Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wire Pulling, No Water, and Hard Questions

I went to work at six this morning. I came home 10 hours later. I helped the electrician pull wire. Pulling wire, for those of you who don’t know, is taking what the electrician calls a fish tape and sending it through a length of conduit…which is easy if it is perfectly strait, which it rarely is. Fish tape is not tape. It is steel wire, 1/8 of an inch by 1/16 on an inch and VERY long. You stick it through the conduit, when it comes out on the other end, you attach the wire you want to put through the conduit to it. Then you pull the fish tape and the wire back through the conduit. Each corner and bend in the conduit induces more drag…making the entire rig harder to pull. The electrician is nice, though, since he does not make me pull all the time. We switch off. It was kind of fun, though. We wired a new fuel pump for the bus garage.

I came home and the water was off. No, not the sprinkler. The water, all of it. In the house, everywhere. I called the city, because I know we paid the bill. The guy who answered said he had just changed the meters today, from what we had to a radio transmitter type. It allows him to read the meter from a block away! Anyway, he said he must have forgotten to turn it back on again. He came over a few minutes later an put it right.

Now we are watching a video. Fool’s Gold with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson seems to be a good movie so far. I also rented Jumpers, but we have not watched it, yet. There appears to be nothing on tonight.

So, I called my professor yesterday and sent him my book list. He sent me a reply. More like some questions to ponder and try to be prepared for. Here they are if you are interested:

Here are a couple questions to practice on.

1) John Gaddis argued, “For all [containment’s] contradictions, mutations, and irrationalities, [it has] been a surprisingly successful
strategy: historians looking back on the post-World War II era are likely to rate it as one of the more stable and orderly of modern times, and to give the architects of containment no little credit.” Is Gaddis’s assessment compelling? In answering that question, include a discussion of the factors that were important in shaping the evolution of America’s containment policy from the Truman to Reagan administrations. Discuss the key phases in the nation’s approach to containment policy, with particular attention to military, economic, and diplomatic considerations.

2) Discuss the role that the Third World played in the shaping of the Cold War with particular attention to how it influenced American and Soviet policy.

3) In what ways did domestic issues and trends interact with foreign relations between 1945 and 1975? How much did they determine positions taken by presidents, diplomats, and other politicians in this period?

O.k., I think I can handle the second one, and I could probably work with the third one. Since I haven’t read the book for a very long time…if, indeed, I did read it…I can only answer the first partially. I have an appointment with my professor next Wednesday. Well, I guess I will have to sit down and think real hard like Pooh Bear. Wish me luck.

Today's picture seems illustrative of how I feel. I am alone in a desert, looking for a

glass of cold war knowledge...these are the Superstition Mountains, by the way. Taken on our wonderful trip to AZ!

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