Sister Sue and I went to Starbucks very early today. (She had just dropped Nicole off at school.) She bought me a Venti drink (my usual coffee frap) and a pastry as a bday treat -- very sweet of her. We talked a ton about her cribbage trip and things at work...
She also took me to see Kathy (my hairdresser), so I could order that product for my hair. (Kathy will phone when she gets it in.) And she took me to Freddies so I could get water, pop and cat food.
After she dropped me off and I had everything put away, I started in on my task to take down the Thanksgiving decorations upstairs and down, pack them up and put them all away for another year. I was working away when Sue phoned me about the shooting in San Bernardino, California. I phoned Marilyn (who was at a lunch meeting) to let her know, then called Christine to tell her, as well. (It's often hard to keep on top of current live news when you're busy at the office, I find.)
I pray for everyone involved, especially for the families and friends of the 14 who were killed, and those wounded. It sounds as if suspects Syed Rizwan Farook (28) and Tashfeen Malik (27) were involved (though I don't want to jump to conclusions until more is known).
Some have said that this was the result of an incident that happened at the the Inland Regional Center (a state-run center for people with developmental disabilities), during a holiday party. But if it was that random, then WHY did the three people involved have assault weapons close to hand and ready to use on a large group of people?
Farook is an U.S. born man. Farhan Khan (who identified himself as Syed's brother-in-law) told people at a news conference Wednesday night that he was shocked. Khan said he had spoken to Farook at a gathering organized by the Los Angeles chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, so I would assume Farook is Islamic. It's easy to see WHY there's reason to believe this might have been an act of terrorism.
There are any number of questions to ask. Shootings that aren't terrorism have generally been committed by one person -- so what would bring three people together to commit this act? I don't think we need to ask why it took them so long to tell the public about the man's ethnicity. In live situations the media should try to withhold information which can be as easily seen by those involved in such acts as by everyone hungry for news! (It reminds me that we were shown the location of the Vice President during 911 -- which I personally thought was appalling!) Sometimes the media feeding frenzy should be held back for common sense reasons.
But I wondered if the police couldn't have used other methods with the suspects besides a shoot out. Is it wrong to think they could have been gassed or something? I just wish they could have been taken alive, as the dead certainly can't answer any questions about motives... (And, again, we don't know if these people were actually involved right now -- we only know they're suspects.)
Is the third person still at large? Are there other people involved in the shooting from a distance? Was this, indeed, terrorism? Or something else? Why this particular building and these people?
I became obsessed, as I'm sure many did, in the story as it was happening, so I watched coverage much of the day. As upsetting and emotional as this is, I want to be a reasonable person as I listen and watch the story unfold -- and not jump to conclusions to soon. That doesn't mean that my heart doesn't bleed for everyone hurt by this, because I am horrified by the violence, the loss of life, the injuries of those who were wounded and survived and the pain of everyone touched by this, across the nation and around the world.
I can't help thinking...No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
Any man's death diminishes me. That's true of all of us, of course.
It's always difficult to write about things like this. I still have my petty day-to-day things to report, which seem unimportant when compared to world events. Yet our day-to-day lives -- however trivial they might seem -- are actually far from petty. And that's the point, I guess. When someone tries to make our lives petty and put the focus of the world on the violence that's happening, then we need to be aware that we're losing something each and every time. And we must cling to normal things, which DO matter. Or what's the point in being alive?
Anyway, I did get some of my festival work done, which included website things and IT management items, as well. Donn got Marilyn's phone fixed, but was having fits with the WiFi (again). And our certificate has expired AGAIN and needs fixing, too -- so I was texting about that with Kris. (I wish that was something I knew how to take care of, as it comes up every so often... sigh...)
I also made a pot of homemade turkey soup, using some of the turkey we got for Thanksgiving. I like to have the stock be rather thick, and I include celery and carrots and a little onion (I used dried onion today). Plus I enjoy homemade soup made with barley. It had a TON of turkey in it, too. I think it turned out rather well.
Marilyn got home from her LONG day of meetings around 7:00. (She didn't get much chance to get anything done with all the meetings she was in, poor thing.) We had the soup for dinner, with saltine crackers. (And some peanut butter cookies for dessert.)
I almost forgot to mention: Men came today to start work on our sidewalk repairs. The city dinged us for two spots -- one in front and one on the side. Marilyn decided to let the city fix it (we've been through this before at our other house years back), and to pay it off if and when we sell the house (which is what we did previously). Anyway, suddenly I was hearing a HUGE jackhammer outside, tearing up the concrete! I couldn't even get outside in time to shoot a photo before they'd finished that, believe it or not. Then they gather up the large chunks inside a digging container. This attached to the backhoe so they could dump it into the bed of a truck. And they used shovels to dig out the holes to prepare them for the pouring of fresh cement.
They left the holes, which have to be inspected prior to pouring cement. I don't know how the weather impacts that part, frankly. We've been having cold, wet days. Anyway, I did speak with the men who were quite pleasant. The one man was getting ready to turn 58. He and I talked about how much harder we work now that we're older...
Also, my friend Adeena texted me and wanted me to call her. But I was so tied up with everything that I let her know it might not happen. She said tomorrow was okay, so I'll try and phone her from work tomorrow. (I say 'try,' because there are times I promise to call people -- like sister Sue -- and I just don't get to it. It's hard to describe what it's like at our office, but my best laid plans often get blown out of the water, that's for sure!)
And I had meant to phone my friend June to see what happened at her doctor appointment! I just got busy and forgot. That's a terrible excuse.
I want to get in to see Mary (my dentist) and get my teeth cleaned and x-rayed. But I'm not sure WHEN. And I still need to get in touch with Blake and Margarita (two entirely different reasons!), as well. There's not enough time in the day...
Forgot to mention!!! I was putting away the soup in the fridge downstairs, and I discovered something of a mess. On the top shelf, there was a bottle of lime juice. This had frozen (why???), and that had made the glass break, leaking lime juice all over! As messes go, this one wasn't too bad. I just had to move the stuff below and mop up juice. But it was odd... What made it FREEZE in the first place? Oh well.
I need to head to bed. I have Donn coming in again tomorrow and a lot of work to tackle at the office...
Sleep well -- and safely -- my friends, wherever you are!