Photos from my trip to Big Sur with Ruth.
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.
This weekend I drove up to the mountains for some work on the MIT cabin at Intervale. By trading my blood, sweat and tears, I now have a key to a great base for further adventures in the Whites. After cutting down trees all day on Saturday, and gorging myself with meat Saturday night, I thought a hike was only appropriate for Sunday. I convinced a few other folks to join me on a loop of Huntington and Tuckerman ravines on Mt Washington. I didn’t tell them that the AMC guidebook lists the route as the “most difficult regular hiking trail in Whites.” If they had been warned, they might not have followed me into the breach.
As it was, they were glad they came. It was a gorgeous, clear fall day, with just the right chill in the air to take the edge off the strenuous climb. The trail starts off on the regular Tucks highway, but after Huntington diverges, becomes very steep. There are parts that require hand over hand climbing, and those unsure of their footing might prefer a rope. I made like a mountain goat and scampered up. Having trail running shoes as opposed to real boots was a blessing, because I could jam my feet in cracks and smear on smooth faces. We topped out of the ravine in the Alpine Garden, and I remembered that it was one of the places we scattered Ann’s ashes years ago. I said a silent prayer as we walked across the field, enjoying the sunshine and the spectacular view. Then we turned left and came down Lion’s Head, instead of Tuckerman. Had dinner at a family restaurant in Lincoln, where they had a painted saw with hymns and a cross on it. A cultural experience, to say the least. Then a hurried drive back to Boston, and an exhausted shower. The perfect end to a perfect weekend.
Four years, 218 credits, and nearly $200,000 later, I’ve got a diploma. Sweet.
Facing the end of the semester work crunch, I decided to play hooky and ski Tuckerman Ravine. I got Jared to join me, and the Extreme Team assembled. We set out at the crack of dawn (for college students, this means 7am) and got to Pinkham by 10. The parking lot was full, which was expected on a bluebird spring weekend. Hiked to Hojos in a little less than two hours, which was good time given our lack of non-typing exercise. The rangers told us that the Lunch Rocks should be avoided due to icefall, and the right gully was closed because of crevasse danger. So we heeded their advice and spent the day on the left side, hitting three variations on the left gully route. The face gets steeper going further right, so we started at something that looked reasonable, and progressed to a final run that was probably 55 degrees. It wasn’t so bad going up, but turning around and looking down made the legs quiver. It was a truly righteous day, and Jared’s got the scars to prove it.