Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Murder

Here in DC.....about four weeks ago....we had a murder. It was a high-profile case. This dead guy was a up and coming principal who'd been brought in to change a screwed-up school. He was regarded as a great administrator, a very competent leader, and a guy who could radically change things.

On day one of the investigation....the papers put out several interesting facts. The house was owned by him and he lived alone. The house had a water-tub spa out in the back. There were no ex-wives. So I came to quickly deduce he was gay.

It took the papers almost seven days to admit this fact. Then the police quietly said that maybe his lifestyle may have played a role, but avoided making any other comments.

Now they've arrested a couple of young guys....around age 18....and it appears that they were contacted by the principal on some gay hot-line that evening. A meeting was arranged, and they show up. A robbery goes wrong....and the "legend" of DC schools is killed over a gay robbery attempt.

So the papers and media who pumped up the legend of this dead guy....are sitting there and really scratching their head. They can't say much, and this really starts to cut down the legendary status of this guy.

I don't really want to cut down on this guy....but if you are stupid enough to use Craig's List or some "hot-babes.com" site.....you pretty much invite all kinds of issues. They will come to your door, and you can't be sure of nothing. If you are that naive....you've got real issues.

Just another day in DC.

The Pakistani Dude

I sat and browsed through the news on this New York City bomber. There are several observations here.

First, this guy did all of this....for less than $5k. This includes the $1800 for the van....probably $30 for gas to run the van over to NY City. Then you toss in the propane tanks, the fire works, the clock, and finally the ticket to Dubai. Yep, all for a cost less than $5k.

Second, this guy was placed on the forbidden to fly list (as quoted by the Attorney General)....around eight hours prior to him boarding this plane in JFK. So he still boarded? Someone here is lying or you have a database that is updated on a schedule (like once or twice a day). I have yet to hear anyone to explain this and kinda wonder who screwed up or if the guys running this special database grasp how it actually works.

Third, he's a naturalized citizen. So he spent alot of time and effort to become such a citizen. Then he started traveling overseas. It seems to me, after you go through this effort.....there ought to be a probationary period....say four years. And during this time....unless it's for a funeral or wedding....you don't travel overseas, period.

Fourth and final.....he failed because he screwed up. There's at least half a dozen things that he just plain screwed up on. That's the only reason why the bomb didn't go off. Call it luck or just a running game of Jihad guys screwing up constantly....but that's it. The cops did a five-star act of finding the guy, but face it.....we are getting smarter on every detail of their operations. They now talk of putting up hundreds more cameras downtown in New York City. The act of transferring a vehicle is going to be looked upon and likely changed. Cash for a car sale? I'm guessing someone is going think about that.

So this guy sat there and believed every word his buddy told him....and how this would all come together....and there would be this cash reward back in Pakistan for him. He'd gain status and move up in the organization. Tonight? He's counting not days, weeks or months in prison but decades. He has to survive in a prison system where the vast number of convicts would like to kill him. He'll eventually regret ever listening to his buddy.

Talk of the Isle

If you should have time today....pause and go over to Mark Steyn's column and read This Septic Isle.

It is a interesting piece on the Brits and the life around them. Mark's little adventure kinda fits into the big picture of a Isle that has gone mad, and everyone is a participant in a circus of sorts.

I've visited England three times....all short trips....and always came away with a very different prospective on things.

I'm always amazed at the vast amount of knowledge from a local villager sitting in a pub. You could be sitting there and some guy might know all the in's and out's of nuclear physics or volcanic eruptions. The amount of genius just sitting around the countryside amazes me.

Then there's the public spectacle of politics. To be a successful political figure of any party....you actually have to be able to argue your point. Unlike a guy who looks smart and is financed by the Chevy dealer in Tucson to become a national-level senator....but really is an idiot.....the Isle is a place where you actually have to show some intelligence.

The isle is a place where men write volumes on dreams and travels. It's the place where folks can write a Shakespeare-like novel and make you weep. It's a land where a romantic novel can unravel in front of you and become a Monty Python comedy. It's a kingdom where a Queen can actually say something simple, and make you hang your head in shame.

I will agree with Mr. Steyn to some degree....but I cannot imagine us without the Isle. Where would the adventure and humor come from?

Time Travel Idea

Over the weekend....astrophysicist Stephen Hawking....came up and admitted something that you really didn't ever expect him to say. He's now in full belief of time travel.

It's hard to get any five-star genius to support the idea. Usually their friends and associates will quickly run out and say the guy is crazy. In this case, you aren't hearing much.

He's been careful....he thinks generally....the idea of going into the future is possible...but is hesitant about going into the past.

I've held this radical idea of this alien visitation being simply visits from the future...which would go against Hawking concepts of visiting the past. This would explain alot of things. But it would create this entire mess of people trying to change their future by fixing one brief little problem. This would alter the future, but you can't predict by what margin.

So if I had this one ability to travel....and arrive at another time....where would it be? There are a thousand time periods to pick from, and I'd probably the 1780 period of American changing into a nation. It would be curious to stand there and meet folks like John Adams....before he was a legend. It would be interesting to meet Thomas Jefferson in his youth. And it would be interesting to just walk around and view the locals.

Everyone has their fantasy here. Hawking talks of Marlyn Monroe. I know a guy who would relish the idea of walking into Bill Gate's garage where he was making the first home-made computer. The list goes on and on.

Great Plans Don't Mean Nothing

Where I work....there had been this conference and customer discussion forum planned for almost an entire year. Probably five hundred man-hours went into some part of the planning for the "show". Strangely enough....over a year ago....they had picked Nashville as the destination and had a deal with the Gaylord hotel complex....to start this week.

So they all started to fly out on Saturday and arrive there at Nashville. By noon....the rains were in full force, and by Sunday morning....well over twelve inches of water had fallen. By Monday morning, our chief boss on site.....had decided this wasn't going to work, so the gang hustled up a military order to vacate and somehow find a way back to DC.

I'm expecting a few stories out of the crowd.

Adding to this mess....today, the Gaylord Opryland complex is reporting that it's really out of operation now for several months as they repair damages. With almost 3k hotel rooms and 600,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space, they were the breadwinner for the city. They brought in almost a fifth of cities hotel taxes.