June 19th, 2008

wombat

back to work, ready or not

Had to go back in to work today since the senior controller usually doesn't work past Wednesday. (Why should he? He's supposed to be retired, after all.) It's no big deal; I got a decent amount of sleep last night, partially due to a conversation with edminster's father about my state of mind, which had been worrying me.
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So, work...there really isn't that much of it today, and I've already taken care of most of it. I may just take off early this afternoon, restock my supply of bandages & paper tape, and finish the laundry I didn't get done last night. Told Carlos I'd be over tonight after rush hour, so I guess I better do that too.
Politics

El yugo y las flechas en el EEUU.

This post has its origins in a dinner at Balticon, where Kyle McAbee asked me to explain exactly what a Falangist is. I think I managed to explain the basics of my Libertarian Falangist political philosophy without coming across as some deranged Hispano-Catholic neo-Nazi, but the experience left me frustrated because, quite frankly, I hadn't really thought the thing through. I know where my version picks up and where the old FET y de los JONS left off, but I can appreciate that the distinctions aren't always clear to people who haven't spent the last two decades intermittently marinating their brains in Republican politics and the history of Spain from about 1931 onward. (To say nothing of this lot, who are more closely aligned to the Lebanese Phalange.)

Anyway, there's a page up on my website where I make some general observations and differentiate between Libertarian Falangism and the traditional Spanish model. Comments and questions are very much appreciated.
Boss Coffee

the inertia is strong with this one

I was going to go over to the house tonight, but I completely ran out of energy after getting the laundry done.
I was also going to go pick up some more groceries at Harris Teeter, but my get up and go kinda got up and went.

So I spent the evening sitting around reading Stephen Coonts' Saucer. Fun little book, reminded me a lot of Heinlein's Starman Jones, oddly enough, and would probably pass muster in most young adult sections these days. Well, assuming the librarians didn't freak at all the violence, that is. Basic plot: Rip Cantrell and his fellow mining surveyors find what appears to be a real flying saucer buried in sandstone in the middle of the Sahara. They hammer it out, poke around, and not too much later the Air Force shows up. Among their number is hot (test) pilot Charley Pine, co-star and romantic interest; she winds up being the saucer's main pilot, and taking off with Rip after goons from Australian mega-millionaire Roger Hedrick and Libyan Army troops show up, in that order. Hi-jinks and adventures follow, mainly revolving around Hedrick's intention to sell off the saucer to the highest bidder and what that means for Rip and Charley. Lots of suspense, politicians being portrayed as morons, Air Force types being secretive, and a lot of fun. Nice brain candy, in short.

The Player of Games....well, it's another Iain Banks Culture novel, which doesn't help too much since it really doesn't have that much in common with either Consider Phlebas or Look to Windward, except insofar as it relates how the Culture deals with other civilizations. In this case, Jemau Murat Gurgeh is a games master who has become utterly bored with the lack of novelty. He is the master of pretty much every strategic game, whether played on boards, computers or anything else, but even so has to be blackmailed into voyaging to the brutal Empire of Azad to play the game of Azad. Azad can't really be described briefly, since it involves 12,000 Azadians all striving on the Board of Origin, the Board of Form, and the Board of Becoming to determine their status within the Empire. Gurgeh, being a human of the Culture, isn't familiar with some of the concepts of the game and only when he is actually involved in the game does he realize that the game of Azad is in fact a simulation (after a fashion) of the Empire itself, and that losing may have more severe consequences than just failing to advance. I found it very absorbing and distracting, but reading it in the wake of my mother's death was a very bad idea. I give The Player of Games a 5.5 on the Oldboy scale; it is not for the squeamish.