Mar. 25th, 2017

mtbc: maze D (yellow-black)
Halfway along Dow Street in Dundee the road is met by the end of another road. Well, not really another road, it seems more pedestrianized; I'm not sure that cars are even intended to be on it. But, although visibility is poor for those emerging from that unnamed road, I sometimes see a bicyclist emerging from it at considerable speed. My courage does not match theirs so as I drive along Dow Street I am careful to be moving slowly with my foot near the brake pedal.

Yesterday was more surprising than usual: a skateboarder shot out then proceeded slowly directly in front of me for some time. I don't think that they noticed my car until rather further along when they moved off to the opposite sidewalk and looked enough sideways to see behind. They were wearing some kind of headphones.

This kind of behavior leaves me at something of a loss. I could understand it from kindergartners but if not for the frequency with which I see it from adults then I would have thought it would take a rare kind of idiocy to be in the habit of emerging so abruptly from blind intersections onto roads.

I didn't mind this incident: I wasn't in a great hurry and it was so bizarre to be slowly following this clueless guy as to be almost amusing. I didn't want to sound my horn lest I surprised the fellow so much that he fell. But I would rather if nobody at that part of the road were to be unpleasantly squashed. Perhaps on Monday I shall take a walk to see what warning signs meet those reaching Dow Street at that point.

Dow Street is on the University of Dundee's city campus, this intersection being just past where the Life Sciences Research Complex takes its larger deliveries. I did learn to hate driving on college campuses in the US: they seemed especially to attract pedestrians who like to wander around with no apparent acknowledgment that roads or cars even exist on their path rather than, for example, upon reaching a road pausing a moment to look around and make eye contact with oncoming drivers.
mtbc: maze A (black-white)
I caught an odd story on the news this morning about divorce, probably related to the Owens' appeal court case in England with a judge explaining, it is not a ground for divorce if you find yourself in a wretchedly unhappy marriage, and I got to thinking about it. [personal profile] mst3kmoxie and I can barely afford to live together in one small house in which even with limited possessions we are much on top of each other. We have no nearby family and are tied to the area to keep the children in their current secondary school. I doubt that we are unusual in this. So, how do people divorcing on good terms actually afford to do so, if they remain friends and are happy to continue to help each other out? At least couples with children ought to try to avoid unnecessary ugliness.

In England and Wales the legal grounds for divorce seem to involve things like abuse or adultery and being able to live very separately is relevant. What if a couple have simply grown apart: there is little romance or even interaction and they want to no longer be legally entangled financially or contract-wise or whatever? It sounds like, unless they are wealthy enough to truly live separately or want to behave very poorly or whatever, then they are stuck in the marriage. I don't know what people in this situation actually do but I can't help but wonder if they could do with a website through which people who want no-fault divorces can find another such local couple and one partner from each can pretend to live at the other couple's house. Maybe they can even pretend to be adultering though it seems silly to me that they would have to consider such perjury. Up here Scottish law is probably different but perhaps not greatly. I wonder if there could be many couples trapped within the legal consequences of marriage by high property prices that force them to continue to live as a unit.
mtbc: maze H (magenta-black)
This afternoon actually went quite well. I felt tired and achy and inclined to laze around but I did make it to my desk and started to get my previous Erlang work back into my mind and perhaps even made a little progress with it, for perhaps the first time in years. I noticed that initially forcing focus on that work felt a little like meditating wherein I prevent myself from indulging in stream-of-consciousness random thoughts. The trick now is to make my work upstairs more like a daily than a monthly habit. At least I had left myself some design notes from previous work meaning that today I did not have to think as hard as before. Still, it was difficult enough that I did not also have music on.

Afterward I brought my four desktop computers in from the garage so that I can inspect them and wipe their hard drives. We might have a use for them in a larger house but certainly not here. They were quite highly specified for a decade ago but now are probably ready to be just given away, along with some extra expansion cards I have in a box in the attic. With the surprisingly balmy weather I also turned the heating off and mowed our small front yard.

Update: Later on in the evening I put on Jean-Michel Jarre's Zoolook and did a bit more of my Erlang work.

Birdsong

Mar. 25th, 2017 07:00 pm
mtbc: photograph of me (Default)
The Spring weather appears to have really perked up our village avians. We have the windows cracked open, though I have yet to do my annual frame-spraying of pyrethroid insecticide. I can thus hear the various birdsong.

I try to mindfully appreciate my present experiences: time with my children, the taste of my tea, even the aching of my legs. The birds however sound like we live alongside a junkyard of deranged droids. Perhaps it takes them a while to get back into practice.

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mtbc: photograph of me (Default)
Mark T. B. Carroll

September 2017

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