One of the characteristics of this site contributing to its high(ish) indexibility is my fondness for loading up new stuff with links to old stuff on the same subject. This not only buys me Brownie points with search engines, but it gives me an ironclad excuse to see how my viewpoints have changed, if at all, over the two decades (almost) I've been running this place. Inevitably, this means I end up reading a lot of the old archived pages many years after the fact.

And if there's anything blatantly obvious about the first six or seven years of this site, it is simply this: it's a barbaric yawp, though not an especially creative one. Oh, yeah, I could turn a phrase pretty well even then; but Gawd, there's so much complaining! You'd think I was contemplating driving into a bridge abutment or something. (Truth be told, for a few days there, I might have been. On the best day I ever had, I was not an especially happy man, and these were far from my best days.)

Still, the tone around here is a smidgen less whiny these days, with the exception of a couple of topics: my collection of minor and not-so-minor ailments, some of which can be downright painful at times, and my perennially empty dance card, which causes a lot of annoying resonances inside the empty cavity that serves me for a heart. Nothing much, I figure, can be done about these particular things in the time I have remaining, if only because there doesn't seem to be that much time left — not that I have any reason to think that the lowering of the boom is imminent.

Perhaps more to the point, I'm not being allowed to wallow in my seeming sorrow: just when I think the frustration level has gone beyond 11, something wholly unexpected happens. I got three of these yesterday, in fact:

  • The hand of the executioner was stayed yet again.
    The sheer urgency with which the state wants to put Richard Glossip to death has made me wonder "What's the rush?" Meanwhile, there's enough intrigue going on to have gotten Glossip his own Wikipedia page, which you may read for background if you're so inclined. At 1500 hours yesterday, they were supposed to pump him full of the Lethal Cocktail. It didn't happen, because:
    At 4 p.m., state Corrections Department officials announced the execution would be stayed for 37 days.

    "This stay is ordered due to the Department of Corrections having received potassium acetate as drug number three for the three-drug protocol," [Governor Mary] Fallin wrote in an executive order.
    Potassium acetate is not part of the legal execution method. It is really, really good for de-icing airport runways; its utility as a knockout drug is questionable. The fact that this stuff was sent over instead of the expected potassium chloride suggests — well, I'm not sure exactly.

  • The machines of the city have been stayed.
    A sidewalk will be built on this block; however, it will not be built on my side of the street. Someone noticed that the crosswalk at the end of the street that leads to the local elementary school is on the opposite side, and it makes no sense to make the kids have to do that extra crossing twice a day. Besides which, my side of the street presents logistical problems — think "way steep" — and there are trees which would have to be removed, which increases the workload. So this isn't being done for my benefit; just the same, I benefit from the decision.

  • Things are marginally less chancy with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
    It was just a few weeks ago that the government declared it no longer needed to scrutinize my every expense; with my net worth now on the positive side of the ledger again, I'm breathing a bit easier, and as of yesterday I am now being paid a smidgen more coin of the realm more than I was the week before. It's not an enormous sum, and at least one person I can name got a bigger boost percentage-wise, but then she was underpaid far worse than I was. And who can't use an extra twenty bucks (or so) a week?

So perhaps this threefold assault on my mindset was intended as a wake-up call. I can't say for certain. But as I've long held that some things suck worse than others, I am forced to concede that those other things therefore must suck less. And less suckage is something that ought to be acknowledged once in a while, in the midst of all this simulated misery.

The Vent

  1 October 2015

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