05 December 2009

Old Dog, New Tricks

Old Post from December 2009, removed (you'll soon see why), but then re-posted for certain reasons having to do with Blondie's having seen it during its brief existence while Mlemelymen did not. Look fast. (Not exactly possible.) It will disappear again soon.

Where have I been you ask? Read on, and you shall have your answer.

The moral of the following story—which it is important to state here, because no doubt this will be a long story, and I know everybody is particularly busy at this time of year and will want to know the moral even if having no time for the story—is that thanks to the Internet, ANYBODY can do ANYTHING. (So good news, Al. If that climate-change thing doesn’t work out, you always have this to fall back on.)

I know this from experience, and you can’t argue with experience. Yesterday, for reasons I won’t detail here because already this story is too long, I decided that the person who advised it was right and I HAD to have a second computer monitor so that I could get my work done more easily. I’m working 12-16 hours a day, six days a week, so you know that this was a crisis, a necessity, or I just wouldn’t have taken the time (I guessed it would take half an hour or so) to deal with it.

Step 1. Find an extra monitor around the house. (Which, according to the first online instructions I consult, is “easy,” because everybody has a couple extra monitors kicking around.) I find a good one left behind by my computer genius son-in-law … or wait, no … it was the one I got to set myself up away from the chaos in the study so that I could write my novels on my laptop (MacBook, also another story) that I got all hooked up with a full-sized remote keyboard and mouse and a printer thanks to a USB hub with a pretty blue light …. Rats. I forgot that THAT was the one I took. I’ll NEVER write that novel now! Stuvey’s monitor is hooked up to the e-Machine I reformatted and gave to Doug when I bought this piece-of-junk Systemax from Tiger Direct ….

Step 2. Unplug the monitor from all the stuff it’s hooked up to and bring it down to the study. For good measure, bring down the lighted USB hub and that weird-looking random cable with the plastic dealy still on one end. (Where did that come from? Did Stuvey leave it?)

Step 2b. Put the monitor on the floor in the study.

Step 2a. First make room on the floor with your right foot, so you can put the monitor down while you make room on the desk. Just throw stuff into one of the “to-be-filed” laundry baskets that form the structure of the study floor. Try to get most of the important work-related stuff into one conspicuous pile.

Step 2c. Position the two monitors on the desk in an attractive fashion, hiding as much of the junk behind them as possible.

Step 3. Go back to work on your single screen for awhile—check a couple European Court case topics, load a couple OSCE documents, check all four e-mail accounts, look at Facebook for a secbecause accessing the back of the PC is something you just can’t face at the moment.

Step 4. Go get something to eat. (This is not reverting. Approaching the back of the PC tower is very, very stressful.)

Step 5. Close all of your documents and turn off the computer.

Step 6. Take a deep breath. Unplug the Monster Cable from the Deskjet 6122 (still using a parallel port because there are never enough USB ports), because you know it’s too short to permit pulling the PC out of the compartment on the desk while it’s still attached.

Step 7. Get down on the floor and pull out the stupid tower, ripping all of the cords out of the back, power cord first.

Step 8. Notice that there doesn’t appear to be a place to plug in an extra monitor. There is an out thing next to the in thing where the monitor was plugged. Is this promising?

Step 9. Go find your laptop and look up “add second monitor” and “install additional monitor” and stuff like that.

Step 10. Discover that your piece-of-junk Systemax has onboard VGA. Learn what that means. Look at diagrams and photos of motherboards that you will later discover do not resemble your own.

Step 21. (intermediate steps deleted) Open the case and look in. No, not that side, stupid. That’s the back of the motherboard. The OTHER side. Find the can of air and blow out all the dust. Accidentally come across the container of screen wipes. Clean all the screens you can find.

Step 22. Locate the potential PCI-16 slot. It’s not orange, like the one in the picture (or like the extra memory slot you notice up there in the other corner), nor is it any of the other colors predicted. It’s just cream-colored, but it looks to be the right size.

Step 23. Give a sigh, because all of your favorite computer-repair places have closed down (things are so cheap now; everybody just replaces), and haul the PC out to the car, and head for town.

Step 24. While waiting in the traffic jam alongside the mall, ponder the options. Can’t bear the thought of Best Buy. What was that place by Outback Steak House where Alex Hall used to work? Gone, alas. And Circuit City is gone. That leaves Office Depot and Office Max. Depot. Then you can pick up the mauve, pink, and green yarn LaRue wants from JoAnn while you’re at it. More traffic, more traffic, more traffic. Ah! …. Oh! Office Depot is gone!!! [Find out later it has just moved over there by Best Buy.] Okay. Forget the yarn. Just get to Office Max. Nobody is ever in there. Might cost too much, but should be a snap.

Step 25. Get almost run down by a chick in a brand-new purple-gray Accord who doesn’t believe stopsigns are for rich people. Take the PC into Office Max.

Step 26. Locate a bright-looking sales person (male) because the only other sales person in sight is waiting on the only other customers in the store, a middle-aged couple trying to decide on the proper printer. Snort. If only MY problem were so simple …..

Step 27. Open the case to show the sales guy what you need, and discover that he knows absolutely nothing but helpfully says that you can bring anything back within 14 days even if you have opened it. Okay, so since there are only two video cards on the shelf, take the less expensive one. I know, Stuvey, I know. I wouldn’t be in this pickle in the first place if I’d learn to consult you first instead of just buying the cheapest, handiest thing that might do. But I’m in a hurry, and I don’t want to bother you. (That will come later when I’m REALLY in a mess.)

Step 28. While you’re at it, pick up the extra RAM (which you figure out by yourself, because the sales guy doesn’t even know where to look to see what you need and apparently has never heard of matching SIMS or DDR or .....). {Take a moment to reflect upon the good old days when you were learning the difference between RAM and ROM, when the DOS Prompt was a wonder to behold, when a kilobyte was GINORMOUS, and when you wrestled for hours with trying to get Prince of Persia and Tetris to work on Christmas morning before, again, ruining Christmas for Brother Burt by phoning for help.} (This was before Stuvey had any idea our family existed. And long long before I could possibly have imagined that Em would bring a computer genius into the family.)

Step 29. While you’re at it, get a DVI-A-to-SVGA Adapter, because you just might need it.

Step 30. Pick up two Snickers bars, the first time you have bought candy since successfully losing 50 pounds. (Oh, did I fail to mention that? Another subject for another blog.)

