Monthly Archives: November 2016

Pick Yourself Up and Move On

i watched the election results last night until i could stand it no more, going to bed with a stunned and sad heart.

i also kept thinking i might not have been stunned as much but i certainly would have been sad, just not quite as much.

i felt as i did when Johnson demonstrated he was not of presidential caliber and felt no trust for the other candidates: disenfranchised. That’s why Henry Harding was my write-in ballot. i could trust him

As we watched the results develop, my wife was in near tears, upset, that kind of upset when i know i must be calm and not try to persuade her to cheer up, not worry. She went to bed and read earlier than me because as Peter Finch’s character in Network shouted “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

This morning, i awoke early. My daughters, through their posts on the internet, were upset, rightfully so i thought. It seems, i’m sure, like a smack in the face for those who believe, out of the goodness in their hearts, that the last eight years have been good for the country. i sense they too do not need me to attempt to soothe their angry souls.

i don’t blame them. i am actually astounded any woman in this country could have voted for Mr. Trump.

As I write, Maureen is still sleeping. i am sitting in my office after completing my morning routine of making coffee, setting the table, cleaning up my mess from the night before, and retrieving the newspaper. As i drink my first cup of coffee, i have considered where we are and just how the hell are we going to deal with this.

First off, i’m not greatly concerned about Trump’s bombastic and ridiculous policy stances. Our good ole boys in the house and senate, regardless of party affiliation will take care of that, especially since a significant number of Republicans don’t like Trump one iota either. Jimmy Carter, with his goodness of heart and belief in taking care of people, had a disastrous presidency, primarily because he was an outsider. Trump is even more an outsider.

i am concerned about the overall picture. Having Republicans in control of both the house and the senate as well as the sitting president is like giving the children the keys to the candy store. i have maintained for a long time the best thing for our country is to have a split between parties in congress and the presidency. Of course, that was before the past sixteen years when the two parties dug in their heels with their lines drawn in the sand and cared more for their political well-being than the good of the country.

My hope is we, especially the politicians and their parties, will take this result as a demand for change, not some crazy endorsement of a homophobic, misogynistic, and xenophobic candidate (and whatever good intentions might be hidden behind that hairdo, Mr. Trump has certainly demonstrated those traits). Political business as usual needs to completely reinvent itself. Money and power need to take a back seat to common sense in moving forward for the good of the country.

As to our international relations, i’m not terribly concerned either. Our state department and foreign policy experts never have dealt well with foreign governments. It may get a little worse with Mr. Trump, but the checks and balances will not allow him to go too far afield. That’s something that adds to what makes this country great.

My greatest concern is that racism and bigotry were hidden agendas in the voting booth. Being an anglo-saxon male, i find anyone who treats people, regardless of race, religion, culture, or sexual preference, poorly or doesn’t allow them freedom, equality, and justice is a poor excuse for a human being. We have come a long way since our first presidential election when six percent of the population voted because it was limited to white male citizens. But we still have a long way to go. The bigots in this country who resort to violence as the cowardly church burners in Mississippi are no better than ISIS, maybe worse because they have had the opportunity to know better. We need to move forward on equality, not backward.

Unfortunately, legislation is required to right wrongs. It still is, but we all should consider legislating morality is a slippery slope. Morality, treating other people equally with respect is an individual responsibility. We each need to make sure we not only behave toward others in that regard but be the steward for equality. We have a vast, deep canyon to leap before we can achieve true equality.

But as i finish my second cup of coffee, i am hopeful, perhaps delusional, but hopeful we can take this surprise and learn. Perhaps, just perhaps, the two major parties, the independents, the lobbyists, the media, etc. may just say this sent a message we need to change and change for the betterment of the country and people who are citizens in this country.

i am hopeful, but not optimistic.

So my morning coffee drinking is complete. i will read the sports pages and the comics while having a wonderful egg, toast, and fruit breakfast courtesy of my beautiful wife, go work on my golf game for a while, pack for a weekend golf tournament in the desert, and see what tomorrow brings.

