blivet – 2002/08/24


“Humility is achieved more easily when you look at what you’ve just created and realize that all you have to do is change the labels on the ideas and you’ve got something that someone else already thought of.”
–John VanDyk [View from an Iowa Homestead]


Dave, Alwin and Doug have all seemed to have good luck with the move to 10.2 (X.II?). I’ll go ahead and order it since we’ll get it as part of the purchase of the new iMac.

Grad School II

Audrey survived her encounter with the GRE. The new (to me anyway) computer-based test tells you your score immediately, thus eliminating the six weeks of score anxiety following the several hours of exam anxiety. “Why when we took the GRE, we had to wait for months to get our scores!” “Scores? You got scores? We just got rocks with little tiny scratches on ’em. You had to count them all to know what your score was! And we liked it that way!” [spelling edits]

Skull and Cactus Society

garret and Kevin Drennan are climbing Santa Fe Baldy as I write this. They will be unconcerned about volcanic activity during their adventure. later:bloggers bag baldy, feed fauna and live to tell the tale!

On this day

It was a sunny morning in A.D. 79 when the volcano Vesuvius erupted and buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

The Visigoths overran Rome in A.D. 410, the event which now generally symbolizes the fall of the Western Roman Empire. I don’t know if it was sunny or not.

blivet – everything is possible

First day back to work and we’re heading out to do more fieldwork. The sound of mental gears shifting as the harness is donned. Have a great day.

Some of the pictures from the cactus salvaging we did on December 13 are circulating through the office. We were given certain ones they got duplicates of. Why do I love the desert? I’m working in a t-shirt at 10 am in the middle of December. The payback comes in the middle of July when it is 115°+F.

cactus salvaging in the Las Vegas Valley on Dec 13, 2000

Ray Walston dead at age 86. He died of natural causes, at home, with his wife at his side. It sounds like a peaceful way to do it. I loved My Favorite Martian when I was a kid. Thanks Mr. Walston.

yesterday garret posted an amazing piece of prose from memory in the context of Al‘s story.

life is a shirt of flame that mortal man has no power to remove. some incorrectly perceive it as burning with the deeds of our past, the life we have lived. but the shirt of flame is our own flesh burning with the desires which we have yet to actualize, the life we have yet to live.

I did a google search for life is a shirt of flame and came up with two possibilities from references in one of the search results: Promethus Unbound by Shelly and an unreferenced T.S. Eliot poem. Does anyone have a better idea of the source of this prose fragment? Its so rich and wonderfully Jungian, I’d love to see it in context. Thanks. Later: A bigger thanks to Dan for the URIs. I’ll let you all know what I find out. First though, I have a cat that is insisting on some attention from the big cat and I’ve been putting him off for a couple of hours.

OK, the cat is about as appeased as this cat gets … If you knew how crazy I am about this pud you may understand how much it take for me to say enough! Back to the quote. In a nice bit of synchronicity (heh!) Ken and I ended up barking up the same tree. (I could have saved myself some time if I would have just checked my mail ’cause Ken’s results were queued on the server.) On The C. J. Jung Page, in the article The Erotics of Blame by Greg Mogenson, M.A., Jungian Analyst, London, Ontario originally published in The Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 37, no. 2, 153-171. Copyright ©, The Society of Analytical Psychology, 1992. This is about halfway down:

… because life itself, a[s] Eliot reminds us, is an “intolerable shirt of flame that human power cannot remove.” Though we would all like to take off this garment, and may even attempt to do so by identifying ourselves as the victims of those we blame, our efforts are in vain.(15) The shirt of flame is our own flesh burning with the desires which we have yet to actualize, the life we have yet to live.

The reference (15) is:

In Prometheus Unbound, Shelley depicts Prometheus as having spent three-thousand years blaming Jupiter for chaining him to a rock. This psychology of blame, Shelley wishes to suggest, characterizes the last three-thousand years of culture. In the poem it is when Prometheus decides to take back the blame that he is unbound. Likewise, for Shelley, the “new age” begins when we let go of blame.

Thanks to Ken and Dan for help in this. And of course garret and Al for being who they are, smart, intelligent, open human beings. Yeah, like I said, webloggers!

Susan has an explanation of how American Retailers’ calendars differ from the Christian liturgical one. My particular favorite is the Great Lenten Paradox. Great writing Susan!

Ken is following (as in actually doing research for crying out loud) the sonar article from yesterday. Meander on over and have a look. Also, my thanks to Dave for his comments.


Lots of scanning and putting together graphics for a series of large format posters for Wednesday. Tomorrow will be a session with spray-mount and the foam-board. We’ll just talk from the posters. I think it will be more engaging this way, we’ll move around more and not get bogged down with the minutiae that even Archaeologists don’t care about. I think the message will come across better this way. On a side note, I love our HP 2500CM plotter. I used to care and feed for a CalComp 48″ electrostatic plotter that was a nightmare. The HP is just a big 36″ ink-jet Postscript printer. And it just works …

Dave has been thinking about why we never went back to the moon. I read this a while ago and took a walk to think about it. Not because it disturbed me, though it did a little. Reflecting on the space program often disturbs me a bit because I was late to the realization that we really did go to beat the Russians. Somehow I had come to the conclusion that the real reason was the challenge, the quest for space. ‘To boldly go’ and all that. I think that’s the story I wanted to believe. However, I think Dave is spot-on. Going to the Moon may have saved the world. But he ou; [import pproblem? –ed.] it much better than I could paraphrase here. Go have a read …

And so to work …

I know it don’t thrill you,

I hope it don’t kill you.

Welcome to the Working Week…

Elvis Costello

Al‘s finger will take some time to heal (8 weeks), He’s certainly opened my eyes to some hazards of the caregiver profession. I’d never considered the patients to be on that list.

Dave’s absolutely right. I must work on that …