Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Hurricane Irene Update: Attack of the Shadow Puppets

28 Aug

Photo by Russ & Reyn Photography

Just wanted to give y’all a quick update on how Hurricane Irene affected my area here in the lovely outskirts of Allentown, Pennsylvania.  The governor is asking the President to declare several counties, including Lehigh County where I live, Federal Disaster areas, which means FEMA can move in to help us out.  Apparently, there is a lot of flooding, downed trees, and power lines with high winds expected to continue until this evening as the back end of Irene moves out of our area.

From what I can tell from inside my cozy apartment, there is no flooding in my immediate vicinity, just a few tree parts here and there in the backyard, and my vehicle appears to be OK (despite some neighbors ignoring the apartment mandate to remove items from their porches).

Still, BFF Sarah and I have a cooler full of ice (and drinks.  You don’t want to see me go through a power outage without Diet Coke) and a tub full of water in case our electricity does go out, which is still a possibility.  I mean, how will we watch “Dr Quinn” if that happens?  My mom and my friend, Shari, both lost power, but it has been restored.

No one is SUPPOSED to be out on the roadways, but apparently people are driving around all over the place.  I’m not going to risk my life or my vehicle just because I’m stir-crazy and curious.  Why put the rescue crews in additional danger because I’m an idiot?

So, we didn’t even need to use the flashlights I bought (see “Friday Faves: Hurricane Irene’s A’Coming Edition“).  Well, except for the shadow puppet show I performed on the ceiling last night, which was met from a low growl from Cassie the Peekapoo, who thought the shadow puppets were an imminent threat.

Update 8.2811,  7 PM-ish:  Hurricane Irene has now passed into New England.  It’s a bit blustery out, but the sun is shining and our garden is ruined (see photo essay tomorrow.)  Please continue to pray for people in the area affected by storm damage and flooding (rivers are expected to crest tomorrow afternoon.) 

Let me know how you’re faring, share any prayer requests, or tell me what you’re up to on this Sunday afternoon while I am trapped in my apartment.

Photo Essay:: Inside Scranton, Pennsylvania

17 Apr

On Wednesday, I accompanied my friend, Shari, on a trip to her hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Scranton is not only the hometown of Vice President Joe Biden (until he moved to Delaware at the age of 10) but also the location of the fictional paper company Dunder Mifflin from “The Office.”  A historic town, Scranton is full of fabulous old architecture, including its public library, which beckoned to be photographed, despite the rainy conditions outside.

The Scranton Public Library is full of these wonderful stained glass windows. I think they would be prettier if the sun had been shining.

The window ledges also make excellent additional bookshelves.

Old school window crank.

I want to LIVE in this library.  At least I’d finally have room for all my books.

Microfilm will burn your retinas out.

Two of these stone lions guard the entrance to the Scranton Public Library.  The lions come alive at night and hunt down patrons who don’t return their library books on time.

Why does the Scranton Public Library have an “A” in the middle of its iron gate?  I don’t know. (A = Amy)

Scranton is also known for its fine “monuments.”  Sadly, this is not one of those monuments.  In fact, I’m not quite sure what statement this is supposed to make. (I know, I know, it’s just waiting to be unveiled.)

So, there you have it, a little bit of Scranton!  See, Justin, you told me to take pictures of Scranton, and I told you I probably wouldn’t.  Well, I did, so, ha! I showed you.    I know these aren’t the greatest pictures I’ve ever taken, but it’s been a while since I photographed anything.  Amy’s gotta get her groove back.

So, what do you think?  Have you been to Scranton?  Do you want to go?  Do you think the stone lions really attack people at night?

Photo Essay:: Here Comes the Sun

3 Feb

I’m one of those photographers who think sun glare in my photos is [generally] a good thing–at least in nature shots.  Since the sun seems to go into hiding during the gloomy winter months, I decided to capture it when it sneaked through the clouds.  All of these shots were taken in and around Central Pennslyvania (State College region), except for the first one which was taken just outside Tamaqua.  To me, the sun showers on me a bit of God’s glory and reminds me of His beauty.

[A couple of people have asked why I now put my name on my photos–it’s to prevent theft.  While I don’t mind sharing for certain things, I do not tolerate people stealing my photographs to sell and present as their own.]

