Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Peter Iredale 2008

This was once a 2075 ton, Liverpool built, 4 masted barque. It was the largest vessel built by Riston and Co. in 1890. In 1906, during a squall at the mouth of the Columbia, she ran a ground. This is all that is left of her.
Many people come and visit this most famous wreak on the Oregon Coast. Her rusting hulk, including the bases of all four masts, rests on a broad beach for all to see.
She has not ventured to sea since coming to rest here over 100 years ago. Her last port of call was Santa Cruz Mexico. Still the rusting iron and steel that remains knows not of her condition. It awaits, such as it is, riveted together awaiting the next voyage.
The ships hull still lives with the sea, while almost all of its brethren, long since turned into railroad iron, bridge steel, or nails, has broken that connection. Its barnacle encrusted hull tastes the salt sea each day at high tide, doing battle with the elements. She arguably has more visitors in her and on her than any other barque in the world.
And still her steel plates, whose surface resembles the surface of Mars, wait for the crew to heave away at the capstan that no longer exists, and hoist anchor to sail away.
Peter Iredale, the owner of the ship, has bones probably turned to so much dust, while his namesake rests in her still multi-tonne glory waiting. Waiting for a voyage that we know will never come. To the visitor she looks dead, is dead. But to the steel there is no thought to death or life.
It is a thing made for a purpose. And even though its original purpose ended 102 years ago, the iron and steel have a new purpose. It is a monument, a talisman, a rune as well as a ruin. What men walked her decks? What was life like back then? Where did that world go and why? So much is brought up to the surface of the mind by old rusting steel and iron.
As I write this the tide is in. The wreak is surrounded in the inky darkness by the cold North Pacific, its steel and iron doing battle with the sea, as it was meant to be.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Debate Rehash September 2008

I had a billion (actual number much lower) things to do on Friday so I listened on the radio in my car as I sped here and there doing stuff for other people that would mean the end of the world if they didn't get done.

Here is my two cents worth:

Here are two guys who actually want to get stuck with the job dealing with gigantically f'd up situations across the world, of every conceivable flavor. From anarchic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to a nuclear N. Korea ruled by (fill in the blank), to Putin the puppet-master in Moscow, to an Arctic Ice sheet meltdown, to a financial meltdown.

Looking at both guys, listening to them, and what they did say and what they did not say, I felt confident that in January one of these guys will be President. Other than that I am not sure where my confidence should lay. On the whole Obama has history on his side. McCain in his "We're winning in Iraq, we're winning in Iraq" mantra sounded almost not to believe himself.

Obama also came across as the man who was more realistic in what we can and should be doing in the World. McCain wanted to paint himself as the clear military leader, and I think he did that. But there in resides a big problem for McCain. Most of the situations in the world require far broader ability than to simply be a good general.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Palin

Here are some things to chew on:

1) If your teenage daughter tells you she is pregnant, would you willingly through her into the American Political sausage grinder just to be VP?

2) If you were the Presidential nominee of your party and new that the lady had a teenager in the dilemma of her life, would you willingly through the kid under the political bus just to get some female votes?

3) If you were a anti-choice person would you really want a spokesperson who is the poster-parent for how NOT to keep children from getting pregnant out of wedlock?

4) If you wanted to be VP and use your family as a back drop for how much of a family person you are, could you really be too upset that people talk when it is shown that your kid is knocked up?

5) Since your party made its mark by dragging private life into public life, could you really be too surprised that you are getting what you asked for?

To the rest of America: Do we really want 4 more years of the Beverly Hill Billies? I know the Hill Billies answer to this question. What about all of you who actually think?