NPR has been running a story about torture and the debate over torture. I can’t believe there is even a debate about torture in this country.
The thing that depresses me most is that five years ago, I could look a foreigner in the eye and say that while this country has done some bad things, it does not permit torture. I can’t do that anymore.
Today my supervisor commented that I need new socks. I am wearing uniform socks, but they are not the right uniform socks. I wear the brown uniform boot socks, because at my other jobs I’d wear uniform boots to work. Here I wear uniform dress shoes.
The uniform supplier does not offer uniform socks for the uniform dress shoes, which means I have to buy my own socks, which is fine, but it is up to my judgement to buy the correct type. Which is what I was doing anyway: my uniform boot socks are brown, they are still uniform boot socks. I hope the management here pays as much attention to things that matter as they pay to my socks.
Gulf Islands forwarded a nice letter to me from a man who had read my article about the barrier islands after Hurricane Katrina. He worked there a long time ago and remembers it fondly. I’m pleased that he actually took the time to write to me.
After a short visit to our visitor center and seeing a film about Herbert Hoover’s childhood, a chubby nine year old who also seemed a bit slow said, for no apparent reason, “I like pie.”
His father retorted sardonically, “Yes, you do.”
I was watching “Rome: Engineering an Empire” on the History Channel when Robocop Peter Weller appeared to comment on one of the emperors. Wild!
Another interesting tidbit: he also played a Continental Army soldier in the film at the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center in Morristown National Historical Park, where I once worked.
My parents are in town for the weekend. I only have Sunday off, though. We’re going to Amana tomorrow; Amana is an Amish area and the biggest tourist attaction in Iowa. It’s very close to Iowa City. This evening I broiled bratwurst for the first time and set off the smoke alarm (I rarely broil anything). They must now think all of my meals involve setting off the smoke alarm.
I’m pretty beat from trying to catch up at the zillions of little tasks at work. The interp program there needs a good overhaul and the site needs an injection of life. It is not well visited and attendance (along with funding) is declining. Our friends group (a fundraising non-profit partner to the site) organized a costumed interpretation day with some volunteers but it was not well-attended.
In other news, my high-speed internet finally got connected this week. I have a nice new computer desk. I just have to get rid of the old desk and table I was using; they are dismantled and squirreled away around the apartment. I have a few more tasks left before the apartment is squared away. I’m really tired of the “moving in” process by now.
I rid myself of one the last vestiges of Mississippihood today when I got my Iowa driver license. I’ve already changed my license plates, auto insurance, and voter registration. I still have the cell phone number though, and I’m not in a hurry to change it.
I got a little taste of Iowa though. In the small town where I work they had “Hometown Days”, a sort of town fair. Mostly the local folks attended. There was a parade of local firetrucks and civic groups, and antique tractors (sorry no photos). I had never seen a parade of tractors before. Very middle-American stuff. They had events scheduled too like camel rides. And there was a cheerleader creamed corn eating contest. A small, twisted part of me deep inside wanted to see that very badly.
Well, I’ve been busy as a bee making this apartment habitable. I could barely see the floor last week, but I’ve spent just about all of my free time unpacking and putting away my stuff. I still don’t have high-speed internet (I’m using dial-up until I get a new modem). I also need to clear about fifteen square feet of floor space by getting rid of that awful computer desk I hate so much. I have two lamps on order. And I haven’t put the books on the shelf or hung the pictures on the wall. I want to wait until I get a new computer desk and decide the final places of the furniture.
My stuff is coming tomorrow. No more sleeping on the floor! No more eating out! No more 45-minute computer sessions at the library!
I just got back from training at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield near Springfield, Missouri. I think this was the Missour-ah part of Missouri. I drove the eight hours down on Tuesday and eight hours back today for eight hours of training Wednesday. If it sounds like a lot of driving for one day of class, it was. The training was my annual HAZWOPER (that’s hazardous waste operations and emergency removal for those who care) refresher, which is probably worth it.
I didn’t see much of Wilson’s Creek except the around the loop road. They have a pretty good light map exhibit in the visitor center. I didn’t get a chance to see their new museum. I didn’t see much of Springfield either, as I was in a hotel in the nether regions of the city by the interstate. I’m going back for a longer training next month, so I’ll explore a little more then.
After two days of driving, one day of class, and two evenings loafing around a hotel, I am pretty creaky. It felt good to walk to the library this evening.
I like living near downtown! I didn’t use my car at all yesterday.
Today I need to buy a lamp. The apartment doesn’t have light fixtures except in the kitchen and bathroom. My former apartment had light fixtures all over the place.
I moved into a small one-bedroom apartment this week. My stuff will not be delivered until the 12th at the earliest.
I was unsure about renting a place so small–I may have to unload a couple of pieces of furniture–but I can walk downtown. There’s a food coop nearby, and the commute to work is pretty short. And at least I’m out of the hotel: cable or no cable I don’t like living in hotels.