Blogging Too Close To the Sun

When I was in grade five, I had to write a three to five-minute speech and recite it from memory in front of the class. For my topic, I chose “The History of Aviation”. That is how I learned of Daedalus and Icarus.

If you took any courses in Greek Mythology in university, or if you are an avid reader, you may already know their story. They have come up in Jeopardy questions more than once.

At the time when I wrote the speech, there was no internet. I did all of my research for the speech using the World Book encyclopedia. That fact has nothing to do with the story, it’s just that sometimes I like to reminisce about the “Good Old Days”.

My parents donated the World Book set to the school ages ago, but I still have this copy of Microsoft Encarta ’96 on CD-ROM:


I am going to tell you about Daedalus and Icarus the old fashioned way, using obsolete tools from my past. First, I must get Encarta to install on Windows 10. Fortunately, my laptop is kind of old and still has a CD-ROM drive.

<five minutes passes>

To my surprise, it actually installed with little difficulty. It failed initially, then Windows 10 automatically applied some compatibility settings and resumed installing. The file path where Windows wanted to install the program was too long for 1996 standards, so Encarta complained, but once I specified a shorter file path, the installation continued successfully.

People can say what they want in the Macintosh vs. Windows debate, but when it comes to compatibility, Windows wins in my opinion. Good luck trying to install a 23-year-old program written for a Mac on the latest Mac operating system.

Now that Encarta is installed, let’s see if it will actually run. Yes!

I type Icarus into the search field. An entry comes up:

Icarus. See Daedalus.

Okay. Daedalus is hyperlinked, so I click it. This comes up:

Daedalus, in Greek mythology, Athenian architect and inventor who designed the labyrinth for King Minos of Crete. It was built as a prison for the Minotaur, a man-eating monster that was half man and half bull. The labyrinth was so skillfully designed that no one who entered it could escape from the Minotaur. Daedalus revealed the secret of the labyrinth only to Ariadne, daughter of Minos, and she aided her lover, the Athenian hero Theseus, to slay the Minotaur and escape. In anger at the escape, Minos imprisoned Daedalus and his son Icarus in the labyrinth. Although the prisoners could not find the exit, Daedalus made wax wings so that they could both fly out. Icarus, however, flew too near the sun; his wings melted, and he fell into the sea. Daedalus flew to Sicily, where he was welcomed by King Cocalus. Minos later pursued Daedalus but was killed by the daughters of Cocalus.

“Daedalus,” Microsoft(R) Encarta(R) 96 Encyclopedia. (c) 1993-1995 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. (c) Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. All rights reserved.

Thanks, Microsoft, and a shout out to Funk & Wagnalls. Funk & Wagnalls, you have an interesting sounding name, and you made my first dictionary (circa 1987), so thank-you:


If you’ve stuck through this post thus far, I commend you. Like Matlock defending an objection from the prosecution’s bench, I assure you I am close to making my point. I can’t promise it will have any coherency or legitimacy.

Judge: “You may continue, but would you please confine your dialogue to the issues at hand.”

Ah yes. Icarus and his Daddy Daedalus. I wonder if that’s where the word Dad originates from. I would look it up and let you know, but that is a rabbit hole I can’t afford to go down if I’m going to keep this under 1,000 words. Also, I will not be Googling anything today. I am strictly using Encarta 96.

The Encarta entry is not as detailed as I remember from the World Book. I remember there being more of a lesson to the story, like something about being balanced. Don’t fly too low, but don’t fly too high. Or maybe something about obeying your father (The way I remember the story, Daedalus instructed his son on how high was appropriate to fly). Or maybe the lesson was about ego – Icarus was too cocky, so he got what he deserved.

The reason I bring this up has to do with a person in my life that is striving to be a better man. This friend is very successful in life, but he wants to have better relationships and more meaningful existence. He speaks a lot of positivity (it takes seven positives to cancel out a negative) and meditation (having a calm mind). He has sent a lot of positivity my way and helped to “talk me off the ledge” of a cyclic negativity pattern that is, unfortunately, part and parcel for my personality type. I’m a INTJ-T (Shout out to Scherezade Ozwulo, whose blog post pointed me in the direction of this personality type test).

