Hi, welcome to the end of the world. I hope you’re enjoying it so far.
Just as I’ve done during many of the other ends of the world, I will go to work. The only end of the world that I recall not being scheduled to work was the big one we called Y2K.
I was on standby for Y2K. The plan was for me to get some rest in case my services were needed for the apocalypse. In the event someone took hostages as the world was ending I would be contacted via my ultra modern text pager. As things turned out, there was not a need for post-apocalyptic crisis negotiation. My bosses had encouraged me to rest so I’d be ready. When they decided that I would not be brought in to save lives that would be later snuffed out as the world completed its destruction, they paged me three times to let me know I could go back to sleep. Read the rest of this entry »
Perhaps you’re old enough to recall the run of the television show, M*A*S*H. If you aren’t, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen it in reruns.
M*A*S*H focused on life in an Army mobile field hospital unit during the Korean War. While the setting was serious, the show was usually funny, with the occasional moments that made the point that war is a terrible thing. The central character, Captain Benjamin Franklin (Hawkeye) Pierce, was unfailingly witty. Even under the most difficult circumstance, he always had the right thing to say, and that right thing to say was always something new…except for that one line.
Hawkeye found himself helplessly caught in the crossfire of artillery on more than one occasion. Such is the nature of being a television Army Surgeon in the Korean War. Captain Pierce would soldier on, doing the best he could while the guns rumbled and the shells exploded just off-screen. The sound of the artillery barrage was such a presence in the background that it was almost like another character in the story.
Then, as the story reached its peak of tension, Hawkeye would utter the only lines I remember him repeating. He’d ask “hey, do you hear that?” The character he was addressing would say “I don’t hear anything”. “That’s what I mean, the shelling has stopped”. Not until he said that, would the audience or the other characters realize that the artillery bombardment had stopped.
This presidential election has been a miserable affair. It seemed there were few places a person could go to avoid contact with the Obama or Romney campaigns.
Each side brought out the heavy artillery to destroy the other. There was a barrage of shameful ads from both sides. The parties recruited surrogates to drop the bombs deemed too unseemly for a presidential candidate to deliver.
In the end, they rained misery down upon those of us unfortunate enough to live in their crossfire. We soldiered on, suffered the attacks more than either candidate and did our patriotic duty. We got our little “I Voted” stickers.
The votes have been counted. The victor has been declared.
Hey, do you hear that?
Political debates are meaningless rituals.
The debates don’t tell us how either man works under pressure. They know roughly what the questions will be. The environment is strictly controlled and formatted.
Our jobs aren’t like that. We don’t know what is coming next. A president should have to show the ability to work like we do – in uncontrolled situations. I’ve got ideas that would make the debates watchable and give us a better reading on how ready these fools are to lead us.
At the last debate, both men came out in suits. That’s pretty conventional. I did think it was ridiculous that Mr. Obama wore a blue tie to show that he represents the Democrats and Mr. Romney wore a red one because he is the Republican. Did they think we’d mix them up? Come on, prematurely grey African-American with big ears, Obama. Caucasian robot with a hair helmet, Romney. We don’t need color coded ties. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m not a fugitive, so I had not thought about this before. But when Julian Assange decided to hide out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, I thought about why he’d choose that embassy. The obvious reason is that Incas are in the Embassy to protect him. Read the rest of this entry »
Julian Assange, who may now be more famous for being a fugitive than he ever will be for founding Wikileaks, has chosen the Ecuadorian embassy in London as a refuge. The British authorities want to arrest him; the government of Ecuador won’t allow them in to do it.
I’m ambivalent about Mr. Assange and Wikileaks. It is hard to keep evil from taking root if secrets are never exposed. But flinging secrets around willy nilly isn’t a good idea.
I am not ambivalent about Assange’s choice of embassies to hide in. Ecuador’s was a fantastic choice.
Do You Know Who Lives In Ecuador?
Ecuador is a fine place, populated by nice people. I’ve never met anyone from Ecuador that I didn’t like. Some of those nice Ecuadorian are Incas.
The Incas are why Ecuadorian embassies a great choice for desperadoes on the run. Why? Because Incas are bad asses. No one, not the Brits, not the Americans, not the Chinese, not even the Micronesians want to take on the Incas. Read the rest of this entry »
Women’s Olympic Gymnastics. I don’t understand much about them.
I know that if you are eligible for a driver’s license, you’ve aged out of the sport. Although gravity is a big part of the sport, falling is frowned upon. Scoring is done using a subjective judging system. In all events, it is important to “stick the landing”. There will be no extra steps taken upon landing without points being deducted.
There’s one other thing that I know about women’s gymnastics, but I don’t understand it.
Eventually, This Guy Will Show Up
Most coaches provide guidance in a sport that they’ve had some personal competitive experience. My high school track coach was a life-long runner. I’ve never known a major league baseball manager who’d never been paid to swing a bat. Read the rest of this entry »
Dear Flesh Eating Bacteria,
I’ve heard a lot about you recently. First you were in Georgia, now in South Carolina. You seem headed toward me.
You’ve arrived on the scene with quite a splash. I’m not usually a fan of anyone who is suddenly popular, but it seems that I should make an effort to get along with you because of your dietary preference.
Frankly, eating me would be a bit of a crap shoot for you. I hope you know how painful it is for me to use the term crap shoot to describe myself. It just seems to apply here.
As people go, I’m not exactly veal, if you know what I’m saying. I think I’d be tough and a bit stringy. Admittedly, no one knows that for sure because I’m not currently a food source for any species. I do know for sure that I am old and gnarly. Stringy is not a great leap from gnarly. I don’t know anyone that likes a stringy cut of meat.