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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Home Safe

I arrived to and from the AAR conference safe and sound. The trip to Chicago was the worse of the two, with the plane having speaker malfunctions, and the landing being rougher than the one had returning home. But I had some hassles to get through once I landed at Reagan: my suitcase did not appear, and I had to go and ask someone about it — to find out that it had been sent back earlier, and was locked up and ready for me to take it. Then when I got on metro, the Red Line had significant delays, making the time on the metro about 2/3 of the time I had in the air! Talk about ridiculous!

The conference itself was interesting and a learning experience. I went to a few panels, some Buddhist, some Comparative Theology, and one with James Cone at it (to see what he was like in person). With the way AAR is set up with many panels going on at the same time, it was difficult to know what exactly was going on. I missed out on some I should have gone to, or would have loved to go to, because I didn’t notice them until too late — one with Badiou, another on Asanga/Vasubandhu (the latter, I saw the end of it, so I got something out of it, but not as much as I would have liked). Beyond that, the publisher’s exhibition was great. I got to talk to quite a few publishers — and pick up many books, some for free, some greatly discounted (many which will be used on my dissertation).

Now I know how these work, I have to prepare a presentation today, hoping to get it in for a March Conference in Baltimore.

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Glad That I Got That Done

Monday was the day I got my AAR info, and used it to register for the annual conference and book a hotel and plane to get there. It took my hours to do all of this — hours of frustration, when I was not having luck finding open hotels, while I did a fair job finding the airfare. Indeed, when I was looking for a hotel, I had to leave the computer for a bit it was getting so bad, and try again later — when I finally found what I needed, close enough to the conference that I can walk there, but not at a hotel which is either too expensive or a roach motel. Reading the description, it is still an older hotel, and I might want to get some earplugs (walls are thin), and the beds are not the most comfortable, but it is safe, and clean.

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Jammed Up On The Road

Driving to church, I was caught in a traffic jam; someone had driven themselves into the wall separating the two sides of the Beltway. The backlog was bad enough as it was. The way some people thought they could get beyond others was worse. There were many trucks and SUVs pushing people aside. Then there was this  white car with a Florida license plate; the driver went to the edge on the right side of the road and took off fast, only to push himself back into right lane when the road narrowed. Once the edge returned, the white car took off once again. When I saw him doing this, I thought, where were the police? It’s things like that which needed to be dealt with.

Then on the way back from church, I got caught in another traffic jam; there was some sort of construction going on Georgia Avenue; once again, the way people dealt with the situation was bad, but not as bad as was on the Beltway.

Some people think they are entitled to more rights than others, and common courtesy is not for them. The bigger the car or truck or SUV, the more likely the driver thinks they are special. And if you challenge them — they are more than willing to play chicken, because they aren’t afraid of the consequences. This is reason enough that such vehicles need to have more regulations on them, and a separate driver’s license which is easier to loose.

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Going to and from church yesterday, I experienced a succession of bad drivers trying to cause accidents. Some would start to go into my lane without looking and almost hit me, some would come into my lane and suddenly slow down, and some would go way beyond the speed limit and switch lanes as if they were in some sort of race. Probably the worst incident was when a van was trying to move into my lane and sideswipe me as a car was going past me on my left. There was no place for me to go. I could only edge over slightly — it was enough to not be hit and the van then saw I was there, but for a moment there, I thought there was going to be a mess.

One of the big problems facing society today is the lack of care or concern for others. It’s not just the selfishness of before; people who are selfish often pay attention to others because they are concerned as to what the other might do to them. It’s also the lack of awareness that others are even there which is getting bad. People are not just selfish, but with a very narrow view of the world, and one which just doesn’t even accept the presence of others; it seems as if there is a fear that they can’t be the center of the world if they do.

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In Indy

I arrived safely in Indianapolis to visit my family.

The first thing I noticed as I entered the city is how poorly the roads have been treated. While one can drive on them, there are obvious patches of snow and frozen slush all over the ground. It is worse in the neighborhoods than in the main streets. I even noticed a difference in the quality of the road and its state when I entered the Indiana side of I-70.

After all these years, one would think Indiana could do better. Obviously there are kickbacks here; I mean, when DC can do a better job at snow removal (when we have snow) than Indiana, and it has less experience with it, something is wrong. Very wrong.

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