Chaos Manor View, Tuesday, February 23, 2016
This will be short, but it’s good news for me. Sunday night as I was making my way from the bathroom to bed, I lost my balance and fell. It was sort of controlled, I didn’t hit my head hard enough to cause a bump or bruise or cut, but I did come down pretty hard on my left buttock, and instantly felt a familiar twinge.
Some thirty years ago, when Larry and I were writing Footfall, I bent over to pick something up and got a horrid twinge in my back. It nearly crippled me, and Larry and I had trips we couldn’t avoid. He had to carry my luggage. I couldn’t do it. Fortunately Larry was working with Steve Barnes on another book at that time. And Steve had the goodness to give me a copy of Stretching by Bob and Jean Anderson. It took weeks, but I got better from the day I first got that book, and I must have given 25 copies to friends. It’s great. I no longer use it, because before my stroke, and a little less frequently now, I employ The Five Tibetan Rites, which work better than you’ll believe possible unless you try them for at least six months. My lack of balance makes me have to modify what I do, but I manage. I’ve gotten lazy this year, and my backache reminds me that I need to do them again; and indeed, it’s two days now and I’m going to sleep through the night tonight, So that’s one bit of good news.
Sunday night I changed batteries in my hearing aids. Monday night they rang some tone, a sort of biddely-bodily-boop unlike their usual signals. Of course I have long ago lost the instruction manuals, so I don’t know what it meant. I took them off for the night, Today they were just barely working. I could hear better with than without them, but not a lot better.
I changed the batteries in the hopes that I had put in a bad battery. Unlikely since they were still in the wrappings, but just maybe – of course it was no use. I could not hear much. I took off the hearing aids and it didn’t seem that my unaided hearing was worse, but it was possible. That was a moment of near despair.
Normally that would have been my signal to head for COSTCO or the Kaiser audiologist; it was a serious hearing lost, like I could not understand a word of the news announcer on the morning radio; but we had scheduled a conference with me, Niven, Barnes, and Jack Cohen who Skypes with us from England and gives us no end of advice on biological matters. And if that weren’t enough Chris Stott of the International Institute of Space Commerce whose Hq. is located on the Isla of Mann was coming to Chaos Manor to take me to lunch.
That ruled out going to COSTCO today. It also meant that Chris got the impression that I am more deaf than I really am, but there was nothing for it. I had mentioned his coming, and asked Larry Niven if he wanted to join us, which worked out because Chris had read all the books either of has written, and was more familiar with some of them I am. My son Alex joined us, so I had some people there to help me with the conversation when it turned serious about A Step Farther Out. I hope to have some very good news on that shortly. We also discussed mutual friends in the space community, and it’s amazing that I had never met him before. Anyway that all went well.
I got home and cleaned up some dog work, but I was pretty miserable. My back was killing me, and I could only understood if they stood directly in front of me and talked directly to me; talking to the wall, or someone else didn’t do it.
That went on until Roberta and I watched the news. As we often do we were having leftovers from previous meals in restaurants, eating off TV tables – rather barbarous practice but at our age we do it unless one of has taken pains to prepare a meal. About ten minutes into the news my right hearing aid gave me a grinding clanking sound like nothing I had ever heard, and suddenly the TV was far too loud and I could hear Roberta asking was something wrong.
No, indeed, I told her. The new hearing problem had been electronic, not biological, and had fixed itself. I’ll still have to drive over to COSTCO and have them examine these things, but I am relieved: the worst that can happen is that they are no longer in warranty and I’ll have to buy new ones. Since they cost about $2000 I won’t be pleased, but even if I have to buy a new set every two years I’ll just have to hustle up some more money. One day of being deaf was more than enough. I am now hearing as well, at least with the right one which is my good ear, as well as ever; and the reason I am unsure about the other is that my left ear is so bad that it’s always hard to tell if the electronics are working properly.
So I am ready to shout Hosannas. And there is very likely to be some really good news about the International Institute of Space Commerce and A Step Farther Out. Hurrah. Deo Gratia,
How to Kill an F-35 with a 60-Year-Old SA-2.
The SA-2 was a pretty good bird. And they’ve already got better. And we no longer have Systems Command.
This is the most encouraging news I’ve seen on Saudi Arabia in my lifetime:
Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister on Tuesday ruled out the possibility that a recently announced oil production freeze by several countries might lead to cuts to reverse the plunge in oil prices.
“There is no sense wasting our time seeking production cuts,” Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi told energy executives at the annual IHS CERAweek conference. “That will not happen.”
And we have this:
Saudi Arabia has ruled out a deal by major producers to cut oil output and warned high-cost operators such as US shale drillers to trim costs or go bust in a stark message that triggered fresh pressure on crude prices.
For the first time in my life, I’m considering subsidies. We might subsidize the shale industry and even consider subsidizing any non-OPEC, US client states energy programs that will cause the price of oil to go down further so that we can break OPEC and Saudi Arabia.
They started this fight and they’ve not been the best of allies.
But, that will not happen so long as the oligarchs of the tangible economy happen to have many oil men among them; that is, unless it becomes necessary to counter-position the Saudis in this geopolitical negotiation; perhaps I should say “geostrategic business negotiation”.
Do we have some reason not to do this? If Saudi Arabia were a good friend of this country, my opinion might be different. But, since I don’t know what such a Saudi Arabia would look like, I don’t know.
Of course, if we do that we’ll be looking at more problems with “terrorists”. But, since we won’t have to worry about the efficacy of Middle Eastern oil — since we’ll have our own supply here — we’ll have more options on the table to deal with that eventuality. And with the impotent response to ISIS, the anger of the people, and so forth, we might just garner the political capital to impose a more effective solution to the problem. But, I think the Russians might beat us to it.
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
Abraham Lincoln, ” Teddy” Roosevelt, Dwight D Eisenhower and William McKinley (a president currently receiving a long overdue reappraisal after having been underrated for most of a century).
Primaries and “open covenants openly arrived at”:
Oral sex in the Oval Office, lectures on the moral equivalent of war and undue fear of communism, “plumbers”, an “unwinnable” war against a third rate tinhorn tooting dirt poor socialist dictatorship and a president who spent as much time skirt chasing movie stars and Mafiosi bimbos as he possibly could.
Bring back the smoke-filled rooms!
Where Are the Scriptoria?
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.