Saturday, September 01, 2012
An earlier "Saturday September 1" carried heavy foreshadowing --- by a mystery email
Eleven years ago today, September 1, 2001 was a Saturday. I had just moved to a larger apartment in the same Minneapolis highrise (the Churchill). In those days, I relied on a Sony Viao quasi-desktop which at the time ran the unstable Windows ME. When you signed on to AOL (I still used 56K dialup) on the first day of a new month, you got a differently colored background.
A friend in NYC, a pianist and composer, just went through a move that starts the same day of the calendar. That reminded me of what would happen eleven years ago. (At the time, I had a Kimball spinet piano from 1952 myself; having it moved wasn't that bad.)
I celebrated my new life by going on the road, “upstate Minnesota” to Duluth, and then up into Canada for the “American Labor Day weekend.
I didn’t know it at the time, but as I arrived at a gay pride festival in Duluth, a bizarre email was appearing in my inbox, shortly after 1 PM EDT that Saturday.
Later that evening, I went on a Lake Superior boat party and cruise (for pride) before going on into Wisconsin for the motel. I couldn’t get logged on to AOL there with my Compaq Windows 95 laptop.
Sunday, I drove up Highway 61 up the North Shore, and on to Thunder Bay (a favorite place of a girl- friend back in 1971 in my heterosexual dating days of the distant past). I actually went up to the Ouimet Canyon, came back. I remember seeing a bizarre story about a lawsuit against Oprah while eating dinner. Back in the motel room, I signed on to AOL OK this time, and had to pay in Canada. I remember seeing a bizarre email with the “911” or something like that in the title, and deleting it, thinking it was spam or sent by a virus. I would later learn that others had seen the similar email, which had arrived Saturday.
I would drive back “Labor Day”, which means nothing in Canada. I would stop at a casino south of Duluth for a moment, back in my libertarian days. The weather was sunny, dry and warm.
Tuesday, September 4, back at work, I’d go out to a Walgreens nearby in downtown Minneapolis, and see (and buy) an issue of Popular Science with a bizarre story about homemade electromagnetic pulse weapons, which the article claimed terrorists could make. I showed it to a couple of techie co-workers, and they thought the story held water. It was scary. The story has since completely disappeared, among today’s right-wing warnings about high-altitude EMP blasts from covert missiles stolen and launched by terrorists.
Thursday and Friday, the workplace (ReliaStar, by then part of ING) would endure a bizarre virus infection from the “Majister” virus, the first time this had ever happened in the workplace.
Monday, September 10, would be an ordinary enough day – that evening, people in the apartment would play water volleyball in the 33rd floor pool, the only time I saw that.
Tuesday morning, after waking up at 1:30 AM from a bizarre dream about a nuclear attack, I checked some personal plans on AOL (I wanted to go to NYC in October for a weekend seminar on “political films”), turned off the machine, walked the Skyway to work, and even closed some production help tickets right after logging on. I didn’t learn about 9/11 until a woman appeared in my cubicle at 8:25 AM CDT.
And we actually went on a “team building” cruise on the St. Croix river that day. We didn’t cancel. But for all day, we didn’t know what was happening.