Dear Postal Worker…

I am writing to you again because I have some concerns.  You see, I’ve gotten past the fact that you delivered S’s saxophone during our kitchen remodel, thus distracting her from our work.  Yes, at the time I was rather hard on you and I didn’t think I would get over it, but I did.

But now I have some new concerns to bring to your attention.  I’ve noticed lately that in front of some post offices here in the Cleveland area there are signs that read “Postal Workers For Obama“.  Which I suppose is fine, you can support whichever candidate suits your union.  But I don’t know that is such a good idea for a vital public service that is partially funded through tax money to be advocating in such a manner.  It just makes me nervous. 

You see, I subscribe to National Review magazine, which comes bi-weekly.  I used to get it promptly, ever other Monday.  But lately, my magazine comes late.  Sometimes a week late.  And I know, having contacted National Review, that the problem is not on their end. 

Since Senator Obama clinched the Democrat primary back in June, National Review has featured him on the cover of the magazine with titles such as “Who Is Barack Obama” and “The Truth About Community Organizing” among others.  Not flattering to your chosen candidate.  So, what with your campaigning for the man, I am left to wonder if my magazine distribution is being jammed because you don’t want to distribute negative information about your candidate. 

Hey, don’t get mad… I’m just asking a question.   And I’m only asking because you are openly favoring one candidate over another.  See the problem?

Oh, and another thing.  Pay close attention because this is a much bigger deal.  On Saturday when you brought my mail, you brought me an envelope that wasn’t sealed by the sender.  It just contained a flier for a community pottery class, so the envelope was tucked in, not sealed.  The thing is, when I took out the flier a smaller, sealed envelope also came out.  It was someone else’s mail.  It was a piece of mail that you must have picked up from their mail box to take back to the post office to process. 

Accidents happen, of course, but the thing is, by looking at the address on the front of the envelope, I could see that it was addressed to a mortgage company.  It was someone’s mortgage payment.  And you brought it to my house, not the post office.  Yeah, big screw up.  Don’t worry, when I realized what you had done, I drove it up to the post office and put it in the mail slot myself.  I don’t mind helping out, especially when it comes to somebody’s mortgage payment, but you should be more careful in the future.

So, now I am afraid of you.  Not just you, but the whole post office system.  You’re participating in candidate advocacy in a country that is pretty well divided on the candidates….  You’re delivering my political magazines late…  You’re playing a little fast and loose with mortgage payments…

A night with Ike…

That was one wicked wind storm last night.  It sounded like Marine One was landing on our front yard, repeatedly, for several hours.  The power kept flickering.  Branches fell out of trees and blocked the roads.  I found a rather large tree branch on the hood of our car this morning.  No damage, thank G_d, but a whole lot of people in northeast Ohio woke up to damaged cars and houses this morning.  My poor tomato plants did not survive the wind storm.  They were ripped into bits.

Just sitting in my living room, hoping and praying that the power wouldn’t go out during the Steelers/Browns game, I wondered how in the hell anyone in Texas, especially Galveston, rode out Ike in their homes.  Frightening.  I often wonder why anyone would choose to live in a hurricane plagued are or a tornado prone area or along a fault line.  I don’t think I am as tough as those people.  Perhaps I don’t have the fortitude to deal with those things.  Then again, I deal with Lake Erie winters, so I am somewhat tough.  Right?

At this very moment I am listening to a local talk radio program where the host is taking calls from people perplexed by the sudden increase in gas prices.  Of course they are blaming the oil companies, not the huge range of factors caused by the hurricane.  I find that frustrating.

S’s mom and dad are planning to visit this coming weekend.  We are going to take them to the Yankee Peddler festival on Saturday.  Mrs. S has been nagging us to take her for about four years now.  I don’t think that Mr. S is looking forward to it at all.  When we took them to a county fair last summer, they practically jogged us through the whole thing, all the while complaining about the smell of the animals.  Seriously, we were in and out of the Cuyahoga County Fair in a little over an hour.  Now, there won’t be animals at the Yankee Peddler, but it is still pretty much just a huge craft fair.  When we have gone in the past, we usually stay about four hours.  I am willing to bet that this year we do the whole festival in two hours.

Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live as Sarah Palin was priceless.  However, the rest of the show was horrible.  Maybe they used all the funny on the opening skit and that is why all the rest of the skits lacked the funny.  But I am pleased t report that S and I watched Baby Mama (Tina Fey and Amy Pohler)on Friday and it was funny.  I feared that it was going to be one of those movies where all of the funny parts were in the advertisements, but no.

