Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Freedom From Want It's cold and gray outside.  There is a hint of woodsmoke in the air. Geese honk softly above.  It's Thanksgiving in America.  While this has not been an easy year For Another Delco Guy, there is still much to be thankful for.

The recession finally directly visited our doorstep this year as Char lost her job in July in the wake of Gov. Chris "Chainsaw" Christie's budget cuts to schools across our state.  Through a ton of work and perseverance on her part, she has found new work since then, but it's been a struggle in a lot of ways.

We had to take the kids out of the schools they love a few weeks back, but they are adjusting to their "new normal" and have really been an inspiration to me as I have been rolling with this year's punches.  There is nothing in my life I am as thankful for as the love that John and Emma bring to our home.  Wether it's dancing with joy on stage or triumphantly striking out the side, they are really amazing children who have brought us so much laughter and happiness.

I'm a pretty lucky guy.  I've got a solid job at a great place.  I was able to get an education that has given me virtually everything I could have hoped for in life.  I am able to write, travel and live pretty much as I please.  My freedoms are protected by the service of men and women who I have never met and who place themselves in harm's way for my family and our country.  I thank them today for their service to our nation.  I also thank all the teachers and mentors who have helped me at every stop in my life.  I may not be where I thought I would be, but where I am is a pretty darn good spot!

The men and women who, in 1620, came to what would become the United States left everything they knew, persevered though horrible weather and hardships that make my life look regal.  After the harvest of 1621, the remaining colonists gathered with the local native Americans and shared a simple meal.  From that first peaceful meal, grew the Thanksgiving tradition we have today.  The values that they set forth then, of shared sacrifice, hard work, freedom of choice and providing for a community's education and defense are the foundations of our great country today.

A small tradition here at Another Delco Guy is Norman Rockwell's Freedom from Want, which always graces our page on Thanksgiving.  It reminds me of the great Thanksgivings of my childhood in my grandparent's house back in Delaware County.  This is our fifth Thanksgiving day post and Norman has been here since the beginning.  I am thankful for a childhood that taught me to not take anything for granted.  My parents and grandparents worked hard to make sure that we had all that we needed and then some.  I hope I can do as well for my children.

Today is my favorite holiday.  We will be surrounded by family and friends who will come from far and wide to our little house with their offerings of food and friendship.  All of those who will be here and the family and friends who are celebrating elsewhere but have been so incredible to me over the years are the reason that my life is great and Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year.  We will celebrate each others company, watch football, remember those who can't be here, become thoughtful about all that we have to give thanks for and finally fall asleep against each other in front of the fire. 

And that's the way it should be.  Happy Thanksgiving America!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunset in Mount Laurel

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This beautiful scene greeted me from my deck this afternoon.  It's a fitting end to a day that featured me running hither and yon, first to work then to PTA conferences and now resting at home.

I still have not adjusted to the time change and getting home in the dark, so it's nice to be here a bit early today and watch the sun go down over the back forty.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Everything is Good Until You Try To Film A Movie

Jason Stratham is in Center City Philly tonight filming his latest thriller and I am sitting in traffic because of it.


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Thursday, November 04, 2010

I'm Confused

I don't talk politics much on this website.  While I was brought up in a house where politics was a regular part of the dinner table, the back yard and virtually every other discussion held, I have learned that talking about government and elections is not for the faint ot heart.  I guess it's also that I am somewhat of the political anomaly, that rare social liberal and economic conservative.  Since I don't run into many folks that agree with my flat-tax, pro-marriage rights platform, I tend to keep things to myself.

So I have been sitting on my thoughts about Tuesday's massacre election for a few days and I have finally been moved to write.  My apologies to those at work and at home that have already heard a condensed form of this diatribe, but here goes. 

