October 17, 2008

Long Burn is Dead. Long Live Long Burn!

Well its been quite a week here in post-Long Burn land. I have not had a chance to think two thoughts in a row since returning from Tokyo. Short version is I thought up a crazy energy saving device back in 2007 and some characters from the U.S. are investing in it through a Swedish company, and they've had a falling out. Counter accusations flying back and forth across the Atlantic. What I think really is that I had better get my butt moving in lab to find out just how this invention may work or else nobody is going to have to be worrying about making any kind of money off it anytime soon, and if everyone would just stop calling me on the phone asking me to be on their side then I could be getting some real work done. And just a couple of weeks ago we were all getting along so nicely!?

And they turned off the institute to change a transformer and when they powered it up again the voltage surge fried a bunch of my delicate electronics. Spent the day sorting that out, and pulling hot oily vacuum pumps out of the crawl space under the lab floor. Thank you Lord for giving us Axel the Electrical Engineer who solves problems like Reagan eating jelly beans.

And then yesterday a wayward train ripped down the power line over the tracks between Lund and Malmø bringing train traffic to a standstill, causing Godzillian chaos and greatly complicating my trip home not to mention delaying my appointment with dinner.

Can anyone remember the name of a short story they made us read in 7th grade, maybe 'Flowers for Agamemnon'? It was about a rat who is really smart and can run any kind of maze and even read in the middle of its life thanks to a potion or something, and then the rat and the author become a thankfully oblivious stupid child again at the end of the story/day/life. I think I am in that middle stage right now because everyone seems to think I can do everything they ask. Students. Investors. Spouse and kids. And many times I can even do all these things, it just surprises me that the people around me seem to have faith in me because they never used to give me the time of day. Is that what turning 40 means?


At October 17, 2008 7:26 PM , Blogger reverend dick said...

Hey LB, Glad you are still here!

I think it's just your situation, not the 40th. Alls I got for my 40th was a bike ride to a bar...

At October 17, 2008 7:34 PM , Blogger annie said...

Flowers for Algernon. Book, not short story. Mouse, I think, but maybe not. Charley was retarded, got really smart, then realized people laughed at him, not with him. Then the rodent got dumber and died (hence the flowers) and he knew what was comin'. Sad. It comes from being helpful, not 40. You've given them cheese and they are back for more. I like the blog - but it should never be an obligation.

At October 17, 2008 8:41 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Algernon, exactly, thanks!

It is a blessing and a curse: I keep giving the cheese.

At October 17, 2008 8:46 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I read the short story in 7th grade English. A few years after writing it the author reworked it into a book. Here's the summary of the short story from Wikipedia:

In the short story, Charlie Gordon is a 37-year-old man with an IQ of 68 who works as a janitor at Donnegan's Plastic Box Factory. He undergoes an experimental surgical technique to increase his intelligence, as a similar experiment on Algernon, a laboratory mouse, has been quite dramatically successful. The surgery is successful and Charlie's IQ triples.

Charlie falls in love with his former teacher, Miss Kinnian, but as his intelligence increases he surpasses her intellectually and they are unable to relate to one another. As Charlie's intelligence peaks, Algernon suddenly, and very swiftly, declines; the mouse loses his increased intelligence and dies. Charlie discovers that his intelligence increase is also only temporary. Unable to do anything to prevent the change, Charlie reverts to his original mental state in a swift reversal of his original growth. He tries to return to his original life and job at the plastic box factory but cannot stand everyone feeling sorry for him so he decides to move away.

At October 23, 2008 3:16 PM , Blogger Chaz said...

And I always thought it was nose hair that was the sign of age.

At October 24, 2008 3:11 PM , Blogger rigtenzin said...

I've got a basket of nose hair.


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