I checked out my stocks this morning and got a little ill.  But then I made the decision not to look again today while there is the Lehman uproar.  I already feel better.  Things ebb and flow and I usually resist getting too caught up in the whirlwind of financial prognostication.  Today should be no exception.

Finished reading Fleeced  by Dick Morris this weekend.  Not a very good book.  Too shallow.  And I got the impression that some of his “down with the tyrants” rants were hollow.  I don’t think he really believes half of what he wrote in that book.  Total waste of my money and time and for that I should slap myself in the face, because I have alwasy avoided his books in the past.

Blog reading regrets…

It started last week, probably Monday or Tuesday.  I have this list of blogs in my favorites file, separated into sections like “mommy blogs“, “dad blogs” and “people blogs“.  There are about ten to twelve blogs in each section.  I love those blogs and they really are my favorites even though there are also a lot of other blogs that I enjoy.  But blogs that are not in my favorites are ones that I visit maybe once a month.  The blogs that are favorites, I visit at least once a day, sometimes five times a day depending on their output or if there is something that begs to be read and re-read and then read aloud to S.

There are all sorts of blogs in those favorites.  I’ve come to enjoy “meeting” people through their writing that I would probably never bother to meet in my day to day life.  The people that I enjoy the most are so very different than me and my life, beliefs and ideology.  One person is even a New England Patriots fan, but I still love his blog.  I love reading about people with children because I truly find their lives fascinating.  I love their stories.  And, of course, I have come across plenty of blogs written by people who support Barack Obama and truly believe that his policies are the best policies for the future of the United States.  I’ve enjoyed reading their posts about why they believe those things and support that candidate.  They haven’t swayed me, but I appreciate reading their posts.  They are expressing political opinions in a non-offensive, non-Kool-Aid drinking way.  They aren’t ranting and raving, which is a turn off for me.

The thing is, I was enjoying all of that until last week.  It seems that John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin for a running mate really was quite the “game changer”.  That choice started to seep into some of my favorite blogs.  And not so much in a good way.  Suddenly these reasonable people have started lacing their posts with an acidity that I just can’t understand.  Suddenly the “mommy” bloggers and the “dad” bloggers have gone from entertainment to something I just don’t enjoy reading anymore.  Same with the “people” bloggers, but I kind of expected that because they were always a little more political than the others. 

By last Thursday I had started to avoid my favorites.  But I was lured back to one that I considered safe because he had never really talked about politics at all before.  Sadly I found a post that said he knew a guy who had drunken photos of Sarah Palin from college that the friend was afraid to release to the media because he has a job in Alaska politics and feared for that job.  I’ve now stopped going to that blog, which sucks because he always had great photos.  Maybe I’ll return after the election.

I love talking politics.  It is my favorite subject, with football coming in a close second.  And I don’t mind reading about why Sarah Palin’s policies are unappealing to some.  So long as it is factual.  And so long as it is not a rant about her family.  I have a section in my favorites file for “political blogs” both left leaning and right leaning.  I expect hyperbole there.  I expect teeth gnashing there.  I expect lies, de-bunking, smears and cheerleading there.  I just don’t expect it from my entertainment, from my gentle favorites.

It has become so bad that when I came across a blog that had a reasonable political post, I actually left a comment.  And I never comment on blogs.  But it was a refreshing read and I felt the need to thank that person.  I don’t know if that blog will ever make it onto my favorites list because the other posts weren’t all that interesting to me, but I really did appreciate that one post.

So, there has been much less blog reading for me lately.  I suppose that will continue for awhile.  It is regretful because something that I once enjoyed has become disappointing.  I hope that things can go back to normal after the election.  Perhaps in December once the dust has settled.  I sure hope so.  And if Obama beats McCain, I will read the victory dance posts in hopes that the posts that follow get back to the cute school stories and complaints about work.

Tuesday morning thoughts…

I am rather pleased this morning.  I beat my opponents in both of my fantasy football leagues this week.  My team on Yahoo.com is in first place in the standings and my team on NFL.com is third.  Not too shabby considering I had a couple of Seattle receivers on both teams.  Had to drop them and pick up some undrafteds.  Hopefully I’ll never have to start the guys I picked up today…

The Packers/Vikings game was pretty good last night.  But seriously, I hate Tony Kornheiser with a white hot heat.  I watched most of the game with the volume muted.  I couldn’t watch much of the Raiders/Broncos game because it was a school night and because I cannot stand to watch games played on baseball fields.  And that is too bad because I have a bot of a crush on both Mike Ditka and Mike Golic and they only do the play-by-play once a year.

