Authors Posts by Brainy Smurf

Brainy Smurf

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I'm three apples high and nearsighted. I like yellow-haired smurfs, robot invasions, sarcasm, and anything where the secret ingredient is love.

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Coach McLellanOver the weekend I learned of the passing of my high school track coach.

He was 77 years old and in a nursing facility due to Alzheimer’s.

I call him my track coach but he was better known in Connecticut as a legendary football coach as well as “the” gym teacher at my hometown’s high school.

He started at the school in the early 1960’s.

Now, by the time I was in high school, in the 1990’s, he was like something you’d only seen in nostalgic “good old days” movies.

Big chested, big square teeth, brush cut, whistle around the neck, clipboard in hand, and a booming voice that wasn’t overly loud but came through clearly as a growl more often than not.

He was the epitome of the classic high school football coach that doubled as the gym teacher

No simple task for an older John Wayne type to be surrounded by a bunch of Gen-X’ers slipping into the grunge era — it must have been confusing to him — but, man, did he ever command respect.

And he got it too.

He wasn’t your friend, he was your coach — whether you were on one of his teams or not.

I remember running track when all of the other teams had started wearing long mesh basketball style shorts and leaving their over-sized singlets untucked.

We’d step off the bus with our short shorts and singlets tucked in like we were competing in the 1948 Olympic Games.

One classmate of mine, upon hearing of his death, mentioned that he’d wanted to get an earring in high school really badly, had his parents approval and everything, but refrained for fear that Coach would rip it out and was, now 25 years later, happy that he’d made the decision not to get one.

I doubt Coach would have ever actually said something like that out loud but I 100% believe that that’s the way he thought.

Glenn McLellanOld school.

For real, he was straight out of the 1950’s…in 1991.

Thinking back, I can only think of one guy in our high school that made the mistake of getting an earring. I can think of around 30 that got one once they were out of high school and out of Coach’s view.

The man clearly had an impact.

So, back in February, a former student of his (way older than I) posted on Facebook that she was doing some sort of volunteer work with comfort/therapy dogs in South Carolina and she’d walked into a room and saw a familiar face — Coach McLellan.

She posted a picture of Coach, still looking like a big strong gym teacher, and mentioned that Coach was suffering from Alzheimer’s related dementia and that his wife thought it was wonderful to see him light up reliving the “old” days — all but ignoring the dog in the room.

With that, I contacted my fellow alum for some contact details and wrote Coach a letter…the old school way…on paper the very same day.

I’m glad I did.

Here it is…

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – |
Hi Coach!
My name is ##### ###### and I went to AHS from the Fall of 1990 through the Spring of 1994.

I was mostly a rec-level athlete growing up so by the time I was in high school, and in your gym class, my athletic endeavors were pretty much coming to a close.

As such, my moderate athletic abilities were pretty much unknown to everyone — myself included.

In Grade 9, I had gym class during seventh period — at the very end of the school day. The group in our class was an unsual mixture with a handful of kids from all four grades — something that didn’t usually occur for gym or any class, really.

Not sure if it was a scheduling mix-up or what — it was a weird situation but for a ninth grader coming in, it was pretty intimidating — especially for someone that wasn’t considered extraordinarily athletic.

One of my first memories of that gym class was when you paired us up in twos for two-on-two basketball.

Basketball was never a strength for me and I think that was obvious to you. You paired me up with DS (name removed but he went on to became a professional athlete).

Imagine that — a freshman paired up with a senior who just so happened to be the star of the soccer and basketball teams…and pretty much the most elite athlete to ever attend the school. Crazy.

As a result, I thought it was pretty neat that he even knew my name. And I’ve got to admit that his abilities on the court actually kinda made me look good too.

I also remember that when the floor hockey session eventually came around in gym, I was somehow forced to do recreational dance with B.T. (the female gym teacher) instead.

In fact, during my four years in high school — I never once got to play floor hockey in the gym; the one activity I knew I’d excel at.

But my fondest memory came in the Spring of my freshman year.

