atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3528: This is gonna take a few days

Still feeling jittery and crummy. I slept well enough (took half a Xanax about 5 AM in order to return to sleep) but woke up feeling like this.

Not nearly as bad as Wednesday, though, or even this time yesterday. This is progress.

Took the second dose of name-brand Synthroid this morning, and over the next couple of days I'll be monitoring my emotional state. Also, I'm seeing the therapist on Monday afternoon (rather than waiting until Thursday) so she can keep an eye on my emotional state, too. When your anxiety meter is bouncing off the peg at 10, this kind of thing is necessary.

I just wish someone had warned me about this.

Well, the important part is that I identified the cause of the problem and did something about it before I really lost my shit, but damn--if I'd known it was going to do that to me I would just have said, "Screw having energy. I like sanity better."

The doctor's nurse said that they've had good results switching from the generic to the name-brand, though, in eliminating the psychological side effects. I only hope that works for me, because if it doesn't I'm going to flush this shit down the toilet even if it did cost me $27. In any event it's going to take a couple of days for us to find out if it works any better; and I have to keep reminding myself that I took the generic for a week before I started feeling the side effects, so it's going to take time for the anxiety and such to subside.

Argh etc.

* * *

George Will writes about the California high speed fail project. It's not even going to be high-speed, because it costs too much to lay real high-speed track (I'm talking Shinkansen or TGV speeds, here). So the train will manage, what, 90 MPH?

But what really gets me is this:
At one point, an estimate of 44 million riders a year — subsequently revised downward, substantially — assumed gasoline costing $40 a gallon.
Emphasis in original.

Well, what the hell! If we're going to go nuts, here, let's just assume that Darth Vader comes down from planet Vulcan and makes us switch to high speed rail! Because I can assure you that if gasoline is costing $40 per gallon, either the dollar is worth a tenth of what it is right now (in which case people just earn more dollars and nothing's really different) or else we're in a major-league economic death spiral and don't have the money to buy food much less gasoline or train tickets. What the fuck.

* * *

And speaking of economic death spirals? China. Quoth Denninger: "This data strongly implies that orders have collapsed for the upcoming holiday season, which in turn means that the economy is going to flush as we come into the end of the year,...." "Flush" as in "flush the toilet", by the way, is what I believe he means.

As for me, right now I'm thinking that I may have to hammer stores for a position in holiday temp hire, because at least that way I can have some income for a while that will help...and even if I don't get hired on full-time, after working from October through January at least I can then stick it on my resume and have some work experience more recent than 2009.

But holiday temping, that doesn't even start before late September. That's over a month away. And if the signs and portents I'm now seeing are prophetic, there ain't gonna be enough of a holiday season to make that a viable option, either. *sigh*

* * *

Another entry in the "thank God for the atomic bomb" list.

It's easy for present-day liberals to wring their hands and sob about how terrible it was to atom-bomb two cities to end the war. Those liberals haven't got the faintest clue about what sort of horror a conventional invasion of Japan would have been like.

It would have made D-Day look like a birthday party.

Okay, when you have women and children being prepared to strap explosives to their bodies and throw themselves under tanks--
During the closing phase of the Pacific War, average monthly deaths, military and civilian, in Japanese held-territories in China, southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, from disease, starvation, atrocities, or combat, was about 400,000 men, women, and children.
400,000 for August 1945, 400,000 for September 1945, 400,000 for October 1945...
That's 1,200,000 people dead in three months.

Total casualties from Hiroshima and Nagasaki: about 200,000 people. Still bad, very bad...but it means a million lives were saved.

The Japanese weren't going to give up without a fight. The United States had beaten them back to Japan, all the way across the Pacific Ocean, island-hopping in the Philippines and the Marianas, leaving a bloody trail all the way because the Japanese would not surrender.

Not even when they were clearly beaten would they surrender. It took a show of force beyond anything they could comprehend to shock them out of their berserker frenzy, to make them realize all you're going to manage is to kill huge numbers of your countrymen and perhaps make most of your country uninhabitable.

Two planes, two bombs, two cities--that got their attention and told them, There is no way you can win this, no matter what you do.

...and after they surrendered, then what? Unlike any other conquering nation in the history of the world, the United States helped Japan get back on its feet and then left them a free country rather than forcing them to join the USA.

Contrast that with the USSR, which claimed vast swaths of Europe as its own in the wake of WW2. East Germany, for example, was part of the USSR even though it was nominally an independent nation.

How much of Japan would have been under the heel of the USSR if it weren't for the atomic bomb? How much of the country would Stalin have demanded in exchange for his help in beating Japan through conventional means? Would there even now be a "north Japan" and "south Japan", as there is with Korea?

So, yeah--thank God for the atomic bomb, and thank God the United States got it first.

* * *

For the first time since June I am sitting here with the windows open and no fans running. It's actually quiet in here. I can hardly believe it.

Because of how things have been since Saturday, my main objective for today is simply to recuperate.

