2001 September❮❮prevnext❯❯

madness takes its toll, have exact change

Funny of the Moment
> "Man is certainly stark mad. He cannot make a worm,
> and yet he will be making gods by the dozens." -Montaigne

Yo' god so false, when you pray, you get a busy signal!

Yo' god so false, Pascal be wagerin' AGAINST him!

Yo' diety so low, he need a stool to pray to himself!

Voltaire (via Ranjit on alt.religion.kibology)

Nutrition of the Moment
A Harvard Nutrition author wants to update the USDA Food Pyramid. It's not quite Atkins, but it does pay attention to things like 'glycemic load'. I have no idea how I'd go about getting more whole grains in my diet, or Plant Oils. Favorite quote: (talking about the author's personal habits)"'What about secret indulgences?' 'Sometimes I'll have some flavorful cheese or a bit of chocolate.'" Whew! What a wild man!

Game of the Moment
"Man! Those people down there look so small! Like Ants! Let me get out my giant novelty sized magnifying glass... ahh, good. Hey, what's that burning smell?" A wonderfully demented game, very well done, but not quite as rich a world sim as it may first appear. I love the name and logo of the site, bossmonster (via memepool)


     --by Mo, 1997.12.26. Made on Dinky Pad for the PalmPilot. She graciously let me post it here; it's admittedly a little cornball, as are many things at the start of a good romance.

no YOU tell him he's a loon

News of the Moment
Salon.com reports on Colonel Gadhafi (have they finally standardized the English spelling of his name? Here's a page that lists over 16 alternative spellings) as he mocks U.S. on coup anniversary. My favorite part was
With respect to savings, he held up a glass of water and said it was too big, and people could not possibly drink all the liquid they poured into it. Smaller glasses would stop them from throwing away excess liquid, he said.
So, smaller drinking glasses. That's what will point the way to solving whatever ails their economy.

Lyrics of the Moment
The other day, I got this note on my guestbook:
Hey, I was thrilled to see you posted some of my lyrics!
--Bobby Sichran
I got Bobby Sichran's cd "From A Sympathetical Hurricane" from Disc Diggers (at Davis Square) for about a buck. It was kind of an odd cd, but I listened to it a lot that summer. So the posting he referenced was the rather obscure list of old .sigs from my Palm journal--he musta been googling his name. So, to make a more proper posting of it:
I got gravel in my paw
Dirty motor oil soaked
Down to my skin
Got gravel in my paw
Dirty motor oil soaked
Down to my skin
Broken glass in my mouth
Every time I grin
--Bobby Sichran, "Stray Dog"

Joke of the Moment
A Scotsman and a Jew went to a restaurant. After a hearty meal, the waitress came by with the inevitable check. To the amazement of all, the Scotsman was heard to say, "I'll pay it!" and he actually did.

The next morning's newspaper carried the news item:

via rec.humor.funny.
Kind of a so-so joke, but they said that it got the newsgroup on the front pages of major newspapers and banned at the University of Waterloo and Stanford so I thought it deserved attention here, a drop in an anti-censorship lake.

adieu, blue

Quote of the Moment
Today Garrison Keillor is discontinuing his column at Salon.com, alas. I've gotten many wise quotes from that column in my various journals. Here's one quote that's been in the back of my head for a long while, from his (non-Mr. Blue) book "We Are Still Married":
What keeps our faith cheerful is the extreme persistence of gentleness and humor. Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things: through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music and books, raising kids--all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through. Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people. If we had no other purpose in life, it would be good enough to simply take care of them and goose them once in a while.
--Garrison Keillor on "Why Are We Here"
That was in response to Life Magazine posing many people, famous and not, the question "Why Are We Here?" (I liked John Cage's response: "No why. Just here.") I'd be somewhat remiss if I didn't mention how Keillor opened his response: "To know and serve God, of course, is why we're here, a clear truth that, like the nose on your face, is near at hand and easily discernible but can make you dizzy if you try to focus on it hard." which doesn't completely jive with what I feel right now, though kind of can if you squint at it hard enough through Unitarian Universalist lenses.

Links of the Moment
Wow...I may have seen the most mind-bendingly badly designed page on the web. Hippies and the Internet, not always the best combination. Take Supa Dupa Babee's example and don't use drugs. (Or else you may end up like the people who came up with Supa Dupa Babee.) (both links via Portal of Evil)

i want my waiterbackwaiterbackwaiterback...

