Wednesday, May 31, 2006


We have finally reached the day before our departure to Uzbekistan, and well, we are still waiting. Our visas (entry permits) still have not come through. SO after almost a year of preparation it looks like we are not going tomorrow after all. It's a little anticlimatic after all we've been planning to go planning to go, and it was always a little ways away, just a little more time, a little more planning. Now we're done planning, we've got all our stuff, but we still aren't going. And it's entirely possible that we will not be going at all. We have even started thinking about alternatives to our friendly post of Uzbekistan. Jamaica anyone?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Power outage

Last night there was a big storm here at my parent's house. My dad and I were playing Halo when the power went out. Surprisingly, the actual storm only lasted maybe a half an hour, maybe an hour. But it was quite a display for that time, there were winds, and buckets of rain, and lots of thunder and lightning. After being in California, then in China for so long I had almost forgotten what a summer thunderstorm really looks like. The lights were out for three or four hours. My parents and I played scrabble--good old fashioned fun, with our vintage 1970's board, my dad won, of course. Then I took Honey for a walk. It was a little creepy walking through the powerless neighborhood right before dark. Some neighbors were out in their front yard talking to each other. Some people had windows open. I ran into a couple of dogs who were very interested in Honey, but she had no chance to socialize because their owners called them away. As I walked through the neighborhood, there was something amiss, but I couldn't put my finger on it, then I realized, there were no lights. Of course I knew that there wouldn't be lights, but I didn't really know it until I saw it. There was also very little sound. Despite what everyone says about the suburbs, you know quiet, sleepy, etc. There is actually a hum to a suburban neighborhood. Little background noises that seep out of houses to fill the nights with noise. TV, radio, lights, kitchen appliances, etc. All that makes noise. To have it cut out, well, it was quiet. Which got me thinking. What all are we missing, with our TV's, iPods, Play Stations, etc that people a century ago took for granted. I'm sure it wasn't silent, nature is not silent, stupid birds and crickets add plenty of background noise. But what about other human interaction. Last night was the first time I'd played scrabble in years. When I was a kid my mom used to have TV blackout days. At the time I hated them, no TV for a week! She was killing us. But now perhaps I understand the wisdom in her method. We could all probably use a few Power out days!