Friday, December 28, 2007

The path ahead

When I was a kid, the "deal" my parents struck with me about extracirricular activities was that I could participate as much as I wanted ...


I had to find my own way home if the activities meant missing the bus.

I walked most of the proud to ask friends for a ride....

I remember that one of the roads I took to get home was straight as an arrow and flat, Florida sand comprised three of the five miles I'd have to walk. I remember coming around the corner and stopping and staring down that road....thinking about the distance I had to a big sigh...and then, just getting on with it....

I just bought my new pocket calendar for 2008 and put the "set" dates into it. I'm looking down that long, long road...


time to "get on with it."

note: I posted about the Bhutto assassination yesterday on this site....give it a read....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A different Christmas Perspective

I found this interesing and touching from our friend, Hunter, over at DailyKos

It's Christmas Day and, I think, an appropriate time to reflect.....and Hunter does a good job for a MOST unusual way....

snippets follow:

My dog does not know it is Christmas.


The lights strung around a few windows and doorways likewise proved uninteresting. If they made noise, she probably would have noticed, but as simple strings of illumination she found them no more noteworthy than the stars in the sky outside; a simple quirk of wintertime weather, nothing more, to find stars inside the house in strings and rows, and hiding between the branches of a tree.


She does not understand heaven. She knows redemption only by living it; as an abstract concept, it is empty. But she does understand the difference between warm and cold. Outside the frost dusts the fields each night, lasting longer and longer into the morning as winter goes on. But the house is warm, or at least, warm enough for a dog, and that is more than sufficient. The rest of it she does not understand, and as she sleeps on her bed, pretending for the moment to ignore the activity around her, it is clear she does not care.

I invite you to read the whole piece. It says much more about us than it does about Dogs, but being a "dog person" I understand it from this perspective very clearly.

Happy Holidays everybody...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winding down

The past two weeks have been a particularly busy time for the hizzhoner household....

and no, it wasn't Christmas shopping....(see previous Christmas posts)

Politically things were supposed to be quiet for December. Everybody was supposed to take time off from political skulduggery until after Christmas....but it didn't happen that way and once again, I found myself in the middle of another political fray..actually SEVERAL of them.

What was a bit unusual, is that, for once, I didn't start any of them. They will carry over well into the new year so I'll probably opine about one or more of them on this blog in the near future.

In the meantime, let me share a few things with you....

I heard from alwayshope, a fellow frequent commenter on our favorite all-time blog Last Chance Democracy Cafe' and he left a nice comment on the previous post. alwayshope, please have an enjoyable holiday season with your loved ones and keep those great comments coming. I always (sic) enjoy hearing from you.

The local group of retired Democrats/Progressives/Rabble rousers met for coffee yesterday morning and among our group was Sybylla and Madashell from fame. Sybylla has an absolutely wicked sense of humor and I truly enjoy her company...Madashell has a quiet, sneaky and ...ahem...evil...sense of humor too. It is a lot of fun watching the stauncy, old, good-ole-boy network businessmen get stunned by the conversation at our table....obviously we have much more fun than they do....

Yesterday was, of course, the Winter Solstice so Sybylla invited everybody at the table to join her and her family that night to "dance naked around the bonfire!" You can't even imagine what kind of conversation that spurred around the table! The businessmen must have thought we were nuts.

In the meantime, I've noticed some of my colleagues hustling around getting ready for Christmas and pursuing it with the same enthusiasm that they pursue any other item on their "to do list". Something's gotta give folks...something's gotta give.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

About that looooonnnngggg meeting

I briefly mentioned that I was pretty tired out as a result of a long (and tense) meeting on Monday night...I eneded up with another long one last night...but the Monday night meeting is what I want to talk about.

That meeting was in almost every sense an ambush...a political ambush, but nevertheless it was an ambush. I had heard the "tom-toms" on Friday morning before the meeting but I didn't have any idea what to expect when I walked into the wasn't a straight-forward political challenge, it was the most absurd premise for action I had ever seen. I won't go into the details but it involves some of the worst cases of political favoritism I've witnessed in many, many years.

Now let's get this straight.

I'm not condemning the ambush.

Heavens no..... In my 30+ years of participating in all levels of politics I've participated in(okay, okay, okay,.....I've PLANNED) more than my share of them. I think the only thing I really object to is that it is my preference to be the bushwackER and not the bushwackEE. Having said that, there is the tendency among us old-time politicians to actually congratulate our opponents on a successful gambit and say, "(using my best Jon Stewert voice) WELL PLAYED, Sir"

My objection to the situation is that it shows favoritism to one party that no other member of the public could possibly get and that it rewards bad behavior both administratively and financially.......the technique to get it done was pretty sophisticated but the result was/is pretty unacceptable....

The question is.....what can I do about it?

I need to "go to the mountaintop" to think this through....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hurry up....and wait

Well, I did the door-to-door thingy to get my nomination papers signed.

It was interesting that this cycle people weren't as mad at the City as the school board and their pending $3MM, am I glad I didn't do that....

Did I mention that it was cold?

The ink in the pens kept freezing up. I had six pens with me (the value of experience, eh?) and kept rotating them to have a workable pen for people to use to sign my papers....

Did I mention that it was cold?

My nostrils froze together after the first hour....

I turned everything in yesterday and, apparently, everything is okay and I'm on the ballot.

Now I just have to wait to see if somebody else will file for my seat....not likely, but possible.

Had a very, very long meeting last night and I was so angry when I go home that I couldn't sleep....still stewing over it.

Did I mention it was cold?

I've got to hurry up and......wait......

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Politics....winding down or starting up

Yesterday was the first day to circulate nomination papers for local offices...City and County in a sense...election season is starting will culminate in the elections on April 1, 2008....April Fool's Day no less....

But at the same time, it' s the holidays and government actions are winding down. With a little luck, tomorrow night will see the passage of the City Budget, unless something extra-ordinary happens it will pass.

Just in case the opposition has a surprise or two for me tomorrow night, I've got my ammunition ready and I've been pacing my favorite spot in front of the picture window (the carpet actually has a worn spot where I pace back-and-forth) trying to figure out every possible tactic, technique and scenario.....(I know, I know, I know....I have NO LIFE!!!!) Anyway....I'm ready for them.

I was thinking last night about the dangers of seeking re-election . No, I'm not talking about having a coronary or a stroke over some bone-headed thing that my colleagues might or might not do. I'm not even thinking about the ever present possibility of being smeared, embarrassed or humiliated by my opponents, or even worse, being humiliated by myself.

Nope. I'm not worried about that.

When I left public service last time, I did a lot of thinking and I found out that I hadn't been quite as good of a public servant as I thought I was. You see, I fell into the trap that awaits politicians who spend large amounts of their life-time in office...especially if that office (or offices) are all in the same town. Pretty soon you start believing that the City can't possibly get along without you; that you are absolutely indispensable to the City and if the public can't see that then they are absolute fools. You start believing your own press releases and that every word you say should be etched into a marble pillar....


I've taken one step that's a saving virtue....I've recognized the trap.

Now I've got to learn to avoid it.