(Not) Delayed, But Cancelled (Twice)

There wasn’t anything to hold me to Beacon, New York, anymore. There was nothing to hope for. And so, I planned to pull up stakes and move elsewhere, somewhere far away. But this trip just wasn’t meant to be perhaps. Twice, I made arrangements to leave for New Mexico and both times, I had to call it off.

On the afternoon of September 4, a Saturday, I’d intended to fly out of LaGuardia on American Airlines to El Paso, Texas. From there, I would’ve rented a car to the desert town of Las Cruces, just across the state line in the Land of Enchantment.

A couple of days prior to my departure, I called Enterprise to ask what it’d cost me to rent a car for a week. That price, taken together with the cost of taking a cab from my place to the airport—and back—would’ve set me back by about $1,000.

To save money on transport, the second time around, on Labor Day, I decided to drive there—all 2,200 miles of it. I even booked the same hotel again (after having cancelled it earlier.)

The road trip would’ve taken about 32 hours if I drove non-stop. But even a trucker won’t do that? I’d have to break the journey into three legs, with two stopovers en route. I chose to halt in Indianapolis and Oklahoma City.

After much reflection, though, I concluded that I couldn’t take to the road either. Not that I didn’t have the stamina to drive, but because it dawned on me that there’d be no return on my investment of time and money and (physical labor.)

I’d be spending a few C-notes along the way, which, by the way, I didn’t mind. But I had no job on hand. I’d have to eat out every day of my sojourn in New Mexico. What was the most worrying aspect of all was that I had no network of people that I could count on. I wouldn’t have had much to do other than read books. Besides, I didn’t even like hot places. I’m a creature of the cold.

But then, no endeavor or experience goes all waste. There’s something that I got out of this. I figured out the best way to pack my luggage when I did eventually move out from the cramped quarters of this apartment.

Lowering A Sea?

The deep blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Geoengineering is the deliberate intervention in the planet’s climate pattern to the counter the effects of climate-change, done through a set of technologies.

Back in the late 1920s, the renowned German architect, Herman Sörgel, had proposed a colossal project, which would’ve been a geoengineering effort of a different sort. If it had materialized into reality, it’d altered the altered Earth’s hydrosphere.

Called “Atlantropa,” it envisioned three gigantic hydroelectric dams, which would’ve been built across key locations of the Mediterranean Sea. The biggest would be built across the Strait of Gibraltar, a narrow waterway, which separates it from the Atlantic Ocean. The second would block the Dardanelles and shut off the Black Sea. A third barrage would extend between the island of Sicily and Tunisia, cutting the sea in half.

That would’ve generated enormous amounts of hydroelectricity, but more vitally, it’d have led to the lowering of the Mediterranean Sea by up to 660 feet, opening up vast swaths of new lands for settlement. It would also have formed a bridge between Europe and Africa.

House Of Grains

A wood grain elevator in Brant, Alberta.

Buffalo, New York, is the birthplace of the modern grain elevator. A string of its historic silos, rising nearly 100 feet into the air, hugs the banks of the Buffalo River, creating a man-made canyon.

A grain elevator is a storage building for grains. Typically, it’s a tall structure made of steel or concrete, with a compartmented interior. In the past, they were often built of framed or cribbed wood and were prone to fire.