Friday, September 10, 2021

Just an update and all that, but tomorrow is 9/11


Next week, in Wednesday I start my vacation, we'll be leaving for the Reno Air Races, in you guessed it, Reno. We come back Monday. I don't know how much, if any, work I'll get done then. Part of it depends on how much the Races suck this year (after last year's cancellation a LOT of the big names aren't coming this year - guess they figured it'd be cancelled again). Also, we're losing our box seat as there is now only FOUR of us in it this year and the minimum is TEN. The box has been 'shrinking' ever since the crash (over a decade ago now), but last year's cancellation put the nails in the coffin. I'm pretty much expecting to see the lowest turn out in the history of the races, as a lot of people probably have figured that if they canceled an OUTDOOR event over crap like that, they ain't spending their time and money on it anymore.

Also air travel has gotten to be incredibly difficult, and for some of us, wearing a mask is physically disabling. Because we can't breath. And when you already have permanent lung damage, shit like that isn't much fun. So a part of me is expecting this to be the last year of the races. Regardless this will be the last year of the box. I'm just the latest 'caretaker' of it (the guy that coordinates the tickets). The last guy retired from that about 4 years ago. But the 'heritage' of this box goes back over 40 years. It was founded by the rec.aviation newsgroup (remember newsgroups?) of which a few friends of mine were members. Which is how we got an invite, when space opened up, almost 20 years ago.

I'm still editing Summer's End for Baen. I work on that evenings and weekends, but the last few days I've been doing electrical work outside until it's too dark to see (we've added an outbuilding). I also need to do a short story for 'Tales Around the Supper Table part 2'. The first book was a big hit, so we all decided to do a second one and I volunteered to do the 'scut work', namely the physical assembly, formatting, layout, that kind of thing. Jim, who is in charge of the anthology hates dealing with that stuff. Me? I'm used to it, so it's no big deal - even if everyone's submission comes in a different format, with different fonts, layouts, etc.

I'm at the halfway point on Sean now. If it wasn't for my 'once a year and I missed it last year vacation', Sean would be going out by the end of the month. Now, I'm not so sure. We'll just have to see. As half the people I used to see won't be at the races this year, I may end up with a lot more spare time on my hands than I usually do.

One Last Thing: Tomorrow is 9/11. Now I was lucky in that I didn't lose anybody who was a friend or family member. I have pictures from friends who were there that day and who watched everything that happened. My brother is (or should I say, 'was' as he's now retired) NYFD. He new every single firefighter that died that day. Some of them very closely. The Fire Chief he'd worked for in the past, and the Chaplin was also a friend. His station was at that time, the fireboat station, which is a short walk from the towers. The Station that got completely wiped out was one he was often 'loaned' to, as my brother was by then a pump operator, and whenever theirs were out, he'd be sent over there, as the fireboat he worked on normally ran with two.

Another friend of mine worked in the towers, but he refused to be there anytime around the date of the previous attack (also on 9/11) so he was home. Another friend of mine was responsible for the fire systems in the building (his company was, but that building was his responsibility) and on the tenth of every September, he had to survey the entire site. So he'd been all over those towers the day before (he's the one that sent me the pictures, some of which I 'wasn't supposed to have'.)

I also did a little work in those towers myself. A company I worked for back in the late 80's put some specialized storage systems in one of the offices there (used for securing and filing legal documents). I don't know if that law firm was still there come 2001 however. I did watch those towers get built, and I'd been in them many times, I'd even been up on the roofs of them. My friend who sent me the pictures watched the first tower go down, and as he was in another skyscraper, he could see right through them (this was typical, because of the central core / open floor plan design - if the light was right, you could see into and even through the building) and he told me he watched the floors buckle from the fire load. The whole thing gave him PTSD because he saw a lot of people die that day.

So, tomorrow, take a few minutes to remember what happened, all those folks who died, some of whom were just average slobs like the rest of us, working for a living, and some of whom were the brave people who gave their lives trying to save others. And don't forget who did it, either. Never forget that.

Have a good weekend, everyone, and if I don't post much after Wednesday, now you know why.