Skip, skip, skip. Abandon the second person and the separate listing of steps (up to about Step 99 by now). We’re in “cloud” mode.

Card installed, extra hole in the back of the computer tower taped shut because wrong one pried open first. Find a screw that works to hold card in place located in the 7th place I look. (Find a phillips-head screw driver, as ubiquitous as fingernail clippers in this house and as impossible to find when you need them.) Carefully reassemble the GeForce 8400 GS Arcade fx PCI Express (256 MB) Graphics Accelerator Card box, just in case. (Incidentally, this model does not appear at www.arcadefxusa.com, as I will discover later.)

Memory SIM in, click. Close computer. Rip open the DVI Adapter (glad I picked that up) and attach it securely to the DVI port on the video card. Ignore the onboard VGA port and just attach both monitors with their VGA plugs to the video card, one into the VGA port and one into the Adapter. Reattach all the cords, including those external speakers that have been sitting on the desk plugged in place of the cord for original monitor's too-quiet-speaker. Push it all back into the compartment on the desk. Power up. Blink blink.

ONE monitor comes on.

Oh, I probably just need to install the drivers now. BUT my wireless mouse and keyboard are not responding! I know from experience that this is either a synching problem or a battery problem. I do all the synching maneuvers I can possibly figure out. Nothing. The batteries in the mouse are new. I look it up on my laptop and discover that I might have to choose a different USB port for the receiver, but I will NOT pull the PC out again! I try the other suggestions, moving thing around. I do a force re-boot. Nothing. Desperate, I change the batteries in the mouse, putting back in the ones I took out last time this happened. It works!! After a while the keyboard also works, and when later it stops, I just change the batteries. Apparently it isn’t new batteries these devices need, it’s just a change.

So now I can install the graphics card drivers. NVIDIA somethings or other. The instruction manual doesn’t match what happens on the screen, but close enough. Nothing changes, but now I have a couple more icons on the desktop. AND, I have no sound, though the speakers are on. (Did you know this? Internal Boards my contain "Lead" which may cause birth defects and other reproductive harm. Please wash your hands thoroughly after handling these products. I can't believe I forgot to do this .....)

I look at the backs of the monitors for sound cords, and I see that BOTH monitors have both DVI and VGA plug thingies. Only one has sound. I notice that the aforementioned mysterious cable is a DVI cable. So I take courage and pull the PC out of its cubicle again. Disconnect speakers, put the monitor’s speaker cable into the jack. Rearrange monitor cables. Nothing. Try again, with a different configuration. With adapter, without adapter. Both monitors in video card. One in card, other in onboard VGA. Vice versa. I finally learn just to leave the Monster Cable unhooked from the 6122 and permanently plugged into the parallel port. In all these maneuvers nothing changes except that sometimes one monitor comes on, sometimes the other.

Look it up again. Lots of discussion threads, conducted using English words interspersed with collections of capital letters among people who apparently understand (and enjoying insulting) one another. Something like this:

"Try TSFTX with UXOTSK only. Me with fine only not RFxUTP."

"This work only UXCTPSZ, dumb man. But you have problem if trying with DNSC>NBT+ or upsidedown read instruction."

Ah, I see.

Gameman42xg was helpful: “I had this problem and I just unplugged all the cables from both the monitors and the PC, waited 10 minutes, plugged everything in, and wham. Worked fine. I couldn’t believe it was that simple.”

It wasn’t. Eat the other Snickers Bar. Back to the discussion threads. I recognize one group of letters, NVIDIA. I have that! It needs to be uninstalled and reinstalled. That will fix it for sure. I do this. Nothing happens. I’m recalling that the earliest instruction I read ... 4.5 hours ago now ... about installing two monitors mentioned something about the potential need to disable the onboard VGA.

For this, I will need Stu. I phone. He says yes, that could be it, mentions BIOS, and my heart stops. You can do it, he says. He wonders about the make/model of my PC. I KNEW it.

“It says Systemax on the front.”

“So, you got the instruction manual?”

“Oh, probably. Maybe. Yeah. It’s probably in one of these laundry baskets here .... Shall I look for it?” (Please, please say no!)

“Yeah, that would be good. Meantime, I’ll see what I can find.”

I mention NVIDIA. “That could be it,” he says.

In the largest basket I find a bunch of computer stuff in a plastic bag. This is it! No. It’s from the e-Machine I gave to Doug. Defiantly I FILE the contents of the plastic bag, in the empty file labeled Computer in the desk drawer. (The desk I’m using now used to be upstairs in the bedroom where Doug works, but he didn’t like it, so I brought it down one day. It’s six feet wide, three feet deep, soft as a downy chick …. Sorry. I'm losing my mind.)

Somewhere else I have six or seven files named Computer that have stuff in them … like instructions for Prince of Persia … but who knows where they are. After a few minutes of pouring papers back and forth between laundry baskets, spreading a few on the floor, I give up and go online. (MacBook good for something after all!)

My TigerDirect order history shows everything back to the Year 2000, but not this PC. It CAN’T BE! I know it's there! Finally I figure out that the items are shown individually and that what looks like a whole order isn’t. This involves scrolling. I can do that. I find the Systemax, find the description online, and shoot the link to Stuvey, who’s ahead of me but needs the serial number. Even better, I have already scrolled down and found the instruction manual. I shoot the link for the manual back to Stu and start examining it.

I find the following info in an important-looking gray box: “Note: System default is to disable the onboard VGA when you insert a PCI-e graph card, in order to optimize the system performance.” Then it tells you what to do to override this. So the problem could be the reverse of what I thought. I need to enable, not disable. I'm good at this. I try to call Stu, but he has apparently decided to take Em out for a sans-bun Carl’s Jr. or something.

I decide to try it on my own.

But first I need to print these instructions. Some of the pages have blue BIOS screens with red stuff I might need, so I decide to print in color. Nothing. Oh wait! The Monster Cable! Plug it, print.

The first instruction says to remember to disconnect the power cable before installing the PCI card and gives a series of tips for finding the slot. I take care not to scream in frustration.

After checking Facebook for a few minutes for diversion, I re-boot and hit the DEL key. I enter the BIOS, with fear and trembling. It's a weird world behind the Window. A world where I don't belong. Moreover, the instructions from the manual don’t match what’s on the screen. I take a deep breath. It will have to be close enough. I go for it, enabling the onboard VGA. There is then some question about sharing and bridges. The instructions do not mention this, but I think, why not? Sharing and bridges are both good things. Save. Exit. Power down.

