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Phil's Rambling Rants

April 20th, 2008

April 20th, 2008
09:37 pm


I want my 4 hours back
I didn't have time to write this entry yesterday, precisely because of what this entry is about.

Sometime in the middle of last week, one of the folks at work emailed an announcement to everyone in the building that there was a computer recycling event this Saturday.  Since I have been tripping over a dead 21" CRT monitor in my living room for months and I have a couple of dead printers lying around, this seemed like a good idea.  Unfortunately, nothing in the announcement mentioned that what appeared to be half the population of Champaign would also think it was a good idea and the folks who were going to be accepting the junk would be utterly overwhelmed.

too much detail about a really long waitCollapse )

I'm glad that I am rid of the junk and that it's in the hands of someone who's at least purportedly going to recycle it rather than just landfilling it.  I'm glad that the governments and volunteers who made it happen did it.  I hope they can repeat it on a semi-regular basis.  But I also hope they can find a better system so that hundreds of people don't have to sit in a queue of cars, or at the very least that they can provide some warning.

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10:02 pm


Lovely housefilk
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending a housefilk at the home of bedlamhouse and ladyat.  I've been hoping to attend one of the Indianapolis filks for about as long as I've been aware that there are such, and this time it came together, because (a) they're not actually in Indy, but conveniently just west in Danville (Indiana, that is, not Illinois), and (b) they generously offered crash space and a willingness to get up early enough the next morning that I could be at EFRC at more or less my regular time.

The sad thing is that it's really hard for me to say much about the actual events of the evening, because most of the people there were people I either hadn't met, or whom I vaguely recognized but couldn't attach names to when they first arrived, and even though we did a round of introductions, by the end of the evening I still didn't know their names.  Ernest Clark, who wrote a whole bunch of really great songs back when I first started in filk but whom I only see sometimes at Chambanacon, was there and he told me he's in Lafayette these days.  There was an older fellow with an odd looking but nice sounding guitar (which he explained is actually an Elizabethan-styled instrument, based on the first proto-guitars that actually sported metal strings) and an impressive repertoire of Irish songs.  I managed to pick up that he's an SCA member and his SCA name is John of someplace.  When we broke for eating and socializing, he and I told each other how much we enjoyed each other's music.

Sitting in the circle helped me to remember why I've spent all this time and effort on music.  Going through my filkbook as my turns came up kept whacking me with the painful knowledge of how many songs I used to do in circles that I no longer remember fully.  (The book helps with words, and a little bit with chords, but when I can't remember the playing style and rhythmic feel I used with a song, I'm just reduced to trying to reinvent something on the spot, and when I can't remember the tune, having it in the book doesn't help.)

I hope we can do it again real soon.

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10:59 pm


The meaning of life
Sorry for being Posty McPostalot this evening, but I have one more entry.

The 7:00 To the Best of Our Knowledge was a show that really got me thinking.  It was ostensibly about "green" lifestyles, but it had a lot of stuff that really resonated with me.  I feel too tired for coherence so I'll try to just blurt out some thoughts.  Hopefully when I read this, I'll actually remember more than I can put into words now.

It talked about how actually living according to the principles one believes in is very important for feeling happy.  I make the effort, when I have a fairly easy choice, to minimize packaging and throwaway things.  I feel uncomfortable using paper plates and plastic silverware.  I'm not willing to go as far as the guy they profiled who lived in New York.  He refused to use electricity or carbon-powered transportation (even the elevators in his building) and wouldn't use anything that created trash.  He supposedly didn't use toilet paper.  I wish they'd actually pressed him on how he cleans himself after he takes a dump.  But I wish I could find the courage and fortitude to say to friends when I'm visiting "instead of putting out paper plates and forks, please use real plates and silverware, and let me help with the dishes".

They talk about how our lifestyle has us rushing and stressed all the time.  I wish I could simplify my life so that I didn't have to do the things that force me onto a schedule where I'm always feeling rushed and I never have time, but it seems like modern life is a package that's all stuck together, and I can't see how to cut out one piece without that meaning that I also have to cut out the next.  I think I could give up a lot of my stuff; I could probably handle having just a room in a shared space.  And if I didn't have to have a house that's a big part of the reason I have to have a regular job.  But the one piece that really scares me about trying to break out of the rat race is health care.  I have to have a real job or I get to find out experimentally if my asthma is cured or just in long term remission, by dying if I stop the Flovent and it does come back.  Without a real health plan, that one prescription costs more than I spend on food.


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