My parents had always said things like “Make the most of the opportunities presented to you” but I’d never really been able to apply that to anything in my life at that point.

It was the day we had to run the mile down on the track for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.

I’d always been “okay” at most of the tests — pull-ups were always very easy for me.

Running distance though, not so much.

So you had our whole class walk down to the track and set us off running.

Most of the girls walked.

The smokers walked slower.

I started off trying to stick with the “real” athletes like Larry, Ken, Jimmy and John (all jocks in the stereotypical sense) and was doing a pretty good job sticking with them.

Then I started to pull away from them.

And then I lapped them.

I remember thinking in my head as I began the fourth lap, “What on earth is happening?”

Seriously, it was like no one else was even trying…except they were.

The guy in the converse high-tops and argyle socks that couldn’t shoot a basket, was horrible at volleyball, and mediocre at soccer, should not have been leading the field.

By OVER a lap!

I remember crossing the finish line winded and you coming right over with the watch in your hand and a grin on your face and saying, “Brainy… you’re on my track team now.”

Perhaps it was my very first runner’s “high” but I really thought you were kidding.

That is, until we went back up to the school and you showed me where the track locker room (which I’d always thought was just for football) was.

Not even taking off my gym clothes, I went to the pay phone to call my dad — “I’d need to be picked up later. I’m joining the track team!

Now, it was kinda awkward to be the new guy on a team with so many upperclassmen.

And being the new guy who didn’t appear to have much athletic ability made it even more unnerving for me. And joining the team mid-season? Well, that was unheard of. And it certainly didn’t help that I was a little bit shy too…

But you took me into that locker room, introduced me to everyone and pretty much set my mind at ease.

Actually, I was scared shitless and felt really, really, out of place. I didn’t feel I’d truly earned the full backing of Coach McLellan, the legendary High School football coach.

But you did back me. 100%.

Even though you didn’t coach the distance runners directly, you made sure I was taken care of — and I can’t thank you enough for that.

That weekend, I went out with my dad and we bought some running shoes — really ugly Asics with horrible green and highlighter yellow trim that totally clashed with our uniforms.

Three school days later, I was on a bus to Stafford or Tolland or somesuch other outpost in Connecticut for a track meet and running the very first event of the meet and as the only runner from our school.

I finished “in the points” and, being my first real race, it was a personal best.

On the bus ride home, I sat with Joe Gillis — nicest guy around — and I remember thinking… I’d have been home watching tv with parents right now… but instead I’m a valued member of the track team and sitting with a popular senior on the bus talking about how we did in our events.

For a ninth grader, that’s a big deal.

So as the weeks passed, I got better and better, and started doing more of the distance events — all of them actually — and by the end of the season, the 5000-meter was “my” event and I was finishing first with consistency and qualified for the State Open.

Somehow, a couple of freshman, Jeff and I, had managed to reel in and surpass every other distance runner on the team. It was really neat to have guys who, weeks prior, wouldn’t even so much as look at me in the hallway at school, darting back and fourth across the football field cheering me on by name for both straightaways.

While I was pretty much a non-factor at States… as a team, we won the State Title in 1991. What an awesome bus right home that was from East Hartford…

Now, still not really feeling comfortable with my place on the team, I skipped the team banquet that year.

Man, you got in my face about that at my next gym class, called me into your office down in the locker room, gave me my JV letter, shook my hand, smiled, and told me not to skip another one in an almost silent tone that only an intimidating football coach could.

The following fall, instead of hanging out at home, I joined the cross country team.

And then I did track again. And then cross country. And then track again and so on wracking up six varsity letters and adding another State Championship in 1994 — when I was a factor.

Not to bad for the seemingly unathletic kid that played tuba in the band and rode the “loser cruiser” to school each and every day.

Oh, and for the record, I never skipped another team banquet.

Now, my parents were never really athletic. I’m not sure there’s an athletic bone in my Mom’s body. My dad was more of a musician who ending up working for one of the insurance companies. But what man doesn’t want to be good at sports?

