Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #878 - Christmas time is here - Throwback Thursday for 1711.30

Christmas 1972
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #878 - Christmas time is here - Throwback Thursday for 1711.30

Hi Mom,

In recent months, since moving out west, I have moved away from original content, at least as something I manage to feature often. I am always prioritizing work and falling behind and then when I scramble to catch up, I go with easy re-posts. I like sharing other people's content. It provides me with reading material, and in the future, it will provide serendipity as I come across something I either forgot about or forgot to read when I originally posted it. Also, the sharing feels like show and tell: "hey, look, here's this thing I like. I think you will like it, too."

But when I do too much sharing of the content of others without enough commentary by me, I feel like my blog is running on fumes and that maybe the daily schedule is no longer a viable plan for me in terms of how it fits into my new life.

Yadda yadda. I have whined about these things before.

If I do cease daily operations of this feature, it would not be with entry #878. Seems anti-climactic.

Meanwhile, I persevere. I find some down time. I hug puppies. I spend time with my wife. I eat some good food. And the kids start to unpack the Christmas decorations and get the house ready.

Just when I thought I would rewrite the purpose of this blog because I don't really feel like I am on a grief journey anymore -- it's been over two years -- then I see Christmas decorations, I see these photos, and I start missing you all the more, Mom.

Hard to feel too sorry for myself though given that a friend of mine died this week suddenly and  unexpectedly leaving behind a wife who loved him dearly and two young children. Missing you Mom, now, two years later, seems trivial and almost insulting to them. So I keep it all in perspective. I get to miss you, but I acknowledge how much greater and more devastating is their tragedy. And they're not the only ones with losses. There are countless other stories that do not compare with mine.

So maybe this why I steer clear of these self-examinations, eh? They seem self indulgent and unnecessary.

But I still miss you, Mom.

And I bought my plane tickets.

I am going back to Michigan for a visit.

Meanwhile, our Christmas tree is up and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here.

Goodbye November.

Christmas 1973
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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 880 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.30 - 10:10

NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #877 - "Height" - xkcd cartoon - top of the observable universe

top part of "Height" -  https://xkcd.com/482/

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #877 - "Height" - xkcd cartoon - top of the observable universe

Hi Mom,

I searched Google for "burnout xkcd," hoping to find a good xkcd comic specifically about burnout. I did not. But then I clicked the "random" button on xkcd's site: https://xkcd.com. Today's Felsius is pretty funny, too. I will include it below as a two-fer.

This is a pretty great comic and it completely alleviated my burnout, though on Friday when I am typing these words and not back on Wednesday for which I am posting this comic when I got much less done.

Permanent link to this comic: https://xkcd.com/482/




FELSIUS


Permanent link to this comic: https://xkcd.com/1923/





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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 879 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.29 - 10:10

NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #875 - Space dust may transport life between worlds

Imagine what this amazingly resilient microscopic (0.2 to 0.7 millimeter) milnesium tardigradum animal could evolve into on another planet. (credit: Wikipedia)

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #875 - Space dust may transport life between worlds


Hi MOM, 

Just a re-post today in order to make work of catching up. Another in the "isn't this interesting?" department.

We're all just riders on some space dust...

http://www.kurzweilai.net/space-dust-may-transport-life-between-worlds


Space dust may transport life between worlds

A hypervelocity bioparticle from Earth could have reached identified potential habitable planets
November 26, 2017


Life on our planet might have originated from biological particles brought to Earth in streams of space dust, according to a study published in the journal Astrobiology.
A huge amount of space dust (~10,000 kilograms — about the weight of two elephants) enters our atmosphere every day — possibly delivering organisms from far-off worlds, according to Professor Arjun Berera from the University of Edinburgh School of Physics and Astronomy, who led the study.
The dust streams could also collide with bacteria and other biological particles at 150 km or higher above Earth’s surface with enough energy to knock them into space, carrying Earth-based organisms to other planets and perhaps beyond.
The finding suggests that large asteroid impacts may not be the sole mechanism by which life could transfer between planets, as previously thought.
“The streaming of fast space dust is found throughout planetary systems and could be a common factor in proliferating life,” said Berera. Some bacteria, plants, and even microscopic animals called tardigrades* are known to be able to survive in space, so it is possible that such organisms — if present in Earth’s upper atmosphere — might collide with fast-moving space dust and withstand a journey to another planet.**
The study was partly funded by the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council.
* “Some tardigrades can withstand extremely cold temperatures down to 1 K (−458 °F; −272 °C) (close to absolute zero), while others can withstand extremely hot temperatures up to 420 K (300 °F; 150 °C)[12] for several minutes, pressures about six times greater than those found in the deepest ocean trenches, ionizing radiation at doses hundreds of times higher than the lethal dose for a human, and the vacuum of outer space. They can go without food or water for more than 30 years, drying out to the point where they are 3% or less water, only to rehydrate, forage, and reproduce.” — Wikipedia
** “Over the lifespan of the Earth of four billion years, particles emerging from Earth by this manner in principle could have traveled out as far as tens of kiloparsecs [one kiloparsec = 3,260 light years; our galaxy is about 100,000 light-years across]. This material horizon, as could be called the maximum distance on pure kinematic grounds that a material particle from Earth could travel outward based on natural processes, would cover most of our Galactic disk [the "Milky Way"], and interestingly would be far enough out to reach the Earth-like or potentially habitable planets that have been identified.” — Arjun Berera/Astrobiology

