Back to Aruba

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As promised in Wednesday's blog, we have pictures posted today from the attempted space shuttle launch. Click on the link in the photo box to check out the photo essay. The pictures were taken by a colleague — Shayla Bezdrob — and e-mailed to me. Shayla did not include a text explanation of each image so your guess is as good as mine. I looked through the pics and noticed that some showed our FNC workspace at Cape Canaveral (search).

Now for the show news... if you are reading this blog before noon, we are on a plane headed back to Aruba (search) (and hopefully dodging the tropical storm in the region.) I don't know what time my colleagues traveling with me got up, but I got up at 3:45 a.m. to catch this early flight... but fortunately I can sleep on planes. (While the lack of sleep is hard, it is not nearly as bad as what Natalee's family is going through. Hence I am not complaining... just giving you details.) We did not learn that we would be going to Aruba until about 5 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Our plan is to be on the ground in Aruba before the court issues its decisions on the detention of the three suspects (one is in custody, two are free.) We will learn as soon as we land where we will go — but it won't be the hotel. We won't get to check into our rooms until after our show at 11 p.m. The whole point of the trip is to get information so we go directly from the airport to our search for information. (Note that we always have the same conversation late in the day on the first day of our road trips — "Did anyone tell the hotel we are a late check in?" The answer is always no because none of us ever remembers to do so. Then we all get nervous that our rooms have been rented to others since we failed to check or notify the hotel of a late check in. As I write this I am making a mental note to call the hotel upon our arrival and give them the heads up that we won't be there until 11 p.m. — after the show.)

In Wednesday's blog, I told you about two of my colleagues and that they are multi-talented. Brian Wilson (search) makes music compact discs and Adam Housley (search) has a vineyard. Today I learned about another colleague — Wendy Dawson — who is also multi-talented. Check out her Web site:

And what about me? I play the radio...

Here are a couple of your e-mails:

E-mail No. 1 — This next e-mail came to me with the subject header: COMPLAINT:

I have been an avid viewer of FOX News since 9/11/01. I still remember how I was impressed by your coverage and continued to watch it every day — even over and above our local news stations for local news.
I am very disappointed in your coverage of the Natalee Holloway story — how many missing children are there in the world none of whom get any news coverage? Even recently when the two young children were kidnapped I knew nothing about those children until I heard one was found dead and the other one was found in a restaurant with the man who abducted her. I had no idea what those two children looked like but I sure would know Natalee if I saw her. Most disturbing to me at this point is the fact that her parents - both sets — are on your 10 p.m. newscast just about every night, sometimes for the entire hour newscast with Greta after Natalee has been missing for over six weeks. Believe me I could not imagine having a missing child and I'm sure the parents who have young innocent children missing can't imagine how an 18 year old who was vacationing and partying in a foreign country gets hour after hour of news coverage and their missing child gets none.
I know you could never have stories about every missing child there is in the U.S. but I think we are all very aware of Natalee's disappearance — and perhaps there are others who have the same view I do. My heart goes out to Natalee's parents but maybe high school children should not be allowed to go to places like Aruba and party all night with the locals - my beautiful teenage daughter would never have gone. What ever happened to high school trips to Washington D.C., Harrisburg or the local amusement park. I just wish there was other news you thought newsworthy — like the war, London bombings, other missing children, or back to my original thought 9/11.
Just as an end to my running on — I don't watch your news at 10 p.m. anymore and I tune into my local station for the 6 p.m.
Mary Anne Peterlin

E-mail No. 2

Is there any truth to the article in The National Enquirer about Natalee calling a friend on her cell phone that last night?
Virginia Van Delist

ANSWER: Here is what I know about a phone call: Apparently a friend of Natalee's received a call to his voice mail/answering machine. There was background noise and then someone said something like, "Are you calling home?" As far as I know the phones were then disconnected and nothing else was recorded. I do not know if that call was from Natalee or from her cell phone or one she may have used.

Incidentally, not all USA cell phone service works in Aruba. My AT&T cell phone works there, but my Verizon cell phone does not. And yes — I know — what kind of person has two cell phones? It is a bit nutty but I have two cell phones with different service. Why? For the very reason that some times I am in areas where service is limited. One other thing about the phone call — it is not clear when it was received by the person receiving the message.

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