Update to the VP guessing game post…

Way back in June, after Senator Obama finally clinched the democratic nomination, I wrote a post about vice presidential nominee speculation.  It contained lists for both the democrats and the republicans and I am pleased as punch that both Obama and McCain chose people that I had written about.  Not that I think I had sway, more like, wow, I’m pretty good at the guessing game…

Here is that post.

I got some comments after publishing the post and I would like to point out that some guy named Ted said that, “With Palin, McCain wins.”  Sure, we still have 58 or so days to go but the polling data from this morning is making Ted look pretty darned smart.

Football thoughts…

What in the hell happened to my beloved WVU team?!  So very, very sad.  I thought my mother would call me to commiserate, but she hasn’t yet.  I fear she has sunk into a major football depression.  That Skip Holtz is good.  Very good.  My mother is still a Lou Holtz hater from his time at Notre Dame…  With a new Holtz generation she must be in hell.

The Pittsburgh Steelers looked very good on Sunday.  Sure, they were playing the Houston Texans, but the defense was active and Willie Parkerscored 3 rushing TDs and Big Benthrew for 2 TDS.  I am optimistic about this season.  Sure, it’s the first week, but I think the Steelers are going to take the AFC North without much competition.  The Browns were going to lose to the Cowboys no matter what, but I didn’t expect that they would play so badly.  And, wow, the Bengals suck.

The last second TD in the Carolina Panthers win over the Chargers was exciting even though I don’t care much for either team.  But G_d, I sure do love my NFL Sunday Ticketfrom DirecTV…

I am heartsick for Tom Brady.  As much pain as he has caused me and my beloved Steelers, I still respect the hell out of the guy.  However, I do not feel the least bit sad for the Patriots.  I hate them.  But watch, they will probably find some way to still win their division and make the playoffs.  Bastards.  If something horrible were to happen to my beloved Big Ben, the Steelers would wither and die with Byron Leftwich as the back up.  He was horrible in the 4th quarter mop up yesterday.

You know, I really don’t care for watching football games played on fields that are also baseball fields, ie, the Raiders and the Dolphins.  It is not visually pleasing.

After watching Ohio State on Saturday, I feel pretty confident in saying they are going to get a spanking next week when they play USC.

Notre Dame’s QB, Jimmy Clausen, needs a hair cut.

Water is important…

We haven’t had much rain here in northeast Ohio during the month of August.  We had maybe two days with some rain, but it always came early in the morning and lasted just an hour or two.  Our grass is almost all brown now.  A lot of our plants are suffering. 

I don’t water the lawn like some people choose to do.  I feel guilty when I hook up the sprinkler and turn on the faucet.  I’ve tried it a couple of times, but usually, after a few minutes, I run back outside and turn off the water.  There are people on this earth who quench their thirst in the same filthy water where they and animals bathe.  There are people on this earth who have very limited access to water, water that they require just to survive.  Knowing those things, I have a difficult time watering my lawn and even my garden.  It seems selfish. 

Not that I am totally judging everyone else who chooses to water their lawns.  Them I judge only a little bit.  But if my family needed to survive on food grown in our garden, I would certainly water then.  I don’t know, maybe it is silly.  I just can’t get past that guilty feeling.

Over the weekend we had a problem with our plumbing and our water supply.  We actually ended up being without water for several days.  It was really difficult to not be able to wash my hands as often as I like or wash dishes as needed.  We couldn’t flush the toilets, which became disgusting faster than I could have imagined.  We couldn’t shower.  We had to purchase a dozen gallons of water from the Wal-Mart so that we could have drinking water for ourselves and the dogs.  We used it to clean ourselves as much as possible and S made the valiant effort to use it to wash her hair in the sink.  She is lucky to have short hair at the moment.  I couldn’t have tried it because my hair is too long and too thick.  I would never have gotten it rinsed.

The whole not being able to shower thing wasn’t horrible the first two days, but by the third day it was unbearable.  On the fourth day S started to freak out and I needed to come up with a plan.  I found the cheapest, closest motel and we checked in for the sole purpose of taking showers and using a toilet that flushed.  I wanted to check out as soon as we finished, but S said no.  She wanted the option of going back for a second shower and she didn’t like the idea or renting a motel room for an hour because that is so uncouth.  I didn’t really care, I just wanted her to be happy and making her happy at that moment was getting her clean.  We didn’t end up going back for the second round of showers though.

I drove back out to the motel this morning to check out.  $50.51 for two showers.  Not so bad considering S said the shower was the best feeling she’d ever had.  I hope she was exaggerating.

As of ten this morning, our water supply problem is repaired.  Thank you G_d.  I’ve been washing dishes, washing clothes and flushing the toilets like a crazy person since then.  I love water.