Saturday, July 30, 2011


Isn’t there some saying about how the wheels that grind slowly grind finely? In any case, my employment situation’s wheels must be grinding to the consistency of glacial rock flour, as slowly as this situation continues to unfold. I know I will get there eventually, and do have plenty to keep me busy in the extended interim.

I have recently resumed studying Russian with a software suite that is much advertised in print. Picking things back up has gone well, though I have started over from lesson one instead of where I last left off. I hope to be able to make a habit of studying and get all the way through the lessons in the reasonably near future. Being fluent in Russian would serve the Cause quite well.

There are some interesting pieces of cinema headed to theaters in the next year or so. I wonder whether I’ll be able to see them, depending upon where I end up when. The prequel to a perennial favorite comes out this October: “The THING”. It looks like it might be a decent re-remake of one of those really horrifying flicks from my probably-too-early childhood. In November another remake comes out of one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors: “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”. Given the great cast, I really hope this does well, and they go on to finish the trilogy by filming the other two books. Fast forward to next summer’s major blockbuster/tent pole flick: “The Dark Knight Rises” will probably do some serious box office damage, even if our economy has already been wrecked by folks elected to do quite the opposite. Hit the time warp a few more months into the future, and you will have the 23rd installment in one of the most suave, debonair, and profitable franchises: the next James Bond movie. I have seen the last two ones, by happenstance, in New Zealand and Australia on my way home from the Pole. And, to round out 2012, we will have another financial juggernaut unleashed from the land of Kiwis: the first Hobbit movie (of two). I’m sure it will be done very well, and I will have to just let it go and deal with all the departures and additions the make to the much beloved book. Anyhow, along with all the real adventures of life in the actual world, these doses of escapism should be nice distractions from whatever potential new bits of unpleasantness the global economic downturn has in store.

Our wave of hot summer temperatures lives on, though yesterday we got the better part of a much-needed inch of rain. Hitting the century mark has become no big deal, as it does when a “-“ precedes the temperature instead of a “+”. You just adapt and get accustomed to whatever the new norm is, or you waste a lot of time complaining.

“Few can foresee whither their road will lead them till they come to its end.”
~Legolas, Lord of the Rings

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Still Independent (of Employment)

Well, the last few weeks have just ticked by in a flash. I have yet to make any serious inroads into my employment situation, but can derive whatever comfort there is from the fact that there are plenty of other folks facing a similar daunting challenge. It will work itself out eventually, but hopefully I will not have to deal with anything in the meantime as unpleasant as I did the last two weeks.

I was called for jury selection, and was subsequently called to be one of the final 14 (12 primary and 2 alternate) jurors for a set of local criminal cases. It took about 1.5 weeks to go through the whole process, from selection to deliberation and verdict reading, and it was certainly a unique set of experiences in my life. It felt pretty weird really judging the guilt of someone else, and to have it not be the petty judgmental behavior so many folks (myself included) engage in frequently. This was real life, and the consequences of the decision had serious consequences on the lives of those involved. I felt pretty strange afterward, but know some of that had to be the fact that we did not finish the last day until 1:30 in the morning. It really was an eye-opening experience, and I am very glad to be immune from being called for another 2 years. That is all I’ll say about it; no further comments forthcoming.

Weather here has been suitably warm for summer here, with 5 of the last 6 days topping 100 degrees. Yesterday our thermometer registered 107 degrees here at home, which was the highest I have seen this summer. However, as I write, a nice rain is falling, which should get the grass growing at breakneck speed once the sun gets back to shining.

“For neither birth, nor wealth, nor honors, can awaken in the minds of men the principles which should guide those who from their youth aspire to an honorable and excellent life, as Love awakens them.”