Tuesday, October 20, 2009
--Andrew J. Bacevich
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I cut out a cloud shaped paper stencil and held it to the side of the cake while Dorothy sprayed the sky blue. When the stencil was taken away, voila! Clouds. I used my pasta machine to roll out several colors of fondant icing then cut the shapes of the boat, sails, locomotive, etc. with a pizza cutter, then pressed them into the icing. Marley, Hunter, and Jenna helped by taking turns at the pasta machine crank. They also grabbed any scraps of fondant to do their own sculptures.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
The next day I left early and made the 1-1/2 hour drive to Tulsa to get a certified copy. Although I was unable to renew my license with the original birth certificate, I easily obtained a certified copy of my birth certificate with my expired driver's license. The copy has a lot of features that the original was missing, such as numbers, bar codes and a watermark, things that are very important to a bureaucracy.
That afternoon I was back in the agent's office ready to renew. I sat in front of this computerized technical wonder that would electronically take my picture, signature, and finger prints, and then produce a new license. We started the process and then we had this conversation:
She said, "Uh, oh".
"What?", I replied.
"The computer compares the just taken photo with the one from your old license and it's saying 'identification failed' ". She turned her screen around so I could see it and both photos were identical. I hadn't changed in four years. I hadn't even lost any more hair. So she started the process over and had the same results. She called someone in Oklahoma City who could pull up the photos on her computer and authorize the resetting of the local computer in order to proceed with the issuing of the license. After conversing with the woman on the phone for a moment she turned to me and said,
"She said you have a nice beard".
"Tell her I said thank you", I replied.
"She said all the good ones live too far away or are taken," she informed me. My face began to feel warm. The other customers in the office laughed. Well, to make a long story short, I got my license.
I told my 21 year old grand daughter, Tara, the story about what the woman in Oklahoma City said. She said,"When grandma hears that there's going to be a smack down in Oklahoma City." But when Dorothy got home from work and I told her the same story, she just smiled, patted me on the back, and walked away.
Monday, October 05, 2009
We - facing the truth about the American voter he states that
just as the American voter is wielding more power than ever the
voter is less informed and more easily manipulated than ever.
Here are some nuggets from the book:
- About 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. But more than half of Americans can name at least two members of the cartoon family, the Simpsons.
- In January 2003, three months before our invasion of Iraq, a majority of Americans falsely believed that "Iraq played an important role in 9/11", according to a Program on International Policy Attitudes survey.
- The majority of American could not answer these question that were asked in polls over the last three decades: What happened in 1066? (the Norman Conquest). Who said the"world must be made safe for democracy? (Woodrow Wilson). Who was Plato? Just 34 percent knew. Which country dropped the nuclear bomb? Only 49 percent knew it was our own country.
"......How ignorant are we? Ask the political scientists and you will be told that there is damning, hard evidence pointing incontrovertibly to the conclusion that millions are embarrassingly ill-informed and that they do not care that they are. There is enough evidence that one could almost conclude--though admitted this is a stretch--that we are living in an Age of Ignorance.
Another quote from the book that struck me was: "If an idea cannot be expressed on a bumper sticker you can probably give up any hope that it will ever attract much support. It likely will be ridiculed to death before it ever has a chance to be seriously considered. At the moment of its introduction somebody will be sure to cast aspersions on the intellectuals who dreamed it up in their ivory towers, and that will pretty much be the end of it."
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
Before we left I bent over to tie my shoe. I heard Hunter and Jenna laughing and when I sat up they were not only laughing but their faces were lit up with pure joy.
"What's so funny?", I asked.
"We saw your butt crack!" they replied in unison, loud enough for all the customers and crew to hear. Even the kid in back flipping hamburgers looked up.
Hunter, being the sensitive kid he is, must have sensed my discomfort because he whispered in my ear, "It was hairy".
It gives me a sense of fulfillment when I can bring, even in some small way, merriment to my grand children's day.