Monday, November 12, 2007

11-12-07: Busy Weekend; Happy Veterans Day

First, Happy Veterans Day, America. Having a loved one in the military isn’t easy, but it’s something I’m extremely proud of. Whether it’s a moment of silence, sending a postcard to a soldier, or donating to charity, it’s important to give back to the men and women in our armed services. They do fantastic work and protect our freedom 24 hours a day. Keep it up, sweetheart!

It was a busy weekend. I traveled close to 500 miles in two days, by car, train, and on foot. It was fun, though. I had a great time up in New Hampshire with my girlfriend’s parents. We went to a meet and greet with Mike Huckabee, Presidential candidate, at the house of some family friends. Over 100 people turned out for the event, and it was packed. Huckabee was pretty good. He went around the whole place shaking hands, then gave about a 10 minute stump speech covering various topics. It was pretty impressive, but some of his policies are a bit controversial. The one I don’t quite get is the Fair Tax. I first heard about it a couple years ago on the Neal Boortz radio show. It’s basically a national sales tax on consumption. Ideally, it would work, but it seems to be difficult to enforce. Huckabee spoke out against the “underground economy” that doesn’t pay any taxes, like prostitutes and gamblers. With a consumption tax, they’d be contributing. But, how would to enforce that? My buddy Scott had a great line: “If you can enforce the tax, shouldn’t you be able to stop them from breaking the law?” Makes sense.

Huckabee is a very nice guy with good conservative principles, most of which I agree with. I’m not huge on pro-life or pro-abortion. I’m more on the pro-life side, but I don’t see it as a black-and-white issue like most people. One thing Huckabee said that I thought was particularly interesting was his view on healthcare. Some years ago, Mike Huckabee was told by a doctor that he needed to get in shape or die in less than 10 years. Well, he went on a diet and lost a ton of weight. That inspired him to try to incorporate a diet and exercise program in the state of Arkansas. His national plan would involve more preventive care funding and exercise, which I think is a good idea. It’s also cheaper in the long and short term. That would be interesting to see.

I don’t know if I’d vote for Huckabee, but he seems to have a good head on his shoulders. I’d have to learn more about the Fair Tax program to see how I feel about it. I don’t know a lot about it. Either way, getting to meet the guy was a great experience.

After the meet and greet, we went to a Manchester Monarchs hockey game against the Lowell Devils. Decent game. The Monarchs scored first, but let in four goals in the 2nd period. Three of the goals were scored on the back-up goalie because their starter had to leave with a minor injury. The 3rd period was entertaining, and the Monarchs almost pulled off a great comeback, but fell short. The final score was 5-3, with Lowell scoring an empty net goal with 2 seconds left.

After a long drive back to Connecticut (3.5 hours) on Saturday night, I headed in to Manhattan with two of my buddies on Sunday. We took the train in, which is always nice. Our first stop was Carnegie Hall, where we went on a tour. It was pretty neat to see. We even got a chance to listen to a few minutes of the rehearsal going on. It was just us three and three older ladies from Sacramento, who were there for the show that afternoon. The tour guide was wondering what three twenty-somethings were going on the tour, to which our reply was “Our company gets us free tour tickets.” He was a nice guy.

The rest of the day included stops at Rockefeller Center, Wall Street, Bowling Green, Battery Park, Greenwich Village, and Times Square. A lot of walking, but it was nice to see the city. Wall Street was eerily empty, since it was a Sunday. Bowling Green was nice, though it was disturbing how many people wanted to take a picture with the bull from behind. That reminds me that I need to send the picture I took of my buddy to him.

We ate dinner at a place called Phebe’s in Greenwich Village, because McSorley's was packed with old people and college kids. Decent bar. Not sure about the $7 for the Guinness, but it’s a bar. Food was good. It was an odd crowd, though, because there seemed to be more people watching the Bengals game than the Giants game. Maybe it’s a Bengals fan meeting place. Who knows.

After a long weekend, the rest was nice to get. Thanksgiving is next week!

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