Thursday, February 28, 2013

Conflagration

Being caught in a conflagration isn't a good thing at all. You are unlikely to survive. Neither is much of anything else, and that includes buildings, roads, and societal norms.

There have been Great Fires in a number of cities, some caused by benign neglect or the authorities losing control, some caused by direct action such as bombing. The cause might be obscure, but then it grows and grows, getting out of human control. It will go on till it runs out of fuel.

The only good thing is that essentially society has a clean slate to rebuild. Sometimes trying to build on to an existing structure or situation is much harder than than it really needs to be. After a conflagration they can clean away the the rubble and get started. Many places have enacted more stringent building codes in an attempt to prevent it from happening again.

Eventually of course, something will happen. There might be a fire, or any number of natural disasters, or a plague. No matter how careful we are, our societies are more complex than we know. Sooner or later, shit will happen, all we can do is prepare, hoping to mitigate the outcome.

On a smaller scale, it happens to people. Sometimes someone will say, "I was on fire out there" meaning they couldn't do anything wrong. That's an amazing experience when it happens. But sometimes it's a catastrophic event that forces them to change their life. The classic example is a middle-aged guy having a heart attack, and then having to change his diet, his level of activities, and sometime his profession.

Pity it took such a major event to force the change, even though all the signs were there for those with the eyes to see. There are many pressures building now. Climate change. The economic crisis. Aging populations. Stephen Harper. Nobody knows how they will be resolved, but history tells they will be resolved one way or another.

This is the last in my series of 28 words. My faithful readers supplied me with the words that became the titles for the February blogs. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I'm reasonably pleased. Hope you liked them. Back to my usual whimsical titles tomorrow.

Today we braved the rain and went to the far end of the island. The big surprise of the day happened at the bus stop. The other day I had chatted briefly with the guy that lives just up the hill from us as I was heading out for a run. He recognized me and pulled into the bus stop to offer us a ride. Turned out he was going the same place as we were, and he very kindly gave us a ride. We had a wonderful chat. Bermudans are so friendly!

The Dockyards was supposed to have a glass blowing demo, but they were having an equipment problem. Maybe it had to do with the rain. I could watch glass blowing for hours. So I watched them doing some lamp work, which isn't as much fun. Not sure if you can see it here.




After we got home I headed out for a run. The rain had stopped, and the sun was trying to shine. It was warm and humid, but nice for me. Warmed up a few minutes running very easy, then picking it up. Ran down to the gate in the railway trail that keeps people from getting into the tank storage farm. Mostly ran easy, and pushed a little harder going uphill. You might think Bermuda is flat, but that would be a mistake. Walked a bit to cool down, and stretched after.

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