Monday, October 1, 2012

No, Jill Stein, I don't side with you.

An online quiz that has been popping up with annoying frequency on social media is supposed to tell you which 2012 presidential candidate you side with. I already know where I stand, having voted for Barack Obama 3 times now, but I can't resist these things for their amusement value. Well, I took the quiz, and I'm not at all amused.

The quiz guides you through a series of questions about various national issues, a mix of social, economic, and foreign policy questions, asking you where you stand on them, and how strongly you feel about each of them. At the end of the quiz, there is a bit of hokum as you see the faces of the two candidates for president, together with candidates representing the fringe parties, shuffling in a motion reminiscent of Robby the Robot's mechanical brain chunking and whirring away at a problem.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Topping Not Obama

Picked up this Politico story via a tweet. The key takeaway:

President Obama tops Mitt Romney

Democratic enthusiasm — real fire-in-the-belly enthusiasm — is a killer for Romney for one big reason: There is no sizable pro-Romney movement in this country. There has been a sizable anti-Obama movement. There are relatively few Republicans deeply in love with Romney. (I except his family, friends and paid staff.) There never has been. Romney won his nomination by being the most electable general election candidate in a weak and whacky primary field. He won, in other words, not by devotion, but by default.
This is pretty much what I've been seeing everywhere. I cringe a little bit whenever I sign on to Facebook, because as likely as not, I will see a post from some group or individual proclaiming contempt for Obama without any mention of Mitt Romney. It's like he doesn't have a name at all; you might as well put "Generic Republican" on the ballot. Or more descriptively, something like this:

President of the United States (vote for one)

  1. Barack Obama
  2. Not Barack Obama
 Bumper sticker polling tells the same story. The area I live in leans Republican, but I have yet to see a car magnet or bumper sticker with Mitt Romney's name on it. I do, however, see quite a few Obama stickers (and a few Ron Paul stickers). It's a bit early in the cycle for the yard signs to come out, but I suspect I'll find a similar distribution.

Mitt Romney - where are you? Who are you? Not hard to top that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm Still Here

I titled this blog appropriately.  I don't have much to say on most days, but it seems there aren't many - or any? - people who are interested in listening, anyway.

I get it. Millions of blogs out there. And it's hard to find anything to say that hasn't been said more eloquently, or at least more loudly, by someone else.

But I'm still here. Awaiting that first comment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In Virtually Perfect Order

As a rule, I avoid right-wing websites. I always feel like I've walked into a redneck bar with a blaring jukebox and a bunch of menacing characters with scowls on their faces, all staring at me. However, every once in a while, some insightful fellow leftie will point me to something worth looking at, so I take a deep breath and step inside.

A Tweet I read yesterday took me here. If you don't want to look for yourself (and I can hardly blame you), it's an article weighing the pros and cons of Mitt Romney releasing his tax returns.The article concludes that yes, he should (and yes, he should), but for reasons that sane people would find rather bizarre. When I read this one, though, I didn't know whether to fall out of my chair laughing or throw up in my wastebasket:

3) Bad optics -- for them:  Romney is a boy scout who has lived a life of great personal rectitude.  He strikes me as a dot-every-I-and-cross-every-T sort of fellow.  He's also a man of guiding and grounding faith.  I am confident that his affairs are all in virtually perfect order, and that they do not contain the knock-out blow Team Obama is hoping for.  When the records become public and there isn't much there, Democrats will look silly, petty and desperate for harping on the issue for weeks on end.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.

The beginning of this story is incredibly sad.

James C. Hobbs, 74, of the 400 block of East Bailey Road, was found on the sidewalk and pronounced dead Friday morning. Police say no foul play was involved.
I never met Mr. Hobbs, but evidently many of his neighbors did. I met some of them on Friday. I was returning  from what would be a 23-mile bike ride in the heat of the day, when the temperature topped out at over 100 degrees. On approaching the corner of  Bailey Road and Coach Drive in Naperville, I saw a group of men handing out bottles of ice cold water from a cooler. They were giving it to anyone who stopped.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Today is my birthday. I am 63.

When I turned 60, I was a little spooked about it. 50, 40, and 30 were nothing, really, but entering my 60s was, I admit, a little scary. When you get into your 60s, people start thinking of you as old, not simply middle-aged. It's just an arbitrary point along a continuum, to be sure, but we measure our ages in integers, and 60 is a lot of integers.

That was 3 years ago. A lot has happened in 3 years. My little girl, who was just coming up on 4 then, is now coming up on 7. She is learning to play the piano and has gotten quite good at riding a two-wheeler. These are the things that make the passage of time enjoyable. Less enjoyable: the shock of finding out I have heart disease.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yes, I Drank the Kool-Aid

I am not sure where the term "drink the Kool-Aid" came from. My guess is that it refers to the Jonestown Massacre, the mass suicide of a notorious religious cult, wherein cyanide was purportedly mixed with Kool-Aid before being administered to the victims. Of late, the term has come to mean that one has swallowed the propaganda, usually the propaganda of the Left, in expressing one's opinion of current events. It is most commonly an insult hurled by conservatives as a means of preempting a rational discourse they have no hope of winning. Conservatives are like that.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Boondocks Have Vanished

During the mid-90's, I established a series of rides I called the "Vanishing Boondocks" series. The intent was to leave from what was then the outskirts of town for the corn and soybean fields of the triangle defined by the cities of Naperville, Oswego, and Plainfield; to ride on the low-traffic farm-to-market roads we had all come to love, and to witness the destruction of our habitat at the hands of real estate developers.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Any Change is for the Better and Other Disasters

Only 6 more days until I turn 63. My, my, where does the time go?

When I look back on my life, I see a series of choices I've made, both good and bad. Those are the things that have gotten me where I am now. Of course, I make decisions every day. And I make mistakes every day, but not all of my mistakes have been the result of bad decision making. I don't worry about those. I worry about the things I did when I should have known better.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The title says it all. I don't have much to say, but when I do, I will say it here.