Backdating this, because I forgot to write about it at the time…
This morning while riding the T to work, I was a witness to a police action on the Red Line. A man got on at Harvard, wearing a loose blue shirt and looking a little sketchy, but no more so than any of the regular drunks in the square. He sat across from me, next to a colleague of mine at the lab, and the train departed. We got perhaps a third of the way to Central when the conductor stopped and announced there was a “switching problem ahead”, and that we were going back. I looked at my friend, rolled my eyes, and prepared for a long wait.
When we got back to Harvard, I two police officers started walking up the train, one in the central aisle and one outside the car. The one outside stopped next to my friend, pointed at the man next to him through the window, and the officer inside drew his weapon and barked “show me your hands!” My friend put his Kindle down in bewilderment, the man next to him rolled his hands over, displaying a red dye on his palms. The cop said something like “easy, buddy”, turned him around roughly, and cuffed him. A man further down the car said “he put something in the cabin at the end”, and other officers got on the car and told the passengers to leave. I exited and moved several cars down, expecting that we would be on our way shortly. The conductors came on the loudspeaker again and told us that the train was being taken out of service, and to go upstairs to the inbound platform. We did, and I got to the lab only slightly later than usual, with no clear idea of what had happened.
Checking WickedLocal and the Globe, I learned that Robert Carney, 34, of Everett, was arrested on suspicion of robbing the Citizens Bank at 6 JFK St. Apparently he passed a note to the teller, she gave him a bag of money, and the dye pack exploded in his hands. I’m surprised he chose to escape via the T, when it was so easy for the police to shut it down and trap him there. But apparently he wasn’t the only guy who thought this was a good idea, as it happened again the next week.
Today was so lovely, I decided to go down to the Common for an old fashioned tea party. I borrowed the jauntiest hat and jacket I could find (thanks Jeff). I tried to convince other folks from the lab to come, but they all thought it was silly. I thought it was delightfully so. Luckily, some other folks agreed, and we sat in the sun, watching the passersby and nibbling on scones and petit-fours.
There were other people making quite a commotion, and I eventually wandered into the fray. Palin’s speech was full of sound and fury, but ultimately signified nothing. There seemed to be nearly as many counter-protesters and curious onlookers as actual teabaggers. The patriots who were there had the usual assortment of incoherent signs. I was glad to see the Larouchies out in force, with a dope-pushing queen in drag. There were also some plants with really ridiculous signs, which I don’t really think helps the dialogue.
But tea, sunshine and some polite conversation? Thats my kind of party.
Went with Janet to the opening day game. Our seats were at the top of section 14, right in front of the standing room section, where many of the professional photographers hang out. My shots didn’t turn out as well as the guy’s with the two foot lenses, but I had to try.
I created a somewhat more professional website for cool stuff I do in the Media Lab. At any rate, it should improve my ranking on Google.
I walked out my door this morning for Laika’s walk to the sight of my car jacked off the ground, two wheels missing. Some yahoos stole them, but were kind enough to leave a pile of lugnuts and the jack itself. After one profanity laced call to my parents, and then two calm ones to the police and the insurance company, I walked a few blocks to my friendly neighborhood auto shop. They said that another Fit had all four wheels taken last night, so I guess I was lucky. Come on guys, I voted for Barack; can’t we all just get along?
With it hot as a genital reference in the city today, my lady friend and I decided to head to the ocean. What better way to cool down than show a southern belle a former confederate prison in the middle of Boston harbor? I am a genius.
She forgave my cultural faux pas, and pretended to be impressed by my Indiana Jones-style cavern finding. However, this faded when I asked a man on a golf cart how to get to where I wanted to go. This was after she paced out the distance from one wall to the relevant air shaft. Apparently asking for directions isn’t always the right thing to do if one wants to impress a lady.
Went to an Obama rally last night, trying to find out if he’s really all that. Waited in the mile long line for three hours with Ruth Miller, my former editor at the Tech, and now my neighbor in the office park. The line was something to behold, full of middle school girls, old fogies, and more sober college students than should ever be in one place. Volunteers tried to get us to call prospective voters, but I demurred, having done that for MoveOn before, and knowing how painful it is. Lyndon Larouche supporters were out, spouting their nonsense about the hyperinflationary shock wave, and nattering on about the Weimar Republic. While I am concerned about our current accounts deficit, I am less than convinced that Larouche is the guy to fix it. Call me when we’re burning dollars for heat, and we’ll talk.
When finally allowed inside, we got a tiny slice of a view, but were able to hear rousing speeches by democratic luminaries such as: the mayor of Lynn, some Asian woman I had never heard of, Deval Patrick, John Kerry, and that dynamic, fresh faced phenomenon, Ted Kennedy. Kerry stank up the place, and there were some heckles from the back about his particular track record on presidential elections. Obama took the stage at around eleven, and gave a speech he probably has given hundreds of times before. It’s a pretty standard stump speech about new politics, and change, and all that good stuff. Still, he managed to be engaging, because he is one charismatic sonofabitch.
Found some good pictures by flickr user Kori Leigh. I was nowhere near this close.
Post ur-Tuesday update:
Looks like he’s still in it, so I’m pretty psyched. Note that most of his wins were in non-coastal, less traditionally blue states. This bodes well for general electability. It’s also interesting that the division between Clinton and Obama voters appears to be class, not race. It remains to be seen if he can adopt the Edwards message and really reach out to poor voters. Of course, his experience as a community organizer is relevant.
I also read this essay by Robin Morgan, which is a pretty compelling feminist call for Hillary, and am implicit critique of Obama. While I do find it compelling, I still think that Hillary brings out the worst of the Democratic Party, embodying all of the Clinton triangulation with none of her husband’s charisma. On a purely policy level, she just doesn’t offer enough of a counterpoint to McCain to have a chance in November. Sorry ladies, but I don’t think it’s your year.