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Under Construction

Ladies and Gents Who Lunch photos
Amtrack Dunsmuir station in California

September 11th, 2003

In Their SUV's
A fast, head down, eight hundred mile and hour day punctuated by a good lunch at a local Chinese restaurant with three of the usual suspects, followed by a couple of glasses of Guinness after work with MRP who was passing through town on his way from London before heading on to Hawaii and China. We sat there listening - yes, yes - London to Oakland to Hawaii to China (to catch the old emperor's Terra Cotta men on horses, don't cha know) thinking, well, this is another world, this is not our world. Our world is predictably crumbling around us - we've been through this before: failed projects, brain dead management - yet here is one of our own, laid off and two years jobless, jogging around the world in search of - what - techie satori, engineering enlightenment? Either way a decent day, nothing too horrendous on the news.

I Googled around this afternoon looking for air cleaners. Looking for entries on allergies earlier had led to a number of descriptions of symptoms similar to mine (vertigo, aching head etc.) that had been cured by air filtration, replacing old bed pillows and cleaning the apartment. "Oh", thought I. Maybe that's why some people do it so often. Clean their apartments. Something to think about over the weekend.

Later in the evening, the air warm as blood. Too warm, really, for a San Francisco evening, but nothing to complain about. I've been listening to the local Public Radio station, an interview with one of their Iraq correspondents who's written a book describing the war and its aftermath. What was her low point? When she realized how totally unprepared we were once we'd arrived, how really badly the job was being done. We evidently arrived without a clue, not an hour's preparation or planning, no understanding whatsoever of how dangerous mismanagement of the situation could become.

You do harp on.

Maybe it's Malaprop, my evil twin. I space out at the keyboard for even a moment and he's wailing on this Iraqi shit, "Bush is a bad guy", all of that. Even Republicans blow smoke on Bush these days in Oakland.

You have Republicans in Oakland?

They commute in from the suburbs in their SUV's.

The photograph was taken at the Dunsmuir Amtrack station in California.