The Blue Raccoon

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Journey Into Richmond

-- And What I Found There

Part II

“I have thought it wise to live for the future and not the dead past. While cherishing honorable memory of its glories, I have thought that we should look to the future for life, power and prosperity…”

William Mahone, Readjuster and ornery cuss, 1882

Just a different set of problems…

Come now, and walk alongside an obstreperous travel writer who is researching an extensive feature about Richmond – a different version than the one with which you are familiar.

He—like you—has never been to the Richmond described here-- but he’s applied himself to studying the story, and he receives able guidance by indulgent, patient and hospitable residents.

In this Richmond, people are no less venal and slothful, nor more gracious and industrious, as they are in the city around you now.

They just have a different set of problems.

The subjects of conversations in its boisterous bars and busy cafés are textured by a history quite altered from the one recorded in Virginius Dabney’s book.

Nobody could blame you, though, if you’d like to move there.

The story thus far:
Philip Gotz. a well-known travel writer for print and online media, is taking one of his five-day "What I Found There" excursions to Richmond, Va. He was met upon his arrival at the Admiral Richard E. Byrd International Airport by Tia Chulangong. a representative of the city's tourism office.


2. To Main Street Station…

Their queue was short and Tia followed by Gotz slid their cards into a chirruping reader, then boarded the crowded train. A few electric chimes bing-bonged and a pleasant woman’s voice said, “This is the Byrd Airport Express to Main Street Station and Richmond center.”

Gotz noted that among the moving, LED advert placards advertising jobs and attractions that Ken Burnsian pictures depicted one mustached, bespectacled Julian Sprague, and images of streetcars from the past decades. Scrolling words-and-pictures screens placed at the ceiling showed the time, temperature (a pleasant 72 degrees), minutes to Main Street (10 and counting…), but also announced the “Richmond Metropolitan Authority: 120 Years And Still Rollin’.”

Tia urged him not to sit yet but follow her to the observation level. Gotz pushed in his baggage handle to carry it up the 10 tread spiral stair. At its foot, Tia thought better of ascending first, and said, “After you.”

Gotz chortled. “You’re just not going to cut me any slack are you?”

“So, tell me about that elevator in Seattle?”

The writer set his mouth in a line, said nothing, and went up the stairs though midway up he stopped to inform her, “You know, that story is at least six years old by now, and I was a different man, then.”

Tia, holding the silver stair rail said, “How so?”

He raised his brows for comic effect. “Well. I was six years younger with better knees.”

A few passengers at the bottom of the stairs gazed toward them expecting movement. Gotz waved at them and continued. As he came to the clear canopy observation deck the train bolted out of the airport’s tunnel into the bright day that shined through the bubble top. The train’s chock-itty-duh-duh-duh as it rushed forward provided a sense of exhilaration. Passengers pointed and took pictures of the countryside streaking past.

Tia said by way of preface, “ I hope you won’t mind, but I can talk your ear off about Richmond.”

“What I’m here for,” he said as he twisted his backpack around, unzipped it, and pulled out Jessamine Venable’s lauded history, The Girl in The Picture, about the civil upheaval in Richmond and Virginia surrounding the 1888 state constitutional convention. A bookmark indicated he was halfway in, and dog-eared pages gave the appearance of study.

“You’re scheduled to meet Dr. Venable on Monday --?” she frowned at her own palm-held device. “Yes, Monday at 2 p.m.”

“And to meet your low expectations of me, I’m going to ask you some rude and personal questions.”

“Oh, rude
and personal. My favorites.”

“How is it that you’re in Richmond?”

“I’m native. Born and raised.”



“I wouldn’t have thought.”

“Why is that?”

“You’re baiting me,” Gotz said, half-smiling.

“These are your rude and personal questions.”

“OK. Fine. You’re not from Anglo-Saxon stock.”

“Not directly, no. My father,” she touched her clavicle, and a necklace pendant inscribed with symbols, “ was studying international policy at Ginter University, he’s from Thailand, and my mother, she’s African American, was a dance major.”

“How long ago was this?”

“Mr. Gotz.”

“Phil. I’m trying not to ask how old you are.”

“Good, because a Southern woman wouldn’t say.”

“I was trying not to be rude or personal. But -- You’re all of, what, 19?”