My dad died back in 2010 but my fondest memories of him are how he’d show up at every single track meet — you know where we had crowds that could be counted on a single hand — to watch his son outrun everybody.

He was beaming with pride sitting on those bleachers next to the tower hearing all of the guys cheer me on as I boringly ran in a big circle twelve and a half times, then four times, and then, later, another eight times.

I can still picture the look on his face saying, “Yep, that’s my kid.”

I went two seasons without losing a single race at home. I think the only time I wasn’t the first across the line was at one of the invitationals we went to. Talk about a personal confidence booster.

And that’s 100% on you, Coach.

I sometimes wonder if teachers even know when they’re “making” one of those moments for their students.

Sure, I may have drawn attention to myself on my own that day in gym but you took it upon yourself to make it more — and gave me the confident backing to really apply myself.

Further, after you’d passed the coaching reins on to Kurt — he pushed the same type of confidence on entering me in invitational meets with times well beyond what I’d ever done.

4:18 mile? Me? I can’t do that.

I did it.

Confidence is a crazy thing.

My life would have been *so* much different had I not gotten involved with that track team. Err, had you not forced me to get involved with that track team.

No way would I have been “rounded” enough to somehow find myself in the National Honor Society. No way would I have ever considered myself athletic scholarship material. No way would I have even had a girlfriend in high school.

It’s amazing, just a few months ago the Class of ’94 had our 20th reunion.

At heart, I still kinda of define my high school self as the dorky tuba player in the band that didn’t talk much… But the reality is that most people remembered me as a really fast runner. That’s a pretty cool high school legacy for someone like me. Something I’m really proud of even if I still find it difficult to believe.

Thank you for noticing and forcing me to pursue something that I was naturally good at. Something that I didn’t even know I could do and something that, had you not “put” me on the track team that day, something that I never in a million years would have pursued on my own.

You gave me my first opportunity — my first big break — and I certainly rode it as far as I could. And I’ll tell you, I’ve taken advantage of every other opportunity that first once opened me up to.

Thanks so much Coach!

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SunSo, it’s a super hot and humid summer day and you decide to take the kids to the local splash pad to cool off and play in the water a bit.

For the older set, a splash pad is essentially a “fountain” that kids can play in — water shooting up out of the ground in different fun patterns.

Lot of municipalities have them now — my town has three of them because they’re relatively inexpensive to build and operate and, unlike public pools, there’s essentially ZERO risk of drowning.

It’s the modern version of “running through the sprinkler.”

On the hottest days of the summer, they’re almost always full of young children splashing away, surrounded by watchful parents just waiting for their own child to take a tumble and scrape their knees.

Here’s a photo to give you a better idea…

Spash Pad

Oh, did you notice something?

Something very much out of place?

What is it that the long haired gentleman, surrounded by young children, has on his waistband?

Yep, that’s EXACTLY what you think it is…

Full disclosure, I didn’t take this picture. One of my friends from university took the photo while she was at the splash pad with her kids.

But her reaction was the same as mine would have been…

“C’mon kids, we’re leaving…now.

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New Worth 2015-07I often say that “Data Don’t Lie” but sometimes it’ll really surprise you.

The fact that I squeezed out a positive number last month is quite shocking to me as it was a month when my property taxes were due and I guess I kinda felt like I was spending…and spending…and spending some more each month.

So, just a few explanations on the movers and shakers…

The savings dropped so much because, as I mentioned, my property taxes were due. I don’t have my real estate property taxes built in to my mortgage which basically means that my mortgage payment doesn’t have anything going into an escrow account.

The upside is that my mortgage payment is under $500 per month and stays the same regardless of whether taxes go up or down. The downside is that, twice per year, I need to pay my taxes myself — out of pocket.

If you’re pretty good with your money, it might be something to look in to. I love it.

Connecticut, the state where I live, also applies a property tax to automobiles so those were paid too.

On the liabilities side of things, I’m thrilled to report that I knocked another $2800 off of the auto loan.

