My New Diary, 11/29/2018

What did I want to say about Natalie Goldberg and meditation? Not much; more along the lines of “I have a great intolerance for boredom.” If I rush from book to book, seeking I know not what, how much more do I rush from entertainment to entertainment. I find it easy to lie in bed and let my mind roam where it will, for up to an hour; when I am up and about (which in my case means sitting in my best chair with my feet up), I must be mentally active, even if that only means watching Democracy Now or some stupid movie, or flipping through the cable TV guide trying to find some diversion. This is time wasting…but now I’m so hungry that I must interrupt this entry.

My New Diary, 11/28/2018

If I cannot rely on my calm, reasoned judgment of how the world works, but must instead follow every will-o-the-wisp twinge to its illogical conclusion, then I don’t know how to live. I neither feel a need of any god, nor can I accept any intellectual argument that pretends to prove the existence of a god or anything supernatural, or to prove the “necessity of religion in life.” I don’t claim to have “all the answers.”

Prison Diary: Books and More Books

“The Danes in particular have made sloth a policy. Blithely unaware that Indians are working 35 hours a day [sic], the Danes average 22 hours a week. partly that’s the result of the ‘laziness’ written into law: employers must provide a minimum of 5 weeks paid vacation. The official week is 37 hours, but non-vacation weeks average 28. Worse, there’s paid maternity leave! The Danish minimum wage is $10 and health care is free…. Danes earned an average $26 an hour in 2001, a solid 61% more than Americans.”

Three Oldsters on Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving last year. This year I’m staying home.

The World Needs You

By Alan Carl Nicoll

Copyright 2017 by Alan Carl Nicoll, All Rights Reserved

I spent a bundle yesterday on going to see Justice League, treating my one current friend, he’s unemployed, and buying “toys” from Amazon (for me), but if I eat at home alone, it looks like Progresso® pea soup for Thanksgiving.  So I go out, planning to make the long walk to Carl’s Jr.® for dinner, despite no Wi-Fi—I’d checked, and they were open.  I need the walking because my legs have gotten weak this year, but I’d take the bus if they ran on major holidays here.  Prediabetes, according to my neurologist.  Medicare.  God Bless Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Even so, the diagnosis cost me $300, with a bit owed yet.

Willie is old, fat, black, with a walker, probably an alcoholic, and he hangs out at the corner though he’s no longer homeless, he…

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My New Diary, 11/7 to 11/14/2018

Yesterday I had pretty well decided to start a Nietzsche Club; today, I’ve decided not to. Reading the Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche and finding that “experts disagree” on many important concepts in his works (including the “will to power” and the “superman”), I’m thinking that maybe he’s not worth so much attention after all. As it is, I’ve already read all his best books, and a couple of them more than once, though I am reading The Will to Power now as my bedtime reading. Perhaps I could start a philosophy reading group. I’ll think about it.

My New Diary, 11/3 to 11/6/2018

I rarely get hives, like almost never, and I’ve never been too sure about what caused them. Likewise this time. My “dinner” yesterday was thoroughly disgraceful, almost half of a Dutch apple pie plus, plus a whole package of Pepperidge Farm cookies. That was dinner. Did that cause the hives somehow? I guess so; but this is hardly the first time I’ve had total junk for dinner, not even the first time in the last month.

A Discussion of To Kill A Mockingbird

Scout seems so enlightened the whole way through, although she's never quite right on the mark, she always has profound and insightful observations but they're never exactly right and I think one of the things is that kids are always wanting to understand the world in black-and- white, consistent terms where they could have a rule that would apply to everybody, and what they consistently learn is that it just never works that way.

#NaNoWriMo: Shall I? (Diary, 11/1 to 11/2/18)

Pablo has been urging me, for months, to participate in NaNoWriMo, a nationwide challenge to write 1,700 words a day on a novel, thus completing a first draft of 50,000 words in one month. It started yesterday. We talked about it yesterday, around 10:00 pm, and I held out a slight possibility that I would give it a try. I also told him

More Book Thoughts from My Prison Diary

{8/16/08} Finished Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, a fine but ultimately disappointing ghost story. The disappointment is with the overdrawn villains and some illogical plot points. Of the latter: a ghost assaults our hero with a 400 pound desk, but fails to make use of the many knives in the kitchen or the knitting needles … Continue reading More Book Thoughts from My Prison Diary

My New Diary, 10/31/2018

I was “always” trying to make sulfuric acid and never succeeding, and trying to make gunpowder, but it never worked. Acids were pretty easy to make: combine two dry chemicals in a retort, and add heat. This gets you nitric and hydrochloric acids, but not sulfuric. I “burned” a fingertip with nitric acid, accidentally, but all that I remember is that it changed to orange. Gunpowder is made up of three dry chemicals, but mine never burned like gunpowder is supposed to.