Archive for October, 2008

Pumpkin Pi

October 31, 2008

I’m not a big fan of Halloween now and I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin pie, but I like this creativity.

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A View into the Past

October 31, 2008

Mount Rushmore

October 31, 2008

The Mount Rushmore Memorial was completed on October 31, 1941.  The project took 14 years.  The faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are 60 feet tall.

I visited Mount Rushmore in 2003.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was very impressed.  It more than lived up to its reputation.

Happy 67th Anniversary to Mount Rushmore.

Leaf Blowing

October 30, 2008

I took the early train to work this morning.  On my walk in the dark from the subway to the office, I passed several workmen blowing leaves, dirt and trash from the sidewalks into the street.  They were “cleaning” the areas around the buildings they care for.  When they were done, the sidewalks looked great.  At least for the moment.  I doubt it will be too long before the wind or the breeze from the passing cars and buses will blow the trash right back onto the sidewalks.

How often do we take care of our problems by just blowing them into the street?  While things might look or feel better for a while, the problems can easily just blow back into our lives.  Better to really take care of things properly the first time.

Hermit Day

October 29, 2008

My calendar tells me that it is Hermit Day.  Hermits are people who would rather live alone than among others.  With all the hustle and bustle of modern life, with technology making it possible to be contacted pretty much anywhere and anytime, I’m sure there is a certain attractiveness to the hermit life.  I think that the lure of the hermit life is counterfeit.

I spent 3 days without seeing more than 2 or 3 people.  I hiked about 60 miles in the Sierra alone.  I wasn’t doing it to be a hermit.  It was just something that I wanted to try.  I’m glad that I did it, but clearly the experience was missing something very important.  There was no one to share the beauty with.

The solitary life of a hermit misses the interaction that is so important in life.  When a prisoner needs extra punishment, he is put in “solitary”–his connections with others are taken away.

Perhaps the best way to celebrate Hermit Day is to do something to acknowlege how important and meaningul your connections with others really are.  Give someone a call.  Send someone a note or a card.  Especially if that person is someone living alone.  Better yet, visit.

The Case of the Disappearing Signs

October 29, 2008

I’m responsible for passing out the Yes on 8 yard signs in my neighborhood.  A few weeks ago, I spend the morning passing out the signs.  I also had a couple other people help.  I can’t remember exact numbers, but we probably distributed at least 200 signs.  Since then, I have had to deliver replacement signs for the signs that have been stolen or destroyed.

I have had to replace the sign in my front yard 5 times.  Last night, a woman came to the house to pick up a couple of signs.  I noticed that my sign was missing and mentioned it.  Apparently, the sign was stolen in the time she walked to the front door.  The sign was there when she drove up, but was gone just a few second later.

The police caught a couple of sign thieves in the Sacramento area.  They had more than 50 yards signs in the trunk of their car.  Click here is see the news report.

The No on 8 people continue to charge the Yes on 8 campaign with hate.  Yet, it’s the Yes on 8 signs that are being stolen, defaced and destroyed.

How to Relax

October 27, 2008

Go for a nice walk on the beach.

Out of Whack

October 24, 2008

When you, or something, is out of whack, what exactly do you need?  Do you need a refill of “whack?”  Since you are out of whack, do you need to get in whack?  And what is “whack” anyway?

World Wide Words says that Whack, as a noun, meant a share or a portion.  Top whack or full whack meant full price.  In the United States, in fine whack meant being in good condition.  Being out of whack would mean the opposite–being in bad condition.

So now you know.

Eight = Hate?

October 22, 2008

Please read Dennis Prager column today.  It’s listed at Real Clear Politics and at Townhall.com.

Prager thinks that, after the presidential pick, Prop 8 is the most important thing on the ballot.

A couple of quotes from the article:

It is apparently inconceivable to many of those who wish to change the definition of marriage that a decent person can want to retain the man-woman definition. From newspaper editorials to gay and other activist groups, the theme is universal — proponents of traditional marriage are haters, the moral equivalents of those who opposed racial equality. As The New York Times editorial on the subject put it, Proposition 8 is “mean-spirited.”

But it is the charge of hate (along with bigotry, homophobia and intolerance) that is the primary charge leveled against supporters of Proposition 8. That’s why one major anti-Proposition 8 group is “Californians Against Hate.”

Any honest outsider would see that virtually all the hate expressed concerning Proposition 8 comes from opponents of the proposition. While there are a few sick individuals who hate gay people, I have neither seen nor heard any hatred of gays expressed by proponents of Proposition 8. Not in my private life, not in my e-mail, not from callers on my radio show.

And,

Why won’t those who favor redefining marriage accord the same respect to the millions of us who want gays to be allowed to love whom they want, live with whom they want, be given the rights they deserve along with the dignity they deserve, but who still want marriage to remain man-woman?

I Voted–Kind Of

October 21, 2008

The election is 2 weeks away, but I voted last night.  This morning, my ballot envelope will get stamped with 57 cents and, courtesy of the USPS, will make its way into a ballot box, somewhere.

I don’t think that I’ve missed an election since I was allowed to vote.  As a child, I remember going with my mother to the polling place.  I did the same with my children.  There is something special about the ritual of showing up at the polling place, signing your name, and then standing in one of those fancy cardboard boxes to do our civic duty.  Somehow, sitting at the kitchen table to vote isn’t quite the same thing.

I first voted for president in 1972.  I did so by absentee ballot.  I voted while doing my laundry in the Language Training Mission in Provo, Utah.  I was a full-time missionary, trying to learn French.  In a few days, I would be on my way to France and Belgium for 2 years.  My son, Michael, will vote for president for the first time this week.  He will vote by absentee ballot, too, because, he, too, is serving as a full-time missionary.  He is in Pennsylvania.  Perhaps he should vote while doing his laundry.

I voted for president again last night.  This time, I didn’t have a great reason for using an absentee ballot.  Because I leave for work way before the polls open, I can’t vote in the morning before work.  I voted by absentee ballot just because it is convenient.  Convenient, but not nearly as traditional.

I voted.  My vote will count.  But, somehow, I feel that I missed something.  Perhaps is it important to go through the ritual of actually showing up at the polling place.  Just for the tradition.