Monday, September 01, 2003

This week's New Yorker has an article on the past, present, and future of New York City's water supply. In case I didn't have anything else to worry about (finances, blackouts, terrorist attacks), now I can add the water supply to my list. The two main water tunnels are so old and decrepit that they may be leaking or ready to break, but the shutoff mechanisms are so old there's no way to shut them off to check them. City water officials are afraid that if they shut off the supply to check the tunnels for leaks, they won't be able to open the tunnels again. And any sort of break or serious damage to either tunnel would mean that most of the city would be without water for several years. Yes, that's years, not days or a week or two. There's a third tunnel under construction, with modern valves and cutoffs, but it won't be ready until 2020 at the earliest. On the bright side, I was fascinated as always by the subterranean design of this city. There's almost as much complexity below ground as there is above it. And I think that it would be difficult for terrorists to damage something that far underground. I'll use my worrying energy to focus on more blackouts, subway disasters, and other airline-related incidents.

Last night we enjoyed Memphis' best barbeque for dinner. We had ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and baked beans from Corky's, via the magic of mail order. I supplied corn salad, and our friends who did most of the cooking also made macaroni and cheese and biscuits. And we had Corky's fudge pie for dessert. I ate way too much but it was impossible to hold back. Today we're taking it easy. It's raining, so I doubt we'll even go out for groceries. And it wouldn't feel like Monday if I didn't spend most of my day in front of the computer.

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