Saturday, April 28, 2001

Another misty Portland morning. The work keeps coming in, weekend or no. The most exciting thing about working in the global services business is that we are shaping the direction of what we do. I like that... rather like sailing a clipper ship from port to port. I make a poor cog and always have.

Last night I watched the PBS special on Edward Curtis, the famed Indian photographer. It brought back my younger days of studying Traditional Indian Medicine with Gabe Sharp and Edgar Montetathci. I looked at the beautiful pictures of the lost people and I found myself crying again. I wept quite often for the way this world has turned out, found myself wishing and wishing for the olden days. Like Minver Cheevy. As I grew older I began to appreciate many of the things in this life (music, the sensation of speed, sushi, hot showers) but I still miss the world as it was. It is odd that we so undervalue the old, considering that they are the only link to the past. In days of yore nothng much changed from generation to generation. The old knew the stories but their world was the same world. But even my father's world is far, far different than mine. My grandfather's moreso (he was born in 1900).

I dreamt last night of my grandfather. He was in my dad's house, sitting on a silver couch and wearing a white shirt open at the collar. He wa tanned and fit and wore a silver wristwatch. He was there to visit his great-grandchildren. My daughter was first among them and they spent some time talking. It did not seem odd to see him even though he has been dead almost thirty years.

As chief Seattle said, " Death? What is death? there is no death. Only a change of worlds."

Thursday, April 26, 2001

Greetings. I've been head-down foor many an hour designing a presentation for work. I loath powerPoint and refuse to use it. It is ugly and awkward and inflexible. I build my shit in Flash and drive it with text files. It took a bit of doing to get the hang of it, but now i'm pretty practiced at it. It's good because the guys I work with are
1. In Hawaii
2. Unable to use Flash
So they need to be able to tweak the wording without actually opening the source file.

Blah blah blah. I hate blogs which talk shop and so, I imagine, do you.

I am struck by how quickly one becomes an expert at something and how that facility reaches a certain level where it becomes unconcious. I first noticed this about driving. You know the first time you were in and how fucking terrifying it was? I sure do. And the fucking freeway? FORGET about that! But now I pop in and out of traffic as though there were no possibility of ever going through a windshield. Perhaps this casualness is not such a good thing after all. maybe we should all ride motorbikes.

And now as a reward for all my hard work I get to clean the gross and disgusting house all by myself. Suck-ola. It is so lovely outside I want to scream.

I'm over the archive thing. The files were deleted from blogger, but there is a list of them here

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

SHIT! My archives are all missing! Months and months and months are gone! Goddamnit! Goddamnit to hell!

I've been reading a fascinating article about the struggle for credit to build the hydrogen bomb, a weapon of limitless destructive potential (the first test was 700 times the explosive power of Hiroshima). Teller, the Great Satan, was (he thought) on his deathbed and ceded the credit to one of his associates, a man who had taken the risky road of advocating disarmament. That stance was what cost Oppenheimer his security clearance, as you remember. It seems ludicrous that anyone could assume credit (blame) for a weapon of this caliber. I grew up surrounded by missle silos, massive Titan II's which dated back to 1959. I grew up thinking that sooner or later I'd be vaporized. Tucson has an Air Force Base, an Army Base and those damned silos... 13 of them... which made it a Primary Target.

Little did we know that the Soviet ICBM system was a mere shadow of ours and that they were spending their energy on the far more horrifying Biotek program, inventing such wonders as hemhorragic smallpox, flu-and-anthrax combinations and the like.

This madness inspired a generation, right? Right? And it's all still there...

Sunday, April 22, 2001

Reading about connectivity in the New York Times today I began to shake my head a bit. I've long been an evangelist of the wireless world, Trekian voice recognition and invisible computers. But faced with the reality of this I grow skeptical. Sure, in theory it'd be great to stand in a doctor's office waiting room and be able to cue up any song you feel like listening to, but in fact it might be rather different. I sometimes stand in the library with "stack shock" as I dazedly look at the shelves and shelves of books, frozen and unable to choose even one. Also, with everything so readily accessible, will not my esteem for it dwindle to nothing? Scarcity is the foundation not only for economics, but for coolness. I have a clipping from a Target ad circa 1993 which states " The look is GRUNGE!" and shows all sorts of teenyboppers wearing factory-tattered flannel and enormous boots, knit caps and churlish expressions. Not cool. Not hardly.

Also, I have noticed a direct relation of available technology to a lack of creativity in my life. My most creative works were pen and ink. The computer just distracts me. Haley scratches away with a pen on typing paper, writing her stories longhand. Patrick O'Brian wrote with a quill pen on an old-fashioned standup clerk's desk, often by lamplight. Not a sure indicator of quality, but hit helps the odds. You see, given a wide variety of available distractions, the average person will usually succumb to at least one because it's fucking hard to make yourself create. Maybe the result wll be a sort of crative Darwinism? Only the strong survive, only the strong-willed create? Hmm...

Anachronism for its own sake? Sure... I do love my Accutron watch. Haley says it screams so, but I love to watch the second hand smoothly go round and round.

The thing that I like about the wireless revolution is its potential to empower vast reaches of humanity who are currently unheard for want of infrastructure. No power, no phone, no vote, no voice. Of course, the recent examples of sudden empowerment in Africa and the Balkans have not proved encouraging... Opeenheimer was fond of twenty-twenty hindsight as he rued the creation of the bomb, after all...