Abstract of Space Dust Collisions as a Planetary Escape Mechanism

It is observed that hypervelocity space dust, which is continuously bombarding Earth, creates immense momentum flows in the atmosphere. Some of this fast space dust inevitably will interact with the atmospheric system, transferring energy and moving particles around, with various possible consequences. This paper examines, with supporting estimates, the possibility that by way of collisions the Earth-grazing component of space dust can facilitate planetary escape of atmospheric particles, whether they are atoms and molecules that form the atmosphere or larger-sized particles. An interesting outcome of this collision scenario is that a variety of particles that contain telltale signs of Earth’s organic story, including microbial life and life-essential molecules, may be “afloat” in Earth’s atmosphere. The present study assesses the capability of this space dust collision mechanism to propel some of these biological constituents into space. Key Words: Hypervelocity space dust—Collision—Planetary escape—Atmospheric constituents—Microbial life. Astrobiology 17, xxx–xxx.

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 877 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.28 - 10:10

NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #874 - "I finally unplugged my shirt" - Musical Monday 1711.27


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #874 - "I finally unplugged my shirt" - Musical Monday 1711.27

Hi Mom,

I will always remember the joyous enthusiasm and relish with which he recited the lines:

"I finally unplugged my shirt and said, look, I am with this band..."




And this, for my friend, who left this world this morning because it's beautiful.




Cryptic, yes. I hesitate to reference anything at all. I was tempted to post just the videos.

...sigh...

I waited two days to post as I struggled with learning the news of the death of a friend of mine, and even writing this now, on Wednesday, I may sleep on it before posting.

There are not a lot of options for King Crimson content on You Tube. It's a thing I guess. Certain bands protect their material and that makes sense. But it does interfere with my ability to post the content.

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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- Days ago = 876 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.27 - 10:10
NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #873 - Cannon Beach - A Day at the Coast

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #873 - Cannon Beach - A Day at the Coast

Hi Mom,

On the last full day that Ivan and Will were staying with us, we drove over to the Pacific Ocean and down to Cannon Beach.

To the left, there's a great photo of our immediate family though Will and Adam (also with us) are defacto members of our family, and we're very close with them.

This was an important day for us as a family because other than Thanksgiving it was the only thing we all did together. It was the only thing we did outside the home all together, and I needed to get out of the home. Working at home as I do, and taking care of the dogs, I spend a lot of time at home.

I am more isolated up in Woodland than I was in Kalamazoo. It's easy enough to get out, but not easy to get into Vancouver or Portland for any length of time because of work and the dogs, and so I begin to feel a little like a shut in. It's a situation I am working to change. So, it was great to break away from the work-pet-laundry-home cycle and get out, if just for the drive alone. But even better are the people (and puppies) I spent the day with and the power of the Pacific Ocean. It's majestic, and claiming that it's majestic does not do it justice.

It was a good day.

We happened to time the rain just right. It more or less stopped raining as we hit the beach, and by the time it started to rain again in earnest, we had seen enough and taken enough pictures.

The dogs were run about a lot and stuck their noses in everything.

On the way home, we ate at Ruby's Roadside Grill in Seaside, OR, and they even have a dog menu. The dogs each had a chicken breast. Satchel almost bit me in her excitement to eat her chicken in one massive gulp.

But for us, Ruby's has tremendously delicious burgers. Really an outstanding place. A serve yourself style diner with beer and wine, so that's a bonus. Also, amazing CHOWDER.

This video below is just sounds of the waves. But the ocean's susurrus is very calming.

Following the ocean waves are many sundry photos of our family afternoon at Cannon Beach. Some are candid shots of various family members with the dogs. Others are just the waves or the great rock at this particular beach.




















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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago =  875 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.26 - 10:10

NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #872 - Myth and The River of Time


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #872 - Myth and The River of Time

Hi Mom,

Sometimes these are for my own purposes only. I am not pushing this one through to social media, marking one of the few times I have not pushed a post via Twitter and Google Plus. Someone may notice a one day gap in the social media fabric?

I doubt it.

I save this here so I know where it is, and I can read it any time I like.

You may like reading it, too. I did.

Thank you Warren Ellis. You are one of my favorite writers.

Let's be clear. The entire following text is Warren Ellis' speech from Impakt.

This is not mine.

That's clear, right?

