Friday, January 1, 2010

fin de décennie

It seems, as we approach the fin de décennie (no, the decade didn't end yesterday....) that the world is rapidly approaching hell in a hand basket. The news from Afghanistan, from Pakistan, from Juarez, and from everywhere regarding flights, has been very depressing. 
Our experience with flights and security was interesting: fortunately the folks at Heathrow were able to save the world from disaster by discovering the honey which LOML had packed into our carry on bags, but other than that, getting into the departure lounge was relatively straightforward.  Getting from there to the gate took an inordinately long amount of time, though.  We waited, standing in place, for over an hour to get body-frisked and have our hand baggage searched (this, remember, after we'd gone through detectors and our bags had gone through x-rays to get into the area!)  I don't mean to demean any risks, but this seemed to me to be an ineffective method of eliminating risk.  And at the expense of seriously pissing off passengers.  I've never resented business class passengers quite the same way before as I did watching them get to walk through and get frisked early!
My worry is that we'll all say "we're doing something about it" and not worry whether what we are doing is going to deter, detect or destroy any danger.

And as to the end of the decade snark above, the first decade went from years 1 to 10.  There was no year 0.  Thus, every subsequent decade in the counting scheme should also start with 1 and end in 0.

Of course, I won the argument in 1999 with everyone I explained it to, even if they didn't accept that I was right.  And yet I celebrated the beginning of 2000 with everyone regardless.  After all, no matter how well I'd won the argument, I knew nobody would be celebrating a millennium with me a year later!

Yours, finally celebrating,

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