Miscellaneous Things

Published at 07:08 on 21 January 2015

Random stuff, because I’m still very much alive despite not posting much here recently:

Charlie Hebdo. Yes, their cartoons do have a well-established history of being crude and insensitive. That’s absolutely no justification for the violence (though it does help explain it; justification and explanation are two different things). There is no right to not be offended. What probably sucks more than the loss of life, however, is that France does not seem to be taking the same moral high road Norway took after their recent terrorist attack. There’s way too much talk of “war” happening in France. Neither Al Qaeda nor terrorism is a country with a defined land mass (the first is a non-state actor, the second is a tactic), therefore it is is pointless to wage war on either. I’ve discussed this latter point before, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Construction at home. It’s was a week of not really having my home to myself, because I’m having the carpet replaced with hardwood flooring. And it looks like this disruption is going to last longer than expected, because the adhesive used to attach the stair tread really stinks, so I’m now coping with that issue for at least a week after the work ends.

Durian. Speaking of strong smells, I did finally have time to treat myself to a durian smoothie in celebration of moving and defeating the bedbugs. It was every bit as satisfying as I remembered, and now that the experience is fresher in my mind the addictive urge resurfaced. I actually tasted an almond aspect to it this time, which I believe is a first. One of the joys of durian is that it never tastes quite the same twice.

Sometimes, it’s best not to even try. That’s a statement that will make every motivational speaker cringe, but it’s true. One’s plans must be at least somewhat realistic. Consider the fate of the Kalakala. This historic vessel was “saved” from its fate of housing a fish-processing plant in Alaska by being towed back to its old home to await historic restoration. Alas, that latter part of the plan was very expensive, and funds to perform it never materialized. The vessel ended up bleeding its owners white in moorage fees year after year. Its current owner has decided to end the financial bloodbath and recoup at least some of his losses by scrapping it. If it had been left in Alaska, it would either still be a fish processing plant, or be sitting there abandoned (because in a rural area the moorage would be cheap or free and the cost to tow it south for scrapping would exceed the scrap value). It would, in other words, be waiting indefinitely for the right restorer to show up.

Sometimes, one has to try harder. Realism again. It’s a fact of life that some misfortunes, like bedbug infestation, are extremely difficult and expensive to manage. The “experts” will tend to lie to you about the effort and expense required in an attempt to manage the shock value. Absent being one of the lucky few who resolves the problem with minimum effort, the effect of the lies is to draw out the process, because instead of making the full effort needed, weeks and then months get wasted on half-efforts. It’s a lesson I learned the hard way battling scabies, and one I put to use again last year on bedbugs. I hit them harder than the experts recommended, and planned for the initial treatments to fail (which they did). I took stronger precautions than recommended to prevent infesting my new place. I might still be battling them if I hadn’t followed that strategy.

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