Greenlandia Epiphination

I watched ‘Greenland’ the other night. It’s an ‘end-of-the-world-by-asteroid’ disaster film, starring Gerard Butler being all Gerard Butler-ish. It was a fun romp through every ‘disaster film’ trope/meme, with some above average CGI effects thrown in for good measure. I was entertained.

Some time later I was describing the movie to Mrs Widds which, even later still, triggered a bit of an epiphany.

Yes, my friends, I epiphed! … and what I epiphed about was this …

In all of these sorts of movies we see what I like to call the ‘noble sacrifice’. It’s where the, almost always, curmudgeonly elder, usually a disaffected parent of one of the estranged lead couple, dies. (who incidentally almost always have a child, who sports a vulnerability of some sort – in the case of ‘Greenland’ the kid is a diabetic)

The curmudgeonly elder who has survived for their requisite three-score-and-ten (or thereabouts) years quite well, thank you very much, must sacrifice themselves in order to save one or more of the primary characters, after one or more of the primary characters, (or their self-absorbed teenager) has put themselves in mortal danger by doing something breathtakingly stupid.

The curmudgeonly elder has to be sacrificed so the ‘young-un’s’ can live, presumably breed, (usually shown in epilogue, mid, or end-credits scenes – I’m looking at you Minority Report’) and ensure the continuation of the species.

Another perfect example of the curmudgeonly elder dying in order for the brood to survive is the curmudgeonly grandma in ‘Dante’s Peak’, who literally throws herself into an acidified lake to save her precocious grandchildren (another disaster film staple) who came looking for her, along with the lead characters who came looking for precocious grandchildren. (now that I think about it, that movie had another curmudgeonly elder, the senior volcanologist, who died sacrificially too)

Side note: – just because you’ve got a healthy ‘breeding pair’ doesn’t mean that’s necessarily a good thing. Just look at the intro to the movie ‘Idiocracy’ to see a prime example of how that can turn out.

This may have been necessary in a pre-technological/industrial world, when all the ‘rebuilding of a society’, by necessity, would have to have been accomplished by hand.

Young folks = lots of strong hands, and backs (and afore mentioned ability to self-replicate at an alarming rate) … old folks = a waste of scarce resources.

However, in our wonderful and terrifying modern era, it t’ain’t necessarily so.

What we have now is KNOWLEDGE. (and the technological know-how to render those strong backs obsolete)

Unless all life on Earth is reduced to the odd random microbe, (in which case, all bets are off) the most precious resource to be preserved is knowledge. Not the kind of ‘knowledge’ curated by the archiving of every tweet ever thumbed across the digital universe, but the myriad knowledge of how to construct a living breathing society/ culture.

Knowledge is one thing, but then you’ve got to know what to do with it, and that knowledge, folks, resides within the life experience of … you guessed it … The Curmudgeonly Elder.

How apropos in this Entertainment Age, where Youth is eternally sought after, that the sacrificial lamb is actually mutton.

There are so many tangents this wee bit of an epiph could head off into. but this is after all, a wee little epiph, so I’m just going to stop here and leave the rest to your imagination.

Season Of Blah

For this last week I’ve been telling myself I have nothing to blog about … which is why I haven’t posted anything since the ‘eyelash’ incident.

Much has happened though … I finished the latest round of renovations to our trailer and back into storage it went on Saturday.

I have come to terms with my new computer taking several more steps to do just about anything than I grew accustomed to with Windows 7. I’ve hunted-and-gathered programs to replace the ones Microsoft deemed unnecessary in the new millennium, including an acceptable analogue desktop clock.

All the Autumnal leaves have fallen from the Autumn Tree, and she’s settling her Winter Tree mantle across her shoulders.

Autumn Tree in the Autumn Rain

Autumn Tree in the Autumn Rain

Even though infection rates are soaring in our province (as they are across Canada) as one would expect as Winter draws close, at least three Covid-19 vaccine trials have produced some favourable preliminary results.

Mrs Widds and I are both healthy. (apart from the usual ailments the living of many decades invariably produce)

I accomplish the day-to-day tasks running a household requires with a minimum of moaning and groaning. I appreciate the results, not necessarily the doing of them.

All-in-all, life is … OK, so I’m just going to call this in-between time, the days between the end of Autumn and the beginning of Winter, the Season of Blah.

Schrödinger’s Kitten – I may or may not be here

Schrödinger’s Kitten – I may or may not be here

Back Among The Interwebs

Well, that was a weekend I hope not to live through for another ten years!

It only took a few hours all told, but first came the removal of the old, the cleaning of accumulated dust dragons from the tops of desks and the underneath-sess of desks where vacuum-cleaners feared to suck.

