As I sit here at the end of this day that is set to remember Martin Luther King, Jr. I find myself wondering what he would say to all of us if he were alive today. I think he would be disgusted. I think he would find the continuous spending of money that we don’t have to be irresponsible. I think he would point out that bailing out companies and banks only teaches children that they can spend what they don’t have.
So many of his speeches mentioned the future. Here we are in that future and while we have made many improvements, we have lost a lot. America has lost its pride. I don’t mean the pride of being an American. That is living strong. I mean basic pride in your work. Wanting to do a good job, just for the sake of doing a good job.
Run over and check out the rest. It’s well worth the read.
After the jump, photos from my balcony half a mile away from the Space Needle’s New Year fireworks show. Excellent weather this year, clear and cold with practically no wind—and the smoke from the fireworks moved west of the Needle so we had an unobstructed view of the whole show.
Last week was good! Fairly normal work week, random signs of injury I can’t recall, absolutely smashing good weekend!
I think it must have been... Tuesday? Wednesday, actually, now that I think about it. Anyway, when I noticed on my right forearm a large(ish) bruised area, maybe two inches wide. Hurt a bit when I pressed on it, that first day, but the second day nothing but discoloration.
This is one of those bruises I cannot for the life of me figure out how I got. I don’t recall slamming my arm into furniture or bouncing hard off any walls. Nothing fell on me or hit me within the last 10 days, and I haven’t been in a physical fight in well over a year. The bruise’s shape gives no clue to its origin—there are no faint outlines of baseball stitching or backward sports-equipment logo typography embedded in my arm.
But the highlight of the week was a weekend jaunt to San Francisco with Katharine and Julie Anne to attend a live-album recording show by my favorite singer/songwriter, Vienna Teng, and her frequent collaborator (and producer of her last album, Inland Territory), Alex Wong.
Fantastic time. We had VIP tickets for the Sunday evening early show at The Independent, got us some face time with the musicians while they were doing their sound checks. Also I’ve a newly signed poster I need to get framed at some point. It was a fascinating crowd, too, all ages (21+ only) and just about every type of person you could imagine, all clearly fans of the music and really into the show.
No idea when the album comes out, but I’m hoping to hear my voice among the whoops and hollers from the crowd. Maybe it’ll list where each track was recorded as well so I won’t be one of those fools who says, “That’s me clapping first,” only to be told that song was taken from a recording made in New York, where I’ve never been.
San Francisco was lovely otherwise. We flew in Saturday morning, took BART from SFO to Powell Street Station, checked into our hotel with no fuss (our rooms were available even though check-in time was still 4+ hours away), and were out wandering the city a little after 10:30. Spent the afternoon at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, marveling at the planetarium show and chuckling at the penguins’ antics and bemused by the free-flying butterflies in the rainforest globe. Beautiful building, they pack a lot into a relatively small space, but it isn’t at all claustrophobic—the exhibit spaces are thoughtfully laid out with plenty of room for people to move around, and the exhibits themselves are an engaging mix of old (dioramas, animal enclosures, blocks of descriptive text on wall signs) and new (Surface-style computer-driven information about the California coast and such, an all-digital planetarium with a 75-foot projection dome, a state-of-the-art living roof, the works).
We flew home this morning, allowed an hour for bag check and security screening and barely made it onto the plane for the 09:20 departure—and, as it turned out, only because the TSA agents handling the lengthy security lines were canvassing the crowds for departure times 40 or so minutes away at any given time. The bag-check agent had claimed a 45– to 60-minute wait in security; if we hadn’t jumped the line at the TSA agent’s behest, we would have missed our flight, and we had a bit over 60 minutes from bag-check finish to our entry into the security line.
The flight back to Seattle was packed tight. The Alaska Airlines check-in kiosk had even asked us if we would be willing to accept booking on a later flight (with a travel voucher to be used in the future) because our flight was overbooked, and the crowding aboard clearly indicated it would be a busy travel day all around. I think we ended up among the last half-dozen or so passengers to board, which meant that my laptop bag flew home overhead row 18 while our seats were in rows 23 and 24 (in a 27-row 737-400, oh joy).
We did get to enjoy the log-sawing stylings of the Western Conference Champion snorer. This guy could go pro, probably get taken high in the second or late in the first round. He had snorted himself awake five times before the plane was even off the runway at SFO, and several times during the flight—each time, his rowmates would all flinch with the surprise of it.
Sometime during this flight I also noticed the couple of bruises on my right upper arm, a couple of little quarter-inch dark spots on my biceps.
Seems parts of me were beaten senseless over the last several days and I’ve no memory of it.
Anywho. Back home now, all is good and I have a two-day work week because of the Christmas holiday—we get both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, for some reason I absolutely am not questioning aloud but still wonder about frequently. Bag is unpacked, cats won’t leave me alone, the wind is rattling my balcony door, and the weather forecast calls for rain and chance of snow tonight and tomorrow.
Just as things should be for December in Seattle. :-)
Since we live in one of the more nautical corners of the planet, it’s almost considered mutinous not to watch a parade of brightly decorated boats every December. You have multiple chances to join in the salty holiday spirit this weekend.
Twenty-six strands of lights and the entire ornament collection all in six hours, to the accompaniment of the “Christmas favorites” iTunes playlist and a lovely dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers. Oh, and a brief pause to watch the lighting of the Westlake tree, the Space Needle, and the KING5 broadcast tower atop Queen Anne Hill.
After the jump, lists of the custom “available” and “away” status messages I used in iChat in 2007.
They made it easier to extract this info from iChat in Leopard. You can now choose “Edit Status Menu” from iChat’s buddy-list window, select the item(s) you want from the list(s), and use the Copy command to get a comma-separated text list. Only problem for me is I use commas in some of my statuses, so it’s not a simple search-and-replace function to get the list into a usable format, but it sure beats having to fire up Property List Editor and extract the list that way. Minor trade-offs, I suppose.
Season’s greetings, happy holidays, and all the other salutations of the time.
Quoted below, one of my all-time favorite songs, and it happens to have a Christmas relevance: The Atheist Christmas Carol by Vienna Teng.
Hear the song:
it’s the season of grace coming out of the void where a man is saved by a voice in the distance it’s the season of possible miracle cures where hope is currency and death is not the last unknown where time begins to fade and age is welcome home
it’s the season of eyes meeting over the noise and holding fast with sharp realization it’s the season of cold making warmth a divine intervention you are safe here you know now
don’t forget don’t forget I love I love I love you
it’s the season of scars and of wounds in the heart of feeling the full weight of our burdens it’s the season of bowing our heads in the wind and knowing we are not alone in fear not alone in the dark