Open Letter to Doc

Doc’s been in North Carolina, saying his final farewells to his beloved mother. His cell phone is spotty. His email server’s hosed. Since I can’t get in touch with him, I’ll just put my thoughts here and let him pick them up when he can.

Hi Doc,

Sorry I haven’t been in touch for about a week. You’ve been so distracted with your mother’s illness and then your return for her memorial last weekend. I appreciate the updates on voicemail and, before it went down, email. I’ve been moved by your comments. I envy you your wonderful history with your mother, something I never had. I especially appreciated the picture of you and her at the beach, and the one with the whole family, you at six, holding the beer bottle. You had a wry look then and still do. Some people “get” irony at an early age and some never do. You’re my favorite “man of iron”-y.

Though you haven’t been able to update, I’m sure the interment and memorial went well, and that your eulogy was as eloquent as you always are. I’ll bet you even leavened it with humor from your deep reservoir of benevolent irony. I never asked if you agree with me (but I bet you do) that the most important element in grief is high mirth and the vital antidote to arrogance is an appreciation of our essential absurdity.

Things have been a little quiet here in NYC, but the weather has been magnificent, early fall, really. I’m spending every morning in Bryant Park, soaking up the WiFi, the good vibes and some sun, since the air’s cool enough to encourage a few rays. What a great place. As I write this tonight, they’re concluding the free film series with 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Here are some pix from this morning. The first one’s looking west from the terrace next to the New York Public Library.

I chatted with a fellow there this morning about free WiFi in the Park, a very well-dressed midtown type. I shared your advice that, should one wish to gain access to the whole of the world’s knowledge from the Library’s west reading room, you need to sit by the windows and log on to the Bryant Park WiFi. It’s uncertain if you’re better off in the Library’s impressive reading room without WiFi, or online at the Park’s charming little reading room, with its staff of maroon-shirted volunteers:

My new friend’s a big-time Madison Avenue attorney, who spontaneously said, “I love anything that weakens Microsoft’s stranglehold on us all!” Whew! You don’t expect that kind of spontaneous emission in middle-aged guys like us. With just a bit of encouragement, he also expressed his dismay with the current administration. He can’t make the Dean rally tomorrow night, but seemed heartened to detect a way out of the wilderness.

This next picture is of an actor in some kind of commercial, gesticulating meaningfully behind a laptop with a green screen into which some video jock will paste some important-appearing computer information, without which no enterprise could hope to compete against the awesome forces arrayed against it.

You will appreciate the irony reeking from the image. Nothing meaningful said. No information on the screen. No comprehension of the message by the actor. In fact, at the moment I snapped this, the crew had just quit shooting but hadn’t yet told the actor, who continued buzzwording on, full of sound and flurry, signifying nothing.

Xpertweb is moving along, albeit more slowly than I’d like. Roland’s waiting for me to rough out the datatypes for the three preference sets present in each task, the Seller, Buyer and the Product/Task. I hate it when I’m the one in the middle of the critical path. It forces me to stop pontificating and to get on with real work.

Well, I’d better get on with Roland’s datatyping. Travel well. Tell your relatives that there are now people all over the world who care about them–people whom they will never meet. Now that’s news.

Hugs,

Britt

11:01:18 PM    

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