Another fun-filled birthday for me... 29 on the 29th. Big f'n deal. I don't care about the numbers. I decided years ago that no matter what happened on the outside, a part of me on the inside would always stay 18. And I think I managed to pull it off, until several months ago. Now I'm starting to feel like I've outstayed my welcome on this planet...
But, what can I do? Really only two choices, and I've still got too big an ego for suicide, so... "Though I grow so weary, I must linger on, 'til I've done it all, and my will has just gone..." Happy freakin' birthday, right? ;} I'll be OK as soon as we get to that blues bar tonight.
On to the macrocosm... Hurricane Floyd has touched me personally. Took me three hours to get to work that Friday morning after, instead of the usual half-hour. I ran out of gas on Route 17, luckily within a hundred feet or so of a gas station. A woman stopped to help me get the car to the station entrance, and then an attendant and a customer helped me get it the rest of the way to the pump. I got to work an hour and a half late, and realized that my boss wasn't in yet, so I had to scramble to get the company's LAN up and running! My mobile phone was out of commission most of the weekend, and the four feet of water I drove through (Lake Teterboro) seens to have had an adverse effect on my Toyota's engine. She never died on me, though. :) My boss actually never made it to work that day, nor was he able to call in.
All that paled in comparison with the news from Taiwan a few days later, though. We work closely with several factories in the Republic of China, and I was relieved when I heard two days later that everyone at them was OK. There was, however, a tremendous loss of life, even if it was only a percentage of the death toll in Turkey. I couldn't help thinking that, were China not dependent to a certain extent on the rest of the world, this would have been a chillingly perfect moment to invade the 'renegade province' they consider Taiwan to be and effect reunification.
Speaking of Turkey, it was heartwarming to see the Turkish and Greek governments reaching out to each other in their respective times of need, despite their long-standing differences. While Beijing did entend generous offers of financial and other assistance to Taipei, the cold war of words continues, and it's a shame. China refuses to see the reality that Taiwan effectively is an independent nation, even without the formal recognition of the rest of the world. But the Taiwanese government does want reunification with the mainland, so perhaps it's time the Communists dropped the rhetoric and began negotiating with the island on equal terms. Neither side wants a war, and a war would unfortunately not be isolated to those two parties, but could quickly escalate into a regional or even global conflict. For all its bluster and military might, Beijing is not capable of swiftly and decisively entering and overtaking Taiwan.
I hope the destruction in Taiwan doesn't add to Apple's already extensive delays with the G4s and the breathtaking iBooks. I'm planning on getting one of the latter (in blueberry) myself within the next few months. But Motorola is already hampering the G4's production lines, and it would be a shame if the Cupertino company, rejuvenated by the iMac, G3s and G4s, and now the iBook, suffers a major setback because factories in Taiwan were devastated.
"And I raise my head and stare, Into the eyes of a stranger... I've always known that the mirror never lies... People always turn away from the eyes of a stranger, Afraid to know what lies behind the stare." - Queensrÿche, "Eyes of a Stranger" (from Operation: Mindcrime)
No more for me, thanks, I'm drivin'. See you in a few weeks... - A