Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nothing but blue sky

Wow, today was one of those picture perfect mornings at the Saratoga Race course. I was in the backstretch with a coffee in hand by 9 am. There were dozens of horses and riders on the main track. Fans, owners, trainers and locals walking their dogs mingled along the rail and beneath the big shade trees soaking in the early morning sun under a cloudless, deep blue sky.

Strikealinethruit's trainer was out with one of his other charges and we chatted for a moment. After about 45 minutes I walked half way round the racing oval to the Clubhouse to meet my daughter Marissa and we sat overlooking the track and the infield and enjoyed a few minutes of quiet conversation before she started her work day in the second-floor restaurant. All in all; a great way to start a summer day.

Now, if I could only go on a winning streak...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Congress to NY Heroes - "Go To Hell"

Congress failed to pass the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act this week, raising doubts it will ever pass. The bill would spend billions on health care and compensation over the next 10 years for people sickened from their exposure to the toxic smoke and debris of the shattered World Trade Center.

Okay, I get that some members of congress think that this bill is bloated and too expensive and should be scaled back. The Dems should negotiate it down to something closer to what the White House wants and get it passed. The members of the GOP (Goofy Old Pea brains) who oppose it should be ashamed of themselves for the rhetoric they are spewing about the initiative to provide help to the people injured in the rescue and clean-up efforts following the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.

From the NY Daily News - Texas Republican Joe Barton, leading the debate for his side, said the GOP would back a smaller program, such as the $150 million a year the White House would like to spend. But he said the rest of the country should not bear the brunt of helping New Yorkers cope with the aftermath of the terror attacks. "We support it, without raising taxes on the rest of the American people," said Barton (R-Texas), who recently won infamy by apologizing to BP.

Would Representative Barton also oppose having Texans pay for the care of New York veterans returning from the idiotic Iraq war that the leader of his party started and he voted for? Why do we keep electing these dim-witted crooks? Tro da bums out – starting with Rep. Barton. Of course Californians should be equally embarrassed by the egomaniacal Nancy Pelosi who supported a rare procedural move to box in the GOP on this issue.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg slammed the failure, calling it "outrageous," and blaming both sides. "It was wrong for the overwhelming majority of Republicans to vote against the bill, and it was wrong for Democrats to bring the bill to the floor under rules that made passage so much more difficult," he said.

These people in congress have way too much time on their hands. They spend most of their time and energy dreaming up ways to make their opponents look bad, make themselves look good and rake in more money for themselves and their friends. Gotta go! I need a shower.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Great Day

This is reposted since it blew up with an earlier blog.

Okay, I'm sure it wasn't as big a deal for her, but yesterday was special for me. I drove my youngest daughter to an open house for accepted grad students at a college about 90 minutes from home. She's been accepted at tow good schools and wait-listed at another. Smart kid.

The morning began with breakfast at a diner before we hit the road. She was dressed in business casual clothes and had on real shoes and makeup. She looked great. No big deal you think for a 21 year old college senior. Oh contraire. This is a kid who wore almost nothing but sweats, sneakers and flip flops for the first 18-19 years of her life. She played basketball and soccer through high school and then continued soccer in college, so had lots of athletic wear, but not a great deal of variety in street clothes.

I always pictured her older sister, also an athlete for most of her life, as the hard working serious student. She will graduate from Optometry school fourth in her class in June. Take a closer look dummy (nickname my brother gave me). Little One (my nickname for her) is entering a serious Masters program and is already looking ahead to doctoral programs at other institutions. Wait; when did the quick-as-a-cat athlete with the brains to generate grades without an outward appearance of hard work, turn into a serious student with a definite career plan? Long before I was smart enough to recognize it, I assure you.

Life hasn't been too bad for me so far. I will always have doubts about some of the choices I've made regarding career - such as it is - and some of the bizarre personal decisions in my portfolio, but there is no doubt that seeing these two terrific young women grow up has been a privilege. I say with no false modesty at all that their mother, and their own strength of character, is the reason they have become who they are. I am thankful to have been along for the ride.

I sometimes think about how fast it has gone and will often tell them both how much I miss them when they were younger; and I was smarter and more relevant. I then think of something my mother said late one night when my brother and I were having one of our after dark talks. She told us how much she enjoyed being around us as young adults. We could discuss books that contained words of more than one syllable and form opinions about important topics. That has now happened with my girls; and is not such a bad thing after all. They have discovered most of my faults and, shall we say, idiosyncrasies by now and accept them for what they are. We sometimes have those interesting conversations I remember having with my mother and brother. They will always roll their eyes at some of my words and actions, but are becoming more tolerant of the weirdness as they get older.

I'm still not prepared to be a responsible member of society except when absolutely necessary, but I certainly don't mind being known as my daughters' dad. When they turn out as well as these two have, it is certainly good for the image to be associated with them, rather than some of the people and experiences before they came along and changed my life.

Great site

If only those so eager to send our military forces into dangerous situations without a clearly defined objective and a reasonable chance of effecting positive change would read these comments, maybe; just MAYBE they would avoid wasting lives and money in the future. Well, a nice thought anyway. Enjoy the website. It is very moving.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thinking about it

have mixed emotions about this one. When I was young and stupid, I would’ve said yeah, let’s make this sport legal and give people the choice. I still think that is the right decision, but part of me agrees with the people who oppose legislation to make it legal in New York. It is barbaric and brutal. Should we be legitimizing another form of entertainment that caters to the worst side of human nature? On the other hand, we allow football, hockey and other brutal forms of recreation and entertainment. Where do we draw the line? This is a debate worth having before we move forward.