I was quite pleased with an interview I heard during Morning Edition
today. Discussed was Timothy Naftali's newest book, Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism
, a comprehensive look at how the United States' position on counterterrorism tactics have dramatically changed in the last fifty years.
Of particular note was the fact that hijacking used to be taken as a mere inconvenience. Many hijackers of passenger aircraft would instruct the flight crew to take them to Havana, Cuba. This happened so often in fact, pilots who frequented the southeastern United States had maps of José Martí International Airport on-board just in case.
Additionally, the Swiss government — the United States' representative in Cuba — had a standardized pre-filled form prepared that only needed the flight number and date entered which formally requested the return of the airplane, passengers and crew.
And finally my favourite bit, the Cuban government decided to profit from the regular dispatch of hijacked Americans and started giving out Cuban sandwiches. Billed, of course, to the United States Department of State at thirty dollars a piece.
You can listen to the story at npr.org
Well I do suppose I have held out long enough now. I am always extremely cautious when telling more than a few people about certain things going on in my life — a process I adopted after highly touted events in the past ended up self-destructing rather dramatically.
So without further adieu I hereby announce I am leaving Orlando, Florida in August. I have interviewed for and been offered a position with the State of Florida government in Tallahassee. My first day on the job is Monday, 29 August 2005. The other major opportunity that this relocation brings is my return to the college education system. While the specifics of that move are yet to be worked out, I am totally committed and will make it work — even if it takes years to complete my degree(s).
I do wish the timing was different so that I would have more time to prepare for all the usual moving activities — apartment hunting, shopping for "stuff" and, of course, the move itself — but I suppose only having one month to get everything in order helps to keep priorities in line.
It has always been and will continue to be my policy to never discuss specifics about things like employment on Mount Sutro
, so if you are a friend and want to hear more, e-mail or telephone me.
Additionally, I am trying to set-up social events to occur sooner rather than later. If you are interested in doing something before it gets too far into August and I have surely chopped my head off, let me know.
I will be keeping my telephone number indefinitely, but my mailing address will change as soon as I secure a new Tallahassee-based post office box. And as far as other matters go, well, it is a step-by-step process. I hope not to turn this into a moving blog, but I have a feeling time will prohibit much else. Anyone with "stuff" they no longer need in their home, please let me know! Kitchen supplies and — ahem — computing equipment are of particular interest right now, but any offers will be gladly accepted. Thanks!
Despite having just returned late tonight from a weeklong trip
to Fort Lauderdale, I will be getting back in the car shortly and heading to Tallahassee (again
, but not for pleasure). I will return to Orlando on Wednesday, 27 July 2005.
I apologize for the personal distance and lack of activity here at Mount Sutro
. Oh, and a quick "hello" to those of you who have visited for the first time recently and left a comment or sent me an e-mail. I hope to devote some time to things around here soon, but I cannot make any guarantees right now.
I will be in Fort Lauderdale from Sunday, 17 July 2005 to Sunday, 24 July 2005. I am unsure how often I will be able to check e-mail so any important communiqués should be directed to my mobile.
Have a nice week!
in Titusville turned out to be a fantastic spot to watch the Space Shuttle Discovery
launch NASA's return to space
, the first such mission since the Columbia
accident. And despite the fact a sensor in the main external fuel tank failed, necessitating the scrubbing of the launch, the trip to the coast was not in vain.
After driving around Titusville, Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach and down to Melbourne and back, Chris and I decided that we would board the Ambassador II
and give the Sterling Casino
ship a try. It ended up being great fun! While our bets were limited to the slots, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Poker were also available. The free buffet was nothing extravagant, but complemented the free alcoholic beverages well. Not to mention that I am sucker for a nice boat ride.