The intrepid crew of the SS Sawmill Creek Explorer
Last weekend we had our annual Webner family reunion at Sawmill Creek Lodge, which is located between Huron and Sandusky, Ohio. The resort is right on Lake Erie and includes pools, shops, a marina, a golf course, extensive grounds, a nature preserve with walking paths, and one of the better sand beaches on the lake. We enjoyed fine weather, played golf, walked the grounds, hung out by the outdoor and indoor pools, soaked up some sun, read books, ate fried Lake Erie perch, played cards, talked politics and Ohio State football, enjoyed some adult beverages, caught up on each other’s lives, and generally enjoyed each other’s company.
Friday night we took a Lake Erie cruise on the SS Sawmill Creek Explorer. Although it was sunny and the sky was for the most part clear and bright blue, the wind was up and so was the chop on the lake, and therefore our cruise stuck close to the shoreline, heading east from the resort. At one point our boat motored past an industrial site with large mounds of gravel on which hundreds of seagulls were mysteriously perched at evenly spaced intervals. As we went by, the seagulls all at once took flight in a scene eerily reminiscent of The Birds, wheeled slowly around the mounds, and then landed again in seemingly the exact same spots they had vacated moments before.
Lake Erie is beautiful in late July, and we had a marvelous time. Thanks for a great time, Mom!
The Ohio State University Buckeyes start their fall camp today. It will be a camp full of questions, as many mainstays from last year’s team — on the offensive line, in the linebacking corps and defensive backfield, in the offensive backfield, and among the receivers — graduated or otherwise went to the pros. This year, I think the big question will be whether Terrelle Pryor has improved to become a true run-pass threat and therefore is able to shoulder a bigger load on the offense with Beanie Wells gone, but there are lots of other questions, too. Can the offensive line gel and provide better protection than last year? Can the defense pressure the passer without blitzing, who will replace last year’s stellar senior linebackers, and will a player or two step up to become true “cover corners”?
I’ve got tickets to the first game against Navy on September 5 and will be there to watch as these questions start to get answered.
I realize that $550 million is but a drop in the seemingly bottomless bucket that is the federal budget, but I am still irked at Members of Congress for spending that sum to buy new jets to ferry them around on their boondoggle “fact finding” trips. At a time of belt-tightening by average Americans, is it too much to ask Congress to engage in some self-restraint? Are our elected representatives so possessed of a sense of self-importance that they can’t even rub elbows with those of us who fly coach?
And speaking of boondoggle fact-finding missions, this Wall Street Journal article about rapidly growing congressional travel expenses is an eye-opener. One nice thing about global warming — it is such an elastic “issue” that virtually any trip to any location on Earth may be explained away as giving lawmakers first-hand information about climate change in that part of the world.
It is not surprising that both Republicans and Democrats are willing to spend tax dollars to take fine trips without apparently experiencing an ounce of embarrassment that they are taking advantage of their positions. It’s just another example of The D.C. Effect, where politicians who initially are elected as reformers or watchdogs or representatives of the common man end up being fundamentally corrupted by the money and perks thrown at Members of Congress.