Saturday, July 09, 2011

Poem for Saturday, The Ambergris Element, Fort McHenry

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
By William Butler Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.

Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.


We had rainstorms and flash floods forecast for Friday, though they didn't arrive till the late afternoon -- and, knock wood, our electricity stayed on though there were outages around the area. Daniel is still recuperating, though -- knock wood again -- his pulled teeth really have not been bothering him, so he spent a lot of the day on the computer looking at Anti-Joke Chicken and watched the rest of the first season of Gargoyles with me while I folded laundry. Adam went out running with friends and was going to play tennis with my father, but the storms arrived too soon.

I posted a review of the animated Star Trek's "The Ambergris Element" and watched the shuttle launch online. We had dinner with my parents, glanced at both the Orioles and Nationals in the process of losing to the Red Sox and Rockies, then watched Torchwood: Miracle Day, which I thought was very interesting and thoughtful and in which I felt nothing beyond a vague nostalgia. Small spoilers: Children of Earth pretty much killed my ability to feel anything for or empathize with the characters, and if I needed any reminders, they kept mentioning the 456. I smiled at Jack introducing himself as Owen Harper, until I remembered how many characters whom I once liked are dead. I bet that when death returns to the world, Gwen and Rhys's baby is the first to go.

The Friday Five: Phobias
1. What phobia do you have?
Claustrophobia. I freak out in slow elevators and can't go into caves.
2. How did your phobia come about?/Or how do you think it came about? No idea. I don't remember not being claustrophobic.
3. If you could replace your phobia with any other, which one would it be? Fear of something I'm never likely to encounter, like giant hissing cockroaches.
4. What phobia would you wish on your worst enemy? Why? I suppose fear of water, since it's unavoidable. But it would have to be a pretty awful murderer-level enemy.
5. What phobia do you not wish on you worst enemy? Why? What's the one where you're afraid to leave your room? Because what a miserable life.

Fannish5: Five characters who would like to explore or travel in space (who haven't done so already.)
1. Elizabeth Swann
, Pirates of the Caribbean
2. Stephen Maturin, Master & Commander
3. Lois Lane, Smallville
4. Hiro Nakamura, Heroes
5. Denny Crane, Boston Legal

Reenactors at Fort McHenry prepared to fire one of the cannons.

Several man wore full uniforms...

...despite the fact that it was nearly 100 degrees on July 4th.

There are replica uniforms inside the barracks at the fort as well.

Cannons still ring the fort...

...representing different eras of the fort's life as a military installation.

The Patapso River looks well-protected but none of these weapons can be fired any longer.

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Yes, I have been enjoying the Harry Potter premiere photos where they have scrolled across my screen, though I feel strangely detached from them -- maybe it will all hit me as a big wave of happy or sad or nostalgic when I actually see the movie, but right now it's kind of "Oh, look how nice Alan looked and how sweet of Dan to say that he should get an Oscar!" I will confess, however, that when I saw TNT's photos of the Dallas relaunch with Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, Patrick Duffy, and Priscilla Presley, THAT gave me chills!

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