CR's been really sick since Sunday. I had to stay in from work yesterday, and Christine had to take him to work today. The trouble with asthma as bad as CR's is that even minor colds can develop into horrible chain-reaction asthma attacks. And this is one of those times. He's been on his machine today, and hopefully, we can prevent more loss of school days by getting ahead of the asthma loop. On top of this issue, CR's asthma also makes him allergic to laughter. I think that's blatantly unfair. If he laughs too hard, his lungs spasm, and he stops breathing. He's had this ever since he was a baby, so it's not a psychosomatic thing, but I just have to complain because how can you do this to a person, especially a kid? I worry about him as an adult so much. How is he going to make it out there? I hate asthma. It can go to hell.
Just as a weird comment on an earlier entry: while looking for something else (Slackware 9.1 CDs, if you must know), I kept finding scissors. It's like the poltergeists that steal them read my entry, said, "Oh, crap! He's onto us! Dump and run!" I found a pair between two computers in my SETI array. I found another in the guest room bathroom. I found yet another pair in a kitchen drawer normally used for Tupperware lids, and several more in various unlikely places (including the "secret pair" I lost) making a total of 5 pairs of scissors in one day. Huh. I think it was in one of the Pippi Longstocking books that Pippi made a comment that the best way to find something is to look for something else, but I am not sure. I have taken this concept into my new book, where Koko deliberately looks for hidden objects by asking for something seemingly unrelated, like a code only she knows. For instance, if she wanted to find a mysterious friend of hers, she's ask total strangers if they had any gum. I did this because I have this (rather superstitious) theory that the universe is run by so many unknown forces that you can manipulate the outcome of certain events by doing seemingly unrelated things. It's hard to explain, but here's a more standard example: I need to wear jeans so I can eat. This two things seem unrelated, but this is how I break it down: I need to wear jeans because they have pockets that can hold money so I can use the money to buy food to eat. But to someone who is not familiar with all the steps in between, it seems nonsensical. Now magnify that complexity of chain of events by a thousand. That's why Koko asks strangers for gum when she wants to find Misabel.
Today's mankind's 100th anniversary of motorized flight. People say "Ooh, 100 years of flight," but that's not totally true. Taking out silly things like catapult accidents, you have to remember that on November 21, 1783, the first free flight by humans was made by Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes who flew aloft for 25 minutes about 100 meters above Paris for a distance of 9 kilometers. A few months earlier, the Montgolfier brothers had demonstrated this was possible by performing their hot air balloon invention at Versailles, before Louis XVI of France, to gain the King's permission for a trial human flight. It was at this demonstration that they sent up the first living beings in a basket attached to the balloon: a sheep, a duck, and a rooster. When Pilatre and Marquis landed in a vineyard, it was said they had to bribe the farmers with champagne to keep them from attacking the balloon with pitchforks (they thought it was some horrific thing sent by the evil forces). It's from this event that the modern word "pilot" comes from (Pilatre's name), and why they still give you champagne after a balloon ride.
Less than two centuries later, the Russians sent a dog into space. Not to be outdone, the US sent a chimp. Now we have a space station. This continuous flinging of animals into the air by humans seems nonsensical to arrive at that end, unless you know the steps in between, I tell you.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000315.html