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     Nine years. That’s how long I’ve been writing this blog. Since 2006. Mind blowing. Some years, of course, were a bit leaner than others when it comes to amount of posts. And probably quality. But, wow, nine years. That’s almost a decade.     I suppose this post should be an extravaganza, but I think that’s best left for the ten year mark.

 

     Where I am in Texas (possibly other places, too) there are trucks. Trucks that carry rocks. Gravel or granite or something, I don’t know. These trucks, you see, drive around with a full load of rocks. On the back of these trucks are signs that read “Stay 500ft back — Not responsible for broken windshields,” which is weird, because I think their primary purpose is, in fact, to break windshields. 
     Yesterday I ended up behind one. I heard something hit my windshield but, luckily, it didn’t shatter. But I noticed this roundish bit of discolor that had what looked like a drop of water underneath it. It wasn’t bad, but I was already mentally tallying up how much it was going to cost to repair when it got too bad to see out.
     On the way home my eyes kept getting drawn to it. I half hoped it was water, but there’s no way a drop of water is going to hang around all day in the sun with a temperature of 97F. 
     In the mornings the air is cool and the windshield has a lot of moisture on it. One of the first things I do after starting up the Battle Wagon is to run the wipers. I did this. Then I looked at the spot from yesterday. It was gone. 
     There was nothing in that spot but clear windshield. Now I’m wondering what kind of liquid I had on my windshield that doesn’t move in the wind generated by moving at 80 MPH (hurray Texas speed limits!) and doesn’t evaporate in nearly 100 degree weather.

     Last week I took Junior the cat to College Station to get checked out by the vets there. From what I was told they have the best radiation machine in the state so if he’s going to get treatment, he’s going to get it there.
     The treatment consists of having radiation applied Monday through Friday for four weeks (or three). 
     The big problem is that College Station is either 95 or 101 miles away from where I live. A daily drive there and back just isn’t going to happen so I’ll have to leave him there and visit on weekends. 
     That may not sound too bad, but you have to remember that it means five days of being under anesthesia. Five days of having radiation pointed at his head. Five days of not being home, comfortable.  For a month.
     It would be a no-brainer decision if I could get an answer to one question: Is it the best thing for him? But nobody will give me a definitive answer. Instead, I get a lot of dual-answers. It might. It might not. He may have cancer. He might not (it could be healing tissue). He could be dead in a year or he could live for quite a few more. 
     The only thing definitive I was told was that I could not make a wrong decision. And they’re wrong. The way I see it, any decision I make will be the wrong one. If he doesn’t get the treatment and ends up dying in pain, it’s my fault. If he does get the treatment and still dies in pain, well, then I wasted a month of him feeling good. If he gets the treatment and lives for a few more years than maybe he didn’t have cancer after all. 
     He’s been with me a long time. He’s my buddy, my friend, my companion through difficult times. No, there is no way I can make the right decision regardless of the outcome.

     In other news, smart people are spending a butt-load of money looking for aliens. The outer space kind, not the kind Donald Trump is having trouble with. 
     As a side note, though, I should add that, while I don’t care about Trump, I read his controversial speech and noticed that he specifically mentions illegal aliens. Any time I saw it referenced in the news the ‘illegal’ part was never mentioned. Strange.
     Anyway, smart people spending money I could use to find aliens that they aren’t going to find. I’m in favor of finding alien life. I think there’s life out there, somewhere. It may even be intelligent. I’m just not convinced that we’d be able to find evidence.
     I’m sure I  mentioned this before but it was probably nine years ago so I’ll mention it again: scale. The universe, as I understand it, is a pretty big place. We can only ‘see’ a small fraction of it. We’re surrounded by universe. If we’re not looking in just the right spot, we’re going to miss any evidence. There is also the time scale to think about.
     If an alien race started exactly when we did, evolved at exactly the same pace that we did, managed to invent all the same things we did when we did, then we’re not going to find them for, what? A few thousand years? However long it takes for a radio signal to journey over here. If we started maybe even two hundred years before they did then they’re just getting started with radio. If we’re even a hundred years behind them, well, there’s no telling what they’re working with now but it’s probably not radio.
     What if the radio signal was disrupted by pulsars or something? Does that happen? I don’t know, but I suppose it’s possible for some kind of stellar event to make a hash out of some sort of communication. How would we know what to look for? An alien is… alien. They may not think like us, may not find the same thing important, might think backwards. What if all their communication is encrypted or compressed? 
     There are an incredible amount of variables involved and none of them seem to be in favor of finding a signal from an alien intelligence. 
     However, they will also be searching for laser-based communications and that makes me a bit more hopeful. It’d be even better if the alien lasers were always on or, at least, pulsing on and off quickly enough that it’s effectively always on. Even if they found just one laser beam going off that would be a pretty good indication of intelligent life even if we can’t decode the message. The article I read said they might find the equivelent of our Internet being broadcast out there on beams of light. If that’s the case, then it’s probably a bunch of aliens complaining about something they don’t know much about.

Seeing as how this is the anniversary of this place I feel like I should commit to doing something new. Maybe something different. Something like promising to write something in here every day no matter how banal it might be. According to the WordPress stats I have 344 followers (give or take as I don’t know how they’re counted). I have no idea why because most of the people that read this never say much to me about what I post. Not that I blame you; most of this stuff is gobbeldygook. But, you know, if you have something you’d like to see, let me know. If I have to research it, so much the better. Chances are I’ll spout off in ignorance, anyway, but you never know.

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