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The Bookshelf

Doug's bookshelf: read

AntwerpWarsaw BikiniIcelandHow the Soldier Repairs the GramophoneThe Original of LauraBrief Interviews with Hideous Men

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Time Since Reboot

  • 1252 days, 3 hours, 30 minutes, 53 seconds ago

Gramiscellany: T-Town Relief Edition

I do not really have anything meaningful to say.  I cannot add anything to the discussion, and I feel very distant from Tuscaloosa which, more than any other place, is truly my hometown.  I was born at Druid City Hospital, now overwhelmed by displaced Alabamians in need of treatment for their injuries.  A great percentage of my happiest moments were there on campus, whose historic structures were miraculously spared.  I have spent more of my adult life in T-town than anywhere else, and I will always go back.  Always. 

I have been posting random bits of media and info to my facebook page.  I will post some here too.  They will overlap, so I apologize for the redundancy.  I think it is important to understand the magnitude of what happened, the tragic aftermath and those who are devoting their time and energy to the relief effort.

First: this is the most incredible and horrifying tornado video I have ever seen, amateur or professional. 

I don’t know what kind of vehicle this guy was in, but we know the front seat had to have been big enough to accommodate himself, his camera, and his gargantuan set of balls.

The death toll just keeps climbing as rescue efforts continue.

Coach Saban and Coach Stallings are lending their support where they can.

Local animal rescuers have set up a page for lost and found pets.

I just realized I could keep linking and linking forever.  Go to YouTube and Flickr and do a search if you want to see more footage.  There is so much amateur material out there.  It really serves to make an already, for me at least, personal story that much more personal and that much more real and frightening.  Students with their cameras pointed at the skies before running for their lives.  Local storm spotters trying to report and warn and, at the same time, stay out of harm’s way.  This isn’t "When Weather Attacks Vol. 4" tonight on Fox.  This is home.

Look at this. 15th St. and McFarland. It is unrecognizable.

Fwd: Tuscaloosa Tornado pictures of Big Lots, Hobby Lobby etc.


Here’s the point.  If you don’t want to read all my bullshit just skip to right here:  please donate what you can to the American Red Cross either via their website or by texting 90999 from your phone.  There are so many neighbors in need and every single tiny bit helps.  Thanks.  And Roll Tide.


Rather than start this off with the same tired apology for not having written more often, etcetera, I am electing instead to dive right into the reinstatement of the long-dead Friday Thought Dump (I would link to one but, damn, they are so uninteresting… let’s hope I’ve upped my game since then). 

I started reading David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel, The Pale King, appropriately (its loose collection of characters are IRS accountants at the Peoria, IL processing center), on April 15th.  There are many, many reviews floating around out here in the internet already, but perhaps I will be able to add one more viewpoint to the discussion: a review from the perspective of an actual public accountant.  I am, admittedly, not very far into the novel as yet, but already Claude Sylvanshine’s interjecting interior monologue re: CPA examination questions and answers hit so close to home I feel like weeping. 

Have you ever been rejected?  I bet it wasn’t like this

I love my iPhone.  I use it for everything.  I should probably post some of my favorite apps – that would make a fine throwaway blog post someday. 

One bittersweet note: I’m a little discouraged by how much fun I’m having taking pictures with my phone.  On the one hand I feel like it is encouraging me to be more thoughtful about what makes a good shot – especially in situations when I normally would not have my DSLR at my side.  But I can also see myself stagnating because the dead simple photography apps make crafting a creative image so effortless. 

It doesn’t help that I pretty much lost an entire weekend’s batch (roughly 550 photographs) due to operator error this month.  We drove up into northeastern NM and, as usual, ended up on an unimproved road in the gorgeous middle of nowhere.  The next day we went to the zoo and I took all kinds of pictures of the animals and so forth.  Ninety percent of them are worthless.  I went the entire weekend thinking I had the camera at its normal ‘auto’ setting, when in actuality it was in manual mode the entire time – still adjusted for taking pictures of the moon.  I am going to try to salvage some of the more interesting shots.  As it stands, the iPhone got the best captures:


2011-03-26 at 14.28.552011-03-26 at 17.52.112011-03-26 at 14.08.482011-04-06 at 22.48.50

2011-03-26 at 15.59.47

2011-03-26 at 19.17.442011-03-27 at 15.21.472011-03-27 at 16.15.322011-03-27 at 16.23.45


There you have it, folks.  Hodgepodge at its finest.