Daily Photo Log – Day 18, 19 – Relief, perhaps?

Day 18 Photo

This is an empty house.

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Teresa has fled the state seeking white powdery stuff that falls from the sky so that the kids can play in it.  She went to North Carolina with Christy to stay with Christy’s sister.  It was good timing, too, as they got another inch or so of the stuff once they got there, and the snow predicted for our homestead was underwhelming.  Christy had to go shopping for heavier winter coats for her and our boys before they left to be sure they could stay warm.  I asked Teresa today if they looked like a tick about to pop (homage to A Christmas Story, of course) and she said yes, but they were maneuverable.  They had to use a sled to cart the stuff up to the house because the driveway was too narrow and icy for the cars to park in.

I spent the night playing poker tournaments.  It was actually profitable.  I went to the YMCA to workout but they were closed for Martin Luther King, Jr Day.  Didn’t expect that, but I guess they are run by the county.

I decided to save some money last night and turn off the heat to the house and just use a space heater for the room I’m currently occupying.   This worked like a charm in my office.  In fact it got so hot I could probably have just made my own sauna.  When I moved into the master bedroom to sleep it was no longer such a good idea and I woke up cold a couple times throughout the night.  I’ll use the heat tonight.

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately on the ‘what-if’s’…. what if I lose my job, what would I do?  What do I want to do?  Is there anything I can start now maybe even on the side and maybe by the time that time comes around I’m ready for it?  What can I do to prepare for it beyond updating my resume?  Are any of my hobbies something I could actually market and turn into a career?  Any skills that if I learn it for several months and get some examples of my work would it help me get a job?  I have no answers.  I perused the Barnes and Noble computers and technology section.  I don’t really want to go back into coding. 

I’ve always been a ‘get along’ kind of guy, being able to get along somehow or another.  Right now I’m wondering if something happened would I be able to get along long enough… or would it be another bankruptcy, another set-back.  I’m finally in a job where I can see how it could lead to more, have real interest in it and want to work on it to make it happen and I’m afraid that it might be out of my control.

 

Day 18th Photo – Inauguration from Space

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I wrote the below to post on Facebook, and then chickened out.  When I post this blog it’ll publish to Facebook and some can follow the link here and read it, and that’s fine.  I didn’t want anyone there to think I was talking about them, though.  It was inspired mostly by watching all the tweets (http://www.twitter.com/artstanton) today during the inauguration.

Inauguration Day… Relief, Perhaps

No, I am not bursting with relief that finally Barack Obama has taken the job as President and can lead us to the Promised Land.  I don’t have anything against President Obama (am I allowed to hold a grudge against the syrupy media, though?).  He wasn’t my candidate, but I didn’t really feel like I had a dog in the race this election season.  No candidate really embodied my thoughts and ideas, nor made me feel their vision was the ‘right’ one.  Even if McCain had won I would probably feel similar suspicious optimism.

On the contrary, President Obama’s transition has been refreshing.  I love his use of the new media.  I love the engagement with the American people in the ‘change.gov’ website.  I respect him for keeping his BlackBerry (why this was such a story I do not know).  I think I have seen evidence that he is at least willing to take input on issues from all who care to bend his ear.  That’s been nice.  I do look forward to where he takes this inside the Presidency.  If for no other reason than I think we’ll see unprecedented access to the President.

Why am I happy that today is a new day?  Because I’ve been tired.  Tired for a long time.  Tired of all the griping about Bush and his administration’s policies.  I’m tired of the snarky one-liners about President Bush, Vice President Cheney and any of the other members of his administration.  I’m tired of the lack of respect that is evident for this man who was our President, and the man who was our Vice-President.  Tired of the off-handed quippy one-line insults that are impossible to avoid.  They’re on TV… they’re on Twitter… they’re on social media.

I don’t hold it against the people doing the quipping, nor am I saying stop the quipping.  I don’t hold that power, and I don’t think I would use it even if I did.  This is America after all, and everyone has a right to their opinion, and to voice their opinion.  It is hard, though, to see so many people disrepect someone who you hold in high esteem, even if you don’t agree with him.

No, I don’t agree with many things President George W. Bush did or enacted.  I don’t hate him for them, though.  I think George W. Bush’s presidency was determined less by his ideals and principals, and much more by circumstance.  The divisive Florida voting fiasco stained his calls for bipartisanship before he even placed his hand the Bible to be sworn in as President.  And then 9/11 changed the focus from any domestic agenda squarely on domestic security.

But as President Bush said in his farewell speech, tough decisions were made.  I’m not sure that it was really possible for there to be "right" outcomes of many of those decisions, and I’m fairly confident that no matter what President Bush did, his detractors and opponents would have found some way to explain to him how wrong he was and how right they’d been all along (even if they had been saying the same thing several years earlier).

I have an incredible respect for the man, George W. Bush.  His presidency of circumstance was thrust upon him and he did what he felt was required to make Americans feel secure, and live our lives as we choose.  And we do feel secure.  Obviously, as Americans gathered in untold numbers in Washington D.C. to see a brand new day.  That spoke volumes to me.  Not just for how people felt about Barack Obama, but at the job that George W. Bush has done since September 11, 2001.

Plus I think President Bush showed true class in handling the transition with President Obama.

It is a new day… and finally, just maybe the George W. Bush quips, barbs and one-liners will fade away (I don’t expect them to stop cold turkey… habits can be tough to break) and we can all concentrate on the issues, move forward, and put the hate behind us.  Will we work together?  Perhaps not completely, but maybe a little bit better than in the past.

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