Here's data with a link and a photo

If you're just joining me and have forgotten why you subscribed: I'm Warren Ellis, author, comics writer, public speaker, screenwriter, producer, Doctor of the University of Essex, visiting Professor to York St John University, Patron to Humanists UK and guest tutor to the Shadow Channel masters programme at the Sandberg Institute.
Please add warrenellis@orbitaloperations.com to your address book.
If you enjoy this newsletter, perhaps you'd like to infect your friends with it, by driving them to http://orbitaloperations.com and forcing them to give me their email address.


Warren also does these things:

 

++ SPEKTRMODULE 50

The fiftieth edition, after a long hiatus, is up at this link here.
This is the RSS link for your podcast app: http://spkmdl.libsyn.com/rss
That logo is fifty editions old now. I could really use a new one, I think.
I do, however, still love the logotone signature music made for me by Dirty Knobs.


Myth And The River Of Time - OO 29 Oct 17


back from Holland
Delivered at
Haunted Machine & Wicked Problems
Impakt Festtival
Het Huis
Utrecht
25 October 2017
MYTH AND THE RIVER OF TIME

I spoke at the original Haunted Machines event, in Manchester, discussing the confluence of technology and the stories of deep time.  We have three topics this year – myth, magic and monsters.  I was asked to speak about myth, because, like myths these days, I am very old and rarely seen in the wild.  So here we are again, for the first time.  Because as old Heraclitus said, nobody ever steps in the same river twice.
We are here tonight within the northernmost branch of the delta of the river Rhine.  The Romans built Utrecht on the river ford here.  The Crooked Rhine of Utrecht is all but cut off from the main branch, now, but it retains the name.  It’s a canal that haunts a river.
The Lorelei lays on the Rhine.  Lorelei means “murmuring rock” – the Lorelei is a 130-metre tall chunk of slate that amplifies the sounds of a nearby waterfall and the strong currents in the Rhine at that point. All the myths around the Lorelei are about lurking dangers and siren songs that draw you in.  What the myths actually mean is that the section of river around the Lorelei is very treacherous for ship navigation.  It’s not the music of the river that’ll kill you – it’s the riptides.  But when you hear the music, you remember the story and act to not be drawn into the rock.
Myth is the carrier wave on the river of time.
The Rhine runs all the way past Dusseldorf in Germany, where Michael Rother of Neu! stood and imagined a new kind of music.  “It’s like time,” he said of the river.  “It’s also like a picture of music.”  The future flowed from there to here, caught in the crooked arm of a ghost river, and here we all are.
I’ve read that you have a river of words here.  The Letters of Utrecht!  Every Saturday, you add another paving stone containing one single letter to a poem you began in 2012.  In another three hundred and fifty years or so, the lines of the poem will have formed the letters U and T at such size that they will have become part of the map of the city.  I love that.  Another one thousand, seven hundred and fifty years after that you will have cut the name of the city INTO the city at map scale.
It was inspired by The Clock Of The Long Now, a mechanical clock that would only tick once a year, with a hand that would move only once a century, for ten thousand years.  They’ve still only created prototypes.  You did this.  A river of words that rolls into the future, that will only speak its complete statement to the people in this space a couple of thousand years from now, words that mark this city from orbit.   And, with a bit of luck, the final words of the piece will be “and fuck Geert Wilders forever.”
You know… that better be a good poem.   If that turns out to be a two-millennia-long gag that ends with a limerick about dicks, your descendants will dig you up and desecrate your corpses.
Changing the map.  Haunting it with a poem.
“I am walking in an unknown street, when suddenly ghosts appear in front of me.”  This is how the mathematician Rene Descartes begins his description of the three visions he had one night when living by the banks of the Danube River, that changed his approach to science, which changed everybody’s approach to science.  He was French, but he did most of his work living in the Netherlands. 
The first dream is of him being lost among ghosts.  The second, of a large explosion. 
The third is of an unknown man appearing and presenting him with a poem, which starts with the words “what is, and is not.”  Upon awakening, he begins the process of sorting what is, from what is not.  Myth and science are separated – science enumerates and measures, and myth only speaks, in murmurs, from the river’s edge.
The real world is a world of mathematical properties, and we can tell what is real and what is not.  Mostly.  All started by Descartes, a guy who locked himself in a room by the river, where he’d banked up the stove to the point where he was having heat-induced hallucinations in his sleep.  Who decided his visions were real wisdom. We’re all doomed. 
This was the break.  This was the point at which alchemy split into measure and number on the one hand, and magic and myth on the other.  Isaac Newton, born seven years before Descartes died, was the other great actor in this separation – a British astronomer, mathematician and physicist who was also an alchemist. 
Alchemy was really the most developed science of its time – scientific observation and magic, poems indivisible from spells and lots of large explosions.  Spells are nothing but poems intended to write something new on the face of reality.
He wrote something over a million words in his lifetime in pursuit of the philosopher’s stone, an alchemical concept whose first recorded mentions date back to the time of Socrates.  It’s strongly believed that the philosopher’s stone was never truly believed to be a possible physical object, but was in fact a metaphor for some set of ultimate knowledge or tools about consciousness, existence and reality.  A physicist looking for a technology of metaphysics.  It was a myth, in search of transmission of its truth. 
In the book THE ENDS OF THE WORLD by Déborah Danowski & Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, there is this line:
“Maybe, as Lévi-Strauss often remarked, science, which started out by separating itself from myth… will eventually encounter it once again at the end.”
But myth is the carrier wave.
