Saturday, September 03, 2005

On the radio

The AC voltage provided by the local power company is a bit over 60 Hz. Consequently, most of the clocks in the house (excepting the battery-powered ones) end up running fast. They all got reset to the correct time when daylight savings started; now they're about fifteen minutes out of sync. Consequently, my alarm goes off at 7:15, now, even though the clock thinks it's 7:30. I usually don't mind this too much. I don't get out of bed any earlier, but the extra few minutes gives me a chance to wake up gradually while I listen to Morning Edition on NPR.

Listening to the radio in the mornings is a lot more fun when there's happy news. For the past few days, I've awakened in the morning to news of the aftermath of Katrina. I was in New Orleans for a conference less than a month ago; there were a lot of friendly folks there, and I wish I knew that they were still there and still doing okay. But I don't. So I make my monetary contribution and hope that it can help someone, even if I fear that it won't.

Listening to the aftermath of Katrina scares me. It took too long for help to get there, and that means that those without the resources to get out are in a pickle. Listening to the radio this morning, I heard an interview with one man who had carefully planned in advance what he would do if the big one hit. The big one to me has come to mean the next big earthquake; New Orleans has just had its big one, and in the Bay Area we all spend a little time waiting and planning for ours. Hearing about the slow response to the situation in New Orleans makes me think poor people; it also makes me think are we next?