Sunday, September 10, 2006

Where was I on 9/11?

I noticed a few weeks back the Times- Standard invited readers to send in their 9/11 experiences for possible publication in their obligatory 9/11 memorial issue being run tomorrow, I thought I'd break with the crowd and do mine early. Should have probably ignored the event altogether, as I usually try to ignore the main media topic of the day, but decided what the heck. But, I should be able to avoid the touchy- feely type stories we'll hear from most media outlets.

So where was I when it happened? Right here, sitting at the computer. Actually, I didn't have my Alienware machine back. I was using my old 600mhz E- machines system and had just started doing my morning computer routine: Check the e- mail, check the news, enter my sweepstakes, check more news and then answer any e- mails that required a response. I don't know that I'd even heard of blogs back then, although I'm sure they might have been around.

Back then I'd wake up a bit before 6am(?) and get right to it. That morning was no different. I went through my e- mail and there wasn't any mention of anything newsworthy. The wife had the clock- radio set to wake her around 6am and the radio came on right about the time I'd finished the first look at my e-mail and I was heading up to the web to take my first look at the news.

Unlike a normal morning, this time the radio didn't have the usual music or talk radio that would normally be on. I heard President Bush saying "Looks like an act of terrorism might have occurred...". I thought, "Hmmm... wonder what that's about...", not being particulary worried about it. The wife got up and said, "That's just what I needed to wake up to...".

I kept up with my web surfing. For the life of me, I don't remember if CNN had any mention of the attacks at the time- CNN being my usual first stop for news each day. The wife went right in to the living room and turned on the TV, catching the first coverage of the attacks as they were happening.

"So, a plane ran into the WTC?", thought I. Not enough to break my morning routine. I went through some of my news sites when the wife says from the other room, "LOOK, another plane flew into the other building...!". That was enough to get me out of my chair to take a look. The replayed the second plane crashing into the building as I entered the room.

"Boy, that's some heavy shit...", or some such, I thought to myself. Nonetheless, I wasn't really all that surprised, or shocked. I went back to the computer and started entering my sweepstakes. Back then, with dial- up, it could take up to an hour and a half to enter my sweepstakes.

I couldn't help but overhear the news on the T.V. I remember one correspondent saying he'd talked to one of the WTC building managers and that there'd normally be around 10,000 people in the buildings at that time of the day.

I don't remember just what I was doing when the buildings collapsed, but I do remember going to the living room and seeing the buildings come down. My first thought was of the firefighters. They must have all been killed, along with whovever was left in the buildings. If most everyone was still in the buildings, then at 8 or 9,000 people, that must be the biggest mass killing since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I went back to the computer and started going back through my news, after my sweeps were taken care of. I had an internet buddy, Michelle, back then. We used to chat on Yahoo Instant Messenger. I don't remember who paged who first, but we ended up chatting around then. She was a bit upset and was trying to contact her kids in Washington State to see if they were ok.

She wondered what I was doing and I told her the same thing I was always doing at that time of the morning: entering my sweeps and checking the news. She said something along the line of, "Not gonna let anything interfere with that, huh". "Nope", says I.

Don't remember how long I stayed on the computer that morning. It was pretty much a normal morning for me.

Went to work at nine or ten, as usual. At my first stop one of my customers came out a bit excited and asked me if I'd heard what happened. I told her that yes I had and that it was "really something, huh.". I guess she assumed that with something like that happening I would have taken the day off. Nope, although that was back then and now I'll use just about any excuse for a day off.

That was pretty much it. A normal work day, a normal day pretty much all the way around for me.

Not for some, though. I remember the wife's parents and some of the Matteolis, from across the street had headed for the Bay Area that morning. They turned around at Santa Rosa when they learned what happened and that everything had pretty much been shut down. They got back later in the afternoon and I remember Janna and Maria looking a bit freaked when they got out of the van.

Connie's dad looked pissed. Oh, and I remember some guy earlier in the day- he must live a few blocks from here- he's driving all up and down the street with a couple American flags stuck in the bed of his pick up truck. He looked all pissed off, as well. I wondered what I was supposed to do while he drove up and down the street: Salute the flags?

But that was pretty much it. I did have a couple concerns: Is this the beginning of a long string of attacks on the U.S. mainland? Will they start doing crap like they do in the middle east, suicide bombers and all that? What direction will the inevitable lynch mob take when it gets formed up to get even for this? People are people and most are going to be seeing red after this. They'll want blood, very possibly anybody's blood.
It wasn't until a few days after 9/11 I remembered a warning about 9/11 I'd read in some paper some weeks before the attacks, although for the life of me I was unable to locate that news article to confirm the timing.

