Areas of Unrest
10 June 2001 - Scraps of Paper
QOTD: "A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor." - Ring Lardner
Reading: Graham Collier and Patricia Graham Collier, Antarctic Odyssey
Listening to: Ross Altman, Tales From the Lincoln Bedroom
First of all, I finally got my Malta travelogue done. It's long, but I've gotten positive response so far.
Next, I want to clean out the clippings file. You all know by now that Dipendra became king, then died, and all news from Nepal has vanished from the U.S. media. What surprised me was how few of the people I talked about the story with knew that there's a Maoist insurrection going on there. The most amazing question I heard in that context was "are they left-wing Maoists or right-wing Maoists?" I'm still trying to figure out what a right-wing Maoist would believe.
The other world news story I noted this week (from Tuesday's Wall Street Journal) was the death of Chenjerai Hunvzi, the man behind the invasion of white-owned farms in Zimbabwe. He supposedly died of malaria. What makes the story especially interesting is that he is the third senior member of Mugabe's inner circle to die in the past six weeks. Maybe I've read too many mysteries, but I've just got to find that suspicious. Are there poisons that have symptoms similar to those of cerebral malaria?
The final clipping I want to note is from Technology Review and describes miniature unmanned air vehicles. The article says "field soldiers will be able to assemble the five-piece plane on the spot, program the flight path, launch the craft with a flick of the wrist and view a real-time video image of enemy territory." The part that intrigued me is the "flick of the wrist." Will the Marines who will deploy these be tested for their skills with paper airplanes?
I haven't spent quite the whole week reading odds and ends of news. Actually, I had rather a hectic week. Tuesday's trip up to Sunnyvale was exhausting, and not a particularly good use of my time. I had to drive out to Azusa on both Wednesday and Thursday. Both of those meetings were sources of frustration and I spent much of Friday trying to write up my comments in my activity report in a reasonably tactful manner. On the plus side, the Wednesday session included a tour of the new high bay, although nothing was actually being tested in the chambers. We did get to peek into the clean rooms (through the windows) and we garbed up to go into the old high bay and look at some sensor hardware. My more cynical side suggests that the tour was intended to distract us from the real subject of the meeting (some rather controversial development processes), but it was fun anyway.
We finished late enough on Wednesday that it wasn't worth trying to go back to my office, so I drove down to a needlework store in Garden Grove that I rarely have time to get to and bought a few odds and ends. Then I drove to Long Beach for storytelling there. I've really got to work on the backlog of crafts projects, which wasn't helped any by seeing a needlepoint kit I just had to have when I was at Wildfiber on Saturday. By the way, I was there for a demo of machine knitting. I was thinking that getting a knitting machine was quite tempting, but they're very expensive, with new ones running from $800-3500. I mentioned that to my mother this morning and found out that she has one, bought for 20 bucks at a garage sale and never used!
Finally, last night was the final storytelling concert of the season at the Beverly Hills Library. It was as much folk music as storytelling, with Ross Altman and Katy Rydell. Katy's been writing some songs herself, too. I was especially pleased that she told the story of her running a marathon. And I was glad to hear Ross sing his song about the last election, which I'd heard briefly on NPR at the time.
With all this frantic activity, it's no wonder that all I managed to do today was run a few errands. Laundry, cleaning the bathroom, major cooking (with subsequent major dishwashing) - another Sunday down the drain.
Copyright 2001 Miriam H. Nadel
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