Thursday, July 31, 2008

speed bumps

I read somewhere that if you hold a pencil between your front teeth, sideways, without letting your lips touch the pencil, you will cheer up. It makes your brain think you're smiling. If you go out in public, of course, it makes a lot of other people smile, and that's good too. The trick is not to bite the pencil in half over a speedbump.

Speedbumps drive me crazy. They do not stop speeding, except at the point of impact. I, personally, hit the horn when I hit the bump, then speed away with squealing tires to release some anger. Some people believe that they reduce speeding, but they just reduce traffic in general. In other words, they move the problem over a block, until the people on that street get their own speedbumps because of the increase in traffic and speeders. This process fuels the perception that they work.

Politicians and homeowners' association officials like them because it makes the people think they are doing something. They don't like to be accused of doing nothing. Do something, even if it doesn't work. Our neighborhood is built around a big loop, so there is no other street to use to get to your house from anywhere.

There is also a perception that they will stop or reduce crime. I guess they think that criminals prefer smooth street for getaways, maybe even in a high-speed chase. I can just picture two masked guys in an unmarked van, slowing to read the sign that says, "Slow! Speedbumps ahead!" and turning around to find a smoother neighborhood. Even the burglars in our own neighborhood will go elsewhere to work.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Well, we're not supposed to discuss politics or religion in polite company, but I'm talking to myself here. It's my blog and I'll say what I want to.

I want to like both candidates better than I do. Flip-flops don't bother me a lot, because new information always comes along that we hope a candidate would listen to. A wise person said that "I wouldn't want to join a club that would invite me in." A corollary is that I wouldn't trust anyone who would actually want to be a politician, particularly a successful one. You have to sell a little bit of your soul to the devil or the party or the contributors to stay pure. Maybe pure is overrated anyhow.

Confucius said something like "To know that you know what you know, and to know that you don't know what you don't know, is true wisdom." I don't know, for example, why McCain is so reluctant to put any distance between himself and George. He is giving George credit for lowering the price of oil by $3.00 a barrel by announcing his support for offshore drilling, and joining that support. What about the fact that the price of oil went from $28.00 to $143.00 in George's watch? Just being practical, support for offshore drilling may cost McCain the Florida vote, because we're nuts about our Gulf.

Another thing I don't know is why Obama doesn't do more to counter the internet chatter that "exposes" him as not just a Muslim, but a secret agent of Al-Quaida who has been on a mission since before 9/11 to take over this country and turn it over to them? Show some backbone, Barack! I dunno.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fourth of July, 2008

Kevin, June's husband, cooked burgers and brats for all the family, 34, counting cousins, and would not yield his spatula to anyone. The twins are easier to tell apart now, because Daniel is the hairy one, Jacob (shown with Doug) is the smooth one. He's on crutches following foot surgery, but will be back marching as a cadet at Texas A & M this fall. The hairy one is at Baylor, but temporarily working as an intern for McCain at the campaign headquarters in D. C.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Fifty years ago, those two kids were happy to be married.

Twenty years later, CJ still looks pretty happy.

Doug and Lazara were cautiously optimistic.

June and Sarah Jean always had a lot in common.

Our 50th wedding anniversary was a big reunion of family and friends. Our "kids" planned a big dinner at Pepin's, with every detail carried out: flowers, appetizers, drinks, table arrangements, even a slide show covering more details of the past 50 years than me might have wished. I told Jason I had never seen such a slide show except at funerals, so he said I am "Ready to go." He hosted a big round table, June and Kevin took one, Doug and Lazara had another, leaving CJ and me to host the head table. I tried to make a speech, but was pretty much speechless. The others did much better, and many filled out memory squibs that went in the scrapbook Lazara made. Some of those were better read in the privacy of our home. More to come.