BREAKING NEWS! … ABBA Wins the Eurovision Song Contest, Again!

How, you might ask, did this miracle of miracles occur?

The answer is the answer to a great many things occurring in the world at the moment.

The Eurovision Song Contest is held every year with a different European country as host. This year it was going to be in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, in May, then Covid-19 happened, and that was the end of that.

Not to be deterred by this dastardly virus, the BBC decided to commission a ‘Eurovision Broadcast’, to decide which was the best Eurovision song, ever.

Here’s the bit about the selection process, but the most salient point about this whole story is that “Wateloo’ by ABBA won!

One of the best things to come out of 1974, in all it’s original glory …

CoT = EU + TP + TR

Yes!!! (cue mad scientist chuckle) I have invented Unobtanium!!!

Mine! All mine!

Mine! All mine!

 … I am now and forever famous!!! … and filthy rich beyond the dreams of avarice!

Also, I may or may not have turned myself into a rodent

Also, I may or may not have turned myself into a rodent

Hah! … t’would that it were so.

Lets break down this fabulous formulae, shall we?

CoT  – Completion of Task

EU    – Energy Used

TP     – (not Toilet Paper) Time Perception, or how long we objectively estimate the task itself will take to complete, including set-up (before) and clean-up (after)

TR    – Time Resistance – when we go into resistance to doing the task (also includes, distractions, avoidance, deflecting, etc)

Here’s an example of how it works …

The other day Mrs Widds and I had to take a trip to our local landfill-and-recycling-depot. (we don’t have a council garbage service here on Widder Island, unless we pay for it, and after we did our due diligence we decided it was easier and cheaper to run our minimal amounts of garbage and slightly-less-than-minimal recycling to the depot ourselves)

All we had to do was gather the stuff together and toss it in the back of our truck. The garbage was in a single container. The recycling, I sort and bag as we go. Odd bits and bobs that don’t fit in either category were stored in the fabulous tin shed we built a couple of summers ago.

All an all it probably would’ve taken us two hours, (at the most) including the 40 minute there-and-back trip, to do, but we both dreaded that it would be an exhausting trip, and take hours, and hours, and hours, and …

It was time to put the kettle on, make tea, and discuss the matter.

We started the conversation thinking it was a matter of managing our time better, (aka, Time Perception) but that didn’t quite fit. ‘Time’ is immutable, (unless you’re moving at time-warping speeds, in ships powered by the afore-mentioned unobtainium) therefore it can’t actually be managed at all.

What ‘Time Perception is really about is how we perceive the amount of time a task will take.

This perception is influenced, (mostly) by information, (or lack of it) about the requirements of the task, how important (or not) is it to complete the task, and what our expectations are once the task is completed.

Having invented the formulae I used in the title of this post, Mrs Widds and I happily loaded up the truck, had a wonderful drive through some beautiful mountainous scenery, and rid ourselves of our accumulated garbage and recycling.

The Troubling Dichotomy Of The Time We Live In

Last Friday I stubbed my little toe, (well it, and the one next it, as it turns out)  and now, they and that part of my foot, has turned a lovely purple/green colour and are very, very, sore … probably some cracked, if not broken, bones.

It’s funny isn’t it, that until we do even the smallest of damage to our appendages we don’t fully appreciate just how much we need ’em.

I’m not going to get my foot x-rayed, or go anywhere near our regional hospital at the moment. For one thing there’s nothing the medical establishment can do for my tootsies that, with a modicum of common sense, I can’t do for myself … and …a local outbreak of Covid-19 was traced back to the hospital and until they get a clean bill of health, I’m staying away.

In the early days of the known outbreak, I say ‘known’ because the more time goes by the more we learn that the virus was out in the world earlier than first thought. Current estimates have it hovering somewhere around December of last year.

What were you doing in December of 2019? I bet you weren’t social-distancing, or wearing a mask, or self-isolating if you felt a bit ‘flu-y’.

Anyway … In the early days of the known outbreak, I started keeping tabs on the global confirmed numbers registered on the John’s Hopkins website. In hindsight it was a way for me to make sense of the horrific tragedy that I knew was coming even back then. I check, every night, around midnight.

The first date was the 8th March – 103,369 confirmed cases, an increase of 3,923 from the day before. (those numbers seem almost like a fairytale now don’t they?)

From there it took 23 days to reach one million. Yesterday (Monday) the total was nine million, and only 7 days before it was eight million. The average infection rate, at the moment, is about 150,000. Per day. (the actual rate of infections is probably ten times those ‘official’ figures)

When you look out your window, does the world look normal to you?

