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== Jackets, jeans and Ugg boots  ==
It's a weird feeling getting privileged access to an event you have no personal connection with.
In the case of the inauguration, I couldn't help but feel a bit of a fraud - a stray ink spot on a parchment of history.
While a couple of million Americans snuggled up in the Mall and thousands more thought themselves lucky to be allowed to squeeze into standing sections further down Capitol's hill, the media pack, including quite a few foreigners, had a perfect view of all the famous political leaders from seats a few dozen metres away.
The only section closer contained a number of ordinary folk but in their midst were people with names like Beyonce, Samuel Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Don King.
Getting to that media seat involved being exposed to both hyper and lax organisation.
First an email accreditation had to be swapped for an actual ticket at a Senate building. I couldn't go through the security at one entrance because it wasn't done for visitors to do so. I went through another and then was left to wander down a few corridors to find the room I was supposed to get to. I then went out a different entrance but that was fine.
AdvertisementToday I had to find the green security gate at a Senate building - as opposed to blue, silver and orange gates for other ticket-holders. But while there was a sign showing the way for those colours, green was missing and inquiries brought blank looks from security guards. After finding the right gate and passing through a security check, fellow ticket holders and myself had to wander around a few more corridors without direction until we found another security check.
We were then allowed onto the west front of the Capitol but were told to keep our tickets visible. Ushers were placed about every 5m. We were passed on to one usher who checked our tickets, then sent to the next one who checked them again and so-on. After passing through four groups of ushers we finally made it to the media section. And yet once there the seating numbers on the tickets were not enforced. I didn't see numbers on the seats. We were also told to keep the tickets handy because they would checked - but they weren't.
The event itself was interesting for what was emphasised and what wasn't.
Although the dignitaries were dressed for the occasion, there was no dress code for the people. The official information guide recommended only dressing appropriately for the weather. This meant that for the inauguration of the President of the United States, most people turned up in jackets, jeans and trainers or [  Ugg boots].
Military/security groups are honoured and their appearance emphasised. Deference to anyone in a uniform is virtually automatic and good manners are flourished at every opportunity.
The downtown areas in daytime have been largely food and alcohol-free zones. There's been a few hotdog/snack bars in the Mall but mostly punters have had to hunt down decent food and drink a few blocks away. Today was especially trying. A lot of people got up before dawn to get to where they wanted to be and many had been dissuaded from taking bags with supplies of any sort. They had to sit or stand through paralysing chill for three hours before anything interesting [  cheap ugg boots] .
== Ugg boots bad for your feet ==
These boots weren’t made for walking –[  Ugg boots] that is.
[  Uggs], Australia’s famous luxurious sheepskin winter boots and similar products may actually cause foot problems. Podiatrists are seeing the negative effects from this sheepskin footwear. For example, check out this recent article in the UK’s Now Magazine.
Many podiatrists stress people with different pronation in their feet (whether they are flat footed or have normal or high arches) will wear out shoes differently. Seems like people with pronated feet (flat footed) should shy away from [  Uggboots].
“In flat footed people, Uggs, because they are so soft with little support, will wear out quicker and more severely when compared to people with higher arches,” said Jaqueline Sutera, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine.
Sutera also offers advice to those would want to wear Uggs for the look, but who still want to show their feet some TLC, “Limit use to about four hours daily. So for the ‘look,’ wear the heels or [  cheap ugg boots], but then change to commuter shoes or orthotics when you leave the office and commute home.”
== Obama inauguration ==
From all parts of America, the Obama pilgrims have been on the move to witness his inauguration on Wednesday.
And like all pilgrimages, it's not without its hardship.
Clutching their feel-good optimism from warmer climes, they have been jetting and bussing in to face the sober reality of frigid Washington.
On a night flight from LAX, passengers let rip with a roar as the plane left humid Los Angeles twinkling behind them.
But travellers have been weighed down with mundane matters, not just considering the impact of the weather but the demands of security which has seen a number of everyday items banned.
The need to remember to leave the backpack, umbrella and thermos at home is just the start. Travellers are also considering questions such as can we get by without the kid's stroller? Maybe Ugg boots were a better option than the leathers? How hellish will the Metro journey from Virginia or Philadelphia be? Does a choice have to be made between seeing Obama's swearing in and getting a good spot to view the subsequent parade?
