20 May 2007

Sauron Lurks

The St. Petersburg Times has a building in downtown Tampa just a block and a half south of my condominium. It is not a tall building or particularly distinguished, though I have over the years noted that the sixth floor of the building is lit most of the night. I assume that's the main editing floor of the paper, but of course newspapers now are put to bed early and I doubt there's any serious work being done over there after ten o'clock. The northwest corner of the sixth floor is occupied by an office that always has the blue glow of a television screen, but apparently only one screen. Whether there's a tv on in there or it's a security landing I have no idea.

On Saturday apparently somebody at the Times bought a new toy. What the toy is I have no idea but I've had friends purchase similar things before... they'll know what I'm talking about. It sits up in a high corner, possibly on top of a tall cabinet or something.

It has a blue light on it.

This is the brightest non-lasing blue light known to man, at least the brightest such that can be put in a newspaper office. It is brighter, by itself, than an entire four-story panel of blue LEDs. I know this because the north window of the Rivergate Tower cubes--the round "beer can" tower a few blocks south the Times building--had an entire array of blue LEDs for about a year as part of a display of light-related art in downtown. It was not this bright.

The light does not look that bright in this picture in part because it is daytime. But I was up last night at 3 and I came out into the living room, where the shade is up all night, and I saw that I was in fact casting a shadow against the front door--and the shadow was in a pool of blue light. When I went back into the bedroom I saw that the blue light is in fact visible through our blinds--and our blinds are no slouches at blocking light, especially when you consider how much light is out there in downtown needing to be blocked. I could almost--not quite, but almost--read by the ambient light of downtown last night in the living room without turning on a single light.

Why was I up last night at 3? Good question. Smittygirl will tell you that I am stressed about an upcoming exercise at work (and I don't mean pushups and situps), and she is almost certainly correct, as usual. But I am chalking at least part of it up to the nefarious effect of the Great Blue Eye. It has a way of capturing my attention when I'm not expecting it. It is always there, all day and all night, and it sees into every part of my house (except parts of the kitchen, and of course the bathrooms and closet). I don't know what it is, or why it is there. But it lurks. It sees. It searches.


Lucky Bob said...

That could only happen to you man. Those blue LEDs have become much more popular over the past 2 years. Maybe you can find out the room and ask them to cut it off.

Ayzair said...

Excuse me, but the MOST important work at a newspaper goes on after 10 p.m.! Or at least critical, equally-as-important-as-reporting work :) And trust me, there are reporters there trying to squeeze as much time out of editors as they can, totally ignoring those silly things called "deadlines".

Doesn't explain the evil blue eye, though. Sorry!