FIGJAM

Rants, reviews, photos and lots of my own snarky asshattery…

100

I was around my son’s age today (7) when this legend – Titanic – crossed the periphery of my awareness.

I think one of the first attention-getters was a Reader’s Digest article about the disaster, followed by the book Raise The Titanic by Clive Cussler. Over the years, my fascination bordered, at times, on obsession. I had a Titanic board game. I read every book I could get my hands on, fiction and non-fiction. I watched every film about it I could find, whether documentary or fantasy, drama or action.

The thing people forget – and I think the root of the fascination about the subject for my generation and the two preceding* – was the mystery. No one knew where Titanic was, exactly. The technology to find it didn’t exist. The technology to travel that deep in the ocean didn’t exist. Everything was based on anecdotal evidence – the stories of the survivors – and as it turns out, those stories weren’t always very accurate. They thought she lay holed but mostly intact on the seabed, and could someday be raised to become a floating museum and memorial.

How wrong they were.

The unravelling of the mystery was fascinating. I pored over those first photos in National Geographic, absorbing details like a sham-wow in an infomercial… this ship been a fascination for me for more than half of my young life, and here she was, laid out in front of me. Myth after myth was dispelled – she wasn’t intact, she’d broken up… she couldn’t be raised, at least not in the way fantasized about in fiction. The cold depths they thought preserve her, hadn’t – she wasn’t perfectly preserved or in stasis, Titanic was slowly dissolving, consumed by rusticles. Scientific analysis brought understanding of what actually happened to the great vessel, supporting some survivor reports of a great cracking sound which had often been discounted. Further analysis concluded that her steel was brittle, ultimately exacerbating the damage inflicted by the iceberg. Titanic was never unsinkable – she was a disaster waiting to happen.

Over my lifetime, the story has evolved from the remarkable myth of a lost ship which may never be found to a fully-explained tragedy with few mysteries remaining, subject of dozens of documentaries and films discussing almost every aspect of her short existence.

My generation is the last to see Titanic through the fog of mythology and uncertainty.

As my family commemorates the 100th anniversary of her sinking, Titanic isn’t a legend to my kids. It’s just a thing that happened a long time ago.

And that’s kind of sad.

Perhaps I need to find a way to bring the mythology back?

* To the people who were around when Titanic sank, it was an immense tragedy that got mixed in with the horrors of World War I and the flu pandemic and so many other terrible world events of the time. The generations born after it happened – the ones not directly affected – are the ones who elevated it to mythical levels.

Aftermath

“The hardest part,” she said, “Will be when I don’t have to come here every day.”

It was about the fourth time she’d made that statement in the past couple of hours. Since we’d arrived to visit Mike at the hospital on Thursday evening, Jen seemed relieved to have someone different to talk to, so she just kept on talking. It was obvious she was trying hard to come to terms with what was happening to her husband, and being helpless to change it, wanted to do something – ANYTHING – to keep from succumbing to her sense of loss.

His turn for the worse, only a week before, had caught her completely unprepared. He’d been hospitalized since January 2nd, and had gone through radiation treatment. His condition appeared to be improving. He was undergoing physiotherapy to strengthen muscles ravaged by ionic radiation so he could walk again.  For the first time in months, it looked like he was going to be home, and soon. Jen thought they were past the worst of it, and although his life might be shortened, they’d still have a few years together.

But that didn’t happen. Read the rest of this entry »

Descried

My daughter was talking to me yesterday when, with a shock, I suddenly noticed something.

She’s eleven now.

She’s changing significantly. She’s growing up. In spite of her Aspie traits, she is becoming more responsible. She’s genuinely interested in more adult-oriented activities. Where in the past she’s actively avoided responsibility wherever and whenever she could, now she’s actively seeking it in many situations.

She still likes to do “kid stuff”. She still takes some things too far because she’s still a child at the core of her being (I actually hope she never loses that). But she isn’t a little girl any more.

I looked at my son, and the same thing is happening. He’s six – and yet, he WANTS to do chores. He wants to help out. He’s getting his mother to teach him how to do laundry because he sees it as a way he can assist with the house. He WANTS to do this.

I was suddenly overwhelmed with a flood of feelings about missed opportunities. All those things “normal” dads do with their kids, like playing catch and teaching them sports and games and running around having squirt-gun fights.

My kids are growing up, and I’m missing it.

AND I’VE BEEN RIGHT HERE THE WHOLE TIME.

I hate this illness.

  • 3:29pm - 16th Nov 2011
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This’n'That

Clickin’ embiggens.

Percussive

One day last week, my dinosaur Blackberry was acting odd. It showed a screen with a battery with line through it. I took out the battery, left it to sit overnight, and when I put it back in the next day, it worked. So, I pretty much forgot about it.

This morning, when I powered it on, it did it again. No amount of battery pulling made any difference, it would just start and show the line-through-battery screen.

I have 5 bloody weeks left on my contract, and I will be damned if I am going to replace the phone. It doesn’t make sense to do so.

I assumed that the symbol showing on the screen was an indicator that there was no battery in the phone. Since the battery is virtually brand new (it and the trackball are the only things I have replaced in 3 years of ownership) and was holding a charge perfectly, I became concerned that something internal was wrong… maybe the OS was corrupted, or the contacts were bent. There is nothing visually wrong with the contacts, though… they are clean and in the positions they should be in. Unlike many BB users, I rarely do battery pulls, preferring instead to do the Ctrl-Alt-Del (well, Alt-RightShift-Del on the BB) to reboot it, so it isn’t like there has been a lot of wear-and-tear there. Still, I cleaned the connection areas with an eraser, made sure the contacts were up where they should be, poking them and lifting them with a toothpick.

Battery-with-a-line-through-it.

I’ve had 3 hours of sleep and had only noticed the phone problem because I woke up to pee. I’ve got a pounding migraine. I’m not firing on all cylinders – indeed, I’d call my condition substantially impaired right now. But, I turned on the computer and googled (and like an idiot, came here afterwards too).

The primary, most-recommended method to resolve this problem, according to BB forum users around the world? Read the rest of this entry »

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