"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Corner of MEP and Main

This was a dawn-to-dusk day of heavy responsibility, on my legislative committee and on a diocesan committee.

With so much serious business pending, I felt the need to do a fun and crazy thing.

Turns out there's a webcam stationed at the corner of Park and Main Streets in downtown Concord, very close to the State House. I didn't even know. My bestest friend, who lives in a distant and far warmer clime, alerted me to it. She said it's addictive. And even though it's a very familiar scene, I discovered the truth of it. When I'm sitting in my secluded forest, I check out the city street in all dayparts and all weathers.

Here a link.

I had this bright idea of standing in the general vicinity of this webcam and phoning my friend and asking, "Can you see me now?"

This morning I left the Lodge a little early. Drove through the sunny, snowy world, parked at Diocesan House (perfectly legal 'cause I had business there later.) Instead of crossing the street to my committee room, I walked the 2 blocks to the corner of Park and Main, positioned myself, and rang up my friend.

"I'm here. Can you see me?"

Well, no. The morning glare blasting across Main St. didn't help visibility. The camera is wonky. It doesn't refresh instantly. The time stamp associated with the webcam image isn't even close to real time. (It's usually off by 10 or 15 minutes.) A constituent of mine walked past and I hoped he'd assume I was on the cellphone because I was doing incredibly important state business that will benefit his life significantly and immeasurably.

Later, after I'd left my post my friend captured this image and emailed it to me. I'm in it!

What followed paled in comparison to the thrill of posing for a webcam. I headed to the Legislative Office Building for a morning of public hearings in my committee and the reporting of the highly anticipated Fish & Game Department Performance Audit, followed by another hearing and adjournment.

I returned to the diocesan offices and three of us from one of my diocesan committees hopped in a Prius and drove up the interstate for a visitation to a church in the Lakes Region. Our other committee colleagues and the congregation's leadership had assembled for what turned out to be a very informative meeting. Enjoyable, too--not just because a well-mannered Bernese Mountain Dog slumbered in a sunshine puddle in the priest's office.

Made it back to the Lodge in time to catch the early p.m. newscast. The F&G audit was featured. I could've sworn I was well out of his range, but the WMUR cameraman has a very wide-angled lens, because I could spot myself in the audience at the hearing.

But being captured by a webcam was far more exciting.

I'll probably do it again.

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