Monday, February 26, 2007

Rolling Stone Article

The current issue of Rolling Stone has a feature article on the death of Ryan Manelick, called "Death of a Contractor: Greed and Murder in Iraq's Lawless Desert." Ryan worked with Kirk for Ultra-Services. He was killed in December, 2003 just a day or two before he was supposed to leave Iraq for a holiday. His death is still unsolved.

Originally, the article was going to talk about Kirk as well. I did an interview by phone with the author, Daniel Halpern, way back in spring of last year. However, while he was still gathering information and doing research, we heard from the CID, and it was made clear that Kirk's death, despite the coincidence, was not related to the fraud investigation and Ryan's murder. I let Daniel know at once because I knew it would change how he wrote his article. Recently Daniel contacted me to let me know that Rolling Stone was going to drop Kirk's part of the story, and I told him I had expected something like that to happen, and understood why they made that decision.

I'm very glad that the Manelick family has this chance to get their story told. They have been dealing with the same stress and uncertainty, the frustration and pain that we have. They knew, at least, that Ryan had been killed, while for so long we didn't know even that. But they still don't know who did it or why.

Maybe this article will help somehow. Maybe someone somewhere knows something, and they will finally be willing to talk. Maybe it will just help for people to know that a bright, enthusiastic man, a father, a veteran, was killed on the streets of Iraq and no one knows why.

I haven't read it yet, so I can't tell you anything about it. But I will pick up a copy today, for Ryan, for his family.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thinking about Thinking about Posting

Things I've thought about posting on:

1. An article forthcoming in Rolling Stone which was originally going to talk a bit about Kirk but has decided to concentrate on the Manelick case instead (which is understandable). Conclusion? Eh, not so much. But I'll try and post the issue information when I know it so people who are interested can go buy a copy.

2. Job hunting - good times, and much more entertaining when done long distance. Conclusion? I'll post when a get a job. Anyone wanna hire me? I code! I design! I write! I market - oooh, just watch me brand...

3. Odd people seen while on the way to and from work. Conclusion? Now that is quality content!

I've always told my kids they can do just about anything non-permanent to themselves. Child Three has sported at least four hair colors at various times, and has had a semi-successful mohawk for a while (child 3 is cursed with floppy hair. It's very, very sad) . Child One was streaked with pink for a time and Child Two hopes to have bright red soon. I don't even break a sweat. Like I tell them, there's no other time in their lives when they can work so hard to look so stupid and be so utterly convinced they're cool. So the deal is, reversible? Fine, but nothing, absolutely nothing permanent can be done that can't be easily hidden, and nothing that could even possibly compromise health and safety. No eyebrow piercings, no nose rings or tongue studs. Sorry guys.

Some things make these things easier though. Like seeing the guy in Target who wasn't wearing his massive sized ear gauges. Ear gauges in? Scary goth punk man. Gauges out? Young guy with ear lobes that look like chicken butts. Really takes a lot of the edge off it somehow.

It's like the time I saw my friend's mom's tattoo. She had a dragon that wound around her calf - probably looked dead cool when she was eighteen. Trouble is, by the time I saw it, she was around sixty. To this day I can't see a tramp stamp without remembering that sad, toothless, crepey dragon. But I never was tempted to get a tattoo.

Usually the people I see around work are pretty young, so even if they have misspelled body art, or are trying desperately to pull off a convincing set of dreadlocks on top of a freshly scrubbed pale pink face, there's something about being young that makes it, well not attractive, but sort of touching. However, walking past the Einstein's Bagels I got a shocking look at what happened to all those punk rockers from the seventies who didn't die tragically young. There was so much wrong there... and I think really the internet should be spared most of it... but I did have one question answered -

- yes, nose piercings do stretch with age.