Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Mall Walking

After too many times of staying in the same hotel when I come to the Twin Cities, I decided it was time for a change. In fact, my only New Years Resolution was not to stay at any Residence Inns this year. Last week, I stayed at the Hampton Inn Minneapolis/Bloomington (Airport Area) (not actually the closest Hampton Inn to the airport). It was OK, but not great.

This week, I'm at the Homewood Suites by HiltonŽ Minneapolis-Mall Of America. It's basically Hilton's version of the Residence Inn. It's great. I can't really explain why I like it better. It's got the same features -- a hot breakfast (thought after a series of flight delays yesterday, I overslept and missed that), a manager's reception, a kitchen in the room. I can't convincingly argue that any of those features is particularly better. But I just had a series of minor annoyances at the other hotel -- no soda (or juice) at the manager's reception one evening, newspapers gone most mornings by the time I got downstairs -- that I am happy to be at a place where everything is going smoothly.

One thing about this place amuses me. It is (literally) across the street from the Mall of America. Yet they still run a shuttle to the Mall, every hour, on the hour. Ah, America.

Eschewing this service, I walked across the street tonight to do some quick shopping. It seemed sort of weird approching on foot this giant structure surrounded by enormous parking garages. But after a minor detour, I made myself in and found my way to my destination, The Walking Company. I had originally wanted to get brown versions of my black dress shoes. I was told, however, that those shoes had been discontinued, and I was offered an "updated" version of them. Whatever. I still spent what I planned to spend, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Minnesota doesn't levy sales tax on shoes. Good deal.

I walked out of the mall a few minutes later -- I was amazed at how quick a trip I had made to any mall, let alone this mega-mall. I crossed the street behind a group of businessmen (they didn't wait for the light -- they must not be from Minnesota), and was happy to realize I wasn't the only one who chose to walk tonight.


Monday, March 01, 2004

Christina's new site

Recently, we started the process of moving Christina to her new web site. The weblog is the first thing to move. I mention it mainly to give me an excuse to link to it, so Google will notice it.

This is Funny

I came across a recent article at The New Republic, which answered a question that had been going through my head. The Republicans have been attacking Kerry for things he said and did 30+ years ago. Do they really want to move the debate in this direction? Here's a good example:

Kerry in 1970: In His First Campaign For Congress, Kerry Wanted To Defund CIA. In 1970, Kerry told The Harvard Crimson he wanted "to almost eliminate CIA activity." (Samuel Z. Goldhaber, "John Kerry: A Navy Dove Runs For Congress," The Harvard Crimson, 2/18/70)

Bush in 1972: After Smashing Into Trash Cans, Bush Wanted To Fight Future Head of CIA. "In a now famous incident, [Bush] took his then-16-year-old brother, Marvin, out drinking and ran over a neighbor's garbage cans on the way home; and when confronted by his father, he challenged him to go 'mano a mano'outside." (Lois Romano and Mike Allen, "Guard Records on President are Released," The Washington Post, 2/11/04)