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Uncertain Principles

Physics, Politics, Pop Culture

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Greetings From the Nineteenth Century

For the second time since we bought the house, we had to flee due to a lack of electricity, part of the gigantic East Coast blackout. As of this moment, they're apparently still arguing about what caused the outage (Canadian officials say it was lightning, Americans deny it).

We were right on the edge of the affected region-- some local towns never lost power at all, others are still out. Weirdly, some of the unaffected areas seem to be completely surrounded by blacked-out areas. I have no idea how that works. We lost power a bit after 4:00, and had it back by 9 or so. Kate and I passed the time by driving around looking for businesses that were still open.

People in Manhattan are not so lucky-- as far as I know, The City is still without power. Meanwhile, it must be hard to breathe in Basra from the stink of schadenfreude...

Here's hoping all our New York friends, relatives, and acquaintances make it through all right. The last thing The City needs is more stress...

(Relevant to the title I used a few posts back, I vividly remember the last major blackout that the New York area suffered, in July of 1977 (largely because we got into a traffic accident that night). Talking about it in the car earlier, we realized that Kate actually hadn't been born then. God, I feel old...)

Posted at 10:04 PM | link | follow-ups | 2 comments

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Mad at the World

I've spent the last few weeks pretty much continually pissed off by something or another. Some of the causes of this are identifiable (the fact that getting a dog has turned out to be much more of a hassle than we expected, the debased nature of politics at the moment, a variety of irritating things at work), others not so much, but the end result is that I've found myself getting inordinately pissed off at small problems for a good while now. It's gotten to the point where idiotic Windows crashes can catapult me from being in a pretty good mood to muttering vile curses under my breath in the space of a few seconds.

As you might expect, I'm not especially happy with this state of affairs. As a result, I'm going to make an attempt to stop doing things that piss me off to no good end, at least for a little while. Which means a dramatic reduction in the time I spend wrestling with Windows and associated applications, and reading and posting to weblogs.

This isn't a cold-turkey cut-off-- if nothing else, I've left the particle physics discussion hanging for more than long enough, and I will try to post the last installment this week-- but I'm going to be turning the computer off, and spending more time reading and doing useful housework, and less time futzing around with vanity pages. I've got one or two half-finished blog posts in the queue, which I'll try to finish out one of these days, but by and large, there won't be much new here in the next few weeks.

Unless, of course, this post kicks off an avalanche of new stuff. But I wouldn't bet on that.

Posted at 8:22 PM | link | follow-ups | 12 comments

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