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01.08.2003

Angus King Tours The Country

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This is the worst time of year for a lot of people in New England; even though the days are getting fractionally longer, for some reason it's in mid-January that the seasonal blues kick in the hardest. Part of it is having to drive home from work well after dark, with the steering wheel all freezing cold—I have a hunch that two thirds of "seasonal affective disorder" has to do with having a cold steering wheel. The remaining third comes from getting snow in your sneakers.

Driving back home in the pitch blackness today, I heard a fun interview with the outgoing governor of Maine, Angus King. I have always had a soft spot for the man, who ran as an independent and was a very popular governor. A lot of people in the tech crowd may have heard of his biggest project, giving every middle school student in Maine a laptop (iBook). Whatever your politics, King is a thoroughly likable human being, so I was delighted to discover his plan after leaving office is to circumnavigate the United States in a big RV with his family. How many ex-governors are out on the open road, I wonder? Can't you just picture Bill Clinton driving down the back roads of Arkansas in a Camaro, slowing down for the ladies?

King's daughter Molly has started a website to chronicle their travels. There's not much on it yet, but it's worth a click just to see the floor plan of the massive land yacht they purchased for the trip (no doubt paid for by kickbacks from Apple). These babies are turning into real rolling hotel suites—you notice it most in Vermont in October, when RVs converge on the state to catch the leaf season, which for me coincides perfectly with road rage season, six weeks spent looking at the back panels of Winnebago trailers doing twelve miles an hour. A sticker for each state they've visited! And look, a Jesus fish! BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM...

The real miracle is that King's rolling palazzo actually gets ten miles to the gallon, which is considerably more than my house can do. And I envy him the ability to just roll into nicer weather.

Our own ex-governor, Howard Dean, is taking the more conventional route and running for President. He's a good guy—wish him luck, and think about supporting him if you're a Democrat.

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