But they've left me with many fine stories to tell and a much broader and generous appreciation of this world than I might not otherwise have enjoyed.
When my own grandma had fallen entirely over the cliffs at the borders of sanity, declared by the courts a danger to herself and others, no assisted living place would keep her, and many of her words were either pure madness or vile observations about her neighbors, friends, and family better left unspoken, she could still tell a good story and laugh about the crazy dogs and horses she'd known.
Dogs and horses are sentient beings, as are humans.
My favorite childhood dog used to jump into the cars of strangers, undiscovered until they got home. That's why her collar had a tag with our phone number and address on it. Hey, I found your stupid ass dog in my truck... This worthless dog, really, she was good for nothing and not even especially affectionate of humans as most dogs are, once ran away on a camping trip, and we stayed an extra night at that campground waiting for her to return, and she did about five o'clock the next day, so we stayed another night in that campground and missed Yellowstone. I was looking forward to Yellowstone.
But hey, hey, don't be mean, 'cuz no matter where you go, there you are. And everything is awesome.
It was always a very uneasy truce between the Mormon and Catholic Scouts.
Then Proposition Hate happened, and the right intolerant wing of both religious parties decided they were allies.
Totally radicalized my kids, nephews, and nieces. They had wonderful queer adult family in their lives. They refused that shit.
My youngest would pluck Prop H8 signs off people's lawns and bang on their doors to tell them their signs were offensive. Those sad people would close the door on him and he'd take their signs, throwing them in back of my little pickup truck. I did recycle the wire and plastic of the signs landing in my truck, and confess it was near hundred. (I'd taken a few signs myself, including a big 4X8 plywood sign, but not so in-your-face aggressively. Maybe I was as bad, but not anywhere so courageous.)
Worst I did was write a harsh letter to the Bishop. He wrote a mushy letter back claiming he was trying to "control" the dialogue.
Better than my mom who once got into a scratching slapping girl fight with a Bishop... scars of my own childhood... My biggest fear on my own Big Catholic Wedding night was that my mom or her mom would go Berserker. They did not. Worst that happened was my sister-in-law, before the wedding, asked if she could play the church organ and she played Queen as my gay brother in law and mom were decorating the church with flowers. The sister in charge asked "That's pretty, what is it?"
It's amazing progress that this B-29 was built forty years later.
Despite being a tool of war, it is a lovely plane and I totally understand and applaud the motivations of those volunteers who got it flying again. It's one of the reasons our family cars have salvage titles. So much as I hate automobiles (and war machines...) I get some satisfaction bringing dead machines back to life, feeling in my hands what the original designers and builders were about. Reading history isn't enough. Sometimes you must touch it.
I think this progress in aeronautics is why people thought we'd be crawling all over the solar system by now, having landed men on the moon.
But we have made a whole lot of progress in computers and telecommunications.
In 1977 I thought I was hot stuff writing FORTRAN for a mainframe computer far less powerful than any smart phone today.
It still amazes me that I can find in the e-waste bin what would have been the world's most powerful supercomputer of the 'seventies. Or I can buy a Raspberry Pi 3 computer rated at 460 MFLOPS for $35 in 2017 compared to the Cray I supercomputer rated 160MFLOPS which cost $8.8 million in 1977.
(A couple of people, amused by this comparison have built miniature Cray-1 models with a credit card sized Raspberry Pi inside.)
One thing that surprises me is how all this modern computing power has been put to use. I'm sure a lot of it has been devoted to military uses that are not common knowledge yet, just as some aspects of the B-29's design were not common knowledge when it was built. The most obvious and big money use for all this computer power is movie making.
I get frustrated with myself because I haven't used the computer power I've been blessed with to make any great advances in science. I liked to think of myself as some kind of mad scientist after I quit high school for college. (Truth was, I was mostly mad. We've got meds for that now.) I think some of my better "supercomputer" use is posting words on Democratic Underground, and occasionally I've done more practical things with this immense computing power, but I've not created any AI's or opened any portals into other universes...
Profile InformationName: Hunter
Current location: California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 37,978
About hunterI'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing.
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