The Campaign For DA

12.27.2019

Random Friday Morning Thoughts




  • Greetings from D.C.  I'm afraid this might come off as "watching a slide show from a neighbor's vacation" (which is a phrase I grew up with to describe the most boring experience  you could think of.) 
  • First, I'm not complaining that I get to travel from time to time, but let me complain. Air travel is a beating. Not only is getting to the plane a pain (traffic, paying to park, finding a parking place, toting luggage, the ordeal of going through security, and making it to your gate even when you've tried to coordinate parking to make it a close as possible), the actual flight is cattle call. Hey, I'm a small guy, but I'm packed into my seat like a sardine.
  • And I got to learn the blowback for booking your wife's ticket using the last name of her prior marriage.  That's a little hard to explain to the ticket agent (which we now had to talk in lieu of the automated kiosk) and especially hard to explain to the wife.  Frankly, I have a little trouble explaining it to myself. 
  • Minutes before landing, I was looking out the window to catch the incredible sight of the Washington Mall only to find out we were on the wrong side of the plane. 
  • There's just something about this place. When I was here a couple of times before, I was overcome with a feeling in being in the most powerful city in the world. Now I feel like I'm in a city of chaos -- a city full of statues and memorials honoring people who would be shaking their collective heads if alive.
  • For being a simple country lawyer, I love subways. And D.C.'s is incredible. I bought a week's pass which gets you everywhere but also takes you to and from the airport to your hotel -- a hotel right in the same block as a station if you plan it right.
  • For the first afternoon, we walked over to the White House and then spent three hours in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.  Quick thoughts:
    • The street in from of the White House is shut down -- so shut down that you can't even walk on it. (I knew they closed it to street traffic a couple of decades ago, but I thought you could still walk on it.)
    • A portion of the view of property is obstructed because they are building a new fence around the White House. Because of that, you can't see the West Wing. 
    • While standing in Lafeyette Park across from the White House, I couldn't help but remember the guy who was set-up to buy drugs there so George H.W. Bush could make reference to it during a war on drugs speech. 
    • There are D.C. Police and Secret Service everywhere. For the "Home of the Free", it doesn't feel very safe. 
    • A majestic Treasury Department building is right by the White House but it is in the same enclosed fence with armed guards.
    • The National Christmas tree is spare. 
    • We walked back towards the mall, and you wouldn't believe the size of the Commerce Department building. I couldn't help but think of the ton of government employees that place employs who really don't do anything at all. (I had to look at an aerial view of it once I got back to the hotel.)
    • Now to the Smithsonian. (There's a bunch of them, but the American History one is the most famous one.)
    • There's no line. It's free. And it's overwhelming. A nice guide actually approached us without asking and took us over to a map to explain where everything was on each three floor of exhibits. Probably noticing that I appeared to be a pop culture expert and a representative of the Common Man, he told me the locations of Muhammed Lee's gloves, Dorothy's slippers, and Archie Bunker's chairs.
    • The actual flag which inspired the Star-Spangled Banner is on display. That thing is 30 feet tall. I learned that the lady that made it was paid over $400 which was more than most people's annual salary. ("Oh, it's a profit thing!" I told Mrs. LL who proudly caught the reference.) 
    • You might stumble on anything. I saw a ship manifest for a slave ship, a propoganda tea cup blasting England's tax on tea before the American Revolution, a row of the first experimental light bulbs. Then they even have things which make you feel very old: A TRS-80 computer and a credit card machine are just casually on display.
    • I'm not even close to doing that place justice. We didn't even see one full floor after almost three hours and will have to go back. 
    • And it's fun just to walk down the street. The architecture is cool.
    • My Google Maps tells me the Fort Worth Star-Telegram office is right across the street from the hotel which confuses me. And I don't see any sign of it. 
  • We'll make it to the Newseum which closes it's doors on the 31st. I've stolen the front page off of its site for years. 
  • There will be no "It's Friday. Let's Get Out of Here."  I've got stuff to see.