Archive for September, 2013

9/11 – 12 years later

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Once again, it is the anniversary of the attacks on the US at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. This is also the first anniversary of the death in Benghazi of our ambassador and several other people abandoned by the Obama administration. There were at least two further attacks in Benghazi today.

I don’t know what to say at this point that hasn’t been covered already (and better) by others. Our response to 9/11/2001 started as an example of Category Error. Rather than going after the nation and/or culture which produced the attackers, we declared war on their chosen tactic.

And now, we’re providing weapons to the enemies who attacked us. What is it the Constitution says?

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

Are the Syrian rebels really our enemy? Well, they’re associated with Al Qaeda, and Al Qaeda are our enemies, so I don’t see how providing them with weaponry and assistance can be considered anything other than treason.

Then again, as a well-known “American patriot” once asked, “What difference, at this point, does it make?” I know what difference it makes to me. It’s confirmation that the administration was lying about Benghazi from the start. What difference does it make to you?

I suspect the architect neglected a factor or two

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Designing a building with windows that act as a concave reflector is bound to have some consequences.

So here I am …

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

… sitting at home, with plumbers (plural) working on the drain mechanisms of my two tubs, and my car in the shop because it broke down on my commute home yesterday.

The tubs need repair because the lever that shifts the drain mechanism is made of two dissimilar metals – a bad idea in moist environments – and I was unaware that I had to open and close the drains regularly in order to prevent corrosion from building up and locking the mechanisms. Bleah.

Replacing the drain mechanism is a two-plumber job, involving one plumber working in the tub and the other beneath the tub. It’s taken three hours or so to do the upstairs tub (the easy one). For the downstairs tub, the plumber will have to chip away some of the cement floor beneath the tub in order to have room for the new drain mechanism. Again, bleah.

The car is in the shop because, apparently, Saturns with standard transmissions are notorious for having problems with the mechanisms connecting the shift lever to the transmission. When you’re on the road, and all of a sudden the shift lever starts flopping around, it’s not a happy occasion. This is the second time I’ve had it happen. The first time was almost exactly a year ago – Marion and I were returning home from a play, and when I shifted into neutral at a stop light, all of the normal “feel” of the shifter went away, and it flopped around loosely. I flipped the lever around a couple of times and joked to Marion that she shouldn’t feel bad, this sort of thing happened to every guy now and then, but there wasn’t much humor involved in waiting for a tow truck at midnight, miles from home. My mechanic replaced the cables that were part of the linkage mechanism, and I was good to go.

This time, I was on my way home and it happened while I was shifting gears coming away from a stop light. It wasn’t the cables this time. It was a couple of plastic parts that the cables go to. Same effect, though. I’m just lucky that both times, the car ended up in neutral. If it had been in gear, it would have been tougher getting it onto the tow truck.

Joe tells me the repair parts may be in tomorrow, so I may get the car back tomorrow afternoon. Not the way I wanted to spend today, but what can you do? Once more, and third time’s the charm … bleah.

Everything ends

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

It was my birthday yesterday, and Marion and I thought we’d go dancing. The studio we dance at has Saturday evening dances, but they’re not held every week, so I pulled up their web page to make sure they had a dance.

Imagine our surprise to see the following notice:

August 31 – Our last Open Dance!! Join us for a send-off party for Steve & Linda and the studio staff!! The teachers and staff will all be here for the evening to dance and visit! Light snacks, good music and several exhibitions will make a fun evening of social dancing! Also, get the latest news on where your favorite instructors will be teaching!

Thanks to all our friends for all the support and warm wishes! Hope to see you soon!

It turns out that Steve, the owner of the studio, is closing it for reasons of health, and because he got a “too good to pass up” offer for the building. The new owner is going to put in a high-end restaurant and a few shops. Part of the gentrification process that’s been going on in the neighborhood for quite some time. I lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade until about five years ago, so I saw a lot of the recent changes. The loss of the dance floor will hurt, though – it’s about the largest dance floor in town (over 5000 square feet).

We went to the dance, which was nice. We saw and talked with a number of people we hadn’t seen in a long time, but because it was so crowded, the dancing wasn’t as fun. We wouldn’t have wanted to miss it, though.