Sunday, April 21, 2019

I realized this weekend I'm in one of those odd places physically.

Short description: like many, I took a good hard look at my current health level, got a little tired of being tired etc, and decided to do something about it. Timing being ever an issue, I've got 4 days a week in this part of the calendar to exercise.

I've been happy with my pace, and what I can do, I concentrate now on swimming, walking/running, and biking, to build up cardio and stamina. I've a fair few years of self to work away.

I'm happy with the way things have been going; even if I do feel like I'm relearning swimming, especially. Building up running laps, or pace on the bike, laps in the pool, all at a pace I've been quite proud of.

This past week and weekend was the first in the past few that I hit one of 'those' weeks, where it was easy to talk myself out of going in and doing my daily gym trip. Two days out of 4, so it wasn't outrageous, but I paid for it today.

I felt like I was dragging my ass somewhere down around my ankles. Lethargic, rather than tired, and generally just downspirited. Where most Sundays I'm just tired because I usually end up doing both a trip to the gym and then the rest of the day house and yardwork. We had a visitor this morning that put me out of being able to go in and get on the bike. So, understandable.

It's a learning experience; I know that I won't be able to have a 'perfect' schedule, life's out there and has its demands. So I guess I need to recognize the feeling, and expect it.

And not beat myself up over it.

One encouraging thing is that the feeling tells me the exercise has been doing me a ton of good, in terms of how my body and mind respond to the work.

Writing helped a great deal with the mental listlessness. Sitting down this evening, I put in a little more than a thousand words. It felt glorious.

Putting in a blog post was somewhat harder. I couldn't for the life of me think of anything else to write about...

Saturday, April 20, 2019

For Cosma and Brad and fans of model analysis generally, a question: is this a completed analysis?

I think that not only is there a minimum possible price Alice can extract (11 cents per Cosma, and I don't disagree that this is the proper limit up to transport costs of the turkey, if any, assuming Note 1 below). I find a maximum possible price, of 5000.10 dollars. That is, we know Dives is price insensitive, and Lazarus is as well, since Lazarus, starving, will presumably bid all available for the turkey. This price is obtainable if Lazarus and Dives both have a minimum calorie count of turkey (to survive another day for Lazarus, or "survive" for Dives) which Alice has sufficient turkey surplus available to satisfy. Further, Alice is posited as having, for Lazarus and Dives, a monopoly on turkey, therefore this maximum price is fully realizable.

Note 1 : That Lazarus has bid at all, or otherwise signaled his ability to pay 10 cents for turkey, shows Alice knows of his existence.

Note 2 : If Lazarus really is dying, such that Alice cannot possibly satisfy his starvation regardless of the amount of turkey remaining from her own dinner, then she might as well be selling chalk in the model presented. Unless Bob and Carol + others not in evidence pitch in. Call this result (Lazarus starves because Alice can't possibly satisfy his particular condition) the zeroth solution, 0.0. Call the result in Note 1 solution 0.1, i.e. Alice doesn't even know that Lazarus exists. (I use solution here to mean in particular that Lazarus continues to go begging.) To go any further though, we have to assume that Alice has sufficient turkey to satisfy at least one of the two buyers.

Given a minimum possible price, and a maximum possible price, then we can say that there are two further solutions to the problem.

Solution 1 (Cosma's solution): Alice sells to Dives alone for 11 cents. Or some value between than 1 cent and 5000 dollars if solution 0.1 is somehow active.

Solution 2 : Alice sells to both Lazarus and Dives for some price between 12 cents and 5000.10 dollars. Further, if transport costs are an issue (but still less than 5000.10 dollars), Alice can, via Solution 2, in fact charge Dives and Lazarus together any price sufficient to transport costs plus any number up to 5000.10 dollars total.

Solution 2 in this context is uninteresting, since in this case Alice has managed to both provide Lazarus another day this side of paradise, and Dives with the material for his art installation. However, Solution 2 is very interesting if, and only if, Solution 1 is the only one which is observed.

Meaning, if Solution 1 is the observed condition, then there are three possibilities:

A. Alice has no idea Lazarus exists, but if she did Solution 2 would be available.

B. Alice knows Lazarus exists but does not know that Solution 2 is available.

C. Alice knows both that Lazarus exists, and that Solution 2 is available.

D. Alice knows that Lazarus exists, but Solution 2 is unavailable because she doesn't have sufficient turkey surplus to satisfy both Lazarus and Dives.

A and B are then easily resolved: Let Alice know that Lazarus exists, that she has sufficient turkey and power to charge Lazarus and Dives differentiably sufficient to provide both with their turkey.

C is then the difficult case. Should Alice's monopoly be broken by standing up Bob and Carol + others as additional food suppliers? Should, and can, Alice be subsidized in some way (and the minimum cost estimate for how much would be necessary can be extracted by further results, I think) to provide the necessary? Or do you have to all the way to force of law to get Lazarus fed?

D is a very useful subset of both the solutions and possible resolutions: it tells us that Bob and Carol + others are essential to a long term resolution (i.e. multiple iterations) of the situation.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

A note of little importance, except possibly to other writers/artists of various sorts/hobbyists. I've been noodling an observation, or maybe it's just a brain fart; ok, possibly it's self-justification. One does what one can with what one has, after all.

