April 23rd, 2003


She's in today......,

Those of you that have been here a bit know that I work on the banks of the Hudson and that I have a special affinity for the QE-II. I smiled as I parked this morning and saw that she'd berthed on the morning's tide for the first time this year. As usual, she'll be gone quickly - she departs at 4:45 for an 11 day cruise. There'll be several more cruises and then she will go to her summer schedule of transatlantic crossings. When the year is over it will be mostly over for her as well. This is her last full season in such service.

Her successor, now named the Queen Mary-II is nearing completion. Her maiden voyage will be early next year. Both Queens will be here for a passing of the guard on next April 25th but after that the QM-II will do transatlantic and the QE-II will do cruises from Southampton only.

An era is ending and another beginning - I'll still have one to see and admire, but it won't be quite the same. The QE-II and I have sort of aged together and there's a bit of comfort having a long time companion about. I'll miss her



She's gone again, as good ships do......,

I was able to stop for a moment and watch her sail.

I grabbed my emergency camera from my bag, went through the doors and to the end of the pier across the street. I watched as the pilot boat pulled out - forward, to port; so small as to seem in danger of being run over by her massive charge. Two tugs released her and took position, just astern, one to each side. The entourage gathered speed, then, three short notes from the pilot, barely audible from where I stood, followed by her three deep long notes - each distinct and each followed by a rolling echo from the skyscraper walls to her sides. "You're on your own, just follow me out."

The ferries, always in a hurry, scurried around her, they're quicker. As with any proper lady, she kept to her own way and at a proper pace. I could see her age as she passed, she's well kept, but the signs are there. There're a few similar on me as well. I watched till she was off the Battery before turning to a less windy spot.
I think I got several good shots with an inexpensive camera on an overcast day. The film had been rewound before I left the pier and dropped for processing a minute later. We shall see, and hope a bit.
Not all of Spring is about flowers and plants, other things have beauty as well.
.... and much of that beauty is in the reminder of the renewal of a season.
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I do not agree with the man's attitudes, but he raises an interesting point in law...,

I'm speaking of course about the interview remarks of Sen Rick Santorum. He is in favor of traditional hetero relationships and contends that states can and do have a right to limit what takes place within the privacy of a home.

I'll not go heavily into the shoulds and shouldn'ts issue except to say that I personally basically agree with a permissive approach between freely consenting adult individuals so long as no permanent physical harm is inflicted. His thought however is that the laws as written do give the states to regulate it. I suspect from a legal standpoint, that he may be correct.

Most laws are rather general. If we do not declare adultery to be illegal, then how do we use it as a basis for dissolving a marriage contract? Do we permit and accept bestiality? Do we define the age of consent very rigidly, such that an act between teenagers on one weekend is illegal and the same act a day later is fully permitted because someone had a birthday? If not, how do we protect minors?

It does open a very tough area. When does the good of society override the right of personal privacy, especially in matters of a sexual nature?
The only thing I can think of that may be more difficult is once you've decided, how do you word it?

If you are interested, the text of his original remarks are here: http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/04/22/santorum.excerpts.ap/index.html