Sunday, February 17, 2008


Yeah, I just got back from spending a week in Washington participating in a national security simulation exercise. I played the role of President of the United States!

Pretty much I solved a simulation of possible crises in the Congo arising due to Chinese influence and the regular African war-lording that goes on around there. Plus I got to meet Marsha Blackburn, my Representative. Her intern gave me a personal tour of the tunnels under the House offices and the tunnels under the Capitol, not to mention the Capitol itself.

It was raining when I did that (Tuesday) and I walked around in front of the Capitol for a half-hour or so afterwards. I stood in the sleet on the Grant memorial, looking over the pool at the Washington Monument. It was very touching, contemplating the blood debt created simply to keep the Union whole.

The next day I went to the Lockheed-Martin Fighter Demonstration Center. That's basically their showroom to sell all their fancy new jets to the military. It was SO fancy. They had big touchscreen displays everywhere, along with all the regular trade show exhibit stuff. But that's not really anything. They had simulators of the F-22 and F-35 fighters. If you didn't already know, that was FREAKIN SWEET. AND I got to pilot both of them! That F-35 is totally going to put the United States lightyears ahead of everyone else. The F-22, the current fighter, is pretty kick-tail, but it really is nothing compared to the F-35. In the F-35, when you want to shoot someone down, all you have to do is tap on the touch screen where their blip is. The plane does the rest. Same to bomb runways and whatnot. It's so hardcore. I want one of those for Christmas.

I ate lunch at an Indian place in Chinatown with a buddy of mine, then we went to Starbucks and made ourselves conspicuous by reading The Onion in plain view.

Then I went to the Spy Museum, which quite honestly didn't meet expectations. I did like the tile floor in that one room with the TV and all the James Bond memorabilia though.

I went to the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War memorial, and Vietnam War Memorial. It's pretty hard on some guys. My VP broke down and cried. I'm glad we can remember the sacrifices of over 100,000 men who died in two wars that were lost because of politics.

Ate lunch at Union Station that day. I found a cheap sushi place in the basement and had a platter of sashimi and cucumber rolls for eight bucks, with Haagen-Dazs for dessert.

I went to Arlington National Cemetery. I think I made some people mad because I openly questioned why RFK was buried there if he was never a President, or, to my knowledge, an active member of the Armed Forces. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I enjoyed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. It's good that we care so much about those who gave life, limb, and name to save liberty.

I went to the Air and Space Museum with another buddy. It's neat to see all the stuff that went into putting a man on the Moon. It makes me want to be an astronaut; one of the only true explorers left, one of the greatest adventurers in the history of mankind.

We tried to go to the Archives, but there was a school group that stretched around the block, so we decided to go to the Arts and Industries museum instead. But it was closed, so we went to the National Museum of African Art. I was enlightened by the experience.

I also went to the FDR memorial. Not the best thing in the world. Not my favorite president in the world. Then I went to the Thomas Jefferson memorial, and after appreciating the great man's words of defiance, pretended to read a Korean newspaper.

I spent like 6 or 7 hours at Ronald Reagan National Airport today acting natural, reading The Appeal by John Grisham, and eating a churro. Goodness, I love those things. Eventually, I was tired of sitting around in Terminal C so I walked the four miles to the observation deck in between Terminal A and C. I read for twenty minutes or so as I watched the sun set, in all the Art-Deco glory of the observation deck. Completed 1940, you know. Then I hiked the 3.2 mile leg to the Terminal A bag-check/ticket counter place and got my boarding pass. Yay, First Class. I really wouldn't mind, though, if they shoved me under the seat or in one of the bins for the whole flight. It's just that I like peanuts and they give out peanuts in First Class.

Yeah, it's like 2100 local time and I'm a little tired.

I can't wait for skool Tuesday. I only told like one person that I was going out of town so I bet there's tons of people who are way off track with why I was gone the whole time.

Eat your heart out, Mrs. Davis. I don't need a chaperon.


Jellyfish said...

Sounds like a busy trip! You sure wrote a bunch.

We all missed ya. It was a lot quieter... people asked about you a bunch.

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a very interesting experience. I love hearing about your interests; you never cease to amaze me. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to get to know you more. See you at school Tuesday!