Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's over and done with!

I've just wrapped the first week of classes. Tired, so tired. This semester I'll be splitting responsibilities between two campuses and teaching six courses. Tried relying on trains and buses yesterday and while I like feeling green and reading Harry Potter, I left home yesterday morning at 9 and returned at 8. 11 hours there and back with only 3 hours of teaching. Not efficient. It looks like I'll be driving.

Apologies to those who left comments lately. I've not had much time to respond to them. I don't have internet access at TCU and limited access at the moment at SMU. This will change in time, I'm sure, but it will take time.

In news news, I'm thrilled to see that McCain has decided to bring on a running mate who doesn't actually know what the job of the VP is. That's some outside the box thinking! I'm sure there's an argument for picking Palin as a running mate, but a good one? I would have thought that you couldn't throw a rock at a group of Republicans without hitting someone with more experience and with two rocks you could hit someone with more experience that you could use to pander to the religious right.


Brandon said...

I think Palin's a much smarter choice for McCain than Biden was for Obama. McCain by this point has effectively made it difficult for the Obama campaign to push the inexperience criticism too much without it eventually backfiring; and because the McCain campaign has already put so much emphasis on Palin's experience as mayor and governor, any attempt on the part of the Obama campaign to try to push the issue will involve having to convince small town and rural state voters that in doing so they are not implying that being mayor of a small town or governor of a rural state is a bad thing. She also, as you say, solidifies the social conservative vote, which has not been enthusiastic about McCain at all. And really that's what a smart Presidential campaign in this day and age is about: not about capturing swing voters, not about persuading moderates, but about getting your own side interested enough that they actually go to the voting booth and vote, and making the other side less enthused enough that a lot of them never bother. The hesitation of people who, if they vote, will vote for you, is more fatal than the indecision of people who are still persuadable either way (or third party voters like myself).

My own view is that I think the Obama campaign has twice -- with choosing Biden and with its criticism of the choice of Palin -- made the mistake of thinking that Americans in general want a Vice President to do much. In reality, they largely just want the VP to preside over the Senate (if they think about that function at all), support the President, and, if the President dies, tide things over until the next election. It's not a position most Americans think requires much in the way of qualifications; and being governor, no matter for how long or for which state, will sound to most people like a pretty good qualification for it. And in reality, I think Americans tend not to like Vice Presidents who are seen as doing much; the attitude being that if they wanted them to do much, they would have voted them President. All in all, I think it's a sign (one of several) that McCain has more politically savvy advisors than Obama; Obama is carrying the heavy weight of the Obama campaign, whereas McCain's campaign is continually making things easier on McCain.

I feel your pain about the commuting; I only have three classes, but start out at 6 Monday through Thursday, getting back home at 5 on Monday and Wednesday (two classes) and 3 on Tuesday and Thursday (one class).

Anonymous said...

SMU AND TCU??? whoa thats intensse. you will have to let us know which one you prefer, us blue and red-ers or the purple-ers hahaha
anyways, good luck with all that!!! If all else fails I can get you a job at Jimmy Johns, HAHA

Anonymous said...

Not only do I feel your pain, Clayton, but I have driven that route and have friends that make that commute every morning by train (in the opposite direction). I imagine you’ll go straight down I-30, when you start going by car. Depending on the time of day, it’s not that bad, though I am glad not to be doing that anymore. After a year an a half, I had all I could stand. If 30 is blocked up but you haven’t gone past the 35 exit going into downtown in the evening, you could take the 35 exit and either stay in the far right hand lane and go Commerce to wherever you want to go downtown or get on 35 stay in the right hand lane and go to Woodall Rodgers (here after WR). You can either stay on WR and go up to the 75 exit on the far left at the end of WR or take the Pearl exit (the second one once you get on WR) to the right. If you take the Pearl exit you have two choices, either immediately exit to Olive before you get to the light (there is a sign and most people will be going that direction) which will take you into Uptown, or take Pearl to Pacific which turns into Gaston. I think going I-20 over is probably a little out of your way (assuming you live around downtown D.). I live closer to 20, which is a much quicker way to go as far as traffic is concerned. If for some reason I-30 from Ft. Worth ends up being a nightmare, you can always go 30E to 287 South to 20 East to 45 North. It’s quite a-ways to go, but it’s not usually too blocked up. If you are coming from downtown Dallas, just do the opposite 45S, 20W, 287N to 30W. You could also take Cooper or Beltline/1382 South (or, in dire circumstances, 360S, but I would advise against it unless they shut 30 down completely) to 20E to 45N (going the opposite direction if you were coming from downtown D.). Don’t know what time of day you’ll be in Ft. Worth, but if you need to grab a bite to eat there are some great places around. There are several little restaurants off of 8th and Magnolia (my favorite is Spiral Diner, but that’s because I’m a vegetarian). There are also some good places off of 7th and University over near Ft. Worth Camera. One is called Michael’s and across the street is a little Italian place that serves very large “small” pizzas. The museum restaurants are supposedly wonderful, but I’ve only had lunch at the Kimbell once. You do get quite a bit of food for your money at the Kimbell, but it’s so crowded. There is a Jimmy Johns at the crossing of University/7th/and Camp Bowie. Dos Gingos is a little texmex restaurant on University just past Lancaster Ave. There is, of course, a ton of places near TCU and around the Stock Yards, but I never checked any of those out. You don’t need to approve this comment, just thought it might help. Good luck with the semester. If it gets to be too much out on the road, crank up the radio and just keep reminding yourself that eventually you will be able to get out of the car. Listening to NPR, there were times I didn't want to get out of the car.

Anonymous said...


How is the drive working out? Have you tried any alternate routes yet? Hope the semester is going well for you!