Last Minute Mental Travelpacking

Albuquerque, New Mexico —

I am surrounded by backpacks, TSA-approved toiletry containers of less than three fluid ounces, guidebooks and print-outs of how to get from Burbank Airport to LAX. Ah vacation…so relaxing. Before I force my wife at marriage gunpoint to drive me to the airport at 4:30 in the morning (just kidding about the coercion thing, really!), a few pre-vacationing reflections:

  • It’s been a few days of interesting philosophical discussions for me, ranging from bets on the existence of a “God” to how human group dynamics always seem to be screwed up. I guess you start thinking about such stuff when you have the time to sit at home afternoons watching the U.S. Senate debate an immigration bill. Frankly, I’d feel a bit better about the human race and its place along the evolutionary continuum if I just stuck to teaching 13 year olds instead watching a bunch of old, white guys debate what our immigration policy should be. I can’t be completely sure about the whole “God” question, but I can tell you this: the U.S. Senate doesn’t have alot of soul.
  • I got a chance to see ‘ol Pete Domenici in action, and he wasn’t embarrassing. In fact, he was pretty darn eloquent in a few places trying to talk his soul-lacking colleagues into agreeing to the “Grand Bargain” or “Great Compromise” or “Grand Opening” or whatever the immigration bill was being hailed as before it crashed and burned like a new restaurant on Isleta Blvd.
  • Another nadir of my lazy viewing experience was seeing Democrats slinking up to the well to vote “for” a bill amendment making English the “Official Language” of the United States, several of them appearing only after it was clear it was going to pass. How brave of you Mary Landrieu and Amy Klobuchar
  • Alleged Democratic Presidential candidate Chris Dodd didn’t vote on the measure. More bravery, and no, I don’t care if he was in New Hampshire or Iowa at the time.
  • Note to Senate Democrats: Any bill/amendment sponsored by Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe should be voted against. Any.
  • By the way, ‘ol Pete Domenici was one of only ONE Republicans to vote against the amendment.
  • Speaking of the number one, that might be the grand total of subjects on which I agree with Pete Domenici (and no, the overall immigration bill isn’t that one thing). But that brings up a discussion I had with a backpacking friend on Sandia Crest Trail the other day. We were hunkered down from a chilly wind, looking at the dusty, hazy city below when my attention was brought to the late day sun hitting South Sandia Peak. One mental leap led to another and pretty soon I was asking my backpacking friend (a local since 1980 or so), if anyone had ever thought of naming Sandia Peak and South Sandia Peak for anyone. He said he had not heard of any such darnfool attempt. A thorough search upon my return (i.e., ten seconds looking at the Wiki entry) doesn’t indicate such an effort has been made.
  • Now, I know you’re a smart reader and you’re thinking…”is Scot suggesting naming South Sandia Peak after ‘ol Pete Domenici?” Trust me, I’m not..but I kinda wonder why noone has tried to name it after famed bootlegger George Maloof or Bobby Unser or Don Schrader or somebody. Or am I mistaken and some darn fool has tried to do something so loathsome and ill-advised?
  • The sum total of all the above (God, group dynamics, immigration, ‘ol Pete Domenici, and naming beautiful places after unbeautiful people) can only mean one thing: it’s time for Scot to find better things to do with his vacationing brain. Things like how to get from Burbank Airport to LAX using mass transit and how much shaving cream and shampoo constitutes three fluid ounces.

Next stop, not Albuquerque. Those sticking around town, do me a favor and have a good June. And keep your hats firmly planted on your head…it’s windy out there, especially on South Domenici Peak.

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