Not that this is anything new – but it hit home this week:  moving is a LOT of work.    Both Mark and I now have a head cold – Mark went first, I was a bit later.  We do not normally get sick; Mark has never had any kind of flu or cold ever since we met 2 1/2 years ago (I think he had the sniffles one afternoon, once) – we only need a steady supply of tissues because we both are terribly sentimental – give us half a sob story and we start to cry -, and my last cold was a year and a half ago.  We both feel too run down to be really excited about all the many things that have worked out so beautifully:  we found a good job for Mark which he seems to like so far, we found a beautiful house that seems to fit us like the proverbial glove, I already have one student, the weather of all of our moving days was pleasant (dry and not too frigid) which in itself is a miracle, considering that this is the dead of winter – yet all of this, at this point, provides more relief than excitement.  We are relieved – “Thank God we don’t have to worry about this …” –  rather than excited – “Wow! Look at this!! And that!!!”

Occasionally, there’s a glimpse of joy, like on Wednesday when Mark was walking across campus to pick up ID and keys and I happened to be “in town” (= 5 minutes from home) to pick up some music from my favorite music store – we connected and I met him, picked him up and drove him back to his building which was – oh, at least a third of a mile away …  We had never before been able to meet and see each other in the middle of the afternoon – just like that.  We are looking forward to getting back on more stable financial footing so we can go out and indulge in “doing the coffeeshop” and visit our favorite stores.

For now, we are trying to get over our colds.

(I just did a google search for the distance I drove Mark:  it is exactly 0.3 miles.  Am I good or what??)

Behütet sein

Alle Engel des Himmels

mögen dich umgeben mit ihrem Glanz

und deine Dunkelheit erleuchten

mit lichten Gedanken.


Sie mögen dich tragen,

wo deine Schritte

weder Weg noch Ziel wissen

und du dich nur noch schleppend

fortbewegen kannst.


Sie mögen dich schützen und bewahren

vor allen Gefahren,

die in dieser Welt auf dich lauern,

und vor allem Dunklen,

was dir so ungewiss ist in dir selbst.


Sie mögen dir deine Last tragen helfen,

deine Schmerzen abklingen

und deine Wunden heilen lassen,

deine Schuld vergeben

und deine Angst auflösen in Freude,

dass alles in dir wieder heil wird

und leicht.


Christa Spilling-Nöker


I always believe that it is much better to have a variety of religions, a variety of philosophies, rather than one single religion or philosophy.  This is necessary because of the different mental dispositions of each human being. Each religion has certain unique ideas or techniques, and learning about them can only enrich one’s own faith.

The Dalai Lama

A worthy goal

President-Elect Obama, in an interview with TIME:

And outside of specific policy measures, two years from now, I want the American people to be able to say, “Government’s not perfect; there are some things Obama does that get on my nerves. But you know what? I feel like the government’s working for me. I feel like it’s accountable. I feel like it’s transparent. I feel that I am well informed about what government actions are being taken. I feel that this is a President and an Administration that admits when it makes mistakes and adapts itself to new information, that believes in making decisions based on facts and on science as opposed to what is politically expedient.” Those are some of the intangibles that I hope people two years from now can claim.

A comment from an ABC news reader

Socks the Cat’s Cancer Battle

It’s amazing how we care more about an animal’s quality of life than a human being’s. Animals get euthanized and put out of their misery on a daily basis because we dont want them to suffer or be in pain. But humans dont get that choice. If I were diagnosed with cancer today and said I didn’t want treatments, I would get taken to court and be forced to suffer through my illness. So many people, especially the elderly, get their quality of life stripped from them because of something as dumb as politics. But oh let it be a sick animal and we fall over ourselves to give it a painless, peaceful ending. Lucky cat.

black and white

A comment in response to an article on ABC News, “Obama White House to Marshal Online Army ~ Online Supporters Represent a Powerful Tool for Incoming President”:

the projection of motives of dictatorship on to Obama by the right is so very enlightening. They think he will do what they would do if they were in the same position. They project their desire to dominate the rest of us on to Obama like a “white sheet with a hood.” They fear the judgement and wrath of other people on their beliefs because given the opportunity and power they would rain down judgement and wrath on those [with] whom they disagree. Projection is a powerful trick of the mind. “You do not turn your enemies into friends by blowing up their children.”
tmcitizen 1:46 PM

Best Speech

November 4, 2008

McCain’s Concession Speech


The following is a transcript of Senator John McCain’s Concession Speech in Phoenix, Ariz, as provided by Federal News Service.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you, my friends. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening. (Cheers, applause.)

My friends, we have — we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly. A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama — (boos) — to congratulate him — (boos) — please — to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I’ve always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too. But we both recognize that though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation’s reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt’s invitation of Booker T. Washington to visit — to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters. America today is a world away from the cruel and prideful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African American to the presidency of the United States. Let there be no reason now — (cheers, applause) — let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth. (Cheers, applause.)

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer in my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day, though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country, and I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans — (applause) — I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together, to find the necessary compromises, to bridge our differences, and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that. (Cheers, applause.)

It is natural — it’s natural tonight to feel some disappointment, but tomorrow we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again. We fought — we fought as hard as we could.

And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.


MR. MCCAIN: I am so —

AUDIENCE: (Chanting.) John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!

SEN. MCCAIN: I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends. The road was a difficult one from the outset. But your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.

I am especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother — (cheers, applause) — my dear mother and all my family and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign. I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me.

You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate’s family than on the candidate, and that’s been true in this campaign. All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude, and the promise of more peaceful years ahead. (Laughter.)

I am also — I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I have ever seen. (Cheers, applause.) One of the best campaigners I have ever seen —

AUDIENCE: (Chanting.) Sarah! Sarah!

