atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5668: Wednesday, the complete lack of motivation day

...yet I have four tasks which must be completed. I will complete them ere the day is out.

Last night Mrs. Fungus wanted to go out to dinner, so we went; she uncharacteristically had two drinks with dinner. On the way home she said she wanted ice cream; when I suggested we might be able to swing by the local Baskin-Robbins, she wondered if they'd have cones.

Me: Well, I should think so! "Can you put it on a cone for us?"

...and she proceeded to laugh all the way to the ice cream shop. I'm not exaggerating; from where I made my wisecrack all the way to the Baskin-Robbins, she laughed and laughed and laughed, helplessly, unable even to articulate why what I had said was so funny to her.

Me: From now on, you only get one drink with dinner.


* * *

I'm not the only one who thinks that ep of American Gods was horseshit. There's spoilers there, but it's an accurate critique of what was wrong with the episode.

There were two pieces of information the episode included which advanced the plot--two--and otherwise it was pure filler. It's not like they had to produce a full cour of episodes; the series is already effectively a mini-series and having only seven eps rather than eight wouldn't have made much difference.

I've stuck up for the series before, when its pacing was called into question, but this last ep was just inexcusably bad.

* * *

Yes, Japanese culture is weird. No, it doesn't mean we won't be able to understand aliens, and vice-versa.

Any aliens we're likely to meet evolved in the same universe we did, according to the same laws of physics. They're not going to be so radically different from us as to be utterly beyond our comprehension. I say that because we're not likely to come into contact with any alien race that is beyond our comprehension. They're going to be interested in different things than we are, by definition.

It's why I never was very happy with Clarke's ultra-mysterious aliens no one can understand, like the ones who built Rama, or the ones behind the monoliths. In the latter case, they clearly can understand us well enough to use David Bowman as an interface; there should be some reciprocity in that case.

Any alien race which is too advanced for us to understand fits into the "interested in different things" category; if your race is a billion years old and you're flitting around the universe in ships made of light, you're not going to notice the primates on a planet orbiting a random G2 star; you're also not going to take over their planet and exterminate them, because you don't need planets--and if you do, you can build your own to your exact specification rather than make do with xenoforming an existing one.

The Arrival had true aliens in it, but they were not incomprehensible. I think that if we were to meet aliens that scenario would be at the "very difficult and unlikely" end of the spectrum, opposite the "extremely easy and unlikely" end (such as any story where the friendly aliens speak perfect, unaccented English as soon as they step off the flying saucer). Somewhere in the middle is the most likely scenario, where both races have to work to understand each other, but that understanding is possible for both races.

Heck, we get along fine with the Japanese, don't we?

* * *

That duckling looks pretty annoyed.

* * *

I don't know what happened yesterday, but I felt pretty damned crappy last night. Whatever was in that motor oil, the stink it gave off gave me a sick headache. When Mrs. Fungus said she wanted to go to dinner, I was hesitant, but went anyway. I'm glad I did, because after appetizers I started to feel better. The headache may have just been a knock-on effect from the bout of hypoglycemia, but that used oil smelled so bad--

I'm not used to being put off by chemical smells. Gear oil is about the worst for me, but that's because high-viscosity oils just smell bad. I like the smell of ammonia, and other solvents (especially toluene). This stuff, though, is very old, was used up thoroughly, and the gasoline that mixed with it in the engine it came from has degraded over time--and even I find the smell of rancid gasoline nauseating.

This crap has been sitting in that garage for at least thirty years, and sat in Pops' garage for an indeterminate time before that. There's nothing worse than used motor oil which has been allowed to age. God knows what kind of witches' brew of hydrocarbons has resulted.

'Way back in the mists of time I had put up some cinder block shelves in my bedroom. I did not have them for very long, because one night I lit a candle and put it in one of the cinder blocks, and after a few hours the room filled with this chemical reek that gave me a sick headache. The candle heating the cinder block released something nauseating, and I had to remove the cinder blocks from my room. Just thinking about it is enough to remind me how bad it made me feel--and I only just realized that this used motor oil has the same smell to it. I'm wondering what the common element is here, but there probably isn't one.

Well--I'm going to recycle the crap, anyway. I felt fine at dinner, and feel fine today, so whatever it was, it was a passing thing. I've got those errands to run, and recycling that oil is one of them. (New regime to go with the mostly clean garage: used oil is not allowed to languish for more than a week.)

And, in thinking about it, I realized that I have five tasks for today: replace the Jeep's serpentine belt. The new belt is still laying on the passenger side footwell; I should get that attended to.

* * *

Stunning rainbow yesterday on our way out--full arc, from SE to NE, and most of a secondary arc to boot. Very clear and plain in the sky; of course I didn't have my phone with me but Mrs. Fungus did. I couldn't capture the whole thing in one image, either. It was huge and bright, probably the best-looking rainbow I ever saw, and I was able to see all the colors. Gorgeous.

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