Dear Mole: How’re Ya Now?


How’re ya now?


Not so bad.

While you’ve been productively prolific in the dispensation of the written word, I’ve been watching TV.

Since Suzanne alerted me to the existence of a show called Letterkenny the other dayee, staring at the tube has once again become my veritable raison d’etre.

I predict that watching these 2 clips is all it will take for it to become your new favorite thing, too:

Even though I have nothing of substance to say anymore, you still let me spew it here on your site, Mole, and that’s what I appreciates abouts you.

That’s all I’ve got this month. See you in October.

Pitter Patter,


The Tattletale Heart

The problem originated from an assumption, as many problems do.

The assumption became compounded by an ignorance of physical sensations. However, the implications of the problem induced by the assumption remains vague.

Yeah, I had a heart attack—a strangling of blood feeding heart muscle which induced an excruciating pain (the heart has feelings too). But this pain, like Iron Man crushing it with his fist, certainly did not feel life threatening. Had I been stabbed or shot or had a compound fracture and seen the evidence of the pain, I would have immediately thought, shit, get to the hospital, pronto.

But it wasn’t like that. Still isn’t. With an obvious wound your mind will rationalize the threat. With a heart attack, especially one like mine, center chest pain (no jaw or shooting pain down the arm), the threat seemed incidental. “It’ll pass,” I thought. Although it took four hours from start to stent, I never thought it was serious. I had my phone and took video from within the ambulance. I asked to photograph the catheter procedure but the surgical nurse said no pictures. I could breathe, talk, walk… It was just the crushing pain that I wanted to go away.

Only the words of the cardiologist, taken at face value—afterwards, communicated the intensity of injury. “Many people would have died from this.”

Ah, good to know.

The assumption? I’d assumed I was healthy.

The ignorance? I had no idea what a heart attack felt like.

Perhaps I sound flip, that I’m not taking this to heart (cough). I assure you I understand the fallout from this incident, mostly the impact on my family had the situation gone sideways. There was a moment, however, where all the Absurd Universe blather filtered into my psyche.

Laying face up, staring at the strange equipment, my right arm strapped down and the sensation of wires worming through my arteries, for just an instant I thought, if this is it—so be it. Not once did I experience fear.

Bravery? Hardly. Stupidity? Possibly. I’d rather equate my fortitude to the understanding I’ve gathered, here and elsewhere, regarding my interpretation of the Universe.


I’ve enjoyed reading the comments to this event. Thanks to those who voiced concern or commiseration. I suppose it’s strange to expose one’s life in such a way, “How I spent the Summer of 2020.” Just goes to show I’m a bit more human than I let on.




Dear Mole: Filthy Rich


Big news! I am $84.15 wealthier than I was just five minutes ago.

In order to pocket that money, I had to delete The Desert Curmudgeon from the internet. That’s as it should be. I think the handful of lackluster posts I composed right out of the gate made it clear that I really didn’t give a rat’s ass about starting up a new blog.

Regardless, here’s hoping somebody picks up the slack and finishes what I started with The StarLost.

On to today’s question: where do you see yourself in 77 days?

Swimming Pools, Movie Stars,


Dear Mudge: A Narrow Scope

Dear ‘Mudge,

How have you been? I hear you’ve got new digital digs. How’s Jessie? You still holding out for November to apply for a Vet-Tech job?

Covid, for me, has changed nothing. I used to work from home (for more than a decade) and then did the office thing for like, 18 months before, back at home again, doing my coding thing.

Our conversations here have been on my mind, of late. Namely the one where we discussed the Existential Crisis that is living at the outermost shell of a philosophical understanding of this Absurd Universe. Namely, you can’t. You can’t live in that nearly Nihilistic shadowland. Either you pull back or you pull the trigger.

What got me thinking about this (am I ever not thinking about this?) is this concept of context.

One of the critical thinking skills I’m pretty good at is analyzing and solving problems. This is pretty much my job, as jobs go. I happen to use computer code, (or no code, sometimes no action is the right action), to get things done. This, I realize, represents a narrowly defined scope of human understanding. Within such a narrow context, I can define and enact purpose.

