Not Speak of Such Things.” With a side order of, “We Need to Move On and Get Past This.” It bothered her. A lot.

    1. Wolf’s been very noisily anti COVID measures, and has come out particularly strongly against the vaccines. The COVID mess is part of what’s been awakening her to the idea that there’s something very wrong in American politics right now.

  38. Apropos of Sarah’s “future reaching into the present” concept, an article:

    There’s a link in there to their proposal for future-to-present information transfer for entanglement.

    Given Penrose’s speculation on quantum effects in micro-tubule channels in nerves and this proposal regarding entanglement, that’s a handy bit of handwavium to make premonitions look sciency in a story. Also auras and other woowoo sorts of things. Nerve states communicating themselves by “retrocausal” means without sending out signals in “realtime” through “realspace.”

    I’m going to use it to explain why one of my characters has 100% accurate premonitions, and why others can tell truth from lies. Collapse of quantum states with retrocausal information transfer. Better than relying on Celtic bloodlines in an SF. ~:D

    Does it really happen in Real Life? I guess somebody will have to design an experiment. That’s going to be one wowser bit of physics though. Effect before cause? Hell yeah.

    1. I have zero trust that those physicists are necessarily on to something.

      I basically have a set of skepticisms nested inside each other to a degree that is difficult for me to easily and carefully explain. Or I still have a sinus headache, and am out of touch to a greater than normal degree.

      I do rather extensive self monitoring in a futile effort to avoid posting while I’m out of my mind, and in an effort to match trying to do stuff to the times when I can be productive at doing stuff.

      Sometimes I am trying to do something hard, and am at the top of my game. Sometimes it is definitely very easy, or would be most of the time, and I am just really really stupid. It can be very hard for me to tell which is which from the inside. Sometimes I luck out, check my handy list of rules of thumb, and I can show a causative fault, or even fix the fault and get back to working hard.

      Physicists speculate about a lot of things, and I try to be careful how much I trust them to know what they are doing.

      1. Super high likelihood that this is wrong like cold fusion, but at least is it interesting and useful in stories. Even if it turns out to not be true, guys designing experiments for it will probably trip over something even more interesting.

        1. That’s how it usually works; I use an Asimov quote as a sigfile in some places: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ but ‘That’s funny…’ “.

    2. Sounds like there is naturally occurring thiotimoline in the human nervous system. Not too much or it would be way too nervous…

  39. Types of thinking that one does a lot can get much much faster.

    I’ve noticed that some of my intuitions and instincts are simply a result of training a rational thought process until it can hop directly to the end of the process. I noticed this by trying to reconstruct and explain results that my instinct was just feeding me.

    My evidence for this is basically that certain instincts can (1) trigger off of the same information that a rational thought process can work on, and can provide almost exactly the same process that the rational thought process would.

    I can also train irrational or non-productive thought processes in this way.

    (Note that reason is only as good as its underlying assumptions, that every human has emotions, and that I am not trying to argue for a single type of thinking that can stand on its own, or that trying to do so is a moral good. You need several types of thinking in combination to be a healthy, functional, productive person. Forms of thinking that have social prestige are not necessarily morally better, etc. I use reason because it is fairly repeatable, and as an example where I feel I have strong evidence for my conclusion about the path to instinct.)

    I’ve learned to do a lot of tasks by feel. But, with that willingness to trust my instincts, I have to balance with a skepticism about whether the fast mental results are a good match for whatever I am working on right then.

    I’ve learned to do expository writing of the blog comment flavor by instinct. Technical writing formats, and other types of document I haven’t internalized to the same degree, so when I merrily start one of those projects expecting my instincts to do the heavy lifting, I am surprised. I tend to be disappointed, and have to force myself to go back to more fundamental and frustratingly slow methods when I find myself sitting still doing nothing but waiting for instinct to take over.

    I’ve also found that some of my work is invisible. It is stuff I absolutely need to do to get from point A to point B, but it is not deliberate tasks that I am aware of, so I do not really see it or remember it happening. (2) I only have a really strong certainty that it exists and is there because of efforts to force myself to compress project timelines. Apparently, I need to gorge myself on information, and then process it in the back of my mind, or else I am too confused to just efficiently read and write until I am done.

    There are mental processes where it is easy to identify every relevant piece of information, and then clearly and simply demonstrate the reasoning from A to B. There are mental processes where you get new information N, and the dozens of related things that you have worked on over more than a decade let you intuit a conclusion for which there is a formal explanation, but for which the information and reasoning is extremely difficult to lay out in full. There are mental processes where you can’t ever tell what all the information that went in, and you can’t ever identify the sequence experiences which led you to the result. These last sometimes produce useful true important conclusions.

    ‘A lot of people are agitated, stressed, and in the process of deciding on sudden action’ is a circumstance where being able to identify it can be extremely important, and where knowing what to do next can be extremely uncertain. Waking up scared is perhaps the most appropriate and actionable result.

    The methods of an intelligence analyst include a wide range of stuff that is extremely finicky, and comes with a lot of false positives and false negatives. False alarm rate is relevant, as are missed detections.

