Monday, November 22, 2010
Word List 4, Concepts
It has been suggested to me that, as an alternative to undergoing a TSA --U.S Transportation Security Administration Dept.-- full-body scan or intrusive pat-down crotch searches, young people should find other ways of sending affection home besides flying themselves there. As a parent of adults --some even middle-aged-- I wholeheartedly agree with the idea. A note, call, gift, card etc. means a lot to us on holidays, or any day. Much as I love to see my kids, I don't want them to risk flying here over a dead --or in light of my poor cooking skills, badly injured-- turkey. If they do visit, I prefer they take trains, which, unlike airlines, accept a notarized xerox of your ass in lieu of a full-body scan. I should include Greyhound in transportation services that do not require full body scans. There IS a guy outside our local Greyhound Bus terminal with a cardboard sign that says "lick you all over for a quarter", and I suppose he would report explosives. I don't know if any of his earnings go to TSA but wouldn't be surprised.
Just got back from trip to pharmacy --which I do whenever asthma makes me sound like Dylan's "Blond On Blond". Something strange happened. There's an unofficial contest going on at the automated blood pressure machine there. These appliances have a "clear" button to erase readings but few use it. It's too fun to sit down to the last user's results and see if you can beat them. Yes, to my morbid shame, I am competitive blood pressure player. I usually test under 120/70, which compares favorably with other geezers sauntering away from the machine thinking they're hot stuff, but today was different. Today I read the last user's results and just sat there stunned: 65/35! I took a deep breath, composed myself and started my test --117/65. The machine was functional. I am not much acquainted with bp's of non-human creatures, but speculated 65/35 could not come from a human well enough to drag itself onto the machine. This had to be a large fish, amphibian, coelenterate or, because the drugstore staff exhibited no trauma, a convincing humanoid containing cold-blooded, godless jellyfish parts. We've been casting our gaze upward for e.t.'s, but the question is, could they be coming in at ground level?
The crackle of fire in the grate takes some time to reach me, not so much as light from the laptop screen; both consume a fraction of a second for me to notice. And it takes 13 billion years for some Hubble Telescope targets to enter my present. It's astonishing that we receive no information less than 4.22 years old (Proxima Centauri) about stars outside our sun. It's also possible we'll get a percentage of positrons sent backwards in time from tremendous operations at the end of our universe. Finally, it takes a moment for nerves to relay what confronts us, so our brains are always a little or a lot arrears of surrounding events. Imagine that and our sense of the present seems about as substantial as smoke. It's entirely possible we're getting subtle info about the past and future all the time, but it's preempted by local things more immediate to animal survival like predators, mates and beer.