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Notes from the Pond

I will have my children’s books and soft sculptures for sale

Confessions of a reformed Republican



I have been a Republican most of my voting life. When I turned voting age I proudly marched down to my voter’s registration office and put my name on the rolls as a Republican.

I come from a long line of Republicans on my mother’s side and my father was the lone Democrat in a family of red-white-& blue blooded Republicans. I had the mistaken idea that Republicans were always right and the Democrats were so liberal they were almost communists. I don’t believe in voting a straight ticket but I had the philosophy of when in doubt vote Republican.

Disillusioned and disenchanted

The transformation was gradual and I’m not sure exactly when I changed, or if I did change. I don’t think I changed so much as the Republican Party did. The shift began sometime in the middle of George W. Bush’s reign term. The campaign and insistence of Bush to invade Iraq to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction had something to do with it. So did his “Mission Accomplished” speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003 when, clearly, the mission was not accomplished and many years of war were ahead.

I became cynical when I saw vice president Dick Cheney pull the strings from behind the scenes and interfere in areas that benefited his company, Halliburton. Cheney was chairman and CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. He retired from the company during the 2000 U.S. presidential election but still received stock options and other payments from the company. During his term as vice president, Halliburton was allowed to bid unopposed on government contracts. Cheney is also responsible for the infamous Bush/Cheney loophole of the Clean Water Act. Halliburton is a prominent player in the relatively new fracking industry and Cheney was successful in eliminating a disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process. They claimed it prevented competitors from stealing their formulas but it also exempts these companies from having to meet strict EPA regulations and endangers the water supplies.

I became even more disenchanted when John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. She is an embarrassment to the female population. She makes a good cheerleader but is ignorant of political and foreign affairs and basic fifth grade history.

Mitt the Twit

I thought the current presidential Republican candidate would be more intelligent and informed but it looks like he came out of the same mold as Palin. His trip abroad this summer, which was intended to showcase his foreign affairs savvy, only made him look more foolish. The Brits began calling him Mitt the Twit because of his blunders. Who in his right mind goes to our long-time ally and insults them by saying they are not ready to host the Olympics on the eve of its opening? He then went to Israel and insulted the Palestinians with a comment about their “culture”; and, as an equal opportunity abuser, he insulted the Jews by referring to a stereotype of the Jews.

Romney further exhibited his incompetency in foreign affairs by issuing a statement regarding the attack on our Embassy in Libya calling Obama’s handling of the violence “disgraceful” and accusing the administration of sympathizing with the attackers. He was too quick to jump to the party line of portraying the president as always apologizing for the U.S.’s actions and made a fool of himself in the process.

In addition to individuals within the party I am also upset with the Republican Party as whole for their stand on women, birth control, and no abortions in cases of rape and incest. The party wants to set back the women’s movement to the 1950’s when women stayed home, cooked, cleaned, wore house dresses with pearls (think Harriet Nelson in Ozzie and Harriet), and never had an original thought. In addition, the middle class and below is looked down upon as evidenced in Romney’s latest comments about 47% of the people not wanting to work or pay taxes and sponge off the government. The party has become the party of the 1% and the “wanna be’s”; that is, those who want to be part of the 1% and think that some of it will rub off on them if they vote Republican.

Mind polluting and propaganda spewing

And we can’t forget the plundering, pontificating, mind-polluting, propaganda-spewing duo of Limbaugh and Beck. Nothing more needs to be said about this Republican self-promoting tag team.

Compounding these issues is the Tea Party and the “religious right” who think they have all the answers and if you don’t agree with them you are not only wrong but also ungodly and un-American. The way the party is now I don’t understand how any middle-class American, woman, minority, or disadvantaged can vote Republican.

I looked around and thought, “What the hell is going on? This party does not represent who I am or what I believe.” At that moment I woke up and became a “reformed Republican.”

Reformed and rehabilitated

Yes, I am now a proud reformed, rehabilitated Republican. The party took a sharp right turn and left me in the middle of the road seeking my own path down the center between far-right Republican extremism and bleeding-heart liberal Democrats. I think I will start a third party called the RRA (reformed rehabilitated Americans). It is open to disillusioned voters of all parties who want to restore integrity and sanity to our government. Anyone with me?

Brain freeze


I have a brain freeze. I don’t mean the kind you get when you eat ice cream too fast; no, I have the kind you get when you are overwhelmed with too many mental tasks.

