Thursday, September 27, 2007

But You Have To Admit, It WOULD Be Funny

This 22-unit apartment building is a few blocks away from the Turbopalace. Every time I walk past it I am seized with the urge to do the obvious. I mean, it just seems to be ASKING for it, doesn't it?

I've only been able to resist by telling myself that (1) someone inside might be on life-support, and (2) I should save it for some time when it would be extra-funny... like, say, during the 7th game of a Red Sox world series...

Military Industrial Complex

Lately I've been watching some of the PBS documentary on WWII (called simply The War). I watched Episode II at 517's house, in the basement (aka "man room"). As the credits were rolling at the end and I was walking back up the stairs to the kitchen, I heard the TV behind me saying "... corporate sponsorship for the war is provided by..." And for a moment, forgetting the name of the series, I thought they were talking about the Iraq war. And I wasn't really surprised, either, that there were going to be corporate sponsors listed. Perhaps this is one of the great differences between WWII and this current conflict.

On this general topic, by the way, I commend to you a quick re-reading of President Eisenhower's farewell address.


Lately one of my favorite phrases from Thoreau has been tumbling around in my mind: "The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us." What does this mean, exactly? That anything in its extreme may undo itself? That ultimate knowledge of truth will bring only confusion?

The ending of Walden follows that sentence-- it always makes my spine tingle: "Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star." The first sentence strikes me a warning; the next, as a promise; the last, as apocalyptic prophesy. How he knows these things I can't say, but I rather tend to believe him.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Halfway Serious Question

Long-time SoF readers know that I love Canada, Canadians, and especially their folk singers. Today I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Canadians, and their dollar (aka "the loony") for reaching parity with the U.S. dollar (aka "real money"), for the first time in 30 years.

But I have serious question, which has plagued me for years-- what am I to do with all the Canadian pennies that wind up in my pockets? I probably accumulate several a week. They pile up. You can't legitimately get rid of them-- heck, it's hard to get anyone here to accept real American pennies, let alone foreign ones. So should I:

1) Just throw them away? Sometimes I do, but I feel that I am dissing my Canadian neighbors.
2) Mail them to friends in Canada? I've done the math, and the postage is more than their value.
3 ) Hoard them, in anticipation of the day (tomorrow?) when Canadian money is worth more than U.S., and there will be a whole "black market" of goods which can only be purchased with Canadian cash?
4) Try to melt them down into a paperweight?
5) Turn them into a collage of some sort, to put in my office?

I am open to other good suggestions.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sailing On The Cool And Bright Clear Waters

It's easier to show you where I've been than to tell you.

Many, many thanks for the company of those who joined me along the way:

The Captain and his brother (start of outbound voyage)
26 (first interim voyage)
Co-Chief (second interim voyage)
The Limey (end of outbound & start of homeward voyages)
832 (middle of homeward voyage)
River Doc (taking it home with me)

...and particular thanks to 26 for looking after 9 while I was away.

More about the voyages, perhaps, at some point, if there's interest. The memories are bringing up mixed emotions right now, and, besides that, I have to get back to work.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Blues Traveler

"Travel pushes my boundaries. When you travel, you become invisible, if you want. I do want. I like to be the observer. What makes people who they are? Could I feel at home here? No one expects you to have the stack of papers back by Tuesday, or to check messages, or to fertilize the geraniums... Travel releases spontaneity. You become a godlike creature full of choice, free to visit the stately pleasure domes, make love in the morning, sketch a bell tower. You open, as in childhood, and-- for a time-- receive this world... Free to go, free to return home, bringing memories to lay on the hearth." -Frances Mayes

Travel is best done with your partner, if you have one. Otherwise there is likely to be terrible loneliness, on one part or the other, or both. Plus, your obscure and foreign memories may not find space among the ever-increasing collection of local domestic objects on the hearth when you return home.

On the other hand, if you have no partner, there may not be much of a hearth to lay things on at all, nor much reason to return home, or even certainty about where "home" is. In that case you might as well consider making travel a way of life, rather than just a vacation pursuit. But the "make love in the morning" part will be more challenging.

Saturday, September 08, 2007