All Day, And All Of The Night

fire-roger-bultot

30% of you either can’t count, or don’t know the difference between day and night – or both. Now that you’re insulted, here’s why.

In the picture above, the ‘No Parking’ sign says “from 10 AM to 12 PM.”  I know that they mean only for two hours, but the sign takes it from one ‘time zone’ into another, making it seem as if it indicates fourteen.

Let’s start at the bottom. There is no 12 AM or 12 PM!  The M stands for meridiem, noon, the split second that the sun is highest in the sky.  AM is ante meridiem – before noon.  PM is post meridiem – after noon.  You can’t have a 12:00 o’clock noon that is before noon, or after noon.

I recently was researching something on Dictionary.com, and came across this statement, “Noon is conventionally expressed as 12 p.m. or 12:00 p.m. and midnight as 12 a.m. or 12:00 a.m.” Some quick research revealed that only 30% of people believe that.  Like a bunch of dentists in Reno, it’s not really that big a convention.

I like the Military or Medical way of doing things. With 1200, or 2400, there’s no doubt or confusion.  Son Shimoniac sets his wristwatch to 24 Hour time, or he used to, until he decided to get two pocket watches, one for work, one for dress.

No Parking sign painters in NYC used to be part of the 30% wrong-way crowd, until a court challenge proved them wrong – or at least so confusing as to be unenforceable. Signs had to be repainted, indicating noon as ‘noon’ or ‘Nn’, and midnight as ‘Mn.’

Yin Yang

Let’s learn to count. Did you start at 1, and end at 12?  Actually, you started at zero, and stopped at 12.  If 2 follows 1, and 3 follows 2, and 4 follows 3….then 12 follows 11.  If 1, and 2, and 3.…and 11 are AM, then 12 is AM too.  You don’t start counting at 12, and end at 11.  Like the Yin/Yang, you begin with the least, and end with the most.  The one chronon – noon (or midnight) – between 12:00 and 00:00 is where AM turns to PM.

I was going to continue with my usual long-winded rant, but it’s like explaining that water is wet. If you still don’t get it, if you don’t understand that 12 comes after 11, not before, I can’t help you.  Don’t blame me when you get a parking ticket.  Like the band Chicago’s song, 25 or 6 to 4 – Does anybody really know what time it is?    😕

Advertisements

SLEEPING WITH SOMEONE STRANGE

Snowbank

For four years, between 1976 and 1980, I worked in the next small city over, just down the Superhighway. It was 13.2 miles to work, after looping around three big clover-leafs, but only 12.2 miles home because – merge lane, merge lane, merge lane.

One winter night, it began to snow just as I was going to bed. I exited the house a little early the next morning.  There was almost a foot of snow on the car and driveway, but a 4 to 5 foot pile at the end of my driveway.  I lived on a bus route, and bus routes get plowed first.

Snowplow

I thought about shovelling, especially carving a hole through the snowbank, but decided to wait till I got home. I always backed in, so I just barged my way out through it.  The bus route led to a Regional Road, which led to the Expressway, which led to the highway out of town, which led to the Interstate, all well plowed, and heavily travelled.  I got to work quickly and easily, while the guy who lived four blocks from the plant couldn’t even walk in.

All day, the snow continued, getting even deeper. By mid-afternoon, the radio was telling listeners not to go out, and that every street and road in the Region, including the big highway, was closed.  Most employees could get home, even if they had to walk, but what was I to do?  Where was I to spend the night, sleeping in the break-room?

Storm-stayed 2

One of the young lads in the plant said, “I have an apartment, and live alone. You could stay with me.”  By the time we left at 5 PM, the sky was clear blue and sunny, though the streets were deep with snow.  As we crossed over, I got a look at the highway – cars everywhere – cars sideways, cars backwards, cars stuck on the shoulder, cars abandoned in the middle, cars banged into each other.  I could have driven home, if not for that blockade.

Storm-stayed 3

On reaching his one-bedroom apartment, the unmarried male operated a can opener to serve me a gourmet meal – Heinz Alphagetti and dry bread. We watched some TV, and told some lies.  As the 11 o’clock news came on, he turned off the TV, and turned on the radio, tuned to a loud rock station, and disappeared into the bathroom.

When he came out, he headed for his bedroom. I said, “I’ll turn the radio and lights off when I’m done.”  Oh, no,” he replied, “I always leave the lights on, in case I have to get up in the night, and I need some music to lull me to sleep.”  So I’m left on a lumpy couch with no blankets, all the lights on, and the radio blaring in my ear, while he’s comfortable behind a closed door.

There are medicines that will cure sociable diseases, but you can pick up something even worse when you sleep with someone strange.  I think I found out why he was still single.   🙄

Flash Fiction #86

Concours

PHOTO PROMPT – © Al Forbes

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

“What is that thing back there?”

