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Collected editorials

Groundhog Day

And how are your electromagnetic allergies?

Apparently there are folks in Santa Fe who are concerned about their electromagnetic allergies Arthur Firstenberg claims he was made homeless by a neighbour that refused to turn off their cellphone and Wi-Fi hotspot. In the great American tradition he is suing. Firstenberg argues:

Firstenberg “cannot stay in a hotel, because hotels and motels all employ wi-fi connections, which trigger a severe illness,” says the request for a preliminary injunction. “If (Firstenberg) cannot obtain preliminary relief, he will be forced to continue to sleep in his car, enduring winter cold and discomfort, until this case can be heard.” The case has been assigned to state District Judge Daniel Sanchez, who has yet to set a hearing.
Life can be tough when you have allergies. I know all about that. Me, I’m allergic to work.

So what is unusual about a clown on a unicycle?

Slashdot is my ever reliable source of geeky news. From a recent article we learn:

But the interesting part was an experiment run by the University of Western Washington this past fall. There was a student who knew how to ride a unicycle and a professor who had a clown suit. They dressed a student up as a clown and had him ride his unicycle around a popular campus square. Then they asked people, ‘Did you see the Unicycling Clown?’ 71% of the people walking in pairs said that they had. 51% of the people walking alone said that they had. But only 25% of the people talking on a cellphone said that they saw the unicycling clown. On the other hand, when asked ‘Did you see anything unusual?’ only about one person in three mentioned a unicycling clown. So maybe unicycling clowns aren’t enough of a distraction at the University of Western Washington…”
All of which leaves me to wonder – what do they find unusual at the University of Western Washington?

A tragedy in Washington

Well, so much for the health reform bill. There was an opportunity to do something. The Democrats had the votes, Congress, and the Presidency. All that was needed was a clear vision, good leadership, and a modicum of moral integrity. All three were lacking. The mountains have labored and have brought forth a dead mouse.

In other news, Bernacke has been confirmed as the Fed Chairman. His qualifications are the same as those foxes have for guarding hen houses.

Good deeds and their reward

Mark Twain once said that he had done but ten good deeds and that he bitterly repented every one of them. I quite understand where he was coming from. In my youth I made a pact with the devil that I wouldn’t have to do any good deeds in the twentieth century. That was long ago and in those days I thought of the twenty first century as the far and distant future. Youth never does have foresight. Here I am now in the wrong future and the devil has been cashing in – I am stuck with doing all sorts of good deeds.

Everybody is getting the word

This evening I was watching the weight loss reality show, “Biggest Loser”. Then I looked at my email and saw this message from the US Chamber of Commerce.

State of the Union – Weigh in Now
I hadn’t realized that obesity was such a big political issue.

Tomorrow is today

I told someone the other day that I led a small life. I said that every evening I put a DVD in the DVD player and watch Groundhog Day. I tell them that everyday. The nice thing about Groundhog Day is that once you’ve seen the movie, you’ve also seen the sequel. It’s a twofer.

The wheel turns

Elsewhere in this issue I’ve done a brief history of my life so far. One of my readers marvelled at my interesting life. The truth is that it is neither exceptional nor exotic. I never was a soldier of fortune. I never worked as a short order cook in a greasy spoon. I never was in a knife fight in a dive in Marseilles. I didn’t hitchhike from one side of America to the other. I didn’t starve in a garrett writing a best selling novel that brought me fame and fortune. Like most people I have a bit of noble blood in my veins but my royal ancestors are long ago and far away. I’ve never dug up dinosaurs in Patagonia. I haven’t even made love to Elizabeth Taylor. In short, mine is an unexceptional life.

I suppose there is an idea for a story there. If we take our cue from Groundhog Day we tell the tale of a chap who lives a different life each day. Thus he wakes up one day and he’s a soldier of fortune, the next day he’s a short order cook and so on. What would that be like? Would he could go mad because of the lack of continuity? As times go by, would he become immensely tired of the excitement and novelty and crave a boring life? Would it be a case of too much adrenaline of the soul?

Even though my life has not been exceptional, it has been varied with its little points of interest. I could say that it has been interesting because I have been interested in many things. I’m not sure how far one can go with that theory though. There are very boring people who are intensely interested in themselves and their own affairs.

Another thought is that we are, so to speak, programmed with recipes for life. Life is defined in terms of stages with a prescribed set of activities for each stage. Are people who follow the recipes happier? Are they healthier and wealthier? Why do people so often follow the recipes? Do they have to? Are they engraved in our nature? If so, how is it that so many stray from the recipes?

Or is life like a Ferris Wheel? You start out at the bottom, move upwards until you reach the scary heights, and then descend back to the bottom, first slowly, then quickly, and then finally in a last slow decline. I wonder if that analogy has been used before. I suppose so – as Don Simon Ysidro said, “Everything has been tried.”

This page was last updated February 1, 2010.

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Collected editorials