At Chili's
[After the waiter asked if we wanted change from a twenty for a $14 tab]
Kirk: "Nah, we were gonna give him a 50% tip"
John: "Yeah, that waiter was really stellar."
Kirk: "You mean, very far away and hard to communicate with?"
It was funnier in person, especially since the service had been pretty middlin'.

Link of the Moment
World Wide Words is a very interesting site about various words and phrases, albeit with a slant towards British English. If you're interested in the history of words, you could spend a long time just hitting their Surprise Me link. (Unfortunately the way it's setup means you can't just hit reload, but have to click the link.)


My dear old cute Honda Civic rolled over to 50,000 miles yesterday. I'm proud of this car. It has a goofy color, a frog holder for its stuffed frog, and I paid for it with my own money. I bought it new right before I graduated from college, in 1996. It has taken me to Cleveland and Ocean Grove and back. And to Pittsburgh, which is where I learned it can go 100 miles on rainslick highway with 5 people bundled in (with my a cappella group, chasing the other car in order to make it to a concert on time.)

I love the color of this car. It's a bit flamboyant but is aggressively cheerful and reminds me of spring after any rain.

I wanted to put up this picture for another reason...after I want to college and my Mom moved to NYC, we realized we didn't have any pictures with our beloved metalflake-orange-bronze ford aerostar minivan. (The "pumpkin carriage") That was the vehicle I learned to drive in, and the one I have other fond memories of being inside its upholstered confines. But no pictures of it, and I didn't want the same think to happen to the kermitmobile.

Online Toy of the Moment
Similar to this one school filmstrip in the 1970s, a powers of 10 visualization toy. You start out at 1023 meters out, where our galaxy is just the brightest splotch, go to 1013, about the size of our solar system, to 106, the southeastern USA, and then end up zooming in on a single leaf in Florida, until at 10-15 you're staring a proton in the face. You can let it run on automatic, or press the button at the bottom to engage manual control of the zooming.

Quote of the Moment
With the gay sexual revolution in San Francisco, he was finally free to express that side of himself openly. This was a wonderful thing, but the effects of it were confusing and bizarre for my brother and me. With him, the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name became the Love That Would Not Shut Up.

skate or die? skater die!

Quote of the Moment
I'm sorry, I'm afraid I subscribe to the theory of intellectual osmosis. As such, I must now cease our conversation and move away from you before my intelligence begins to drop. Good day.
Acts of Gord, tales of customer stupidity at a video game rental/sales place.
The guy ends up sounding a bit like The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy (actually, for best effect try to hear his voice while reading the above quote), but there's some funny stuff in there.

Toy of the Moment
Razor Scooters are so dotcom late-90s! What you need are some Heelys! Sneakers with a single removable wheel in each heel. It looks really cool, a kid in what looks like normal sneakers gets a running start, does a little hop, and then glides, check out this quicktime video.

from the T-shirt Archive: #19 of a Tedious Series
Given as a gift. Apparently by some one unclear on my gender.


Wow, keeping up this theme of powers of 10 milestones, (kirk10k (days), kermitcar50k (miles) or figure out your own milestones here) Unix turns 1,000,000,000 seconds old today. According to
     perl -e 'print scalar localtime 1e9';
it's at 9:46 tonight, Eastern time.

This matters to geeks, because the standard Unix time stamp is the number of seconds since January 1, 1970, GMT, and it shows up often. Actually there may be some minor Y2K-like effects on various systems that store that timestamp as a 9-digit number, or assume you can sort the timestamp alphabetically. (Which was an assumption that worked from March 3, 1973 'til today.)

Joke of the Moment
Some people can tell what time it is by looking at the sun. But I have never been able to make out the numbers.

News of the Moment
Finally, wrapping up today's theme of Time: Man, I've been through some long concerts before but this one takes the cake.

sick sick sad sad world

AOLIM Chat of the Moment
kirk: Hah, if YOU had tv you could watch Feng Shui: Creating Environments for Success on tv along with me
kirk: that's gonna get me super pumped for my stairmaster workout
lee: thats WRONG dude
lee: feng shui and a stairmaster... yikes

Link of the Moment
A long time ago, I remember seeing this one very bizarre story about a man who has a girlfriend who has a fetish of farting on cakes. I'm not making this up. In fact, a quick google search shows slight variations of the same sordid tale (this and that) so someone is paying attention to this stuff. And it even has its very own website with a memorable splash page image and little else.


