The Abundance of the Moment

I was talking the other night to a friend about the gas shortage here in Atlanta, and admitted that I was embarrassed how it had unnerved me.

Hurricanes Gustav and Ike shut down the refineries on the gulf coast which produce the gasoline that is pumped through pipelines to the southeast. It has taken the refineries a long time to get back up and running, and the gasoline reaching our area is well below normal.

The result has been shortages, long lines and the barely muted panic of a population habituated, and unable to get, it’s substance of choice.

The first line I saw was a week ago when I went to get my car washed at a gas station. (Due to a drought, we’re also restricted from engaging in another American birthright: the domestic joy of washing the car in the driveway.)
There was a line half a block long at the station. The attendant said it was because they were selling lowest octane gas at $3.87 a gallon.

I got the car washed without waiting, but the experience was disturbing.

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Blue-Chip Discipline

I’m in one of the stuffed purple chairs at Starbucks, editing a story on my laptop. An academic friend of mine is in the adjoining chair, checking his assets in the Wall Street Journal.

“You gonna work much longer?” he says, folding the paper in half and then in half again.

“As long as I can,” I say, bemused.

He meant was I planning to retire soon. I’ve made no secret that reinventing myself has taken a toll on my finances. That it has eluded my friend probably says more about his preoccupation with finding a woman to marry at the age of 51 than about my circumstances.

Which are anything but robust, at least in the Wall Street Journal sense of the word. But in a world that seems to be lurching from one financial crisis to another, I’ve got some blue-chip experience when it comes to what Andy Stanley calls “faith tension.”

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LinkedIn as a Metaphor

I got an email yesterday from a friend whom I had invited to be one of my connections on LinkedIn. The essence of her question was: why? And the essence of my answer was: I don’t know, but I’ve been sitting on the sidelines all my life acting like I’m in control when all I’veRead more

The Quality Commitment

I came across a remark from Jimmy Page  the other day in the June 12 Rolling Stone that reminded me about the importance of commitment. In an interview with David Fricke, Page said, “The main thing is quality… The important thing is to commit to playing. You have to put a lot in to getRead more

The Wisdom of Squirrels

The pistol shots began about 730 on Sunday morning: BANG! BANGBANGBANG! BANG! BANGBANG! I don’t live in that kind of neighborhood, so I got up and wandered into the living room. The sun was still low and hung up in the foliage east of the house. But it had broken through in one spot andRead more