I was going through the news up at, one of my regular stops each morning, when I found an article on Osama Bin Laden. It included an interview with him. I can't remember what paper it was but I don't believe it was a U.S. paper. In the interview he said, as best I remember, "There will be a significant act taken against the United States within the next three weeks.".

I remember wondering just what he meant by that. Another embassy bombing, or an attack on some American ship somewhere?

I'd swear that article appeared within a month of 9/11. I did a half- hearted effort in searching for the article to no avail. If anybody wants to give it a shot, like I said, I don't think it was a U.S. paper. It might have been British, but something keeps telling me it was the India or Singapore Times or maybe an Austrailian paper. Anyway, one of the papers from down there (pointing southwest).

If anybody finds that article, let me know what date it was published.


At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember the people jumping to their deaths on network TV !!

We should never forget those horrible images, nor the faces of the grieving family members !

We should never forget or forgive anyone or country that had a hand in it or rejoiced about it.

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should never forget the countries which twisted this horrible event for their own purposes, going so far as to invade an unrelated country and causing the deaths of more Americans than occurred on 9/11. Tragedy times two.

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean like those 4 Israeli Mossad agents who were videotaping the attack and jumping up and down like giddy schoolboys?

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And where did you come up with this startling informaiton 11:37 ?

Before I started reading the local blogs I never had an idea there were so many anti-semetic's in Humboldt County. I am surprised and amazed.

"Jumping up and down like giddy schoolboys" ..... you're a sick person.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Anon.R.mous said...

You mean like those 4 Israeli Mossad agents who were videotaping the attack and jumping up and down like giddy schoolboys?

New anti-Semitism is the concept of an international resurgence of anti-Jewish incidents and attacks on Jewish symbols, as well as the acceptance of anti-Semitic beliefs and their expression in public discourse, which is held to be associated with certain left-wing political views.

Zombietime Pictures

At 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, did you ever win any of those sweepstakes???

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

My wife woke me up telling me it was on the radio. We turned on the television and I watched it over and over again in kind of a daze. It didn't really hit home at first because it was like watching any movie with good special effects. I remember the initial speculation was that the attackers were Palestinian, but that nobody was taking credit when usually you'd expect 3 or 4 groups to take credit. Even Arafat was quick to condemn the attack.

I went to work, but didn't get much done that day. By the afternoon the president and other pols were making predictable speeches, the Norther Alliance was attacking Kabul with rockets probably to signal to our government that they were ready and willing to coordinate, and idiots whom I normally agree with were already talking about organizing rallies to oppose the inevitable attacks on Afghanistan - somehow missing the nature of the attack that had not escaped folks like Castro or the PLO.

On the other side I remember a bloodlust boiling over that seemed to overwhelm the sympathy for the victims. They seemed more concerned that "America" was attacked than the fact that thousands were dead, estimates at the time being much higher than the eventual count.

And I remember thinking for the next few days that there probably wasn't much hope for the human race. An event of that magnitude, and still most of us couldn't pull out of their limited frameworks of perception. I'm sure if it happened today, these blogs would still be loaded with references to Gallegos, Arkley, Nick Bravo, etc.

Going for a run down in the community park (only a month to get into shape for the Avenue of the Giants run - and I'm way behind). Too nice a day for cynicism.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


that website was enlightening ... I wouldn't expect that kind of stuff even in SF, maybe just a handful but WOW. I still don't understand why all the hate towards Israel and Jewish people.

the hezbullah flag flying over SF really is offensive.

At 6:08 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

Dr. John Ray nails it exactly:
"It is their common hatred of ordinary people doing well for themselves that draws the Left to Muslims -- who otherwise epitomize all that the Left say they disapprove of."

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Fred said...

2:42 asks, "So, did you ever win any of those sweepstakes???".

Yes I do. In fact, the Alienware computer I have now is probably my best win. Second best was probably a Canon Personal Copier. Most cash won was $100 from a Polaroid Instant Win.

Some other lesser wins and some real lesser wins. A few days ago the guy showed up with a pair of gardening gloves worth $5.00. I guess I'd won the weekly prize in one of the sweeps I've been entering.

At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Kat said...

I remember watching a fighter jet get scrambled to intercept 93. It showed a short shot of the jet streaking out towards the plane (it was far from where the plane was), and then never heard another thing about it.

I wanted to kick Ashley Banfield in the head when the towers collapsed and her camera man jerked the camera away to run while she interviewed a woman holding a baby. She yelled at her camera man to keep filing it, and then, as an afterthough, she said to the woman, "Be careful of your baby."

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Kat said...

filming, I am having typing issues

At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought nobody ever won sweepstakes.

I've GOT to start entering them.

At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone but , LaVALLE and Neely and anyone else who's getting paid to open up more shelters for x-prisoners , molesters , homeless , bums and deralics from the RCAA.


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