Runcible Blog

Sort of not quite busy

There are a few things I've been meaning to write or finish writing (including travel tales) that I haven't gotten around to yet. I'll do that soon.

Get a Haircut and Get a Real Job

Tomorrow I'll return to the ranks of the employed as a "consultant" at the Eagle Tribune doing perl programming and junk like that. It seems challenging, to say the least. This job could lead to other things, too. Although it seems like they would want someone to become familiar with the system and be a full time employee, I can't see myself hammering on computers at a job for more than a year or two. I want to help promote peace in the world and generally do some good in the long term, not solve computer puzzles for years on end. But, I'll take one step at a time.

Let's Roll

I'm leaving for New Orleans today. I hope the car makes it, but just in case it doesn't, I don't want to hype this trip too much. More information (including the cornucopia of food I'm bringing) is at the travel blog.

A New Month

I was awoken early yesterday morning to the news that someone was murdered down the street from my home. The murder was Lawrence's first of 2003 and certainly the first one on my street that I can remember. This neighborhood typically is quiet with only few car thefts or break-ins. But violence and crime have been spreading outward from downtown Lawrence for many years. It's a shame.

I returned to sleep only to awake to the news of more death. The loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven is a national tragedy. I was only three years old when the Challenger exploded during its launch, but I know that the event gripped the nation and was serious enough for people to remember exactly where they were when they heard of the disaster. Even now, people can recall what they were doing on that fateful day in 1986, yet I feel that Columbia's destruction is somehow less important to many today. Flipping through the channels to find more information, I noticed at least one major network showing Saturday morning cartoons even as the other networks were playing and replaying the footage of the shuttle crumbling through the Texas sky.

Perhaps the American public has become desensitized to reports of terrible events since September 11, 2001. Maybe the only way to attract our attention is with bigger and more visible displays of large-scale destruction than the ones we've already seen. I certainly hope that is not the case, but indications show that we as a people are developing a narrower view of the world -- a self-centered view that turns a blind eye toward global crises and even prefers not to examine domestic problems that affect two hundred million of our own neighbors.

I was thinking last night in bed about how horrible the astronauts' death must have been. Knowing that there is no escape from impending incineration and being trapped in a metal shell traveling 12,000 miles per hour toward earth must be absolutely frightening. Although the astronauts thoroughly understand the risks of space flight, I don't think many people are prepared to face such a demise.