The view from my desk is still of the Summer Tree, the green grass of our front yard, (which in this humid weather we’re having right now is growing like gangbusters, and isn’t going to get mowed any time soon – see above-mentioned broken toes), and the wee lad across the way who has progressed from trotting to a flat-out run-waddle.

The global climate crisis hasn’t gone away. Once things get back to ‘normal’, pollution, sea, and temperature, levels will continue to rise, and ecosystems will continue to experience catastrophic collapses.

I can walk out to the garden and pick strawberries that are sweet and juicy, and know that in a few weeks the blueberries too will be ripe for the picking, and we’ll go ‘hedge-harvesting for blackberries along our road (my toes better be all healed up by then!) after that.

Will we experience food shortages in Autumn and Winter? Not here, perhaps, but what about countries where people are already running drastically short of food, medicine, fresh water, etc?

This dichotomy troubles me. Not all the time, that way lies madness, and no-one can hold the enormity of what we, as a species, are facing, for long and stay sane.

It troubles me because there are times I don’t give a flying fuck about the enormity of what we are facing. All I want to do is nurse my broken toes, make something nice for dinner, read a book, write some words in my next story, and forget that anything else exists … but, thankfully those times don’t last very long either

Is this denial, grief?

We strive for balance in our lives, don’t we? Balance between things, whatever they may be, that are important to us. And yet on some level we know that that balance, once achieved, is fleeting. It never lasts, then we teeter off in another direction, perhaps far, perhaps not too far at all.

So, I teeter this way and that, and thus far, I haven’t stubbed my broken toes on anything else.

Can’t Talk Now, Busy Editing Previous Posts, However …

… here’s a little something I came across to brighten your day …

The Latest Discovery In The Penguin World

The Bird Is The Word

What does a parakeet, a pierce of string, an empty soft-drink bottle, and a bit of PVC pipe, have in common?

You are so not gonna guess.

This is beyond cool

And my brain is already constructing all sorts of versions. I mean, what if I used several different types of string?

Or a stick instead of the pipe.

Oh, right, yes, the video.

Coming right up…

 

(I discovered this video via ‘Instructables‘, which is a truly fantabulous place for anyone who’s ever wanted to make, well, anything really!)

And now, you know why this post is called what it is …

 

A Conversation Between My Cognitive brain And My Intuitive Brain During A Migraine Cluster

The players: Cognitive Brain – henceforth known as ‘CB’, and Intuitive Brain, aka ‘IB’

IB: “I want a cup of tea. We’ll feel better with a cuppa tea.”

CB: “Yep, OK, um, how do we do that?”

IB: “Do what?”

CB: “The tea thing.”

IB: (already moving on to laying down and staying as still as possible) “Tea? Are you making tea? Great idea. We’ll feel better with a cuppa tea.”

CB: (being careful to not move too fast, slowly looks around the kitchen where it has spent many happy hours over the last eight years and usually knows where everything is and is fairly certain it’s made thousands of cups of tea) “Yeah, but how do we do that?”

IB: (sighing pointedly from the chaise lounge where it has swooningly retired) “Never mind. Just a glass of water.”

CB: (still standing, rather wobbly, in the center of the kitchen, trying to recreate the steps required to get a glass of water, stumbles upon the most vital question of all) “Where are the glasses?”

-oOo-

As I was writing this one of my favourite pieces of classical music happened to be playing in the background. I can only tolerate low-key (pun unintended) orchestral pieces in this state … enjoy.

Bah!… and Humbug!!!

In an email from WordPress this evening …

‘…On June 1 we’ll be retiring our older WordPress.com editor and transitioning to the more recent (and more powerful) WordPress block editor…’

They do retain the option for us to use the Classic Editor though, so there’s that, though I’m guessing it’ll have a limited lifespan.

But in honour of the occasion, let me reiterate …

Simon’s Cat – wait for the end-credit scene

Poor Simon … he can’t catch a break …

The Running Of The Ducks

Just another workday at a winery in South Africa.

The winery? …Vergenoegd Lȍw Wine Estate.

The Workforce? … Pest Control and Fertilization at the same time …

 

They are well treated and when their ready to retire they are moved to an island on the property where they live their lives out in peace.

A bit more info from the Atlas Obscura article that arrived in my email in-box this morning… and the winery website.

… and another video … because we all need more Indian Runner Ducks in our lives today…

 

-oOo-

May these times pass us by unscathed, but if by chance we are scathed, may we live to tell the tale, because such tales as these need to be told.