Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Timeless Friends and Memories

Heather and I just returned from Reno, Nevada for the Boise State-Nevada Reno football game. The weather was great though the game was heart-wrenching for a time when I was convinced my alma mater would blow it giving the Wolf Pack much to "howl" about. It's a trek I've been making since I was in college too many years ago. Friends made in college over 20 years ago congregate at the game, and we have too much fun! Ironically, this long friendship was started in the stands at a BSU game when we happened to run into each other. We've been friends ever since. Some things have changed through the years: We now all fly there rather than drive. We compare health problems, losses in retirement funds, expanding waistlines, and diminished expectations about loving our jobs rather than thinking we were going to change the world. An added bonus to the trip is being able to see my brother Dan and his wife Kay who live in Reno. All those years ago when we were in college, my friends and I often took advantage of Dan and Kay's hospitality, and it was great for everyone to see each other again. We'll be there again in two years!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


This morning, Ethan called me at work to excitedly tell me that he has whiskers.

He exclaimed “Daddy! Daddy! Know what! I’ve got whiskers! Two! On each side! They’re small but I can see them! “

I replied “Wow! That’s cool! You’re getting to be such a big boy! Do you need to start shaving?”

He nonchalantly replied, “Yeah. I’m growing up.”

He’s only 3.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Bad Words"

We have rules in our house about "bad words" which include "stupid, butt, hate, hell" and a couple others I'm probably forgetting. At a recent parent/teacher conference, we mentioned Ethan has used some of these recently -- almost testing us it seems -- and his teacher noted there is a boy in class who uses them routinely. Ethan sometimes asks us if "God" is a bad word which is a tough one. He asked "Is Oh My God bad, Daddy?" I said, "Yes, but you can talk about God." Tough to get a little boy to understand the distinctions and nuances of words. It's tough when a boy in school uses bad words. It's tough when we sit down to watch "It's a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" only to realize every other word it seems in our treasured childhood program is "stupid." But, at least we have avoided the dreaded "s" word and the even worse "f" word. Until Disney On Ice....Returning home with our neighbors, Ethan dropped a toy and said loudly "Oh S__t!" which just about caused me to drive off the road. So, we are now going down that road. The road well traveled I fear.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Votes Are In!

In 1980, I was able to cast my first vote, and I continue to be proud that I voted for Ronald Reagan. The 1980 election was a watershed that changed history as Reagan's optimism and pride in the United States stood in stark contrast to the embarrassment that was Jimmy Carter with his "malaise" coupled with ineffective foreign policy. Carter's years in office, to me at the time and even now with the filter of years of experience and maturity, were simply awful. Our economy was in a tail spin, our respect throughout the world was dismal, and I cringed whenever Carter spoke because I considered him inept at best. So, my generation's first vote felt special because we changed the course of history.

Now, 28 years later, a new generation with the same passion for "change" has rejected the GOP based on many of the same concerns that led me to the voting booth 28 years ago: The economy, fears about the future, concern about world politics, etc. Though I have concerns with some of President-Elect Obama's policy recommendations, I have to respect that the voters have selected him based on motives as sincere as mine were. I plan to heed McCain and Obama's call for unity because that is the fundamental ideal of our political system.

From a personal perspective, I awoke this morning to find that I had received 141,109 votes in my uncontested race for Seat 4 on the Board of Trustees of the College of Western Idaho. 141,109 people! Most legislators in Idaho -- even popular ones -- received less than 40,000 votes. It was odd to see my name on the ballot, and seems surreal to know that many people voted for me. Of course, I will second guess the 1,400 plus write-ins against me (though some friends indicate they wrote in my wife who admittedly is much smarter than I am). I suppose it's the proverbial "why didn't they like" me lament!

On the CWI Board, I will join two incumbent friends (Guy Hurlbutt and MC Niland) in welcoming our two new members Tammy Ray and Stan Bastian.

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