Truth.

Nevada Route 375 near Area 51. Not my photo, but I have a very similar photo in a photo album somewhere.

I’ve been reading bits and pieces of the latest social media movement, this time folks want to storm Area 51.

It seems to me this would be a great way to get shot.

Earl and I ventured right up to the Area 51 border back in the early 2000s. We were driving a rented Subaru. There was a dead cow in the road at “the mailbox”. We followed the dirt road until we saw signs proclaiming lethal force. There were technology-related devices on poles in the desert and in the distance we could see trucks or SUVs of some sort driving around. Logic dictated the lethal force would be administered through one of these things I just mentioned.

We decided not to risk it and we turned around and resumed our drive through the Nevada desert. Not too far away a military jet of some sort when whooshing over the road in front of us, just a few hundred feet above the ground. It was pretty awesome.

Area 51 is where the aliens and/or alien technology captured by the United States is kept. Ironically, since 2017 I’ve come to believe that Area 51 is more and more of a conspiracy theory since there’s no way the idiot in the White House could ever keep his mouth shut about such a thing. He’d be proclaiming we have only the greatest of aliens. The biggliest. And he’s smarter than them.

On the other hand, I can’t help but look up at the night sky and wish all the intelligent life out there would stop by and help us get our act together. That would be quite something, wouldn’t it? Sentient beings from another world coming to Earth and telling us some secrets of the Universe. Some thing the only reason these beings would come to our planet would be as a conquest and for destruction. I’m sorry, but if intelligent beings traveled vast distances to meet their neighbors, I’m pretty sure they would be evolved beyond the concept of war and destruction. I can’t help but feel in the very core of my being that all this death and destruction and chaos and craziness is an entirely human construct.

The arrival of such beings would really turn the world on its head. Imagine, your religious beliefs, nullified as quickly as Thanos snapping his fingers in an Avengers movie. How incredibly humbling would it be? I fully believe that we have been visited by those from another world on countless occasions, and they do it secretly because of compassion: if they revealed themselves there would be mass suicides across planet Earth because the human ego can’t handle the humility of it all. I’m reminded of a lyrics from an Abba tune, “I’m nothing special, in fact, I’m a bit of a bore”.

How glorious and yet how fully humbling that event would be.

Imagine if humans were to find out that we are all the products of a genetics-related science experiment! A little bit of our stuff was brought here from elsewhere, mixed with some stuff from a caveman type and voila, humans! How will countless cultures survive on one rock? What will happen when they mingle? How will they handle that?

I’m sure parts of the map are failing miserable at this. I’m looking at us, my fellow American.

I can’t help but think extraterrestrial travelers to Earth wouldn’t be bound by physics as we know it. Faster than light travel, artificial gravity; it’s almost like the visitors would have to travel “in between the seconds”, much like Jodie Foster’s experience in the late 1990s movie “Contact”. If it’s going to happen, I feel like that’s how it will happen. Those among us will step aside from traditional Earth believes, educate ourselves to a higher understanding, and evolve enough to find that missing piece in the equation.

And then we’ll be able to visit with those traveling between the seconds.

Until then, a bunch of hoo-haws are going storm Area 51. Go for it, folks.

Random.

CTA sign shoved behind a kiosk at the Rockwell Brown Line Stop in Chicago.

When Earl is working an evening game at Wrigley Field I end up with some time on my hands. In the summer I don’t feel much like going outside but I’m not really a fan of driving the car all over creation while living here in the city. Yes, I went to school to be a Traffic Engineer but I believe urban areas such as Chicago have much better options in the way of public transit. I love the ‘L’ here in Chicago and I ride it almost every day.

Wanting to get a walk in during this beautiful weather I’ll jump on the ‘L’ and get on whatever train is first to appear at the station. I’ll ride a random number of stops and then I’ll walk back home. Today I walked two miles back to the house and I loved every step of it. You could almost feel the sigh of relief that the Monday workday was over and people were enjoying a drink or a meal with a spouse or friends on the sidewalk.

