November 7, 2006

Skinny Tuesday

It's been quite a day. With the Biostat Belle out at Kripalu, I'm holding down the fort with just Shadow, watching the election returns roll in here in rainy Massachussetts. Something felt unusually right about the day's rhythm, nearly from the start. I woke, went to the bathroom, dressed, walked/jogged with the greyhound, walked down to the square, voted (across the board blue in this bluest of states - shocking!), picked up coffee and bagel at Emacs while reading email on the wander home, composed the daily tech trivia questions and then pulled together the rest of Word of the Day (network behavior anomaly detection?) and then gott to work on the rest of the day's goals. By day's end, I balanced the news of an interview about my work with the reality of an unexpectedly expensive repair to the exhaust system of the 'stang. With a little distance, I can balance the positive and negatives there.

At the end of the day, I T'ed it into Back Bay, walking into Rozzie Square and taking the bus along Washington Street prior. There's something so satifyingly familiar in that trip now, balanced as well by the urban blight pictured in the faces of my fellow riders. I listened to CNET's Buzz Out Loud podcast along the way; that crew always makes me chuckle while they - and I - geek out with the day's news about tech and gadgets. I met with some old clients tonight to talk about embeddding podcasts on various sites when I arrived at the city. Our conversation spiraled into tangential and frequently meaningful discussions of the trends in online media, adoption of RSS and wonderfully gritty details of syndicating audio on multiple platforms.

Great stuff.

I loved it.

The fact that dinner was comped, along with the imperial pints of Guinness, didn't hurt.

As I said, something felt right about the rhythm of the day's events. I'm eager to awake to an altered political landscape, though to be fair I can't think of a single thing that fundamentally will have changed in my daily life due to an partisan shift. I do hope that the balance of divided government will create the checks and balances that have been absent from governance over much of the past decade. George W. Bush may find this daily life to be rather altered. Whether he recognizes as much, or remains in a "state of denial," remains to be seen.

I've been reading Woodward's most recent work at night this past week. Fascinating stuff, though I can't recall reading more unattributed conversations and quotes from private conversations in any other book. I won't add to the reams of commentary that has been written and spoken about the book for the moment, other than to remark that my instincts about the competence of the national security team of this admninstration in 2000 were sorely mistaken. That so many others were similarly off the mark doesn't soften the results of that incompetence abroad and in the Veterans Hospitals at home.

I'm grateful today, grateful to have been able to vote without rancor or danger, to have worked purely in the realms of the mind and then to travel on public transportation to talk about innovation. I feel especially so after being rocked at dinner when one of my dinner companion received a call that informed him he'd lost a sixteen-year old nephew to an auto accident tonight. I can't imagine what that feels like. I'm still mourning my uncle -- but my son? Life is so short as it is. What to do? Live each day like it's the last is cliched but accurate. Love your family, friends, neighbor and those in need like it's the last time you could see them. Be present in your conversations with all of those people and in your own life, reading the grain of the wood you work or the flow of the water you are fishing.

You'd think a long-time viewer of Six Feet Under would have internalized as much long ago.

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