OK, I'm back! Did you miss me?!? Pardon the extended absence but I took a few days off for a trip to California to visit friends and family and then was swamped with work for the next several days upon my return. I have to say that California was a nice place to visit, but I'm not sure I could afford to live there. Good grief! We looked at some houses that were selling for $1.5 million that weren't much bigger than where I'm living now. You could buy a monstrosity with a huge ranch thrown in for that much green stuff here in these parts. But I guess it is like they always say.... location, location, location. And by that they must mean beachfront property.
It was surprisingly easy to travel on the airlines what with a war going on and the terror alert up at the burnt orange level (but not maroon yet). Going through LAX I assumed we would all be strip searched and forced to provide blood and urine samples, but it was not much different than any other flight I've been on. Got to fly a jumbo jet for the first time. I'd never been on a plane where you get on and see a staircase going up to a second floor.
Unfortunately, the war is still going on. Today I was shocked to find out that the first U.S. journalist to die over there was Washington Post columnist Michael Kelly, also editor of The Altlantic monthly. I guess you never expect a celebrity journalist to be the first to go. Apparently, he was killed in some bizarre humvee accident of which the details are still sketchy. I am sad to see Kelly go, although I was no fan of his writing. His columns were always very conservative and bitter attacks on first Clinton and later Gore. I guess I have to admire his determination in getting out in the field to cover this war which he so stridently pushed for in his columns. I've known and know lots of people whose political views I strongly disagree with but who are nevertheless wonderful, upstanding and decent human beings. From the little I've read about Kelly since his death I get the feeling that he fell into that category.