Pull out the PC (unplug the Monster Cable). Make sure one monitor is attached to the onboard VGA, the other to the DVI port of the graphics card. The adapter is useless. I try to find the packaging, but it’s ripped to bits. I locate most of the bits and reassemble them. No use. Twenty bucks down the drain. For that I could’ve bought the better graphics card. Move on.

Power on. Progress! One monitor goes on. And the other one flashes “Out of Range” before blinking off! This is hopeful. Monitor 2 is ALIVE! I look up "Out of Range" and find a promising set of instructions and print them out. (Not in color.)

Energized, I’m poised to follow the instructions, but things are once again not quite as the instructions say they should be. I do my best approximation. The tabs I need aren’t there, but I eventually come to a screen that mentions PCI and conflicts and interrupts. I know about conflicts from the old SCUSI-chain days. (I used to move pins and rearrange cables, stuff I only figured out for a minute and then forgot.) This could be it. “Bridge” is in there, too. Maybe that sharing thing wasn’t such a good idea. I just wish these instructions were more ….. for WINDOWS ME????!!!!! Who the heck uses Windows ME? Did Windows ME ever really exist??? I notice a pale gray link under the title of the document I’m consulting: “Visit the Windows XP Solution Center.”

Back to the Internet, because I am smart enough to have bought a computer with an XP downgrade (Vista is lurking here somewhere, but nowhere I’m looking), which is why I have the lousy Systemax in the first place. Find the web page, click on the XP link …. But apparently the only XP users who have experienced this problem are gamers who communicate in those collections of capital letters (consonants only) interspersed with insults, and nothing seems to apply to my situation at all.

Gamers? Wait. I recall a little message that pops up every time I start my computer about gaming mode being disabled. Maybe that’s it! I look up gaming mode and what it does and cannot understand it. I reconfigure my network (guessing as I go). I tinker with the Windows firewall and the AVG firewall. I turn on gaming mode. I do a bunch more stuff, like uninstalling and re-installing NVIDIA (the older overwriting the newer, what the heck). I sit and stare. I wait. I tell Doug to go to the reception and tell them I’m sick, because I AM!!! He comes back and says the reception is tomorrow night.

During the course of all this I try Stu from time to time, but no answer. It IS Friday night. And, unlike me, my Stuvey has a life.

One last time (before I decide to slit my throat) I do a reboot. I can not tell you for sure what's hooked up back there. The DVI cable from one monitor (into the graphics card), and the VGA cable from the other into either the graphics card or the onboard VGA, and I'm not going to pull the thing out again to look, and no, I didn't take careful notes. I don't care if my experience could possibly benefit others. In fact, I'm sure it could NOT, in any specific way, and anyway I don't speak "thread-talk."

BUT ... suddenly, I can’t possibly say why, both monitors are on! From how far away could my shouts of joy be heard?? (I REJECT your suggestion that my non-life is pathetic.)

It’s wonderful. I can put the documents and the lists on one screen, and the websites to which I must load them (and from which I must find them) on the other. In celebration I work long into the night, accomplishing much. The only problem is that I have to move around a lot more, because I work without my glasses, one monitor being just the right distance. But two monitors is like the organ or piano bench—I’m moving all around trying to see (which is better than trying to aim my progressive lenses) … but never mind. I have a rolling desk chair and a somewhat flexible back.

Six-point-five hours after I began, I report the matter to Stu, who is now back from wherever wonderful and distracting place he has been, and he congratulates me. “I was stumped,” he types. My heart swells with pride. Never mind that had he been here, the thing would have been accomplished in a trice. (What is a trice? I just typed that without thinking. Must look it up. ) Never mind that had I consulted him in the first place I never would have purchased the @#!*& Systemax. Never mind that what has stumped him is basically my stupidity. What matters at the moment is the second, deep moral of this story: What genius can not conquer, bumbling determination sometimes can. (Never mind the logical fallacies lacing that comment.)

Third moral of the story: In all you do, be patient. Because machines are people, too. …. Wait. No. Sorry. I mean ….

Hm. Now just who is going to get an unpackaged DVI-A-to-SVGA Adapter in his stocking for Christmas, I wonder.

24 March 2009

After All

Long ago I discovered that my decision not to major in molecular biophysics after all was important for two basic reasons. The reason I gave (that I wanted to date chemistry and physics majors and they wouldn't ask out the competition) had some validity back then in the late '60s. But the real reasons were these:

1. I would have flunked out.
2. My penchant for engaging in pseudo-scientific speculative theology would have been thwarted.

For example, back when we first heard about neutrinos, we couldn't get many of the real physicists to get too deep into the "these are the particles of spirit" discussions. True, true, real scientists have subsequently called the Higgs boson the "God Particle," but they don't mean God in the sense that I do. They're just joking. People make jokes about what they don't understand. Leon Lederman (see his 1993 book, The God Particle) wins Nobel Prizes in physics and jokes about God. I pray, study scripture, go to Church every week, hold a temple recommend, and make jokes about physics.

Here's one: It could just be that the universe is not homogeneous after all. It could be that we don't need dark energy to explain an apparently expanding universe. It could just be that we are special after all, privileged observers living in special universe surrounded by a cosmic void. In other words, we live in a place, a particular topos. And not at its center. That would be ... oh, let's just call it something funky like ... Kolob.

Actually, that wasn't really a joke. If you want to read jokes, bad puns, and other signs of nervous self-consciousness, take a look at the April 2009 Scientific American article "Does Dark Energy Really Exist." And then for something really useful skip back to the article about saving honeybees which will lead you to plant flowers and let your dandelions grow. And then you can whip forward to page 70 where you encounter the amazing possibility of green lasers, the actual color, not the socially correct state of being. (I hadn't known there was a problem with this, but now that I do, I'm glad to know it will soon be solved.)

Or go outside and breathe in the Happy Spring! That's what I think I'll do right now!

Wait! I just thought of a joke after all. How does an environmentalist (not naming any names here) respond when you point out that his big car, luxury home, penchant for airplane travel, and other contributions to his substantial carbon footprint might seem hypocritical? (Drum roll .....) "It's not easy being green."

Okay. Not funny. I'd better give it up for this morning and just go prune the roses.

