Two things have been on my mind this week - okay more than that - but I'm going to blog about two - pirates and cell phones.
The summer before 9/11 my brother and I visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We had a great trip. One day was spent on Ocracoke Island – one of Blackbeard's main ports. One man's thief is another man's folk hero. Depending on whose ships he was robbing, he was either praised or decried.
Pirate legends – as depicted in books and movies are romantic. As a child I saw the movie – A High Wind in Jamaica. The plot involves children captives on a pirate ship – a great sailing adventure for all involved.
Johnny Depp has the pirate persona down – or at least Hollywood's latest version of a pirate. I wonder if that will change now that real pirates are in the news.
On Easter Sunday, the nation received the news of U.S. Navy's rescue of ship captain Richard Phillips. Three Somali pirates were killed in the effort. One pirate was captured – reports have him as too young to be prosecuted as an adult in the U.S. I don't fault the Navy for their heroic actions – the pirates left them no reasonable choice.
Pirates are holding about a dozen other ships with more than 200 crew members, according to the Malaysia-based piracy watchdog International Maritime Bureau. Hostages are from Bulgaria, China, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Tuvalu and Ukraine, among other countries.
I don't understand how the situation has been allowed to get to this point – unarmed commercial cargo ships being hijacked by pirates in speedboats with armed with rockets and AK-47s. Why in the world would cargo ships carrying millions of dollars of supplies be unarmed?
The U.S. Navy won't be able to be in right spot at the right time to protect all American cargo ships. The ship companies are going to have to step up and defend themselves. Today's pirates are young, poor, and fearless. They have nothing to lose, which means they are too dangerous for us to ignore them – or Somalia - anymore.
Now for the cell phone part of this blog - I had to upgrade from my beloved Blackberry Pearl to a Blackberry Curve. I say "had to" because I wore the trackball out on my Blackberry Pearl and when I went to T-Mobile to replace it, I found "my" phone was out-of-stock. I don't know how long it would take to find another Blackberry Pearl like my old one. Apparently the world of cell phones has moved on. I didn't want a flip phone version. And I'm not ready for a 3G phone. But I did need a new phone - and quickly. I carry my phone everywhere. If I forget and leave it at home, I have to drive back and pick it up. I admit it - I'm a Blackberry addict.
So getting the new phone was traumatic. As I moved my memory card from my old Blackberry Pearl to the strange phone that arrived by Federal Express, I had a lot of regrets at retiring my old friend.
The new phone doesn't feel the same. Sure, it's easier to type on and the screen is bigger, but ... it's not my Blackberry yet.