**Don’t forget to enter BSW’s OWOH giveaway here and enter to win the book TEA WITH HEZBOLLAH by Ted Dekker & Carl Medearis here!**

News:: Green River Ordinance Playing at Chameleon Club on Oct. 10

7 Oct

Rock is just tastier when it’s made down south. Just ask everyone that’s seen Green River Ordinance sizzle at each and every show that they’ve played this past year in support of their Virgin Records debut, Out Of My Hands. If you haven’t caught the pop rock phenomenon yet, you’ll have a chance to see them this fall with “One Tree Hill” star Kate Voegele. Hot off highly successful runs with American Idol winner David Cook, Collective Soul, and Gavin DeGraw, Green River Ordinance will traverse the states alongside Miss Voegele this fall.

“Outside” fueled some highly memorable moments on MTV’s massively successful show’s The Hills and “On Your Own” was used repeatedly as the sign off song on ABC’s So You Think You Can Dance. CNN.com recently featured the rising talent in a segment that brings audiences closer to the band as they gun towards stardom (watch segment).  In addition, their album sales keep growing. Every week more fans experience Out Of My Hands in all its glory, recently the band broke the record for most CDs sold at a performance at the Nokia Theater, in New York City.

Green River Ordinance will appear with Kate Vogele this Saturday, October 10 at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA.  For a full list of tour dates be sure the visit GRO online. Also, check for a Backseat Writer feature interview with lead singer JoshJenkins coming later this month!

All Tour Dates::

Oct 7 Cleveland, OH-House Of Blues

Oct 8 Norfolk, VA-The Norva

Oct 9 Asbury Park, NJ-The Wonderbar

Oct 10 Lancaster, PA-Chameleon

Oct 11 Hartford, CT-Webster Underground

Oct 13 Troy, NY-Revolution Hall

Oct 14 Boston, MA-Paradise Rock Club

Oct 16 Washington, DC-Rock and Roll Hotel

Oct 18 Louisville, KY-Headliners Music Hall

Oct 19 Murray, KY-Curris Center at Murray State University

Oct 20 Memphis, TN-Hi Tone Café

Oct 21 Little Rock, AR-Juanita’s Cantina Ballroom

Oct 22 Oklahoma City, OK-Diamond Ballroom

Oct 23 San Antonio, TX-White Rabbit

Oct 24 McAllen, TX-Buddha Mansion

Oct 26 Austin, TX-Stubb’s Bar-B-Q

Oct 28 El Paso, TX-Take 2

Oct 29 Albuquerque, NM-Launchpad

The Economy Hits Home

18 Mar

Whenever my watch battery needs to be changed, I head to Richard’s Jewelers in downtown Emmaus.  I suspect that Richard has the best prices around, but even if he didn’t, I would go there anyway.  Not only do I like to support local businesses when I can, but I like Richard’s Jewelers  It’s a small mom-and-pop outfit run by Richard himself, who’s owned the store for 45 years.

My watch went dead two months ago, and finally I got around to taking it to Richard’s.  As usual, when I walked through the door, the charming little bell chimed letting Richard know that he had a customer.  He came bustling out of his office as fast as his 74 year-old body would carry him.  I smiled and told him I needed a new watch battery.  Immediately, he set to work.

He’s slow as he goes and he told me that his fingers don’t work the way they used to due to rheumatism.  I wondered how long Richard’s could remain open with its owner aging.  I looked around the shop, which is full of knick-knacks.  Dust covers some of the older items, and the display cases are yellowed with age.  It’s hard to tell how old some of the jewelry is, but it’s pretty nonetheless.  Tools lie across the counter tops and the carpet is worn and old.  In fact, the place smells old.  It’s always looked like an antique even 11 years ago when I bought my high school class ring from Richard’s.

Richard told me about his wife Dorothy and his dog.  The “girl dog” passed away from a seizure, he tells me, wiping a tear from his eye.  He examined my watch battery for a moment and then searched for the right match.  When he found it, he came back and informed me that the battery went up a dollar in price.  Did I still want it?  Of course, I did.  Richard smiled a little, as if he thought I might storm out the door and never come back due to the increased price of watch batteries.

