Driving around downtown, familiar and different, picking my mom up around 2am to take her to the museum, very tired, driving the wrong way, lights off, turned them on, a die above the pavement and I thought I could jump up and get it like a video game but it would hurt the car.

Cut to me and my daughter going up a very high building, at the top looking, down a few steps, she skips ahead and walks off a platform.  Down, feet first all the way to impact.  I went down stairs all the way down to her, There she is somewhat buried in a metal tub that’s set into the ground.  Her legs are skinny, she makes no noise or expression but looks around, her neck flops back, I wake up.

“Seventy-five cents a minute.” You fucking bitch.

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Batman Unmasked – The Psychology of the Dark Knight [Documentary]

Rather good, from the History Channel.

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What did you sa…

What did you say to Kate? She thinks I’m the Renaissance. She’ll think I’ve lied! I had to go along with all this “reclusive genius” stuff. She’s going to be very upset when she finds out I’m a reclusive wanker.

Bernard Black character, Black Books, Series 2, Episode 1, “The Entertainer” (Channel 4)

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“We’re all fool…

“We’re all fools,” said Clemens, “all the time. It’s just we’re a different kind each day. We think, I’m not a fool today. I’ve learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact tat we’re not perfect and live accordingly.”

Ray Bradbury, “No Particular Night or Morning

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Popular Mechanics’ Best TIps

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My December 20th

Today, I rose at five and showered, then dressed whilst the missus bathed. I roused the child, but she child and sent her in to the powder room. Her mother chose some clothes, and we got her into them with some effort, she being as usual in a playful mood.

Out the front door we went, piled into my aging automobile, and took Amy to work downtown. Child and I back at home, I made inquiries and found that friend eggs would be satisfactory. The child entertained herself with an apple and toast while I cooked bacon and eggs for us. We ate, but she found that the eggs were too much. Soon I dropped her at her estimable sitter and drove to the East side of town to visit my mom for a bit before I went to work, which starts at ten of the clock. We chatted a bit and I checked her email and facebook for her, and then I went off to work, having secured a full tankard of gasoline for the nice price of $2.999/gallon.

I get to work too late to get a good spot, but there aren’t many spots that make me walk longer than I did when I worked at The Curious Bank. Work is pretty good: the place itself seems to be expanding, the job seems secure, and no one I work with is an asshole. (Well, there’s one guy, but I don’t see enough of him to care.) I put on my Christmas lights and sat in the queue. “Tickets” are emailed in or put in by the two of us on the phones, and we resolve the simpler things and assign the other items to techs. It’s pretty quiet the week before Christmas, so there’s time to better oneself or to waste time.

Home life is going pretty well, but I get off work at seven, and you might get a different story from the lady who now has to bus to the sitter and walk home with Caitlyn. If it puts her in a bad mood, I get home an hour later, and the mood is often gone by then.

The kid is talking pretty well, sometimes talking, sometimes yelling, and sometimes quiet for a while. She has finally become interesting in books, and being read to rather than just pretending to read (although she’ll still do that too). She can count up to five, but is uncertain going beyond that. She is patient and quite well behaved, except when she’s not.

I’d go on, but (a) who wants that, and (b) I should get started on my 5.5 hours of sleep.

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Science Fiction

I miss the future. I miss watching Star Trek as a boy, wrongly choosing Spock as my role model, and believing in the future. The stories may have been silly, the colors garish, the humans “tolerant” and the men parochial, but it still tried to say that we have a future, the human race, and it’ll be better but always be a struggle.

There are many flaws with the new Star Trek movies, but what makes them not Star Trek to me is that all they see in the future is the setting for their superheroes vs. supervillians story. No love of what the human race is, or the achievements of civilization. Just a lot of effects, lens glare, TOS nostalgia, and PG-13 rated sex. I’d rather watch a syrupy three-tent version of the Hobbit. (OK, that’s not true.)

The old Trek even took its women more seriously than the new one does.

The future used to be everywhere. Dark visions, light visions. Sci-fi used the setting and the technology to explore human nature. often from a conservative point of view: Thomas Sowell has said that the “conservative premise” is “that man is flawed from day one, and that there are no solutions, there are only trade-offs, and whatever you do to deal with one of man’s flaws, it creates another problem, but that you try to get the best trade-off you can get…” That is the principle that America was founded on, I think, although that’s not what’s taught in schools.

Star Trek itself was created by a man who got across some of his vision, but I understand that he couldn’t get all of it. In its later incarnations, Roddenberry wanted man to have evolved beyond greed, hate, etc., but of course no one would have watched that.

Star Trek itself is late-sixties left-leaning view: a mildly socialized galactic government where money isn’t mentioned if possible, shown through the eyes of the military/science complex on board the starship Enterprise. An essentially positive view of humanity (though, come to think of it, the appearance of any non-adults usually spells trouble, and there are no children on the ship), tempered by an admission of the dark side of the species. Western civilization, human males, are dominant and tolerant. That’s what Star Trek was, and the new stuff ain’t it. DS9, my favorite non-TOS Trek, has almost nothing to do with the outlook I described, but it was good sci-fi.

I could go on about modern entertainment not modelling anything positive and requiring no imagination, but this is good enough for now.

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