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    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    Great Ad

    This is a great ad - the best I've seen all season. The cool thing is, it's privately made by an Obama supporter and not by anyone associated with the campaign. (Hat tip to TPM.)

    Air Travel Thoughts

    Good Things

    Midway is a great airport. I've never been delayed at Midway, and indeed have almost always taken off and arrived early. The boarding pass check and security are set up perfectly to allow everyone to get through the process in a short amount of time. Parking - close parking - is plentiful and remarkably easy to navigate.

    Southwest is a great airline. I love, love, love Southwest. I love that every leg is priced separately - I can purchase two one-way tickets and a round-trip ticket on Southwest out of Midway for cheaper than one one-way ticket out of Cedar Rapids. I love that there are no baggage fees unless you are checking more than two bags or bringing something over 75 pounds. I love the new method of boarding that rewards you for checking in early. I love how they stress customer service while allowing their employees to bring their own individuality to their jobs. Case in point: The flight back from Philly had the roughest landing I've ever had. You know how you always bounce slightly when you first touch down? We bounced three times, throwing you out of your seat (thank God for seatbelts) then rushed down the runway far faster than you should. When we finally came to a stop, the attendant came on and went "Wheee! That was fun!" The guy next to me muttered "That wasn't fun", and I agreed, but I liked how the attendant handled it.

    Bad Things

    That guy next to me? Huge. HUGE. Took up his seat, half of mine, and half of the guy on the other side. Now, I know I'm not a small man. But still. I was pressed against the window for the entire two hours of the flight. Thank God for books.

    Carry-on people. You know, folks, if you have to stand there, pounding on your bag, moving it back and forth and to all different angles to try to get it into the overhead compartment, well maybe - maybe - YOU SHOULD JUST CHECK THE DAMN THING!!! As I was boarding for the flight back, there was a woman who had the whole line stopped because she was trying to get a bag that was literally - I'm not exaggerating, because she was right in front of me - six inches wider than overhead compartment. Don't get me wrong - it's not that the bag would normally be six inches wider, it's just that she had it so jammed filled with stuff that it got that way. Eventually she saw the line forming, pulled the bag down and ducked into the row so people could get past. She might have been the worst offender, but she wasn't the only offender.

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    You Might Want To Avoid This One

    It's late - almost 1:30, and I've been up for over 20 hours. I started the day in a hotel a few miles south of Midway airport, went to Philadelphia and back, and then returned to Iowa. My spiritual journey was much harder, much longer. I started the day once again a father with two sons (having picked up Andrew at Midway last night) and end the day as a father with no sons. That's not entirely true I guess; I have sons, they are just 1,000 miles away from me.

    That's why I'm not in bed yet, tired as I am. I know as soon as I shut the last lights off and lie down, it's all going to come crashing in on me. There were moments of tears throughout the afternoon after I left E, but I was able to fight them off. I know I won't now. I'll just have to accept them, accept that my life is no longer as bright as it was and won't be again for sometime, but I'm not ready for that yet.

    There is an unfairness about it to me. It's unfair that there are parents who don't love their children, who don't want their children, who would be happy to be in my position. It's unfair that, at least to me, the bulk of the responsibility for our family, my family, being in this position lies elsewhere, but the bulk of the pain lies with me.

    But the dogs are here, and though they sense my sadness, and though they know that E is not here, they will do what they can to keep me happy. I can devote my spare time more to myself, if not all to myself, and my expenses are cut drastically. These things don't add up to what I lost, but they will have to do.

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Why Yes

    I'm ec-fucking-static that the candidate I supported in the caucuses was carrying on an extra-marital affair (are there really any other kinds of affairs?) while campaigning for the Presidency.



    I wonder how many Obama supporters who thought McCain would be a viable option if Hilary won the nomination still feel that way? I also wonder if McCain will ever put forward a reason for voting for him that isn't, for all intents and purposes, "I'm not Obama"?

    It's Sad

    That my first reaction to the headline "Hawkeye Recruit Arrested" was "Whew - least it wasn't another football player.

    Professor Offers A's for T's

    Film at eleven, story at the Iowa City Press Citizen.

    According to complaints from the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety, there were four incidents. On May 8, a female student said she and Miller met. The student said Miller told her she wasn’t doing well in regards to her overall grade. The student said Miller said she “would have to do something for him” and Miller grabbed and sucked on her breast.

    Miller later sent the student an e-mail congratulating her on getting an “A+” and offering to meet next week to discuss assistance for getting into law school.

    There were two complaints from May 12. One complaint by a female student said she and Miller met to address her grade, with the student asking Miller if her grade would be fine pending taking the final. The student said Miller told her that wouldn’t be good enough and asked her to take off her top. The student did not do so and left his office.

    The second complaint by a female student said she met with Miller to discuss grades. The student said Miller told her he would give her an “A” if she let him fondle her breasts. Miller did so and asked to lick them. Miller later sent the student an e-mail asking to meet with her again and that “A lasting memory of a lovely Monet cannot be formed in 20 seconds.”

    The final complaint from May 13 was from a female student who met with Miller in his office. The student said Miller repeatedly asked her to take off her shirt and tried to negotiate by giving her an “A” in the class. The student said Miller told her that “girls in New Orleans do it all the time just for beads and that her grade was on the line.”

    I don't want to downplay the severity of this story - it's a complete violation of the professor-student relationship, and, if true, should result in nothing less than a dismissal from the University. Further, I find it hard to believe that there have only been four incidents over time - I wonder if the investigation is getting in contact with all the females on his class lists for the past few years. They certainly should be, if they aren't. But the line "A lasting memory of a lovely Monet cannot be formed in 20 seconds" strides so wonderfully above the nexus of sleaze and cheese that I will not soon forget it.

    Saturday, August 09, 2008

    My Friend Flickr

    Added a virtual ton of photos to the Flickr account, most taken at our visit to the Iowa Children's Museum yesterday afternoon. E had a blast, though it was somewhat bittersweet for me; it's the last time I'll take him for awhile. We'll miss the Halloween party, which he has been to every year but one since he was born. My world changes on Wednesday, and not for the better. Oh well. You do what you do.

    Anyway, here is a taste of the photos. It took a lot of attempts to get a photo with the balls just leaving the track, and by the time I finally got the shot, E was a little miffed that I wouldn't let him go play on other exhibits. But it worked, and I think it looks cool.