He tried to grab the battery, but it flipped out of his fingers.  My fingers aren’t what they used to be, he said apologetically.  Yet he grabbed the little bugger, slide it smoothly into my watch, and I was good to go. I informed him that I only get my watch batteries changed at Richard’s.  I didn’t want him to think that his rheumatism scared me away.  He smiled sadly and said that he wasn’t sure if he would be open in a year.  I already knew why, but I asked anyway.

The economy, he said, it’s killing my business.  At Christmas, the shop lost $17,000 in planned revenue alone.  I asked him where I’d get my watch batteries changed if he closed, and he shrugged his shoulders.  I paid for my battery, but Richard continued to talk.  He always likes to talk, but was particularly loquacious.  As it turns out, he started out selling class rings for Jostens.  Then 45 years ago, he and his wife decided to open their own shop, not only selling jewelry but repairing it as well.  He still sells class rings, changes watch batteries, and does a good deal of clock repairs, yet even Richard has fallen victim to the bad economy.

As he shared, I could see the struggle within this dear old man to close or not to close.  He and his wife keep discussing it; they can’t continue to lose money.  Richard figures he could get a job at another shop, at least for a few years, because he’s not ready to retire.  Even as he says it, I can tell he doesn’t believe it.  He knows and I know that once the store closes, he won’t get a job somewhere else.  He recounted to me the history of the store and mentioned that even if he sells the place, he won’t get much because of the lousy real estate market.  He sighed deeply and leaned back against a glass case.  Tears sat on the rim of my eyes, and I told him that I would pray.  I meant it and he know I meant it.

Then another customer came in as Richard started in a tirade about the $13,000 he pays a year for health care and how he doesn’t want socialized medicine like they have up in Canada.  Back to his normal self, I bid Richard adieu and took leave of his shop.  I looked down at my watch; Richard had even set it to the correct time.  I smiled to myself, in spite of my sadness.  You just can’t get that kind of customer service anywhere else, which is why I will continue to go to Richard’s Jeweler’s until he closes his doors.

Take 5 with Peasant

15 Mar

I fell in love with Off the Ground at first listen.  The  extraordinarily talented artist behind the album happens to be Damien DeRose better known by his moniker “Peasant”. Not only does Peasant hail from the great state of Pennsylvania, his song “Raise Today” was featured on the season premiere of one of my favorite television shows, “Bones.”   Off the Ground (Paper Garden), his sophomore offering to the world of acoustic folk, lulls listeners into a dream-like state of bliss. Simple, without being simplistic—I adore this beautifully mellow album. Naturally, I had to do a “Take 5” with Peasant, and he was kind enough to comply.

*Your birth name is Damien DeRose, but you go by the moniker “Peasant”—why is that?

It’s actually quite timely to be named Peasant these days, and it was something of a premonition. I really liked the lyric in John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero,” where he says “we’re all f**king peasant’s as far as I can see”, referencing the cycle of debt and other issues the common person deals with in our society. That said, it’s not just a socio-political assertion, I happen to believe that simple is beautiful, and I don’t really mind being a Peasant.

*You’ve been compared to the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, famous for telling stories in their songs. What types of stories do your songs tell?

Well there are so many different kinds, the songs that are likened to other storytellers are usually about people, whether it’s a girlfriend, a friend who’s lost it all for some reason, a fake person who’s lost it all, you know, people make the best stories.

*”Raise Today” was feature on the season premiere of one my favorite shows, “Bones.” What‘s the background story on “Raise Today”?

The song was written when I was really examining myself and the person I was involved with at the time, I kind of got objective, which is difficult, but sometimes easy in music. The line “What is there missing from me, that I see in you?” describes the overall tone of the song I guess, and it’s about loving and losing people, and how it just happens as we grow, to be simple.

*Tell me about a special song from your latest album, “On the Ground.” (Come on, I know that every artist has one or two songs that are particularly special!)

Well, they are all special to me, not to be cheesy, but they really are, although you are right, at least for me, some songs are NOT as special to me. But my favorite at the moment would be “Birds.” Look for that sound in the future to be more what I’ll be doing. The song itself is a reference to a poem a friend of mine wrote me. She referred to me as a bird who should keep singing, and she was lonely and sad, so I wrote her that song about birds (and more!)

*You and I both hail from the state of Pennsylvania, which automatically makes it the best state of all. Why do you think that everyone should come visit your home state?