 

 

 

i Voted

Our precinct voting location is one of the additions to the Corpus Christi Catholic Parish. It is located just under a mile from our home.

Maureen and i walked there to vote this morning. Quite a few neighbors also elected to walk.

The morning was perfect San Diego weather. It felt good to walk and physically vote on the appointed day, a ritual more or less. One of neighbors was one of the volunteers.

It took me between five and ten minutes to copy my sample ballot i had filled in during my research and contemplation to the actual ballot. There were no campaigners or post-voting pollsters anywhere near. I felt like a good citizen.

For those who might wonder, i voted “NO” on the state’s Proposition  60. It’s the one that would require condoms and health measures be required for “Adult” films. The costs to the state, somewhat defrayed by fees on the industry, would run about $1 Million annually. i am of firm belief we should find the idiot or idiots put this on the slate and put them away somewhere.

henry-presidentAnd after month’s of consideration, i did vote in the presidential election. i also live in dread of having to listen to either of the major party candidates if elected talk for the next four years. Both are even worse than George W. Bush as far as public speaking goes.

i did not vote for either. Even though i think we need a woman to serve as president, i just could not bring myself to vote for someone who is so much apart of the system. i could not vote for any of the other party candidates either. They all had flaws to numerous to detail here.

But i voted for president. i sat down last night and considered who i would trust to be president. i came up with about twenty names and slowly filtered through them until i ended up with one. He has strong ties to the Democratic Party but he is an independent, and i mean independent thinker. He is a moral and decent man. He is a man of principal.

He ran for president once before but it was for a different organization and a long time ago. i did not get to vote in that one because i was at another place. i would have though. And i made up for it today. i wrote him in. George Henry Harding (Okay, Henry, i can’t remember if you are the IV, or V) for president.

Ode to Three Sisters and Their Mother

My sister-in-law, Patsy Boggs, who is also a great friend, commented on my FaceBook post today with the photograph of my my grandmother, Katherine Webster Prichard, aka Granny, with my daughter Blythe just after she was born. i was either already gone or getting ready to join the USS Luce (DLG-7) in Korfu, Greece for the last four months of a Mediterranean deployment. Blythe was Granny’s first great grandchild and a tight bond remained until Granny passed away at 93. Patsy’s comment made me decide to re-post this poem.

Ode to Three Sisters and Their Mother

The old lady came busting out of the old century;
where she had been
an exquisite china doll of immeasurable beauty;
young men chased her
to allowable limits in the Victorian South
after we turned from reconstruction
while Teddy was roustabouting with Spain
in that little skirmish we often forget.
Remember the Maine.

But Granny came busting out;
fire in her belly, grit in her craw, pluck in her spirit, gleam in her eye;
with the handsome man who won the chase,
taking her and his bloodhounds
to the retired circuit rider’s farm out on the pike
where Granny’s circuit rider father would
preach occasionally without the horse or mule
in the hamlet of Lebanon,
smack dab in the middle of Tennessee,
Where some bright folks built the square
over a cold water spring
they discovered in “Town Creek”
in yet an earlier century.

…and the children would come around wartime,
dropping among the years of the first big one
we resisted until the Luisitania
took its hit and sank like a rock;
…and the children came,
five in all until one died
as young family members often did
in those pre-antibiotic days.
The handsome blood hound man who chased
criminals through the woods
took his own hit,
a decade after the war.
So the little maelstrom with grit in her craw
packed up the chillun’s and the belongings
making the trek to the groves
of central Florida
for a couple of years to
escape the sinking of the hound man
and the attendant feelings thereof.

In thirty-two, they came back home,
each with some grit in their craw.
Granny, the queen of grit,
went to work,
taking care of those who needed care
outside the family in order
to take care of her own.

…and the children grew up early,
cooking the meals, washing the clothes, cleaning the house,
gathering eggs, milking the cows,  pulling the weeds;
before playing ball,
earning money until
they went to college in the little town,
or went to work,
or both.

