24 May

With the events of the last week, the subject of Munchausen’s by Internet has come up a few times. Most people have heard of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, a disorder in which someone usually makes someone in his or her care ill, in order to reap attention. Apparently there are a whole family of disorders related to MSBP, called factitious disorders. You can read about them at the Factitious Disorders, Munchausen & Munchausen by Proxy Page at munchausen.com, maintained by Dr. Marc Feldman.

According to Dr. Feldman, people with factitious disorders “deliberately mislead others into thinking they (or their children) have serious medical or psychological problems, often resulting in extraordinary numbers of medication trials, diagnostic tests, hospitalizations, and even surgery . . . that they know aren’t really needed.”

It’s an interesting subject and very strange.

23 May

Today (well, yesterday by now — it’s 3:52 am and I’m still awake from Tuesday) I got my scooter out for the first commute of the season. The temperature was in the 80s, and it was a perfect scooter day. Sure, it’s only a wimpy little 1987 Honda Elite 50 (49cc of RAW POWER!), but on a fine proto-summer day like this, there’s really nothing better for getting around town.

One thing you notice pretty quickly about scootering as opposed to driving a car is that you notice what’s around you a lot more. You’re more aware of your surroundings; you have to be. Any pothole could throw you off-balance and onto the pavement. Any pedestrian could step into your path, not noticing you. Any automobile is going to win a one-on-one with you. So you have to be really alert.

Besides the potential hazards, you’re really aware of smells. Bus and car exhaust is far more noticeable than when driving — I can only imagine how much it must bother bicyclists. But you also notice better smells. Bakeries, roasting coffee, grilling salmon at waterfront eateries. Later in the evening I noticed a smell that I love dearly, though objectively it’s probably not a good smell. It’s a smell of tide flats and salt water, the smell of Elliott Bay and Seattle’s waterfront. You don’t notice this smell in the winter, for whatever reason. It’s the smell of summer in Seattle. I was glad to smell it today, for the first time in 2001.

I rode to work, up to the Aurora Denny’s (which closes at 11:00 pm — what the heck is up with that?), down Fifth through downtown to the Sodo Denny’s on Fourth for a late dinner with friends, then home. Even at 1 am it wasn’t that cold on the scooter. I love scooter season.

10 May

At many points in the Albums, Journey speaks out strenuously on this subject. And their message is always the same: “Any way you want it that’s the way you need it.” False prophets who tell you otherwise are leading you astray. Do not pay them heed.

What Would Journey Do? I guess this is sort of old, but I haven’t seen it before, and it’s pretty funny.

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