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You never know who’s going to pop up in your local newspaper. Today, it was one of my daughters, fighting the good fight yesterday at the state capitol.
It’s “contest time” in the newspaper industry, the time of year when we send in clips of our work from the last year in the hopes of getting recognition of some sort. I’m pretty ambivalent about all that, even though I’ve won a couple, because I had a long stretch when I had an editor who refused to allow me enter any work and simply threw away my clips.
Frankly, I also have trouble remembering stories I’ve written. Once it’s done, it’s done, and I’m focussed on the next thing. I constantly am surprised when, Googling for info, I run across something I’d previously created. Sometimes it’s only a few months old!
So yesterday I spent a couple of hours trying to find links to stories created during 2009. I’m sure I missed a bunch, but what the hell. The list is repeated here, on the page link over to the right. I only included stories with actual bylines, and not the multiple little pieces we’re always cranking out. It’s like shoveling coal into the firebox, filling up a newspaper every day. I notice that the list is also pretty thin in the early part of the year, when I took some time off to attend to family business when my mother died.
The stories are still called “clips” because in the olden days, the only way to save a story was to actually cut it out and stash it in a folder. I’ve still got a few folders from the ’80s. Maybe if I can figure out how to OCR these yellowing clips, I can put up these classics of frankly adolescent journalism.
There’s a former Star-Bulletin writer who worked for the paper for a couple of decades before succumbing to the siren call of the Gannett Advertiser, who meticulously cuts out and glues into scrapbooks every word he writes. I’m talking every word, bylined or not. One-inch briefs. Lists. Stats. Even photo captions. They all get carefully cut out and glued into the scrapbooks, which must fill a library by now. I once cautioned him to use glue-stick instead of rubber cement, as the acids in rubber cement attack the pulp paper used in newsprint, and he got angry and yelled at me that he started using rubber cement in the ’50s and he’s not going to switch now!
I imagine that all those scrapbooks will be fought over by his biographers.
I got a real insight into Bill and Hillary Clinton’s marriage during this brief clip of their notorious “60 Minutes” interview in 1992, while they were being grilled about TrooperGate. A lighting unit fell on Hillary, nearly hurting her badly, and their immediate response was to turn into each other. Look at Bill’s face as he holds Hillary — he’s terrified for her. It’s also amusing that Hillary’s idea of a startled curse is “Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Ooh! Ooh!”
Once again, Hawaii leads the nation in cheerful arrestees for Operating a Vehicle Under The Influence of Intoxicants. This week’s crop includes perps with the — for real! — given names of Jasper, Efrilyne, Arden, Chae, Junior, Sherwin, Sierra, Summer, Careless, Sinbad and Skylawn. You’d drink too.
The top shelf is fitted and in place. Note that it’s deeper than the two lower shelves. It can’t be completed until I finish the framing work on the windows, which is under way. I’m already eying the built-in bookshelves at the left, in the corner of the room. I built those about a decade ago, and it’s time to redo them.
My “design aesthetic” tends to lean toward a mix of art deco and Asian, and these new shelves have elements of both. But mainly they’re designed to be pretty much invisible and also strong.
Today, the Mars Rover project announced that Spirit is well-stuck in a Martian sandtrap and they’ve given up trying to free her. A couple of months ago the rover’s wheels broke through a thin crust and stirred loose sand up over the wheel rims, pretty much trapping the plucky little machine. Scientists have been trying to wiggle her out ever since, but with Martian winter coming on, and the robot’s solar panels tilted away from the sun, Spirit will have to wait until Martian spring. That is, if she revives. Scientists will use her as a stationary outpost.
Opportunity, the other rover, is doing OK. Both were given expected lifetimes of 90 days and they’re still going after six years.
It’s been a long relationship, the rovers and I. In fact, the very first real item I ever blogged — on the long defunct Check6Honolulu blog back in January, 2004 — concerned the rovers.
Again with the the bagpipes, but this time a more sombre occasion, the funeral service of family friend Duane “Andy” Anderson. LtCol. Anderson was my parents’ neighbor for virtually all of their retired lives and a thoroughly nice guy. He flew B-17s during World War II and other multi-engine jobs in Korea and Vietnam. Naturally, we were both Boeing buffs.
Here is the Pacific Aviation Museum’s F-14 Tomcat sitting out on the Ford island ramp. I took this picture over the weekend, but the “Top Gun” fighter wasn’t the subject matter. On a normal day, you can clearly see the Waianae mountain range on the horizon. Lately, the islands have been covered with a smothering blanket of volcanic haze, or “vog,” blown up from the Big Island during kona reverse-trades, and things only a few miles distant have been erased in the sulphuric mist. Doctor, my eyes!