Human beings are hardwired for storytelling.  We make stories out of everything.  The earliest earthworks and megaliths are all about dramatizing the landscape, enhancing the stories we see in them.  And we did the same with the sky.  Gordon White’s book on myth, STAR SHIPS, makes a very important point very clearly.  Once we began making stories about the night sky, astrological myths conjured up from the shapes the stars form, we began an important process.  Astrology leads to astronomy.  We perceive and understand the repeating patterns and positions.  We measure and record.  We do the work of science.  And astronomy leads to navigation.  The positions of the stars and planets at night become the markers that guide our way.  Astrology leads to astronomy which leads to navigation.  Or, put another way – myth transmits a technology through time via storytelling.  What is NOT, is the carrier wave for what IS.
On some level, a myth is always a true story.  And the machine is always haunted.
When we do these events, we’re talking about how science and magic are intertwined.  How technology is informed by folklore at every step.  We do, in fact, live in the age when science and myth have met again. 
In the days before science, the only tool Socrates had to describe self-reflective consciousness and cognition was to create myth.  He told people the story that he possessed a Daemon, an intercessor spirit that influenced his decision making.   A voice that told him what is, and what is not.
Daemons exist today – they’re computer programs that run as background processes without the direct control of the user.  The machine is always haunted.  We always put myths inside them.
In that same book THE ENDS OF THE WORLD, I came across a wonderful term.  Mythophysics.  They write:
“Jorge Luis Borges’ well-known quip on metaphysics being a branch of fantastic literature… requires that the converse be true – fantastic literature and science fiction are the pop metaphysics (or the “mythophysics”) of our time.”
The literature of the fantastic has always been one part myth to one part social fiction.  We transmit what we see and what we believe to be true through the carrier of story.
If you were an alchemist who was also a physicist, metaphysics would be a subset of physics.
Myth and physics.  Mythophysics.  Connected all along, as if alchemy had never split and as if someone had slapped Descartes and told him to lay off the mushrooms.
And here’s our wicked problem.  Mythophysics is both old and new, and either through its novelty or the separation that saw it confined to the haunted dark for a few hundred years, we haven’t gotten good at it.
Levi-Strauss notes that outright mythical thought passed to the background in western thought during that time of separation, but, at that same time, the first novels began to appear.  Mythic lore begins its alchemical transmutation into popular culture. 
The monomyth is iterated – Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, the near-algorithmic combination of all the world’s most enduring epics into a single template.  It has no power or significance or information to transmit now. It’s been cooked down into a twelve-step timeline that’s in everything from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings to almost every single Marvel movie.  This isn’t mythophysics.  We have, on some level, lost control of storytelling.
The other thing that was beginning to change was what must have seemed like the near-eternal state of undercommunication.  For almost all of human history, it was nigh impossible to know what was going on in the rest of the world and information could only be transmitted by spoken word and single documents, in the forms most resistant to degradation.  Ghost stories and poems, built on the model of mythology.
Today, we exist in a never-before seen condition of over-communication.  Almost anyone in almost any place in the world can know much of what’s going on in the rest of the world.  We now live on an incredibly loud planet.  Measure and number have put magic mirrors in our pockets that can show us storms on the other side of the planet.    Haunted by our own machines, to the point where a lot of us seem to forget they come with off switches.
They also show us fascists getting asked their opinions about things on mainstream news.  Fascism coming from a Roman word for a bundle of rods, the fasces.  The same Romans who frequently recorded that they knew when it was safe to ford a river because the gods told them so.
We forget things, as a culture.  Myth is the way to preserve the things that matter.  The warnings from deep time, and the ways to navigate away from the rocks.  It’s the carrier wave for civiilsation. But, thanks to a half-reformed alchemist who wanted to make a magic stone and a mathematician who lost his shit in a room that was too hot, we became convinced that we didn’t need myths any more.  And what happened after that is that we proved why we needed those resonant mythic forms murmuring down the ages – we’re really, really good at forgetting things.  Took us just seventy years to forget why we don’t put fucking Nazis on television.
I’m pissed off.  I admit it.  When we started doing this event, it was just called Haunted Machines.  It almost feels decadent now, having that space to talk about occultism in technology and the secret stories that underpin our tools and society.  A couple of years later, and we’re now Haunted Machines and Wicked Problems.  Because it’s been that kind of a couple of years.  Storytelling’s been subverted in ways I used to write satirical fiction about, in the last century.  Now?  We treat the news like pop culture and we treat reality television like news.  A significant proportion of the world population can’t tell the difference any more.  Including a lot of the perpetrators.  How many times have you heard the words “fake news” in the last year?  Like a spell cast over a truth that’s already drowning in the river.  Have you tried watching CNN or even BBC News 24?  All they’re missing is a fucking astrologer.
So here we are.  Standing in shouting distance of a ghost river, where you’re conjuring a spell in stone that’s writing something both new and old on the face of the city.  This is as good a place as any to make the stand for mythophysics.  We need to look forward, but we can rarely see where we’re gone unless we can first see where we’ve been.  The river always needs to point into the future, but we navigate it with the lessons learned from the stories of the past.
Myth has context.  Myth has information, and tools.  Myth is a solid stone step towards civilization.  We build it by the river, where we can hear the resonant music of the future.  Myth is memory.  If we take anything from this haunted week of wicked problems, it’s that millennia of human culture worked to give us the tools to survive the future, and to remember our ghosts.  The people who came before us did not do all that, did not tell all those stories, just for us to steer into the rocks.  It’s on us to preserve those stories and provide the new myths and warnings to those who come after us.  So that they get to finish that poem.
And if it’s a shit poem, we get to come back and haunt them all.
Thanks for your time.

