Thursday, February 28, 2008


Next Tuesday is a big deal here in O-HI-O.

It is hard to miss - from the media - that it's do or die for one of the democratic frontrunners.

I am an advocate for change. I think "hope" is a good thing. I think if you inspire millions of people to press for change then the tide is much more difficult to stop with "business as usual."

We want/need to elect a leader who has a real mandate for change. It's been so long since we had a leader with a mandate from the people of this country that we are not sure what that looks like.

For the first time in a long time we are giving a candidate a mandate for change. We are telling Washington - we back this guy and don't stand in his way or the tide will rip the legs out from under you.

I am not making any predictions, the race is too close, but I feel that this is right. My hope is that my friends and family will be as inspired as I am and for good reason. Obama is the real deal.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Is The Surge Working?

It's time we stopped and asked the question...

Micheal Kinsey writes in his Washington Post opinion column: "The test is simple, and built into the concept of a surge: Has it allowed us to reduce troop levels to below where they were when it started?

And the answer is no.

"In fact, President Bush laid down the standard of success when he announced the surge more than a year ago: 'If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.'

At the time, there were about 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq. . .

"Today, there are still more than 150,000 American troops in Iraq. The official plan has been to get that number back down to 130,000 by July, and then to keep on going so that there would be about 100,000 American troops in Iraq by the time Bush leaves office.

"Just lately, though, General Petraeus has come up with another zen-like idea: he calls it a 'pause.'

And the administration has signed on, meaning that the total number of American troops in Iraq will remain at 130,000 for an undetermined period."

Let's just be honest...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pictures from Vermont

I took these last week...

See the snowmobile track on the pond....

These were taken early Sunday morning... just as the sun was rising over the mountain

The deck gives you an idea of the snow that has fallen just in February

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fire on the Mountain

There has been over six feet on snow this season on the mountain in Vermont where we are building.

Since I last wrote, we have made a trip up and checked on the activity.

The electric is done and the plumbing is coming along. We ordered a couple of showers for the baths and talked about locations for appliances and fixtures.

The radiant heat is going in now. The house is completely insulated - in some places it's fiberglass and some places - sprayed on - foam insulation, kind of like the stuff that comes in a can.

The boiler is supposed to be in on Thursday and we could have heat in by the weekend.

The house will need a week to warm up enough to start hanging sheet rock. Once it is up, hung and dried then my brother-in-laws (3) have agreed to make the trip and help me prime and paint the place.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

While I was there, I went on a short snow mobile trip on the VAST trails (Vermont Association of Snow Travelers). It is a huge interconnecting system of snow mobile "highways" that cross private and public lands. It really is remarkable.

I went out right after a snowstorm and there was at least 8 inches of powder on top of about 4 feet of snow. The trees formed a cathedral over the trail everywhere I went. Everything in the backwoods glistened and sparkled.

We are fortunate that one of the VAST trails passes within a quarter mile of our camp.

After Sunday's ride, I suspect that we will have a snowmobile or two at our disposal once we are there fulltime.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I don’t believe that I have ever watched a film and then turned around and immediately watched it again until just recently. I just did this a few days ago.

The movie is called “Once” and if you’re are reading my blog then you need to watch this movie.

It’s a wonderful 88 minute story of how a boy and a girl meet and make some really incredible music together.

Set in Dublin – mostly on Grafton street – it is witty, sweet, and believable. Mostly because the actors are not actors but musicians.

I don’t want to say too much more about the movie except that I bought the sound track a few days ago and it’s at the top of my play lists right now.

Go to the official movie website (link is in the title above), leave it on the opening page and the soundtrack to the film will start playing. You can listen to the whole soundtrack this way as long as you have speakers in or connected to your computer.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Why Obama?

Because I want to move towards an end to absolutism and polarization.

“The traces of our long journey to this juncture can be found all around us. Its most obvious manifestation is political rhetoric. …Bill O’Reilly’s nightly screeds against anti-Americans on one channel, Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” on the other;’s “General Betray Us” on the one side, Ann Coulter’s Treason on the other; Michael Moore’s accusation of treason at the core of the Iraq War, Sean Hannity’s assertion of treason in the opposition to it.” ~ Andrew Sullivan

It’s a miserable country we live in. Too much extreme. If we are going to survive we need to end this divisiveness and mean-spiritedness. We need someone who will draw people to himself and not shove them away because of his rhetoric. I believe Obama will do everything in his power to change this dynamic.

Because I believe what he believes in regards to faith….

“One Sunday, I put on one of the few clean jackets I had, and went over to Trinity United Church of Christ on 95th Street on the South Side of Chicago. And I heard Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright deliver a sermon called “The Audacity of Hope.” And during the course of that sermon, he introduced me to someone named Jesus Christ. I learned that my sins could be redeemed. I learned that those things I was too weak to accomplish myself, he would accomplish with me if I placed my trust in him. And in time, I came to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death, but rather as an active, palpable agent in the world and in my own life.

It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity one day and affirm my Christian faith. It came about as a choice and not an epiphany. I didn’t fall out in church, as folks sometimes do. The questions I had didn’t magically disappear. The skeptical bent of my mind didn’t suddenly vanish. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side, I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to his will, and dedicated myself to discovering his truth and carrying out his works.” ~ Barack Obama

I think he completely changes the way the world views us for the better if he is president…

“I think Obama’s face, background, and identity, as representing America, reintroduces the country in a way—re-brands it in a way, that no other candidate’s could.” ~ Andrew Sullivan

We need radical change in the way we are perceived in this world. Right now we are not perceived appropriately. We are perceived as aggressors and imperialists.

I believe he offers real change…

There has been a Bush or a Clinton in the White House for the last 20 years – the two families have had a strangle hold on the country and the Presidency – do we really want to continue this for another 8 years? No more of the same.

It’s time for hope and change…