Do you ever get to the point that you just can’t think anymore? My mind is frozen into a thousand pixilated squares, just like your frozen cable TV screen. My internal computer is buffering like the computer screen I have been staring at the past several days trying to figure out an email problem. My brain continues to whirl in circles just like the icon on my computer that tells me to wait until it completes the task.

Last night I went to bed with a headache and wondered why. Then, I remembered that the first half of my day was spent untangling and juggling bills (my least favorite thing to do) and the second half of the day was spent trying to figure out why my computer is sporadically sending out emails. It is now sending out only short emails. I guess it is tired and doesn’t want to send any with attachments or with more than one name. Complicating the process, it won’t let me send anything to myself so I can check it. I guess it has decided I know what I wrote and there is no need to deliver it.

I have two accounts, one with Gmail, and one with our cable company which I have used for 15 years. Just like a typical teenager, the one through the cable company has developed a mind of its own. As a test I have sent emails through both accounts but only receive the Gmail account back. The most frustrating part of this is I have had my new web site for a few weeks and have not been able to notify my readers. I send a personal email to our many friends and relatives every time I add a new post but have not been able to do so for the last couple of posts. In addition, I have not been able to find a way to transfer my address book, which is in Outlook, to Gmail so I can send out the notices through them.

I am going to have to bite the bullet and call tech support for help. In the past my sessions with them haven’t always been successful, especially if they transfer me to India.

I know the perfect solution to a brain freeze and that is a good frozen margarita. If I’m going to suffer the pain of a brain freeze I might as well go for the real thing. It may not help me find the answers to my problems but, then, who cares?


Look at what the wind blew in



You never know when change is right around the corner or what will come your way with the wind.

In June when we had a brief but severe storm with heavy winds our power was out for nearly 24 hours. Saturday morning we decided to go out for breakfast since we couldn’t fix our usual breakfast at home. After driving around for nearly 45 minutes and finding most restaurants were also without power we finally ended up at The Creekside Café in Gahanna which was one of the few places open. They were overwhelmed with hungry people, including us, so we took the first two seats available which were at the counter.

I meet a new friend

We usually don’t sit at the counter but at this point we would have sat almost anywhere just to get some breakfast. Sitting next to me was an obvious electronic freak since he was reading from his Kindle and checking his phone for updates. He then showed me a radar map that showed the location of the storm and how fast it had traveled toward the east coast. Not known for being bashful, I struck up a conversation and asked what he did. He said he was a retired math teacher and statistician from San Diego. I replied that he was the exact opposite from me in that he worked with numbers and I worked with words.

He asked about me and my background and I happily talked about my blog, children’s books and other writings. When he asked about my web site I said that I didn’t have one and needed to do that but had not had the time to teach myself all that is involved in setting one up. Well, as they say, as luck would have it, he was a web designer! By the end of breakfast he knew all about my goals and, coincidentally, he had the skills to make things happen. Before we parted he gave me an address and said for me to check the site in the afternoon and he would have a sample web site for me to see.

New web/blog site

Now, my friends, you are on the new site. Let me introduce my new friend and colleague, Rick Lakin. Rick lives in San Diego but is a Westerville native. He enjoys coming here in the summers to remember what green looks like and to renew acquaintances.

Here is Rick’s bio:

Retired Math Teacher pursuing a second career as a web designer using WordPress, a videographer, a TV sports statistician, a sports public address announcer, a photographer, a Toastmaster and anything else that I can learn in a few hours.

I am so excited about this new site and I can’t wait to try out all the new bells and whistles. There are a lot more things we will be able to do here that I couldn’t do on the other site, including purchasing my books. Soon we will have a page describing my books and an easy way to purchase them. There is also something very exciting coming in the future that has been a long-time dream of mine.

Running into Rick that morning wasn’t just a coincidence; it was an answer to a prayer. Imagine running into someone from across the country with the ability to do just what I wanted and for a reasonable price. He was able to do everything I needed to get me started in a new direction of my career. And the best part of it is he is not only knowledgeable but also easy to work with. If any of my readers are interested in a web site, leave me a message and I will put you in touch with Rick.

Even though I am located at a new web address you won’t have to change any settings because you will be automatically redirected to the new site.

The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Yes, you never know what changes will blow in with the wind. You might say my “…answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”


American IQ: Questions from U.S. citizenship test challenge your patriotic acumen | The Columbus Dispatch

Could you pass the U.S. citizenship test? Here are a few questions from Joe Blundo’s column testing your American IQ. Click on the link below


American IQ: Questions from U.S. citizenship test challenge your patriotic acumen | The Columbus Dispatch.