© Warren Ellis 2017 all rights reserved


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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 874 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.25 - 10:10

NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #871 - Thanksgiving 2017

from Left: Piper, me, Liesel, Elizabeth, Rob, Will, Ivan, Adam, and Molly. John is taking the photo
 Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #871 - Thanksgiving 2017

Hi Mom, So we had a grand Thanksgiving dinner yesterday. I am a bit late posting this because, you know, as usual, grades.

The dinner was fantastic, due to the fantastic cooking of my wife, Liesel (turkey, stuffing, everything), Piper (pies, bread), Elizabeth (vegies), and Rob (mashed potatoes).

And we had such a large table with family and friends visiting. Ivan was visiting from Kalamazoo with his close friend and bandmate Will Moss. Adam's sister (Molly Hermiz formerly Kemp) and brother-in-law (John Hermiz) were visiting from San Diego. And then, our local family Liesel's step-father Robert (Rob) Allen and his wife Elizabeth were in attendance from nearby Brush Prairie.

As you can see, Mom, there was plenty of wine. The turkey was delicious and amazingly fed all these people with leftovers. There was also stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry, asparagus, a Brussels sprouts mixture with walnuts, mashed potatoes, cranberry, bread (Piper), and three pies: pumpkin (by Liesel), cherry/raspberry and apple (Piper). We also had a large salmon filet for John who does not eat other meats.

We put the dogs in a kennel for the day and night just to make it a bit easier on all of us to cook, clean up, and have great dinner conversation without post-potty-outside dog cleaning or walking. We managed to get Rob discussing his PhD, Elizabeth joined in with her experiences (defending her PhD in Spanish) while discussing John's PhD work at UC San Diego. We all had a lengthy music discussion listing favorite songs and albums.

After dinner and some of the clean up (the rest happened Friday), we played some games from the Jack Box company (You Don't Know Jack etc.).

It's been a great week with these guests, members of our extended family. Will and Ivan played a lot of music. There was plenty of laughter and affection shared among everyone. The dogs were well loved, also, with John as well as Will and Ivan taking them for walks to spell me from those daily chores.

I am thankful for these people being in my life. Look at Piper in this picture below. She is beaming with happiness and joy. It's so great having her here with us. The look on Liesel's face shows how happy she is as well. In fact, doesn't everyone look pretty happy? And we haven't even eaten yet when those photos were taken.

I even carved the turkey (see photos below as I needed to photograph the carcass), and I really have no idea what I am doing in turkey carving.

My wife has made this new house a wonderful home, and I am so very grateful for that home and for these wonderful people and this shared meal.

I do wish you could have been here, Mom. I am sure you would have been impressed.

from Left: Liesel, Elizabeth, Rob, Will, Ivan, Adam, John, Molly, and Piper. I am taking the photo.







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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 873 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.24 - 10:10

NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #870 - Thanksgiving 2016 and 2015 - again

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #870 - Thanksgiving 2016 and 2015 - again

Hi Mom,

Post within a post within a post.

Kind of like mirrors reflecting each other.

A chain of Thanksgiving posts.

The 2016 post re-posted the 2015 post, and now I am posting the 2017 post as those posts.

So, that's three Thanksgiving days without you, Mom.

That doesn't seem right. But for the first time in my life, I was not with Dad or Lori either. But that's okay. There was lost of family here.

More on that tomorrow.

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #506 - Thanksgiving 2016

Hi Mom,

I don't have the picture Liesel took of our Thanksgiving this year, and I did not take pictures.

Below is last year's Thanksgiving post, which I am managing to get posted exactly a week later, so I am catching up, though it may not seem that way.

I made mashed potatoes and an Asian slaw and ramen salad.