Any rate, what occurred to me was that art, writing, hobby, playing in the garden, meditating, staring out at the auburn sky, all the things to do that don't have anything to do with the job. Or the chores. Or the bills. Or, really, anything that someone else wants you to do, rather than the thing that quiets the noise and allows for a breather.

All that stuff? It's a defense against the needle-scratch moments. Those little parts of the day where you read something, hear something, see something that makes your brain scratch out of the track it's on. All those little moments that make you go "What in the hell did I just hear? They can't really have just said that, right?"

And I don't mean any particular thing political, animal, or vegetable. Criminal, psychological or meteorological. But I do mean that we all have those elements trip us up.

And then we get to go home. Fire up the laptop, or break out the pencil and paper, or wander out for a walk with the dogs. Or whatever. And spend some brief moment of our day.

Not thinking about anything that matters to anyone else in the world, for some blessed few minutes.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Oh, Gene Wolfe has left us. If you don't know, just understand that, when you bounce from one of his stories, that's ok. I've been back and forth on whether I enjoy, as opposed to respect and admire, his stories, pretty much every single time I read or re-read them. I've bounced from pretty much every one of his longer works, sometimes more than once. So I'm not one to tell you what to read first, Neil Gaiman's reading guide is one attempt at it, though. Personally, I'd tackle Gene's short fiction first.

I've always put him into my Bob Silverberg mental folder; certainly, there's some stylistic overlap, but mostly it's because Silverberg and Wolfe were happy to project essentially human futures, but so far away from the present as to be unrecognizable in structure and form. Other than that essential humanity. Moorcock ventured in this territory, as well; they none of them reason to the same conclusions, but they all tangle with the far future, and whether we'd ever be able to communicate with those who reside there. Herbert led us all gently to this place, where god-emperors may or may not await.

Wolfe carried something that those of us who came up Catholic resonated to. Collapsed Catholic I may be, but that's not to say I don't still have those touchstones present, some shoals, some markers. Seeing someone else pass those waters, mark them, return to them, struggle and triumph and drown in them... has a weight. Meaning. Of such things are dreams aborning. I wonder what never was and might have been and the world that could be created thus look like now.
Thank you, Tiger. Seeing your smiles, and the hugs you gave the kids and your mom when you got to the finish line, is a joy worth waiting for. Congratulations, for the work and the payoff. And, as a father of a teenage girl, I turned to my wife and asked whether your daughter was too cool for Dad in that moment, so seeing her embrace you in your family's moment added to the moment.

Now, following the sports world today, I see a lot of people jumping onto the "Tiger's gonna beat Jack" bandwagon again. I'd love to see that chase, one way or another. But I haven't heard a single one of the talking heads mention something that came up when Tiger talked about his day yesterday: he woke up at 3:45 am to get his back loose for a 9am tee time.

The golf season's a long one. Four days a week plus practice rounds, so 5 full days; baseball and hockey, the NBA, that's the kind of grind we're talking about. That's a long hard thing to go through.

I wonder if that moment at the Masters, where Tiger walked off to his family, if that's the moment he's been working for. The old days, that Tiger, this comeback would have been the beginning. He's, by personal admission, not that person anymore. The river moves on; having done so, isn't the same.

I don't doubt his drive remains. I believe it's tempered, though. As iron becomes steel, the drive changes when kids come in. When their smiles and their accomplishments matter now, far more than anything we have done or would like to. The grind is a grind now, isn't it?

Success is tempered as well. It means something different, the little things.

I look forward to finding out what this portion of the road looks like, as Tiger shrugs into another green jacket. To more smiles, more triumphs, more defeats because that's the nature of the beast, but either way, I have a feeling we're all going to get to see something very special.

And, because it's Tiger, I suspect we're all going to be changing our view of what special means, no matter what happens.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Looking at the dates on posts, I've been busy away from the blog. Writing, yes,
I've a couple stories finished and I'm into my next longer story. The day gig's
been consuming me, I think. Which is one of the reasons I'm supposed to be writi
ng, I remind myself, leave the day gig at the job site and come home to work on
something more me.

Eh. I've been submitting stories to various markets, as well. I'm sure to get re
jections, that's part of the expectation, but stories sitting in folders on my c
omputer don't get anything but bit rot.

I've also been consumed in various bits and pieces of other things; the world of
 stories, because my to-be-read pile grows continuously. Space-X is getting clos
er day by day with their launches, Boeing with a schedule slip isn't all that fa
r from throwing their test capsule to the station. They've imaged a black hole f
or the first time, using a network of telescopes linked across the globe.

And a fair seven billion other things, all of us a story every day. But that's w
hat crossed my eye today.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Filed under a need to remember, that whenever I start feeling a bit sorry for myself when a project hasn't gone to plan, to watch an episode of Restoration Home.

After a few episodes, the rhythms of it become predictable, in terms of how and when the headaches will come in. Budget, time, hard to find expertise, all these things are a constant headache. Even with all the will in the world, and where the people involved all know what's coming, inevitably they run into shortages of time and money and effort.

It's a master class in project management. And always always always a lesson that things just won't ever go to plan, no matter how much effort you put into planning.

So be it, though, because it's also always a lesson in perseverance, and the payoffs that come into to it if one's of a mind for success on your own terms.