My Blog Week: December 15 to December 21

Posted by ractrose on 22 Dec 2019 in The Latest

A black cat, nicknamed Nortie, who serves as Torsade's site ambassador.

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A Word on the Week


Photo of lighted wreath

A Missed Opportunity




As the cartoon above references, we’ve been hearing a lot lately about this alleged “circle game”. I’m glad to see lame explanations getting plenty of pushback (mockery) online. If we accept that no political views are being expressed, and that it has no underground life as a form of bullying or hazing, the giddy fun the game affords its players remains a mystery to outsiders, who will find no answer in its description. But if people want to play gotcha when—no doubt inadvertently—you look at them, your best defense is a horrified start and recoil.

At any rate, what if someone in a leadership role had delivered a statement something like this:


Our cadets are not drawn from the average, and their conduct cannot be excused by those commonplaces that would excuse the average. The belonging candidate, for the high honor of attending one of the American military’s great institutions, will have, and will aspire to have, the qualities of a leader, of a person who may one day lead Americans into battle. It would be disturbing to contemplate the future fighter possessed of personality traits that must be suppressed in mixed company, and that have the capacity to burst out in moments of unrestraint, under the influence of peer pressure and television cameras. A true and honorable person, a hero, is such, and finds it no burden to be such, as to have no “self” that is not at all times courteous, courageous, confident with or without the approval of friends, and an exemplar to fellow Americans. On occasions when our cadets are de facto representatives of their institutions, we hold them to the standard of all that is best in the United States military: for our country and its citizenry, respect; for the equality of all persons, belief; for the helpless, a protecting hand; for our allies, a willing heart—and in all things a self-discipline that rises above the average.


Low-wattage illumination


The strange attack on lightbulbs, revived again by a WH announcement blocking a requirement for more energy efficiency, got its top-down expression at the President’s most recent rally. Trolls, heavily populating comment threads from their favorite media targets, were set by their masters to flog the “toxic” notion—that CFLs are difficult to dispose of. Here you have irony. No doubt environmental warriors would like to see CFLs handled with kid gloves, but I suspect few people do more than toss the old ones in the trash. So much for the argument we should oppose them because getting rid of them creates a hazard. The Trump administration would have to strengthen the EPA in order to weaken it. Also, I have never worked in an office where tube fluorescents were not used. (Corporations may well comply with special regulations, send employees traveling long distances to approved disposal sites; they, though, are paid while they do it, so why complain?) I also suspect a lot of homeowners have already moved on to LEDs, which, in my experience, take a very long time to burn out. Meanwhile, stubborn cultists who insist on using incandescents will not like their electric bills…but they’re free to pay them.

Also modern lighting that uses multiple bulbs: chandeliers and ceiling fans, are not always made to bear the wattage of incandescents. If you’re a lightbulb fixator, don’t harm yourself, at least…don’t blow your wiring.




On Monday, the third Mr. Boots poem, “The Goldfish Takes a Watery View”. Tuesday’s Impresario was part twenty, with Pierre making his approach to Boniface, telling a story partly true. Wednesday, a new episode of The Totem-Maker, with the character encountering the first traders to pass by the tollhouse. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “One Blackmail”, the first of a handful of blackmail stories. Friday, a new poem in the Jumping Off series, the second deriving from those in The Poor Belabored Beast, “Note of Glass”; Saturday, “What It Takes to Fly”, a fresh Yoharie, with Savannah getting repped by her sister Rae.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.





My Blog Week: December 15 to December 21


The Goldfish Takes a Watery View (poem)
December 16


The Impresario (part twenty)
December 17

YouTube: Jennifer Knapp, “Undo Me”


The Totem-Maker: Use for Use (part three)
December 18


Frédéric Boutet: One Blackmail (part one)
December 19


Note of Glass (poem)
December 20

Poetry Foundation: Bill Manhire, “Surveillance Notes”


Yoharie: What It Takes to Fly (part one)
December 21



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