Guess that settles the question about getting a refill.
Guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised to see this sign as I approached the Bay Bridge, given my left-of-center friend who was wearing green for Iran. Seems even the folks in Oakland support freedom for the Iranian people.
Sorry I couldn’t get a better picture, but snapped this in very slow traffic.
The contest continues! Find me in Key West for $100. Details and a timely clue at GayPatriot at Twitter
Find me! Find me!!
Advance Clue: We will be watching American Idol at Bourbon St. Pub on Duval Street tonight.
I’m spending a week in Key West on vacation. The first person who can find me in person, you get $50.00.
To see what I look like, checkout my Twitter posts today. GayPatriot at Twitter.
$100 bucks to the first person who finds me and tells me that our old dog’s name was ROMPER.
Ok, I really thought this park was beautiful so decided to share some more of my pictures–and yeah, I’m having fun now that I realized how easy it is to upload pictures!
More below the jump: [Read more…]
When I drove cross country last fall, I didn’t take enough time to do what I really enjoy doing on such journeys, stopping along the road to delight in the beauty of our great nation. Â This time, when I decided to visit my family in Colorado, I elected to give myself three full days to get back to LA. Â I have done the drive in one day of heavy driving, so this really gave me the chance to explore.
I did decide to stay a little longer with my family so I got to go on a great hike with my twin nieces and their little brother, along with their parents and my Dad and his wife. Â That was wonderful.
Wish I could have shared the landscape I saw in the following days with them. Â In Utah, I stopped at a rest are just east of Green River on I-70, followed this path up a little hill and delighted in the openness of the landscape around me, noticing the interesting contours of the barren hills around me, the contrast of this dun stone to the blue sky around me.
The real beauty of Utah (to me at least) is not just the open spaces, but those very contrasts. Â Perhaps one reason, Zion National Park is one of my favorites where you see the red stone set against the pine trees and other verdant foliage and the blue skies–even the brown trunks of the trees made the vista richer.
The following day, I took more time to explore the Beehive State.
So, since I finally figured out (easier than I ever imagined) how to upload pictures from my digital camera, I thought I’d share with you a picture I took just outside Bryce Canyon National Park which shows these contrasts. Â Herewith the first picture from my own camera posted to this blog:
Today, as my Mom, now at home, has been doing much better, I decided to visit the two houses where I lived as a child. As I approached the first, up a windy lane, I observed that except for one house which I didn’t remember, the houses all seemed the same. Sure, a few, notably our one-time home, had different landscaping another was painted a darker shade, but little had changed.
The house looked different. I was spared the embarrassment of asking to see the room I shared with my brother (until I was seven) as no one answered the door when I rang.
I took the long route to my old house and was saddened to see that the Old Town Ice Cream Parlor where my Dad used to treat us on many a summer evening had disappeared as had the Daily Donoughts. I can still remember the daisy on its neon sign.
I parked just up the street from the house where I had spent the better part of my childhood. Situated next to the large wooded estate of a Midwestern mattress magnate, it had been an ideal place for a young boy to grow up. We could explore those woods as we made up stories about the old lady who lived in the castle-like stone house. If she caught us on her property, we had convinced ourselves, she’d imprison in her drafty cellar, perhaps torturing us with the old rusty farm equipment we found near a dilapidated building on the grounds.
Woods to explore! And an old house which helped activate our young imaginations. What a place for a boy to grow up.
I walked those woods today, now a local park. They no longer seemed to go on forever as they once had. If we got lost, we might never find our way home. But, just today, I followed one path to its end–on a suburban street. Those big woods had gotten a lot smaller since I last explored them.
I write from Cincinnati where I am sojourning briefly before driving up to Cleveland tomorrow for the Bar Mitzvah of the fourth eldest PatriotNephewWest. In a few minutes, I’ll be driving over to my brother’s to spend some time with my new niece to help her celebrate her second birthday. That’s right, the youngest PatriotNiblingWest is two weeks old today.
As I was leaving LA and wondered at the renewed possibility of a Hillary Clinton victory this November whether or not the divisive politics which began in earnest with her husband’s 1992 bid for the White House (but had their roots at least in the opposition to Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination, if not in the politics of the 1960s (LBJ) and 1970s (Nixon)) would continue with the intensity they have.
I mean, one thing I like about Barack Obama is that, while a staunch liberal, he does not arouse the resentment of his adversaries as does Ms. Hillary. Nor does he seem to harbor the partisan resentments she does.
