Thursday, August 17, 2006

Crime, technology and stuff

Another beautiful Colorado morning. The birds are singing, the air is cool and fresh and I am still half asleep. That is, I was still half asleep until I read this morning's news.

Ten years of suspicion and doubt and finally a killer is on his way to justice, if he can get through airport security.

The Ramseys told the truth. They did not have a hand in killing JonBenet. I cannot imagine how difficult it was for the Ramseys being suspected of murdering their daughter and being hounded constantly in the tabloids and because of people's evil minds. Finally, after Patsy's death from ovarian cancer, the truth is coming out but who will compensate the Ramsay family for everything they have lost?

It seems what's inside of us, no matter how it shows on the outside, can be taken against us. those moments of doubt, a little fear of flying, angry at a spouse or loved one or just the government requiring invasive and extensive physical checks before flying can be taken against us with the new technology. The system, measuring pulse, blood pressure, and sweat levels, can detect potential terrorists -- or just people fed up with security that curtails their freedoms and private thoughts even further. Big Brother is here and he's smiling because we didn't see him coming.

But it's not just our freedom to fly that is being curtailed but the freedom to have children and buy groceries. The country may need to go back to the horse and buggy (I'm sure the Amish will teach us how it works), the even older mode of walking or the high tech method of riding a bicycle that doesn't use gasoline when planning to go to the store because all that fits in this car are two people. On the up side, the egg-shaped car does get 330 miles to the gallon so $3 will go back and forth to work for a month or on a long weekend as long as you don't plan to bring luggage or your briefcase and laptop. With all the money you save on gas you can guy clothes when you get there and dispose of them when you leave. They won't fit in the car. As for the data you need, you can always back it up on the Time Machine, Apple's new MAC technology and carry it with you on a removable external hard drive. I'm sure the Aptera can handle at least that much, especially when driving solo.

At least the Aptera would take up less space at the long term parking lot at the airport and wouldn't be a target for carjackers since it's not a luxury car or even sporty, but it will be a plus when arriving at the airport terminal 18 hours ahead of time to go through security before boarding the plane. It takes time to go through strip and body cavity searches to make sure you're not carrying a bomb. However, if there is a bomb nearby you might trigger it with your new ePassport with the RFID chip. Of course that doesn't matter to Big Brother who will be watching you even in the restroom or wherever you sneak off to enjoy a quiet smoke or in the air when you join the Mile High Club. Nothing is secret and nothing is sacred any more. Freedom is a fluid concept right now and travel is a fast fading dream -- unless you want to stay on the ground.

I think I'll take my old fashioned passport with me when I go to Alaska next year. I know Alaska is part of the U.S., but I've almost decided to take the train and do a little Canadian rail sight seeing along the way. I'll see a lot more that way and I won't have to worry about innovative terrorists with liqui-gel bombs masquerading as cold and sinus relief. I still might take a cruise to Alaska, but either way I've decided to take the train to the debarkation point if I don't do the Al-Can train trip.

I got the idea from reading about 's numerous trips and because I found out last night that my mother, Beanie and Carol are coming to visit for a week by train. Other than a short train ride in Panama as a child that put me off water for a month, I have not been on a train. After checking Amtrak's web site and looking at the accommodations, I decided it would be fun to sit in a room and have my meals while I watch the world rush by the window as I sketch, read or tap away on my laptop. That's not possible on a plane and certainly not on a bus with my limited life laptop battery. There are outlets and electricity on a train and even though it will be somewhat cramped and the facilities compact, I won't be sharing it with anyone so I can stretch out and enjoy the view.

I still have to get through the visit in October. Carol is complaining about the cost of staying in a hotel for a week (the time Beanie and I had planned for her to visit) and Mom told me last night they plan to camp out on my floor for the entire week. I mentioned the hotels and motels within a six blocks of here, but Mom countered with, "So you don't want us to stay with you?" The guilt bomb ticked loudly.

Okay, I have a sofa and chaise and a love seat in the bedroom. I also have a queen sized bed, but there is not room enough for all of us here, especially not on the floor. I'm not stepping over sleepy snoring bodies when I trek to the bathroom in the middle of the night and I'm not going to worry about waking someone up when I decide to get up and watch a movie or write on my laptop. Then there's the question of window treatments. There are none and this isn't the cabin where there's no one around for miles and only the pine martins, birds and elk to see whether or not you're naked when you walk past the window, and I don't have a huge painting to put in the window to keep prying animal eyes from seeing in. I'm also not planning to put up window treatments between now and October because I like the open minimalist look and plan to keep it that way for the foreseeable future.

The guilt bomb keeps ticking.

It isn't that I don't want to see my family. Beanie and I have been planning her visit for a year. I do want to see them, but sleeping on my floor is not an option. Mom assured me they would buy food while they're here so I don't have to feed them all from my meager budget, which is a good thing, and they will rent a car so Mom and Carol can go shopping while Beanie and I go wherever we want. Suddenly this is beginning to sound more like the real reason Mom and Carol are coming is to have an inexpensive vacation to Colorado and not to see me. I wonder if I should be hurt. Hmmm.

Well, I'm sure Mom is putting me on and she and Carol will get a motel room (I'm sure can suggest a place that would put them amidst one-stop necessities) close to the antique malls in Old Colorado City, rent their car and shop to their hearts' content, but that guilt bomb is still ticking.

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