Ed Rendell says we have our own Grand Canyon. However, I think Pennsylvania is a truly diverse place, from Amish people to city folk, and it’s always done me well. Also, the greatest team in baseball–the Phillies–are from PA. What’s not to like?

For more information on Peasant visit him online at iampeasant.com or myspace.com/peasant.  Also, be sure to check out the other great artists on Paper Garden Records at papergardenrecords.com.

Stumping Around

30 Oct
This is a tree stump. By nature, it is “stumping” but it has no political affiliation.

My friend just asked me how I felt about Donald Miller’s trip to Pennsylvania to stump for Obama.  I was tempted to say, “Who’s Donald Miller?”  Of course, the answer would be–the guy who wrote Blue Like Jazz.  So I decided to check out the link provided me by my friend (no doubt with a smirk on her face; I think she likes baiting me), and sure enough, Miller will be in my fair state the next couple of days to regale us with some verbiage about Barack Obama and how wonderfully wonderful he is.  Sigh.

It’s in moments like this that I really hate living in a battleground state.

Look, Don, it’s nice of you to make the trip out here to the East Coast, but we really don’t need you to come.  See, we’ve got lots of folks in-state who are trying to spread the message about their candidates and have been doing so for months.  We don’t need some guy who wrote a best-selling book to come to our state to tell us ignorant gun-toting religious nuts how to vote–thanks, but no thanks.

I don’t care if you’re hosting a forum with representatives from both sides to discuss the issues.  We did that already–it’s called a debate.  Maybe you caught it on television.  To me it seems like you’re using your celebrity to get college kids to vote for your guy, which is essentially what stumping is, isn’t it?  Using your fame to get people to vote for your candidate.

For some reason, I find this more insulting than Elizabeth Hasselback speaking with Sarah Palin or Ellen DeGeneres showering attention on the Obamas.  Actually, I detest when celebrities use their celebrity to buy votes from fans because at the end of the day, that’s what they’re doing.  I dislike it even more when they’re not even stumping for my team.  If they’ve got to stump, at least stump with me, not against me.

Election Day is less than a week away–and we are taking sides.  Instead of friend or neighbor, we have become divided into red state/blue state, Republican/Democrat, McCain-Palin supporter/Obama-Biden supporter.  In fact, I’m starting to wonder about people who support Obama because if they support Obama, what else is wrong with them?  How could such otherwise rational people make such a ridiculous choice for a candidate?  And are they thinking the same about me? (Yes! They are!)

We have become savages for our candidates ready to beat the crap out of anyone that threatens his nomination–like a blogger going after a published author just because he’s stopping by the state to talk a little bit about Obama.  I feel less than my usual accepting self.   I wanted to be diplomatic about things, but really, I’m tired of all the rhetoric.  I want to let loose and tell you all how I really feel about Obama.  But I won’t.

Suffice to say, I hate the election because it turns otherwised civilized individuals into ranting maniacs.  I also hate when candidates ENCOURAGE people to travel to battleground states to tell us ignoramuses what’s up.  It’s different when it’s politicians–that’s what they do.  And I’ve gone beyond hating life here in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Red, White, & Bruised

14 Oct

Right now I should be in one of two places–intently listening to John McCain discuss women’s issues at a Town Hall Meeting in Blue Bell, PA or screaming like a banshee for Sarah Palin at a rally in Scranton, PA.  However, I’m at home, still in my pj’s, pondering how to best tackle my to-do list.

When I got up this morning, I didn’t feel like being up at 6:30 AM, didn’t want to drive an hour in rush hour traffic to get a ticket to the McCain event, drive to the event, and wait in lines with tons of women.  Then I didn’t fancy sitting in a chair waiting a couple of hours for McCain to show.  After his crowd interaction/speech, I’d have to navigate out of the crowded venue and deal with more traffic.  The same goes for the Palin rally (although I did find out that I would have been with a group that had backstage passes to the event…but I found out a little too late.  Oh well). Plus, I did get to see McCain/Palin less than a week ago at a rally and have the pictures to prove it (read post).