She laughed. “A bit more than that, Mr. Gotz. And that’s as far as you’re getting – Not something, I’m guessing, you’re used to.”

“Ouch,” he touched his ribs and squinted as if lanced. “But I probably have socks older than you. I think I’m even wearing them,” and he pulled up his trouser legs in a well-practiced move.

“Thought so.”

Tia twisted her mouth into a reluctant and indulgent smile and shook her head.
He resembled a rather befuddled professor, in his tweedy jacket, khakis, and tassel loafers.

The writer said, “Speaking of statements, these pictures and the screen down there, the 120 years. What’s that about?”

“Ah, well, 2008 is he 120th year of electric-powered transit in Richmond, which has the oldest in the world, Julian Sprague — he’s right there,” she motioned to a bespectacled man, his combed over white hair and drooping mustaches, “flipped the switch for the first time on a trolley car train in 1888.”

“Hold up. You said trolley car. Isn’t a streetcar and a trolley the same?”

“Um, there’s a technical difference. Richmond had horse-drawn streetcars. He invented the troller that hooked the car to an overhead wire.”

“Ah — so trolley.”

“Happened right here, on Church Hill. We’ll see the spot. The city owned the service and didn’t sell to outsiders, so we’ve maintained the system -- But I need to tell you about this,” she raised a hand to indicate the outside. “We’re passing through some, uh, controversy right now.”

Gotz glanced to either side.


“We call this The Woods.”

“How Lord of the Rings.”

“It’s a part of a circle of forest, fields and farms that goes around Richmond, actually, most of Virginia’s major cities and many smaller towns have a version of this, but ours is the oldest and biggest.”


“Forests, fields and streams. The Greater Richmond Commission, what it was called back then, set it up about 1890. Basically designed as a buffer to prevent what we’d now call sprawl.”

Gotz nodded and the passing woodlands shimmered on his glasses.

“Humph. So that’s smart and years ahead of everybody. Richmond was Green before there was the political color,” he raised the book. “So elsewhere, Dr. Venable talks about how Teddy Roosevelt came here and admired what was happening.”

“’Their love of nature in her many parts,’’’ yes. But it’s a big topic right now in Richmond, which is has now more than three million people in the metro. One of the issues is that due to very strict zoning, high rise buildings can’t go up in the old central city.”

“And how did that happen?"

"Well, around 1890, Richmond adopted the nation's first historic preservation and historic district creation regulations. And one of the zoning laws was that no building within six blocks of Capitol Hill could rise taller than the building, or hide it from view."

"Thomas Jefferson's Temple of Democracy," Gotz said, then peered over his glasses, adding, "Even though Virginia was built upon a slave economy."

Tia raised a brow. "We never said we were perfect."

Gotz laughed. "Virginians are always saying they did it first, better and prettier."

"Most times, we have."

"And thus, no high rises."

“Not downtown, anyway, or the older and historic neighborhoods. Like I say, we call the parklands around the city The Woods but few years ago a developer got famous by describing them as “a noose of weeds and vines.”


“Everybody has an opinion. You’ll hear them.
Buh-lieve me.”

“What’s your opinion?”

Tia eyed his recorder, then laughed, forming the dimples. “We should find a solution through discussion.”

Gotz grunted. “You oughtta go into politics.”

“Maybe,” she raised a brow. “One day.”

The train rolled free of the forest into open sky and the city spread over undulant hills. The cars curved toward the Beaux Arts tower of Main Street Station. Tia explained the view.

“To the left is Richmond’s cradle, the Shockoe Valley,” and upon Richmond’s eastern hills clustered a proliferation of brick and wood frame houses and buildings of considerable vintage.

“Above it is Church Hill, there at St. John’s Patrick Henry gave his “Give me liberty or death,” speech."

A span crossing above the tracks and bridging the hills loomed large on iron legs with cross-hatched struts. "Ahead of us is the Marshall Street Viaduct that goes between the hills. It's 2800 feet long and 95 feet high and spans 17 railroad tracks. To the right, Court End and downtown."

Gotz observed another tight agglomeration of varied buildings, some quite contemporary, and one massive ziggurat rising above it all. He asked Tia about it.

“That’s MCV, the Medical College of Viriginia, it’s —“

A black shadow flew across the passengers as the train slid between the viaduct's iron legs and an amplified non-automated and jovial voice interrupted her.

