A few observations (I hadn’t been there in 13 years):

– I know some people weren’t happy about all the new memorials and museums they’ve constructed around the National Mall, but I think they are all appropriate, conforming, and, well, awesome.

– The new Visitors Center at the Capitol is incredible. I only had one free day (the other day was spent in a seminar, on my own time and my own dime, by the way), and I thought we’d have time to hit up both the Capitol and the Smithsonian. But by the time we were finished with the Capitol, it was almost closing time at the other museums. So, next time you’re in DC and you want to see as much as possible in a short period of time, budget your time wisely. Of course, we had no idea we’d spend nearly four hours in the Capitol, but as it turns out, there really is a lot to see in the new Visitors Center.

– I wish we still had jet service to Houston; the turbo-prop we flew on was easily thirty years old. (To be fair, we DO have jet service to Dallas now).

And I know this isn’t related to my DC trip, but:

– Contrary to what was implied about me on another local blog while I was away, I do, in fact, believe that blogs represent a form of citizen journalism. Duh.

– On a related note, today, The New York Times published a memo on their blog “standards,” and I have to say, I agree completely (bold mine):

What should be avoided in all of them is any hint of racist, sexist or religious bias, or any suggestion of nasty, snide, sarcastic, or condescending tone — “snark.” …

Our ethics code promises that in all dealings with readers, “civility applies.” Contractions, colloquialisms and even slang are, generally speaking, more allowable in blogs than in print. But obscenity and vulgarity are not, and of course unverified assertions of fact, blind pejorative quotes, and other lapses in journalistic standards don’t ever belong in blogs.

Writers and editors of blogs must also distinguish between personal tone and voice and unqualified personal opinion. That is properly found in Opinion blogs, but in the news pages online and in print, opinion must be qualified.

– I’ve bowled a better game than Barack Obama. And I’m disabled. Still, anyone who thinks he actually meant to disparage disabled Americans by comparing his bowling game to the Special Olympics is really stretching it.

– Sarah Palin does not speak for disabled Americans. All this patronizing stuff about how SHOCKED she was and how disabled people are the MOST precious people in the entire universe is just pure grandstanding. Especially since she’s planning on rejecting stimulus money to fund programs for people with special needs. Put your money where your mouth is, Governor.

The biggest single chunk of money that Palin is turning down is about $170 million for education, including money that would go for programs to help economically disadvantaged and special needs students. Anchorage School Superintendent Carol Comeau said she is “shocked and very disappointed” that Palin would reject the schools money. She said it could be used for job preservation, teacher training, and helping kids who need it.

7 thoughts

  1. I’m not (technically-speaking/insulin pump notwithstanding) disabled, and I’m sure you can bowl a better game that me, too.

    Back to your regularly scheduled programming…

  2. Been lurking for a while now, and I have always appreciated the tone and writing style of your blog. Civil and professional, but still judicious and probing. Excellent work. I think a lot of bloggers could stand to be less “real” and learn something from you. Keep it up!

  3. And I forgot to add, after “Civil and professional…”, these four things are what the journalism industry has forgotten how to be.

  4. We do still have jet service to Houston. You must have got stuck on one of the flights operating by Colgon Air. They have one flight in and out of AEX and they are turbo prop service. All other flights are jet service. If you watch when you purchase your ticket make sure to book Continental Express operated flights and you’ll get your jet service.

    To add to your list of “MUST SEEs” in and around the mall area: The Library of Congress and the Native American Museum. The Library is simply put – beautiful. I only had an hour to spend in the Native American museum so I barely got started exploring the exhibits there. The collections are extensive. If anyone truly wants to understand this amazing society of people who were here long before the first colonist and see their transition over time, this is one place to go.

    There are other places such as the Holocaust Museum, the Mint, as well as museum of just women artist and believe it or not there’s even a hologram museum. DC is rich things to do and see. Some museums charge a fee, but for the most part it’s all free.

    If you start early enough before your visit – at least 6 months out – you can get White House tour tickets by going through our Representative or Senator’s office. My niece and nephew loved their tour.

    One last thing, if you happen to be in DC and the Supreme Court is in session, go, sit, and listen. This is our highest court and where rulings are made which have the ability to impact all of our lives.

  5. Thanks for the clarification, Bird. Yes, I was stuck on those Colgon flights. Now I know better.

    I wanted to check out the Native American Museum; the building itself is a marvel.

    And thanks Dominic for your kind words.

    Chronos, to be fair, I haven’t bowled in years. I’ve probably lost my bowling mojo by now, but I’m still pretty good on the Wii.

  6. Yeah, I can Wii bowl, too. Getting kind of decent at it. I have to practice a lot of restraint not to play it, though. Too busy otherwise. Still can’t bowl in real life, but have you ever been to the bowling alley by the mall late on a Friday night. I think I went about five or six years ago. It was crazy, man. Crazy.

  7. I got “stuck” going to DC a couple of years ago when some standby tix just could not get me on a flight to Chicago. There was lots of space goping to DC, so i just went there for three days. I could visit DC every year. The holocaust museaum was incredible, as were many of the other Smithsonian museams, and the monuments and memorials just blew the mind, especially at night. After three days of walking from the Jefferson memorial to the Lincoln Memorial, along with 2-3 floors of museams everywhere in between, my legs were jello. DC is a great plac to visit, and the Metro access is fantastic, at least for someone with no experience with mass transit.

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