I love that energy. I love the vibe. One of the things I’ve noticed lately is that people of a certain age seem to be on their phones less while seated at a table. I’ve always been sensitive to the use of technology in social situations, but I don’t know if it’s because we live in a different socioeconomic situation than when we did a few years ago or if the pendulum of smartphone use is starting to swing back the other way, but it’s rare to hear someone having a conversation on their phone in a restaurant or at a bar. Back in Utica we’d hear about custody battles and people making doctor’s appointments and fights with a bank. I don’t notice it nearly as much in Chicago.

Maybe I’m just better natured since we’ve moved here.

I do love the vibe of happy people enjoying life with friends and/or family. It’s energizing.

And we all need good energy.

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51.

51. Not prime, but awesome. Some numbers physically look more awesome to me than others, and 51 looks awesome.

A health provider recently said to me, “you’re on the back nine, the best part of the game.” Yep. A great place to be.

NY Route 51 goes from Mount Upton to Ilion. It’s a nice, scenic drive. There’s ups, there’s downs, curves, and straight runs. Enjoyable all the way.

Back in my school days, bus 51 was driven by a woman named Jean. Not my regular bus, but word had it she could bounce two HS football players against each other while keeping one hand on the wheel. She was in charge.

There is no Illinois 51. There is a U.S. Route 51 in Illinois and it runs the entire length of the state. I’ve been on approximately half of it, and Earl and I will finish the other half before the year’s end.

I’ve never had “51” in sequence in any of my home or personal phone numbers, but my internal office number when I worked at Digital was DTN 251-1282.

I’m right where I was meant to be at this point, on this planet, in this moment of time. No regrets. I look forward with excitement of what lies ahead.

New Experiences.

I convinced Earl to take the Blue Line into the Loop so we could take our usual Red and Brown Lines home. This was his first time standing on the platform in the middle of the Kennedy. It’s not quiet.

Time.

At the beginning of next month Earl and I will have lived here in Chicago for two years. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long as it feels like it was only yesterday when we moved here.

As an “all things connected geek”, I had an old school clock system wired through the old house back in Upstate New York. When we moved we decided not to do the same here in our condo; the old clocks were loud when they advanced each minute and as we aged we didn’t find as much whimsy in the experience of having these antique timepieces on the wall. I donated several of the clocks to the historical society in my hometown, I gave others to friends and family. I thought about converting the remaining clocks to quartz mechanisms, but I’d rather have clocks that are perfectly in sync with the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) because I’m precise like that.

Enter our atomic clocks.

I’m on the search for clocks that have a “retro” look to them, and the first of the clocks was installed last night. Made by La Crosse Technology, the clock synchronized itself while we were sleeping last night. It’s keeping perfect time and it shows accurate time to the second.

I am a happy geek.

Realness.

From one of her final live performances, here’s Donna Summer singing “MacArthur Park” live. Real instruments. Real vocals from the backup singers. And a breathtaking performance from Donna.

This is why I hate today’s pop performers and their over reliance on AutoTune.

Disconnect.

I am unlinking entry notifications from Twitter. I’ve been struggling with Twitter and their practices lately. I’m not a fan of the part time CEO Jack Dorsey, their monitoring and content control practices are arbitrary at best, and the platform has moved from a dumpster fire to a democracy destroying machine where the only goal is revenue. The old Topix forums were more sane than this travesty.

I encourage folks to follow via RSS or other aggregation services if so inclined.

Cool Cat.

Truman likes to look at a random spot high on the wall or on my head when he’s relaxing next to me on the couch.

Yesterday he was a terror, shredding the curtains. Today he is chilled out.

Storms.

http://blog.jpnearl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/img_3600.mov

I chased some storms on Saturday. I was downstate around Pontiac and Kankakee and found some dark clouds, strong winds, and moderate downpours. At one time it was dark enough to resemble early evening.

One of the things I love about living in Illinois is that out on the prairie it’s easy to see storms in the distance.

I was able to drive around this rain shower in the photo above and come at it from the backside. It was just a bunch of rain.

This last picture is the cell that’s in the video at the beginning of this post as it approach the rest area on I-55 south of Pontiac.

When I’m on the ground I do enjoy Mother Nature’s “punch”.