April 27, 2005

Random, disconnected thoughts

Today you get the collection of random thoughts that are scrambling around in my brain, fighting for attention, hoping that I'll notice them enough to let them out. I do these posts every once in a while, you may recall.

*What the heck is everyone so upset about John Bolton for? What does it matter if he is difficult or rude? How can that possibly be the issue holding up his confirmation? As the Democrats trot out every fruit cake who ever came into contact with Bolton, I can only think that this process, this trivialization of the confirmation process, can only end in scaring more people away from serving their country until we end up with those the Anti-Federalists feared the most: those who seek office and power for their own ends and not because it is good and right to serve your country.

*Sometimes, hours after you have exercised, you feel as if you could float down the hallway on legs rendered postively gossamer as a result of the blood flow.

*An important lesson learned: never challenge a Navy man on the topic of breasts. If you don't understand, feel free to ask Jim and he'll explain it to you like he did me.

*I have been toying with the idea of what I would do if I didn't have to work for a living anymore. Would I still work? Would I get a useless graduate degree? Travel without end? Or would I just continue to work anyway because my whole being and imagination, much like a tree tied down to a fence, has become so warped by years of work that too much of my self image and self esteem is wrapped up in professional identity and accomplishments? Or, finally, would it just send a bad message to the children if I just upped and quit? Note: this thought is entirely theoretical. There has been no lottery won, no inheritance gained, no huge damage award procured.

*I received a gift this morning from the locker room attendant at the gym. He's a nice guy and we chat from time to time. I suspect that maybe not everyone chats with him. Anyway, we got into a friendly argument about Rum. He's from Barbados and I was, to his mind, foolishly extolling the virtues of Guatemalan Rum which is this truly excellent stuff that you drink like a brandy, in snifters or at least without a mixer. He disagreed, being from Barbados. This morning he gave me a bottle of Mount Gay Extra Old Barbados Rum, described on the Mount Gay website as:

EXTRA OLD, in its category, is the reference of the rum world. It is a masterful blend of the finest, aged spirits, selected attentively amongst the oldest reserves with a resulting maturity of 17 years. The force of its oak aromas is softened by its sweet, fruity notes, reminiscent of pastry and bananas. Easily identified thanks to its traditional label and its malt whisky type bottle, its magnificent luminosity, dark amber colour and extreme clarity are the key qualities of this rum. The result of many years of meticulous development, EXTRA OLD has received several Grand Gold Medals and Trophies from the highly respected International Institute for Quality competition.

I am excited to crack it open and very grateful for the gift. I'm going to get him some of the Guatemalan Rum to try.

*I am watching a not for profit I am involved with gear up for a messy internal fight. There are two boards, I serve on one of them as an officer. I just had an hour long discussion with the President of my Board, the upshot of which is that the other board may discover that they have bitten off more than they can chew on this one. I think it will be disconcerting for them to discover that we have formulated our own agenda, our own set of aims, and backed it up with advice from counsel and from an accountant. Yup, gonna be an interesting Summer for sure.

*[WARNING: SAD] Don't read the thought I put in Extended Entry unless you think today you can handle pain/sadness. Just skip it if you are feeling raw today.

I faltered today on the stupid elliptical trainer at the gym. Seriously, I almost stepped off to slink out of the fitness center to go have a cry. The morning news program showed pictures of the two children in Georgia who, from what I understand, figured out how to open the front door of the house and slipped out and ended up drowning, together, in a nearby drainage pond. The news reported that there was no evidence of foul play. I note that the drainage pond was improperly fenced with numerous holes. The picture made me want to cry as I imagined the two children drowning together. Maybe one fell in and the other tried to save the first one. Maybe they died calling for their mother, alone, bereft of help or succor. I am seriously upset as I write about this. Ever since having my own children, I am rendered completely distraught by events like this. I will end this one here because I have nothing further to say about it and am too broken up by this to continue. Rest in peace, little ones.

Posted by Random Penseur at April 27, 2005 11:21 AM

I don't know if I should comment on the extended entry since some people may have opted to skip it.

Aw, WTH. If you didn't read the ext. entry then just skip this comment, too.

What seems most likely to me to have happened was that they were right with each other when one began to fall in. That child grabbed the other for help, but ended up pulling the other in with her/him.

We tend to think of drowning as one of the worst ways to die. But, I believe, it's actually one of the most painless. Drowning victims will instinctively hold their breath until they, y'know, fall asleep.

The worst of it all is now being experienced by their parents. The guilt they must be feeling, even if they've done nothing "wrong". You just know that they're dying inside.

Posted by: Tuning Spork at April 27, 2005 08:55 PM

I, too, often wonder what I'd do if I didn't HAVE to work. I like to think I'd volunteer a good amount of my time.

As for Bolton, I don't know very much about it but my gut feeling is this: it's a diplomatic position and he seems to have demostrated that he has problems with diplomacy. If he were up for a high-ranking military position, it'd be a different story.

Posted by: Kelly at April 28, 2005 09:46 AM

There are a lot of people torn up about that, RP. It happened right in my back yard (not literally) so you can imagine what a topic it has been here.

I went up and down the street checking the storm drains. They are huge here because of how fiercely the rain comes down. All of them are smaller than our youngest. I also took Koda on a walk through the woods at the corner that the kids aren't allowed into to check for dangerous trash, just in case.

I had thought of doing these things before but dismissed them as paranoid parentalism. Not any more.

Posted by: Jim at April 28, 2005 12:04 PM
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