The downside is that when I started rapidly paying that balance down (from $11k), I had pretty much zero credit card debt. Now I have over $7k owed at a relatively high interest rate.

It’s okay, though. (I’ve explained my reasoning in the past)

A few more weeks down the road when the auto loan is gone, the credit card balances will start to fall quickly.

I’m on the right track.

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Black & WhiteSitting against the wall in the hallway waiting for class to start back in 1981, I often sat next to a kid named Ricky Shah who was really the first “friend” I made when I started kindergarten.

Alphabetically, I think we were unknowingly forced to sit next to one another, actually.

Ricky used to wear loafers to school which meant he could do these really awesome (and often inadvertant) slides on the pavement and in the hallways.

Aside from being the only kid from school to be invited to his birthday party, it’s the loafers that I remember best. The kid had style.

I haven’t seen him in over 30 years — he acknowledged he didn’t remember me at all on Facebook a few years back after an attempted friend request (denied) — but I’d bet he still wears some really nice shoes.

Though we’d never met prior, we lived in the same area so we rode on the same bus. As a result, the two of us arrived (and left) school at the same time…and we both had some idle time both before and after school.

So, sitting there, we’d compare the palms of our hands (things kids did in 1981, you know, before cell phones), which looked pretty darn similar, and then flip our hands over and both state the obvious… “You’re a different color than me.

I was born in Canada in the 1970’s. Back then, it was comically called the Great White North by Bob and Doug McKenzie and it had absolutely nothing to do with skin color but, really, Canada was pretty white. I’m not sure I’d really EVER seen anyone that was a different color.

And that’s the thing, as a 5-year old, sitting there in the hallway, I didn’t think negatively or positively of Ricky (who happened to be of Indian descent…I think?). Didn’t phase me one way or the other.

I’d say the same held true for him — we were totally equal.

Different colours but, well, both wicked cool kindergartners living it up in the suburbs of Chicago.

I mention all of this because, three times, my oldest son Duncan (who just finished kindergarten in June) took out a book about Jackie Robinson from the library at school.

I know it’s 100% because of the picture on the cover cause, I mean, clearly, every book *can* be judged by it’s cover.

No question on that.

In this case, there’s a baseball player on the cover — a folk art style painting of what I could only assume is Jackie swinging the bat.

Now, Duncan takes a lot of pride in reading and, thankfully, so far, he kind of likes to show off his ability to read by reading outloud to either me, my wife, or one of his younger brothers.

I opened the book when he’d originally brought it home and the first page — before the title page even, shows an illustration of a sign on a chain link fence that reads boldly, “NO BLACKS ALLOWED”.

Um, yeah, we’re not going to read this book.

I already know what he’ll say… First, “What are blacks?” and secondly, “Why aren’t they allowed?”.

The first question, I have no problem answering.

“Blacks are the people that you say are brown.”

He’d counter, “But they’re not black, they’re brown…”

“You’re right, they’re not black. It’s kind of how you and me are called white even though we’re not really white. Get it?”

“Um, no. Wait, we’re white?”

So even before getting to that second question, why blacks aren’t allowed on a baseball field, we’re already on a slipperly slope with “names” and “labels” for things that really don’t make a lot of sense.

I’m not prepared to answer the second question anyway…to a five (now six) year old.

If I had my way, I’d prefer to NEVER answer it because, in his view of the world, everyone would be allowed on any baseball field — including the blue people from Avatar, Mickey Mouse, RoboCop, Adam Levine, and all four Ninja Turtles.

Maybe that makes me an irresponsible parent?

I do know that, for sure, there isn’t a single cell of racism in his brain. Not one.

He doesn’t think he’s better than anyone just because of his color. He’s not worse than anyone just because of his color either. He’s just him.

Teaching him that, not so long ago — and in some cases still to this day (thanks, South Carolina), black people were considered inferior would plant a seed for something I’m pretty sure no one really wants to grow.

You can’t change the past.

