Monday, November 19, 2012

Some stuff

I'll start off with the pimping part of things.  First off, a reminder that HNT will make a one-day return at the end of December, marking a full year of retirement!  On Dec. 27th, we'll run it, just like the old days (I even have a MG lined up)!  Post on your site, let us know you're up, and go visit everyone else!  If you're no longer running your blog, or you don't want to post it there, I'll post pics over at OHNT too.  You can either have me post it anonymously, or I can list your blogname.  It's up to you!

Just part of the 2011 donation to Toys For Tots!
The second bit of pimping is for Ashly's "Toys For Tots" drive.  The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program has been around for years.  Ashly is in the fourth year of soliciting donations for this great event. The accompanying picture here is one of the many that she posted from last year. She photographs all the toys she purchases, so you know she's not just pocketing the money.  I know it's hard to just send cash to someone you barely "know", if at all, but if there's anything I do know, it's that she doesn't keep a penny of donations for herself!  She's also an avid participant in the process, spending plenty of her own money too!  Click on the link to go to her site and read her post.  She's got a donation link there, as well as lots of pics from the past three years of toy-buying.  Any amount helps--she's very good at balancing quality and quantity!  If you want to feel good this holiday season, donate a few bucks!  Or lots of bucks!  Go.  Now.  Do it!

So... The holidays are upon us.  I've already seen the Grinch on TV (the original, thankyouverymuch).  I'm actually looking forward to Christmas this year.  It will be a nice ending to a sort of depressing past couple of months.  Not to say I'm in a state of depression.  But it's not been the best autumn of my life.

Just look in the sidebar there and see the sad state of affairs for my football teams.  The total of losses from all three teams this season is more than the total of all three teams for the previous 6 years!  The Griz had their first losing season since 1985.  Carroll missed the playoffs for the first time this century, and ended their streak of conference championships dating back to 2000.  And Capital High was expected to play in the championship game this year, and barely made it to the playoffs, where they lost their first game.  Not that I am a super fan of these teams, but when they've been winning as much as they have, it's a downer.  Of course, I'm not thrilled by the fact that the Griz lost their game against the Bobcats.  That means I lost my bet with Gucci, so you know what that means.  Look for the result here in the next week or so...

Other things bringing me down?  A slight change in meds has been making a little tired.  I can nap at the drop of a dime, anytime, anywhere.  And I had a nasty 10 days after my August road trip where I had some sort of stomach flu that drained me.

Maybe it's because yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of my dad's sudden death.  Still seems like yesterday.

Maybe it's because I found out last month that a high school friend of mine had died.  But she wasn't just a friend.  She's the one who explored with me just exactly what "first, second and third base" are.  And we never went to a baseball game together, if you know what I mean.  Granted, we had lost touch over the years, but still...

Maybe because of the ridiculous amount of snow we got right after Halloween.  We broke snowfall records here, with one storm dropping 17" worth of snow.  Blew the old record of 5" right out of the books.  I don't really mind the snow, but that much this early??

Of course there's some things to improve my mood.  There's five full weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that's a wonderful thing.  I'm used to only having four, with two or three of those wasted away with symphony rehearsals and performances.  This year, we'll be done on Dec. 9th, giving me three entire weekends!  As an added bonus, we won't be doing the Nutcracker this season, so the additional headaches associated with that are gone!

Of course, since there's the maximum days possible between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, that means even more Christmas music!!

And then there's the new season of "The Walking Dead".  Ignore the grossness, the gore, the undead (all of which are excellent!).  The writing is pretty damned good, and they aren't afraid to kill off major characters in mid-season.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed a tear or two when Laurie died!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  Even those of you who found it necessary to celebrate it last month!  If you're traveling, travel safe!  And be sure to take time out during the day to give thanks for the things you've been blessed with.  Then get back to the turkey and football!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Change of Plans...

Remember the post from a couple weeks ago where I said it would be my only political discourse.  Well, things have changed.  Much of it is still the same and still applies.  Including the following:
"Anyone who votes a straight party ticket simply because of party affiliation should have their votes voided. Doesn't mean that it couldn't turn out that way, but base it on research and knowledge. Stupidity and ignorance should have no place in the polling booth."
But let me backtrack...

We are in the midst of "Montanagate" here.  We're talking break-ins at state offices, illegal campaign contributions, lawsuits, conflicting judicial rulings and injunctions, and in general, a return to late 19th-century politics.  And the timing of the main break-in seems to coincide with the broadcast of "Big Sky, Big Money" on PBS.   The PBS link will take you to the full video.  It's almost an hour long, but well worth watching.  It shows, in no uncertain terms, that in Montana, the election process is about as corrupted as you could imagine.  And the corrupt influence is well-financed by out-of-state money.  Primarily conservative money.  Not completely, but there's really no other place to point fingers at.  You really need to read/watch the link.  There's no simple and short way of stating things.

For weeks, I've been checking out candidate's positions and I've now decided that I will not be voting for a single Republican candidate.  Yes, I've done the research for the major candidates, but the local races are going to suffer.  I have a real problem with a Republican candidate for county commissioner coming out to say that they are against Obamacare and will do anything to bring it down.  WTF??  This is the way that most Republicans are campaigning around here.  Forget talking about subdivisions or emergency services or zoning law changes.  His only qualification apparently is that he opposes Obamacare, and thinks he can do something about it.  Sorry, that ain't gonna cut it.

I have re-evaluated the two major parties, and how they match (or differ) from my own views.  And the G.O.P. has lost.  Big time.  The Republican party has become party of bullies.  Hell, maybe they always have been, but I've never really had much of a political sense.  But from what I can tell, there's not a single one of them worth voting for.  And I'm hearing from many long-time Republicans that they're not sure what to do either.  They don't want to vote Democrat, but can't support the extremism that they're left with.  It's sort of a catch-22 for them.  As for me, I'm voting for Democrats, and a couple of independents. 

So I was looking ahead to writing some sort of monstrously long post, but found that someone wrote a blog post that said exactly what I was feeling, and much much more.  You can find his post here.  It's even more monstrously long than what I would have written, but written by someone much more knowledgeable and eloquent than I.  So if there's any of these links that you should check out, it would be this one, and go about halfway through it where starts with "1. I believe in fiscal responsibility."  From there to the end is a great read.  And I would add to his list that I could never vote for any Republican candidate that thinks that what is happening in Montana is okay, or doesn't condemn the actions of those involved.

After you read his post, go back and check the other links above.

And regardless of whether you agree with me or not, be sure you go vote on Tuesday.

And don't vote for Republicans.