Monday, October 02, 2006

The Alliance, And Iran Too

Home ownership can be a blessing and a curse. My husband and I are dealing with an ongoing ripple effect, a cascade of new labors springing from the garage that we had built over the summer. Much of the list is composed of hoops we must jump through to satisfy the city of Portland. It can be frustrating. Every contractor we've had working on the project has said how much the city over-regulates and forces people to over-build. We got a new list of "must-do" projects from the city inspector who came to make sure that no soil was going to find its way out from behind the retaining-wall barriers we have surrounding our back yard on all sides. It seems this is not enough. She tacked on a few more Herculean tasks to the considerable list we were already wading our way through.

Ked and I have decided that the city we live in is very comparable to the Alliance, from the sci fi movie Serenity. The Alliance is a core government in a vast solar system, with the central planets wielding control over all the outlying planets and moons. Although the outer planets fought for independence, they lost, and the Alliance controls just about everything. One of the main characters, River, is asked at one point why the outer planets objected to Alliance control, since the Alliance brought with it civilization, prosperity and technological advancement. River's response was, "They meddle." That so sums up our experience with the recent building project. It's not that we don't think there should be reasonable building codes, but for pity's sake, the city required that the garage have hurricane strapping!!--to keep it from blowing away with all those hurricanes we get here in Portland no doubt. Aargh.

So, we've been buried under a mountain of work the last few weeks, and the mountain seems to be growing, rather than shrinking. I think internal pressure is pushing it up from within, like when a volcano is about to blow. (Here in the Pacific Northwest we have lots of experience with volcanoes blowing. Ked and I can see Mount St. Helens from our front porch. We still miss the top. However, an eruption makes for some spectacular photographs.) Always an optimist, I'm hoping we can keep things contained and avoid a project-related eruption, but I fear the pressure will continue unabated for a while. All these time-consuming projects have been interfering with my blogging lately, though, so something really has to give. A girl really must keep her priorities in order.

Therefore, despite the growing "to do" list, I'm taking a little time this morning to snatch a few precious hours of reading, which I have been missing desperately of late. I turned to Instapundit to catch me up with the world, and he led me to this post at Confederate Yankee, about an ongoing low-intensity Iranian insurgency, supported by neighboring state's and some European connections, which is largely being ignored by the media. Apparently there have been several attempts on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's life in the past year, and there is more than one group resisting the Iranian government. CY has some speculation about the media's motivations for the downplaying of the situation which I think are pretty sound. It's likely the media wants to keep some access to Iran, just as various media organizations ignored stories of atrocities in Iraq before the war, so that they could keep "reporting" from Baghdad. Anyway, it's an interesting post, so check it out if you've got a minute. Actually, reading about Iran is a good reminder for me that, even though Portland still has Alliance written all over it, at least it's not being run by a gaggle of crazy apocalyptic mullahs. Counting my blessings now.