As I look at the various candidates in our party, I wonder which one of them has the potential to transcend the politics of the last sixteen years. At first blush, John McCain seems to be the man, but then, in his attempts to curry favor with the MSM on certain issues, he has lost favor with his own party. Many of my liberal friends like Rudy Giuliani and could vote for him in November, but some social conservatives don’t like him while more doctrinaire liberals despise him.
Where is the man with the presence and convictions of Ronald Reagan?
Surely, a leader secure in his political beliefs might have the power to unite the nation.
There does seem to be one such man, at least on our side. A conservative (former) governor of a major state who could unite the GOP and lead the nation without arousing the resentment of those on the left. Well, that is, if he had a different last name.
UPDATE: Reader Peter Hughes just linked me to Camille Paglia’s latest post wherein she shows why Ms. Hillary could never be a unifying figure:
The obsessive need to keep campaigning may mean a president Hillary would go right on spewing the bitterly partisan rhetoric that has already paralyzed Washington. Even if Hillary could be elected (which I’m skeptical about), how in tarnation could she ever govern?
Don’t delay, read the whole thing.
Here I sit in my hotel in Miami, our departure delayed. It’s a bit cooler than yesterday, regrettably too chilly (& windy) to go out on the beach. I supposed I should use this time to say something about the campaign. I mean, it was all over FoxNews when I switched on the TV while packing. I’m sure the other news networks are similarly satured with campaign coverage.
Even though the Iowa caucus is upon us, I really don’t want to think about politics right now. A friend of mine messaged me while I was checking e-mail and asked me what I thought about the coming cauci in Iowa. I replied I was on vacation, not really thinking all that much about politics.
In a previous post, the most political thing I wrote while on vacation, I indicated I would attempt to blog on Jack Goldsmith’s book The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration. I even packed the book (along with some related print-outs) so I might refer to it in my post. I barely cracked the cover.
I’m just not as focused on the topic as I normally am, more interested in spending time with my family, enjoying the sunshine and reading the pulp fantasy novel I was reading (and searching (alas unsuccesfully) for its sequel to read on my return).
Right now, it just doesn’t seem the time to focus on politics. Maybe after I get back and unpack, my mind will be there.
And here I am a blogger who writes frequently about politics. If I’m not as interested at this time of year as I normally am, what does that say about the interest level of the average voter in Iowa, New Hampshire and elsewhere?
It seems right now, even after the first of the year that most people would rather focus on family and friends than on politics. It’s too bad so many states were so eager to move up their primaries and cauci, pushing states that normally voted–or caucused–in February to the first days of the new year.
As a result, they attempted to politicize the holidays, turning off even those who, as yours truly, enjoys following the give and take of the political season, talking about it and writing about it.
– B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)
While I would not have chosen Miami as the place to spend the last few days of 2007, I’m grateful that I joined my family here for this vacation. Not only did I get to spend some quality time with my Dad, walking on the beach together or just relaxing with the rest of the family, but I also got to play with my nieces nephews and one of my sisters and one of my brothers, the only ones who made it down for the holiday.
And I got to have fun with my step-sister and step-brother better while bonding with his kids.
I have to note the irony in passing the gay section of the beach while walking with my father. What in other company might have been a major distraction was, in this case, only a minor diversion, some nice ice candy, but of little sustenance compared to conversation with my Dad.
And I delighted in playing the “state quarter” game with my nieces and nephews. You see, sometime in 2000 or 2001, I decided to start collecting the state quarters for my nieces and nephews (who now number 15). At the bank, I’ve buying a roll each time the mint released the latest coin. Well, I started pulling some of the older ones out of my change (as I hadn’t yet gotten those for the kids). Soon, I found myself saving any and all state quarters I got in change.
I started accumulating quite a number of these special coins. Now, I have drawers full of them.
So, instead of just giving the kids the latest quarters, I’d realized I needed to find a means to share them with the kids without actually giving them away. Now, before each family trip, I grab a handful, pulling them out when the kids are present, offering my various niblings* (nieces and nephews) a quarter if they can spell the state correctly.
Last night, seeing my baggie full of quarters, one of my nieces offered to spell a lot of states to help me get rid of them faster. And this young lady happens to be a most gifted speller, determined to learn how to spell each state she gets wrong. (Earlier in the evening, she had refused to spell certain states, telling me they were “too easy.”)
I think now maybe I should change the game and make them learn a fact or two about the state before they can win their two bits.
Oh. One more thing. For all the trouble I take to saving these coins, I learned that once my nieces and nephews win them, they’re eager to spend them.*
This way, some other devoted uncle can collect them and save them for his niblings.
*Well, at least they do keep those they put in the folders I gave them.