Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Show Me

I had the pleasure of a little road trip to the Show Me State (and just beyond) last week, and saw some cool stuff and some family members I hadn’t caught up with since getting home. Most of the time was spent in and around St. Louis, which I had never really gotten a chance to get to know, other than on I-70 at speed. Downtown held the famous Arch and the old courthouse where the Dred Scott case was tried.

Directly adjacent to the Arch is the Mississippi River, which was at a pretty elevated level. The Lewis and Clark statue was barely visible, though I think “George W. Bush Emerging from the Waters” would be a more apt name, at least with what was visible.

Off to the west a bit I visited Laumeier Sculpture Park, which had some interesting installation. One was a real eye full…

Across the river in Illinois, we visited the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. There you can see the remains of a culture that built numerous earthen mounds, including the huge Monks Mound. They did a pretty impressive job for folks without the wheel or the horse. A big city of 20,000 people here north of Mexico definitely jars with the preconceptions a lot of us probably have grown up with. National Geographic had a good article on Cahokia back in their January 2011 issue.

Going and coming, I got to drive with my lovely grandmother, which was fun. It’s quite something having a conversation with somebody who still remembers when Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic the first time.

I also saw the movie "THOR" and continued to be unemployed, neither of which are all that exciting.
“A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.”
~Mark Twain

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Well, the long overdue death of OBL has yet to wreak miraculous turnarounds on the job market (not that I expected it to). My particular field just seems to keep being whittled smaller and smaller, with fewer opportunities apparently available at all levels. Don’t believe me?

Take a look here

And here

And here

And finally here, across the pond

So, one starts to consider alternate paths that might take greater or lesser departures from previous plans. One also considers their fallback option(s) to try and wait out the situation in order to just keep money coming into the coffers. There is nobody to be angry at for the world being like this. It is just too big and impersonal a set of commingling forces, and unfortunately for some folks it is happening at an especially bad time (or, time and time again) in their brief, mortal lives. One just has to keep trying, and eventually find some happy medium. It still stinks, though.

On the up side, there have been a lot of avian arrivals in the yard here in the last couple days. I’ve seen gold finches, a brown thrasher, a Baltimore oriole, and a hummingbird. There must be several mockingbirds in the area, too, because the number of bird calls sometimes seems way beyond the variety of birds visible. Nature could not care less about the plight of any economy, which is reassuring in its own way.

Also a positive is that I didn't have to fight at Gallipoli in World War I. Here's a belated ANZAC Day remembrance from a damn Yank, for what it's worth.

“Why is a crooked letter and can’t be made straight… never mind why, just get up, pus-head! Get up! The day’s young!”
~Cort, “The Gunslinger” by Stephen King