Saturday, 11 April 2009

A Sabbatical

Usually, its religious figures or whacked-out professors, or maybe an occasional businessman who need a sabbatical. In plain terms....its a walk outside of the profession of life or the circumstances that you've put yourself into. You'd like to freshen your mind or find a new focus. Your compass is off a degree....and you can't readily agree with the same old tune.

Sabbaticals are difficult to grade in terms of success or failure. I don't think you can rank such an event in any fashion. Maybe it was taken for rest in mind....maybe it ends up doubling the focus of the mind (the exact opposite intention to start with). Sabbaticals could be total failures in one sense....yet accomplish the intended end result anyway.

Presently, I'm walking in the direction of a sabbatical. Whether I reach that point and enter sacred territory....I'm not sure of. Maybe I just stop short of such a point. Maybe its the walk up to the point that I really need. Nothing is really sure.

If I wrote the perfect sabbatical....it'd Park Service employee "Joe" with his faithful dog "Gus", riding herd over some state or national park. For six months or twelve....I'd roam the park....faking people with my limited knowledge of nature, parks, and science. In the evenings, I'd stand at the local bar, sipping ice tea (with a full lemon), and listening to people tell of their woes, sorrows and suffering. I'd come home in time to watch the 10PM Channel Nine news with Helga, then turn on my taped Lost segment. Frankly, I'm not asking for much, and maybe that's my problem with this entire sabbatical thing.

Knowing my luck....I'd be doing a sabbatical tour at some Hooters in Tulsa....as the grill guy....and just sipping long-neck beers all day long.

My Pirate Strategy

This week....pirates came back into the news. A few weeks ago...they were hitting boat after boat....and then various navies started to arrive in the Somalia region. Things got chilled a little. But the boys decided to show their power...and got onto some US-flagged vessel (their first). Strange thing....those guys don't give up....they tend fight back. Currently, the captain of the vessel is stuck in some life raft with a couple of these pirates....with a US navy vessel just a bit aways.

The pirates want $2 million now in cash....and they intend to get a vessel of some type in exchange....to take the prisoner toward mainland upon payment....and then possibly (I hint this strongly).....dump the captain on the beach. The company involved....is willing to pay the $2 million....but this question of where you dump the guy is not working out for some reason.

There are several other factors here. Even if they let the guy out in the water about a mile off the beach....up above....via recon aircraft....the pirates will be followed from their beach landing over to their impressive pirate headquarters. The boys will all be standing around there laughing and drinking cold beer....talking up their braves actions and five minutes later....some missile roars down from the sky into the midst of them.

I think they really underestimated this game and how much technology that the US can put into the situation. These guys in the lifeboat....will probably not enjoy long lives or get to see 2009 NFL football. They guessed wrong.

As for the strategy to progress upon? Never truly negotiate with pirates. Draw out the game....make them sweat....make them wonder. Every US flagged vessel going through the area....ought to have a dozen Marines onboard...just like the Sky-Marshall service. As soon as the boys transit the area at one end....they get picked up and moved to the next vessel. Offer them up free grub and HBO movies in their free time. Advertise to the pirates that US Marines have full authority to fire on anyone that boards a US vessel, and then ditch the bodies off the vessel. No jury, no court action, no media attention....just take care of business in a simple manner.