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Fun While Driving and the SOTU Speech

January 25, 2012

You can’t do this if you live in a dry climate, but you know what’s fun? After a snowfall, the next day when you’re driving on wet, snow-slushy roads, don’t use your wipers. Leave them off for a couple of days and let your windows get dirty. It’s an adjustment, but you eventually get used to that salty grey coating and it doesn’t bother you. Sort of like the smudge on your glasses that you keep forgetting to clean. After a couple three days when you finally do use your wipers, everything is suddenly crystal clear again it feels just like you got a brand new windshield.

I file this tip under ‘Cost saving auto tips’.

Caution: If you notice you’re driving into things then you need stop the experiment and clean your window immediately.

= = =

I watched the State of the Union speech last night. The annual speeches themselves really don’t mean that much, but I enjoy the pageantry and pomp and it’s sort of thrilling to hear the Sergeant at Arms announce the President: “Mister Speaker. The President of the United States.” It’s interesting. Seeing all the legislators gathered in a relaxed atmosphere is fun and I like the procession down the aisle where it seems that everyone, regardless of party affiliation, wants to get near the President.

I also like thinking about what might be going through the mind of the designated survivor.

If you don’t know, the designated survivor is a member of the President’s cabinet who is appointed by the President to spend the time during the State of the Union speech (or during presidential inaugurations) at a distant and secure location in the event of a worst case scenario type of situation. The designated survivor gets presidential treatment during that time, including transportation and security. More important, accompanying the designated survivor to the secure location is someone who is carrying the nuclear football.

Kind of cool, you’d think, but I don’t know. Here you are, the secretary of some department, and the next thing you know you’re sitting in a windowless room at some undisclosed remote location next to a guy who’s holding the means for you to authorize a nuclear attack and who doesn’t take his eyes off of you. Granted, it’s only for a few hours, but I don’t think I’d want that type of responsibility. I find it much more relaxing to spend the time on the secure location of my couch holding nothing more combustible than a bowl of popcorn.

My motto: Better to think, than to do.

You might think this kind of stuff can’t happen and that there’s nothing to worry about and being the designated survivor carries no real responsibility. She wasn’t really an official designated survivor, but this is pretty much the situation Laura Roslin found herself in after the Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. As the highest ranking surviving member in the presidential line of succession, Roslin, the Secretary of Education for the Twelve Colonies found herself being sworn in as president aboard Colonial One on her way to the recently decommissioned Battlestar Galactica before she could even catch her breath. So, yeah, it can happen.

So say we all.

Thanks for reading!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2012 10:24 am

    Michael, about the designated survivor… I never really thought about it until you mentioned it here today. That would definitely be a lot of responsibility to deal with!


  2. January 25, 2012 5:07 pm

    I think the President should send someone to Survivor Island, too, just for shits and giggles.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 26, 2012 7:20 pm

      I like that idea a lot! Maybe put them on Redemption Island with Sue Hawk?


  3. January 25, 2012 5:13 pm

    It beats having no back-up plan, I suppose. The designated survivor, I’m speaking of there. I think it would be way cool to be that person. Though by our constitutional outline, doesn’t the designated survivor have to be our VP? Just askin’


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 26, 2012 7:18 pm

      Elaine had the same question about the VP. It makes the most sense to me but I don’t know. I don’t think I’d want the pressure of being the designated survivor but it’d be cool to be treated like the president for a couple of hours. Assuming the media wasn’t around!


  4. January 25, 2012 9:06 pm

    Battlestar Galactica for the win! /

    Also, I’m on top of the saline spray. I hate it. But I’m on it. Thanks for the tip :).


  5. January 25, 2012 9:53 pm

    Michael, I never listen to them either…I just like to watch all the pomp and circumstance too. I have needed windshield washer fluid in my car for weeks now. Remember when cars didn’t have a built-in-wash-your-windows-thingy?


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 26, 2012 7:16 pm

      I remember crank handles for the windows and those little side vent windows but I don’t remember wash-you-windows-thingy not being built in. I need fluid in my car, too, which is sort of how I came up with the idea for the experiment 🙂


  6. Elaine LK permalink
    January 26, 2012 5:44 pm

    I never heard about any of this before. Would that “survivor” be the one in line for the presidency? Then maybe the vice president should be the one kept away from the speech area? It’s kind of scary to think about what could happen… Interesting post, Michael. It’s one I’ll sure think about in the future.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 26, 2012 7:13 pm

      Yes, the survivor would be the president were something to happen. I wonder if it’s not some type of protocol that the vice president has to be there? I don’t know about that, but I think you’re idea is a good one about the VP being the one kept away from the speech since he’s the one (or should be the one) with the most experience for the job. I agree, it is scary to think about what could happen.


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