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Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

30 January 2005

Vleeptron, & some technical matters

One of the first nice people to welcome me to Lake Blog asked me what the heck Vleeptron is, and I'm delighted to tell you about Vleeptron.

Vleeptron is a planet, about the size of Earth, that orbits a sun very much like our sun, in the galaxy called Dwingeloo 2, not far from our galaxy, the Milky Way (or Melkweg, in Dutch -- also the name of one of the hottest music clubs in Amsterdam).

As I've grown into a Junior Geezer, I've become very self-indulgent, and I've been spending more and more time on Vleeptron, because, in the words of the geezer band the B52s,

This Planet's a Mess!

Let me tell you about Vleeptron.

* There is no capital punishment on Vleeptron. There are nasty, violent Vleeptroids, a few of them, and there are, I am sad to report, murders now and then.

But most Vleeptroids are nothing at all like that, and never do things like that. About 604 years ago (on a Thursday), they decided that they didn't want murderers to turn THEM into murderers. So when a Vleeptroid kills a Vleeptroid, the horrified, angry, surviving Vleeptroids don't kill him back. This makes for a very clear, crisp distinction between Murderers and Good, Decent Citizens. You can say you've never murdered anyone, and the government doesn't have documents that say "We the People of Vleeptron, and we mean You, order the Execution of So-and-So," which cloud the issue.

If you would like to see a remarkable movie about this, check out "Dance With a Stranger" starring Miranda Richardson, and written by Shelagh Delaney ("A Taste of Honey"). If you would like to make it a double feature, also rent "Let Him Have It." That ought to clarify Vleeptron's position regarding capital punishment.

* If you get messed up with drugs on Vleeptron, you can call a doctor, or a nurse, or a pharmacist, and this health professional will provide you with Treatment on Demand -- no waiting list, a place is always available. Like all health care on Vleeptron, it's free. Well, no, it's not free. It's paid for by everybody's taxes. But health care is distributed to all people, and life and health are not commodities exclusively for the wealthy or the well-to-do.

On Vleeptron, if you should confess to a cop that you're all messed up with drugs, the cop will immediately drive you to the hospital so you can get treatment. Then the cop will return to her "Protect and Serve" duties.

* Education is free on Vleeptron. If you can keep your grades up, you can get free education at the University of Vleeptron all the way up to a Ph.D., and beyond. That's one of the reasons that Vleeptron is prosperous and has a dynamic, booming economy -- it has a highly skilled and educated labor force.

* Passenger trains and ferries are heavily subsidized by the government, so people can get around the planet inexpensively.

As other topics come up, I will tell you how Vleeptron handles them.


Someone also said my type font is too large. I don't think so. I'm very interested in typography, and I like to play around with it, but I like to write in a larger-than-standard font so that just about everyone of any vision condition can have an easy time reading what I have to say. This is a sneaky way of making them think the stuff is better than it actually is.


Today is Election Day in Iraq. I think maybe later I will have something to say about that.

But right now I have to catch the Zeta Beam to get me to Vleeptron. There's a Kurt Weill festival tonight. I brought a Kurt Weill CD ("The Unknown Kurt Weill") with me on my first trip to Vleeptron, and everybody just went apeshit over his stuff. Within three months they'd put on an amateur production of Der Silbersee -- they're just wild about Kurt Weill.


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