Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Update from the Road

It's the morning of my last day in San Diego for this trip.  I'll work all day, grab some dinner, turn in the rental car and then hop on the Redeye.  Good, though uneventful trip thus far, though I must report that my hunt for the perfect hotel goes on.  The Holiday Inn Express I'm in is pretty good.  A hearty free breakfast, free parking, free wifi (yes, I know those costs are rolled into the total cost, but I don't like them charged as extras) and a clean comfortable room.  Problem is, it is haflway between Little Italy and Old Town San Diego--so sorta stuck in the middle.  I did manage to walk to a sushi joint for some rather good but overpriced sushi last night, but by and large, one needs to drive to any respectable place to eat.  The gym here is small, but I've been the only person in it each time I've visited so that hasn't been an issue.

The weather has been--as it usually is--perfect.  I drive across the Coronado bridge each morning on my way to the client site, and where I lived for 15 months spreads out before me.  What a life it was.  I see young mothers and children on the streets as I drive through, and I wonder "who can afford this at that age?"

One of the bonuses to working where I do is that the Navy's Basic Underwater Demolition School (BUDS) is nearby--the place where we begin to make SEALS.  I walked down to the Subway to grab a turkey sub (6 inch) yesterday at lunch time, and passed the based galley as I walked.  There--at an outside shower, were twenty five or so young exhausted men waiting their turns to step up fully clothed into the shower, to remove the heavily caked sand and dirt from their uniforms.  Many of you have seen TV shows that feature what these men go through, and it is grueling.  Making sure none of their handler/torturers was nearby, I softly added a "keep it up guys, proud of you" as I walked by--and got two or three huge bright smiles of recognition in return.

I've managed to sorta stay on East Coast time while here, getting to bed each night well before 9PM and up at 0500.  Truth be told, that would be the DESIRED East Coast schedule, but I try to remain conscious a bit longer at home in order to keep the Kitten happy with my effervescent conversation, but I often fail at that task.  The other problem is that I often get up at 0500 too.  So I suppose the only thing I am really accomplishing on the West Coast is getting more sleep.

I am watching the run-up to the mid-term election with great anticipation. Things appear to be going well for Republicans, but I don't see it as overwhelming.  I'm looking forward to staying up late next Tuesday to watch things come in, but the entire evening will be made whole if and when it is announced that the Senate balance has tipped.  I cannot wait to see Harry Reid lose power.  I simply don't like the man.  I never disliked Tom Daschle....but this guy....the worst.

Republicans shouldn't expect miracles though. The President has the Veto and it still requires 2/3 of each chamber to overturn. Those numbers simply don't exist.  So when folks talk about "using reconciliation to repeal Obamacare" they are indulging in fantasy.  Perhaps we get the 51 votes in the Senate required to pass a repeal under reconciliation, but when the President vetoes it, we'd still need the two thirds majorities to overcome that--which will not come.  Now, it might be worth ONE vote to demonstrate Republican seriousness, but then any subsequent vote would be unserious.

The rocket exploding on the launch pad last night just seems like the latest in a string of mounting evidence that we've lost something, a little spring in our step, the ability to hard things well.  I wrote yesterday that I thought the person who makes us believe we are still good at doing hard things, and who lays out a vision for how we'll recapture that spring--that's the person who will win in 2016.  In other words, a positive, uplifting message.  We'll see if anyone hops on that....

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