To add to Alan's post...when we woke up at 6:15 or so, I quickly realized that I was way too sick to go to work. I had NO voice and felt like utter ass. Even that sick, I had to go see the damage as well. The scariest part of all of that was not that the transformer was within a couple of feet from falling into a pool, had it gone the other way, but the fact that in the back seat of the truck that hit the pole was a car seat. This idiot was a father. On the way back in we knocked on a couple of neighbors doors to make sure they were awake and then quickly returned to our toasty bed. Thank GOD for down comforters!

Power was resotred about 12:15. Just in time to save my poor freezing fishies. I had been dumping out cold and replacing it with warm water all morning to keep my sensitive tropical fish warm.

I still feel poopy...but hopefully will be well enough to go back to work tomorrow.

(From Alan:)
So I get home from work at 2:30am this morning. I get a drink, change into some shorts and a t-shirt, and go in to tell Emily goodnight. While I am in the master bedroom, we hear a loud crash outside, followed by a small explosion, and then the lights went out. The lights flickered a few seconds later, followed by another small explosion, and then they went out again. The next thing we hear is the sound of screeching tire rubber, and then a car with a large engine flying down the street.

I put on a sweatshirt, grabbed a flashlight and went out to investigate. Other neighbors were coming out of their houses too, and when we got to the end of the street we discovered a power pole snapped in half, the bottom half on the ground and the top half still attached to wires and hanging down in the intersection, sparking.

Within a couple minutes a couple of Richardson cop cars went flying down the street, looking for the driver. They found him, on my street but the next block down. He was apparently drunk, ran into the pole at a high rate of speed, backed up and sped off but only made it another block before just stopping. They carted him off but left the truck sitting there until it got towed around lunchtime.

I tried to get a few hours' sleep, and then got up around 6:30 to go take pictures...


Well, we're just over halfway through the bachelor weekend here at Casa de Melson, and while I've gotten a fair amount of work done, it's just a little too quiet around here. Thelma has been more friendly than usual, but for a cat that's not saying much - they are still antisocial at their very core :)

Tom scored some free movie tickets through work, so we went to see Friday Night Lights last night. Quality flick; definitely one of the better sports films I've seen because it focused on the psychology of the game and its long-term effects rather than just being a rah-rah on-the-field film (although there was still plenty of game action to satiate the hardcore sports fans). Though gritty, it mostly avoided the vast overarching stereotypes of Texas and Texans that so many films stoop to, and despite some liberties with the facts, it stayed true to the overall tone and character of Buzz Bissinger's book. My only complaint: the cinematography, though appropriate for the tone they were trying to convey, relied too much on shaky Dogma-esque handheld shots that made me nauseous. Otherwise, a solid film.

Em called this morning, and unfortunately is coming down with something (and the stupid gift shop at the convention hotel doesn't sell any medicine). She gets back tomorrow morning, so hopefully it won't get any worse.

Headed out to do yardwork for the rest of the afternoon; wish me luck!


"The president got re-elected by dividing the country along fault lines of fear, intolerance, ignorance and religious rule. He doesn't want to heal rifts; he wants to bring any riffraff who disagree to heel. ..." by Maureen Dowd in The New York Times

I think I have figured out what is really bothering me. It isn't necessarily Bush or Kerry, Republicans or Democrats...it is the absolute polarizing division that has been created in this country. We have turned this country into good vs. evil, right vs. wrong...there is NO middle ground today...NONE. Bush is not the answer to fixing this...certainly not Kerry...Hillary will make it worse. We have GOT to figure out how to start bridging this gap...

Bush tried to make it sound as if that was his goal yesterday...but he did the same thing when he ran as the "Compassionate Conservative" and we see how long that lasted. He has nothing to gain from reaching out to the other side...Congress is on his side. He will have no problem appointing all the ultra conservative Supreme Court justices he wants to overturn every progressive, human rights case in the last 20 years.

I see Bush and his ultra conservative lackeys trying to do away with the separation between church and state and that scares the shit out of me. This country was founded on and made great upon the concept of separation of church and state. Deciding whom can and cannot marry...mandating how a woman treats her own body, even DISCUSSING the issue of prayer in school...all of those are a result of ignoring the separation of church and state. You want to see what it is like when we don't abide by that? Look at Iraq, Afghanistan...you want to live like that?