Not totally certain where I stand on all of this…

We shouldn’t forget the past, certainly, because we can learn from it…but by “over” referencing or teaching it, well, those same mistakes of the past just keep continuing…

Clearly, racism is taught.

Homophobia is taught.

The “every Muslim is a terrorist” paranoia is taught.

Stereotypes, while usually based on reality, in my opinion, are also taught.

Sorry Virginia drivers, you suck at driving. That’s a fact. (this post would not be complete without referencing a seven year old rant.)

But, seriously, the kids today probably shouldn’t be made aware of the horrible things that happened in the past. Not at age 5, anyway…

My kids talk to a woman with no hair — I don’t know if she’s sick or just chooses to wear it that way — but my kids don’t see or think of her any differently than someone with a full head of hair.

Just yesterday we ended up behind an old man using a walker — my middle son blurted out, “Hey, I want one of those!” within earshot. I’m pretty certain, he really does want a walker — tennis balls on the feet and everything.

And, yeah, they’ll gawk at the guy at the gas station that only has one leg or the midget at the grocery store but not as a cripple or something that should be harnessed up and tossed into a wrestling ring. It’s because they’re awesome to look at.

They don’t judge at all — people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, hairstyles, etc. and they’re totally fine with that — accepting it as “normal”.

Not even accepting it, that’s the way it is. Plain and simple.

I’d prefer to keep it that way for as long as I can…and hopefully a lot of parents out there do the same.

Maybe, then, when these guys are adults, everyone will be a lot more forgiving of things that were once, incorrectly, perceived.

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Car LeaseIn the past I’ve gone on and on about how leasing a car is a terrible idea from a financial point of view.

I made the mistake, once, almost 20 years ago now.

I went so far over the mileage limit (auto leases usually put a limitation on the number of miles you can put on the vehicle each year), I had no choice but to purchase the car as the lease was expiring.

In the end, it worked out for me as I probably should have bought the car right from the get-go but didn’t have the funds for that to happen (or the credit history — requiring my dad to co-sign)…which is why I went with the lease option.

Fast forward to today and, well, things have drastically changed.

I have the funds available to purchase pretty much any vehicle I’d like — all the way up to an entry level Lamborghini.

So here I am, in the final days (yes, days), of my most recent auto loan — and I’m looking at my currently daily driver (a 2005 Scion xA) and thinking, hmmmmm, will I get through another winter with this thing?

I’m not certain.

While it hasn’t let me know…yet…it also fails to give me that “reliable transportation” feeling lately. I’m often quite prepared for it to just, you know, die at the next stop light.

Another shortcoming, and really the biggest of them all, is that in 2005 I was a single guy. Now I have a family of five…and a car that can only seat four comfortably.

With that forcing my hand, I need a bigger and more reliable ride…sooner rather than later.

And that brings my back to my finances…

With it still fresh in my mind (from the loan I’m eliminating now) that a roughly $25k loan equates to a $450 payment and my complete disdain to, you know, continue making $450 payments (weekly, no less) seemingly indefinitely AND the fact that, deep in my heart, I know this next vehicle will simply be a stop-gap until I can get the car I’d really like, well, the lease offers out there are really, really, enticing.

New car with a smaller payment than what I’m paying now and…no huge new debt taken on.

Financially, today, for me, that sounds pretty great.

Hang with me here, I’m trying to convince myself that it’s okay to lease…

Now, about those mileage limitations…well, I don’t foresee those being an issue.

See, when I was in my early 20’s, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to, you know, drive to Ohio for lunch or whatever.

In the last decade, I haven’t driven 500 miles for lunch…yet.

Further, I now live less than 2 miles from the places I visit most often (work, elementary school, and daycare) so clocking under the mileage limit shouldn’t be an issue. And…I have two other vehicles that I OWN should I start getting close to making it cost prohibitive.

So, here’s what I’m thinking off of the top of my head right now.

The “new” car has to be reliable. Duh.

It has to fit my entire family and an assortment of hockey equipment comfortably.

And it has to cost me less than the Swagger Wagon has been costing me.