My friend sounds like a good guy, right? He is. So what in God’s Green Earth does this have to do with Daedalus and Icarus? When it comes to blogging, he is warning me not to fly too close to the sun. In fact, it feels a little like he’s telling me to keep my feet on the ground. When I talk about blogging he gets a smirk on his face like I’m a child going through a silly phase and the day will soon come where I finally stop it.

Does he really think the true path for me is to hang up my wax wings of writing and go back to the grind? Give up my dreams and work for him, in an office, staring at emails and answering phones? Working with cold, hard computers, instead of exploring the imaginative world of words and ideas?

Can that be what life is all about? Working for these pathetic paper bills so I can afford matching cutlery?

I have talked to many interesting people so far in this journey of writing. I hope to talk to many more. I fear that the influences in my real life want me to lay down and die in this labyrinth, just another dead sheep with nothing to talk about except what I watched on Netflix or bought at the store.

So, I’m sorry, Daedalus, but this time I am going to head for the sun. And if I fail…

It won’t be my first sunburn and it certainly won’t be my last.

I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has shown me support during my mid-life crisis.

36 thoughts on “Blogging Too Close To the Sun

  1. Took that test and came out as a an INFP-T/Mediator with 99% introverted rating for “Mind”.

    I remember using Encarta as well. One of those pieces of software that was “standard” back in the day but now I only seem to remember it when somebody else mentions it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you took the test. I learned a lot from reading my results. I hope you did too.
      I was really into computers so I have a good memory of all those old programs.
      It’s funny because when the internet first became available where I lived, we weren’t even allowed to use it for research on school projects – it was considered less trustworthy than books.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha. He’s pushing the envelope sometimes. I can respect that. I’m going to do the same. It might not appeal to everyone, but look how many complete strangers we have talking now (or do you guys know each other in real life?). Different viewpoints, yet keeping it civil.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That being said, there are ‘informal’ groups or clusters that form. Coffee calls a few of us his “OG”…Original Gangsters…a random group that interacted with him early on. Britchy, Goldie, J-M & Rachael (brother-sister Aussie duo), Racquel & me. We are all over the place. Britchy is on sabbatical right now:

        I dub thee ‘Blackie’. Welcome to the asylum. I’m Vic (Victoria) if I haven’t expressed that.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Definitely keep pursuing writing …. but that doesn’t necessarily rule out a moneymaking job either. At least not forever.

    I remember reading some advice from a writer (I now forget which one) which basically said, By all means have some other source of income. Don’t put so much pressure on your writing to support you full time, you will drive yourself crazy and strangle your creativity.

    I blog and try to get published and I allow the worlds in my head to escape onto paper. But that’s not my day job. And it’s a good thing too, because we can’t go 3 – 5 years without food.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Have mercy. I remember all those heavy-ass books. I even had an Encyclopedia of Encyclopedias. 🤨 I never used Encarta but, I remember that name.

    I haven’t gotten to Win10, yet. I have my fingernails & teeth firmly dug into Win7. It’s good to know that Win10 didn’t have base-level DOS compatibility wiped out. Thank you.

    Probably wound up in the regular Program Files folder, not in the x86 one.

    Apple. We refuse to play nice with anyone.

    Funk & Wagnalls. What a flashback.

    “Your Honor, WHERE is the Defense going with this?”

    “Mr. Matlock, is this going somewhere that the rest of us can follow?”

    I can speak to the meditation.

    Myers-Briggs with a fifth category added. Interesting. I am STILL an INFP after all these years…with, apparently, a -T, now.

    YOU, clearly, have a firm grasp of the insanity of modern society. It’s not a midlife crisis, love. It is an awakening. Ride it out. I TRULY understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi B-sheep (no, that’s not the message I want to send 😦
    Thanks for the hyperlink to the test. I took it. I’m INFJ-A (I read my type but I don’t know what all those letters are supposed to represent..yet) ~ my question is: did you go further into the Academy? Get any more information? I haven’t clicked that button yet so I was wondering about your experience and if you think the ‘type’ is accurate for you?
    Yes,…keep can you not, right?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi KC. What message do you mean? I’ve re-read the comment thread a couple times and I can’t figure out what you’re responding to.
      I did read a lot of the literature on the site about the test. The ‘type’ is very accurate for me.
      Gotta keep writing. It’s the only way to get the coppe webs out.

      Liked by 2 people

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