“Oh, this is Captain Trice,” and she raised a hushing finger to her lips.

“G’evenin’ ladies and gentleman, from around the world and from around here, this is your engineer Cap’n Trice speaking. We
arr-ruh on our final approach to the grand and wonderful Main Street Station, where you can connect to every other train, tram, streetcar, bus, taxi you need, ever’ thing but the boat, and that’s just three blocks away.

From Main Street Station you can catch the Medical College of Vuh-
gin-ya East Campus Express a-a-a-nd the Ginter University South Express, the Downtown Access train, the Richmond Circle and the Manchester and Glen Allen locals. This train proceeds to Broad Street Station.

If you’re visitin’ with us here in Richmond today, we have a welcome center and traveler’s hostel in the old Railroad YMCA next door, and if you’re waitin’ on Amtrak, there’s restaurants and lounges in the station. Cap’n Trice thanks you for taking the Richmond Metropolitan System today, because it’s been 120 years, and we’re still rollin’, --

Tia mouthed along with him: “—and I know, ‘cuz I’ve been here for every single one of’em.”

The tourists chuckled even as he began repeating some of his narration in serviceable Spanish. The soft exhalation of the slowing train began and the station’s shed eclipsed the car’s dome. The train slid along the outside track. From here it would roll out and yaw west.

Cap’n Trice announced, “
Maaaayn Street Station, Richmond, Vuh-gin-ya, North America, Western Hemisphere, Earth. You have arrived. Please, exit to the left. And please, mind the gap.”

They stood and Gotz said, “I want to meet this guy. Anybody who enjoys his job that much I need to speak to.”

“If you’re serious I can arrange it,” she said, at the spiral stair, and this time going first.

“I am-- I am serious. Maybe, what? Squeeze him in before I go—“

“I’ll work it out,” Tia said.

“I know you will.”

Note on the images: I happened upon this photograph on the Hattie and Bruce Travel blog. This is the Oslo, Norway, airport train to the city. Richmond could run an airport train from Richmond International to Main Street Station; the track is there, and various plans have called for one. But, still, it hasn't manifested into our reality. The Marshall Street Viaduct straddling Shockoe Valley is an early 20th century post card from the Virginia Commonwealth University Library Special Collections & Archive online exhibit "Rarely Seen Richmond." The MCV West Hospital wasn't yet built, but the massive roofs of the Main Street Station train shed is visible at left.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Journey Into Richmond

-- And What I Found There

Part I

“I have thought it wise to live for the future and not the dead past. While cherishing honorable memory of its glories, I have thought that we should look to the future for life, power and prosperity…”

William Mahone, Readjuster and ornery cuss, 1882

Just a different set of problems…

Come now, and walk alongside an obstreperous travel writer who is researching an extensive feature about Richmond – a different version than the one with which you are familiar.

He—like you—has never been to the Richmond described here-- but he’s applied himself to studying the story, and he receives able guidance by indulgent, patient and hospitable residents.

In this Richmond, people are no less venal and slothful, nor more gracious and industrious, as they are in the city around you now.

They just have a different set of problems.

The subjects of conversations in its boisterous bars and busy cafés are textured by a history quite altered from the one recorded in Virginius Dabney’s book.

Nobody could blame you, though, if you’d like to move there.

* * * *

Arrival: Admiral Richard E. Byrd International Airport

“The Byrd statue at the airport named for him seems strange, both Hollywood and Italian Futurist,” he said into the mini disc recorder when the guide called his name.

“Mr. Gotz?”

The stack of grey hair and strong-jawed face was unmistakable from the meet-the-writer pages of travel and leisure magazines. His metal-rimmed glasses flashed in the light as Gotz turned, assessed and approved.

She said, smiling, “I’m Tia Chulangong,” and extended a firm hand. “Welcome to Richmond.”

Tia, an Eurasian stunner in heels, looked him straight in the eye through rectangular glasses and her efficiency crackled like static electricity. Richmond’s ambassador to the travel press wore chic urban black, a tailored Edwardian- cut jacket, and carried a hospitality bag in the crook of one arm.

Gotz said, “Well, the Convention and Visitors Bureau has impressed me already.”

She noted his wheeled travel luggage, another bag strapped to it, and his backpack.

“Good flight down, Mr. Gotz?”

“Short, like I like them. And, please. Call me Phil.”

