Caught up.

It looks as though we’ve found a bit of breathing space. Chores are more or less caught up, the home front is in confident hands (i.e., not mine), we’re only two days to the weekend. Yee-haw.

One reason I’ve been a bit discombobulated of late is the extreme schedule adjustment since Ann Arbor. I now arrive at work at 5 a.m., an hour so early it generally needs an extra adjective — “ungodly,” say. But little by little, it’s growing on me, sort of. The 3:55 alarm is always a shock, but as early birds all over the world know, there’s some pleasure in being one of the few, the proud, the ambulatory-before-dawn.

My drive to work is over in a jif with so little traffic, but there’s lots to like about it while it lasts. The just-getting-home people, out wandering Creighton Avenue. The members-only Black Pistons MC storefront, frequently still open, with a sturdy bearded biker or two shooting pool until last-man-standing. The sleepy faces in Tom’s Donuts. The open-all-night Taco Bell, downtown. And, of course, “Coast to Coast.”

It’s been a good while since I was up in the wee hours doing much other than nursing a baby or having insomnia, and neither activity is well-suited to radio listening. So I missed the whole Art Bell era, when “Coast to Coast” put itself on the map, with its all-night collection of ghost-hunters, paranormal spoon-benders and, of course, aliens.

An alien called the other morning on my drive in. He said he was a “visitor,” or a “newcomer” or an “ambassador” or something like that, the gist being: He was just now realizing his human form was an illusion, or maybe closer to a shell. He was a one-man sleeper cell for an alien force, and he was awakening to his mission, although it wasn’t entirely clear yet.

“How does one know if you’re one of these?” the host queried.

“You feel estranged from your family,” the man said, among other things. Well, that’s helpful.

The best thing about a 5 a.m. factory whistle? Quittin’ time comes at 1 p.m. One of these days I’ll figure out the magical bedtime that enables me to get through the rest of the day without needing a little nap. It is summer, after all; I should be working on my tan.

A few things you might enjoy reading:

Gwynne Dyer speaks the uncomfortable truth about our involvement in Iraq:

So once more, with feeling: the 9/11 attacks were not aimed at American values, which are of no interest to the Islamists one way or another. They were an operation that was broadly intended to raise the profile of the Islamists in the Muslim world, but they had the further quite specific goal of luring the United States into invading Muslim countries.

The true goal of the Islamists is to come to power in Muslim countries, and their problem until recently was that they could not win over enough local people to make their revolutions happen. Getting the U.S. to march into the Muslim world in pursuit of the terrorists was a potentially promising stratagem, since an invasion should produce endless images of American soldiers killing and humiliating Muslims. That might finally push enough people into the arms of the Islamists to get their stalled revolutions off the ground.

And my friend Jones speaks the somewhat less compelling truth about Bob Knight. If anyone still cares, that is:

Let me tell you something. Knight would never allow anyone to see it. But he’s hurting right now.

He now knows conclusively he’s going to spend the rest of his career in Lubbock, Texas, and will never be able to field another Final Four team. Not at Texas Tech. He can’t get the players he needs to come to the dirty base of the Panhandle.

And, for a competitor such as Knight, this is indigestible. It’s the cruelest of punishments.

Irrelevance! Who doesn’t know that feeling? Sometimes, anyway.

More tomorrow.

Posted at 7:07 pm in Uncategorized |

7 responses to “Caught up.”

  1. Kim Scarborough said on July 8, 2004 at 5:22 pm

    > So once more, with feeling: the 9/11 attacks were

    > not aimed at American values, which are of no

    > interest to the Islamists one way or another.

    Oh really? How can she (or you) be so sure about this? I don’t recall Bin Laden going on too many talk shows…

    I *do* remember, however, the Iran Islamists making hatred of America (politics *and* culture, thank you) a centerpiece of their governing philosophy. Were the Al Quaeda Islamists different in that respect? Well, possibly… but I don’t really see why some Canadian columnist would have such insight into the motivations of a secretive group of totalitarian religious fanatics living on the other side of the world.

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  2. Kim Scarborough said on July 8, 2004 at 5:28 pm

    Oh yeah, and if you get up that early you really should drop in Washtenaw Dairy some time too. I loved 5 AM doughnuts there… of course I was young enough when I lived there that if I was ever up at 5 AM, it was late, not early. Still a fond memory.

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  3. alex said on July 8, 2004 at 6:08 pm

    Al Qaida doesn’t give a flying fuck about the movies we watch, the skin we bare, the God we worship. The only beef anyone in the middle east has with us is over our support of Israel. Because it’s political suicide to say so, our leaders resort to the absurd “American way of life” crapola instead, and considering the firestorm they’re trying to avoid, it’s one of the few lies I can forgive them.

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  4. Kim Scarborough said on July 8, 2004 at 10:34 pm

    Again: how do you know? What gives you such special insight into the mind of Al Quaeda? I certainly wouldn’t pretend I understood evil lunatics like that at all, but I don’t think it’s prima facie absurd to postulate that they are indeed against Western values’ seeping into Middle Eastern culture, and that they identify the United States as the main source of said values.

    Like I said, maybe it’s not true. But you’ll have to give better arguments against it than “because I said so”.

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  5. alex said on July 9, 2004 at 1:22 am

    I claim special insight into the mind of Karl Rove, who came up with this canard because it’s a simple enough explanation of 9/11 for a Republican voter to understand, and what’s more, get hopping mad about.

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  6. Kim Scarborough said on July 9, 2004 at 10:37 am

    I don’t understand how this answers my question. I guess your answer is “Al Quaeda’s motivation is the opposite of whatever Karl Rove says it is”. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t make much sense to me. But who knows, maybe I’m just one of those stupid Republicans.

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  7. alex said on July 9, 2004 at 1:47 pm

    There’s no denying that fundamentalist clerics want to squelch western ways within their own spheres of influence, but that’s separate from terrorism, which has everything to do with our foreign policy. Read: Palestine.

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