The second big war came, again
in a wave of terror,
This time in an atoll’s pristine harbor,
taking hits, sinking to the shallow harbor depths.
Remember the Arizona.
The brother went off to war after marrying
a woman of another religion from down the road,
west a bit, in the big city.
He flew a plane named after his lady Colleen,
returning to the Tennessee hamlet, still
with fire in his belly, grit in his craw, pluck in spirit, gleam in his eye
before leaving for the orange groved paradise
he found on the southern trek several years before.

The preacher man was gone;
The hound man was gone;
The brother was gone;
The three sisters and their mother,
fire in their bellies, grit in their craw, pluck in their spirit, gleam in their eyes,
with their three new men
stared at the world,
staring it down straight in the eye,
wearing it down with their labor
until the world cried “uncle,”
admiring their fire and grit and pluck.

There were circles entwined with circles of family;
the circles orbited around the threes sisters and their mother:
all was well.
…and the world rolled on;
Granny finally gave up her pluckish ghost with grit in her craw;
no longer would she braid the waist long hair,
tying the braids atop her head
as she had done for so many years;
the three sisters rallied with
fire in their bellies, grit in their craw, pluck in their spirit, gleam in their eyes.

The grandchildren of the matriarch
spread with the four winds, remembering.
When the circles got together,
the three sisters remained the constant,
demanding the world stay in their orbit,
and the world was warm with laughter and love and
a sense the world was safe
as long as they all inherited
fire in their bellies, grit in their craw, pluck in their spirit; gleam in their eyes.
The world is older;
Granny is gone;
the youngest sister recently joining her,
the oldest failing fast:
The three sisters leaving us slowly with
the fire waning to embers, but still there is
grit in their craw, pluck in their spirit, gleam in their eyes;
staring down the world.

Such a lovely world they have shown us.

A Sad State of Affairs: Duped Again

For all Cub fans: congratulations.  Your team has bought a World Series. i understand the glee, and i have said often, i was a Cubs fan. But they have beaten the curse of the goat. The world of Cubdom is giddy. Now, you should be like Dustin Hoffman’s character at the closing scene of “The Graduate.” What’s next? The article at the end should give you an idea.

Think about it. You have paid to see your team become another financial giant, a winner in a very unimportant part of our world, which thrives on buying  people from other people to be the best at their sport. Doesn’t that seem a little off kilter, a little wrong?

i have been a sports fan all of my life, so much of one i actually earned my living writing about sports for several years. i love to watch the best play football, baseball, and  basketball. i even had Padre season tickets for more than a decade. i gave them up when i faced the fact i was paying about $2,600 a season for two tickets to forty games; actually attending about half of those; and not counting parking ($10-20 per game) and beer, hot dogs, and peanuts (approximately $40 per game). Still i watch the televised Padre games almost every night during the season. And i never bought any gear with somebody’s name on it. Once, i did buy a sweatshirt for my daughter when it was unexpectedly cold at a Padre night game. It cost me $80.

Like my friend Pete Toennies has done, i’m close to giving it up. It seems the priorities are all screwed up. My Lebanon friend and fellow sports nut, Mike Dixon played softball into his seventies. He loved to play the game. i did too. i played baseball until i was 46. It was fun. That’s why.

Now it seems most everyone doesn’t play but watches, everyone except those who train from tee ball on (no sandlot games like there used to be: too dangerous), and then either quit in their early 20’s, suffer the difficulties of semi-pro and minor leagues, or make it to the “bigs,” which by the way means “big money.” The minimum season salary for a major league player is $520,000 and the average salary is roughly $4 Million.

And those owners, teams, and players are making a killing on our money.

i think we can do many better things with our money and time than watch pro sports.

i just don’t know if i can actually stop.

The below is a clipping from today’s San Diego Union-Tribune. i have included the link, http://enewspaper.sandiegouniontribune.com/desktop/sdut/default.aspx?pubid=ee84df93-f3c1-463c-a82f-1ab095a198ca, but am not sure you can see it without a subscription.

cubs-money-1

As noted in an earlier Facebook post, “Mighty Casey has sold out.”