One of the reasons I wanted to go to either venue was to hang with like-minded people and make new friends.  Seriously, rallies can be wild and the crowd energy is contagious.  But I really wanted attend these events to take more pictures (and hopefully figure out my lighting issues) and meet either McCain or Palin.  However, a lot of people want to meet McCain and Palin, so who I am in a crowd of thousands?

Sure, Sarah Palin is my hero–a woman whose courage I admire.  She’s well-spoken, real, and shows grace under a ridiculous amount of media attacks.  I wanted to encourage her and to tell her to keep fighting because there are woman (like me) who believe in her.  We are glad she is running for VP and feel that she represents us.  Her mere presence in this election is a kick in the face to everyone who told us we couldn’t because we’re woman.  That’s why I would give Sarah Palin a sincere hug, wipe the tears from my eyes, and say, “Thank you,  Sarah!”

John McCain, on the other hand, is someone I have admired for a long time.  I have always admired his ability to cross party lines to get things done and to fight for what he thought was right even if it meant going against the norm.  I believe that he’s a man of honor who deeply loves this country.  I don’t care if he’s in his early 70s because with age comes wisdom.  He’s proved the kind of man he is over and over again in a variety of heart-wrenching situations, and when he’s failed, he’s admitted to his folly.  I want a man of honor in the White House.  I want to shake his hand, thank him for his service, and tell him to keep fighting for the presidency.  Your fight is my fight, John McCain, otherwise I wouldn’t have given up hours of my life to volunteer for your campaign.

Truth be told, as much as I believe in the McCain/Palin ticket, I’m feeling a little red, white, and bruised.  I’m tired of going into my local “Victory Center” and making phone call after phone call to people who would rather not talk to me.  In fact, Sarah and I received four calls from the Republican Party telling us to vote for McCain, asking us to volunteer, and what not!  Ironically, one of the messages on our answering machine was left while I was volunteering.  Uh, yeah.

So, since I’m tired of getting all these ridiculous phone calls, I figure other people are tired of getting these phone calls as well.  Therefore, I feel less than excited at the prospect of making more phone calls that annoy people.  When I’ve asked if I can use my other skills, I am told that there’s nothing else I can do, but I see other people, who are unwilling to harass people for McCain, doing all sorts of other things such as greeting people at the door, putting together signs, entering data into computers, and so on.  I’ve been in there 13 times, 12 of which have been spent making calls.  I’m really getting bored…you know?  I want to be humble and to do what is asked of me, even if it seems really lame.  But just because studies say that phone calls are what win elections doesn’t mean that’s what reaches my generation.  Everyone I talk to is sick of the phone calls–I don’t want to be part of the problem.

Part of me wants to continue until the end, or at least until I leave for vacation on Nov. 1, but I’m just so sick of making phone calls.  I’m almost weary of the whole election.  I mean, it’s hard to have devoted so much time to a campaign only to hear on the news that your candidate probably won’t win the election anyway.  I’m starting to take attacks on Sarah Palin personally, like I’m a dolt for choosing to support a woman who seems like a complete idiot to so many.  Really, I just want the whole thing to be over.

Do I continue to make phone calls, even though I feel like they’re a hindrance?  Do I continue helping at the office because I want to finish what I started?  Should I demand other work?  I have no idea.  Maybe I should have attended one of the rallies in hopes that I could be encouraged by the energy of the candidates instead of sitting at home pondering what to do next.

I imagine a world without candidate phone calls, no political ads taking up commercial space when I was TV, and news about the election not dominating the headlines.  As for me, right now I’m red, white, and bruised.

A Day at the McCain/Palin Rally

8 Oct
McCains lagging in the polls?  Cant tell from this crowd!

McCain's lagging in the polls? Can't tell from this crowd!

Yikes!  Has it really been a whole entire week since I blogged?  Wow, time sure does fly by when you’re insanely busy…and this past week I was insanely busy.  Besides my usual duties (which I’ve, uh, temporarily abandoned), musician Amy Courts crashed at my pad from Thursday until Tuesday morning while she was playing some shows in the area (specifically Alive ’08 with Shirock–more pics to come).  And today I spent the day at Stabler Arena with some rabid McCain/Palin fans at a local rally.

Sarah Palin commands the crowd.

Sarah Palin commands the crowd.

