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Thursday, November 14, 2013

WAS MY TOUR TO DC AND ANNAPOLIS WORTH IT?

(If you're here for the Propofol and Pearl posting, scroll down to the next article.)

In 1992, Pearl and I met Sharon and Daniel (my brother) in Eugene, and we saw the Hawaii football team beat Oregon 24-21.  We then drove to Colorado Springs, but first had to spend a night in Salt Lake City, where we turned on the TV and was aghast that  Hurricane Iniki was heading straight to Oahu.  Panicked, we tried to call family and friends, but we couldn't get through.  Thankfully for Honolulans, Iniki made a rather sudden left turn and devastated Kauai instead.  Hawaii did beat the Air Force Academy 6-3.  


Thus, this year (before we had lost all those games), I thought, why not catch the Hawaii-Navy contest in Annapolis and stay in DC for nostalgic reasons.  But I really don't enjoy tours.  You spend 90% of the time sitting or standing and waiting.  You generally need to wake up early in the morning to catch the bus.  All that said, I signed up with Panda Travel, and can report that they did a good job, even though all the above was still true.  I could never have done this myself because I avoid renting cars these days, and how, then, do I get to Annapolis for the event.

Anyway, while I was in my Willard Intercontinental room, I thought I'd check the internet to see what I would have been paying.  The cheapest I could get was $539/night, so I picked another date.  Same.  The six nights here would have cost $3234 plus various taxes.  I paid Panda a thousand dollars less, and still additionally got two whole day tours in our Nation's Capital, another day of tailgating plus the football game and an opportunity to meet new friends.  These are people who religiously follow the Rainbow Warriors once a year or so anywhere.  So, on this basis, I would say my first experience was worth it.

This same group will no doubt join Panda (there are at least two other Hawaii travel agencies also doing this) for:
  • 2015:  September 12 at Ohio State and September 26 at Wisconsin, so the in-between period will involve some expanded tour.
  • 2016:  September 3 at Michigan and September 24 at Kansas--this might not work out as the games are too far apart

I might consider the 2015 package.  What about the away game this year on November 23 against Wyoming in Laramie?  Have you been to Laramie?  In late November?  No one is crazy enough to go all the way there to see Hawaii lose for the 11th straight time, except for the few souls who signed up this summer.  It's too late to get back your money.  On the other hand, I'm getting to my end of life where I still probably can physically make it.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, again (the last time was yesterday), broke an all-time record, up 55 to 15,876.  Apparently, Macy's strong sales report showed confidence for a robust Christmas season and Janet Yellen, in her Senate hearing today, reassured Congress that she would maintain the course and avoid any tapering action.

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The only good news about Super Typhoon Haiyan is that latest announcements suggest the final death toll will not be 10,000, but something in the range of 2500.  The U.S. military appears to be taking the leadership in the recovery.  While I decry all that defense spending, the fact of the matter is that they have responded to more than a hundred tropical storm disasters over the past few years, and, in addition to posturing, humanitarian assistance could well be their ultimate role for humanity.  Of course, we certainly don't need eleven task forces, so, please, after the next one, the USS Gerald Ford, to become available in 2016 for at least $13 billion, stop!!!! The USS George Washington, now in the Philippines, brings a lot of support potential:


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