Thoughts on the Inauguration
I stayed home from work this morning to watch the coronation inauguration of President Obama. Here are some of my thoughts:
- Wow, that's a lot of people.
- Being led to the stand by Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi's got a grin on her face that doesn't seem real - almost like Jack Nicholson's Joker from the Batman movie.
- Walking in, the future President looks nervous. Doesn't seem like the same guy to me.
- Feinstein is the Master of Ceremonies? I wonder how she got elected to that job?
- Rick Warren's invocation was not very good. Seemed more like a speech than a prayer.
- Aretha Franklin's outfit was pretty outlandish. But I like her outfit much better than her rendition of "My Country 'tis of Thee". Why can't they just sing it straight?
- Chief Justice John Roberts screws up the oath. You'd think he would have practiced before hand. The odd thing is that Obama recognized it immediately, and didn't know what to do. Should he say it like Roberts told him to, or say what he rehearsed?
- Obama's speech was nice. He hit on some good topics I can get behind - making government more efficient, protecting the country from our enemies and reaching out to those who think we hate them. Not likely the most memorable speech he has given - There were many other speeches he gave on the campaign that seemed more inspiring.
- I'm sure Elizabeth Alexander, the inaugural poet worked on every single word. But did she have to read it like she wanted people to savior every one with a staccato delivery?
- Rev. Joseph Lowery's benediction was nice. Some humour, but it sounded like a prayer that wasn't preachy.
- Watching Dick Cheney have to attend these ceremonies in a wheel chair must have been humiliating. I was sorry to see that. Back in 2000 I had actually wanted Cheney for the big chair and Bush for VP. I thought he was more qualified.
- Watching Obama and Bush exiting through the Capitol building I thought was the most interesting scene. Bush had a smile on his face - I have to imagine it was like I felt on my last day of college.
- On the flip side, Obama looked like the weight of what had just happened had finally landed on his shoulders. The whole world is looking to him to bring the US economy back on track, improve the standing of the US in the eyes of the international community. The expectations are enormous.
I didn't vote for him. I disagree with some of his proposed policies. I'm concerned about his approach to spend us back into a vibrant economy and how it's all going to get paid for.
But success will benefit us all. And while his travel plans may be different that what I'd prefer, getting safely to the destination is the overall goal.
Congratulations President Obama and God Bless the United States of America.
The Plight of the Undecided Voter
I wonder what it feels like to be a truly undecided voter in a "battleground" state?
My entire voting life has been spent in states where my vote in a November Presidential election has never mattered. California and Oregon are already colored "blue" by default without even a second thought. So my vote, typically for the Republican side of the house, doesn't mean very much.
So if I was truly undecided, and it mattered, how do you make a decision?
The political machines and the way our government functions have made it impossible to figure out what the true pros and cons of each candidate are. Bills in Washington are built with so much compromise and amendments that a bill for housing the homeless has a provision in it to kill babies.
So, in the course of a campaign, the candidate who thinks killing babies is bad is is labeled as not caring about homeless people. The other candidate, who voted for helping the homeless, now supports killing babies.
Can anybody really make a distinction about what these candidates really stand for?
I've said this for many elections in the past and this year it still holds...
The election is an ugly dog competition. No matter who wins, it is still an ugly dog.
Hopefully the winner doesn't poop in the house and chew on the furniture.
Best Finish in Years
Well, my First place status in my Rotisserie baseball league didn't last long. But that was expected.
It looks to me like I'll end up in 2nd place. There is limited upside movement for me and limited downside for the team (the hated Hackers) ahead of me. It's not impossible. Wins and Saves are categories where I can gain a couple of points, but my pitching will have to really be great over the last month to get there. ERA and Ratio are also areas for improvement but I'd have to get a 2.25 era and a 1.06 ratio for the month to make up ground.
I won't be unhappy with 2nd place. It's been a long time since I've seen any ROI in baseball. This years transaction fees seem higher than normal, so the payout should be good.
Still, first place would be awesome....
This has never happened before...
...so I have to document it while it is still true.
The SkidMarks (my Roto baseball team) are in First Place!
At least for today.
Our Nightmare has a cost
The estimate to rehab our apartment came to about $21,000.
That even shocked me.
Thankfully, our homeowners insurance will be covering most of the cost. The cheap thing is that the insurance company has separated it into two claims - one for water damage and one for vandalism. That way, they can bust us for two deductables.
So, out of pocket, we will probably spend about 2 grand on turning the apartment.
I think a increase in rent is coming.
My ERA is 456.92 - Hey Coach, I don't want to pitch anymore.
A Japanese high school team was losing 66-0 with 1 out in the second inning before somebody noticed that the game might not be fun anymore. That might be embarrassing for the kids and the team, but I'll hang the "idiot" label on the coach.
The hapless hurler had already sent down over 250 pitches, allowing 26 runs in the first inning and 40 in the second before Kawamoto asked for mercy.
He let a teenager throw 250 pitches? These days even professionals barely throw 100 pitches in a game.
Also the kid gave up 26 runs in the first inning and he runs him out to pitch the second?
Then it takes 40 more runs to cross the plate before he "asked for mercy"?
Assuming the runs weren't all home runs or walks, weren't there 8 other players on the field? Had they played the game before? With 30 guys going up to the plate, I think even my TBallers could have got three outs.
Lastly, what was the other coach thinking?
Guy should lose his job for negligence and child endangerment.
On the Sunny Side of the Street
There is one good thing about having layoffs at the company you work for.... close in parking spaces are much easier to find.
Vindication for Heavy Drinkers
I don't drink coffee (blasphemy for a Northwest dweller). I drink Diet Coke. Lots of it. I drink it when I'm thirsty, and/or I need the caffeine kick. It's been said to me by well meaning folks, that I should drink water instead. That the DC is unhealthy and causing me to be dehydrated.
Moderate caffeine consumption won’t dehydrate you and can actually help you reach your overall daily fluid intake.
So instead I'll have weak bones and kindney stones - but at least I'm not dehydrated.