Thursday, October 9, 2008

They Said It...

Dr. Ian Malcom: "Boy, do I hate being right all the time."

(In response to being told, "It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you're the smartest person in the room.")

Jane Craig: "No. It's awful."

Finch: ... I felt like I could see everything that happened, and everything that is going to happen. It was like a perfect pattern, laid out in front of me. And I realised we're all part of it, and all trapped by it.
Dominic: So do you know what's gonna happen?
Finch: No, it was a feeling. But I can guess.

I have spent the last several years telling anyone who would listen without walking away that our economic model was unsustainable. If a trend can't go on forever, it won't. Well, no trend can go on forever, except maybe dE = TdS - pdV, but the trends we were on were a lot less sustainable than that.

Now I am reminded of another story within a story I once read, that of an eminent toxicologist who one day accidentally ingested a small amount of a slow-acting but incredibly toxic substance. He looked up the substance in his own classic toxicology book, and saw that he'd had a lethal dose. He looked it up in his chief rival's equally eminent book, and found that by his calculations the dose would almost certainly not kill him. So there he sat, hoping he'd been wrong.

I know this isn't very photo-oriented, but I needed to get it out a little bit. My optimistic hope is that we'll use this as the mother of all resets, and go on our way sadder but wiser. My not so optimistic fear is that a lot of "post-apocalyptic fiction" is about to start looking more like documentary work.

Oh, well. All one can do is all one can do. We went to the store today and stocked up, and I bought a load of firewood a few days ago. I keep a big can of gas in the garage - enough to get around on for a while if there is a disruption like they're having in the Southeast right now. Temporary dislocations cannot overly dismay us, and with any luck at all any dislocations will be temporary. I commend the same course of action to anyone who reads this. No harm being prepared - having what you don't need is usually preferable to the reverse.

In fact, it's somewhat reassuring, really it is. I feel much better now. Plus, we discovered a delightful little Polish butcher shop not far from our house. The meat is comparably priced to that at big-box grocery stores, but the quality and selection, not to mention the service, are far superior. We got a big brown grocery bag of all kinds of really delicious looking stuff, including stuffed chicken breasts and a Polish meatloaf, for sixty dollars. No way would you get out of Jewel or Dominick's with that much stuff for that price!

And by a funny chance both Ziploc and Reynolds just introduced do-it-yourself vacuum seal freezer bags. Ziploc's pump is a hand syringe and Reynolds' is a battery-powered pump. We got the Ziploc sort on the grounds that battery-powered doodads are inherently less reliable, plus the Ziploc pump comes completely apart for cleaning. But I'm sure either would work fine.


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