A week later, I am still eating up leftovers.

I peeled potatoes "yesterday" (the day before Thanksgiving) while annoying Satchel by singing along to Bruce Springsteen that was playing loudly on the stereo.

I did you proud, Mom.

Thanksgiving 2014
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #142 - Happy Thanksgiving, Mom

Hi Mom,

I could make this a really long entry. I am thinking a lot about you today.

The picture up top is from our first Thanksgiving in the St.Antoine house. The picture to the left of this text is from last year.

I am thankful for you, Mom. I am thankful for everything you gave me, taught me, showed me, and for your love, your appreciation, your show of pride, so much.

We enjoyed many Thanksgiving days together, and you were generally tolerant of my desire to keep football on TV.

I am thankful for my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, my wife, my kids, my dog, my cat, so many things, people, and blessings.

I am thinking about how lucky I am, how grateful I am to the universe, to my wife, to you and Dad, Mom.

I wish you were here to kiss and show you how thankful I am.

I am missing you a lot this year.

I just want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

And, no, I am not celebrating colonization and mass genocide. This holiday can also be just about family no matter what the original event.

I wish you were here, Mom.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 144 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1511.26 - 10:49


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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 508 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1611.24 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.


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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 872 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.23 - 10:10

NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #869 - Have we lost what it means to be human?


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #869 - Have we lost what it means to be human?

Hi Mom,

I should curb my rampant category creation, but I figure "robots" is one I may use more often. In fact, I should populate it with some robot stuff I have already.

Just a share today.

I liked this article. It was recommended to me by multiple people, so that scores higher than just one recommendation.

I am also sharing this one with my students in the Writing for Online Environments class. And yes, that's self serving. Instead of just serving up the link, I post the content on my blog and serve up the link to my blog.

But that's "Writing" for the Online environment, right?

Here's one of my favorite lines from the following:

We should be educated stakeholders in our own future


Read on.

ORIGINAL CONTENT HERE -

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/24/in-our-focus-on-the-digital-have-we-lost-our-sense-of-what-being-human-means



In our focus on the digital, have we lost our sense of what being human means? | Genevieve Bell | Opinion | The Guardian




In our focus on the digital, have we lost our sense of what being human means?


We have a moral obligation to start talking about our future and the role of technology in it. We are more than just intelligence and data


 ‘I know we can still shape that world, and make it into a place which reflects our humanity, our cultures and our cares’ Photograph: Tegan Osborne



Three decades ago I left Australia to study anthropology in America. That journey took me to the heart of Silicon Valley. My job was to put people back into the process by which technology is made. Eight months ago I came back to Australia.
My time in Silicon Valley has left me with the distinct sense that we need to keep reasserting the importance of people and the diversity of our lived experiences into our conversations about technology and the future. It is easy to get seduced by all the potential of the new and the wonders it promises. There is a lot of hype and not so much measured discussion. So it is time for a conversation about our possible digital and human futures and about the world we might want to make together. What actions can we take, individually and collectively? Is there a particular Australian thread we could follow? I want to suggest four things we should do in Australia.





Build new approaches

We will need new practitioners to tame and manage the emerging data-driven digital world, as well as those to regulate and govern them. Rather than just tweaking existing disciplines, we need to develop a new set of critical questions and perspectives. Working out how to navigate our humanity in the context of this data-driven digital world requires conversations across the disciplines. In the university sector, we need to rethink how we fund, support and reward research, and researchers. At a funding level, our privileging of Stem at the expense of the rest of the disciplines is short-sighted at best, and detrimental at worst.

Invest in the human-scale conversation


We need to invest in hard conversations that tackle the ethics, morality and underlying cultural philosophy of these new digital technologies in Australian lives. Do we need an institute or a consortium or a governmental thinktank? I am not sure, but I think it would be a good start. We have a great deal of concern about our future and the role of technology in it. We have a responsibility to tell more nuanced, and yes, more complicated stories – governments, NGOs, industry, news media, every one of us. We also have a responsibility to ask better questions ourselves. We should be educated stakeholders in our own future; and this requires work and willingness to get past the easy seduction of killer robots. So the next time you hear a story about those killer robots, ask yourself: what is the history of this technology? What are its vested interests? Who are its beneficiaries? And most importantly, what is the broader context into which it fits?

Strive for accountability


How will our humanness be expressed in a world shaped by algorithms in which you have no say, and into which you have no insight? Should there be accountability, transparency and openness? And if so, to whom? And how would we manifest that? Where is the duty of care for this new data-driven version of our smart, fast and connected digital world? We should be actively developing an appropriate regulatory and policy frame work for Australia. Should Australians, own their data, as Europeans do? Should we mandate that algorithms are subject to review and scrutiny, even when they are built elsewhere and by commercial interests? Should we require, as we do with new drug treatments, that they be appropriately tested before they are released here? And how do we ensure that our regulators and policy makers fully understand these new technologies and infrastructures? We ask board directors to be certified financially – perhaps we should ask our regulators and politicians to be certified technically.

