austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

What do you say, how do I know

Said to me by the maybe ten-year-old kid working the register at the faculty housing complex's convenience store:

You know why your lifeline's so hard? Not enough money to spend growing old.

Casually tossing off that line -- the theme for a novel if I ever heard one -- he handed me the bag with my soda, toaster oven pizza, and change, and went back to playing some green-cased handheld video game. I haven't heard a theme that marvelous and compactly expressed since Robert Benchley passed on a non sequitur he found in another article, ``Work is a form of nervousness.'' Wow.

In other accidental poetry, today's Civil Defence Mobilisation Exercise code words were ``Wolf Pack,'' ``Short Day,'' ``Bob Sleigh,'' and ``Annual Calendar.'' And one anti-Bayesian spam subject line sent me was ``Lithotresis about it.'' It's all very pretty syllables, but what does any of it mean?

Trivia: On 16 April 1862 the Confederate Congress passed a conscription law, the first draft in American history. Source: The American Heritage New History of the Civil War, Bruce Catton.

Currently Reading: Asimov's New Guide to Science, Isaac Asimov. Ahem. On the peaceful uses of fission products: ``The Hercules Powder Company has designed a reactor to use radiation in the production of the antifreeze ethylene glycol.'' Apparently they figured their existing stocks of miscellaneous carcinogens just weren't carcinogenic enough.

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