Miscellaneous Thoughts

It’s been a long time since I updated my blog, so I’m just going to post a couple short, and totally unrelated thoughts.

Two of my favorite parts of the day are when I put our daughter to bed, and later, when I check on her.

Most nights, I put Elizabeth to bed. She’s really good about going to bed. No matter what she was doing, or how excited she was, she’s almost alway cooperative. Even the days when I say it’s time for bed and she fights it, as soon as it’s inevitable (when I’m holding her in her bedroom), she’s invariably calmed down. I usually hold her and pat her back for just a minute before I put her to bed. She has her head laying on my shoulder and her arm draped over my shoulder. As I pat her back, she pats mine. I love that!

Later, just before my wife and I go to bed, I usually go to check on her. She’s a pretty restless sleeper the first couple hours she’s asleep, and she’s often facing different directions, and she’s almost always kicked the covers off. As I put the covers back on her, she usually wakes up a bit, but immediately goes back to sleep. She looks very peaceful, which is quite the contrast from the rest of the day, because she is NOT a very quiet toddler. I like watching her for just a minute at that time too.

Another thought. This one is about football. I really wish there was a college football playoff. Living in Gainesville, and as a fan (though not a HUGE fan) of the Gators, it was fun to watch them win the championship game a couple weeks ago. But I’m left not absolutely sure that we’re the best, and I don’t like that. I’m not too worried about Texas… based on their bowl game, I really don’t think they have a huge claim to being the best… but Utah and USC do! I’d really like to see them play each other, and us play the winner. Then I’d feel pretty confident that the winner was actually the best team.

Going in to all the bowl games, I was hoping that Texas, Utah, and USC would either lose, or at least not win in exciting fashion, and that we would win. Then, I think it would have been pretty solid to think of the Gators as number 1. Texas mostly came through for me… but Utah and USC didn’t. They both won, and won convicingly. I can’t see any way to say definitively that we’re better then them (of course, I also don’t think there’s any definitive way to say that either of them are better than us).

Oh well. We’re the champions (whatever that means). Let’s see how next year turns out with most of the big names coming back.

Another random thought. Our daughter loves “Barney”, “Signing Time”, and “Blue’s Clues”, and therefore, I’ve gotten to hear LOTS of them. It’s not as bad as I feared it would be.

Barney is mostly inoffensive (the same can NOT be said about the other dinosaurs… especially Baby Bop… boy I’d like to get rid of her). True, it’s got the rather annoying “I Love You” song (it feels like the world is going mushy every time it plays), but quite a few of the other songs are not bad. Not songs I’d actually choose to listen too of course, but they don’t drive me crazy by any means.

Blue’s Clues is actually very good. I really like watching Elizabeth watch Blue’s Clues. I’ve read up a bit on the show, and it’s amazing at how much thought went in to the show. Other shows oriented to toddlers seem to be just silly, but someone really understood how to make a show that appealed to toddlers, engaged them, and showed them fun and interesting stuff… and Blue’s Clues is the result. I’m really impressed.

But Signing Time is the best of all. Many of the concepts that are in Blue’s Clues are in Signing Time (the simple animation, of course the educational aspects, the short time spent with any one topic), but there are a lot of other things going for it. There’s so much attention to little details. I love how the Rachel (the “host”) always wears exactly the same clothes. She becomes very identifiable. And her songs are good! Way beyond the “not bad” level of Barney. Several of them are VERY catchy.

I won’t talk about Care Bears though!

Another thought. This one political.

The best job description that I ever heard for politician is that it is their job to amass power. For any career politician (with a very few exceptions that I’ve ever seen), I honestly believe that their primary motivation is to get power. All the rhetoric and promises are just ways of saying “if you give me power, I’ll do XXX for you”. XXX may vary depending on whether they are democrat or republican, whether they are running for congress or president, but ultimately, I find very little difference between the various parties.

Until Bush came along, people were mostly reluctant to give too much power to the politician. They got it of course… but they had to be much more subtle about it. They had to make lots of promises (and occasionally even follow though on some of them).

Then 9/11 came, and for the first time in my lifetime, a politician was given nearly carte blance… save us from the terrorists, and you can have all the power you want. And boy did he (and most other politicians) take advantage of the situation. I’d love to think that when news of the attacks came, Bush’s first thoughts were about the loss of lives, and the damage done to so many people. But part of me (most of me) thinks that his first thoughts were along the lines of “how can I make this work for me”.

Now, people are growing concerned. So what do they do? Along comes the anti-Bush/anti-Republican candidate (i.e. Obama) and people flock to him.

How many people are now saying “take as much power as you need… just save us from Bush”? It’s another golden ticket, this time for the other party. Perhaps Obama is someone who saw a problem and stepped up to the plate to deal with it. Or perhaps he’s a politician who saw an opportunity.

It remains to be seen what the result will be. It would be wonderful if Obama is one of those VERY rare politicians who actually thing the job description entails more than “get power”. But even if that is the case, the amount of power given to the president MUST be curbed, becase even if Obama is everything he says he is… the next president probably won’t be.

1 Comment

  1. I must admit, although it will come as no surprise, I really enjoyed the first part where you shared how much you enjoy those special times with Elizabeth. My heart was touched as it was too sweet!

    I agree on the football debate that we do need a better system for playoffs.

    As for the children’s entertainment, I think less is more. I actually would like to cut back a bit on the use of video’s/TV/Computer time for Elizabeth. For me this is easier said than done. It is convenient, Elizabeth enjoys it, and I get a break, but it does take away some quality time that could be spent one-on-one with Elizabeth. That being said, I have found (for the most part) the programs that we do expose Elizabeth to to be helpful and educational – especially Signing Time, Blues Clues, and Barney.

    As for the politics, this is a nice forum for you to express your opinions. I was actually much more receptive reading about your political opinions than with most of our face to face political discussions. Thanks for sharing!

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