Tunes I heard in public today: "The Waltz of the
Flowers" and "Ava Maria", both very elegant solo
guitar; and in the Safeway, that great late 80's
"Hey Now Hey Now Don't dream it's over..."
...which made me feel very positive. Unlike in that same
Safeway a few days ago when John Lennon sang "Happy
Xmas (War is over)"
"And so this Christmas...
and what have you done?
Another year older..."
a song which bums me out, rather than lifting my mood
to some festive ideal. In fact I think it's included
in playlists inappropriately - it's hardly a jolly
carol, really a dirge.
People are here from the New Jersey office,
including the jolly Big Boss; last night I had to dine with them
(and they'd like a repeat performance tonight, but I declined).
Another stupefying meeting this morning where my presence was
required; how can everybody else stay awake and alert in this
situation? Even with the uncomfortable chairs, I
get drowsy after only about fifteen minutes - but meetings are
never that short. My mention to the big boss of my
interest in the possible new work in Germany may
trigger a favorable sequence of events. These are the
few details I heard from my manager back east
(whom I've never met in person - perhaps next month).
(the Big Boss is a couple levels above him.) The
few details I've heard: same field I'm in now, six people
needed, a one year commitment Over There (somewhere
south of Frankfurt), and they want SysAdmin and
network types - unfortunately those aren't my skills,
but they may be so desperate that they'd accept a
candidate requiring a little OJT.
Some current reading:
- "Colliers" #4, a comic book which has
enlightened me about the World War I "Raid on Zeebrugge".
This page will tell you more;
the hero of that battle's great nephew maintains it.
- This big cover article in the current issue of The Atlantic Monthly
about our Prison-Industrial Complex: "a set of bureaucratic, political, and
economic interests that encourage increased spending on imprisonment,
regardless of the actual need." Another representative line from the
article: "Fundamental choices about public safety, employee training,
and the denial of personal freedoms are increasingly being made with
an eye to the bottom line." Fun fact from the article: transport of
detainees (to use an irritatingly euphemistic expression from the popular media)
to and from private prisons is often performed by contractors with little or
no training, experience or even protection - it cites instances where
violent criminals escaped by overpowering their driving crews; and on
the other hand, situations are also described where convicts were made
to spend days during transit, confined to old vehicles waiting in parking
lots ("Diesel Therapy").