That day

Singapore 2002. © PJ Croft 2021

September 11, 2001. The 20th anniversary of that terrible day in history.

In terms of number of deaths, it doesn’t rank with other calamities and atrocities. More Jews would have died in the gas chambers and civilians in the fire bombings in WW2 Germany than the number of Americans who died in the towers.

It was the shock of how easily these religious terrorists were able to bring America to its knees that hurt so much. And the way it was so visible, and so front and centre, in your face in the news that made us take notice. There have been worse mass killings recently, but they are not covered by the news media in the same way and are not so spectacular, so we note them and lament, but then we move on. I’m thinking of the atrocities in Burma involving the Rohingyha and the Uyghyurs in western China and the religious purges of Muslims in India and the list goes on and on. These are also terrible crimes involving mass deaths, but they don’t involve America, so Americans largely don’t care.

That’s the thing, Americans only care about the things they know about, and for a country so profoundly ignorant of anything outside their borders, well, it doesn’t get covered.

If President George “Shrub” Bush hadn’t been in power, we would be so much better off today. His decision to punish the terrorists by invading Iraq, not Afghanistan, was one of the most monumental mistakes in history. The cost was more than 100,000 Iraqi civilian lives and over 5,000 US soldiers’ lives. US soldiers are still dying today, at the rate of eight suicides a day, due to that mass murderer’s decision, along with the other mass murderer, Donald Rumsfeld. He’s now burning in hell, but Bush is still to face the music.

Our little man, little Johnny Howard, Bush’s boot licker-in-chief, committed us to the war in Iraq without any consultation with parliament, and so we’re still bearing the consequences today. We lost brave men in that futile war too and like the US, we’re seeing former soldiers take their own lives at an alarming rate now.

So typically for the USA, they think 9/11 is all about them, but they have thought they have the God-given right to invade and kill in other countries for the past century. They only have themselves to blame when they get some blow-back.

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The twin-towers happened on a Monday evening our time in Perth. New York is 12 hours different, so 9am in New York is 9pm previous day here.

I must have been watching a VHS movie on that Monday evening, I think, because I didn’t see anything on TV and went to bed in blissful ignorance. It was only when I awoke and heard the ABC news next morning, Tuesday 12th, that I realised what had happened. I was hearing something about the World Trade Centre collapsing. Whaaaht? So from then on, I was glued to the TV.

Dad had died only a few weeks beforehand, at the beginning of August, so I was still feeling pretty fragile from that, but for the rest of that Tuesday I remember feeling very depressed about this spectacular tragedy. I went out to the shops just to get out of the house and among some people. It helped a bit. The feeling didn’t last and the next day I felt better, but I will agree I felt great sympathy for Americans that day. Tempered by, as I’ve said, feelings that they must have expected some kind of revenge for all the things America has done.

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I’ve had a long phone chat with one of my favourite cousins in Brisbane today. We’re both electronics men, he nine years younger than me at 64, and still working. As he says, he feels no pressure to retire because he’s still on top of his game and I don’t think there are many young Turks looking to take his job. As I said, if you’re still enjoying the work, then just keep going.

We were talking about how great phone cameras are these days and I should have mentioned a little gadget I’ve just bought –

It’s called a CapGripImpact, and it’s a grip for your phone. I’ve found I don’t use my phone for photos much because I can’t hold it easily and reach the photo button on the screen at the same time.

This acts as a handle for your phone. It has spring loaded grippers, like a car mount, which hold the phone and gives you a “grip” shaped like a camera grip, with a BlueTooth button for the shutter. You just pair it with your phone and then use the button as a shutter button. As you can see, the button slides out and you can use it as a remote shutter release. It works for video as well, of course.

It cost about $35. Mine arrived yesterday and it works as advertised. I plan to leave it on permanently as I’ve always had a bit of trouble gripping and holding my slippery phone. I might even consider some glue or double sided sticky tape to ensure it stays on. https://capgripimpact.com/

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I am the original “Man who has everything.” I’ve been watching mechanical stuff on YouTube recently and thought a power screwdriver looks like a real handy thing. I must get one of those, I thought.

So I was rummaging in my closet just now and found a box on the shelf, containing, you guessed it, a battery operated power screwdriver. Hah. I’d forgotten I had it. It’s only an Aldi WorkZone cheapie but I’ve found their tools to be very good quality. And cheap!

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I think I need to get out more. I’ve developed a caveman habit this winter, staying at home and not going anywhere.

As well, lately I’ve started driving the Honda MDX a bit too, and I’m realising what a pleasure it is to drive. So, combined with hearing on the radio how great the wildflowers are at the moment, due to the wet weather we’ve been having, I think a trip must be in order. Nothing planned as yet, and this coming week is still forecast to be wet, but it has to be soon.

I used to drive quite a bit and it’s a long time since I felt that open road feeling.

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Another car has just gone past and blown its horn! What is it with people around here? I hear horns being blown many times a day, every day. It’s against the law. The law says you can only blow the horn if in imminent danger of a collision. I saw this car – I can see the roundabout from where I’m sitting as I type, and there was no danger of a collision in this case. It was just a driver blowing the horn to say, “Hi.” Not good enough, not allowed.

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