MR. MCCAIN: — and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength. (Cheers, applause.) Her husband Todd and their five beautiful children — (cheers, applause) — with their tireless dedication to our cause, and the courage and grace they showed in the rough-and- tumble of a presidential campaign. We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to Alaska, the Republican Party and our country. (Cheers, applause.)

To all my campaign comrades, from Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, to every last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly month after month in what at times seemed to be the most challenged campaign in modern times, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.

I don’t know — I don’t know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I’ll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I’m sure I made my share of them. But I won’t spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.

This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life. And my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.


AUDIENCE MEMBER: You deserve more!

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: (Chanting off mike.)

MR. MCCAIN: Please. Please.

I would not — I would not be an — an American worthy of the name, should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century. Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone and I thank the people of Arizona for it. (Cheers, applause.)


SEN. MCCAIN: Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama — whether they supported me or Senator Obama, I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president.

And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender. (Cheers, applause.) We never hide from history, we make history. (Cheers, applause.)

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you all very much. (Cheers, applause.)

Reactions from around the world

November 5, 2008, 3:47 am

By The New York Times

The Indian Express, whose editorial pages had been fond of the Bush White House over the last couple of years, echoed how swiftly and decisively the next president would have to act. “The way the world has been enthralled by the contest is a message that the dominant sentiment, after the Bush presidency, is not so much anti-Americanism, but exasperation with the uses of American power and a concurrent belief that with adequate political will the superpower can repair its agenda for the greater global good.”

Al Arabiya is a Saudi-owned, Arabic-language television news channel based in the Arab world’s capital of consumer spending, Dubai. Al Arabiya’s regional audience was overwhelmingly in favor of Senator Barack Obama, the editors said, but in the emirates, it seemed, there were at least some people who were certain that Americans would never vote for someone as different as Mr. Obama. “McCain will win,” Bilal al-Bodour, a deputy minister of culture for the United Arab Emirates, said a day earlier. “That is the American mentality.”
Mr. Khatib had the same sense. […] “This is a historic moment not only for the United States, but so we can all get away from perceptions about religion and race and instead consider the quality of the person,” Mr. Khatib said.

Rajendra K. Pachauri, the Indian chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, urged Mr. Obama to demonstrate a change in U.S. energy policy. “The US now has a unique opportunity to assume leadership in meeting the threat of climate change, and it would help greatly if the new President were to announce a coherent and forward looking policy soon after he takes office. There is every reason to believe that President Obama will actually do so. This should please people across the globe, because US leadership is critical for mounting global efforts to meet this threat effectively.”

“The biggest economy in the world has a leader that the world can talk to,” said Alejandro Saks, an Argentine television scriptwriter.

from the Salina Journal

Christopher Renner is (gasp!) gay


A couple of supporters of Kathy Martin want to make sure you know that Christopher Renner is gay.

Renner, Manhattan, a Democrat, is running against incumbent Martin, Republican, Clay Center, for her position as 6th District representative on the State Board of Education.

In the past few days, those supporters have sent the Journal a few e-mails to make sure we warned voters. That’s Voters with a capital “V” and that rhymes with “G” and that stands for Gay!

Whew! Glad that’s out there. We’re feeling better already.

Can you imagine the caliber of disaster that could result if we elected a gay man to the State Board of Education? Why, he’d likely be showing up at board meetings and … and, he’d be, uh, … well, we’re not sure what he’d be. What do gay men do at board of education meetings?

Study issues? Make comments? Vote? About what everyone else on the board is doing?

Forgive us our silliness. It’s a natural reaction to the idea that in 2008, adults still get exorcised over the prospect of an openly gay man — in Renner’s case — serving in public office. Or as a teacher, or a solider, or banker, or anything. It’s ludicrous.

Unless you happen to be gay. Or have a gay child, sibling, friend or relative. Or maybe you just care about people.

Then you probably can get really angry when someone thinks it’s not only OK to discriminate against gays but also that gays or lesbians are a danger to society.

For our straight readers still struggling with the idea of accepting gays, see if this helps: Think back. Maybe a long time ago, when you first made that decision to become a heterosexual. Remember? You weighed both sides of the issue, did the research, maybe talked it over with friends and parents, perhaps prayed for guidance, and finally, you decided that being a heterosexual was right for you. Remember?

Neither do we. Neither do gays. You don’t choose your sexuality. You might, if you’re gay, choose to suppress it (good luck with that), but no one wakes up one morning and says: “That’s it! I’ve made my decision. It’s the homosexual life for me!”

For those who are troubled by gays, may you find peace and embrace acceptance.

For Christopher Renner, we already endorsed you. We’re looking smarter all the time.

— Ben Wearing

Executive Editor

hate groups

Headline on  “Hate groups heat up over surging Obama. ” – “If Obama is elected president, these people see the world as they know it to end.” 
Wouldn’t that be nice.  Yes, please.

The country I live in

I live in a country where the fact that Brad Pitt took a picture of Angelina Jolie breastfeeding (or so they think because you can see a bit of one of her breasts and there’s a tiny hand which they think belongs to one of the twins) – where the fact that a picture of breastfeeding Angelina Jolie makes the cover of W. magazine has been a headline on the national news for about a week now.  “Brad snaps pic of Angie breastfeeding” and “Angelina Jolie breastfeeding on cover of W.”

We are in the middle of a huge financial crisis, there’s a presidential campaign going on, but Angelina Jolie’s “breastfeeding” picture is newsworthy.

That’s the country I live in.


Speaking of Angelina Jolie – I think if McCain thinks he needs a vagina as vice president he should have picked Angelina Jolie:  she’s prettier than Palin, she’s smarter, she’s more educated, she’s been to countries that Palin hasn’t even heard of, – AND, she has six kids, not just five.  There.