Here I am in Los Angeles, and the funny thing is that I found out about the earthquake hours later, on a cell phone call to Dave in Boston. When the quake struck I was running around Old Town doing last minute shopping. Didn’t feel a thing. My father-in-law Mike was indoors. He didn’t feel it either, but saw a chandelier swaying when someone pointed it out. Folks sitting in the same room felt a slight motion.

"Dick Cheney or Lon Chaney"

This week’s New Yorker reminded me how much I like Lorrie Moore.

  It was not good to think about the previous burning of the bedroom candles of a woman who had just unzipped your pants. Besides, he was too grateful for those candles–especially with all those little wonder boys in the living room. Perhaps by candlelight his whitening chest hair would not look so white. This was what candles were made for: the sad, sexually shy, out-of-shape, middle-aged him. How had he not understood this in his marriage? Zora herself looked ageless, like a nymph, with her short hair, although once she got his glasses off she became a blur of dim and shifting shapes and might as well have been Dick Cheney or Lon Chaney or the Blob, except that she smelled good and, but for the occasional rough patch, had the satiny skin of a girl.

From “Debarking”, currently readable here. “Dick Cheney or Lon Chaney“. I just love that juxtaposition.

Hanging out at the gate waiting for our flight to board, I fired up the Web browser on my vx4400, and before long was reading weblogs. As crummy as the little screen is for viewing Web pages, it works great for weblog posts. “Duh!”, says the SMS crowd.

Impressions of AmericaWest 409 Friday night: hungry and cramped, but cheap and boy whatta smooth landing. I didn’t realize that A319s, which I’ve flown numerous times between BOS and DCA, could make it all the way across the country.

Information flows and extremism

Ben Adida writes

  In a world of millions of blogs and instant access to all sorts of viewpoints, you’d think people would have more trouble remaining sheltered and confined to their skewed view of the world. Is the Internet really improving information flow on a general basis, or merely increasing flow between already like-minded folks, thereby creating even more extreme viewpoints?

A provocative question. Weblogs are increasing flow between already like-minded folks, but the increased flow doesn’t always create extremism. Better to say that that the increased flow creates increased effectiveness (networked customers get smarter, faster), which can take shape in a number of ways, good and bad.