It was like a rock concert for politicians, but crazier.  Plus, I had some great seats so I have the opportunity to meet Chet Beiler, who’s running for State Auditor General, Congressman Charlie Dent, and a couple of other politicians who aren’t in my voting district.  One was particularly annoying as he tried to court my vote and my writing skills.  As you all know, I can’t be won over by flattery, just cold, hard bribes (just kidding).  The Republican Party’s superstars took the stage, including Senator Arlen Spector…and some people I’ve never heard of, but they seemed important.

The expression on John McCains face = priceless.

The expression on John McCain's face = priceless.

Of course, all that was just garnish.  We were there to see John McCain and Sarah Palin (judging from the crowd frenzy and chants–we were really there to see Sarah Palin.  Shhh!  Don’t tell John).  All of a sudden the lights flashed, the music blared, and their arrival was announced–everyone went wild.  After a minute of nothingness, people started to exchange looks.  Five minutes later, people began to sit down.  At ten minutes, two waters were placed by the podium and then five minutes after that, the speeches.  Twenty minutes passed and I wondered if McCain and Palin were going to stand up the entire stadium.

Sarah Palin getting off the Straight Talk Express.

Sarah Palin fresh off the Straight Talk Express.

All of a sudden, the “Rocky” theme song echoed from the loudspeaker and the Straight Talk Express rolled into the side of the area.  I AM NOT KIDDING!  They just drove it on in there.  Sarah Palin emerged and then John McCain and his wife and one of his daughters  People were screaming, waving “Country First” signs, and chanting various things.  You would have thought the Beatles were arriving in America–again.  But,  no, this was the man who could be our next President and the woman who could be our next Vice-President.  If you thought McCain was lagging behind in the polls, you wouldn’t have been able to tell it from this crowd.

We love Sarah!

We love Sarah!

Cindy McCain spoke first.  Then Sarah Palin took the stage, and she was as every bit charming as one could imagine.  I was too busy taking pictures to pay attention, but when McCain was speaking I’m fairly certain she winked at me.

We love McCain, too!

We love McCain, too!

Again, I was taking pictures, so I didn’t catch too much of what McCain was talking about (sounded like the same ol’ stuff to me).  But one thing struck me–as McCain talked about Obama, the crowd started chanting, “Nobama! Nobama!”   McCain raised a hand in the air to quiet the chant and said that was unnecessary.  He then continued on with his speech.  I believe that his character was evidenced in this simple act.  While he may attack Obama on the issues with sometimes questionable tactics (which is more his campaign than McCain, but, yes, he “runs” his campaign), he refused to allow his speech to turn into a mockery of his opponent.  John McCain oozed class, and I smiled proudly.  At that moment, I knew exactly why I wanted McCain to be my next President, and all it took was a simple act of respect for Obama.

John McCain speaks at a rally in the Lehigh Valley.

John McCain speaks at a rally in the Lehigh Valley.

Unfortunately, I wish the crowd could have taken a lesson from McCain about respect because trying to get out of our seats and back to our cars was a nightmare.  Because my mom is disabled, I urged her to step down to the front of the bleachers to allow others to pass so we could take our time.  Wrong move!  Because McCain and Palin lingered in the crowd to sign autggraphs.  So everyone was lurching forward to get a piece of the McCain/Palin ticket, which included yelling, “Sarah!  Blow a kiss!  Do it for Trig!” Umm…yeah.  I was pushed forward by the crowd and nearly fell into the railing, but was caught by a very kind man (thank you, kind man!)  I’ve seen teenage kids waiting for autographs at rock concerts act with more civility than these grown-ups who were supposed to be civilized human beings.  Perhaps they could get some tips on celebrity etiquette from their kids.

My mom and me.

My mom and me.

Despite spending 8 hours on this rally adventure and nearly plummeting to my death (or at least hospitalization), I had a good time, saw an old friend (shout out to Erica!), and met some fairly interesting folks.  Plus, the one lone protester made for an entertaining spectacle.  My advice if you plan on attending a rally–speak loudly to cheer on your candidates and carry a very large stick to beat off the rabid McCain/Palinites.

And here are pics of the lone individual protesting the event…

Theres one in every crowd.

There's one in every crowd.

In case the sign and the insults werent enough, he also flips off the line.

In case the sign and the insults weren't enough, he also flips off the line.

