Believe it or not, I am writing blog posts. You just aren’t seeing them live yet. I posted a few things over at the Resolution Revolution today, but mostly I’m writing honking-long items that I want to “get right” before unleashing them on the blogosphere. I suspect they will be worth the wait.
So much of the immediate future is uncertain. Children, travel, money, health… a lot of unknowns in the near future that are big and sort of ominous and whatnot. I’m not crazy about having so much so far up in the air, with no real way to determine where it all might land yet. I know, that’s life, but it seems like lately it’s been a bit much.
Oh well, off to a Chinese New Year dinner with friends – yum! Happy New Year!
High speed trains as a viable alternative to air travel is quickly becoming a reality for more and more travelers.
Meanwhile, the SNCF-operated Eurostar service, which links Britain with the Continent, opened a refurbished terminal at London’s St. Pancras station in November, after completing a track upgrade that cuts travel time between London and Paris to only 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Given my lack of good feelings regarding the state of air travel lately, it would sure be nice to have something like this as an alternative for getting to San Francisco or San Diego for business or vacation.
I’ve spent a good deal of my time standing in airport security lines thinking similar thoughts to those so eloquently expressed in this recent New York Times item about the folly of airport security today.
In years past, a takeover meant hostage negotiations and standoffs; crews were trained in the concept of “passive resistance.” All of that changed forever the instant American Airlines Flight 11 collided with the north tower. What weapons the 19 men possessed mattered little; the success of their plan relied fundamentally on the element of surprise. And in this respect, their scheme was all but guaranteed not to fail.
For several reasons — particularly the awareness of passengers and crew — just the opposite is true today. Any hijacker would face a planeload of angry and frightened people ready to fight back. Say what you want of terrorists, they cannot afford to waste time and resources on schemes with a high probability of failure. And thus the September 11th template is all but useless to potential hijackers.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be thinking about how to improve airport security in our nation and around the world. In fact, as the article states, there are several examples where we’re making good solid decisions that should lead (and have lead) to real protection. But add up the amount of time each instance of needing to confiscate liquid of more than three ounces in volume occurs, multiply every one of those times the number of people standing behind that situation in line (all of who have to wait extra time now), and when you add up all those hours, divide the average life span of a human being into that amount, and I wonder how many people we have, in that sense, “killed” by the measures we’ve implemented in the name of saving lives.
In 2007 I actually spent a good amount of my time travelling, whether on business or vacation. Probably at least a month and a half, all added together. This is a good thing.
However, it was never to anywhere I hadn’t already been. This is an area of opportunity for growth in 2008.
In 2008, I will travel to two places within driving distance that I have never been to previously. I will also travel to one place not in a day’s driving distance that I have never been to before. All three of those are considered “at leasts”, and are to all be places I go at least half for vacation and half business (preferrably none of the latter though).