Tia crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow.

“I was warned about you.”


“I have a friend who works in Austin; at their tourism bureau.”


“How did you get your car out of Sandra Bullock’s pool?”

Gotz shifted his backpack, nodded and chuckled at the familiar story.

“First thing: it wasn’t my car.”

“If we’re lucky, while in Richmond, you won’t have to drive, at all; but,” she raised her Blackberry, “if you need a car during your stay, the Jefferson is providing one. You have guest permission to drive downtown.”

“A Jeffersonian automotive dispensation! I feel honored.”

“You should be,” and she laughed, causing angel-bite dimples. He wanted to make her laugh often. “Listen, I want to ask you: what do you think of this sculpture?”

Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd stood bold and in bronze, one foot stepping up to jutting icy ledge. He was bundled in his fur collared parka, flight helmet and goggles shoved on his head, and gloved hands raising binoculars toward eyes peering into a distant horizon. Byrd’s exploits were incised on a panel circling the piece, including the Admiral’s declaration of Antarctica as THE CONTINENT OF PEACE.

Tia folded her hands in front of her and examined the statue as though seeing it afresh.

“I think, from pictures I’ve seen, that it’s a good likeness.”

“Don’t take up art criticism.”

“I’m in public relations. Which reminds me.”

Tia in a brisk motion flipped open her phone to the office of Gotz's arrival, safe, and sound, in a matter of speaking. He watched her brows form an exclamation point in the center of her forehead as something was told to her, but her expression didn’t betray what it might’ve been. She nodded, and directed him to follow.

Their brisk pace across the sleek concourse took them past the late afternoon light streaming in through the slanted glass walls of the swooping, cantilevered terminal.

A shoosh and hoofing ahead announced the arrival of the downtown express. A scrum of baggage burdened tourists surged toward the platform, some with burbling kids, a few foreign students whose glottal vowels sounded middle European and several business types busy arranging their predestinations with their handheld devices.

The guide asked, “So you’ve never visited us before?”

Gotz shook his big grey head. “Never. Passed around on that crazy hooked interstate you got, but duty otherwise never called.”

“Well, we’re very glad that you’re here; I have some office envy because we follow your writing, especially on”

“So you’re the ones.”

“Hah. Not the only ones,” and he’d lagged behind her and for a few moments Tia was talking to air. Then she stopped, her heels squealing on the floor like a car braking at a sudden red light.

Tia executed a sharp whirl and again, with the imperious eye brow, following a slight tch tch against her teeth, declared:

“Mr. Gotz.”

“It’s Phil. And what? We’re walking and talking and missing our train.”

Tia inclined her head. “I think you were taking in the view.”

Ab-so-lutely,” he raised a hand toward truth, then lowered to her, “I am but a man, fashioned of weak flesh.”

“Maybe,” she replied in mixture of enthusiasm and sarcasm, “but that isn’t the subject of your article, unless the theme has changed, and if so,” she tapped the stylus against her Blackberry, “we’ll need to alter your itinerary.”

Gotz scratched his temple. He said, “My, my, the CVB chose well; chose very well. Did they also give you a cow prod, or cuffs and a whip?”

“No cuffs or whips, because, my director knows you, too.”

“Touché, touché.”

“Here’s your Richmond packet,” she handed him the CVB grab bag, chunked full of information sheets, DVDs, helpful distillations of history and culture to fill in gaps for visiting travel journos when notes and the disc player or camera fail, or the weather is bad, or you’re unable to stir from your hotel room because you imbibed too much of the native hospitality the night before.

“And this,” she pulled from her jacket pocket a plastic strip card. “We call this the Frequent Traveler Token. It’s good for all trains, trams and buses, for a period of 10 days, in case you love Richmond so much that your five days here haven’t been enough.”

“I’m in love already and I haven’t left the airport.”

“We’re ahead of the game, then, aren’t we? Now, you’ll notice here,” she pointed to a corner of the card with a red strip and four numbers. “This is your PIN. You take this off, attach it to something you’re less likely to walk off and forget, or, if you have a PDA you can punch it so you can remember, then if you lose the card, you go to a kiosk, type in the numbers, and the system knows that card, and how much money is left on it, and you’ll get another one.”

“That’ll come in handy for me, I’m sure.”

“I’ve used it. Plenty of times.”

Note on the image: The top photograph is the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Terminal at John F. Kenndy airport in New York City, via In this Richmond, architect Haigh Jamgochian is an acclaimed and revered figure and he designed Byrd's terminals among numerous other public buildings. He becomes our postmodern Mackintosh, Richmond's Frank Lloyd Wright. This is close as I can approximate. Byrd Airport, and the evolved Richmond International, is not nearly so swooping or as dramatic, and lacks much in the way of public art. If there'd been a physical representation of Byrd, maybe we'd still have the name of a person attached to the airport.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Blue Raccoon's Spring Awakening

Amie took this dogwood-dappled image of me standing at Robinson Street and Monument Avenue on Easter Sunday, while the Monument Avenue Easter Parade drifted along around us.

This is us kicking up our hills and swinging at one of the venues we visited; Carol Piersol did us the honor.

I wrote a bit about the experience on the three-days-a-week blog The Hat which I write for Richmond magazine, the publication that keeps me gainfully employed.

In a parallel development, my postings at this space have dwindled off in the past several months. My desire is to develop a weekly habit much is like what I'm doing on the Other Network -- perhaps every other day, say -- except that I'm not sure there's enough of my creative self or general life experience to spread all that around.

All Up In The Facebook

Another wrinkle in my creative/writing/social existence is....Facebook. Along with e-mail, this utility is threaded/snake coiled into my life these days and I find it helpful to my work and general communication. I'm still figuring out exactly the best way to utilize the service but in terms of alerting people to when I'm going to be at such a such place doing this or that, in particular when it's book related, there's not been such an acute means of self-promotion to a niche market. When I think back to the Lubricat Theatre's Mutation Project of 2003, which creatively considered the issue of globalization, in reference to Facebook, the effort now seems both prescient and almost antique. 

Suffice to say, I've been busy on several fronts; the Flogging The Book side, the General Domestic Tranquility Side and the Takin' What Their Givin' 'Cuz I'm Workin' For A Livin' Side.


On the Ragtime business, I've participated in readings and signings, with more to come, and I generally enjoy myself and sell a few books. I'm giving a bus tour through the Valentine Richmond History Center -- based on the book -- in June. I also did one for Valentine's Day, ostensibly about "Richmond Romance" but it was a bit more on the darker side, with duels, Poe's amours, Patrick Henry and his first wife who went crazy and so forth.

I'm in a trough between my own creative projects at the moment. I'm not on a big deadline and so confess to a certain listlessness and a need to get back into the ring, though working on fiction right now seems more a flight-of-fancy escape than it ever has.

Giving observations on world events strikes me as not just vain in the egotistical sense, but futile in the "as if anybody could care" sense. With so many bloggists out here typing madly away in the assurance that if only somebody would listen to them then this financial crisis would be all straightened out, what on earth could a lone Kollatz accomplish?

POTUS BHO And His Discontents

But, I want to at least make this observation. The POTUS BHO is just shy of 100 days in office. The bloviators of Left and Right blather about his taking on too much, not doing enough, or just trying to shove as much through as he can while he owns a great quantity of political capital. In short, they are accusing him of being.... a politician. How many in either the general public or the media thought he'd be....what? Something else? Being a politician is not an immediate mark against one's character. There are levels and gradations. 

I watch CSPAN quite a bit and it seems those who align themselves with the right can just mutter about how he reads from the prompter, that he's out of his depth, that he's just a tax-and-spend liberal, that he's socialist or a communist or a fascist, most of them prating on about this without any knowledge of what they're talking about. There's this snide tone, calling him a Jimmy Carter one-termer and a weakling and everything else.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to watch Alexandra Pelosi's Right America: Feeling Wronged and getting the feeling of having fallen through Alice's mirror. The most normal-appearing ordinary subject, who speaks in simple declarative statements, comes off sounding unhinged and divorced from reality. The Pillsbury doughboy of a guy with a tongue stud and a T-shirt emblazoned by, "Say No To Socilism" and when Pelosi notifies him he's not only spelled socialism wrong, but then he has to Google the definition to explain what it means.

Even when in Mississippi, when a truck driver at an Oxford, Miss. service station says he's not voting for a n*gger, then two black men shake their fingers at Pelosi and declare, 'Shame on you Miss Liberal movie maker, you come down to Mississippi just so you can get somebody to say the word, 'n*gger." I mean, Christopher Guest couldn't come up with this stuff.