Quick little update today, I wanted to put up some interesting media from yesterday's trip to Six Flags but didn't quite have the time. So:

News of the Moment
Payphones are going up to fifty cents around here. The Washington Post had an interesting voyeuristic piece on what you can overhear around payphones. It's interesting how it's becoming a bit of class thing. (via Spike Report)

Funny of the Moment
In my old office we had a power cut that lasted an entire day once because some British Gas people managed to do something nasty to the electrical cables outside. Drilled into them, or something, I dunno. Anyway, our office manager sent a letter of complaint to Britsh Gas about the fact that due to their incompetence we couldn't use or PCs or anything for a whole day.

A couple of weeks later the letter arrived back with a post-it-note on it that simply read "Gas powered computers?" and nothing else. He was going to write back with another complaint, but decided it really wasn't worth it.

When I'm lying on my death bed, looking back at my life, one of my fondest memories will be of my manager storming into my room, almost shaking with rage, and showing me that letter with the little yellow post-it-note attached.

"Rev. Owen Allaway" via alt.humor.best-of-usenet



Sunday Peterman and I went to Six Flags New England. After riding Superman Ride of Steel we went over and tried the Skycoaster. Oddly enough, it had much more of a 'soar like superman' effect than the ride that bears his name. It's very elegant in design: a single arch, at the top of which is attached a cable, almost long enough to touch the ground. The other end of the cable is attached to you. You (and a friend, or two friends, all wearing these long apron/skydiver things) are then hoisted to the peak of the nearby tower, about as high as the peak of the arch. You're way up there. Then you pull the ripcord, and come soaring back to earth. In effect, it's a cross between bungee jumping and a playground swingset.

So Peterman and I went, in tandem. (A bit cheaper that way.) He was very struck by the experience: "Skycoaster is as close to religion as I want to get these days." I was slightly less moved, still it was pretty amazing. You have to put in reservations, so after our 5pm ride we signed up for a second ride at 8.

One of the staff there was willing to take pictures and we had him use the movie feature of my digital camera to tape the descent (and ascent, and descent, and...) of Peterman and me. So above is the "small gif cinema" entry of it, (slow on IE, for some unfathomable reason) but what you really should see is the full quicktime video of it... the doppler effect on our screams is rather funny, and by chance it has a perfect musical stinger as well.


Yesterday was the hijacking/attacks on the NYC World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Apart from the incomprehensible human tragedy associated with events like these is how it makes every other interest and pursuit look so petty.

Does trying to get on with life disrespect the people who have suffered such loss? Or does stopping everything let the terrorists 'win' an even greater victory?

Like always, I'm going to be wishy-washy and split the difference, and stop with the wacky links and quotes, but maybe only for a day or so.

my wtc story


This is (the back of) Mo standing in front of the fountain at the World Trade Center plaza, taken September 11, 1999, two years (to the day) before the tragedy.

I liked that fountain very much. I once got the chance to look down on it, from about halfway up the tower, three years earlier when I was on assignment for Barron's Online. It was the most interesting thing to look at from that height... water poured from the center circle onto the larger circle. All around the outside border of the inner circle it looked a bit like a boat's wake (you can make out the 'wake' in the picture), giving the illusion that the inner circle's edge was constantly moving inward. But of course it was remaining the same size, thus confounding the eye. It was a great piece of art, now ruined. That pales in comparison to the rest of the tragedy, but that's my attempt to connect to what has happened.

Update 2002.02.25: I moved a thumbnail and link to this page to kisrael.com's front page. The image shows up on the second page of Google image search for "WTC", but the resulting "in context" link is to the site's front page.

Image Gallery
The pictures from Tuesday were horrifying, but for some reason these images of the citizens of other countries sharing our grief really moved me. (Update: parts two, three and four)

A Lighter Note
Brunching.com has An Open Letter To Dorks and Losers, exploding the myths of bullydom, like "they'll back down if you stand up to them". It's very funny and rings very true.

that old feeling

Aw, man. I was worried this whole terrorist thing wasn't really sinking in. And maybe it hasn't, but my old neuroses seem to be giving me another fling. An everpresent twist in the gut, but mostly I find proof in the stirring of the bowels. (Yeah, yeah, you don't want to know the details...funny how it's so hard to find language for it.)

