Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Bad Day for Pirates

In case you did miss it today....the first US-flagged cargo vessel to get taken by pirates off the coast of Somali occurred today. The ship? Maersk Alabama. When I first read the story this morning at work....I sat there for a minute....a US flagged vessel, manned by Americans, and its got the word "Bama" in its name? These loser pirates don't have a prayer.

Sure enough....in the last couple of hours....the pirates had their butt kicked....and the vessel is free again.

The problem for the pirates? After 9-11, if you had to pick a group of people who want surrender to anyone....its the Americans. They weren't going to accept crap from some lousy pirates.

Just Keep Thinking "Lovely Detroit"

As some of you may know....I'm applying for jobs in the US finally....primarily GS jobs. I'm not rushing but I'm putting out at least one or two resumes per week. Call it a restart or a sabbatical or just a mental rest from Europe. At some point, before the end of this year, I will return to the wondrous land of creamy filled donuts, HBO, and Channel Nine news.

Today, browsing USA Jobs.....I came upon a GS-12 job that attracted my attention. Years of working for DOD-associated organizations and projects.....I yearn for a non-DOD future, so I've been looking at the National Park Service and the National Forest dudes. I know.....it sounds a bit silly, but I'd like to hang out with some different folks for a while. So here was the dream job.....project manager....must know how to talk to varying groups of people and be 'charming' (it was written slyly into the description). Paid well. So the issue? Detroit....metro Detroit.

I paused heavily over this location. Would I be willing to relocate to Detroit? That was the magic question. Would a Bama dude....who would readily admit a fondness for New York City (based on twenty-four hours there).....take the Detroit adventure? I've spent fifteen years living in peaceful and quiet Germany.....safely living, I must add.

So to relocate to Detroit.....I'd need weapons.....several weapons. I'd need to carry mace, some type of battery-shock device.....probably a baseball bat.....and sock of quarters (for whacking).

I sat and pondered over this life decision. After a while.....I asked myself would this be really any different taking a job in Iraq. The longer I made this comparison.....the more I came to accept the idea. Detroit equaling Iraq? One safer than the other? No. Army guys go to Iraq for a year....I could go to Detroit for a year. More and more....comparing this to a Army deployment....this made sense.

So I'm putting things into a context now. A year in Detroit would involve creating a "bunker"....an apartment with a safe door and sandbag structure. I'd need a vehicle worthy of traveling via roads and parkways in the dead of night against possible foes. I'd have to limit my movement to daylight hours mostly. I'd have to have rules of engagement, with limited movement amongst the local nationals. I'd have to keep a low profile and pretend to be cool.

Strangely enough, this started to make more and more sense.

Course, in a combat zone, there is rule number one....no booze....which would be hard to pursue in Detroit. Having grit in your teeth half the time would be more difficult as well.

So sometime by this weekend....I'll likely apply for this job in Detroit. Right or wrong, it won't matter.

Some People I Used to Know, Sadly

There was a murder-suicide up where I come from in Bama....near Greenhill. I saw a blurb on it and read a piece....then passed on. Some guy shot his wife, his sister, etc. Then he shot himself. Another piece of the American dream.

The problem is.....my brother came back later giving me the names. I knew the guy, and his sister. I went to school with them.

Kevin Garner....from around 1974 to 1977....was at my high school school in Bama. His family were local folks. His dad had grown up in the local area. Kevin was some kid with excess energy.....that much I could remember of him. His sister....Karin....was a pretty direct and independent gal....about a year behind me.

From the article in the paper.....Kevin and his wife were going to divorce proceedings. It appears that alot of people were going to testify against him....even his sister. My brother says even the guy's daughter and his own mom were going to testify against him. That tends to be bad when your own relatives are going against you. I'm thinking there was an awful lot of violence involved int his family.

Kevin ended up shooting his soon-to-be ex-wife, and his daughter. Then Kevin went and killed his sister (Karin) and her son.

Its an odd feeling. I knew this kid when he was around nine to twelve. He was pumped upon adeline for most of the day. Its a tragic story for folks in Bama. There are a number of folks who knew the family, and can't figure out the reasoning here.

This'll likely stick on my mind for a while. Nothing makes a lot of sense.