0002 Vasera 21: Calendar

So, it's only been two months this time. I'm improving. Sort of.

The house still hasn't sold; it's now a year on the market, with no movement. I've dropped the price on it enough that I can basically throw the remnants of the mortgage onto my credit cards and max them out to cover the costs, and if things get really ugly I can probably drop it again by borrowing money from my dad and cashing out my 401(k). I'm not in favor of either option, but if I have to do it to make things work, I will. Things are getting a bit desperate around the Lapinian Embassy.

Actually, that's not entirely true. Things here are pretty much exactly where they were six months ago, which is to say that we're good but we're not really moving forward except at a speed I could only describe as "glacial." That is, of course, not counting global warming in the speed estimation. Melting glaciers move quite fast. The housing market, however, is not. And thus we're pretty much exactly where we were before, financially.

Beautiful World continues to thrive at least between my ears. I know what needs to happen in part seven, but I'm trying to find the right frame of reference for the events that actually shows what needs to be shown without giving away too much. That's going to take a bit of creative fiddling, and I think I know what I'm going to do, but I have to find the time to sit down and do it.

Instead of working on that, however, today I finally sat down and developed the Lapinian date converter. It does pretty much what it says on the tin. It's very bare-bones at the moment, at least by my standards, but it will accomplish the following:

  1. Display the current year by default, all 364 or 371 days, with holidays and Gregorian conversions in the panels.
  2. Accept as input any positive or negative integer and show that Lapinian year instead.
  3. Ignore any input other than positive or negative integers and substitute the last-good input value.

I've made a few revisions since the last time I talked about the calendar. Most notably, I've amended the names of the months with the -er- notation. Since the word for "month" in Lapinian is lera, it made sense upon reflection to adjust the names of the months to use the terminology, much as the Romans used "-ember" after the numbers to mark off the months that didn't have better names.

Treva became Jevera, mostly because I dislike that "tr" letter combination; about the only way to pronounce it properly as the alveolar plosive plus the alveolar approximant in a single syllable is to slide a post-alveolar fricative in the middle, meaning the result inevitably sounds more like "tchr" than anything else. If you don't believe me, listen to the variances in the way people say the word "tree." The j is a voiced postalveolar affricate, which if I were to write out phonetically would be dzh, but that doesn't look normal to anyone who isn't a linguistics wonk or else is Hungarian and is used to dzs. Just think of it like either j in "judge" and you'll be fine. Also, I added the -er- construction like I did for all the months.

Pyera became Pyevera instead of Pyerera simply because too many approximants in a row tend over time to get blended into single syllables. Plus, I liked the way it looked better.

Totally aside from everything else, the th in Thilya is meant to be pronounced voicelessly, like "thin". If I want the voiced version as in "that," I'll write it dh. Yes, I am crazy.

Also, since nobody ever jumped and tried to figure what the names of the months meant, I'll go ahead and give away the secret. Each of the months is named for a food that a bunny might find during that month:

  • Yortera: Month of Carrots (Wortel)
  • Zelera: Month of Celery (Zeller)
  • Dalera: Month of Dandelions (Dahloi)
  • Byetera: Month of Beets (Biet)
  • Jevera: Month of Clover (Trefle)
  • Radera: Month of Radishes (Raidis)
  • Vasera: Month of Basil (Vasilico)
  • Pyevera: Month of Peppers (Pieru)
  • Fathera: Month of Grasses (Fath)
  • Ertera: Month of Peas (Aert)
  • Indera: Month of Endive (Indivia)
  • Lakera: Month of Broccoli (Laker)
  • Kolera: Month of Cabbage (Kohl)

Finally, to the people who wished me a happy birthday on Thursday, I'm incredibly appreciative. Thank you for the kind wishes. That said, with the advent of the Lapinian calendar, I've decided that I'm actually going to be
celebrating my birthday on the Lapinian schedule, which means next Kimya—Friday for those of you on the Gregorian—is actually the proper anniversary. I was born on 0031 Vasera 26 PLC (Pre-Lapinian Calendar), and what kind of futurist nerd would I be if I didn't actually
use the calendar I'd developed? =n.n=

Yes, I know the underlying site still uses the Gregorian. That's because I haven't yet coded up a utility to replace "date" at the command line. What I should do is migrate the entire site into a database, with an external engine for rendering any arbitrary text segment with appropriate links. That, however, will take more time.

Like sands through an hourglass....