Saturday, March 05, 2005


you'll have read that I spent most of the past 3 or 4 weeks in Dallas Texas. Those were neither my first nor my longest visits to Dallas. My first visit was in December 1995 and January 1996. Around the second week of January 1996 I took a side trip to Orlando Florida to spend some time with Hank, who had an idea for the Killer App for Windows 95; he wanted me to write it for him and we'd share the profits.

I really can't even remember what the Killer App was; but I do remember that I was monumentally unimpressed by it; it seemed to me to be an awful lot of work for an app that would have only limited appeal!

Hank and I argued about it for a while. He had the conviction of the evangelist; I the zeal of the atheist.

After the second day Hank gave me a choice; I could visit DisneyWorld or I could go to Kennedy Space Centre. I chose Kennedy. So we drove up Interstate 95. As far as I can remember it's about a 2 hour drive. Along the way Hank made one last attempt to convert me into an apostle of the Killer App but it didn't work. So we talked about other things. Among those other things I made the casual comment 'hey, we're on I95. Isn't that the highway with the snipers?'. In the early 1990's a sniper had been taking potshots at tourists. Hank said 'you don't need to worry about that - I'm packing'. And he reached over to the glove box in front of me and pulled out a gun! Then, as if to convince me that he had some serious hardware, he reached under his seat and pulled out a second gun!

Now I'm an innocent Aussie. I only know one Australian who owns a gun. Guns are certainly not a part of our culture in the way that they are in the USA. My reaction was not positive.

About 5 minutes later Hank said; 'Rob, you have a very important decision to make in the next 10 minutes'. And then he turned off the highway onto a dirt road that disappeared into some undergrowth! At about this time I'm starting seriously to believe that these are my last few minutes left on this planet. I'm frantically trying to decide if perhaps I should grab that gun out of the glove box.

We passed some trees and he stopped. I'm sure you can imagine what was going through my mind. Then he points; 'see those?' I looked whilst trying to keep him in my peripheral vision.

We watched the Armadillos frolicing in the sand for a few minutes and then continued to Kennedy Space Centre!

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