Then we unboxed …

The Great Unboxing - unboxed

The Great Unboxing – unboxed

… and began …

Useless instructions, a cuppa, and the new toy

Useless instructions, a cuppa, and the new toy

For every set-up stage I completed at least 5 dialogue boxes popped up asking if I wanted to ‘enhance’ my experience, and not inconsequentially, send all my ‘enhance experience’ data through to the Dark Side. Suffice it to say, I always chose the ‘no’ option.

Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 aren’t as horrible as I expected them to be, but why did they have to insert two or more unnecessary, dare I say irrelevant, steps, into every action? I suspect the answer is 42, just as it is the answer to why WordPress decided their Block Editor was the way forward.

Then, we have The Two Towers – not the second Book in The Lord Of The Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien, no, more like the difference a decade of technology makes …

Size does matter - old tower on the left, new tower on the right

Size does matter – old tower on the left, new tower on the right

Finally, there was the light show. I suppose, from a marketing perspective, when you’ve innovated yourself into an evolutionary cul-de-sac, the only thing you can do is add the bling … (I’m actually going to keep on using my ergonomic keyboard and wireless mouse, but I thought you might enjoy this electronic pyrotechnic marvel)

 

The Great Unboxing – It Begins

(I was going to title this post, ‘The Last Post’, but given that it’s 2020, I didn’t want to scare anyone unnecessarily)

I’m about to undertake the most dangerous job imaginable – unplugging everything from my old computer hard-drive and setting up the new one.

I shall, of course, take pictures, and  if you don’t hear from me in the next 48 hours … send chocolate!

Self-explanatory

Self-explanatory

A Potpourri-ish List

1 – my CT scan came back clear, so I know another thing that isn’t causing my vertigo. I’ve learned to live with the sensations, it helps living in a small cottage, there’s always a wall nearby to lean on if required. The ’tilt factor’ hasn’t actually lessened but I tell myself that the world is right where I left it and to not succumb to the aural illusions. It mostly works, most of the time.

2 – It’s raining. The Autumn Tree outside my window has thrown off her green summer chapeau and has wrapped herself in a snug shawl of reds, and oranges, and yellows. Droplets of rain plink from leaf to leaf almost like notes being played on a piano. The tiny birds who frequent her dappled branches this time of year have returned and are probably busy collecting all sorts of wee beasties for supper, but they do look like they’re dancing to the tune of the raindrops.

Dancing in the rain

Dancing in the rain

3 – A hundred years ago, in 2019, I wanted to start making videos for our ‘Wunder-Lusters’ adventures but my poor old computer wasn’t up to the task. Mrs Widds needed an upgrade too, (her computer that is) so … fast forward to today where the first component of our new system has arrived. It’s Mrs Widds new monitor.

The hard-drives and other assorted ‘peripherals’ should arrive today too, but you never know with these things. The fact that we bought everything together, at the same place, on the same day, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll all be delivered on the same day.

I’ve had enough time to shift from, ‘Emegherd! Setting up a new computer is HELL!!!’, to ‘this is rather exciting’. Mind you, that might not last past the fifteenth snafu though. We’re planning on doing all that fun stuff this weekend, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

4 – The kitchen sink cold-water tap came off in my hand the other day. I wish I could say that I had a grip of iron, but it ain’t so. The bastard has been leaking for a while so it was just a matter of time. Also, the shower hot-water tap leaks, and the vanity taps, also in the bathroom, are corroded beyond redemption.

All that is to preface a plumber coming tomorrow, somewhere between the hours of midday and 2pm, to amend the above. Oh, you can guffaw, but plumbers have been known to turn up on the day they’re supposed to. (expecting them at the time of day they say, is a tad utopian)

There’s a catch, there’s always a catch. Two sets of replacement taps have been delivered, the third (and most important, the shower taps) are due to arrive today, at some point, they haven’t yet.

5 – the up-side (down-side? … depends on your point of view, I suspect) of getting a new computer is I have to go through ALL the old documents and files stored on my current computer, (as well as the masses of stuff saved to my external drive, some of which I haven’t set eyes on for most of the last decade) and delete and/or cut-and-paste, onto my external drive. I regularly back-up my current work, (a writer only forgets to back-up her files once. ‘Tis a painful but well-learned lesson) but some of this stuff originated last century!

6 – I was going to publish this post yesterday, but our computers arrived and I got a wee bit distracted … and today the plumber turned up, EARLY! … my head is spinning!

Just the thing a woman with vertigo needs - a spinning head

Just the thing a woman with vertigo needs – a spinning head

P.S. The third set of taps hasn’t shown up, so the 2020 effect is still in operation. The plumber will return when they do.

… And Dessert

Wait for the end … wait for it …

 

Table Manners Too

Remember they guy who made that mind-boggling ‘pass the pepper’ machine?