Mostly I'm afraid of future attacks. A nuke or something biological. I almost feel as if I'm living too close to Boston for my own comfort. I almost want to become a survivalist. I don't want the nation to have revenge, I want us to have safety. Any pro-strong-cryptography leanings I ever had are now shot to hell. So few human rights seem to compare to the right just to go on living. And, as shallow as it sounds, with a certain quality of life. Food and good plumbing and medical care at the very least.

I got the same thing before Y2K, and to a lesser extent when I started thinking that some kind of deliberate EMF jolt could throw us into a stoneage, and then again in my early-2000 "mortality crisis". It's always based on some kind real possible threat, but it's not any kind of helpful reaction.

Ay, maybe I'll read my Mortality Guide. Doesn't cover that whole 'quality of life' thing, but you know.

Incidentally, that Nostradamus Prophecy 'predicting' the WTC event is a complete fabrication.

Quote of the Moment
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
Bertrand Russell, a quote from the Mortality Guide, never seemed more apt.

Link of the Moment
Something a little hopeful about New York City: forgotten NY. Kind of explores some of the old archaeological features of the place. I liked the special on "Arches and Bridges of Central Park".

not so great expectations

Quote of the Moment
I will never apologize for the United States. I don't care what the facts are.
George Bush (Sr.)
...this is the kind of attitude I'm very nervous about now. We need to hold ourselves more accountable.

Links of the Moment
I saw someone on TV from Jane's Information Group talking with the anchor and pointing out that they sort of were pointing to this ahead of time. Even though it's not clear if they offered enough specific detail to have prevented it, someone pointed out it's odd we haven't heard more about that.

Tom Burt, who claims to be a bit of a regular reader from the UK (wow, didn't know I had regular readers who wouldn't've already known me) made a reasonable Libertarian-ish argument against what I was saying about crypto and civil rights yesterday. He pointed me to this article on foreign policy that made some level of sense. (On the other hand, I think a generous foreign aid policy makes us allies that we really need...)

Here Zimran Ahmed, a Packistani, gives some details on the Middle East view of American foreign policy. For a certian perspective, we're the sponsors of state terrorism.

I find this Time magazine survey disturbing...we're so ready for war. We need to spend a LOT more time in diplomacy before we go marching off. Our European allies aren't as hawkish as we are right now.

Two pieces from UKs The Guardian, John Sawers thought that this one on how Americans can't see why others don't see them as the good guys was right on. They also had this piece on information about bin Laden's group gleaned from the US embassy bombing trial.

Finally, some people swear they saw the devil's face in the smoke at the WTC, before the collapse.

hope and bad jokes

Quote of the Moment
He said, 'Brother, if you don't mind, there is a cloud of glass coming at us, grab my hand, let's get the hell out of here.' He helped me stand up, and we ran for what seemed like forever without looking back.
A Muslim man tells how a Hasidic Jew helped him during the World Trade Center disaster, via this wired.com article

Stupid Link of the Moment
Just to get this over with, "Lucy" signed my guestbook and urged me to look up the "Virtual Shit" site. This thing has been around for a long time. It's the Virtual Dog Shit Creator. The joke is, it's even a bigger waste of time than it looks. You enter all these detailed parameters (weight, consistency, age, etc etc, a whole page worth), it tells you there's an error, you proceed anyway, you wait for 15 seconds, it 'calculates', then gives your picture of poo. The thing is, and I'm not sure if Lucy realized this, it's totally ignoring the parameters you select. Every time you reload the final page, it shows you one of several random pictures of poo. The huge array of parameters and the "working" timer page is just to get you to waste more time, and the random picture convinces you the controls are doing something.

Sort of funny, but more funny if you see what's going on.

from the T-shirt Archive: 20-22 of a Tedious Series
I'm getting sick of all these shirts (and actually, I think this is the dullest section, so I want to hurry through it) so I'm going to try three at a time.

thoughts of the produce section 1


Notes: 'Thoughts of the Produce Section' was a series I did in college and a little beyond Like a lot of art, it was done to impress women. It started as an oddball, inner-life-of-plants thing on the dormroom door message board of a woman I was trying to woo. Seen here are recently 'colorized' versions of remakes I did to impress Mo soon before we started going out, on Dinky Pad, a doodle program for the PalmPilot. (Hence the sever squiggle effec.) Some were original 'thoughts', some were remakes from the message board and other places.