Protesting without a permit is illegal so the shenanigans of the protestant are put to an end by local law enforcement.

Protesting without a permit is illegal so the shenanigans of the protestant are put to an end by local law enforcement.

Stuffing McCain Across the Great Political Divide

8 Sep
My bumper stickers, including one for McCain

My bumper stickers, including one for "McCain"

Now that I’ve decided to support the McCain/Palin ticket, I’ve decided to make it official by slapping a “McCain 08” bumper sticker on my vehicle.  Plus, I spent two hours volunteering at my local McCain HQ.  I stuffed plastic bags with literature that will be distributed by a team going door-to-door.  My task felt a bit pointless.  I know where most of those brochures are gonna end up; I just hope they choose the recycling bin over the trash can.

One of the other main jobs at the center is to “telemarket” for McCain.  I’m dead serious!  I can call people up, ask them who they’re voting for, and then feed them a line.  No wonder McCain is lagging behind in Pennsylvania with this “strategy.”  But it’s people wiser than me who call the shots, so I’ll just do what I can to “get out the vote.”  I think the guy who runs the center almost swallowed his tongue when I told him that I didn’t care who people voted for as long as they vote intelligently, even if that means voting for Obama.  I want to see democracy in action, and yes, I think McCain is the best leader for our country.  However, if the population of this great nation would rather see Obama as President, then the republic has spoken.

After leaving the Republican Party in April and deciding to become an Independent (“I Went Indie“), I have felt the freedom in this election to ignore party lines and look at the candidates with fresh eyes.  I believe in this blog you have been able to see that process from when I was unsure who I liked (“Super Tuesday: All the Hype Money Can Buy,” “The ‘Christian’ Way to Vote“, “Faith Beyond Politics“), to when I decided that I didn’t like Obama (“Obama Drama Makes Me Go Bye Bye“), and until recently when I embraced McCain as my candidate.  I appreciate all of you taking the time to consider these matters for yourselves and thank you for continuing to follow my journey through the wild world of politics (and life).

Heres a shot of the local McCain HQ

Here's a shot of the local McCain HQ

This afternoon I decided to show my support for McCain/Palin on Facebook by officially becoming a supporter of the campaign.  This evening I received this message on my “friend wall” from a guy I knew in high school:

“im sure you have a very good personal reason for supporting mccain/palin, but i can no longer be friends with you.  Im sorry but mccain is a dishonorable man who will only further the failed policies of the bush administration and sarah palin is a fraud, supporting the bridge to nowhere before being against it, requesting 27million in earmarks for a town of 9,000 that she was mayor of and now claiming to be against earmarks, alaska also was the state with the most requested earmarks per capita of any state, she fired a state trooper for breaking up with her sister, claims the war in iraq is a ‘mission from god’, cut funding for special needs education and opposes abortion even in cases of rape.  Best of luck in the future.”

Besides the italics, the message is exactly as it was left on my public Facebook wall; therefore, I figure it’s fair game for my blog, right?  Since this guy “defriended” me, I couldn’t write on his wall, so I wrote on my wall.  This is what I said:

“So instead of finding out my “good personal reason” you’re not going be my friend? Don’t you think it would better for Obama if you intelligently explained your point of view instead of leaving a final post and taking off? It’s garbage like this that shows why Democrats and Republicans can’t play nicely.  Of course, I’m an Independent.”

The stuff we stuffed!

The stuff we stuffed!

I could just say this guy is a jerk and leave it there.  Unfortunately, there are jerks working on McCain’s side, too.  What makes me sad about the whole thing isn’t that our superficial Facebook friendship has come to an end (I haven’t even seen the kid since graduation), but that it shows the ignorance and arrogance of “our little parties.”  We get so into “our group” and “our candidate” and “our this” and “our that,” we can’t tolerate those who think differently or even pause to ask the questions, “Why?  Why do you support McCain anyway?  What is it about Sarah Palin that you like?”  Don’t assume you know the answer!

In the next few weeks, I’ll tell you exactly why I chose McCain and why I like Palin.  I’ll even tell you where I don’t agree with them.  I’m not a machine who votes the party line, then again, neither are McCain and Palin.  Perhaps that’s what really likes me–I find the idea of a Maverick and a Barracuda taking over Washington a true idea of change.

%d bloggers like this: