Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Monday, May 28, 2012

Random Placement, Review

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A good first novel by this author.  A young single mom receives an incredible amount of money from a stranger and she embarks on a remarkable trip to find out why.  The author built the plot with the skillful use of jumping back in time and returning to the present, carefully unravelling the story and keeping the readers interest. The characters were well developed and again the author maintained the reader's interest by progressively unveiling more of the character's personality through the novel.   One of the aspects that I enjoyed about the book is that it is not a syrupy romance, although it had a bit of a romantic element build through the story.

What the author has really done with this book, and I hope will prove helpful, is to bring to light the terrible circumstances of the plight of young girls that are sold into the brutal life of a Jogini.  Hopefully a greater awareness of this practice will help to eventually stop it.      

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I'll Have Another Wins The 137th Preakness

"I'll Have Another" jockeyed again by Mario Guitierrez repeated his Kentucky Derby performance and blazed past the favored Bodemeister in the last 100 yards of the 137 Preakness Stakes At Pimlico Race Course at Baltimore.  The win was a little tighter than the Derby, only by a neck.  Mike Smith on Bodemeister knew what to expect and gave Guitierrez a difficult challenge, both horses pulled far ahead of third place Creative Cause, but "I'll have Another" managed to pull ahead of Bodemeister in the very last seconds of the race.

My previous favorite, Union Rags was not entered in the race.  I of course missed seeing the trainers hat.   

"I'll Have Another" and Guitierrez now have two of the three jewels for the triple crown. I am hoping that they can break the 34 year gap since Affirmed won the crown in 1978.  

The last race of the the Triple Crown will be the Belmont Stakes which runs on June 9.  

Congratulations and good luck to "I'll Have Another" and Mario Guitierrez.

The video below is "I'll Have Another's" win at the Kentucky Derby on May 5.   

Image Credits:

YouTube: 2012 Preakness Stakes, by NTRA Horse Racing

Wikipedia, 2012 Preakness Logo

YouTube: 2012 Kentucky Derby, by Kentucky Derby

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Three Misfortunes On The Fifth of May

Links To My Other 2012 Horse Racing Posts:

Navigating the Finite, Ill Have Another Wins 137th Preakness

Navigating The Finite, Union Rags Wins The Belmont Stakes

Battle of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo
Yesterday was the Cinco de Mayo, the commemoration of the Mexican victory over a superior French force on May 5, 1862 in the Battle of Puebla.  Although the Mexicans won the battle, they lost the war the following year and the French backed government of Maximilian I called the Second Mexican Empire was established and lasted three years.  With US help after the Civil War, the Second Mexican Empire was overthrown and Maximillian was executed by a firing squad in 1867.  
Cinco de Mayo is not the Mexican Independence Day despite popular belief.  The Mexican Independence Day from Spain is celebrated on September 16.  Ironically the Cinco de Mayo is a nationally observed holiday in the US as decreed by Congress back in 2005.  Yet it is only a local holiday observed in the Mexican state of Puebla.  The battle was critical in helping to delay the French invasion of Mexico.  The French had designs on aiding the Confederate States of America and thus fracturing the United States and its future power.  By the time the French succeeded in Mexico, the tide had turned against the South in the Civil War, thus the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla had helped to preserve the American Union. 
Daily's Margarita Mix, Made In Nearby Verona PA.
To celebrate the Cinco de Mayo, I bought some margarita mix, nachos, and salsa.  Neither my wife or I drink and we have never had a margarita. The plan was that we would have a non-alcoholic margarita by substituting water for tequila.   Well that was the plan.  Bletch!  The plan was poorly executed.  Because of the horse race, I bought our traditional Saturday dinner (pizza--you don’t mess with pizza night regardless of what date it is) and the margarita mix late, and didn’t get mix into the refrigerator until well after 8:00 PM and never thought of the ice.  We were running out of time for the Cinco de Mayo so we tried making our margaritas.  The ice trays had little tiny hunks of evaporated frost in them. The mix had barely cooled down.  We poured a small bit of mix in a glass with 1/4 parts water.  Yick!  Sweet sickening battery acid that almost set us on our ear with sour.  Experimenting, we needed 3 parts water to one part mix and it still tasted like hell.  So much for non-alcoholic margaritas...I should stick to diet coke. 

Yesterday, was also the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.  The race was won by “I’ll Have Another” jockeyed by Mario Gutierrez.  My favorite horse was Union Rags.  Poor Union Rags was slow out of the gate and got boxed in by the pack.  Bodemeister dominated the race until the last stretch when “I’ll Have Another” streaked out of the pack and passed the top rated Bodemeister for the win.  Gutierrez, from Mexico, was quite pleased to win the Kentucky Derby on the Cinco de Mayo which I thought was kind of cool in some existential sort of way.
Phyllis Wyeth, Owner of Union Rags,
I chose her horse because I like the hat. horse, Union Rags, came in seventh, actually a pretty good finish when you consider that he was 18th in the first stretch.  However, the pain of my loss was minor--I don’t bet on these things.  I picked him as a favorite based on the horse’s name and the fact that I liked the Union Rags ball cap that the trainer and owner wore.  Turns out the owner is Phyllis Wyeth, who is married to Jamie Wyeth, son of Andrew Wyeth the famous painter from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.  Jamie like his father and grandfather is also an artist. While I have always loved Andrew’s works, Jamie’s has never quite done it for me.  Well their damned horse let me down too.  As much as I would love Union Rags to win the Preakness, because I like his name and owner's ball cap, I am hoping that “I’ll Have Another”, which is a decidedly a dumb name and requires quotation marks so the reader does not get confused, will take the triple crown.  So sorry, Union Rags, the best I can do is root for you in the Belmont Stakes if “I’ll Have Another” loses the Preakness.

So my horse lost the Kentucky Derby and my margaritas were a bust but what really topped the fifth of May off for me was the first event of the day.  Monumental events always happen in threes.  I heard my beloved mockingbird out in my hemlock, so I went    out to have a look at him.  The sky was over cast and threatening rain.  I was standing on the sidewalk visually searching the hemlock for the mockingbird singing away, when suddenly a huge rain drop hit the crown of my head.  I thought, how strange to be hit with one large rain drop.  My left hand reflexively reached for the top of my head, and simultaneously the fact that this rain drop is unduly warm entered my awareness.  Too late, in slow motion, my hand smeared into the warm viscous mess further confirming beyond hope the sickening fact that yeah it is warm.  My hand then appeared into my field of view removing all doubt...OH GOOD GOD, ROBIN SHIT.
  My brain immediately flew into a hyper-spastic state of hysterical terror.  Foreign proteins, bird viruses, and horrific bacteria are boring through my skin, they will soon diffuse easily through the plate joints in my skull and my brain will be saturated with robin shit pathogens!  Quick grab the gas can for the lawn mower and set your head on fire--sterilize the shit with purifying flame!   Wait may not survive that.  Run to the outside faucet and flush your head with water.  Damn, I haven’t turned the water back on from last winter yet!  Quick rub your head in the damp grass--hmmm, what will the neighbors think?  The thought of neighbors witnessing the spectacle of me on all fours madly rubbing my head in the grass, slowly allowed me to contain my hysteria and think the my first rational thought since time zero of the impact, why not go in and take a shower?  Do it right now, before any more pathogens are absorbed into your brain and you think of any further wild ideas...for instance jack up the front of the car, start the engine, put it in drive with a brick on gas my head against the rapidly spinning tire and grind the bird shit off my skull.  The whole problem with that idea is that when the real time four wheel drive sensed the front wheels spinning faster than the rear, the four wheel drive would automatically engage careening my car off the jack and down my driveway, across the street, through my neighbor’s yard and over a cliff.  The process is very rapid and I would never have time to make it to the front wheels before the car zoomed off in a mindless panic exceeded only by mine.  The shower seemed the only reasonable solution.

Although thinking more rationally than a few moments ago, but still in a panic,  I ran into the bathroom and with my left hand incapacitated with bird shit, I attempted to one handedly remove my clothes.  Oh God, how do I get my tee shirt off with one hand and not smear it through the bird shit on my head?  To hell with the tee shirt, throw the damned thing in the rubbish...get these clothes off and get into the shower.  After a small eternity, one handedly, I stripped and got into the shower.  I plunged my head into the water rinsing the foul fowl detritus off my head.  As I am standing looking at my feet, it slowly occurs to me, you dumb son of bitch, you have your eyes, nose, and mouth facing down with robin shit water flowing past them.  Why didn’t you stick the back of your head into the water while looking up so the shit water would flow harmlessly down your neck and back.  Oh good God, I am doomed.  
Then the shampooing started but I didn’t use shampoo, I used anti-bacterial Safeguard.  Apply soap, vigorously rub, rinse, and repeat.  At some point the notion of this shit infested rinse water all over my body entered my awareness so I soaped up my hair and then stepped out of the water and completely soaped up my entire body leaving it set for a few minutes to kill off any residual robin shit pathogens.  I then stepped back into the water and repeated my shampooing about two dozen times until I ran out of hot water.  After the completion of my shower, objectively I felt reasonably clean, but subjectively and spiritually I remained defowled.  
I am a spicy food sweater.  Last night while eating the salsa, even though mild, the top of my head broke into a sweat.  Reflexively my left hand wiped to top of my head, and then it struck me.  I am sweating out robin shit pathogens.  Oh God, will I ever return to my unshat upon state?   While I was tempted to take another shower, I dried my head with a paper towel instead. 
Today I have been trying to access any damage.  Did I successfully remove all the robin shit pathogens before they managed to infest my brain?  I seem to possess all of my faculties.  I know what date it is, what horse won the Kentucky Derby, and I remember my mother’s maiden name.  The thought occurs to me that It may take months before the onset of robin shit induced dementia sets in.  Yet today I seem to be perfectly normal except my hair looks like Albert Einstein’s.   


Photo & Video Credits:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Retired One Year, Whoopee!

I thought that when I got to my one year mark that I would  offer some thoughtful reflection about not working any longer,  missing the job, missing the people, missing the romance of testing and missing the product.  

Hmmmm!  Other than the people, I could give a shit less.  I don't think of the damn place anymore.  Was retiring the right thing to do?  Hell yes, I love it.  

I believe this is the shortest post I have ever written.  So much for thoughtful reflection. 

I wasn't always so nonchalant, you can read about the evolution of my not give a shit attitude at these posts:

You can read all of my retirement related posts at: