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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Tom Clancy Dead; Government Shutdown

Tom Clancy was one of my favorite authors back when I was in junior high and early high school—I devoured The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games, and stayed up all night the night of August 17, 1991, reading The Cardinal of the Kremlin, only to stumble downstairs to breakfast in the dawnlight to hear on the radio that Clancy’s story of a putsch in the upper echelons of the Russian government seemed to be taking place in reality!  He was my introduction to techno-thrillers, and doubtless a contributing factor to my nascent fascination with the then-mysterious Soviet Union.  In fact, I shouldn’t wonder that his daring-do stories with their uncomplicated characters influenced a lot of people’s views in the late Cold War—Russian translations of his works were early contraband, as I recall, and Soviet readers got to see that Americans had about as simplistic a view of them as the reverse!  Some of his books aged better than others—I re-read Hunt a year or so ago, and it was still good, but Patriot and others hadn’t stood the test of time so well, and so I thinned my Clancy collection accordingly.  He wasn’t a great writer, but he was a good and fun one, and he was awfully prescient about possibilities for human-generated disaster, including the use of fully-fueled hijacked aircraft flown by suicide bombers into major government buildings.  He was really young—my parents’ age.  Which means he penned Red October when he was younger than I am now!  I feel totally inadequate as a writer...

The federal government has been shut down for two days.  Half my Bible Study is on unpaid leave.  The news media has been interviewing disgruntled vacationing retirees turned away from closed national parks (talk about a “first world” problem!), and others who moan theatrically about (for the short term, at least) superficial inconveniences.  Certainly, there will be long-term repercussions.  One wishes it would instill fiscal prudence, but it won’t.  The major impact thus far on my immediate social circle (as judged in terms of friends’ comments) has been the switching off of the panda cam at the National Zoo (two people have mentioned it specifically).  I don’t see how that particular electronic closure saves money—it’s not like they are going to stop feeding the animals.  But this whole situation is full of such silliness.  I shan’t be unhappy to leave it behind. (Nor shall I miss the traffic, which continues unabated.)

I switched the electricity at my mother’s townhouse into my name yesterday, and will change over the water and trash tomorrow.  I still haven’t found a mover.  I was going to do it myself, but it’s going to cost upwards of $1400 if I pack the truck and trailer my own car, which seems ridiculous.  I am still waiting on a quote from one moving company I contacted last week (I will call them tomorrow, as well).  I’d love to get everything down south as quickly as possible, even if I, personally, have to stay up here a while longer to tie up all the loose ends (I have three upcoming jewelry shows, including the annual one at Georgetown, in the next two months, and a full slate of estate sales).

My boss suggested I start my own estate sale company down in Georgia—she said she’d tell me everything she knows (information on all the legal and technical matters, for instance).  I haven’t ruled out the idea (in fact, it is the first that has filled me with some measure of hope and enthusiasm about my employment prospects down south), so I would want to do it right from the get-go, with a LLC organized, tax ID, liability insurance, and proper, clear accounting from the start.  A small, good, hard-working and relentlessly honest team is essential.  I have all the mental framework, four years of full-time experience, and know exactly what tools are needed.  I’ll pray about it, and if the components come together, I’ll go for it.  It suits me—it’s a necessary service which suits my personality, and managed correctly I would be able to make a living at it and have time for artistic and social pursuits.

1 comment:

SDawg said...

derring-do