I just finished my morning class on Friday and was responding to email when I heard that John McCain was visiting the university at noon. I called Debi, who doesn’t have classes on Fridays, and asked her if she wanted to see him. Regular readers will know we don’t generally lean Republican, but we are always willing to listen to ideas, even if they are coming from someone we don’t generally agree with.
So, we headed to the room (in my building) where the meeting was supposed to be. When we arrived we were told it was an “invitation only” event. I’m not sure why politicians do that, but we were a little annoyed. We kind of pushed to see if there was anyway we could get in but all they would offer was, “Well, if you wait, there may be a little room in the back and we can sneak you in.” I had class at 1:00 so I couldn’t wait forever, but after about 30 minutes of waiting for Senator McCain to arrive, one of the campaign people tapped us on the shoulder and asked if we wanted to go into the meeting. I had to say no because I had a class, but Debi went in.
She stood through the meeting at the back. It was mostly filled up with military brass (in civilian clothes) and McCain’s speech was mostly pro-military, pro-war. We don’t often think about the strong military influence in Tampa, but there is a huge air force base in Tampa (MacDill), so military issues are popular.
Debi thought he seemed nice enough and he was actually able to respond intelligently to questions without resorting to guttural monkey speech (like our current monkey-in-chief), but she wasn’t sold on his positions. After a little more research she realized that McCain has pledged to overturn Roe v Wade without exceptions. As a genetic counselor, that is an untenable position. If Senator McCain had ever sat down with someone who has a child with a very serious genetic condition that guarantees the child will die, he might just change his mind. But, of course, he has to speak to the evangelicals who will help him get the nomination from the Republican party.
Anyway, it was a good chance to see a candidate, even though it’s not a candidate we would consider voting for in the actual election.
Saturday we walked past the Gasparilla festivities here in Tampa. We were thinking of going to one of the parades, but once we got there we realized it wasn’t really our scene. Everyone there had a cooler of beer on one shoulder and a beer in their free hand. It seems like an excuse to basically get drunk and stay drunk all weekend. That’s not really our sense of fun.
Instead, I came home and began the tedious process of extricating our chimney from our wall… Okay, that sounds funny, but long story short, when the last person to do a major remodeling on our house was working on it, apparently they figured it would be cheaper to just leave our chimney in the wall then remove it for closet space. So, they cut off the top, roofed over it, then sheetrocked it in. As uber-cheapos, I figured I could use the bricks from the chimney for a garden. So, I chiseled the top 6 rows or so off on Saturday, cleaned them up, then used some of our compost to build a small garden. We figure we’ll add to it slowly as we extricate more bricks and get more compost. For now, we just planted peas and cucumbers. We’re supposed to be able to harvest in a couple of months. I’ll let you know how it goes.