The government has NO place mandating morality and religion. That is the job of family. As I know all too well, it also falls into the lap of teachers. It is the job of churches. Frankly I think the media should take more responsibility. NO, we cant FORCE everyone to be a moral and just person...but what we also cant do it tell anyone what it is to be moral and just outside what is detailed in the laws. That doesn't take into account culture, religion, upbringing... I refuse to live in a homogeneous world. I just wont do it...and I wont let that happen.

If I have to get louder, I will...

Well, here we are facing another four years of W.

I'm not angry about it, just disappointed. I honestly thought Kerry would somehow manage to win by the smallest of margins, and change the tenor of federal policy for a few years (or more). Unfortunately, it didn't happen, and we face the prospect of either (1) gridlock as the minority Dems manage to stymie any efforts for Bush and his advisors to plow forth with much more right-wing legislation and Supreme Court nominations, or (2) a worst-case scenario of that legislation actually passing in Congress and newly-appointed justices reversing a series of decisions that will, in turn, erode more freedoms that we've generally taken for granted in this great country of ours.

I'm not generally a fan of bumper stickers, but I like the one at left, from Sojourners - it sums up my feelings about what Karl Rove has done to exploit the large mass of good church-going Americans for the Republican Party's gain. I may just have to get that to throw on the back of my gas-guzzling, greed-laden, evil SUV. On that note, now that I have finally gotten my company-funded DART Annual Pass I will eventually move to riding the train to work full-time and the Trooper will be off the streets during the week, but for now with my train-unfriendly schedule I'm still stuck spending $40 a week on gas :(

There were a few articles I saw today that offered a good take on where things go from here. Slate's William Saletan said staying simple is the key for the Dems. The CS Monitor says this "mandate" (as Cheney put it) could mark a major GOP split in the making, and some Dems are convinced that their party needs a quick shift towards the right or they're doomed. I wouldn't call myself a Democrat since I have always split my vote, but I agree with that last statement. Of course, no matter who they throw out there in 2008, if McCain or Giuliani gets the GOP nod then I may end up voting Republican (ESPECIALLY if Hillary becomes the Democratic candidate - no way I could bring myself to vote for her).

In work news, the three-hour webcast I produced last night (screen grab at right) was a resounding success. We managed to get field reports from every single reporter who was out and about covering local and national races, plus a good report from the Bush HQ from our Belo D.C. Bureau guy. We even broke a story before any of the local stations got it on air: the surprising shift in the Dallas County Sheriff race that led to a narrow victory for Democrat Lupe Valdez. We broke the news to Republican and virtual shoo-in Danny Chandler on the air, and then had him on for a few comments (he was obviously stunned, but very gracious anyway). He "went home to bed" shortly after that and didn't bother to thank his supporters, so we got one of the few interviews of the night with him. Everyone seemed pleased with the outcome.

Em leaves Thursday night for Galveston for TAEA, so I have the house to myself for a few days. I plan on getting some handyman stuff taken care of, some cleaning and yardwork, and possibly an outing to see Friday Night Lights. I'll recap on Monday. Have a good and safe weekend, everyone ... don't think about politics for a while!


I really do feel sick...truly ill. I can scream and yell all day...but it makes not a damn bit of good. I am now forced to sit back and watch as our 100's if not 1000's of our troops continue to get killed...women start being forced to have back alley abortions...our civil liberties and basic human rights are ripped away from us and our environment becomes unfit for my children to live a healthy life. The best part is that simply by having these view points a HUGE portion of this country feel they can tell me I am immoral and un-Christian, simply because I CARE and have half a brain to think for myself and not allow myself to be brainwashed with half truths and BS rhetoric.

More than 55 MILLION people tried to scream and yell that this WAS NOT the America we wanted...do you think Bush will listen, do you think it will make even the TINIEST impact on him...maybe it will give him a good chuckle as he laughs at all of us.

Also, I am NOT speaking for Alan...he can give his own opinions.

Just my thoughts...think of me what you wish. This is a sad time for America...just sit back and watch...

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