Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dispatch from the Road: Newport RI

If it's Wednesday, this must be Newport.  I flew here yesterday for a conference thrown by the Naval War College where today I will once again do my "why aircraft carriers don't suck and aren't a waste of money" pitch.  The audience is a group mainly of academics, with most of us having arrived yesterday and attended the opening dinner last night.  Held in the rotunda room of the original War College building (or the traditional one), I was reunited with an old friend who had previously served as the Naval Attache to China.  Dude is the real deal and funny as all hell.  He told marvelous stories, none of which I can share here....

I will be here until tomorrow afternoon, at which point I will fly back to Baltimore and then head over to teach my class at the Naval Academy.  We are in the final phase of the course, two more months or so and then we're done.

I'm staying at the Hotel Viking, a grand old place here in Newport.  The conference is putting us all up here (by us, I mean the speakers), and we were picked up at the airport in Providence too. All of which is very convenient, but without a car, I am left at the mercy of the shuttle bus they provide to get us back and forth to the college.  Last night for instance, there was a cocktail hour before dinner.  My usual habit is to make it to the last 20 minutes of cocktail hours, but since there was only a shuttle to get us there, I had to act like my brother Tom for a full hour of cocktail party chit-chat.  The good news was that I was among several good friends/interesting people.  The bad news is that I ate a ton of bacon wrapped scallops.  Actually not bad from a diet selection standpoint, simply from a total mass ingested standpoint.  Our dinner speaker was a good friend, a retired Brit two-star with whom I traveled to Taiwan last year.  Gave a pretty rousing, 'the world is going to shit if America doesn't get its act together" speech, one I could probably give myself, but I would not sound nearly as wonderful as he does.

It is cold still here in the arctic regions of America, and there was a good bit of snow on the ground as we flew into Providence.  I am weary of winter, and as we've discussed earlier, I will be turning around rather quickly on Friday morning for a solo weekend in Jamaica.  It appears that the weather gods are not smiling on me, as there is a 50% chance of rain each of the four days I am there.  I will not let this bother me though, as I will have good books to sustain me if forced indoors.

That's all for now.


Anonymous said...

Is it Tom or Tubby who is the true cocktail party role model?

Dear old Dad McGrath said...

Sixty-four years ago I also was in Newport, Rhode Island. I arrived March 20th as a new US Navy recruit off to boot camp. What a coincidence I'd say.

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