That’s the crux of this post.

You and I had examined diversions (TomBeingTom’s recent post got me thinking of this) and diversions are one of the useful means to avoid dwelling in that outermost Absurd U abstraction layer. But diversions result in a shallow, unfulfilling gut-feel, one that invites wandering back into that N’th shell.

Contextual scoping, however, once formalized, may provide for the needed gap-fill. Work is one context. Writing is another (itself its own snarly wad of problems). There must be others I can create, contexts that are not quite diversionary, not quite problem spaces, but areas in need of a little of both.

Your recent Vet-Tech training must have been just such a constrained context that forced you to limit your wayward existential tendencies, no?

Perhaps life, “a” life at least, could be lived bouncing from context to context, never letting the Demonic N’th Level of Hell catch you unawares.

Your thoughts?


[Forgot the customary image…


An artichoke gone to flower.]

Dear Mudge, Shitty Odds

Dear Mudge,

I think we mortals spend far too much time contemplating The End.

It seems as soon as our consciousness settles in, at about thirteen or fourteen, we begin to visualize, explore and worry about our final moments and the fraction of a nano-second thereafter. Here we go again with having brains far-too-big-for-our-own-good.

Dogs don’t contemplate death. Parrots, pandas, and porcupines live for the moment and the moment only. Maybe elephants and dolphins consider their future expiration, but I doubt it.

Why us? Why are we morbidly enthralled with The End?

I don’t know. But since we’re here, talking about our collective demise, I’m gonna bore you again with more big-picture pontificating… Namely: Fermi’s Paradox and how humanity’s end, or at least its technological collapse, is preordained.

The Holocene is ending. The window for humanity’s bloom was brief and frankly anomalous in the epoch-spanning scheme of things: CO2vsTemp_Holocene

That blue squiggle up there at the right, hovering around 0C, is the Holocene—an unusually long (for us), warm period in Earth’s history. During that tiny window of geological time civilization came to be.

Whether the Holocene ends and temperatures begin to drop, or the anthropogenic CO2 humanity continues to pump into the atmosphere overrides it and we head into a new PETM (Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maxima) the Holocene is toast, in a manner of speaking. But while it lasted, the Holocene was one of a long line of fortuitous accidents benefiting—us.

There are so many serendipitous events that undergird the existence of life, first of all, and secondly, humanity and humanity’s technological position in the Universe, that, just being here is a fucking miracle. The factors that make up our “luck” are mind-blowingly extensive. Here’s my go-to mind-trick for explaining this miraculous streak of good fortune: Imagine flipping a coin 70 times and every flip lands up heads.

That’s 1 / 2^70 = 2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·
2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2·2 =
1,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 = 1 SEXTILLION

The odds of us (technologically existing) are 1 out of 1 sextillion.

I’ll not bore you further with the source of all these coin flips, but things like: Goldilocks zone, distance from galactic center, our G2V sun, Theia/Moon, rocky planet, ice comet bombardment, 3 billion years of biological life cleansing the seas and depositing vast stores of carbon (oil/coal/nat.gas), trees, grass, livestock—are all factors from which these flips are derived.

Now that I’ve got you crying for The End…

Given all the “luck” we’ve had getting here, and it’s been a stunning chain of events, that luck can’t possibly hold. The party is most definitely coming to an end.

As we know, there are a couple of dozen excellent ways for that to happen. Will it end in an instant or a tortuous dwindling of resources; a massive calamitous extinguishing BANG! Or a crippling thwack against our infrastructure leaving ragged remnants to piddle along for millennia? Who’s to know?

But, the odds are against us. So, toot your horn, raise a glass, sing a song, love the one you’re with…

Then again, who fuckin’ cares how it all ends? None of us make it out of here alive.

Stewie the Stoic would remind us however, that…

[Addendum: The Fermi Paradox tie-in? Humanity enjoyed a string of incredible luck. Any other intelligent life, arising in the Universe, would require an equally improbable run of happy coincidences. Therefore, the question regarding the absence of life we see in the Universe (Fermi’s Paradox) can be answered by our own improbable existence. We are a most outrageous cosmic accident.]