Dear Mudge: Fait accompli

celuloidFilm

Dear Mudge,

I hear you’ve spit-balled your last scene and have stuffed that writhing mass of film into its circular can. Smick/smack, done.

Bravo. Drinks all ’round.

For those of you who might have missed the cue:ENTER-STAGE-RIGHT, the Mudge has been writing a play? A screenplay? A caricature/parody of modern life? No, no, I got this: A tribute to a bunch of 90’s child actors who starred in a television show called Fifteen. The catch being that there is one special actor (remember that post about job titles a while back?) who made it kinda big in Hollywood and to find out who that actor is you’ll have to discover it on your own: https://notesfromtheavalon.com/

‘Mudge, now that you’re done. (I’m kidding, the work is just beginning. The creative work is easy; it’s the selling work that I’ve been told is the hardest. ‘Been told as, me? Sell? Fuck no.) But, now that you’re done, and idle—and we all know what happens to idle minds and fingers—I’m wondering what’s next on your agenda?

That is, between study sessions of course.

(And donning the telltale cap of the Vermilion Vigilante whilst slashing and gnashing at my narrative offerings.)

And don’t tell me it’s too early to start spy-hopping your next project.

But, if you wanted to dwell on the existential impact of pandemics, lockdown economic malaise, the need for dog-owners to counter stay-at-home quarantine and walk their puppies, maybe that, in and of itself, provided we discuss it amongst ourselves, could be construed as “research” for your next project.

Perhaps a certain actor needs his stage-name etched in rock? Costume included?

Virally yours,
‘Mole

 

“Lockdown”, an early phase of The Matrix?

I rarely (never) reblog anyone’s posts. But Brian’s prescient essay about how humanity will succumb to the Machine needs more eyes. Is this how it will start? Sequestered — with benefits?

Brian's Blog

In the movie The Matrix, Neo finally sees the truth for himself; the world around him is just a simulation and his real body exists outside of it, plugged into a pod and wired up to that Matrix simulation.

You can either continue reading below, or listen to this post being read here:

During a recent vlog I pondered how it might have come to be that the human race in The Matrix came to exist in these pods and plugged into an artificial world. Were they forced by robotic machines? Or were they somehow enticed or lured into such an existence?

With Lockdown in place it seems to me the latter would be more likely; just look at how we are all at home (in our pods) and plugged into our devices and living in a limited version of the world, a world that is not only constrained by…

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Fermi’s Paradox: Space Crap

Did you know the FCC is one of the agencies that governs satellites and the potential for them to turn into space crap. That’s a technical term: everyone knows aliens empty their sewage lines and dump their garbage before they streak off at FTL speeds.

Starlink

The more humans shoot stuff into LEO (low earth orbit) the higher the probability that eventually, that stuff smacks into other stuff and then game over. Millions of itty-bitty specs, screaming around the planet, that will fuck-you-up if they hit you. No more space access for humanity for centuries. Not at least until they find a way to launch a Jedi laser garbageman to clean up the mess.

But more than this, the fact that space crap (rocks, pebbles, dust, astrophysical-shrapnel) circling in quantity any habitable planet, will pretty much preclude any intelligent species from ever getting off the surface and up into orbit.

Add this to the reasons Fermi’s Paradox is not a conundrum.

Earth is 2^70 unique—a coin, flipped 70 times, all landing heads—unique.

 

United States Postal Service

The USPS is a service.

A utility really. A vast network of delivery agents, offices, machines and infrastructure. Delivering the mail, packages and such is like delivering water or electricity or natural gas. It’s a Public Utility.

usps

And, as a Public Utility the service of mail and package delivery should be executed, governed and controlled by a public entity.

The USPS should subsume Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and the other delivery services. Hell, just look at the names of those other “corporate” entities: FEDERAL Express? UNITED Parcel Service? They’re practically already government services.

There’s no need for such a service as the delivery of the mail or packages to be a competition. Corporations should not be in charge of such a utility as the delivery of goods from point A to point B. The USPS was created to do exactly this. But today, the USPS is under the gun as its contractual obligations to its employees runs afoul of its ability to compete in what should NOT be a competitive market place.

Next Day Air is just that. Two Day Delivery the same. There should be just the one entity that performs this service, at a publicly decided price. Period.

That glass of water you just poured, or the kilowatt of electricity you just consumed are both delivered, managed and priced by a Public Utility.

And so should mail and package delivery.

 

 

A rusty Golden Gate

Here’s an interesting fallout from this pandemic… Toll roads and bridges have collapsing revenue streams.

The Golden Gate Bridge is losing nearly $3,000,000 a week because we’re all staying home. The GG Transit Authority needs that money for not just the constant repainting and maintenance of the bridge, but that revenue pays for other requirements in the area as well.

GoldenGateBridge

How many toll roads and bridges and ferries and bus lines and small airlines, and regional airports and… will suffer or fail without a few months’ revenue?

I’ve been reading about the permanent ramifications of this situation and the idea that companies have /finally/ been forced to adopt the fact that telecommuting works. Information workers CAN stay at home and get shit done. I wonder if middle-managers everywhere are quivering in their boots, they’ve got no one to lord over, prowling the cube-halls, spot-checking your bathroom breaks.

The world (at least the work world) will never be the same.

Basket hummingbird nests

Another set of baskets, tiny ones, woven from pampas grass.

pampasgrass

They’re rough, but entertaining to make. Who knows, maybe I’ll find nooks in trees and tuck them away for hummingbirds to find. They take about 10 minutes to make.

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Take a half-inch wide six-foot long blade of pampas grass:

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Strip it into three bands, one rib down the middle and two wings:20200411_142546

Break off three seven-to-eight inch strips. Take the tail of the remaining ribbed band and set the other three strips on top arranging them into a star. You always need an odd number of ribs, here we’ll have seven, which means the tail of the remaining ribbed strip will then be wound around the others to start to form the bottom.20200411_142745

Keep winding until the strip becomes too narrow and weak to use. Wrap it as best you can around the ribs, tucking in where you can. Then take one of the wing bands and begin weaving it following the same pattern, over under, over under. Having an odd number of ribs allows the pattern to never duplicate.20200411_143022

Begin to bend the ribs as you wind. You’ll exhaust the first band and end up using the second until it’s depleted. As you near the end of that strand, wrap it around and tuck it in as you can to self-seal the basket from unwinding.20200411_143736

Then bend over the ribs and tuck them into the wrappings.

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As we walk around the neighborhood, various pampas grass mounds, massive, knife sharp things cast off their decaying stalks and blades. I pick a blade, one per walk, and weave as I go.

There are a few good videos on youtube that illustrate this technique. And there are other materials that work too: https://anonymole.com/2018/09/23/baskets-are-easy-and-fun/

It’s silly stupid shit like this that lets my mind blend into white noise. When I’m working with my hands, my brain seems to turn off. Of course, once I get into it and the rhythm of the motions, the whirling starts back up and I’m once again drifting over deserts, seas and forests, or meandering down ancient cities, or forgotten ruins.

[Here’s a two blade basket:]