“Hmmm, it looks like a 1908 Marmon automobile.”

“What’s it doing out on the Pacific Coast Highway?”

“Probably going to the Pebble Beach Automotive Concours. That’s a car show and contest for rich guys who restore and maintain classic cars.  Millions of dollars rolling around on narrow tires.  I can barely afford to drive past.”

“Boy, they must have really built them well in the old days. It looks a little breezy without a windshield, but, we’re doing seventy, and he looks like he’s trying to pass.  Slow down, I want a good look!”

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

Book Review #10

Refuting Evolution  Refuting Evolution 2

I bought the above two books for a variety of reasons. First, I got them for $1.50/each.  That’s almost free reading.  Second, added to some books the wife was ordering, the invoice totalled over $25, so the shipping was free.  A third reason was to ‘know thy enemy.’ Last but not least, was the fact that the author is a scientist, and a PhD, and might actually have some valid information that I was not aware of.

The first book is titled Refuting Evolution.  The second, in case you didn’t ‘get it’ the first time, is Refuting Evolution 2, which isn’t really what he does in either book.  I’ve had operators’ manuals for a toaster oven that were longer than the 132-page first book.  Oh well, it only cost a buck and a half.

What he does, or tries to do and fails, is refute well-known evolutionists. He puts words in their mouths, then tries to argue against.  ‘Christopher Hitchens said this about that – but he’s wrong, and I’m right.’  No he didn’t!  And No you’re not!  ‘Richard Dawkins said that, but he means this – to agree with me.’  No he doesn’t.

For an author with a PhD, the cognitive dissonance is thick. He believes in mutations, and natural selection – but not evolution.  A God who created the universe in six days, 7000 years ago is okay – but a God who created the same universe 14 Billion years ago and is guiding its development, isn’t.

While not very good at actually refuting anything, he is quite adept at slinging dismissive language. Friends and scientists who agree with his views, are ‘renowned’, and ‘esteemed’, while Richard Dawkins is merely ‘well-known’.  Am I being finicky if I read that as equivalent to ‘known to police’?  Evolutionary scientists are referred to as ‘the Communist Atheist, Mr. X’ and ‘the Marxist Atheist, Mr. Y.’

Two other of his oft-repeated denial phrases are, ‘particles to people’, and ‘molecules to man.’ His own published fact that 95% of biologists believe in evolution is not a case of the people closest to the situation knowing the most about it; it must be an Atheist Conspiracy.

He claims The Church wasn’t wrong when they declared that the Earth was flat, and the center of creation, and that all orbits were perfect circles.  They had all the facts, but they merely interpreted them incorrectly.  Galileo wasn’t threatened with torture by the Catholic Church…well, he was, but that was because of a bunch of secular politicians who hated him.  (Wait!  Did he just admit that the Pope and the entire Church were led around by the nose by a bunch of bureaucrats?  I find that harder to believe than Creationism.)

He says that the Ptolemaic, flat-Earth, geocentric stuff in the Bible comes from Psalms – but that’s not really ‘the Bible’, that’s just Hebrew poetry, and – it’s been misinterpreted.  Really?  Who could have seen that coming?

He’s pretty good at ‘interpreting’ things too. If an Evolutionist says, ‘be careful how this information is released’, knowing that there are nuts like him out there who will react badly, he’s all over it, claiming that it must be a lie. If a Paleontologist admits that a fossil of an expected transitional form has not yet been found, he claims that it’s because one does not exist.

If scientists don’t have the answer to every question yet, you shouldn’t believe anything they say.  Trust in him, because he has the same answer to every question, drawn from faith in only one book of the Bible, Genesis, which he is constantly interpreting.

Putting words in people’s mouths again, he says that Evolutionists claim that we came from simple aquatic beings like jellyfish – yet no-one has ever found a jellyfish fossil. No, and no-one has ever found the grape Jell-O my kid spilled on the sidewalk last week, just before it rained.  He says we killed millions of buffalo (bison) on the plains last century, but no-one has ever found a buffalo fossil.  I guess if you categorically deny that something happened, you don’t bother to find out how.

The same day that I read his claim that turtles were created in their present form by GOD, because there were no fossils of any transitional form, I read that they had found a transitional-form turtle fossil in the mountains of Germany.  He denies that any fossils were created by sand turning into sandstone through sedimentation, because a few have been found giving birth, or eating.  “They’d have just moved out of the way.” as if they could just sidestep an opening sinkhole, or a flash flood, or a collapsing riverbank, and were later buried in silt.

Like the bumblebee which can’t fly, he mathematically ‘proves’ that the number of mutational occurrences necessary to arrive at Man, would have taken 85 Billion years, not the 4.5 Billion Evolutionists claim.