The cherry's thought was one of the first ones I ever came up with, and the most poignant. (I used it to name a mix tape for the romantic interest as well, but she had me change it so it wouldn't prove problematic for her steady eddie boyfriend.) The Grapes are thinking a snippet of a prose poem I came up with. Orange's thought seems especially apropos these days, but it's not: I've been afraid of (in roughly this order) eternal damnation, nuclear M.A.D., Y2K, EMP blasts, mortality, and now nuclear terrorism. The mushroom thinks it's being deep.

wtc. wtf.

Funny of the Moment
Look at this!!!!

This is from Nostradamus, I think it's a bit vague, but don't you think he might have been predicting what happened the other day?

I'm really excited about this!

On Tuesday, some Arab maniacs will hijack the American Airlines plane
There will come a mighty rending as they open boxes with box-cuttters
President Bush will get hot buttocks
The whole caboodle will hit the world trade center with a massive bang!

Don't you think that's uncannily accurate? I do! It's amazing isn't it.

Yours sincerely,

A sad cunt who'll believe anything. And I mean fucking anything.

From alt.prophecies.nostradamus via alt.humor.best-of-uesnet.
It only really makes sense if you know the fake Nostradamus prophecies that were going around....

Image of the Moment

Click for Fullsize

A while before the tragedy, from Weather Picture of the Day

More Links
I know my mom isn't too keen on me posting stuff like this, but here's a piece where Richard Dawkins blasts Abrahamic religion, that even the 'good' type of it sets the stage so that the others could talk them into the glory of martyrdom. (via Bill the Splut's news, where the he's run through some chilling scenarios recently.)

Operation Desert Storm, Operation Just Cause (or 'Just Because' as some quipped at the time), Operation Overlord, how they come up with those names.(via memepool)

A view from a Afghani-American writer that's been going around a bit, though maybe not enough.

all in the branding

I think our car companies are sitting on a goldmine, if only they'd realize it. Afghanistan is very rugged terrain, there's a ton of money being poured in there, and I believe that Muslims deserve an SUV that reflects their lifestyle:

Of course, not to be out done, we Americans need a car that shows our determination to "rid the world of the evil-doers", and whose name echos the (admittedly ill-chosen) words of President Junior:

I mean, who needs a tough, durable vehicle more than the Islamic fighters? And what vehicle is more American than an SUV? These facts, combined with a transportation-vacuum created by people's reluctance to fly, might help revitalize America's struggling manufacturing sector...

speak microsoftly, carry a big stick

Funny of the Moment
"Gareth Flynn" wrote:
> They just had some guy using Microsoft
> Flight Simulator fly into the World Trade
> Center and The Pentagon as part of a report
> about how easy it is to learn how to do
> such a thing.

> Surreal.

Modern day truism: Not matter how bad the disaster someone will blame Microsoft.
Sam Maughan in uk.media.tv.misc (via alt.humor.best-of-usenet)

Image of the Moment

Candle Memorial at Davis Square, Somerville, September 19, 2001.

Link of the Moment
Making the rounds (via memepool) -- it's Robo-Roach, the Remote Controlled insect! "Researchers use only the american cockroach (Perplaneta americana) because it is bigger and hardier than most other species"-- take that all you other countries! We scoff at your puny roaches.

it's a hell of a fruit

Funny of the Moment
I think most people are interested in living a long and fruitful life, as you have.
Yes. Fruit is good, too, you mentioned fruit. Yeah. Fruit kept me going for a hundred and forty years once when I was on a very strict diet. Mainly nectarines. I love that fruit. It's half a peach, half a plum, it's a hell of a fruit. I love it! Not too cold, not too hot, you know, just nice. Even a rotten one is good. That's how much I love them. I'd rather eat a rotten nectarine than a fine plum. What do you think of that? That's how much I love them.
Two Thousand Year Old Man (Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner).
I had some nectarines yesterday. He's right, they're great! Plus, my diet right now is very fruit-centric anyway, so this quote really works for me.