AdvertisementJudging by the evidence on the ground, [  Ugg boots] are the footwear of choice for a lot of Obama's army.
For a large number of inauguration-goers, it's less a mission than a field trip. Teachers, with apparently hawk-like peripheral vision, are a regular sight in DC herding school kids. Their commands seem to consist of "Stop!", "Wait until we all get there", "We're not going that way" and "what did I tell you..."
For the record, the items that are banned along the parade route are: Firearms, ammunition, explosives, aerosols, packages, coolers, thermos flasks, backpacks, big bags, laser pointers, animals other than help dogs and bicycles.
Banned on the Capitol grounds in addition to those prohibited items are: Umbrellas, alcohol, strollers, all signs and posters.
The biggest suspense about the inauguration is whether the "H" word will get an airing.
Today, during a rehearsal outside the Capitol, the ground announcer referred to Barack Obama's initial rather than his full name.
There are those of the Voldemort school of thought who believe Obama is: "He who must not have his middle name named".
Representative Steve King of Iowa, a Republican, found Obama's earlier decision to allow "Hussein" to be used as "bizarre" and a "double standard", Politico reported. "Is that reserved just for him, not his critics?"
Politico said that King had previously told AP that the middle name was among the reasons Islamic terrorists would rejoice at Obama's election. King also predicted that al Qaeda would be "dancing in the streets" if Obama were elected.
Obama's victory and inauguration means a great deal to many African Americans.
A California woman, Tamela, was taking her husband and two toddlers to the event. She helped get out the vote for him - the first work she had done for a political candidate.
Then there was a guy spotted in McDonalds in Los Angeles. Scraps of meat and bun were slowly hardening on his plate, forgotten about as he was glued to a Larry King programme on Obama's train trip on Saturday. He pointed it out to a passing mate and the two exchanged congratulatory fist bumps with pride in Obama's achievement lighting their faces.
Obama is having something of a Diana affect on stately DC.
The man's pictures are everywhere, a radio station has renamed itself Obama FM. The Newseum drew a lot of visitors today to a showcase of special sections and front pages on Obama in US newspapers.
== Podiatrist: Ugg Boots  ==
At more than $100, they're not cheap but they've become a must have -- especially for teenage girls. What many
[  Ugg] lovers don't realize though is, according to one podiatrist, the flat, shear ling lined boots are actually bad for your feet.
"They keep your feet warm in the winter and summer. You don't have to wear socks with them, that's the main reason I bought them," said Crystal resident Angie Peterson.
"They're comfortable," said Minneapolis resident Amanda Weinkauf.
They're a major fashion trend that hasn't gone out of style yet in Minnesota.
"I think they're ugly," said Weinkauf.
That doesn't stop thousands of women and girls from wearing and loving the
[  Ugg boots].
"Very comfortable, they feel like pillows on your feet," said Peterson.
However, podiatrists warn the shear ling boots are actually hard on your feet.
"The biggest problem with them is the fact that they have no support. They're completely flat on the bottom," podiatrist Dr. Kari Prescott.
Doctors say that lack of arch support can lead to foot and leg problems.
"If you don't have external support, all the muscles in your legs, really from the knee down, can become achy, sore. Some people refer to that as shin splints," said Prescott.
A foot condition called plantar fasciitis, or heel spurs, may also happen. Slipping in an arch support can help.
"This provides some curvature and it's not ideal," said Prescott.
And even forewarned about potential problems,
[  Uggs] wearers still love their boots.
"No, I'd probably still wear them," said Peterson.
"I'd still wear them," said Weinkauf.
"It's always fashion over practicality, isn't it?" said Prescott.
Ugg Australia said they've been in business for 30 years and haven't had complaints about their classic flat shear ling
[  Uggboots] hurting feet. They say the boot sells so well because it is comfortable.
As for arch support, Ugg Australia said they have 140 styles coming out for fall '09 and many of those do have arch supports in them. They said they also are adding outer support and added comfort features to the classic
[  cheap ugg boots].
Doctors say flat shear ling boots can actually be harder on feet than high heels because they're worn for longer periods of time. And it appears Uggs are recession proof because they remain a top seller.

Revision as of 11:16, 14 May 2009

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