November 11th, 2006

chi4

Storms on Saturn

This is one of those things. The things I live for. The things that make me glad to be around, if only to have seen them:

Huge 'hurricane' rages on Saturn

Measuring 5,000 miles (8,000km) across, the storm is the first hurricane ever detected on a planet other than Earth.

Scientists say the storm has the eye and eye-wall clouds characteristic of a hurricane and its winds are swirling clockwise at 350mph (550km/h).




Okay, now I'm taking Moby Dick and heading for bed.
  • Current Music
    Spooky talking to Hubero
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redeye

Through all the windows I only see infinity.

I am, indeed, much, much better this morning. I would say that I am almost fully recovered, save a bit of congestion and this knife lodged deeply in the convolutions of my right sinus. The fever was the worst of it, though. No more fevers for a long time, please.

I spoke with Bill Schafer at subpress late yesterday, and he has very graciously agreed to let me postpone the delivery of The Dinosaurs of Mars for several months. There is so much else I have to write, and TDoM grows in my head by leaps and bounds (rather like Charles R. Knight's famous painting of a dueling pair of "Laelaps"). It has become The Project which I most want to be working on, and I don't want to rush any part of it. There's going to be a crucial multi-media aspect to this story, which I'll explain later. It is a relief, to know I'll be able to continue my research for the book, but don't have to actually write it for some time yet.

And I actually wrote yesterday. Huzzah.

Jack Palance is dead at age 87. He was long a favorite actor of mine. Indeed, so great was my adoration of Mr. Palance that I was known for more than a full year as "Aliesha Palance," way back when (long story, some other time). Meanwhile, Kurt Vonnegut is alive at age 84 (as of today). Vonnegut is another long-time hero. They have not yet all passed beyond the veil.

We had a nice walk yesterday. It was marvelously warm. Almost 80F, I think (much cooler today). We saw one of the hawks in Freedom Park, and Spooky found a four-leaf clover. The exercise left me feeling only slightly woozy. Byron came by about 7:30 p.m. (CaST) and helped us finish off the last of the pot of soup Spooky made on Wednesday. Then we watched a new ep of Spongebob Squarepants (the Second Coming of Jerry Lewis) and Dr. Who, and then Byron left for Athens, and we watched Battlestar Galactica. After that, I played Final Fantasy XII, and let me just say that I have a new videogame crush. Sorry, Manah. Sorry, YRP. Sorry, Lara. Now my heart belongs to a certain Viera nixar named Fran. Those ears. That nose. Those...sigh.

Also, I am becoming ever more obsessed with the role of Norse mythology in House of Leaves. Yesterday, I realised that Kyrie is a reference to the [Val]kyries (I don't know why it took me so long to see that one), and that, for Johnny Truant, this is essentially the role she plays. Only, in the end, Johnny forsakes the ride to Odin's hall for that other ride.

The leaves are all falling so fast. The roof of the house next door is littered with splotches of gold and yellow, cranberry and orange.

Gotta go write now. But please have a look at the eBay auctions. Thank ye.
Fran

Armistice Day, speaking of Kurt Vonnegut

Snurched this from Elizabeth Bear (matociquala), because there's no need to reinvent the wheel:

So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel in time to November eleventh, nineteen hundred and twenty-two.

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans' Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans' Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans' Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don't want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh,
Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.


—Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

See also The Pogues' "The Band Played 'Waltzing Matilda'", Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, Dalton Trumbo's Johnny Got His Gun, Jaroslav Hašek's The Good Soldier Svejk, Pink Floyd's "The Gunner's Dream," et. al.