Link of the Moment
If you really want to exercise your news addiction, with speed more important than confirmation/guranteed accuracy, Drudge Report (same guy who helped break MonicaGate) is it.

Quote of the Moment
We really are a challenge. And also because the modern technological world is interpreted through an American prism. We've always represented the future. And our popular culture has the ability to suck up their new emerging middle classes -- in Egypt and other Islamic and developing countries -- because it's informal, it's not aristocratic -- it's jeans, computers, music. Because it's an informal culture, anyone can join it, and it becomes very enticing. And that's the threat. They hate us, but it's a type of respect.

dispatch from ground zero

My mom is a Major in the Salvation Army, the church I grew up in. Although I no longer stand with them because of doctrinal differences, I support what they do. They really put their money where there mouth is when it comes to doing good works. The following is a message from Major Cheryl Miller, assistant secretary for program for the Salvation Army in NYC. (My mom was stationed in NYC from 1992-1998 or so.) I find it to be really moving.
Friday, September 14

I want to share my experience with you and I thought this way, through email, was the best way.

For the past two days, because of the tragedy in NYC on Tuesday, September 11, I have been at the Medical Examiner's building, better known as the morgue.

I went with Major Molly Shotzberger and I am now on her counseling team. It has been an experience, needless to say. We had a canteen there to serve coffee, food and whatever. But my job was to help the cops, doctors, nurses, medical examiners and who ever was involved with receiving the bodies for identification to get through the ordeal. We were there just to say, "How are you doing?" "Can I get you anything?" "Can I do anything for you?" Most of them said they were ok. They were going to make it through. Some of them wanted to talk. Talk about their feelings, their anger, their frustration. Some of them themselves lost "brothers and sisters" from their precincts and they were looking for them while they worked. On Wednesay when we first arrived at the morgue two cops came over to us and we said "What can we do for you?" "One of our members said we are here to help you." They said, "can you get us some American flags?" "We would like six flags." "Huge ones" We said, "Of course." Called Greater New York DHQ and requested the flags. They came a few hours later. We found those two same policemen who requested the flags and gave the flags to them. The one policeman's eyes started to well up with tears. We asked them what they were going to do with the flags. "Well," one officer who had tears streaming down his face said, "See those three semi trucks down the street?" "Well, those trucks have bodies of our fellow officers in them and we want to identify those trucks with the flags." They took the flags and draped them over the trucks. It was an awesome sight as we all stood there with tears now streaming down our cheeks.

During the course of the day we ran out of sandwiches. Just as the last sandwich was taken we weren't sure what we were going to do. Well, lo and behold, about 6 young people between the ages of 18 - 20 came up to one of our members at the canteen and said, "We just had to do something and we didn't know what to do. So we decided to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Can you use them?" Isn't God good?!

Other than the cops, doctors, nurses, medical examiners we were the only ones allowed to go right down where the bodies were being taken from the truck and examined. I was standing next to a cop and we were watching them take a body bag off the truck. Rather than take the bag into the protected room, they put the bag on a gurney and started to unzip the bag right there. I stood there with that cop and watched them examine the contents of the bag. I could only recognize a chared arm, the rest of the contents was beyond recognition. The cop said, "Do you see that?" I said, "Yes." I said, "Are you alright?" He said, "Yah." He said, "Are you alright?" I said, "Yah." Neither of us looking at each other during that small conversation. I turned to him and he just stood there shaking his head in unbelief. We talked for a few more minutes and then he went back to work. I touched his shoulder as he walked away to let him know I would pray for him. By Thursday the stench was unbearable. It was difficult to stand down at the place where they were taking the bodies out of the trucks. It was difficult to be standing there and trucks pulling into the area and knowing that bodies were in those trucks. The bodies were transported from Ground Zero to the morgue in a small truck. Then, once examined, they were transported to a bigger, refrigerator truck and kept there till it was full, and then taken to the Armoury where the families came to identify them.

I saw a lot of body parts in bags. Many bodies were not intact. Each part would be in its own bag. A couple of times when the bag was transported from the first truck to the gurney the sun was behind the bag and I could see through the bag and recognize what that item was. It is a picture I will never get out of my mind.

Another cop I was talking to was telling me that he was here when they brought in the Chief Fireman and Asst. Chief Fireman. They could not recognize either of the men. The cop was saying that the one on the left was naked and was charred all over his body. Unrecognizable. The one on the right was fully clothed but had no head and no arms. It was difficult for this cop to tell me this story.