My Statistics professor stated that, “Figures lie, and liars figure.” The above might be true, if they happened one at a time. On any given day, it is estimated that there are 86,000 lightning strikes, about half of them over the ocean.  It was probably more than twice that, when the atmosphere and seas were still thick with chemicals.  Possibilities for that energy to fuse some of them into a primitive type of protein occurred simultaneously, dozens of times every second.

The other thing Mr. Scientist got wrong, is that statistics say that there may be 85 billion chances, but it doesn’t have to go all the way to the last one to happen. Life may have arisen on the hundredth, or the tenth, or even the first time.

It wasn’t long before I was reading just for entertainment and amusement. He got a rant about atomic deterioration wrong on a scale of 10/7th power, a minor mistake which would have blasted the Earth to dust.  The second book is a bit longer than the first, but he offers no new arguments, just the same old ones, only SHOUTED LOUDER, and repeated more often.

These books are printed and distributed from six places in the world, Australia, New Zealand, England, Kansas/USA, Japan (?), and five miles away, in our sister city, Waterloo, Ontario. I’m a bit worried.  Are Mennonites involved?   😕

Flash Fiction #85

Hourglass

PHOTO PROMPT – © Sandra Crook

DUMBSDAY

That there cockeyed hourglass were put up there coupla years ago by Mr. Lillington….excuse me, Doctor Arnold Lillington, ass-tronomer.  Silly old coot.  Crazy as that Doc Brown in them ‘Back To The Future’ movies.

He put it up on that funny angle on purpose. Says he’s got proof – mathematical proof – that an asteroid is gonna smack into Earth, November, 2018.  When it does, it’s gonna tilt the whole world on its axis by just enough to straighten that thing up long enough to count down our extinction.

Yeah, right! Hope it hits them Mayans first, and busts their calendar.

***

When the first experimental atomic bomb was exploded for the Manhattan Project, the builders watched from, what was thought to be, a safe distance. As the shock-wave approached, Enrico Fermi, the great physicist, tore half a small envelope into tiny pieces, and dropped them like confetti as it arrived.

He then measured where they fell with his foot, and by eye, and wrote a number on the other half of the envelope. When the ‘experts’ later calibrated how large the blast was in kilotons, he set the paper in front of the general in charge.  His ‘guesstimate’ was correct to three decimals.

As late as the day before the Trinity blast, the team of scientists were still arguing about whether exploding the bomb would set the entire atmosphere on fire, destroying all life on the planet. Later, perhaps regretting what he had helped create, J. Robert Oppenheimer is quoted as saying, “I am Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds.”

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Thoughts On Aging

S6300243

Just some observations on aging;
feel free to ignore if you’re young. 

You know you’re getting older when…

* when TGIF means “thank goodness I’m finished!” because you weren’t actually sure you could MAKE it through the week…

* when you double-book an evening out, not because you have an active social life, but because you forgot to write down your plans so you wouldn’t forget…

* when you watch an 89 yr. old co-worker hobble away and think to yourself, “man, I wish I could still move like that!”

* when your idea of a “perfect moment” involves a foam mattress pad and a cat…

* when “success” for you means the bills got paid on time because A. you managed to put in a full week’s work, and B. you remembered to pay them… (Thank you e-mail reminders)

* when someone asks you if you want to take a walk after work and you literally laugh out loud because you haven’t actually been able to walk after work in years… (especially on Friday!)

Mica - April & May 006

* when your choice of who to wake up with in the morning devolves to non-human species because, frankly, they are a lot less demanding and easier to deal with in the long run… (Mine has mottled fur and golden eyes)…

* when you start choosing food on a menu based on what you can chew, rather than on what actually looks good to eat…

*when the first word of every conversation you have is “what?” Followed immediately by “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that.”

* when friends and co-workers watch you as walk by, just in case you choose that moment for a “random gravity check”…

* when the music you grew up with (and still love and listen to) is called “classic”…

*when you realize you’d never get through an hour long TV show without that magical rewind button (assuming you can find it, of course!)…

*when you can remember remembering your best friend’s phone number, but now you can’t remember how to look it up…

*when you remember baking your TV dinners in the oven for 35-40 minutes each (“you mean it’s a whole dinner ready in just 45 minutes?  Without using any pans or dishes?!  How cool is that?!”)…

*when you remember the anticipation you used to feel every time the phone rang, wondering who might be calling and if you should answer it.  And the frustration and mystery of not knowing who it was if you didn’t…

*when marketing groups start targeting you for life insurance and retirement homes…

* when panic sets in because you suddenly realize that book club is coming up and you haven’t done the reading yet… (and the fact that you actually wrote the book in question doesn’t help a bit, because you can’t remember what’s in those particular chapters!) and finally…

*when you write a list like this and have to keep checking it to make sure you haven’t repeated yourself…

Of course, in a few more years it probably won’t matter if I keep repeating myself, because I won’t remember to check!

