Sunday, May 15, 2011

Great Day

This is reposted from early 2010 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 two 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.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Real John McCain Stands Up

This is the John McCain I remember and respect. His voice is the most credible in the Senate on this particular issue. He is absolutely right when he says we are supposed to be better than this. I believe this is exactly the kind of stance most Americans would point to as an example of what they consider to be American Exceptionalism.

Most Americans don’t want us to be the world’s police officer or the bully on the block. They want us to be on the side of right in every fight; not the side that will benefit us most economically or politically. Many Americans still view America as an ideal. America stands for opportunity, fairness, righteousness and the rule of law.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


New system will allow government to supersede all cell phone traffic to blast emergency messages. Read more here…

This is a great idea, but must be watched closely to make sure that cell service is not interrupted to prevent people from communicating or getting information when they want or need it. This should be used only in times of an extreme and imminent emergency. If I'm in the midst of an obscene phone call, I don't want somebody reminding me about alternate side parking or to remember to pay my taxes. I fear that it is only a matter of time before some dimwit in the legislature or Congress decides to sell time on this system to businesses for commercial messages. We do have a shortfall in revenue, you know. Paranoia runs deep.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Where do we go from here?

What now after the death of Bin Laden? Where do we go with the large military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq? Where do we go with our relationships with repressive and often inept regimes in nations friendly to us? Will we continue to hold our nose and help prop up brutal and corrupt governments in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, etc., etc., etc.?

We, the people of the United States, must pay attention to what our government is doing in our name. Are we made safer by our strategy? Apparently, at least in the short term. What is the cost? Are we leaving our national legacy as the moral leader of the world behind in our quest for our own safety? And, are we destroying our economy by investing so many trillions of dollars, so many young lives and so much of our focus on this strategy at the expense of so many needs at home?

Killing Bin Laden was necessary and the right thing to do. The question now is, will we refocus, rethink our plan for the future? Is it time to begin to invest in our own land and our own people?

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Wait, Animal Kingdom wins the Kentucky Derby? I didn't see that one coming. Not many did as the freakin' horse paid $43 to win. I narrowed my choices down to seven, then boxed three of them in and exacta. Not even close. Oh well, it was a fun time watching the lead up and then the race itself.