Notice that I did not say it had to look cool. Or fit in the new garage I’ll be having built. Or last a long time.

Stop-gap, remember? Once this thing is gone and my kids are out of their enormous car seats, I can go back and get another Land Rover like I really want.

For now, though, I’m leaning towards the Ford Transit.

A what?

Sure, you’ve never heard of it but, trust me, you’ve seen them. They look like delivery trucks. Plumbers and electricians use them. Florists. Kind of like the modern day version of a panel cargo van — somewhere between a regular old school van and a full blown box truck.

But here’s the thing — you can also get them with windows and seats in the back making them look more like handicapped vans or shuttle buses.

Ford Transit Titanium

Hardly cool — for real, it’s another Swagger Wagon — but way, way, practical.

And amazingly affordable too…

Hmmmmm….

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MolassesThroughout my years in high school running cross country and long distance on the track, the coaches would often say things like “finish strong”.

Not such an easy task when you’ve already gone around the track a dozen times as fast as you could and are on your last legs.

My finishing “kick” could only be described as “slow as molasses in February”.

No joke, my track coach called me that.

Frequently.

ALL FOUR YEARS.

Thankfully my pace for the previous dozen or so laps greatly exceeded nearly all of my competitors so it was pretty rare event that I’d actually “need” to finish strong.

In fact, I can only remember having to actually sprint down the final straightaway once… ever.

I lost, obviously, you know, being slow as molasses in February…

So here I am, fourteen weeks into my aggressive auto loan payment plan and the finishline is in sight.

I’m excited to rid myself of this monthly, err, weekly bill.

But like on the track 20+ years ago, even though I’m nearly done, I’m worn out.

My checking balance has fallen to the point that, well, I probably should be “re-arranging” some payment dates or dipping into my savings so as to not only avoid fees but also maintain my own personal finance standards of pretty much always being a month ahead of myself.

Basically, the extra payments I’ve been making, while painful from day one, are really getting to the point that they’re crippling.

Okay, crippling is too strong of a word.

They’re restrictive, I guess. I treading water, yes, but slowly sinking. Not sure how much longer I’ll last…

But I’m not suspending the payments.

I’m too close.

And based on my past experiences, the moment you start to veer of course and start making excuses, well, you lose.

I might not have the kick I thought I’d have for these last few weeks of payments (in fact, I thought I’d pay it off by August at one point), my fast pace will get me there soon enough.

Just over $3000 to go…

– – – – – – – – –

PIAC Tangent
Usain BoltIt’s funny, the first time a coach yelled that on my final lap, I was thinking, “Huh? Does he want me to flex on the straightaway?”

Seemed like a goofy request considering I’d already lapped the competition…

Finish strong?

Dude, I’m so far ahead, I could start walking and still finish first.

But here’s the thing if you’ve never really watched distance running… The further you go, the more your “form” breaks down. Your shoulders start to rise, you bend your elbows more, your head flops around, and you start taking smaller and shorter steps.

Even marathon runners run like Usain Bolt at the start. Twenty six miles later, only the really elite ones still have that form.

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IranJust for one minute, I wish the average person living in America would listen to both sides of the story. Like, really listen.

The polarization in this country is at a comical level.

Just this past week, open enrollment for health insurance came and went with the usual groans about more and more being taken out of each paycheck to cover health insurance.

I find it comical that they still call health insurance a “benefit”.

Anyway, one co-worker outwardly denounced Obamacare left and right — apparently to blame, in their eyes, for our insurance premiums going up — and then proclaimed that they’d be better off moving to Canada.

Wow…

I mean, those two stances are complete opposites.

You can’t stand on both sides of that fence… except here in America where the average Joe (and Jane) often times have no idea what they’re talking about.

If Obamacare were actually what it’s supposed to be (and what Obama would actually like it to be), the healthcare system in this country would be just like it is in Canada.

Get it?

So, supporting Obamacare (the way it was originally proposed) would ELIMINATE your health insurance premiums.

