Do you have a license for that Calendar?

January 7, 2004

Well, it’s a whole new year, all crisp and fresh-smelling right out of the wrapping. Full of hope and promise and… feels just like last year. Except last year I had a hangover right about now. This year I’m dizzy and throwing up so it’s kinda the same thing, without the booze. Much cheaper, but not quite so satisfying. And why does this year feel like the one just gone by? Probably has something to do with the fact that I’m judging temporal reality filtered through a artificial and quite arbitrary measuring device called a calendar, which has more to do with politics, outdated deities and over-inflated egos than with anything so mundane as mere time. It’s mildly sobering to know that we get all worked up about an event thought up by a guy a thousand years turned to dust that a miniscule fragment of the population could even name. But as long as there’s booze, fireworks and the chance to kiss and grope for the few seconds in between I’m sure this is a tradition that will endure for a thousand years more.

Unless the Chinese invade, in which case the celebration gets shifted about a month later (or twelve months earlier for all you intolerable optimists out there). Thankfully the Chinese aren’t invading anytime this year. The plans were pushed back to 2005. Apparently, due to a recent frenzy over the recently released ROTK movie, the Chinese military found that their invasion plans were entirely irrelevant as they called for combined arms attacks on the countries of Gondor and Rohan. Furthermore, the projected cost of feeding the population of the country known as ‘The Shire’ proved to be so exorbitant that the Chinese government had to overhaul their entire agricultural ministry to increase food production. And the Chinese government hopes to pay for all this by selling more of it’s Cheap Chinese Electronic Products® to the rest of the world, so expect to see them flooding a local market near you.

Hm? I seem to have digressed and now can’t find my way back.

But since I’m here, a joke:
Q: What do you call a Chinese soldier who’s just invaded your country?
A: Sir! (Sheesh, he’s carrying a gun and there’s a couple million more of his buddies behind him. Do you really want to die?)

By the way, I have nothing against the Chinese and have already memorized the Chinese national anthem in preparation for the upcoming liberation. Down with Capitalism! Up with Glorious Cheap Chinese Electronic Products®!

Ahem.

We were talking about calendars, then the Chinese. And now I’m talking to myself because everyone left. But I’l pretend y’all are still here and just roll on.

So, Calendars. Arbitrary. Artificial. And not entirely reliable. 365 by 12 does not an integer make. It gives you 30 and a bit. Which is why we alternate between 30 and 31. Except for February, which has 28 (most years anyway) and August which breaks the alternating cycle, which is where that aforementioned inflated ego comes in. And, of course, there is the fact that the 24-hour day was really never really timed properly so we gain around 4 minutes per day, which is what leap years give back in one big day-sized chunk every four years. And the world’s spin is slowing down. So, woefully inaccurate and outdated, and about time we retire the old junk, eh? I propose we move back to a calendar based around the cycles of the moon. 28-day long months should give us a whole extra month per year which we could call Bob, for no particular reason, which is often as good a reason as any. 28 days will give us exactly 4 weeks to a month and as 28 x 13 = 364, we have a whole day left over that can be placed outside the calendar, and with which we can do as we please! Maybe make it into a world holiday. I’m sure Hallmark could come up with something suitable, and then print out cards that we could rush out and buy. Or maybe we could do away with months altogether, as it’s technically based around the local Lunar phenomenon and would not really be applicable should we ever colonize another planet. Or maybe we could just de-technologicize (my own word. I own it) and move back into caves and not think about calendars and time and Quantum Physics.

Wouldn’t life be simpler??

Anyway, it was something I just wondered about. Nothing to it really.

So, on a more personal note, nothing much’s changed lately. Started reading House Atreides by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, Chapterhouse Dune by Frank Herbert, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Philip K. Dick’s Ubik, The Insult by Rupert Thomson and Animal Farm by George Orwell. Finished the Banks, Clarke and both Pratchetts since my last post.

Still smoke free. Seventeen days now and still going strong.

Oh, and started work on a website at http://www.lbinc.freewebsitehosting.com/, and it’s starting to take shape. I’ve tried to keep the design consistent with this blog and will be adding to it when I get the chance.

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