04 March 2009

Einstein Is an Icon

The ratio of ordinary matter to dark matter to dark energy in the universe is calculated at 5:23:72. Why, no one knows. It's not a pretty sequence. Except that this ratio seems to mean we're here. Otherwise not.

Of course, even the 5 percent of the universe that is theoretically discernible is a mystery. We live our lives in a Newtonian sham, an apparent world, playing by rules that make sense, rules that work, but are illusions. The Truth about the Universe, say those who know best, does not make sense, does not yield to Human Reason, which (reason) is a mere artifact anyway, a product of Truth at work over an incomprehensible amount of "Time," which is also an artifact and may or may not have an "Arrow."

In all fairness, I could observe that even theologians disagree about Time's Arrow (Is God in or out of time?), so I mean no disrespect to science here. I have the profoundest respect for those who dare face the dark, who delve into mystery, using anything they've got to try to find more.

So anyway, some 95 percent of the universe is unknown, perhaps unknowable. (I'm not even talking about the four levels of parallel universes or the eleven dimensions of string/ M/ whatever Grand Unification Theory is going down at the moment.) Mathematics says it ... the Dark Stuff ... must be there, to secure the existence of the 5 percent that actually is there. So, what we can (theoretically) perceive tells us that what we can't perceive (except theoretically) must exist. We can accept this, especially if we're religious. (Parallel universes are easy, too. If there can be actual but unperceived dinosaurs in my living room, as I heard last night on the Science Channel, why not my ancestors, and Enoch, Enos, Moroni, and Mary?)

Even the non-religious (in the belief-in-God sense) have learned to take the news that Actual Reality is not accessible, finally, to the senses. Just like the Virtual (by the mysterious virtue of which you are reading this blog), the Actual may be reflected in the Apparent ... but all the same it is Non-Sense, apprehensible only by our faith in mathematical formulae and metaphors created by people such as Albert Einstein. Except now it would appear that Einstein, like Newton, was wrong.

No one in the ordinary world will ever believe it, though, because Einstein is an icon. To the popular mind, Albert Einstein is the smartest person who ever lived. He could not be wrong, even if we have never been able to understand what he was talking about. Of course, people must have thought that about Isaac Newton, too. Or would have, if the media had been invented back then. (Isaac, like Albert, had terrific hair.)

So anyway it would seem that after a hundred years of our trying to comprehend and accept length contraction, time dilation, and other tricks of the uniform speed of light, at least secure in Einstein's conviction that the universe is local (action-at-distance isn't really happening), we are about to be turned once more upon our metaphorical heads. We have come to accept the conflict between Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. They can't both be true, but they are, so just leave them as truths independent in their own spheres on opposite ends of the size spectrum, and don't ask questions. (Sort of like what "traditional Christians" say we're supposed to do about what came out of Nicea in 325 A.D.)

But all of a sudden it appears that those irksome manifestations of non-locality, those pesky notions of quantum "entanglement" that Einstein tried mightily to eschew (using relativity to brush away simultaneity) are about to do him in.

How can this be?? If Einstein is wrong, the world falls apart.

It's not all bad news, though. According to a couple of university professors, David Albert and Rivka Galchen, writing in conclusion to their article "A Quantum Threat to Special Relativity" in the March 2009 Scientific American: "The diminished guru may very well have been wrong just where we thought he was right and right just where we thought he was wrong. We may, in fact, see the universe through a glass not quite so darkly as has too long been insisted."

Okay. Though it does not explain the authors' lame choice of a passive-voice ending here, I can only attribute the existence of this biblical reference to the fact that one of the authors is an adjunct assistant professor in the writing division in the School of Arts at the institution (Columbia) where her co-author is Professor of Philosophy. (Note, these are not physicists, but they are pretty smart.) It is quite artsy to wrap up a cutting-edge science article with a New Testament allusion. And I do appreciate the efforts of Scientific American in recent years to dumb itself down to my level. But, really, one does expect more precision. Because of course the "glass" of I Corinthians 13:12 is not the kind you see through; it's the kind that reflects.

Physicist Brian Greene of string-theory (science not music) fame, an expert in the Arrow of Time, suggested in one of his books ... it was Fabric of the Cosmos, I think ... that we all might better understand quantum weirdness (or even M Theory) if we just tried really, really hard. Okay, I try. So since I struggle mightily with their metaphors, I’m just thinking that David and Rivka might have tried a little harder with mine. Anyway, with the Apostle Paul’s.

Because èσόπτρου, translated as "glass" in 1611, would nowadays be rendered "mirror," and the poetry of "darkly" might be reduced to "cloudy" or "obscure." The Apostle Paul was not talking about failure to see more clearly through a nighttime window into the quantum reality of the universe or anything else "outside." He was describing a present inability to see ourselves as we really are, a problem that will be cleared up when we behold our Redeemer face to face and in perfect reflection see and know ourselves as we are seen and known by Him.

Of course, what we will know then will be the Meaning of the Universe. Or the Multiverse. Whether there be four dimensions or eleven. When we know as we are known. And then we will know for certain what Einstein knew all along (though David and Rivka say it's an "overquoted concern"): that God does not play dice. Einstein is still right about that, regardless of how un-special his relativity shall become.

No. Not dice. But perhaps God does play ... strings? (My poor heart?)

In any event, in spite of my little slip of the tongue during story time last week, I'm quite certain Jesus is not bored! As Einstein no doubt now knows perfectly well.

28 February 2009

Divine Ennui?

I was reading bedtime stories to my grandson last night when the strangest thing happened. We were ending with a passage from My First Book of Mormon Stories, the charming little section about Samuel the Lamanite. This is what I read (in spite of what was actually written upon the page):

"Some of the people believed him (Samuel) and were very happy that Jesus would soon be bored."

"Why are you laughing so much, Grandma?" were pretty much the next words spoken.

I'm afraid I have no idea.

18 February 2009

Out of curiosity ....

  • Blue skies? or
  • Stormy Weather?

Which do you prefer, and why?

05 February 2009

Gut Feeling

As everyone knows, the Ancient Greeks thought with their heads and felt with their hearts. This makes sense, sense being a Greek invention. The Ancient Hebrews, on the other hand, thought with their hearts (Proverbs 23:7) and felt with their … entrails … their "bowels," which could “yearn,” be “moved with compassion,” and be “filled with charity.”

We Enlightened Western Judeo-Christian folks, of course, do all of the above.

Now the modern technical term for bowels is … I know you’re thinking intestines, colon, something along those lines, but it’s actually ... “gut.”