Can some explain to me how it's possible that every Democrat running for everything from dog catcher to US Senate got sent home on Tuesday night unemployed except the guy running against the woman who went on TV to proclaim that she is not a witch?  How is it possible that a major political party can so badly screw up an election that they manage to lose the US House, virtually every governor's race, every contested state house and a vast majority of local elections as well?

To make it even worse, the Democrats lost all this ground from the majority position, taking no advantage of their incumbency or experience, but instead were content to have the fight taken to them on every front by candidates with less experience and frankly less compelling reason to be in government.

Let's look at things from this perspective.  How is it possible that a party that accomplished so much in less than two years was sent home early from the dance Tuesday night, without so much as a whimper?  Are you really going to tell me that the Majority Leader of the Senate barely holding his seat in Nevada is a big win? Are you frigging kidding me?!?  Come on!!!  How did you get into the position where your top legislative guy is scrambling for his political life?

It's not like the Democratic Congress and White House have been sitting around for the last few years!  They've actually accomplished a surprising amount.  Here are a few highlights:

Seems like quite a list.  Even if you don't necessarily agree with the accomplishments, the Democrats got a lot done didn't they?  And the feats are made all the more impressive by the fact that they did it without the support of the Republicans, who tried to block nearly every accomplishment with partisan politics, just because they could.

So how did these guys lose?

It's pretty simple really.  They let the other team dictate the game. 

Instead of campaigning on how The Shrub Bush left them a mess that they are working hard to clean up, the Dems were content to get pounded by the Reps for "passing a $700 billion stimulus."  No matter that $200 billion of that money was tax cuts, the Republican's Holy Grail.  Obviously the cuts didn't go to the right people.

Instead of pointing out that they passed a program providing free health care for every American Citizen, the Dems sat back and let themselves get pounded for "Obamacare."  Did anyone in 2008 really think that the American health care system was working?  Nope.  These guys did something about it.

Everyone wanted us out of Iraq.  We're out.  Strangely, no one mentioned this.  Maybe because we really didn't really accomplish the mission and we're all kind of perplexed at how we didn't despite spending over $3 trillion and countless American lives.  Kind of makes the stimulus plan look small , huh?

Still, despite being left the biggest economic mess in history by the bush administration, fighting wars on two fronts, cleaning up a natural disaster created by a foreign company and having to do it solo, the Democrats somehow decided that they had not done enough to run a campaign.  Instead they let the campaign run them.

I was at a loss as to how this was possible until I saw Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine on national TV on Tuesday night trying to explain what the loss meant.  His meandering answer didn't mention a single issue.  Instead he talked about having to "look inside the numbers" and "see how things look in a few days."  It was like listening to Andy Reid after a loss.

In a few days it's going to look like Tim Kaine is the most ineffective campaign coordinator since King Phillip of Spain.  The numbers are going to tell him that he squandered an opportunity to attack a badly divided Republican party and has left his own party crippled for decades to come as a result.

My final question is this, "If some guy in his study in Mount Laurel, New Jersey can figure this out, how come all those highly paid Democratic strategists can't?"  I won't say that I thought that the Dems had all of the best candidates.  In fact, there were plenty of Republicans that I did vote for and would have voted for if I lived elsewhere.  What I will say is that I can't believe that one team decided just to sit this one out and see what happened. 

What happened?  Y'all got your ass handed to you.  The map is red from one side to the other.  California even voted down legal weed.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Happy Birthday Emma!


Emma Reads Her Card
Originally uploaded by Cavalier92

Emma is Seven! The days of me having to read Emma her birthday cards are gone and she is no longer a tiny little thing. She is a big first grader now and can read her cards all on her own!

Far from the tiny thing she was when she was born, Emma is now a poised, mature seven year old who enjoys her dance classes, drawing and coloring, cooking and taking care of her babies.

She likes all of her gifts this morning, from a new dress and some things for her Zhu Zhu pet to do as well as the new Tinkerbell DVD from her brother.

Emma is a sweet girl who makes us all happy with her smiles and her great hugs. Happy birthday Princess!