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The Horror Of It All

Signs of the End of Days

These are the End of Days. I know this because an infalliable sign appeared. Recently a fast food chain, a vendor of submarine sandwiches, saw fit to advertise their wares with leprous mutant vermin singing inane jingles badly offkey. Any society in which such a monstrous advertisement is conceivable, let alone effective, is clearly doomed.

A new desk

Our Lady of The Large Black Dog has been suggesting for some time that it would be an excellent thing if my computer desk were to be replaced by something, almost anything. I don't quite understand her point. Granted that it is a $50 Walmart knock it together yourself special. Granted also that the black veneer is highly speckled - a combination of stains and chips where the particle board shows through. Women fuss about these things. Still, her objections took root in my soul. (My soul, I fear, looks like a weed patch, what with all of the things that have taken root there.)

Recently the pair of us took an overnight trip to Rapid City SD. For those not familiar with the various metropolii of SD, Rapid City has about 90,000 residents, which is to say that it is a middling sized town by East and West coast standards. On the other hand it has over 100 times as many people as Highmore. The population here may be dense, but there aren't many of us.

The point of these ramblings is that Rapid City has stores and restaurants. This matters. The drive to Rapid City is approximately four hours. That may seem like a long drive just to shop, (and it is) but that's the way things are. Highmore SD isn't even flyover country. The planes you see overhead are the local crop dusters.

Our Lady of the Large Black Dog had various medical things to attend to. Once they were taken care of, we undertook the real objectives of the trip, dining, talking to friends, and shopping.

One of our target Palaces of Consumption was an Office-Max. Deborah had sundry purchases to make. I had none to speak of - I was there because office supply places are wonderful places to window shop. While she was spending large amounts of time examining folders I wandered into the furniture section. One of the corner computer desks seemed particularly well designed. I recalled milady's animadversions anent my existing computer desk and decided that, well, yes, perhaps the time had come to replace the existing desk so I trundled my little trundle up to the checkout desk and told them I wanted said piece of office furniture.

They checked their stock and found that they had it in stock. In fact they had exactly one in stock. For some reason when I buy something it always seems to be the last one in stock. Then I asked about delivery. Did they deliver? After all, a desk is not a small thing, even when it is in the "some assembly required" state. It might have fit in milady's SUV if it were not already filled with sundry purchases at other Palaces of Consumption, to say nothing of the Large Black Dog.

The lady who was attending to my purchase allowed as how they delivered and asked where I wanted it delivered. I replied that I lived in Highmore. She asked where Highmore was. (So few people ask where Highmore is.) I replied, "Fifty miles east of Pierre." She must have misunderstood me, and thought I said "Fifty miles east of Here". (In SD "Pierre" and "Here" rhyme.) No problem, she said. We have a delivery guy who delivers all over, she said. Fine, says I. When will he deliver, says I. Monday or Tuesday, she said. He'll call you Monday, she said.

My plastic duly imprinted, we did some more shopping and then drove back to our little hamlet on the prairie. Monday came and went. No call from the magic delivery man. Tuesday I called the store to see what was up. I got a different lady who said, ulp, we've got a little problem here. Our delivery guy doesn't deliver 250 miles away. Let us get back to you when we figure out what in the hell we are going to do.

After considerable head scratching they decided that one of the staff members was driving east to Huron SD to go to a funeral. This little trip of 300 miles would take them past Highmore. So the boxes holding the unassembled desk and a box holding a file cabinet for Deborah were loaded in their pickup. What with one thing and another our shipment arrived at my door at 11:30 on Thursday evening.

The first thing that I did was remove the pieces from the boxes. There are an inordinate number of pieces, only slightly less than ten thousand. They are arranged in little piles all over the floor of my office. Someday soon, when the great Rinehart auction is over, it may even get put together.

The Great Rinehart Auction

This is being written in the wee hours of May 3, 2004. Tomorrow, May 4, the Great Rinehart Auction will be held. I have been, ah, privileged to assist in the preparation of this event. It has been educational. It is quite surprising how much labor is involved in preparing for the sale of several thousand items. It is in the nature of things that the pace of effort accelerates rapidly during the last few days prior to the sale. Cinco de Mayo will be a wonderful day.


After a hiatus I have again been adding to the Reincarnation Cycle, aka the Reincarnation Game. The term, "game", isn't really appropriate. A more accurate description would be a "multi-linear, interactive narrative". Eek. A more precise, as well as shorter, term is "thingie". Reincarnation thingie it shall be.

By virtue of its structure the Reincarnation Thingie is necessarily big. Currently there are about 1100 files. I dare say that it may end up being twice as large or more. Why is this, you ask? Oh, you didn't ask. That's all right, I will answer just as though you had asked. The great cycle of time has 12 ages, corresponding to the twelve seasons, the twelve signs of the zodiac, and the twelve eggs in a dozen. Each reincarnation takes you from one age in the cycle to the next. In each incarnation you have a number of choices. The choices you make determine what your next reincarnation will be. Thus every age has to have a number of possible next incarnations, a number that is doubled because men are reborn as men and women as women. (If you have sunk so far as to be reborn as an animal, your next life after that can be anything.) The upshot that it takes a lot of possible lives.

When I first created the reincarnation thingie I had a male track but no female track. Since then I've completed about 2/3 of the female track. If this sort of thing floats your boat you might look in on it from time to time.

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This page was last updated May 3, 2004.
It was reformatted and moved September 7, 2006

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