Friday, September 24, 2004

When inspiration hits...

I have to leave in 10 minutes to train developmentally disabled adults how to operate fire extinguishers (which is another posting entirely). I just read another wonderful post by flea at One Good Thing ( and am now inspired to write a quick couch-disposal story.

When my wife and I got married, 90% of the furniture we owned was hand-me-down or otherwise second (or third) hand. We did buy a new bedroom suite from Sears (not wanting to start our married life in debt, we bought a cheap set) . About a year into our marriage, we decided to take the plunge inot living room furnishings by purchasing a sofa and love seat set.

The set was blue and puffy. It was hard to move in and out of the apartment, townhouse, and two homes we've lived in since 1989. The sofa had reclining capabilities on each end, which made it great place to sit, but very heavy to move. It wore very well through 2 kids and 2 dogs, various illnesses, and all of the moves. It still was a great place to sit or lay down, but it's bulky design really overwhelmed our living room.

This year, after 14 years of service, we decided to buy a new sofa and loveseat. My small thrifty side hates to part with possessions that are still functional and in good condition, but the set was too heavy to try to take it downstairs, and we just needed a change. To dispose of "old blue", we hauled the set to my in-laws garage sale (Thanks, good neighbor Tom) and priced it to sell. I had no intention of taking it back home. In fact, I joked about hauling it into the alley and setting it ablaze if no one purchased it.

A young woman came to the garage sale and marvelled at the set. She called her husband and told him about our rock bottom price. She was so happy to get the OK to plunk down $85 for both pieces.

As she left, she said "I am so happy! My old set is falling apart, it's really junky. We've had it for FOURTEEN YEARS".

It's amazing how 14 years can be lived. Whether it be pride of ownership, or just plain overprotectiveness, we managed to keep our first sofa set in good condition throughout the years. I'll be thrilled to get 14 years out of the new set.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Yeah, Sure

Note to Dan Rather: Anyone can say "I'm sorry"; but it takes a real man (or journalist, or whatever) to say, "Mr President, I'm sorry".

I am an equal opportunity critic:

Listening to Mr Bush defend his war policies yesterday, he quoted Mr Kerry's position several times. After each quote, the audience made huge gasps, sighs, and other over-the-top groans to show their disdain of Mr Kerry's position. Enough of the make you appear "lambish". It's like those girls at the People's Choice Awards (I wish they'd call me. Lyle Lovett should win one of those awards, and then not show up to accept it) who shriek when a cutie pie actor walks on stage.

Remember the RINO's? Republican in Name Only's? The only thing worse than that are the Knee-jerk Republicans that blindly support whoever runs as a Republican (yes this is a vailed shot at the Keyes supporters out there).

Meanwhile, our Governor just destroyed the state education board (yippee) only to replace it with his lackeys (not-so-much yippee).

Note to Al-Queda: Take the masks off and behead your captives like real men. Schmucks.

(I changed my post to read "Schmucks" instead of a more crude perjorative. My mother would not appreciate my use of the original word.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Longtime, no hear

I received a new laptop at work, and it has taken about a month to get all the bugs out. So after a 4 weeek hiatus, I've returned to the 'blogwaves, ready to rant.

In the wake of the Jack Ryan near-sex scandal (where he didn't have any sex to be scandalous about, he only wanted to have scandalous sex), Republicans in Illinois could not find anyone with enough stones to run against the Undefeatable Barack Obama. I offered, but no one would respond to my e-mails. The state party leadership looked high and low, and higher and lower, and decided to ask Alan Keyes, erstwhile presidential candidate and radio talk show host from Maryland, if he would run for senate in Illinois. Forgetting, of course, that Alan Keyes took Hillary Clinton to task for "carpetbagging" in New York in 2000.

I guess the state party muckety mucks thought that if they ran an African-American candidate against Obama (who is an actual African American - his father was born on the continent and his mother is from the US) it might confuse all the Democratic voters--or at least take race out of the race. The strategy was simple: Expose Obama's extreme positions with a candidate with a conservative pedigree.

This strategy has failed because as it turns out, Mr. Keyes' positions on many campaign issues are even more extreme that Mr. Obama's! One of the first topics that Keyes threw out for consideration was slave reparations...I guess to challange Obama's "street cred". The problem is that Obama is not the descendant of former slaves (see note above) so he doesn't have a dog in the fight. Slavery was heinous...who can argue that? Mr. Keyes said that an income tax moritorium on slave descendants wouldn't cost the taxpayers any money. A rather short-sighted position, given that in order to make up for the taxes not paid by slave descendants, more taxes would have to be paid by others...costing something to the remaining tax payers. And who would pay the extra taxes? Probably the wealthy Republicans that Keyes is trying to represent.

Keyes has moved his campaign toward the far, far, far right--espousing theories about divine retribution against gay marriage, abortion, sidewalk spitting, and failure to use turn signals. We have yet to hear him address the issues that are important to flyover Illinoisans -- namely taxes, jobs, education, and domestic security.

It is nice to have "big thoughts" about morality and spirituality, but Maslow tells us that we need to address lower pyramid ideas first. Thanks to the economy and terrorism, our state (and our country) can no longer afford to focus on high-minded ideals. We need to work, eat, and have a safe place to live. Show me a candidate who will address these issues, and that candidate will earn my vote.