And wait! There’s more.

I’m thinking of this today because of an article PLMP sent me as we were considering the benefits of kefir-drinking. It’s from the writer of “The World’s Most Popular Natural Health Newsletter,” one Dr. Mercola. Even though the article is called “Gut Bacteria Mix Predicts Obesity” and contains a lot of guilt-inducing information about antibiotics and the proper feeding of infants and children, I shall wrench myself away from my fatness and guilt obsessions for a moment (except have you heard about the “infectobesity" theory?) to focus on something else in this article:

Did you know that your gut is your “second brain,” containing something like 100,000 neurons, about the same number as your actual first brain?!? So when you’re upset, you “know” it by the neurological disturbance we call “butterflies in the stomach,” or by other sorts of intestinal disturbance that some of us know only too well.

It gets even more interesting: More than 95 percent of your serotonin is made not in your brain but in your gut!

Ponder this. (Wherever you do your pondering.) The neurotransmitter responsible for regulating my sense of well being, that stuff an insufficient amount of which leaves me feeling anxious and sad, is cooked up somewhere along my alimentary canal!

I just don’t know what … if even where! … to think about this. (If you think with your gut, you feel with your … hands?)

This has very important implications for me personally. For years I have been saying (in a justifiably proud sort of way) that I personally cured my depression through a “scrupulous mental hygiene” that unburdened the pitiful amount of serotonin performing herculean functions in my bizarre, befuddled brain. Little did I know that it might not have been the intense mental effort of head (and heart?) that did it. It just might have been all that Fiber Cleanse Sister Rhee sold me, which left my colon a lean, clean, serotonin machine!

WARNING! The author suggests that you obtain appropriate third-party verification from peer-reviewed sources before accepting any facts, assertions, or even metaphors found in this post. Switch your Google default to Google Scholar, and remember that you will not be permitted to cite Wikipedia in your final paper …. Oh, wait, sorry. Slipped into the wrong persona there.

03 February 2009

Progress Report

Okay, so here's what I'm doing:
  1. I drink warm water (distilled) when I wake up in the morning and eat a nutritious breakfast within 1/2 hour of arising. Okay, within 1 hour, or 2, but I'm shooting for the ideal. My body does not work well in the a.m.
  2. I write down everything I eat and drink, including water (of which I try to drink enough). Very tedious.
  3. I also record every time I do significant exercise, one half hour BEFORE I do it. In ink. I am actually 13 minutes into my next exercise period at the moment, but I'll just cross it out and write "blogged instead" and then write "exercise" again for 12:30. This is not yet a perfect process. I try to be motivated, not humiliated. I have this lovely Nordic Glider (thanks to KT/JLW for leaving it behind!) and one of those old-people's exercise chairs I bought for ... someone else. I try (don't push me here; try is a perfectly good word) to use each of them at least once a day.
  4. I have dusted off the pedometer, and pretty soon I'll get back to the 10,000 steps a day. When it gets warmer and the air clears. It's hard to go that far indoors, unless you're SEST, love your treadmill, and live in Alaska. At least I'm no longer experiencing twice-weekly dismay from the pitiful number of steps involved in the excruciating hike from the parking lot below up to the Maeser Building.
  5. I eat "small" amounts of food every three hours or so, and consume MUFAs with every meal or snack—olive oil, avocados, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate. (Obviously, this is not a burden.) See here for more MUFA examples. (Except I DO NOT eat canola oil. It is poison.) Quantity control is the key for this one. (I admit that sometimes, so far, I only write down what I eat, not how much.)
  6. I make and eat kefir, about a quart a day. See here and here. I love this stuff. Thanks to the Taylors for supplying the kefir grains (probably direct descendants of those used by ancient, long-lived steppe-dwellers ... I mean the kefir grains, not the Taylors), to Carolina and Todd for helping me decide what I'm doing, and to my beloved kefir-drinking KTW always and ever for example and inspiration.
  7. I go to bed at a "decent hour," i.e. before midnight. I must admit that, so far, this one is entirely in the realm of the theoretical, but I'll probably keep trying. My liver supposedly needs my body to be sleeping between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. so that it can recharge or something. How does my liver know which time zone it's in? And there are apparently some fat-hormone and stress issues with not sleeping enough. Non-sleepers die young. Stuff like that. Anyway, I'm trying to get enough sleep for the first time in my life. Let's leave it at that.

I know that this could seem like goal-setting, but it isn't. It's only similar. I have always made grocery lists. Not part of a plan, exactly. Just so I'll remember. That's all this is. Just so I'll remember.

I started this remembering on January 31, and I have lost four pounds in four days. Of course there was a Fast Sunday in the middle there. I'll keep you posted on my progress. .... That's funny.

Okay, nine minutes till exercise time. Just enough time to think of a title for this post.

Okay, I gave up thinking of a title and crossed out 12:30 to write "thinking of title and editing blog." Then I wrote 1:00 Exercise. Best get to it.

27 January 2009

Weighing In

I have gone on record (here, I think) as asserting that goal-setting is of the devil. I am wrong about this, of course, but I can make a good case. For instance, I have set the same goal, renewed with vigor and the best of intentions, every January for 48 years. The goal, as you might have guessed, is to lose weight. But from those early years, when I was a normal-sized teenager needlessly torturing myself during the Twiggy Era, to the present, when I am a grandmother approximately twice the size I was on my wedding day, success in reaching the goal has eluded me.

Now, you, sensible reader, will immediately suggest that the fault is not in the process but in either the choice of (unworthy) goal or the implementation, or both. The fault in other words is not in goal-setting per se but in the plaintiff. Me. If I just did it properly, the process would work. I appreciate your point of view, which undoubtedly has great merit. I offer in response, however, my history:

Knowing that a "healthy" weight is important (let's call it a worthy goal), I have planned, promised, vowed, made charts, kept records, fasted, prayed. I own dozens of diet and exercise books, including the promising Think Yourself Thin. I have joined online programs, including but not limited to e-Diets, South Beach Online, Jillian Michaels, Fat Loss for Idiots (twice). Okay, I have not joined Weight Watchers or L.A. Weight Loss or Jenny Craig. I haven't done OptiFast. But I have counted calories, carbs, units, exchanges, whatever. Sort of. Sometimes. Not really.