    Related, having a neighbor who escaped a communist revolution, whose age cohort who stayed is dead, is a method of knowledge that does not get formally recorded in textbooks, or announced as official government truth, and is nonetheless information. Formal academic theory with citations does not include a lot of oral history. The oral history that gets a bunch of fancy press in the academic literature is the oral history that the current consensus finds convenient, or at least non-threatening.

    The official statements about research into alien cultures having Other Ways of Knowing TM, are not embracing a wide range of methods. They are bureaucrats aand theory obsessives, with a narrow range of methods, who find those specific citations to be a convenient hammer for using on everyone else, who isn’t invested in their nonsense.

    (1) But not /must/.

    (2) Can include stuff to manage confusion or uncertainty. Could an autistic’s stimming count?

  40. (Looks at earthquake bells)

    (Looks at stereo system with quad of QU-36 explosive Bass modulators


  41. Really, a sense of impending doom doesn’t mean anything psychic or supernatural is going on, only that you’re paying attention.

    We’re in a speeding clown car with broken brakes on a collision course with a flaming dumpster. You’d need to deny reality to not have a sense of impending doom.
    “Stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t Moar Stupid get us out of it?”

      1. A few people have tried to fix the brakes, but after the way they were treated, nobody else will dare. Even suggesting that maybe letting up on the gas or steering away from the burning dumpster might be a good idea makes you a target of vicious attacks.
        You can have a civilized society, or you can have mob rule. You can’t have both.

          1. I’m to the point of “agree and amplify” when accused of many thought terminating cliches.

    1. “You’d need to deny reality to not have a sense of impending doom”

      Nah, you’re just blackpilled. Or so I’m told.

      “Just advertising data.” You know, I would be willing to wager large sums of money that when Americans heard this data was being collected, they weren’t aware that they were giving “evidence that may be used against you in a court of law.” Anyone care about Miranda, anymore?

      You see, it’s one thing when Mall of America collects that data to point me at sales. Mall of America can’t arrest me for offenses against good taste.

      “The data could also be used to monitor adherence to mandated or recommended quarantines after arrival from another state and to examine the correlation of mobility patterns and spikes in COVID-19 cases at facilities such as churches, concerts, and grocery stores. It would also enable examining movement restrictions such as curfews to show “patterns” and “compliance,” the contracts state.

      The contracts were previously reported on by Vice News, but the outlet only released a screenshot of a single page. Together, the contracts run 71 pages. Both were signed in 2021, the same year new medical codes for COVID-19 vaccination status were approved.”

      1. Epoch Times won’t let you read articles unless you sign up for a ‘Free!’ account.

        Kind of ironic when it’s an article about abusive data collection…

        1. Oh, well, at least they’ll publish it. If I find another link outside the “Join our Newsletter” I’ll post it.

        2. I signed up for their free account. I read some articles, then was informed I had reached the limit of my free articles. Phooey!

      2. That’s one reason why I never took my phone with me when I roamed in 2020, and still don’t, unless I have no choice in the matter.

      3. The Fashion Police having access to tracking data is a frightening thought, Make me want to move to a nudist colony…

        1. I don’t know . . . I could have so much fun messing with their minds. Oh, wait, that’s what I already do. evil Victorian glamor-goth kitty grin

    2. Sometimes it means you are better read and analyze data differently as a Strange.

      I’ve called trends and events that were obvious to me a few months or years ahead of time. When you go back and look at the way I put the puzzle pieces together, it’s obvious in hindsight and I get dismissed.

      Also people don’t like being told, “I told you so…”, especially if the news isn’t pleasant. Workplaces get real uncomfortable if you get pegged as Cassandra. Nobody likes 80 hour work weeks that could have been avoided, so they blame the analyst, not the management.

      I’ve never hooked my curiosity and wonder up to any ambition, could have had a few patents and market winnings otherwise. I’m here to watch the story unfold and say “Hey! What if such and such is significant…”.

      1. “Nobody likes 80 hour work weeks that could have been avoided, so they blame the analyst, not the management.”

        As a software tester, if I don’t have at least one developer a week wanting pistols for two, coffee for one, I figure I’m not doing my job… 😎

        1. “Software Tester”

          A job I found difficult to do. Was not technically my job. But every final review ended up running through the tests, too. And I helped fine tune the testing department tests. Problem was either I ran into something, which triggered “fix now” rather than finish and wait for a full list. Or “Know that works” checked off. Might have been better at it if it wasn’t MY work being tested. Not like wrote something that I didn’t test rigorously before tackling the next part, and retesting if anything subsequently touched it. It was the “I never touched that” which almost always bit. A big one that we did not find taught us to make sure to test not only clean installs, but update installs. Had to do with common controls overwriting and MS oops with version numbers rather than anything written in house. Still had to be fixed in the installation (been almost 30 years, so don’t remember exact problem and how fixed now).

  42. “I know the work is a bit less than safe, and that a keeping a sense of humor without going overboard – so to speak – helps. I don’t mind the designs on the gear…”

    “But? I hear a but in there…”

    “Would it be too much to NOT call them Danger-oos?”

  43. A week late and I don’t know if anyone will see this, but …

    Sarah, have you read GKC’s =A Somewhat Improbable Story= ? Not -exactly- your experiences, but maybe they rhyme.c It’s collected in =Tremendous Trifles=, which also includes =The Diabolist= and =The Shop of Ghosts=.

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