Thursday, June 29, 2006

Water Reservoir for New York City

I'm from Schoharie County and I often feel comfort here in New York knowing that most of the water I drink and shower in is water from home.

If the dam busts, no fresh drinking water for NYC!!

Report from Mom in Beleaguered Upstate

Gilboa Dam held yesterday and flooding has been minor, but Cobleskill Creek flooded closing to of the three roads into Cobleskill. It took me 45 minutes yesterday to get from the house to the Cobleskill office. Richmondville is flooded and had a mudslide. They were rescuing people by pontoon boat.
The Mohawk has flooded - Fonda and Canajoharie have a couple of feet of water in the streets, 170 miles of the Thruway from Schenectady to Syracuse have been closed since noon yesterday and are still closed, and I-88 is closed because of heavy water and debris on the road. Down towards Binghamton an I-88 bridge collapsed sending two tractor trailers and their drivers into the river. Schoharie and Montgomery have "no unnecessary travel" restrictions - I need to go to Amsterdam and Albany today. I can get to Albany on Route 20, but I'm not sure I can get across the Mohawk to Amsterdam. Crazy, huh? And we're getting more rain today!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Warming up

wrote this on June 10.

Surdus mentioned interpreting issues in one of his recent posts including that we might as well go on the dole as we're meant to. We're too burdensome on society so would it be cheaper to live in subsidized housing and if unmarried with kids, living on $400 a month including Medicaid and Medicare benefits? Crappy and fast food are cheaper, and with health woes building up from shitty food and lack of exercise by standing around in front of building chatting... Under the thumb and stringent brackets of where you can break from welfare rolls into a proper job earning minimum wage.. OK I need to stop.

In one the posts I wrote early in 2006, I purchased the last copy of "Deaf People in Hitler's Europe" from Amazon. I've read it a little by little. It is no easy feat and not easy on the eyes. Since middle school the teachers drummed in the pros and cons of World War Two and how "history must not be repeated"... During Cold War and in recent years whatever horrible deed a government does to their people would entice cries and warnings that we must not forget! Yet we let them do it. Wheels of history continues to spin. It's easier said than done. Always. I took the course in '99 and the current edition isn't much different.. A few recent additions to the impacts on the German and Jewish Deaf communities since then. At the time of research, the Deaf survivors were few and memories even less intact. Those with efficient memories were reluctant to share.

I still haven't finished the book - like I said, not easy on the eyes. And I'm not in school and there's no classmates to have a discussion with. It'd be a year before friends and I could digest it, our busy schedule to get together. So I gave it a skim and you get the gist:

The information is pretty much the same from the course in '99. Overview of the Nazi rise to power taking advantage of German disillusionment from the first World War and feeling screwed over by Versailles treaty. Scapegoats and those impeding the path to German (or Aryan) greatness needed to be found and pointed at. The Jews, the Romas, homosexuals and the handicapped were the obvious choices. Those considered as afflictions and genetically unfit were deemed to be listed as follows: schizophrenia, manic-depressive (bipolar) disorder, epilepsy, Huntington's, and "hereditary feeblemindness. In addition, the unacceptable physical conditions and diseases were blindness, deafness, physical deformity and alcoholism. Sterilization procedures followed and eventually T-4 programs. The gas chambers from T-4 centers were moved to concentration camps in Poland and elsewhere for quicker and efficient killings.

The Nazi policies were based on US policies on sterilization of mentally retarded, for example. The Nazis took it more to the extreme than the US government did. Many scientists and doctors were willing to participate in work of sterilization, experimentations, gassing, and so on. A mass production. There are reprints of letters translated into English from German from teachers for the deaf to the Third Reich giving the student stats, and doctors reporting sterilization results of deaf teenage girls to parents.

It is now July 6 and I can't find the damn book. Hopefully I'll complete this or make a better summation some time soon.

Brain exercise

Since I completed my graduate education in 2002, my brain has atrophied from lack of academic discipline. Over the years, I had an on line class here and there and doing MET lectures since 2004 keeps me on my toes. But in the long run, the MET happens every several months and due to my 60-100 work hours a week, I'm too exhausted to research. I'd be watching TV (since roomie ordered HBO I'm hooked on TV again! ack ack) or sleeping. And if I'm lucky, reading. One or two days before my MET tour, I cram on research materials I'd collected over time. I give a semi brilliant tour depending on the audience. My last lecture in May, I was so tired that I wanted to get it over with. I ended up giving one of the best tours in the last two years. Go figure.

Shopping became one of my stress relievers (again) so I'm looking fabulous and broke (including $200 I've spent on Urban Outfitters in the last two months), this is the time to use my brain and broadband that I'm paying for. I guess the kicker was on Friday I spent $50 at American Apparel a very 80s triangle bikini set that can fall apart if you pull one of the strings. So this summer will be a combo of brains and beauty in a way. In addition - I 'bumped' into someone on line. Apparently my IM screen name ended up on his buddy list so he was wondering who I was. We spent an hour and half discussing Latin American politics and US immigration. All this stuff that's been lying dormant in my head poured out. I'm like Rogue from X-Men who thrives on others intelligence when I'm all atrophied. I need exercise! I will start with getting an audit at the MET. Onward!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Last night's storm was the most intense I've ever seen (and been in!) here in New York. I escaped the beginning of fat drops of rain as I stepped into the train.

When I proceeded to exit the subway station some time later, I saw few very soaked people coming in. I looked up at the stairs leading outside. Good lord - the rain water was cascading down the steps like a waterfall!!! very surreal. So much for my hope of a short and freak storm.

I used my blazer as a shield but it quickly proved to be ineffective. I found shelter under a large awning attached to Time and Life Inc building and decided to wait it out. Lightning was flashing against the fog and the reflection hurt my eyes. Imagine turning your car lights into a fog on high. Out in the country I can normally hear the rolling and crashing of thunder but here in NYC it was LOUD. Normally the city would be a buffer and you don't really hear it, but damn - it was like standing next to an express train roaring past by. The rain became lighter but lightning and thunder remained intense. As I walked on west 50 I happened to look up in the sky and saw a long and gorgeous lightning bolt flash down from top to bottom. Perhaps it hit the river? The rain downpour increased and my stylish sandals from urban outfitters was soaked and hurting my feet. Now the dye is seeped into my feet and I look like I have brown bruises.

When I got off the bus ( I chased a bus, slipping in my soaked sandals) nearby home, the reflections off the fog was much worse, probably because I was very close to the river. A couple of times I thought someone was flashing a flashlight directly into my eyes but it was actually from lightning. jeez.

It's fun when you're out in the country because you know the fuse would blow and you'd enjoy the oil lamps and candles with lightning occasionally brightening the rooms.. But it's not fun in the city with all the obstacles.