Wednesday, January 26, 2005
The Deadliest Day
"Where in the waste is the wisdom?" - James Joyce
Another sleepless night. Although I fell off quickly enough, I woke up around 3:30 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep. I finally got up around 4, put on some coffee and started cleaning off the hard drive on my computer.
At least I (uncharacteristically) made it to the office on time this morning.
Today's coffee consumption:
One home-brewed pot (~ 4 cups) - 4 - 6 a.m.
Large Caribou dark roast - 8 - 10 a.m.
Starbuck's Quad Venti Vanilla Latte - 2 - 4 p.m.
"The price of eternal vigilance is indifference." - Marshall McLuhan
Architect Philip Johnson died today at his home in Connecticut
He was 98.
Condoleezza Rice won the Senate confirmation to be the new Secretary of State by a vote of 85 to 13
Rice's confirmation had the second largest number of nay votes against a Secretary of State nominee in U.S. history; in fact, the highest number since 1825, when Henry Clay was confirmed in a vote of 27 to 14. Since World War II, seven senators voted against Henry Kissinger and six each against Dean Acheson and Alexander Haig. In the history of the United States, the Senate has never rejected a Secretary of State nominee, and since 1789, only eight nominees have received any votes against their confirmation.
31 Marines have tragically died in a helicopter crash near the Syrian border in Iraq
As Frank Rich will say in this Sunday's New York Times, "Iraq is Vietnam on speed - the false endings of that tragic decade re-enacted and compressed in jump cuts, a quagmire retooled for the MTV attention span." As for the crash, the military is blaming bad weather.
Speaking of weather, here in the ATL, the forecast calls for freezing rain this weekend. Although the weather’s been delightful the past few days (sunny and 60s), on Friday the highs will fall to the mid-40s with a 30 percent chance of rain. By Saturday, there will be a 40 percent chance of light freezing rain, with temperatures from the upper 20s to the low 40s. Sunday will be partly cloudy, with a 20 percent chance of showers, lows in the mid-30s and highs in the mid-50s.
This is typical for this time of year. On January 12, 1982, my first full winter in Atlanta, a blizzard coated the town with 6 inches of snow and left me stranded in traffic on the in-town connector for at least four hours in the infamous "Snowjam ’82." On Jan. 22-23, 2000, the weekend before Atlanta hosted the Super Bowl, an ice storm knocked out power at about 300,000 homes and businesses.
This forecast worries me on a couple of fronts. First, this house of mine isn’t doing too well against the cold – when it’s below about 30 degrees outside, the heat runs all night, and the temperature still keeps dropping. And the power is prone to go out here due to all of the trees – I lost power during each of the hurricanes that came through last fall. If icy conditions this weekend do knock out the lights, it might get very cold indeed.
Secondly, I have an exceptionally steep driveway, so even if I try to escape the dark and the cold, I may not be able to make it down the driveway if we get the dreaded black ice. This was one of my few real reservations back when the house was on the market.
What a fucking mess. I refer here to the weather forecast, today's news, my mental condition and this blog entry. I'm out of here.
Let me close with some more quotes of Marshall McLuhan:
The story of modern America begins with the discovery of the white man by the Indians.
Only puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public incredulity.
The nature of people demands that most of them be engaged in the most frivolous possible activities — like making money.
With telephone and TV it is not so much the message as the sender that is "sent."
Money is the poor man’s credit card.
We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.
Spaceship earth is still operated by railway conductors, just as NASA is managed by men with Newtonian goals.
Invention is the mother of necessities.
The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell, of urban and suburban man.
Why is it so easy to acquire the solutions of past problems and so difficult to solve current ones?
The trouble with a cheap, specialized education is that you never stop paying for it.
People don’t actually read newspapers. They step into them every morning like a hot bath.
The road is our major architectural form.
Today each of us lives several hundred years in a decade.
Today the business of business is becoming the constant invention of new business.
News, far more than art, is artifact.
When you are on the phone or on the air, you have no body.
Tomorrow is our permanent address.
All advertising advertises advertising.
The answers are always inside the problem, not outside.
"Camp" is popular because it gives people a sense of reality to see a replay of their lives.
The specialist is one who never makes small mistakes while moving toward the grand fallacy.
One of the nicest things about being big is the luxury of thinking little.
Politics offers yesterday’s answers to today’s questions.
The missing link created far more interest than all the chains and explanations of being.
In big industry, new ideas are invited to rear their heads so they can be clobbered at once. The idea department of a big firm is a sort of lab for isolating dangerous viruses.
When a thing is current, it creates currency.
Food for the mind is like food for the body: the inputs are never the same as the outputs.
Men on frontiers, whether of time or space, abandon their previous identities. Neighborhood gives identity. Frontiers snatch it away.
The future of the book is the blurb.
The ignorance of how to use new knowledge stockpiles exponentially.
A road is a flattened-out wheel, rolled up in the belly of an airplane.
At the speed of light, policies and political parties yield place to charismatic images.
I may be wrong, but I’m never in doubt.
Posted by Shokai at 2:13 PM