Okay, so we're discovering a tiny "implementation" problem here. And, of course, I have taken suppplements, mountains of supplements—bad ones like Hydroxycut and Lipovarin and good ones like the (very expensive) Sunrider and Mannatech products. And, all right, Fen-Phen ("bad" category) actually did work, which highlights one chink in my armor—the attempt to get around the "will" part of goal-pursuing. I could say, Fen-Phen worked; goal setting didn't. Is that fair? But listen. I have experienced countless successful juice fasts and 5-day detoxes. I have existed upon cabbage soup, almonds, NuPlus, and Lean Cuisine. I have even subjected myself to that insult to human alimentation, NutriSystem. I consume handfuls of CLA, HCA, chromium, green-tea extract, 5-HTP … you don't want to know it all. This is not easy. I juice, blend, eat good carbs, and drink lots of (distilled) water. I have even tried "halving it," eating sensibly, and dividing my (much smaller) plate into thirds.

I pause here to mention one thrilling moment a few years ago when a researcher at the University of Utah (I don't know how he got my name) told me he bet I wouldn't believe him when he told me I didn't weigh enough for their gastric bypass study.

Exercise? At this very moment, my copy of Body for Life sits not three feet from my elbow. I garden (obsessively) and do my own home repairs and (minimal) housework (okay, not the windows, and Doug still does most of the floors). I move very heavy and unwieldy furniture and appliances up and down the stairs by myself. I own or have owned an obscene number of exercise machines, including an actual bicycle. I have a lifetime membership in 24-hour Fitness. I have great walking shoes and a first-rate pedometer. I know precisely how to stay in the Fat Burning Zone, and likewise and in the alternative how to "Interval Train." I LOVE upperbody workouts. Theoretically. I appreciate your thoughts here about consistency. I am consistent. Every year I weigh more. (In fairness to myself, I will admit to weighing 15 pounds less at present than I did at my all-time high in April 2004, the day I graduated from law school securely addicted to Dr. Pepper.)

As an aid to motivation, I have made myself accountable to others—friends, support groups, family members, most recently my six-year-old grandson. Who says, “I can’t imagine you will actually do this, Grandma, but it would be great if you did.” I refuse to be shamed. I refuse to be vain. And my health is fine. Is this therefore an unworthy goal? Is that the problem? Should I just settle with being the way I am? NO! Because I don’t WANT to be fat! I really, really do want to look better, have more energy, and fit into the clothes in my closet. And it really would be great if I did. So what’s in the way here?

Let us consider, in other words, the core question, as recently articulated by my five-year-old grandson: "Grandma. Why are you so fat?"

Is this simply a stress-response problem? Adrenal exhaustion? Metabolic Syndrome X? Candida albicans? Something glandular/ genetic/ hormonal/ environmental/ behavioral/ psycho-emotionalogical/ spiritual?

Actually, I know what it is. It’s a character disorder. Taking an honest look I discover that I am, simply speaking, a glutton. In days of yore that would have been a sin. I admit I am a sinner, and I need to repent, which means turning away from a way of thinking, a state of mind/being that is damning me, holding me back, but which I am loath to abandon. And here it is: I want everything.

I am a glutton for life and its splendors. If I see something I like in the marketplace, I want one in every color. At a buffet, I have to try everything. I buy too many books. Every room in my house contains too much stuff. I stay up late because I’m a glutton for the day’s experience. One more chapter in one more book, one more magazine article, one more interesting program on the History/ Science/ Discover/ Biography Channel, one more item/ person/ incident seen on such channel to find out more about (blessed Google!). And all this requires nourishment. Fuel (best if pure glucose) for the brain.

And then, once I do manage to sink into bed, I hate to get up in the morning because once I start doing it I’m a glutton for sleep. I am always late because I’m a glutton for what I’m already doing, and I don’t want to stop (I usually call this an “inertia” problem, but gluttony makes more sense today). I don’t generally seek out “social situations,” but once I get there, I’m the last to leave. I rarely make phone calls, but when someone I like calls me, I can’t hang up. When it’s my turn at the organ, the postlude is always too long. Good grief! You can see from previous entries here what happened in the first few hours of beginning again to think about my ancestors! Perhaps it's believable when I say in all honesty that during certain periods of my life (see, for example, JRCLS 2001-2004 and especially the two years following) I have accomplished too much. Way way way too much. Interspersed with periods during which I recover too much. (No, my Affective Disorder is not Bipolar, though it is Seasonal. So let's say my Sin of Gluttony, my SOG, is SAD, not BAD.)

But ever and always I think too much. I talk too much. I explain too much. I fret too much. I praise too much. I criticize too much. I gush. I plant too many roses. I give my students too much feedback and my clients too much help. At Christmastime I decorate too much. See how already I have begun to blog too much? My husband once said this: “You don’t spend money unwisely, dear. You just spend too much of it.” Guilty. A therapist once told me that my depression saved my children from the amount of attention I would otherwise see fit to inflict upon them.

Wait a minute! Here’s a clue. I don’t exactly want to cultivate depression but …

“Take a little time for yourself every day. A bubble bath, a moment’s meditation.” Why would I do such a thing? I want ALL OF THE TIME FOR MYSELF. Why open the bag of cookies or violate that candybar wrapper if you can’t have the WHOLE THING?

That's it! As an all-or-nothing sort of person, I just need to exploit the “nothing.” Be a glutton for self-deprivation. I used to do this quite well, until I learned to call it pathology. Time for renewal. Temperance is merely … too much moderation!

Okay. So you’re right. It’s not the process after all that I should scorn. It’s just a matter of setting the proper goal and then focusing upon the proper processes for reaching it. Here is how I will begin for 2009:

I hereby resolve to gluttonously deprive myself of concern about my weight. In fact, I will think obsessively about not worrying about my weight. Mostly importantly, I resolve and vow that by the end of the year I will have perfected, through persistent practice, my ability to “not eat” … too much!

Ahhhh! I feel better already.

25 January 2009

Hope for Today

This morning I chose hope in a bottle®, and I feel I must apologize somewhat for yesterday's snidery. The bottle is much smaller than the jar, but it has more words, which I failed to notice before. It looks kinda like this:
in a
exfoliating moisturizer for congested pores,
fine lines, wrinkles and rough texture
philosophy®: where there is hope there can be faith.
where there is faith, miracles can occur. science can give
us better skin. only humanity can give us better days.

Just giving credit where credit is due. (Note to the folks in the JFSB: Borrow this, slightly altered. Science can give us better ______. Only the humanities can give us better days. Okay. Here I go again. Sorry.)

