I think everyone would like to turn back the clock right now.
The last couple of days has been draining. I’m so glad I live in Canada right
now, and that the people that I know in the New York area are all ok. My
heart goes out to those who are not as lucky as I.
My parents know exactly where they were when JFK was assasinated, and when man
set foot on the moon (or a soundstage in the desert if you believe that sort of thing).
Perhaps my generation will be asked “where were you when the World Trade
Center was destroyed?” I’d have to answer that yes, I do remember where I
was, and no, I have not forgotten (but I’m typing this out just in case). I
was sitting here, at my computer, as I do every morning, eating my bowl of
cereal (does cereal go stale? should I really care that the “EXP DATE” is
“Mar 10 00” or something like that?) and surfing my favorite sites so that I
don’t do too much personal surfing at work when I got a call from
Engel asking for the bosses number. I gave it to him, and he said “oh, and as
an aside, you might want to turn on the TV.” What channel? “Any channel.” I
did, and sat in horror until I left for work to spend the next 8 hours in a
semi-dream state, at some times barely holding it together, with a huge well
of something in my throat, threatening to come out. Most of the day we all
clustered around the TV, waiting to see what was happening next, watching as
information was slowly stirred and the false bits and the true bits (or
rather, the completely out of wack bits and the other, “real” information)
were stirred by CNN in an attempt to let the world know what was going on.
Some thought it was a prelude to war, others like myself thought that it was
terrorism, and at least hoped that it was “only” that. Too many books have
been written by Tom Clancy and the like which started with some distraction
such as this.
Needless to say I’m glad that the worst appears to be over, and I can only sit
and wait like many others for any word from the media as to the toll. I can
hope that it isn’t as high as it could be. A few bright spots I’ve found
however. All around the net, people were rallying to mirror news sites that
were un-accessable or down. CNN switched to
a single page of text and a single graphic in an attempt to keep the news
flowing out. In the aftermath, X10, whom I
would normally hate (they are the ones with those pop-under ads), modified all
their pop-under ads to this
image, a plea to give blood. Around the net now there are other sites
where people can let others know they are all right, or search for loved ones.
Through it all the people in the midst of it all seemed calm and collected. A
state of shock perhaps, but there was no mass hysteria that I could see on the
reports, which is a huge credit. Like I said, at times I barely held it
togeather and I was across a continent, in another country, many degrees
All around the world people have been rallying behind those affected.
Huge sums of money have been donated Hint: Look at
the number in the mid-right of the page (currently I see $1,854,891.55). Now
reload and see how much the number has changed (now I see $1,855,578.80).
$687.25 in a few seconds… not bad. Oh, now it’s $1,856,767.80. A call for
blood has not yet gone outside the country, but all around the world huge
supplies of blood are from what I understand ready to get shipped. I plan to
see if I can find a center somewhere locally and head there tomorrow night. I
suggest that you may consider doing the same. A lot of “what can I do” is out
there as well, and donating at the above page (Amazon is waiving their usual take of donations,
very good of them) or giving blood. If you don’t have time right now, that’s
probably all right. Blood has a storage span of something like 21 days, so
they will need more as the first batches run out. Even if it’s not needed by
the NYC victims, it’s something you (and I) should be doing regularily anyway.
That and spread the word, spread the links, and spread your good wishes and
I really pity anyone wearing a turban in the states for the next while,
after hearing some of the reactions (through CNN) on US radio (“what more
does it take before we nuke them!” type stuff). A quote from Ghandi that I
heard was something along the lines of “if everyone took an eye for an eye
everyone would be blind” (mis-quoted I’m sure).
On a lighter note, the arcterex.net server
got upgraded to the latest of everything including the kernel (requiring the
reboot) and lost it’s precious uptime 🙁
22:33:01 up 127 days, 53 min, 2 users, load average: 2.64, 1.85, 1.58