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Tandra Page 976, March 23, 2008

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I had three E-mail messages Saturday morning asking about Tandra Page 976 and expressing concern it had not been posted on schedule as promised. Had I forgotten about it? Was there a computer error? Had I the lack of consideration to my Tandra Brigade members such that I had died without finishing the story and could I be revived just long enough to post a brief synopsis for the remaining part of the story so as to satisfy the burning curiosity of my paying customers? After all, if Electra can come back from the dead at no visible hardship, shouldn’t I be able to arrange the same procedure, if only briefly? Well, I dunno about that last part. I’ll need to research the procedure for coming back from the dead some time. Other things seem more pressing as I type this.

Posting schedule as follows; The official posting date for any given Tandra page is Sunday of the relevant week. Our first weekly page was announced for September 16, 2007, which is Sunday. All following pages are scheduled as Sunday pages. In actual fact, that September 16 page was posted on the previous Friday which was two days before schedule. Subsequent pages have followed with posting on Friday. My reasoning is something might, in fact, occur to cause delay and posting on Friday gives us two days to locate the difficulty and correct it. Another consideration is I am generally in personal contact with our Tech Ghod on Friday and can remind him to post the Tandra Page of the week in the event the necessity to do so has slipped his mind.

There were two converging factors that resulted in Tandra Page 976 posting failure on Friday past. My Tech Ghod had other pressing matters to which he was required in attendance. (My information is the pressing matters had to do with lakes and fish.) The second factor was apparently a consequence of the first in that, in the excitement inspired by the close association of Lakes and Fish, my Tech Ghod forgot all about his responsibilities to post the Tandra Page in question. Result, Tandra Page 976 came up missing in action on Friday and, after I phoned him at two in the A.M. Saturday to inquire as to why the page was not up as scheduled, my Tech Ghod promptly posted Tandra Page 976 and it is on line as I type this.

Just for the sake of clarification, Tandra Pages will continue to post generally on Friday for reasons made abundantly clear in this present posting cycle, but they are not posted late unless we do not get them up by Sunday. In the event you don’t see a page on Sunday, it may happen that I have died and it is time to see if the procedure that works so well for Electra will do the same for me!

Now, for the comments I had previously planned for this week; Captain Jellian’s guided tour of his trade boat and his explanation to Galon as to the manner in which the boat is powered up river is a reminder life on Tandra is not an idealized fantasy consisting of idyllic pre-technological unspoiled nature enjoyed side-by-side with all the pleasant conveniences of modern industry. There is a price to be paid for abandoning technology. A major cost is man returns to the pre-industrial era where heavy labor that technology provides by use of specially designed machines is once again done by muscle power. As Earth based experience has demonstrated, I can come home and toss soiled clothing along with a quantity of soap into a machine, push a button and go about other things until the clothes are ready for drying. I then toss the wet clothes into a dryer and again proceed with other matters until the machine buzzes me the clothes are dry.

I have memory of a grandmother who devoted a full day to washing clothes. She built a fire in the back yard under a big black iron pot, tossed in the clothes and stirred them about, she then lifted them out by use of a wood stick and placed them into cooler water where she rubbed them out with soap on a rough metal scrub board. After they were clean and the soap rinsed out, the clothes were hung on a length of wire strung between two posts allowing them to dry in the wind and sun, unless it rained. Technology has allowed us to abandon the black iron pot in favor of more convenient methods of washing. The same is true of many of the activities we do in our modern age.

On Tandra, the process is reversed. The Trade Boat Captain is required to return to a means of moving his boat up river as used by his pre-industrial ancestors. As this page demonstrates, people under such circumstances mostly do not complain of a lost technology they have not seen and in which they only half believe. If human muscle power has replaced machinery, it is probably for the best. Too much leisure time as provided by machines and people will indulge in mischief in any case. “An idle life is the Devil’s workshop”, as it is said. As on Tandra, when life on Earth returns to a time of pre-industrial existence, there will be apologists who will insist it is all for the best, and many people will choose to believe them.

Next week; Tandra Page 977 titled “Differences.”

See ya then.

May the sun always shine on your parade.