It snowed again this morning, covering up the grime from our two-day melt. The ice barrier at the end of our cul-de-sac is gone, making travel in and out much easier on low-riding vehicles. And my skin feels so smooth and uncongested! A lovely day!

24 January 2009

Roll Over, Pythagorus!

I have some very bad news for the World of American Thought: Philosophy is now a registered trademark in the United States. At least in lowercase ... philosophy® ... as the villains who have done this apparently do not have access to typefaces with capital letters other than that little R in the circle.

The only legal safety at present is to make certain to capitalize the word in all uses, employing it, preferably enclosed in quotation marks, either at the beginning of a sentence or elsewhere with a face-saving “sic,” as follows:

1. “Philosophy” derives from the ancient Greek φιλοσοφία, meaning “love of wisdom.”
2. The “Philosophy” (sic) of Emmanuel Levinas is beyond me.

The same people have also trademarked “purity,” though apparently with no success to date in registering it, as it is rendered thus: puritytm. Similar restrictions have been placed upon “hope,” though only under certain circumstances. “Hope,” standing alone, is apparently safe. After all, to trademark “hope” would be … audacious!

But, beware! Both hope in a bottle® and hope in a jar® have been captured. Here’s the label copy from the latter:

philosophy®: where there is hope there can be faith. where there is faith miracles can occur. [1]

Wait a minute! Faith comes first (though it does precede the miracle). Otherwise, wow. I’ll bet some folks in Washington (D.C.) wish they could peddle that one!

At least it appears that “faith” and “miracle” are safe from trademarking for the time being, as are “charity,” "joyful," "heart," and, except in certain circumstances, “grace” (see below).

Haven't guessed yet? Here’s the label from a product called puritytm made simple (oh, if only!):

philosophy®: purity is natural. we come into this world with all the right instincts. we are innocent, and therefore perceive things as they should be, rather than how they are. our conscience is clear, our hands are clean, and the world at large is truly beautiful. it is at this time that we feel most blessed. to begin feeling young again, we must begin with the most basic step of all; the daily ritual of cleansing.

Once again, wow (i.e., sheesh). Ignoring the (très moderne) lowercase offenses, the comma splices, the semicolon misuse, the as/how parallelism problem, the conceptual difficulty in "our conscience," the clichéd and pedestrian "world at large" and "truly beautiful," and the fact that the writer obviously has never been a parent, doesn’t this just … just … I can’t adequately express my thoughts here.

So I guess I’ll just go wash my face! Yes indeedy. puritytm made simple is not part of a religious (though perhaps a quasi-religious) rite; it’s a “one-step facial cleanser.” After the use of which it is recommended that you follow up with one of two miracle moisturizers. Because where there’s skin cream, there is hope, in a bottle® (for "troubled" skin) or in a jar® (for all skin types).

And while you're at it, you can can spruce up with a couple more contributions from philosophy®. You might try inner gracetm—in shampoo or shower gel—followed by one of the three fragrance graces: inner gracetm, amazing gracetm, and pure gracetm.

It would appear, then, that for the moment "grace" alone is safe (heh, heh). Just don’t use it with the traditional adjectives, else you could be hauled before a tribunal. And I suppose we should be grateful that philosophy® has so far failed to produce beautytm or truthtm. Or most importantly repentancetm.

But these are good-hearted folks. In fact, if you buy something from the charity category of philosophy® (including joyful heart, a “charity shower gel”), they will contribute to a worthy cause of their choice.

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to make fun of anyone …. Actually (my four-year-old grandson Aaron’s favorite word), yes, I do. For beyond all faith in skin-care miracles, beyond all promise of bottle or jar, beyond even graceful spritz or suds or charity shower gels, products don’t make people. It’s the other way around. And that, Horatio, is my “Philosophy” (sic).

[1] All italics in this post are mine, meant for emphasis, or to distinguish nonsense from my own clear prose. The boldface belongs to the villains.

By way of full disclosure, at the time of publication Mrs. Thayer owned and used the following products: puritytm made simple and hope in a bottle® (her skin being perennially troubled), as well as, more recently, hope in a jar®. She has found them all to be over priced, but otherwise excellent.

20 January 2009

Farewell, Sarah!

I found it! Great-Grandma Sarah died on 29 November 1943 at age 71. Just five years before I was born. I'm sure she was glad to get home. I also discovered that her father, Isaac Stiers Doron, was a Civil War invalid, and also that he might have been Jewish! “Doron” means “gift from God” in Hebrew, and Isaac’s father’s name was Gabriel David. Gabriel was born in Pennsylvania in 1813, and more than that we do not know. Except some of Philadelphia’s earliest settlers, arriving before 1800, were Dutch Sephardic Jews. Isaac with a father named Gabriel and a daughter named Sarah. It’s looking good here for a Jewish ancestor! Sarah Frances Doron DeWitt—Mormon Jewish Huguenot Witch. Wow. And, alas, decisively deceased.

But before I move on to other topics (this is not after all meant to be a genealogical blog), the name of the day belongs to Sarah’s ancestor Exercise (too bad it's not Exorcize) Conant, born on Christmas Eve 1637 in Salem (!), Mass. Runner-up is Sluman Everett, one of the brothers of Lucy, Mehitable, and Eliphalet, whom I mentioned last time.

One thing I can’t help but notice over and over again as I peruse the pedigrees is that most obvious difference between our time and times past: People used to have more children, and lose more children. Everybody knows this. We all have many ancestors with 8, 9, 10, 12 … I found one with 15 children, 7 of whom died before age 5. So all the while having a child every two years for 30 years, this woman lost more children than I have! And still raised more than I have. Boggles the mind. I don’t do well with loss. I’m also claustrophobic and bad with extremes in temperature. I’ve seen those tiny cabins at Winter Quarters in Nebraska. About the size of those plastic things my grandchildren play in. I’ve seen the not-quite-snug house where my mother’s great-grandparents lived in Pleasant Grove with 13 children. It’s about the size of our garage. Count your many blessings, name them one by one, is all I can say at this point. I know that we say that we have greater challenges now, what with media corruption and drugs and creeping socialism and all the temptations the children face. But I just don’t think I could live in an unheated dirt-floor log cabin with thirteen children and no indoor plumbing before the invention of, uh, hygiene …. I was saved for the latter days, all right. Because I am a wimp!

