I've been a bit out of touch this weekend. Mrs. Eleventh hour and I have been setting up our new PCs and network at Eleventh Hour HQ.
It's been over four years since either of us bought new machines. We decided to do a complete upgrade to get us up to date and enjoying the latest technology. It cost us - big time - but the results are impressive. We now have 19" flat panel monitors, media centers and lots of speed.
Sadly, all this time and expense will do little to improve this blog but at least I'll be doing it in style.
Tomorrow morning we head down to get our tickets for the April 19th dedication of the Lincoln Presidential Library. We are going early to get in line (I assume there will be one) to guarantee tickets that are being given out on first-come first-serve basis.
Indications are pretty strong that President Bush will be attending the dedication. I'm not all that thrilled with the idea and not just because I don't like the guy. No, it's mostly because a presidential visit of any stripe has a way of totally gumming up the works for everyone else. Security and all that.
They've already announced parking will be prohibited anywhere near the event and they will be shuttling people in from the State Fairgrounds parking lots. That's probably what I'll have to do, too.
I dunno, is it time presidents start thinking seriously about limiting public appearances? I know that sounds less than desirable but it really is a huge inconvenience to the residents of whatever city or town he's visiting. Again, this is any president not just Bush. How much does it cost annually to accommodate these visits nationally? A lot I bet. And I don't just mean the cost to the government (Air Force One, the Secret Service, etc.). I mean lost business, extended commutes due to traffic blockages, local security (police and fire), delayed flights at airports and so on. Just wondering.
Update: Another thing about presidential visits. When they happen in conjunction with another event, in this case the Presidential Library dedication, presidents tend to steal some of the thunder. That is, the event becomes about him, at least in part. What can make it worse is if the president uses an occasion to announce, or further, some policy or initiative. At a minimum, a president's attendance attaches themselves to the event, usually in a deliberate attempt to boost their standing.
I have no idea if Bush will use the occasion of the dedication to make news of his own, but I really hope not. Expect a groan from me if he tries to tell us Lincoln would have been all about Social Security privatization.