Intertwining Threads

On May 10, 2011 · 2 Comments

I’m predisposed to look for patterns and there are times when they come together better than others. This is one of those times although it may seem to have a bit of a stream-of-consciousness feel to it.

I left for Dulles Airport on Monday morning for a week of work in San Diego, California. As I rode in the taxi I heard a story on the radio about Samoa. They are planning to change to the other side of the International Date Line, aligning themselves more with Australia than the United States. When that happens their calendar will lose a day. I jotted a note into my mobile phone so that I would remember to mention something on 12MC when I arrived in San Diego. I didn’t figure I’d dwell on it because it was likely to get extensive press and blog coverage elsewhere but I also couldn’t let such a momentous geo-oddity event pass unnoticed on these pages either.

I arrived, checked my email, and regular reader Greg was already on the case, letting me know about an article on CNN. One of the benefits of the switch, apparently, sounds a lot like my article called Celebrate the Day Twice except that the locations are a lot closer and a lot more feasible: Samoa and American Samoa. Nobody will be able to experience January 1, 2000 again but it might be fun for a random birthday or anniversary.

As I was responding to Greg, I received an email from loyal reader Steve at Connecticut Museum Quest. He was letting me know of a tweet from another favorite blogger, DataPointed. If I had a Twitter account I suppose I’d re-tweet this, but since I don’t, let me copy the text verbatim:

Random GeoFactoid: Runway 01L-19R at Dulles International is closer to the State of West Virginia than the White House.

This brought three things to mind beyond the self-evident coolness factor of that statement:

  1. How did DataPointed even dream up such an amazingly obscure factoid?
  2. Why didn’t I learn about this six hours earlier when I was in the cab heading towards Dulles so I could impress (or not) the cabbie?
  3. What does county-counter extraordinaire Fritz Keppler, who works right over by Dulles, think about this?

San Diego is so much more enjoyable than some of my typical destinations. I even had an opportunity to wander around the city a bit thanks to all the hours I picked-up flying west into the Pacific Time Zone.

Judgment Day 2011

I walked down the waterfront at the Port of San Diego and received a visual reminder that the world is about to end. I don’t generally question peoples’ beliefs — people are free to believe what they want to believe — but I do think it’s worth mentioning that doomsday prophesies and various predictions of the End Times don’t have a particularly good track record. If the rapture happens on May 21, 2011, as some seem to believe rather fervently, then this will be one of my final blog entries. I won’t be motivated to blog during the brief period between the rapture and the fiery destruction of the earth on October 21, 2011, either. Just sayin’.

Bob Hope Statue in San Diego

On a happier note I came across a tribute to Bob Hope as I wandered past the USS Midway aircraft carrier museum. depicting one of his countless USO tours in support of the troops for more than fifty years from the Second World War through the Persian Gulf War. I particularly enjoyed the interplay between bronze figures of his military audience members and the flesh-and-blood modern tourists who wandered through the statuary. When I returned to the hotel I then noticed a blog entry from Catholicgauze of Geographic Travels and his tribute to the USO. Welcome back from Afghanistan, Catholicgauze.

V-J Day in Times Square

If I were to choose between a frightening doomsday prophesy or this iconic image of a better tomorrow from the conclusion of the Second World War, well, I don’t think there’s really much of a choice at all. I’m an optimist.

Anyone have any other San Diego suggestions before the world ends (bearing in mind that I’ll be on foot)?

On May 10, 2011 · 2 Comments

2 Responses to “Intertwining Threads”

  1. Fritz Keppler says:

    Haha! I never thought of the relative nearness of that western side runway to the Eastern Panhandle, but a quick look at a map shows that this is in fact the case. Also Runway 12L-30R is even closer, by a few thousand feet!

    I’ve got to get down to San Diego County again, if for no reason than to cross the line between there and the estado of Baja California (Norte), which I abbreviate BN in my records to differentiate it from British Columbia.

    Also, there is a (semi)serious movement in southern Arizona (heard it also on the radio) to split from the northern part of the state, mainly due to a supposed difference in greater acceptance of Hispanic cultural elements in the south as opposed to the north. The name of this new state would be Baja Arizona. I was stationed at Fort Huachuca in 1971.

    Gute Reise!

  2. DT says:

    The Baja Arizona “movement” has nothing to do with Hispanic identity. It’s simply (1) a political move by disaffected far left liberals that don’t like being outnumbered among Arizona’s largely more mainstream populace and (2) a result of a serious insecurity among many residents of Tucson relative to Phoenix. There is s serious “second city inferiority complex” going on there. I lived there fir about 10 years or so and that insecurity seemed to be the one identifier that gives tucson any sense of place – “we’re not Phoenix”. That might be cute for a small town or if it’s related to something like sports, but it seems to permeate the collective conscious there. It’s kind of sad and it manifests itself among the most insecure in “movements” like this.

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