Make our own futures

I am tempted to suggest there is one simple question here: do we want to be Australian in this new data-driven smart, fast and connected world, or just another colony of some transnational, commercial empire? Of course, it is not that simple, nor should it be. But algorithms and the data-centric world they help build are manifestations of cultural values and logics which arise in very particular places and contexts. While it is certainly the case that in Australia there is currently a robust debate about what our value set might be, I think it is safe to say we might want to embody our own values in the data-driven digital world around us. For me those values include things like fairness, equity, social justice and civic society. So should we build Australian algorithms? Yes. In fact, we already are. But it has not been without its challenges including regulation, oversight and accountability, and open questions remain about whose values we are modelling.
And of course, there are bigger questions about the role of technology more broadly. In making the machines smarter, we have sacrificed a little something of ourselves – we run the risk of being reduced to data and the decisions it drives. I believe we are more than data, more than just intelligence. I worry that, in our current focus on the digital, we have lost some of our agency and some of our sense of what being human might mean. But I don’t believe this is inevitable or irreversible.

Historically, we backed ourselves with a bigger vision of what we stood for and the lives we wanted for ourselves, our families and our country – things that would not have happened without a bigger vision and that at times ran counter to market forces and conventional wisdom. Things like the Snowy Mountain scheme, the ABC, the Sydney Opera House, the 1967 referendum, Medicare, HECS, superannuation, the NBN as originally planned, and I hope soon marriage equality.
I know we can still shape that world, and make it into a place which reflects our humanity, our cultures and our cares. We have done so before, and we can do so again. It requires that we enter a conversation about the role of technology in our society, and about how we want to navigate being human in a digital world. I think we have a moral obligation to do just that, to shape a world in which we might all want to live. And that’s why I came home.
  • Professor Genevieve Bell is presenter of the ABC’s 2017 Boyer Lectures and director of the Autonomy, Agency & Assurance (3A) Innovation Institute at ANU, co-founded by Data61

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 871 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.22 - 10:10

NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #868 - Satchel and CAMP SNOOPY


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #868 - Satchel and CAMP SNOOPY

Hey Mom,

So, my idea was to present the T-shirts post today from November 21, 2013, but it's lame. It's just the picture of a shirt. So instead I grabbed these two posts because they feature plenty of photos and I am thankful for my puppies and my family.

Yeah, I am lame. There's original content here but it's reprints. Then again, I am proud of my T-shirts blog project, and don't mind reposting its content as I have mentioned before.

ORIGINAL POST AT



T-shirt #117: Snoopy and Friends

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SATCHEL!!

Our puppy Satchel is ONE YEARS OLD today, July 16 2013 (or 1307.16 as I like to note dates).

Satchel Paige Tower, named for both a name that ends with -el like Liesel and Satchel Paige the Baseball player, is our baby child and we, her mom and her dad, dote on her passionately and incessantly.


Though Satchel was born a year ago today, we did not adopt her and bring her home until August 24th 2012.

She is a beagle and springer-spaniel mix, known as a spreagle, though, since she is mostly beagle, I thought that today's shirt devoted to Snoopy and Friends was a good choice.

This Snoopy and Friends shirt was a gift several years ago from my sister. She knows how much I love Snoopy.

I am also obligated to include a picture of my childhood Peanuts books. Note the wear and tear.

I did not imagine ever being lucky enough to have a beagle, and they do howl. Though Satchel is relatively quiet as beagles go.

LOVE beagles.

HAPPINESS IS A WARM PUPPY

I would be rich if I could genetically-engineer the puppy to either always stay a puppy or extend the baby-sized, tiny, puppy stage to a couple of years as opposed to a couple of months.

I have been a Snoopy fan for all of my life as evidenced by owning a Snoopy toy with different outfits for Snoopy as seen in the photos, such as the Sherlock Holmes Snoopy outfit as pictured.

So far, we have not dressed up Satchel in any outfits.

We are crazy dog people. I narrate the puppy's life. I speak for the puppy with my own special puppy voice, vocalizing what the puppy is thinking.

What the puppy is doing at all times is of great interest to us.

We have wished more than once that we could have streaming video when she is home alone or at one of her favorite places: CAMP FIDO.

Satchel is also known as "the Boo Boo," "Boo," "Satchel Boo," "Puppy Doodle," "Poopsy Doodle," "Poopsy Doodler," "The Doodler," "Pastry Strudel," and "Sneaky Pickle."

As you may note, I like making up names for the puppy.

My new thing is calling her "Pooper" and then replying for her: "Dad... why do you say "Pooper" to me."

Today's entry will be mostly pictures as I devote it all to Satchel and her birthday.

Happy birthday my wonderful, sweet puppy girl.

We plan to dote on you extra much today.

And now some videos and photos...

