In the time it took to drive to work I lost feeling in my feet. Okay, I stopped for gas, and that meant standing outside, looking at the numbers, thinking $2.19? When did that happen? It was $1.99 a few weeks ago. Man.

Of course, it was $3.69 a while ago, but that was THEN and hence meaningless and forgotten.

Now at the office, looking out at Downtown East Site 1; it’s tall enough so I can’t see the sky anymore. More stone on the facade. A crane swinging above Site 2, hoisting beams; the frame is shrouded so they can pour the floors inside. I can see about eight - no, nine people working. Seems like there’s 40 guys working these three blocks - but of course that doesn’t include the stadium, which would add at least ten more. Apparently skyscraper construction is the least labor-intensive project around. I must be missing something.

Snow falling, steady, unhurried; rote snow. So it needs to be sped up a little. (Seven seconds.)

Turned thick just as it was time to drive home, and the lane markers were buried. Yet people knew where to go, based on experience and situation. It’s a great example of how people get trained: years ago it was a three-lane road, and this was bad because people took it, and drove 45 MPH, and traveled quickly through the city to their destinations in the burbs or the south part of town. The people who lived on the street complained of the speed, we are told, and it would seem that they were all 90-year-olds who had lived on the street since it was first laid out, and cars always did 27 MPH until that consarned Henry Ford juiced up the engines so folks could do flat-out forty. We were also told that the fast traffic diminished the character of the street life, somehow; if we all slowed down there would be more connection between the people walking on the sidewalk and the cars.

There’s rarely anyone walking on the sidewalk. No matter: the real problem was the ease the street afforded to cars, thus encouraging people to drive them. I’m surprised they just don’t hobble your car with a boot the moment you drive it off the lot; it would clarify things for everyone. One lane was converted to bikes. I see a few bikes take the lane in the warm seasons, and as you might imagine there were not many bikers today. Even if someone did want to bike in the snow they would be wise not to take a street where a misstep could throw you into a snow-packed lane whose upcoming occupant would have a hard time stopping.

So it’s two lanes now. And it was two lanes today even after all the visible markings had vanished. Everyone bunched up in two lanes to observe a lane that wasn’t there, dedicated to bikes that weren’t there either.

It was a day as vapid as the previous day was action-packed; most notable accomplishment was butt-dialing Dave Barry while I was wrestling with the dog. I had put the phone in my pocket without turning it off, because it was trying to find Daughter on the map so I knew whether she would be late so I knew whether to get lettuce before or after I picked her up.

The rise of these miraculous technologies mean you can introduce all sorts of paralyzing variables into your day.

I was intrigued for 2.6 seconds by the idea of actually reading an article about Unearned Marital Privilege, but I think this NRO article tells me enough. The conclusion had an interesting assertion:

Some points are particularly laughable, such as the claim that it’s so terrible that  “universities have women’s studies, Black studies, and queer studies programs” but “there is no singles studies program in any university, anywhere.”

For the moment, anyway. I would like to ask the authors what sort of employment they wish to obtain with a degree in singles studies. There would only seem to be two options: additional time spent in the University to pass along the accrued wisdom of Singles Studies to others, or some sort of counseling or personnel management job where a Singles Studies degree would indicate expertise. It being academically-derived expertise, it would be superior to what people think they know about the subjects, since they just experienced something for themselves without the benefit of studies.

What the program would do, of course, is celebrate singleness, and everyone and every state and every condition needs to be celebrated, or it is not validated; if it is not validated, it is marginalized. If it is marginalized, it is oppressed. If it is oppressed, it is virtuous. Then again, if it's celebrated, it is virtuous as well. So either way you're covered.

Well, I'm going to put a bow on this underperforming day and watch some television. No, I'm going to start a novel. Then watch some TV.




We continue with the adventures of that guy, Brick Bradford, who is battling gangsters and a moon-based monarchy.

Dr. Tyvak, inventor of commercial house-wrap, is still on the moon. They have come to believe he is not an Exile, or rebel, and whaddya know he just might be from Earth. So he's talking to the queen; she asks if Earth is highly civilized, and Tyvok notes that it had just passed through a great war in which “a billion of its inhabitants opposed each other.” Technically true, but there’s not a battlefield big enough for that.

Interesting exchange:

Oh, so he was a Nazi before he joined up with Operation Paperclip. Noted. Keep in mind we don’t know how Brick and Old Sidekick Dude (not Sandy) got out of the Fiery Death, which had been Ordered for them. The queen hears that two more “Exiles” have been trapped, and the Fiery Death Ordered, and thinks “you know, they’re probably Earthlings. Bring them to me. IT IS MY COMMAND!

The queen talks to them and likee the cut of Bruce’s jib, and has them put in the dungeon. But the nice dungeon without so much fire. Brick sees a pretty woman walk past and put in an adjacent cell, and thinks she might be one of these “exiles” the queen is always going on about. “If we talk to her, we might know what is going on here on the moon,” he says, the stupidest line of dialogue from 1947, and he devises a plan: friend pretend to be sick, Brick overpowers guard, then they ask the girl what’s the skinny, Luna-wise.

Here’s how that works out.

The guy actually woofs himself unconscious. Well, they talk to the girl. She’s an exile, all right - they’re the democratic activists banished from the kingdom by the tyrant Zuntar or something. (The queen is a puppet queen.) Everyone steals more guard costumes and prepares to escape, because that’ll take up most of the middle portion of the serial.

The Queen wants him alive, because she has stirred something in her unholstered bosom . . .

. . . thereby setting up the penultimate episode where she sacrifices herself out of Love.

Boy, the moon is futuristic. And functional!


There’s no fistfight, because everyone has helmets, so there’s lots of running around from one door to the other and trying not to bump into the set, which would break. But once they get outside:


Of course. But they’re run off by exiles, who have energy weapons, and they run into the main exile guy, who explains that “many years ago, I devised a way to go to the moon.” Say no more. Common enough, I guess. When you tell people you few to Europe you don’t say whether it was an Airbus or Boeing, so mentioning that you went to the moon in 1932 without going into details is par. The main Exile explains that he set up agriculture on the moon, and everyone in the colony was living peaceably. But then Zuntar split off and formed a monarchy. But do tell, Earth Friends who escaped Zuntar and his puppet Queen, what the hell are you doing here?

Dr. Tymek explains that he needs Lunarium, the element that exists only on the moon, to power the machine that gets them to the moon. Mr. Science Exile has never heard of it.

“It has an atomic weight of 200.”

“Ah, yes.” That rings a bell. Why, there’s plenty at the volcano. Daughter - for the pretty girl is, of course, Mr. Science Exile’s daughter, Carol - says “but father, that’s in Luna territory!”

She means the Zuntar realm, because once Zuntar split off from the utopian moon colony he called his new realm Luna. Hell of an imagination. But wait - this must mean that the colonists who formed Luna were second-generation, because they have scant knowledge of Earth. But wait: surely even the second generation knew they weren’t indigenous to the Moon, because, well, it’s the fargin’ moon, and they were living in a colony set up by a guy from Earth, who never bothered to go back for some reason, possibly because of pending charges in every state in the Union, which might explain why Mr. Science Exile President didn’t bother to ask our intrepid band things like “how goes it on Earth?”

BUT WAIT. If the colonists are in their second generation, Mr. Science Exile President would be older, and he appears to be about 30. More to the point: how the hell did Zuntar get everyone to go with him? Come with me and live under tyranny! Come to think of it, the only other people we’ve seen on Luna are guards, so it’s possible the entire society consists of guards, waiting to tyrannize someone.

IF THAT IS SO, then why not just crush the Exiles and take them in custody? Because they have energy weapons, and the Lunarians have only swords? (And the aforementioned Fiery Death, which can be Ordered.) If that’s the case, how the hell did Zuntar keep a grip on power after he’d convinced a bunch of guys to split off and have Tyranny Fun and neglected to bring along the guns?

This is stupid even by sci-fi serial standards. But hey, volcano. The next day they head up to the molten area to get Lunarium (Atomic Weight 200.) There’s a fight with Lunarian guards, who bring energy weapons this time. So they do have them. While the battle rages, cliffhanger:

Brick and Carol fall into the volcano of their own stupid accord. And who wears shoes like that to an active volcano?

That's it for today, to state the obvious - see you around. Friday is nigh!


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