Well, before that he wanted the salt …

 

Having My Head Examined – Part 2

Part 1 – HERE

Pumpkin pie notwithstanding, the actual visit was … an experience.

Have you ever seen the poster by Gottfried Heinwein, called ‘The Boulevard of Broken Dreams’, wherein he reworked Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks at the Diner’ with Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Elvis Presley, instead of the original characters?

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

I’ve been in and out of hospital, (takes off shoes and socks to count) somewhere in the order of fifteen times in my adult life. All of those visits have been for surgeries to my knee with a few tagged on the end there for my thyroid cancer.

Almost every hospital, (on two continents) had a large entrance or atrium, where there’s usually a coffee shop, a directory, the elevators, a few clusters of faux-comfy chairs, that sort of thing … I’ve always thought of these areas as a sort of ‘boulevard of broken bodies’, because inevitably there would be a smattering of all sorts of body’s, in all sorts of stages of repair and disrepair scattered throughout.

The energy of broken and mending people is hard to be around sometimes. When I think of the thousands of people who have moved through those halls and rooms, all with their fears and pain and terror, it’s almost possible the hear the walls themselves screaming to be released from it all.

This miasma isn’t noticeable to the casual observer, and if loins are suitably girded, one simply feels a sense of relief when one leaves.

My loins were not sufficiently girded. I was already emotionally off-balance. (for reasons mentioned in Part 1)

Throw into the mix, having to wear a mask, (being mid-range-deaf and everyone else is wearing masks too so I can’t lip-read as I usually do and I certainly can’t decode their mufflings without a universal translator) the whole ‘boulevard’ thing, and add an eerie dose of those halls of medicament being damn-near deserted just to top it all off.

I gotta tell you, I was so far out of my skin (read ‘comfort zone) I could’ve been orbiting Jupiter and I wouldn’t’ve been able to tell the difference.

Normally I’m easy-going, but nothing’s ‘normal’ anymore, is it?

By comparison, the CT scan itself was the epitome of horizontalised boringness.

On the way home I blathered on to Mrs Widds about all of the above, and as good listeners (and, hopefully, all spouses) are wont to do, she made supportive noises in all the right places and offered up her wisdoms when I finally ran out of steam.

12 days later, though, and the hospital STILL hasn’t sent its report to my GP. (as of today 22nd October)

Teh STAREZ of DOOM

Teh STAREZ of DOOM

On the up side, a cold front is dragging lots of chilly air down from the Arctic this weekend, so we might even see some early snow …. and we all know how I feel about snow!

SNOW!!!

SNOW!!!

Our road, January 2017 - Oh, how so long ago that seems

Our road, January 2017 – Oh, how so long ago that seems

Having My Head Examined – Part 1

So, you know that 10-day trailer holiday we just had? … well, I came home to a way too long list of friends who were at the very dire end of cancer diagnoses. This, as you might’ve guessed was firmly in the ‘not fun’ category of ‘things to learn immediately after one returns home from holidays’.

However, this sort of thing gets one to contemplating Mortality and the Universe, and Everything … especially when one has a CT scan scheduled a mere ten days later.

Migraines and vertigo do not friendly bedfellows make, and my GP and I, (said in a very proper British accent) … my GP and I, had decided that an elimination process was in order, so off to hospital I headed last Saturday (10th) for a CT scan of my noggin.

I’d like to think the inside of my brain looks something like this …

An Owl-ish laser-like focus

An Owl-ish laser-like focus

… but it probably looks like this …

Demented flea, on speed

Demented flea, on speed

… back to my story …

The last time I had a scan of a part of my body, a mere ultrasound of my shoulder, I ended up discovering I had cancer. (in my case, thanks to that non-related shoulder scan, my cancer was caught early, surgically removed, and with a hefty dose of radiation, never-no-more was see  again)

That series of fortuitous events, combined with my friend’s recent dire news got me to wondering … in just a little hyperactive (and somewhat hypochondriac-al) part of my mind … what else, completely unrelated to those migraine/vertigo bedfellows, my CT scan might reveal.

After restraining the urge to roll my eyes, I tried to calm that wee bit of my psyche down by telling it that all the scan will show is what’s already there, or not there, as the case may be … which didn’t help … so we overindulged in Mrs Widds absolutely most fabulous pumpkin pie … which did.

So, my friends, in these times of momentous (some good, some not-so-good, and some terrible) changes, when all else fails to soothe the savage psyche, eat pumpkin pie.

-oOo-

If there was something serious I would’ve heard from my GP by now so I’m not too concerned.

-oOo-

As always the images I use are my own, or are clipart, are otherwise attributed, or are artist unknown. These ones are ‘artist unknown’.

Cue The Sheepish Puns …