Sunday, August 26, 2007

That’s a helluva spider

I’m really starting to wonder if somebody upstairs is messing with my head, if perhaps he or she who rules the universe is perhaps engaging in one of those games where you try to connect a bunch of dots by only passing over each dot once. The result is a web where every dot is connected, but yet not.

Bear with me for a moment.

Now I live in a small town in a small state, so feeling like I know everyone and everyone knows me is a common thing. But lately, the connections have been sprouting up at an almost alarming rate and in the strangest of circumstances. If people are the dots on the page, it’s almost like each time I touch one of the dots, four or five new lines sprout out and connect to other dots.

At any rate, if I have any more strange coincidences, conversations with friends and acquaintances that begin, “Oh, I know so-and-so, we used to work together” or “Oh yeah, she’s the sister of my best friend’s mother” I think I may just come unhinged. This has happened, in one way or the other, on multiple occasions just in the last week. And each time it seems to be in a very odd context. It hasn’t been a pleasant, “Oh yay, another friend sort of thing” but rather an uncomfortable sort of context, a context that makes me uneasy and worry that the next connection could be one that makes my life very difficult.

Damn tangled web. Somebody needs to step on this spider

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Why do volcanos erupt?

The Spoof, an online news satire site, has the following story that offers the real reason for Alaska's geologic unrest:

Volcano's pavlovian reaction to Corrupt Bastards Club furor
Anchorage, Alaska - (Armageddon Press): One of Alaska's most active volcanos appears to be having what scientists have described as an 'anthropomorphic pavlovian reaction' to the furor surrounding the Corrupt Bastards Club and is begining to blow its lid this weekend. Read the rest of the "story" here.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No explanation required

Another police report item. Adding comment to this would just be like saying "there is air," but it reflects something pretty ugly.

Fairbanks police were called to the Rabinowitz Courthouse on Thursday on a report of a Middle Eastern looking man taking pictures of the building. The person was contacted by an officer and produced a Bulgarian passport. The man works at a local hotel and is in Fairbanks on a working vacation, he told the officer.

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You put your weed in there

Here's a below-the-belt twist on the classic SNL skit with Rob Schneider, courtesy of our local police report:

A woman was arrested on suspicion of second-degree robbery early Saturday after she beat another woman at a party and stole her bottle of Vicodin. The 38-year-old suspect hid the pill bottle in an intimate place and jail guards had to retrieve it via a strip search.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

I crack me up

I tend to mix metaphors. I'll start talking about the sands of time blowing over
stormy seas and all we'll have is mud.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Too careful?

In my years as a journalist and an avid watcher of current events, I have witnesses the beauty of the human spirit. I have also seen us at our worst. I have spoken to killers and have listened to child molesters. I have seen people lie and cheat and exploit their friends and family members in order to get what they want. I have watched families go through unbearable pain and heard many of them utter the words, “if only.” If only we would have been more careful. If only we would have checked things out more completely. To say that journalism can leave one skeptical would be an understatement.

However, someone held a mirror to me this afternoon and it made me a little sad because that skepticism is also part of my personal life now. I never want to be that person saying, “if only,” and I do what I can to avoid that scenario. I check out new people that come into my life, especially if I know they will have contact with my children or if they will be someone I may spend a great deal of time with. It’s nothing intrusive, just a quick courthouse records check and a run through a couple of search engines and databases. Still, I suspect that most of the world doesn’t do it. Despite the fact that our sense of privacy is a bit of a fallacy, in my opinion, people don’t like the idea of big brother or their friends checking up on them. It comes across as a little creepy.

Today, I told someone I checked them out, and it bothered this person, hurt them a little, I suspect. And this is someone who I absolutely do not want to hurt. This person wondered why I would trust so little, why I would be unable to take what they say at face value and evaluate their character on my own, without the aid of my search engines. And I didn’t have a good answer for that, other than I have seen the worst and want to be careful. It sounds pragmatic on paper, and it is. But interpersonal relationships are often not built on the practical. They are not business deals. And when you’re speaking to someone, and they say, with a tinge of anger or sadness in their voice, “Have I not been honest with you? Why don’t you trust what I tell you?” it’s difficult to say anything but, “I apologize.”

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Moral relativism

I'm feeling a little overcome with said relativism these days for a couple of reasons, but one in particular, and it scares me a little. I won't go into details, but it suffices to say that the situation is causing me some degree of pause. Throughout my life, I've always been sure of what is right and what is wrong. And my insticts always matched that morality, for the most part. Furthermore, I can recall moments in my life where I ignored those insticts and listened more to my brain and my logic, and that got me into trouble. My marriage was a prime example of that. From the very beginning, my instincts, in concert with my moral compass, were screaming, "Leave that one alone. Do not commit yourself to that." However, my brain and my logic, together with some external pressures, told me that it was what I was supposed to do, what I was expected to do. So I ignored the gut and went with logic. It cost me nine years of my life and did a great deal of damage to my psyche and those of my children.

Now I find myself in an incredibly odd situation. My instincts are telling me to do one thing, screaming at me that I need to go down this particular path. My brain and logic are saying "Bad idea." Seems an easy choice, yes? Go with your instincts, they are there for a reason. Except in this case, my instincts do not match at all with what I would consider the morally correct thing to do. This is perhaps the first time in my life that this has happened. So, what is the correct path? Does one ignore instincts at their own peril to follow the course that morality says is the correct one? Or does one follow those instincts at the risk of somehow compromising those morals?

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Beware Flipper

This beyond-awesome headline from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Cute-looking dolphins can be pretty mean
Read the full story here. Quote in the third graf is pretty awesome too,

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