21 September

I learned last night around this time that I have cause to go to Nashville. So I’m still in Alexandria having spent much of the day plotting my course.

This morning I took the water taxi from Alexandria to the hotel and convention centre at National Harbor – that’s across the Potomoc River in Maryland. It was my first ferry ride since coming home from Manly on 27 July. Any day with a ferry ride is a good day.

There is Air Space Cyber Conference on at the convention centre – the place was crawling with military officers, American and otherwise – including a man whose uniform involved ox blood coloured riding boots. The rest were a mix of (mostly) men with military short hair cuts and builds that were either meticulously maintained for fighting capacity or gone a bit to seed like recently retired athletes.

Part of an advertising banner from Raytheon, one of the sponsors, referred to “Actionable Intelligence”. I’m so glad a private company is in the business of helping governments to be sure they are killing the people they mean to be killing. But of course they often kill others too – what’s that? “Collateral damage”.  Ah, the language of death merchants.

I was glad to collect my Hyundai and get out of there.

I’ve spent the rest of the day selecting a route, sending requests to possible Couchsurfing hosts and identifying alternatives if these fall through.

I’d tell you my plans but that would spoil the surprise.

I’ll hope for WiFi as I go so I’ll have a chance to keep up this daily habit. If I fail, forgive me.

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