Archive for February 18th, 2009

To the Internet Muses of Speed: “It was just a joke!”

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality, Travel |

This is a four-part post.

Part one: Rant

Is this retribution? I hope not, because that concept does not fit my belief system. I would have to COMPLETELY re-evaluate how I THINK ABOUT THE MEANING OF LIFE! Ah, sorry for the shouting, folks. “We live in interesting times.” (I have heard there is a curse like this: “May you live in interesting times.” I must have been cursed by several people—in fact, I can think of a few, who supposedly were my FRIENDS!) hehe.
For the last week, or so, I have not been able to get a stable connection to the Internet. At first, I couldn’t get online at ALL. At first, I thought it was “Malware”. At first, I thought I’d fixed that.
Now, I can get on sometimes. It can work fine sometimes. It can be excruciatingly slow sometimes. It can be non-existent sometimes. I do a lot of work on the computer, including maintaining a couple of websites, and sending out bulk emails to large lists, so this is inconvenient. I’ve tried new: Virus Scanners, Firewalls, Registry Cleaners, Disk Defragmenters, lalala.
Being me, of course, I KNOW that nothing is what it seems, and that outside incidents are not isolated from my inner being. So I must be mentally cluttered and morally slow at the mo’. YOU are all carrying on without me; I know you are—it is so strange not to be able to CONNECT with you, on the Internet or in my mind! In my last post, I included a graph showing “what I do when the Internet is being slow.” I think the Internet didn’t like being accused of being slow. Because, before I posted the graph it hardly was ever slow. And now…I hope I can post this…looks like it’s going to work!

Part two: Why I didn’t care

My previous post was titled “I don’t care!” Which was true, at the time. I realize that when overwhelmed I tend to go a little brain-dead, thus not caring. Now, my brain has woken up, a bit, from its cosmic sleep, and here I am caring again. The thing was, one of the non-profit organizations I work for ran out of money, totally and completely. There was a couple hundred dollars in the bank, and we have several thousands in expenses. People reacted to this in various ways. Mine was to run around trying to fix things, explaining “Why This Is Not My Fault”, and then taking brain vacations. Others became depressed, and virtually hid—they did not respond to phone calls and emails. Still others got mad. This is a familiar story in many places. For me it has been a lesson in keeping my equilibrium. I’m privileged to experience many of these kinds of lessons. In the end (of this particular “crisis”, anyway) people came through with donations, corporate sponsorship, and ideas for fund raisers. It looks like things will be alright for the rest of the season, and into next fall where we have a large sponsorship opportunity awaiting us. Whew!

During it all, I reminded myself that “all is well”. I truly believe that this is always so. It is helpful to be grounded in some sort of belief system in “good” times and in “bad”. (I must put those words in quotes, because, ultimately I cannot define any situation with either of those terms.)

Part three: Walk

Last time, I also mentioned the walk I was going to take, in order to clear my mind. I went in the afternoon, and the little snow that was on the ground had cleared. The surrounding mountains, however, were beautiful. They always are, with or without snow, but snow is so rare here, that when it does occur, it’s like a magic fairy land. (Well, that may be a bit romantic, but not much!) Here are the Catalina mountains without snow:


Here they are with snow:


Every time I go for a long walk near home, these are the mountains I see. They fill my mind and heart with beauty and peace; they are a respite.

Part four: Tubac

It was suggested to me that I accompany a person I’m fond of on a day trip Out of Town. What a good idea! There is a small Artist Colony/Tourist/Mission/Military Fort town just over an hour’s drive from here. I hadn’t been there in over five years, and had been told it had changed and grown. The last time I was there, there were a few nice shops, and the Fort and the old Mission were worth seeing. Now, Tubac is a thriving arts and crafts center, almost like a mini Santa Fe, with beautiful shops, gorgeous and unique art, and several really nice eateries. It was like taking a mini-vacation, without having to travel very far. The weather was perfect; just warm and sunny enough to walk around comfortably. It was a lovely day, and a welcome change.

On the way home, I had the same question I often have when I travel directly south of Tucson. A few miles out of the city the road-distance signs abruptly change from Miles to Kilometers. The signs in Mexico are in kilometers, but at this point, we are still 30 miles (or 48 kilometers) from the Mexican border, well within the United States of America. And, it’s not as if the signs have BOTH miles and kilometers; they don’t!—just kilometers! It makes no sense. I’ve been asking myself “WHY?” for years, so, as I’m writing this, thought I might as well, finally, look it up. The only reason I could come up with on my own was that, as close to the border as this is, perhaps the signs are in kilometers for the convenience of Mexican shoppers. But, that still makes it confusing for all the US residents in the area. 😕 It turns out this is NOT the case. According to Wikipedia, one of my many sources for many things:

Interstate 19 is unique amongst US Interstates, because signed distances are given in meters (hundreds or thousands as distance-to-exit indications) or kilometers (as distance-to-destination indications), and not miles. Speed limit signs give speeds in miles-per-hour, however. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), metric signage was originally placed because of the “metric system push” in the United States at the time of the original construction of the highway.
Recently, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced that they would convert metric signs back to United States customary units in stages, replacing signs in specific areas of the freeway during construction projects in those areas. This is due to the high cost of replacing all the metric signs at once.

Well—what do you know! Not only are the reasons not what I thought, but our little highway is “unique”. I guess when the state gets some money (?) we’ll convert. I do vaguely remember some talk erupting from time to time about the US going on the metric system. This did not go over well. To say the least. I’m still impressed that the Brits managed to convert from sovereigns and farthings, or whatever it was they used to have, and that much of Europe has been able to cope with the Euro.

Another little “factoid” about our area: (This one I did know) The county in which I live is part of a little strip of land in what is now southern Arizona and New Mexico known as the “Gadsden Purchase“, a “purchase” which remains unpopular with Mexico from whom it was “purchased” to this day. For reasons I don’t clearly understand, the Gadsden Purchase was part of the confederacy during the US civil war. (The rest of Arizona were Yanks.) A strange little moment in a strange history. We are all Southwesterners, now.

Part five: The End.

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