September 11th, 2007

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Erdsee

Finished Ch. 1 of Wizard of Earthsea -- well, OK, Der Magier der Erdsee -- this morning. So far, so good. I think I was right about its readability -- simple enough that I can read it with only occasional stumbles and look-ups, yet interesting enough just as a story that I actually want to read it. Another German read like that was a book of Hans Christian Anderson stories my mom gave me. Those must be the most melancholy "children's stories" ever, but especially so in German. There's a Tim Burton movie in them for sure.

One interesting thing for me so far in Earthsea is that I keep having to remind myself that the main characters aren't white, which was a conscious choice by the author. The yucky Kards who attack in the first chapter are white-skinned with blond hair, while the natives are all dark. The thing is, their village is described like some kind of Alpine village, thatched roofs and all, so it's hard not to revert to traditional European Middle Ages type imagery, like pale redheads and so on. Not that it's sooooo important but I find it interesting that my mind keeps picturing white people. I just find it hard to think otherwise. This ties in to a discussion otterdance (Lynn Flewelling) brought up a couple of weeks ago, re reader perceptions of race in fantasy lit.

Next chapter? "Die Schatten," i.e. "The Shadows." I don't know what happens so don't tell me.
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Colin Powell Speaks

"What is the greatest threat facing us now? People will say it's terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves."

COMMENT: Yes, it's sad CP is only NOW able to stand up and say these things. But on the other hand, I think he's probably the highest placed (former) admin official to make these sort of comments, i.e. things that are not parroting the Cabal.

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I know I live in the city, but...

...excuse me, exactly who made the decision to do some jackhammering and concrete blasting at 11 at night directly across the street from me?

It's been going on for an hour now. Best I can tell, it's a crew blowing up the sidewalk or road on Forsyth St., probably to fix or install some sewer or electric. Oh, and now they're whacking something, like metal against a truck bed or something. Oh, and the jackhammer is back, full throttle. Not like I plan on being in bed anything too soon, but OTHER people, you know, live on the couple floors below me and go to bed at 9.

Meanwhile I still feel the absolute worst for the people who live in the main building at the Muse's apartment building. Every night around 1 a.m. (or later) there's a garbage truck pickup right next to the building, from Park Tower across the street I think, and it makes the worst racket. I'm a block away, five floors up and I can't help but notice it. And sure enough, I'll check and there'll be the truck.

Other fun city night noises, most of which I ignore, been doing so for 10 years:

screaming crazy people
people having fights
city trash collectors
boom boom cars
police sirens
ambulance sirens
fire trucks
fire alarms
car alarms
train whistles
MARTA buses
concerts
fireworks

Right now? I'm thinking 11:47 is just way too late for jackhammering. In fact I'm sure this violates the city noise ordinance. (I remember back when the sidewalks in our neighborhood were being redone and I swear the works would start at like midnight and would rattle the windows at the Metropolitan.)

UPDATE: 12:24 a.m. and they're still at it. Jackhammering, yep. And now that my glasses are on, I see there are 4 guys digging, 2 guys watching them dig, bright lights, a backhoe, and half a dozen trucks. They appear to be working on a bit of sidewalk by the alley behind 55 Marietta. Given that that's a telecom tower, it's probably something to do with either an info pipeline or power.