19 January 2009

A Bratt by Any Other Name

Having dealt all my life with an ungainly, made-up, parents-combo prénom, I determined to give my children ordinary, dignified names, easily spelled and understandable on first hearing and unlikely to turn into poisonous acronyms. So I mostly did that (though sometimes Katherine and Stephen have to clarify spelling), except that for some reason I called my first child Emmelyn. It turns out to be a good name for Em, a nice stage name, and I don't think she minds too much the mispronunciations, the need to make explanations, the burden of countless "phone home" jokes, her initials being ET. Her fortunate sister's initials were her nickname, KT. Their father calls them Katie-bird and Emmaline-fine. Very cute, no?

I thought I made up the name Emmelyn, with the Y looking good with Thayer, and the second E suggesting the way the name should be pronounced, and the one N preventing a "lynn" sound at the end. I had forgotten a possible influence, however. A resonance at least. Finding that picture of Grandma Sarah while putting away Christmas I felt myself being drawn back into pedigree charts after a 39-year hiatus (during which time genealogy had become Family History). Whereupon I rediscovered that my father's mother's paternal grandmother was named Lucy Emmaline Avery. Lucy married Sylvester S. Fort, whose grandfather Sybrant was married to Fytje Bratt. I should note that Fytje was also known as Sophie, and that by the time she died she had become Sophia Bratt Fort.

Sybrant descends from one Jean Le Forte, apparently born in Cher, France in 1650. Oddly, however, Jean's father, Jan Orangien Fort, seems to have been born in Puerto Rico in 1600. Jan married Marie Grande in New Amsterdam, America in 1641. So they were French or Dutch or both ... Huguenots fleeing oppression, as were most of my paternal ancestors, or else buccaneers! At any rate they certainly got around, for 17th-century folks. "Fort(e)," of course, means strong, which everybody's ancestors were.

Another French Connection is Esther Ann Hardin, my father's grandfather's maternal grandmother, born in 1827 in Québec, where our Emmaline-fine served her mission.

While I'm reveling in names, I could mention that ancestors of Lucy Emmaline Avery include Patience Fish, who married John Rathbone (unfortunately, no son named Fish Rathbone) sometime around 1730 in Rhode Island, and Lucy Everett, eldest of 10 children whose siblings included Eliphalet and Mehitable. Use those names in fiction before I do, and I’ll send Grandma Sarah to haunt you! Assuming she has actually passed on.

I would dearly love a grandchild named Brattfort Orangien Fishbone. How ‘bout you, Em & Stu? Brattfort Orangien Fishbone Freitas! BOFF. Sounds almost presidential. Or maybe just gustatorial. I should never write when I’m hungry.

Happy Birthday, Ruth Belle!

One-hundred-two years ago today, on January 19, 1897, Sarah Frances Doron gave birth to her second child, a girl they named Ruth Belle. The occasion must have been joyous, but also exceptionally poignant. Only 11 days earlier Sarah and her husband, Francis Marion DeWitt, called Frank, had lost their first child, Edna Gertrude, who was only 2½. I have five grandchildren near that age at the moment. How do people endure such loss? I don't know how Edna died, but I understand that it was a ruptured appendix that took Ruth, 19 years later. These photos are of Ruth Belle DeWitt, taken shortly before her death, and of her younger brother, my grandfather Sidney Theodore Roosevelt DeWitt, called Ted, who died of pneumonia at age 35. Frank died a few years after that, leaving Sarah, who passed on ... I still don't know when.

Frank, Sarah, Ruth, and Ted were all baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Atlantic, Iowa, in May 1912. Some of the missionaries, so the story goes, thought that 12-year-old Ted might like to correspond with a recently baptized member just his age from over in Webster City—Anna Louise Fort, called Louise, or sometimes Lula. Ted and Louise corresponded for several years, eventually met, and were married in 1920, after which they came with Ted's parents and some of Louise's family to Ogden, Utah, where their four children—Marian, Robert, Donald (my father), and Jack—were born before Ted's untimely death in 1935.

I have known this general story all my life, except I never noticed how close Ruth's birth was to Edna's death, and I never noticed until yesterday that Frank and Sarah made the journey to Salt Lake City to be endowed and have their children sealed to them in August 1917, less than a year after Ruth died and three years before they moved to Utah. The ordinance, I'm sure, was a comfort to them. Something else that I discovered only recently was that one of the missionaries involved in the Romance of Ted and Louise was Andrew Child, whose brother, John, was the upright widower farmer who—two years after Ted's death—rescued Louise and her boys (the tea leaves apparently having said yes) from Depression-Era Ogden and moved them to the farm in Clinton, where they joined John Child's eight children, the oldest the age of his new step-mother. Marian didn't move to the farm, though. She stayed in town with Grandma Sarah, who no doubt enjoyed the company.

And now they're all gone ... except Marian. It will be Aunt Marian who will know if ... I mean WHEN Sarah Frances Doron left this mortal coil. And maybe, just maybe, she can tell me what became of that crystal ball.

18 January 2009

Telltale Object

I have just realized that I am the oldest female descendant of Sarah Frances Doron in my generation. Unfortunately, however, I don't have the crystal ball. I did inherit this beautiful pot from my grandmother, Sarah's daughter-in-law. I will leave it to the reader to discern its function. (See previous post.)

Now, ponder this: All of my relatives going back three, four, five generations have verifiable death dates. All except Sarah. Make of it what you will.

16 January 2009

Genealogy. I should be doing it.

Sarah Frances Doron DeWitt

My great-grandmother was a spirit medium. I say that because it sounds more interesting than "fortune teller," which is how my father explained it. The funny story is that after she became a Latter-day Saint in 1912 she would dress up for the ward carnivals, but she wouldn't use her crystal ball, because it really worked, and she deferred to the priesthood. I have no idea whether this story is true. The other story is that two years after her only son died at age 35, his widow (my Grandma Louise) came to Sarah for advice about whether to accept a proposal of marriage from an upright widower farmer who had promised to help raise the boys. The advice was apparently had through reading tea leaves. This sounds a little bit fishy to me.
I mean, two nice Mormon ladies. Where did they get the TEA?
Here's a photo of Great-Grandma Sarah. Kinda looks like me.


The thing about blogging is that you can edit it.
Here. Do you like me?
No? Okay, I'll fix it.

I think this is true, but how would I know, really?
This is my first post.
Will I change it tomorrow?
On verra. Mahl sehen. Sans doute!