Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dallas Doings

Well, the trip to Dallas to see the Rangers turned out well, despite the wrong team winning. My sons and I had a great time. The seats were in the fifth row, pretty much perfect and something every NHL fan should experience sometime. You really get a feel for the game when you are that close to the glass.

The arena up there is nice, nothing spectacular but it's well maintained and attractive. Nothing can match Madison Square Garden or the United Center in my hockey experiences but we enjoyed it. Sadly (or not, depending on your outlook) the game itself isn't enough anymore. There needs to be three(!) timeouts per period so that the 'Ice Girls' can skate around with shovels to pick up the ice shavings. Really? Three timeouts per period? And of course you need a mascot, contests and blaring music to set the mood. Oh well, times change.

One nice surprise was that when we entered the arena every fan was offered a Dallas Stars yearbook and a game program, free gratis-like. How cool is that? I saw that about half of those coming in passed them up but to a publications guy like me it was a very nice 'gift'.

There were plenty of Rangers fans on hand and we made our presence felt, especially in whatever bar that was we were in for the hour or so prior to the game. Too bad we couldn't push the right team to a win.

On Tuesday we visited the George W Bush Library and Museum on the SMU campus.

Putting politics aside it was a fun experience. They pack a lot of 'stuff' into each and every inch of the place. It's much more crowded than the LBJ Library in Austin or the Bush Senior one in College Station. As befits a newer presidential library there is an almost overwhelming multimedia and interactive aspect to the place. Lots of videos, several different small theaters, and a lot of  'touch' screens all over. As you would expect the 9-11 section was both the most crowded and most somber place in the library. It is very well done, respectful and informative.

The only disappointing aspect of the Bush Library is the lack of 'campaign' pins and memorabilia available in the store. They had a couple of exhibits of campaign gear in the hall and a very neat section devoted to the Bush-Gore 'battle of the hanging chads' election which gave me hope the store would be interesting. I'm used to finding new and different campaign stuff for sale at the LBJ Library on every visit but there was noting to be found yesterday. I did buy one item, a pin for my presidential seal display.

I'm an 'LBJ guy' and visit that library as often as possible but W's new place is worth a visit if you are in the area.


  1. Victory Plaza is a pretty cool place outside the arena. Glad you got to visit! And the right team won (for once)!

    W's Library is one of my favorites. I hope you got a chance to see his collection of autographed baseballs just before you enter the September 11 portion of the library. And like you said, that portion is very somber and, for me at least, still very moving. It was very well done.

    I, too, was hoping to find a campaign pin in the gift shop. When I asked the clerk if they had any, he said no and told me that they had never carried them. I was disappointed.

  2. Ice girls? Damn... I knew the Sharks were missing something. That's probably why they've never been to the Stanley Cup Finals. Happy New Year!