I leave for the Red Cross orientation in a few hours, after another night where I didn’t sleep well. I think much of this is my lack of anticipation in taking my roommate to work and having to face that awful I-64 corridor.
Yesterday I borrowed the car and drove to where the Ohio river meets the Mississippi, to get photos and do research for a new project of mine (more to be discussed at a later time). I needed to get out of the house and the long drive gave me a chance to think on the future.
I have more or less made a decision to move this coming spring, after the dogwoods lose their blooms. As much as I love this area, I need to re-start my career as both a technology writer as well as technologist; this means moving closer to the action.
(I’m also finding out that I really miss the ocean. Even if I didn’t move, I’d be making a trip to the Northwest anyway. Need an ocean fix.)
I’m hoping to move either to Boston or Seattle late Spring; most likely Seattle, though this is dependent on amount of work. To prepare, I’m upgrading many of my old certificates, and refreshing my knowledge of Big Honking Infrastructure Technologies–otherwise known as .NET and J2EE.
In the meantime, I want to absorb as much of this area as I can, starting with the trip yesterday to Cairo, Illinois. I’m putting up some of the photos from the trip at Flickr and will incorporate a few here. I’ll also have more to write later, but it was a rather disturbing trip, as you can see from some of the pictures. There is more to the South than Mardi Gras, Blues, Cajun cooking, and white guys with confederate flags in the back of their trucks.
Cairo had two strongly distinctive faces. On the one hand, there’s been an attempt to restore much of the history of the town, including its many unusual buildings: some dating from the Civil War when General Grant was stationed in the community. On the other hand, the poverty of the people manifests in the many boarded up and abandoned buildings, some used as wild cat havens; or destroyed by tornado and just left, fallen in the streets. There is no yellow tape around the remains, no warnings of danger. You could walk in the middle of the street, and no one would care–other than walk 8th street, and the people are white; a block over, they’re entirely black.
Imagine, also, a finger of land about a mile wide, bordered by two of the biggest, fiercest rivers in the country; accessible by one bridge going to Missouri, the other, a 1/4 mile away, to Kentucky. What land there is, is the richest in the world; top soil a hundred feet deep, as one would expect from the northernmost point of the Mississippi Delta. To this geography, add a Civil War history, turn of the century opulence giving away to extreme poverty and race riots. This is Cairo, Illinois–named after the city in Egypt, with all the same hopes of grandeur. This is the South.
More later after I return from the Red Cross.