Yeah, gone. ZERO. Like, a “real” benefit to paying taxes (which is how the Canadian government pays for it all).

It’s not Obama’s fault you’re paying more for health insurance — he tried to make it so that it would be FREE. For everyone.

How that fact is lost on so many is a real mystery. And how anyone could be so passionately against such an idea is also very puzzling.

A no-brainer, really.

And that brings me to the past few weeks and the whole Iran thing.

I don’t even want to get started down the path of how or why the United States thinks it has the right to decide which countries get to progress and which don’t.

Iran or not, it’s a very un-American way of doing business taking on the global role of judge, jury, and executioner.

Anyway… watching tv this week, it’s been nothing but a long line of conservative Republicans eating up air time as they growl on (still?!) about the Iran nuke deal.

But here’s the thing — it is a good deal.

No, it’s not a perfect deal but it’s a hell of a lot better than no deal at all — which is what Republicans on their soap boxes are trying to turn it into.

And that’s hilarious to me, someone who actually LISTENS, and here’s why…

Republicans or Democrats in this country often say things simply to keep power, whether it’s the specific office they hold or just towing the party line — a HUGE flaw in the two-party political system.

In other words, the conservative Republican office holders on tv are likely wise enough to know that the nuclear arms deal with Iran is a good one but will still vow to defeat it publicly.

Their brain numb constituents, the base, eat it up and vow to vote their reps in over and over again.

Whether or not the conservative Republican office holder thinks it’s a good deal is irrelevant in this case as it’s a no lose situation and that’s because President Obama has already said he’ll veto any attempt to defeat the deal.

Republicans in Congress don’t have the votes to override a Presidential veto so… the deal gets done not matter what, even if they make a big scene during the process.

Of course, being seasoned politicians, they already know that but they’re counting on the fact that YOU don’t know that.

So, even though they likely actually SUPPORT the deal, they’ll continue opposing anything Obama does simply for political reasons.

It’s stupid.

Sure, Obama wins because the world will be a mildly safer place for next decade and the Republicans get to rile up their base just before an election cycle opposing it.

But it also makes our country looking incredibly petty on the world stage… (the deal is NOT just between the US and Iran like it’s portrayed — that’s all propaganda.)

I mean, this deal is clearly better than no deal yet our government (the Republican led Congress, actually) is going to reject it simply for political theater.

Ridiculous.

I guess to the average Republican voter, narrowing the “Axis of Evil” down to just North Korea is a bad thing.

Does that mean the Democrats would promote adding to the “Axis of Evil”

Sadly, if a Democrat weren’t in the White House today, the answer would be “Yes!”

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Oh, you forgot about him? Well, as a quick recap, we added our third child back in January, another son, and he came out, well, less than perfect.

For real, I heard the words “birth defect” in the delivery room.

Not cool. Not cool at all…

He was tested for this and tested for that.

He even had a toe removed back in May.

Crazy, right?

Here he is just a few days ago:
Baby in a Bumbo Seat

Go ahead, count the toes, if you must. I’ll wait.

Thankfully, there isn’t *really* anything wrong with him that can’t be fixed.

As such, today we spent the day going from one waiting room to another in the local children’s hospital.

AbacusYou know, for a children’s hospital, you’d think they’ve have better waiting rooms. Not that I’ve ever really found the “perfect” waiting room in all of my adventures in waiting but, really, a children’s hospital of all places should have children friendly waiting rooms.

No, sorry, a fancy abacus looking thing in the corner doesn’t cut it in 2015.

Anyway, we signed off on all of the forms with doctor and spoke with the anesthesiologist too.

Long (and purposely vague) story short, the poor little guy is going under the knife for a 4-hour procedure on August 28.

As a parent, it’s a pretty scary thought to imagine putting your infant under anesthesia…

You want to talk about a horrible waiting room experience? Yeah, get back to me on the 28th…

But by that evening, he’ll be as good as new. Well, almost.

Hey, at least he won’t remember any of this.

Can You Dig It?

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