Monday, May 23, 2011

The Visit

****** Long fascinated by the incredibly versatile sounds birds make, I often focus attentively on their measured tweets and twirts, and patiently share the gap in communication which the sender must endure until he receives a reponse. I enjoy these conversations which I'm certain contain vital information regarding tracking systems, weather conditions, head and tail wind velocities and other crucial flight data. They may even be discussing navigational routes for the next trip while job assignments are posted. My visitor this morning obviously pulled the over-night duty.

At around 3AM, a lone feathered friend perched outside my bedroom window which was open a few inches as usual. This character initiated a faint-sounding warble, and I listened in eager anticipation along with him for a group member's response. The song sketched was thin, an anemic sound I thought. Some severe and unexpected turbulence might have exerted extra pressure to his fuselage and delicate wing structure. Whatever the cause, he sounded pretty exhausted.

His visit evolved into one much longer than usual, and the intervals between his calls were lengthy, each "Yoo-hoo" producing nothing but dead air. He patiently maintained his position and then skillfully but weakly called once more.

I began to think of him as an elderly telegrapher, weary and frustrated, shaking himself to alert status, and gamely trying yet again to make a connection, not unlike the people who sit at computer monitors flinging blips and beep signals into outer space hoping to finally pick up a "Well, hello there! How the hell are you? What a nice surprise! Let's get together real soon!"

I hope my Signalman comes back tonight.

Monday, May 2, 2011

On The Death Of A Fanatic

With today's sensational news that Osama bin Laden has been killed, it's obvious that the draft labeled "Post Wedding Fatigue" should be forwarded to the dust bin.

I approve of the extremely prudent decision to bury his body at sea. Capture him, take him where? Parade him as some sort of trophy? Perhaps Mr. Bush would have enjoyed displaying the dead man's head on a pole on the White House lawn, but that gesture would be as knuckle-headed as standing in front of a large banner, emblazoned with the premature victory message "Mission Accomplished". However, we are now forced to be even more vigilant.

ObL fully prepared for his inevitable demise, and at this moment, his successor has no doubt gathered other fanatics prepared to implement a directive to strike one or more vulnerable targets anywhere in the Western world. Those people are just as angry now as we are jubilant. Perhaps even more so.