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    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    I Was Freaked Out Today

    If you're local, you know about this story. A quick recap for others - last December, a mother was driving down the road that runs along the Iowa River when she lost control of her car and went into the river. Thanks to the bravery of four individuals walking and biking along the river, people who dove in and rescued the woman and her two sons, no one died. The mother later said that she lost control because the boys were acting up in the backseat. 

    Jump forward to this past weekend. The woman and the two boys went missing. The vehicle she was driving was found in a wooded area. One boy, the youngest, was dead of multiple knife wounds. The older son and the mother were taken to the hospital, also with multiple knife wounds. This afternoon, to no one's surprise, murder and assault charges were filed against the mother. 

    That's sad and sick enough. Here's where it gets weird for me. 

    There was a picture of the mother online for the first time today. She looked very familiar to me. I thought I placed her, but wasn't sure. So I found the family address, looked at a picture of the house at the County Assessor's web site, and confirmed what I suspected. I did know her. 

    Not by name, no. 

    Back when we were a family, we lived for awhile on ValleyView Drive in Coralville, a short walk from where this family lives. This woman would come around, pushing a stroller. (Considering when we were there, it had to be the older son - the younger son would not have been born until after we moved from that spot.) One day she came by while I had the dogs outside. They saw her coming and started to walk toward her and the stroller. She freaked out, started screaming at me to take the dogs inside. 

    Now, neither of my dogs would ever harm a kid. Never. They've been around babies and toddlers and kids all their lives, and they are great with them. But I took them in anyway. No big deal. 

    A couple of days later, same thing was about to happen. But this time, she started screaming at me to take the dogs inside BEFORE they even saw her. Of course, her screaming got them to turn and see her, and they became interested in this yelling lady. Once again, I got them and took them inside. No big deal. 

    A few weeks later, same thing. She starts yelling BEFORE she gets to our place. This time, big deal. I got the dogs and started yelling back. Which caused her to yell more. Which caused the dogs to get excited. Which caused her to yell more. Which caused me to yell more. There may have been - scratch that, there was - profanity, and lots of it. Mostly from me. Lesa, having heard me, finally came and pulled me and the dogs inside. 

    She continued to walk by. It was always at the same time, so we got to making sure the dogs weren't outside at that time. I drive by their house a lot - hell, when E's here, I drive by it at least twice a day, because it's on the way to his daycare provider's house - and everytime I would drive by and see her outside, I would always curse her a little under my breath. 

    So anyway, that freaked me out today. It didn't necessarily surprise me - she was a fucking crazy lady five years ago, and she's apparently a fucking crazy lady today - but it did freak me out. 

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    This Election In A Nutshell

    "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is just an United States of America." B. Obama

    "It's good to be here in the pro-America part of the country." S. Palin

    Saturday, October 25, 2008

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    You Tube Fun - Spanish Sub-titled Queen Edition

    It's Late

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    Killer Queen

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    I Voted Today

    You know, civilized states have early voting. It's great to be able to cast a vote more or less at your leisure. I had to renew the registration on my car, so while I was at the courthouse I went ahead and voted. It was only the second time in 30 years of voting that I cast a straight party line ballot. The first time was two years ago. I didn't take the "Vote All Dem" option though. I wanted the pleasure, and the honor, of filling in that little oval for Obama. 

    It was, at least momentarily, a huge relief. This campaign has been going on for Iowans since February of 2007. That's when I saw my first presidential ad of this season. But when I got home, I was reminded that the campaign is still going on here. God knows why. There is no way McCain can possibly pick up the state. Sure, it's a relatively cheap ad buy, but it's totally wasted money. Oh well. I'm content to have him waste money here, particularly since it means it's money he can't spend someplace else where it might be effective. 

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Happy Birthday E!

    Six years. Six. Hard to believe.

    I know you won't read this, but Daddy loves you kiddo. I love you so much, and I miss you so much, and I can't wait til I get to see you again. I hope you have a great birthday, hope you like your presents, and I hope Mommy gets you a cool cake.


    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Saturday, October 11, 2008

    I'm Sorry

    There's something I need to apologize for. I wrote this on January 4th this year:

    We are going to have a bloody, vicious fight on our hands, and I don't know that Obama is up for it.

    Well, he is up for it. He's more than up for it. He's run a genius campaign so far. Absolutely genius. Neither Clinton nor McCain knew what they were up against. McCain still doesn't, but that's another post.

    But if I apologize for that, I get to take credit for this, a part of the same post:

    This coming election is going to be the ugliest Presidential election in my lifetime. This is the last gasp of the current Republican party, and they are going to do whatever they can, to whomever they have to, to hold onto the Presidency. The Republicans know they can't win on the merits, so they are going to attempt to absolutely destroy as a person whoever the Democratic nominee turns out to be.

    I think I nailed that one, don't you? 

    Linkage Update

    I've added a bunch of other links in addition to the economic ones. There's Pro Football Talk, the source of NFL news and rumors. There's IO9, a relatively new science fiction-oriented (in all it's glories - books, movies, tv, comics) blog from the Gawker group of blogs. 

    There's 538, a blog that uses all the polls - seriously, all of them - as the input to a predictive model. It's from the good folks behind Baseball Prospectus, and they bring that level of wonkery and that level of accuracy to the political realm. (Note - they are one of the very few who predicted, before the season began, that Tampa Bay would make the playoffs.) Mudflats, a progressive Alaska blog (wonder why that's there?) has been added. (In all seriousness, I would totally move to Alaska.) Finally, Balloon Juice, the blog of former Republican/still conservative/Obama supporter John Cole is back again. 

    Give em all a try!

    Money Money Money Money

    Here are links to a couple of great NPR pieces on the economic crisis. The first is The Giant Pool Of Money. The second is Another Frightening Show About The Economy. Both are absolutely essential to understanding where we are and how we got there. I've also tossed a group of Economics links out there, including Calculated Risk, Paul Krugman's blog, and Brad DeLong's blog. Calculated Risk has a long, long list of economics related links.