On Thursday, when we were leaving the site and thinking that we were going to Ground Zero at 3:00p.m. (but couldn't because they were evacuating because they were afraid another building was going to collapse), a woman named Marilyn fell in front of the canteen. Several of us were there and helped her up. Two men standing there were doctors and they asked her if she wanted to be checked for any cuts. She said no. But she needed to sit down, so I found her a seat on a cooler and I knew she was distraught. I asked her what she was doing and if I could get her anything to eat or drink. She asked for a drink of water. I gave her a bottle of water and started to talk to her. I asked her where she was going. She said, "I have to find the crisis center. I have to talk to someone." I said, "Can you talk to me? Can I help you?" She started to tell me that she saw the whole thing. She saw the first plane hit, the second plane hit, and then witnessed the collapse of the buildings. She couldn't get the picture out of her mind. She can't sleep, can't eat and does a lot of crying. I talked to her for a few minutes, prayed with her and she said she felt so much better. Not because of me, but because I was able to tell her that there is hope; that God will see her through this. We were waiting for the van to come and pick us up, in fact it was late. I can't help but believe that God allowed that woman to trip near our canteen and made our van late so that I could have a few moments with Marilyn.

I am anxious to go down to Ground Zero. The firemen are requesting counseling so I know we are needed.

They are so many more stories I could tell you. Please share this with anyone you want.

I'm so thankful that Gary was not in the air at the time. He just got home on the Monday before from flying ontwo planes to get home. Just a week before the attack Gary and I were on the same route that one of the planes was taking from Newark Airport to San Franscisco (not the same airlines). God has been very good through all of this. Be in prayer.

Blessings, Cheryl

island pause

Image of the Moment

I've been scanning in my old photo album. This is one of my favorites, my dad and I on a public beach on St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) where my family lived for a year.

Quote of the Moment
How many times must I tell you? Queens consume nectars and ambrosia, not hot dogs.
King Tut on the old Batman series

sniffles and paranoia

Feel way under the weather. And now I'm neurotic about biological warfare! What fun! Could this be the first symptoms of anthrax contracted via inhalation? (Yeah I know it's not. Still, it says something about this age we'll be living in.)

Links of the Moment
Salon has had some interesting and disturbing articles lately about the people in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The most striking features are how they aren't really being true to Islam... First we are Pathan, then we are Muslim, finally we are either Pakistani or Afghan. The Islamic justification for some of the treatment of women is really weak, based on "hadith", sayings or rules that were collected after Muhammed's death, not on the Quran that they is considered the incorruptible word of god. I don't see how to fix it though. How do you get through to people whose mindset is that broken?

Funny of the Moment
Just a point of interest ...
If you bought $1000 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.
If you bought $1000 worth of Budweiser (the beer, not the stock) one year ago, drank all the beer, and traded in the cans for the nickel deposit, you would have $79.
My advice to you is to start drinking heavily
Making the Rounds


The other day, this appeared in my guestbook:
Kirk, Regarding "Mortality for Skeptics" and this whole 9/11 tragedy...would you ever like to go back in time (even to your high school days or so)and pick and choose people who were in your life more so at one time and let them know what they mean/meant to you. Would you let them know what they taught you? Was there anyone in your past that this would apply to?
--a certain someone, 2001.09.23
I don't know what to make of this. I feel like if I don't guess right about who it is (and really I'm very unsure) they'll feel bad.

I'm a nostalgic guy by nature. I value a lot of people who made me what I am today. From my high school days I probably miss my dad the most, or at least I wish he hadn't died when I was still going through my awkward early teen years, before I accomplished things that I value today. Other than that, I tend to turn to romances first, and then my circle of friends.

I'd love for whoever wrote this to contact me via e-mail, it sounds like we have something to talk about.

