Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Party Is Over

The RNC has met, the cast is dyed. We had the smell of teargas in the morning, a la Apocalypse Now.
I watched a lot of the proceedings from the 13th floor of the 75-year-old St. Paul Post Office. From the 11th floor, minions of the Secret Service spread through the city. Next office from ours, U.S. Postal Inspectors deployed to help protect the convention. Through binoculars, I could see inflatable 3-man Coast Guard boats patrol up and down the Mississippi, machine gun mounted on the bow. They plodded about a mile below and above where the RNC was meeting, a block from the River.
The uproar didn't affect us much. Oh, I changed the route I drove home to miss a peace march, and it was so much faster than my regular route I continued that way. Security forces were everywhere. Watching one group of 20 heavily-laden officers leaving a fleet of vans, I noted "I'll be lonely when all these uniforms are gone."
Sure enough, once the hootin' and hollerin' was done, the pontificating pontificated, the punditry punned, downtown St. Paul was much quieter. Restauranteurs who had licked their chops and raised their prices for the thousands of visitors ended up licking their wounds and having sell-it-before-it-rots specials: the conventioneers were no-shows. Week-old sushi doesn't sell, even in the midwest.

Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls

Perhaps it's appropriate that the week before the GOP showed up, the Northrop Grumman Bell Wringer showed up at my cubicle with a come-hither suggestion. In a conference room down the hall, he advised me that my time with the USPS would end on Sept. 26.
It's a relief, in a way: I can sign up for Social Security and get out to take advantage of all those golf specials. So, California and Nevada, here I come.

I have a 31' Prowler in Calif. I need to work on to get into shape for hauling around, and need to make a decision on a tow vehicle. After that, I'll be visiting courses, working with Golf Today and other magazines, and seeing what happens.

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