 

Oh, Grow Up!

Rink

On an irregular basis, the local newspaper allows 500-word articles from members of the Youth Editorial Board. These are intelligent high school students.  I am often impressed with their knowledge of social problems, and their mature suggestions.

I was recently sadly disappointed by a female Catholic student’s rant, titled Complaint About Rink, Masks a Bigger Problem.  A family in this hilly little town had found a large enough flat spot to build a small rink in their front yard.  By-law Enforcement had become aware of it, and the City gave them two weeks to dismantle it.

I share her opinion that Canadian kids are overweight and out of shape, and need all the outdoor exercise they can get. The City has sufficient good reasons to specifically make this behavior illegal, and mentioned several of them in their media release.  To ensure compliance, a possible fine was stated.

Not one to let the facts get in the way of a good story, she went on to paint the family, not as lawbreakers, but as Phys-Ed heroes, and later, as downtrodden victims.

If she built a snowman on her lawn, would someone file a complaint about that too? If it were eight feet high and blocking sightlines at an intersection – Yes!

She felt that vanity(?) was triumphing over enjoyment.  All exercise and fun obtained in a back yard would be just as enjoyable – and less dangerous.

She felt it was unfair that they had to dismantle the illegal structure because just one person filed a complaint. It’s possible that the entire street narc-ed out these people, or that only one did, with the knowledge and support of many others. How dare the City threaten a fine?  It wouldn’t be imposed, if they just obeyed the directive.

The list of weasel-word excuses that she used to rationalize her denigration of the complainant was long and impressive. She listed: intimidation and oppression, lowering self-esteem, verbal and physical abuse, criticism can follow creativity, attack with negative words, victims, power and control, lonely perpetrator craving attention, jealousy, compensating for their own troubles, anger, unfair, bullying, and frustration.

The City’s main stated reason for not allowing this behavior centered around the 14 inch steel tent pegs used to anchor the frame boards. Things like this, driven into the ground, could damage telephone and cable lines, power cables, and water and sewer pipes.  These would not happen if the rink were situated in the back yard.

Not mentioned by the City, were things like wobbly figure skaters or body-checked little hockey players crashing into passing pedestrians and baby carriages, or even worse, onto driveways, as cars pull in or out. Hockey pucks or frozen rubber balls can break windows and dent cars and garage doors.  Kids chasing them into the street can easily be run over.

The midnight-shift worker who tries to sleep during the day would be none too pleased with a noisy crowd of kids beneath his front bedroom window. None of these things have anything to do with vanity or oppression, merely safety and good manners.

Just wait till she gets older, gets married and moves into her own little house in the suburbs, next to a neighbors-from-Hell family like the one she’s currently defending.  The people who casually violate City ordinances about front-yard rinks, do it so that their kids have fun, not so that neighbor kids get exercise.

These same people are the ones who own a dog which is tethered outside 24/7, to bark its head off, or a cat that they let run loose to shit in your carefully tended garden beneath your living room window. They think nothing of having an illegal campfire in their backyard, which fills your house with smoke, and forces you to close all your windows on otherwise lovely days.

They feel entitled to blast loud music from their stereo out through windows and French doors, all day and night, while they throw loud, drunken parties on their deck, or in the pool or hot-tub. Now who’s intimidating, oppressing or bullying?  Ah, the joys of living in the city, there’s one on every block.

When we moved in here, the 10-year old from across the street wanted to play one-on-one street hockey with his friend, using their driveway and ours as ‘goals.’ I told him clearly that I would not allow it.  I didn’t want our car, or the house, dinged and marked, or the work and expensive garden plants wasted and ruined.

We left to go shopping one day and came back to a hockey net blocking our driveway, and the two boys resting on the curb. He jumped up and moved the net – the first time. I repeated that it was ‘my’ driveway, and I didn’t want him playing here.

We had lunch and went back out. On returning the second time, there was the net, blocking our access again, and he was now too tired to get up and move the net.  My son got out of the car and threw it onto the boulevard.

Not five minutes later his mother came over to accuse the son of ‘putting a hole’ in it.  It’s a hockey net.  It’s all hole!  And I don’t care how much healthy exercise he’s getting, it doesn’t belong on my driveway.

I think our little ‘fitness and fun’ defender’s entire screed “masks a bigger problem.” She needs to grow up, and I think when she does, our rose-colored-glasses wearing, sheltered little Catholic, is in for some nasty surprises about urban reality.