Thoughts of the Produce Section 2

(Notes: The strawberry's suggestion seems all too relevant these days, considering the possibility of us over-reacting in Afghanistan. Originally the banana's thought was about the destruction of culture, but now I'm more thinking of it from the sustenance it would provide. The carrot's line is from a jazz piece I think, and the lettuce's thought is now a bit defunct. I'm not sure if basketball would interest me anyway, actually. (More on the history of Thoughts of the Produce Section))

andre the giant has a posse

Phenomenology of the Moment
Andre the Giant has a Posse, baby. Stickers and Stencils with this theme used to show up all around Cambridge and Somerville, I think you can still see his visage on lamp posts near Porter Square. There's a really interesting story behind it. And now it's gone even farther. I printed out a poster of this original image and have it in my cubicle. I'm stickin' it to the man!

Quote of the Moment
My goal in life: Make it as close to a wacky sitcom as possible. So right now I've got the unfinished house, the crazy British girl, the actor/Reservist roommate, and the unseen character of Tom. Close.
Dylan Murray (Hi Dylan), September 25, 2001. If I remember correctly this has been a long term goal of his.

Links of the Moment
A February 1999 interview with bin Laden. Has a seriously ominous close. Contrast this with an essay by Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as "Cat Stevens". True Islam is actually one of the better religions, in terms of peace and tolerance...it's almost like it's being misused as a rough form of cultural glue. Finally, it's the face of evil as a geeky lanky teen.

boldly going

So I watched the first episode of "Enterprise" last night. A lot of geeks are complaining about the theme music, which was "Felicity"-ish alt rock, but I liked it... I mean, how many times can you do that orchestra with a lot of horns thing? Over all the show was pretty good, but sometimes it seems like the "first encounters" don't seem quite alien enough.

Funny of the Moment
First they came for the verbs, and I said nothing because verbing weirds language. Then they arrival for the nouns, and I speech nothing because I no verbs.
Usenet lore (via John Sawers)

Link of the Moment
Just to see what was up I visited (now defunct, alas) suck.com yesterday. The article there was actually a funny piece about growing up and old, with the following chart:


Paraphrase of the Moment
How to be safer these days? Wear a seatbelt. Don't smoke.
Daily Show guest quoting former member of National Security Council.
(Unfortunately, this is a paraphrase of a paraphrase.) The idea is that normal, everyday risks are much more likely to get us than the kind of attack that gets all the attention.

Funny Link of the Moment
It's Funny Stories of M-ura's Family. A collection of Reader's Digest-esque anecdotes of a Japanese person and the family. I'm not sure if it's the linguistics or the culture that's not quite translating, but I admire the effort and find this page fascinating and amusing.

read my head

Image of the Moment

--from a St. Petersburg Times article on patriotic tattoos. Two telling quotes: "It's painful" (Jack Hansen, shown above) and "Tattoo shops haven't seen a boom like this since Dale Earnhardt died, and people wanted the number 3 and 'Intimidator' scrawled on their bodies."

Concepts of the Moment:
Sabi: a mood--often expressed through literature--of attentive melancholy.

Wabi: a cozier, more object-centered aesthetic of less as more.

Wabi-Sabi: As a single idea, wabi-sabi fuses two moods seamlessly: a sigh of gentle melancholy, and a sigh of slightly bittersweet contentment, awareness of the transcience of earthly things, and a resigned pleasure in simple things that bear marks of that transcience.
Jim Spayde of Utne Reader
via Fifteen Megabytes of Fame - Amy Rosenthal finally found a name for the concept of the feeling she had.

falling for you

Funny of the Moment
The sanest New Year's I ever spent was two years ago, when my best friend Donald and I split a bottle of wine and played Jenga and a sort of mechanical fishing game with magnetic rods. At twelve o'clock we went outside to look at the fireworks and shook hands briskly. No nonsense, no drunken emotion, and we were in bed with cocoa by half past twelve. We vowed then and there to do the same for the Millennium, except maybe at Stonehenge.

Unfortunately, in the interim Donald has become affianced to a New Age lunatic, and he will be spending the Millennium several thousand feet above Stonehenge, performing a naked parachute jump with his intended and a white witch who will be performing a pagan wedding ritual in mid-air. As midnight approaches Donald will be required to penetrate his beloved whilst plummeting like a stone; the plan is that at the twelfth stroke he will bring her to orgasm, conceive their child, and pull the ripcords, all at the same time. As Donald has poor timing, a complete lack of ejaculatory control, and a hilarious history of handles breaking off at his touch, a unique combination of death and embarrassment seems likely to result.

He has a collection of essays on his website. At his best, he comes across as a British Fran Lebowitz, good cynical stuff.

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