Some of those who ended up at the business end of Pelosi's camera have been traumatized by life experiences; through job loss, family members to war or disease -- but we don't really hear about that in her acc0unting. These ideas lodge in heads for reasons -- they may not be logical, but they do accrue somehow.

Critics called Right America "drive by journalism" but is this to deny that these people aren't out there, and seething, and some less quietly than others, about how their concept of the country has veered way out of their particular comprehension? 

Some 58 million people did not vote for the president. Pelosi may have felt confident she was covering the losers, but I for one didn't believe that McCain wouldn't become president until I was standing amid jubilant throngs at Laurel and Franklin streets spontaneously cheering Obama's name. I really didn't assume this election result possible, and I swear, I look and listen to him and after all that's come before, still find the circumstance refreshing and astounding. But I find more that we disagree on. 

He's done things about which I'm not comfortable; such as upholding rendition and not allowing telecoms to be sued for domestic spying. The appointment of cabinet level positions to people who haven't paid their taxes, the rescue of the banks, the punishing of the automakers, the entrenchment of an endless, Vietnam-esque conflict in Afghanistan, the continued support of the "War on Drugs," and lately, though previously classified torture-related documents were released, prosecution of the perpetrators isn't likely. All these things just don't make any sense to me.

I am heartened by his support of environmental and alternative fuels regulations including high speed rail, the SCHIP, and stem cells, and the release of Bush era documents. But, as POTUS might put it, let me be clear -- it's been not even 100 days, and he got dropped in his lap the biggest pile of steaming scheit the likes of which few presidents outside of FDR have received. 

I've said in this space before that I'm not a huge partisan of the two-party-system. I think it's ridiculous, and that our nation is big enough to handle three or four however-many political parties, and that we should have as wide a choice as possible. The unimaginable cost of running for office, the hamstringing compromises that must be made on the way up, the gerrymandered regulations that make third or other parties getting on the ballot almost impossible, the fogging over of ideals for opportunism, are all atrocious and of grievous result to the republic. That said, I think we have perhaps the best man for the job; but not a perfect one, nor stainless or sinless. You don't get to be POTUS through saintliness.

Readin' and Writin' 

I watch too much MSNBC, and need to just get off the TV diet, anyway. I'm reading several books, one of which is Robert Massie's huge history Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War. The other is Tom DeHaven's novel Funny Papers. Thus I've read his Derby Dugan trilogy in reverse.

Meanwhile, my colleague ink-stained wretches are going through a challenging, wrenching period. Almost every day comes news of newspapers closing, moving operations online and widespread layoffs. Last week, the Richmond Times-Dispatch let go more than 50 of its staff, including the loved/hated movie critic Dan Neman.

Will the T-D go the way of the Detroit Free-Press which recently went to delivering the paper to subscribers just three times a week? The Richmond paper's parent company, Media General, purchased the online and what will become of that isn't quite clear.

Mike McGrail explained inner meaning of the imploding news business this way, back in November, at Checkmate: a beaupre blog.

"Newspaper reporting, for all its oft-mentioned flaws, is the photosynthesis of the news ecosystem; it feeds everything above it. Broadcast and cable follow up newspaper articles with their own reports, bringing the news to a broader audience. Bloggers comment and contribute their own knowledge, correcting and expanding on stories that they would probably have missed if they hadn’t read it in a newspaper. The news ecosystem will not collapse without newspapers, but there’s no way it will uncover important new stories at the pace it does now. That’s not good for society. Fear of exposure is a powerful motivator for governments, businesses and individual to mind their manners. Newspapers have historically done most of the watching and scolding."

OK Computer

Finally, in my technological life, though I've been blogging more-or-less, off-and-on under the Blue Raccoon marquee for several years now, I still don't like the way the blog feels or looks. I've contemplated, not over seriously, altering the look or changing the lay out. My ignorance of this medium remains, well, significant. If I am to renew my blogging commitment, as it were, I need to work on all this. 

But any of this must occur through the eMac which has served me so long is these days making ball bearing grinding noises that seem to indicate an internal mechanical problem. And that needs to be rectified, else this blogging business will become moot, and the billion-eyed audience will be thus deprived. The world may not need another blog, but of course, it cannot stand one less. 

Labels: , , , , , , , ,