My weblog ELECTRON BLUE, which concentrated on science and mathematics, ran from 2004-2008. It is no longer being updated. My current blog, which is more art-related, is here.
Sat, 27 Sep, 2008
488 Electrons, Over and Out
I had thought I would wait till number 500, but I didn't see any point in the round number. As of this entry, number 488, ELECTRON BLUE will cease publication. I have been thinking this over for a while. This Weblog has been going for more than four years, ever since February of 2004. I have written about all sorts of subjects, from math to music to art to surrealistic spam. This Weblog has a distinguished readership who enjoys visiting.
This all takes time to maintain and write, though, and at this point I don't have the time. My focus and scheduling are changing. Though I still love math and science, I have not spent as much time as I would like on it because I have increasing commitments with day job and artistic work. Things change in people's lives, and I am not different from other folks in that regard.
I know that my readers will still want to see new artwork from me, so this site will not go away. The "Electron Blue" weblog will be retired but the "machinery" will still be there, and a periodic "art show" will take its place, where I will present new finished work, and possibly talk about it. I will leave the archives of ELECTRON BLUE up on the site, available for browsers and search engines.
And so, as a late September thunderstorm rumbles outside, I place ELECTRON BLUE out into the pasture of memory, where it may stay a picturesque part of the Internet landscape as long as I own the land it was built on.
Posted at 4:06 am | link
Tue, 16 Sep, 2008
I found a stand of white toadstools in a yard behind a shop I frequent. I had not seen mushrooms that big in quite a while. In my younger years I was quite a mushroom enthusiast, not for eating them but for finding and identifying them. September is a good time for mushrooms and if it's wet you can find "blooms" of them under trees or in moist areas.
I believe that these mushrooms are Chlorophylla molybdites which is a common species in this area. They are poisonous. If you are unfortunate enough to eat one, you probably won't die but you will be very sick.
I would count myself as a "nature-lover" but not in the romantic sense. I enjoy being out in "natural" environments so that I can analyze and identify species and think about the ecosystem. I think of all the many species of plants and fungi and animals and birds and insects as a vast problem set waiting for me to identify them and find their place in the system. Or else I am there to make sketches, which are also like problems to be solved. My moments of nature bliss or sense of wonder are less frequent than the enjoyment of having identified a bird or mushroom species, or matching a specific shade of sunlit green under the rustling romantic canopy.
Posted at 3:45 am | link
Fri, 12 Sep, 2008
By September 15 back in New England, it's time to turn the heat on. Here in MidAtlantica we (the denizens of Edge City) have had some pre-autumnal coolness, though the temperatures have recently risen back into summery scale. The reason I mention these banal weather details is that they have a distinct effect on the lady-of-a-Certain-Age affliction I described in the last post here. If it gets cool, say under the temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the hot flashes get less intense and may even relent altogether.
Some of this may be due to the acupuncture and herbal remedies my acupuncturist has treated me with. Perhaps it works in combination with ambient temperature. I started the treatment in May, when it was already somewhat warm here. So much for being in "balance with Nature." If Nature cools down, so do I…maybe.
I have not had a winter without hot flashes since they began. What usually happens is that the affliction, surprised by a change in the weather, takes some time to adjust to it and then, having figured out how to torment me in cold weather, begins again. If something can break that cycle, I'm all for it.
Some older women, upon hearing that I love the summer and hot weather and never want winter, have sarcastically commented that when I got to a "Certain Age" I would welcome the colder weather and hate the warm summer temperatures. I hate to agree with these comments, so let me re-state my situation. I still love summer and hot weather, but at the moment it doesn't love me. It is possible that I might find a way to avert the periodic hourly boiling, and if so, I will gladly go back to my love of July's hot, humid, thundery days.
I really don't want to talk about this any more, so I will leave you with a famous image by the early twentieth century French artist Paul Emile Chabas. His "September Morn" scandalized prudes in New York when it was shown in a gallery window there in 1913. But it then became hugely popular and was reproduced in all manner of prints and collectibles. The unclad young lady who feels the first chill of fall as she stands in the lake has a long way to go before she is of a Certain Age.
Posted at 3:45 am | link
Sun, 07 Sep, 2008
Summer of hot
Much as I love summer, it has been compromised for me by my physical condition, which makes me intolerant to the very heat that I love. I have written about menopause before in this Electron's history. I was assured that in a few years, the symptoms would abate. But instead of getting better, they have gotten worse. How long will I have to wait? For some people, they never go away.
Hot flashes are a perennial joke, at least to people who don't have them. Just listen to comedians and you will be provoked to laugh about menopause, which has the same kind of bitterly amusing indignity for older women that "not getting it up" has for men. Hot flashes are one of the reasons why women have been considered unfit for high public office. Supporters of a well-known woman candidate have been called by journalists the "hot flash crowd." Go ahead and laugh…after all, a woman should be hot, right? She's a real hottie!
I have put up with this now for five years. I've tried soy pills, soy milk, vitamin supplements, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and even antidepressants. Nothing has worked, at least for very long. Every hour, sometimes every 40 or even 30 minutes, I am immersed in boiling water for three minutes, during which I cannot continue whatever useful thing I was doing but must stick close to a fan or push my head into my refrigerator's freezer or, during winter, go outside in frozen weather with no coat on. It disrupts my work and scrambles my brain, and it takes me long minutes to remember what it was I was working on. At night it doesn't let me alone, but semi-wakes me so that I toss and turn and throw the blankets off. In cooler weather, it is briefly better, and then some mechanism re-adjusts and returns me to the boiler. Sound familiar, old gals? What a chuckle!
There's a little blue pill (or any number of pills) for men's indignity, and untold billions of them are sold, counterfeited, and sold again. There's a treatment for this scourge of older women, but it is deemed so risky that few doctors will prescribe it. My doctor refuses to give me any hormone treatment. But what if the quality of life deteriorates to such an extent that I lose work, lose sleep, lose sanity? Be a tough old bag and suck it up? Sorry, you lost the evolutionary race!
Posted at 8:30 pm | link
Tue, 02 Sep, 2008
The Melancholy Day
This Monday, September 1, was the day each year I call the "Melancholy Day." It's the last time that the swimming pool outside my apartment building is open. On that day, after a full afternoon of kids splashing as usual, the pool caretakers take in all the white plastic deck chairs and regular chairs, and stack them in the poolhouse for storage. I am glad that I was scheduled to work on Monday, Labor Day, because otherwise I would have to watch this activity. It's sad for me because it means that summer is over.
Now the the pool water will be neglected. As if in some suburban pseudo-Japanese haiku of elegant sadness, a few early yellow leaves will fall onto the undisturbed surface while it is still a glorious aqua color. But in a week or so, algae will build up in the pool and it will turn a murky yellow. The pool people will drain it down a bit, remove the metal ladders around the rim, and pack everything up before they go home to whatever Eastern European country they came from.
September still has some warm times ahead, but all I can think of is being freeze-dried for the winter, stumbling around in my heavy jacket and enduring the mind-numbing torture of the "holiday season." I constantly think of moving to a warmer southern part of the country, but it seems they have a bit of rough weather these days. It's going to be a long eight months before April.
Posted at 4:12 am | link