I actually thought of taking a day trip over to Michigan City, you know, perhaps to wade in Lake Michigan a bit and hang out on the beach. But I don't think I'll do that today; that's a better thing to do on a hot day rather than a cool one.

I feel like I want to do something but I can't decide what, so rather than try to figure it out I think I'll just sleep or something, instead of trying to accomplish anything.


* * *

Last night, wanting to watch a movie, I dug out Mr. Baseball.

I don't know the last time I saw it. I do know that I bought the DVD some years ago from a bargain bin, unwrapped it, and never watched it. But I still like the movie as much as--more than--I did the first time I saw it way back when.

The thing is, this isn't just a regular Hollywood movie about a boorish American in a foreign land, fraught with stereotypes; the movie had heavy Japanese involvement and if you know what to look for it just feels right. All kinds of little details all over the place just make the whole thing work.

There are a few bobbles, of course, and it's not perfect by any stretch--but it's a fun movie and I enjoyed seeing it again.

I couldn't decide on anything else. I, My, Me Strawberry Eggs--about the reluctant transvestite teacher--I haven't watched that one for a while and I've been thinking about it. The whole Crest of the Stars ouerve--that would be good. 801 TTS Airbats and Cat Girl Nuku Nuku. All the old favorites, in fact--but I wasn't in an anime mood, I realized.

Oh well.

* * *

So the new story I'm working on--

See, everything gelled on Sunday night, and I was meaning to get after it, but this and that happened--anyway, Wednesday was Der Tag, so I got to work on it.

Problem is, my emotions were jangling like a banjo in a wheat thresher--I couldn't really think straight, and it wasn't until last night that I finally realized what was wrong with the setting.

The story is partially based on the dream I mentioned in this post--at least some of the elements of it--and in fact I decided to construct an all-new SF universe for it, because it won't fit into the SF universe I established for all my other stories.

(I had to Google it. And then said, "April 30th?" to myself. Was it that long ago?)

In fact, now that I look at it, a lot of the stuff in that dream was either changed or eliminated, but it's still the germ of the idea for this story, so WTF.

Anyway, problem is, I set it on an Earthlike world orbiting an A7 star about 1,000 light years from Earth...and I can't make it work.

Problem 1) I really want the world to have an orbit about 15 years long. I could do that with a B-class star--the habitable zone would be out far enough for that to work--but the light from a B-class star looks like the light from a TIG welder. And, I belatedly realized, even an A7 star would be approximately the same. Vega is an A0 star, and as Peewee said of its light in Heinlein's Have Space Suit--Will Travel:
"In ten seconds you can get more burn than all winter in Key West--and ten minutes will kill you."
So while an A7 would be less deadly than Vega, it would still be pretty bad.

...and so there we are with

Problem 2) It wouldn't be warm enough, not in a 15-year orbit, even if it were an A0. A B3 or B4, no problem, but an A7? No.

I can't get enough heat out of the star without it producing far too much UV and X-rays. Even orbiting an A7 star, the planet would be sterlized by the UV.

To put a habitable planet in orbit around Regulus, I had to put a dust ring between star and planet and set the planet's orbit to be 20 years long. Regulus is a B0; without that dust ring, you're looking at a crispy cinder of a planet, not an Earthlike world.

So the upper limit is probably an F0--and in a 15-year orbit, a rocky planet circling the hottest F0 star you can find is still a ball of ice.

A 15-year orbit is somewhere between Jupiter and Saturn in the Solar system. (Jupiter's is a bit less than 12 years, and Saturn's is about 29.) The Sun is a G2 star, and an F0 would be significantly hotter than the Sun is, but not that much hotter. Figure that the F0 star's habitable zone would be somewhere between Mars and the asteroid belt (which is close enough for a first-order approximation) and that yields an orbital period of perhaps 2-3 years. 5 at the outside.


So what do I do? The setting simply will not work as written if I take real science into account, so I've got to do something, but what? Abandon the 15-year orbit? That'll have a deleterious effect on the way I wanted to write the story. Put the planet in orbit around a superjovian world? That opens a whole other can of worms I don't want to deal with. Make the star a B0 and use the dust ring trick again? No, I don't like that idea either.

Probably the best thing to do--like it or not--is simply to abandon the 15-year orbit. That'll take the least amount of rework to make the setting function according to the laws of physics. Give the world an F-something star, make its orbital period several Earth years, and finagle as needed to get things into place.

The nice thing about being a creative person: give me a problem and my brain starts trying to find ways to solve it. I believe I can make it work if I just insert a largish asteroid which does have a 15-year orbit, and which is neatly synchronized to this world's orbit (such that every third orbit of the planet around its star, say, the asteroid comes close enough to the planet to affect its tides...).

I wonder how much rewriting I'll have to do to make this change. Well, I'm not finding out today, because I already declared today to be a recuperation day. That generic-synthroid-inspired anxiety shit is for the birds.

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