Monday, January 2, 2012

A Tangled Web

New Year's Day post quoted Job and addressed some of the complaints of the human condition.

Case in point. At about the very time the article was being posted to blogger, I was lying awake with ridiculous pain in the area of the right transverse tarsal. Inasmuch as this was preventing sleep, or rest for that matter, I used the time, trying to get my mind off the foot, by attempting to think of material for String Too Short to Tie. This was largely an exercise in futility, and finally at daybreak I got up for the day, the first day of 2012.

During the time of the mind games, I thought of many terms in my vocabulary which are seldom used by anyone, including myself. Many of them were the result of specialty studies or job-related cant. I dreamed up, in a manner of speaking, enough of these to fill a page in total randomness. Of course, when I was showered, dressed, and fully awake, I could remember practically none of them.

A few I do remember.
--adiabatic lapse rate --standard deviation
--lemma --top dead center
--ground fault --fundamental theorem of arithmetic
--flying buttress --boolean algebra
--matrix --isobar,
a sufficient sample to give you the idea that 1) the mind was disorganized and rambling; 2) the mind was engaged. in nonproductive activity; and 3) there is certainly little enough of interest to engage a reader of the blog.

Try as I might, I cannot seem to connect these in any cogent way. I have to say that I strongly desire to come up with more engaging material in future. Please bear with me.

Your assignment, if you should choose to accept it, use any two of these terms in the same sentence such that it reflects some sense of reality.

About the picture. During a couple of years in the past, we have had roses into December; but this is the first time I can remember taking a picture of a rose in our yard in January. I should have done a little dead-heading, snapped a better shot. But it was cold out there! Persistent little plant. There are five roses on this bush at about this stage.


Jim said...

I pledge to use lemma at least once a week in 2012. (Mostly because people will think I'm misusing lemming.)

Grace said...

I'd have to look up the meanings, and I just don't want to! I'm gonna cruise through 2012 on my clever comment on Ooooh Boo!.

Anonymous said...

There are times in the night that I can't get to sleep and I complain to Mary that I have thoughts running through my mind.
I can't get rid of them until I am completely wore out.
She will say just shut your eyes and go to sleep.
That bugs me even more. She falls to sleep in about 20 seconds.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

As Jack was sailing towards the earth, marveling that he had misheard the sage, thinking the tower was supplied with flying mattresses (when the guru had merely mentioned flying buttresses), he considered the boolean algebra of his situation: if the lemma of gravity were true AND the mattress too thin he would crash AND splat, OR if magic prevailed then he might NOT crash AND splat, but might only crash AND bruise, OR NOT crash at all, OR the mattress might fly after all; the ground was rising up... did he sense a sheer of clustered isobars...

(I couldn't let that challenge go unanswered)

vanilla said...

Jim, good idea! While working on boolean algebra, I had real difficulty keeping those lemmas from running into the sea.

Grace, that was an outstanding comment! I don’t expect you will rest on your laurels, though. Looking forward to many more of your insightful comments. Or funny ones.

Bob, I so love that, too. I’m exhausted, mind won’t quit, rolling and tossing, aching and shaking, and she says, “Just go to sleep.” Must be a common condition in marital relationships. In your case, though, you have the blessing that she is asleep in twenty seconds!

Shark, I am so glad you accepted the challenge! A follow-up to Jack’s excellent adventure: He later told me that due to the adiabatic lapse rate the bottom of the mattress and hence his rear-end got exceeding warm before he managed to wrestle the thing to a landing. Whew! At any rate, he determined, within one standard deviation, that he should reset the timing to six degrees before top-dead-center, which according to the fundamental theorem of arithmetic would be twice three. Or perhaps it was thrice two. (Thanks for playing along!)

Secondary Roads said...

After entering the matrix, our hero headed straight to the nearest isobar. While this was not standard practice, he reckoned that it was acceptable as a standard deviation.

And for those flying in on their matrices, that bump was not your fault it was the ground's fault.

vanilla said...

Chuck, it is doubtful that anyone staggering from an isobar and suffering a bump considers it his fault, though the geometry here may be totally non-Euclidean. (And yes, the list did grow longer last night.)

Vee said...

Okay, I'm just saying that the rose is beautiful and that if I hadn't seen it myself I would think you put a fake one outside and took a picture of it.

vanilla said...

Vee, so glad you saw it first-hand, lest you think I practice deceit. That would be a real di=lemma. Safe travels.

Lin said...

Lately, I've had those sleepless moments/minutes/hours where I lay there with aching hips, sore (but straight) toe, and insomnia. I try not to think so much because it soon turns to worry about imaginary problems that disappear with the daylight.

I'm not even trying to play with those words. Heck, I can barely get my comments to the right people these days!

vanilla said...

Lin, you are doing fine with the comments. Anything that turns to worry should be avoided!
Hurrah! for the straight toe.