Satchel Special Time Video 1307.12


Satchel likes to "nurse" blankets. She was weaned too soon. She was the runt. You will see her knead the "breast."

SATCHEL BOO BOO STUCK IN A CUP


SATCHEL FIRST DAY AT OUR HOME = 39 DAYS OLD


SATCHEL PHOTO GALLERY

I could go nuts here with Satchel pictures. But I am going to restrict myself to recent favourites and some all-time favourites.

Satchel perching a la Snoopy 1306.24

Satchel sleeping 1307.04, tired of explosions in the night


Satchel sleeping with dad later in the day 1307.04

"Dad. Why do you say Pooper to me? You know I don't like that, Dad."

Satchel playing 1208.31

Satchel held by Ivan 1209.03

Satchel on the dash of Liesel's car waiting for her to get out of work
1209.13

Satchel in an Instagram photo created by Liesel
1305.17

Satchel Camp Fido Pick of the Week
1212.12

Re-assuring mom and dad that the puppy is happy
after we left her in Piper's care to go on a trip
Friday 1209.28

Another Instagram photo by Liesel 1212.26
- chris tower - 1307.16 - 10:48


ORIGINAL POST AT 



T-shirt #244 - Camp Snoopy

Greetings. Happy Wednesday. Today is a short entry of mostly pictures as I had a busy day with work and unexpected events. The main work of the day was conferences at WMU, at which I had to break some bad news to some very nice students. The good things is that though some of the news of grades was woeful, the semester is not over, and I am not carving the grades in stone quite yet. I gave all the students who wished higher grades, options to raise their grades.

None of this work really has anything to do with Snoopy and friends, and this specific shirt, which my parents brought back from the Mall of America in Minneapolis, a trip that they took with my sister, some time (I am guessing) in the 1990s. For those who have not heard of the Mall of America, I am providing a link (which I provided twice). I had not heard of it before my family went there without me. I seem to remember that the sole purpose of the trip was to visit the mall, as my mother and sister are avid shoppers.


As for the photo, my face cannot be in every photo. That's just narcissistic.

I had not heard of Camp Snoopy either. Though, knowing my love for Snoopy and beagles in general (before I shared my life with one), they bought this short knowing I would love it.

EGADS! I just discovered a travesty. In an attempt to provide you with more links, such as one for Camp Snoopy, I found this (among many other articles):

Camp Snoopy Who? Nickelodeon runs the show now at Mall of America


The Nikelodeon Universe replaced Camp Snoopy back in 2007. So apparently, my shirt is a bit of a vintage prize now.

Check out this great video. Apparently this is an old advertisement for Camp Snoopy.

CAMP SNOOPY VIDEO

There's also

Mall of America Camp Snoopy Camp Bus Ride 




and...

Camp Snoopy Living the Dream

  • by madmouse3
  •  
  • 5 years ago
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  • 3,197 views
At the end you will know how i feel.


Apparently people were quite sad when Mall of America parted ways with Snoopy and his gang.

I have only written about Snoopy one time in T-shirt #117, which I presented to commemorate Satchel's birthday. Anything Peanuts or Snoopy makes me think of my family and their support for my love of Snoopy and related other things, like Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, and Curious George.

Today, I am off to do more work even yet, a class that had to be postponed due to an emergency. But I conclude my posting for the day with some old photos from my childhood and some recent pictures of our Snoopy, our boo-boo puppy, Satchel. Though I have some great pics and videos of the Boo-Boo in T-shirt #117. Check those out if you have not done so already.

I love featuring my family in my blog. I would describe my childhood as idyllic. I love my family very much.

me at three years old

I have some tentative captions with these photos, but I do not have all the details. I may update later when time permits dating and detailing each photo.

Some Easter Sunday in the 1970s
I would guess around 1974

Posing with art project
This is a space ship I drew

Halloween gifts
yes, GIFTS for Halloween
Did I mention my childhood was idyllic?

Cub Scouts camping trip
I am in the middle.

A carriage ride on Mackinaw Island
I have no idea who the girl is next to my sister.

Christmas, maybe 1975? 1974?

Post Blizzard of 1969? 1970?

I have no idea where we are.
I am guessing 1973-74.
My David Cassidy period.

My sister looks bigger here.
I would guess this is a year later
than the previous picture.

Long Lake - 1973-4?

Just two pictures of the Satchel Boo-Boo. I don't want to go nuts here.

Satchel one month ago today
1310.20



Napping puppy - 1310.20
COUNTDOWN TO THE END OF THE BLOG YEAR: 121 shirts remaining

- chris tower - 1311.20- 20:18

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Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you, Mom.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.

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- Days ago = 870 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1711.21 - 10:10

NEW (written 1708.27) NOTE on time: I am now in the same time zone as Google! So, when I post at 10:10 a.m. PDT to coincide with the time of your death, Mom, I am now actually posting late, so it's really 1:10 p.m. EDT. But I will continue to use the time stamp of 10:10 a.m. to remember the time of your death, Mom. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom.