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Winter Should Be 90 Degrees Out of Phase

I misspoke in my advertisements for doing something, in the winter, that is the "opposite" of the usual activities during the rest of the year. That became clear when I renewed my library card in Yuma. (And what a luxury it is for a traveler to have a library card!)

For instance, I read non-fiction most of the time. What am I to do? Start reading fiction? Old novels are full of nothing but love-intrigues. New novels are full of the same rot, but with bedroom scenes added. What a waste of time fiction is!

We all have reasons for our preferences. To reverse them suddenly is nihilistic. Who wants to become a different person? It makes more sense to use winter as an opportunity to become a larger person, not a different person.  This can best be achieved by adding complementarities, rather than negations.

Think of a vector, a line segment with an arrow on the end, representing velocity, position, force, etc. I see no reason to build a winter lifestyle that is graphically represented by an anti-parallel vector. Instead, let it be a vector perpendicular to the regular vector.

Or think of your 9-10 month lifestyle as a sine wave. Winter shouldn't be another sine wave that is 180 degrees out of phase with the 9-10 month sine wave. Rather, winter should be graphically represented by a sine wave that is 90 degrees out of phase. (That is, it should be a cosine.) This is another example of orthogonality or complementarity, rather than negation.

For the example above, a reader of history and essays could shift to biographies and historical novels. Indeed, in the Yuma library I bumbled onto Patrick O'Brian's "Master and Commander" novels. They are actually real novels rather than historical novels, but they are so tied to the sea and the navy during the Napoleonic era that they seem like historical novels.

Camping in the desert is really not the "opposite" of camping in the mountains. Nor is road cycling the opposite of mountain biking. Nor is hiking the opposite of walking. The only true opposite of physically-active RV dispersed-camping on high altitude land in the summer would be suburban couch-potato living, centered on television, shopping, and domestic trivia.

This fussing about 90 degrees being the right phase shift might seem like quibbling. But I don't think so, because it takes the handicap of self-abnegation out of the picture. We'll see if it keeps helping all winter long.


Boonie, the real 90-degree shift as far as books go would be for you to start WRITING them instead of reading them.

And I'll read it when you're done...
edlfrey said…
Try John Jakes historical novels: The Kent Family Chronicles, The North and South trilogy and The Crown Family Saga. That should keep you in reading material for the winter. Or, go to and select Authors, Period or Place to get a reading list.
Well at least you didn't suggest Nora Roberts or Danielle Steel. (grin)

Seriously, thanks for the suggestions. I even found a couple John Jakes hardbacks at the Friends of the Library bookstore.