I’ve had three things on my mind today, and each deserves a separate post.
The more I think about them, the more I realize they’re quite interconnected, at least in my own mind. See if you see what I’m seeing.
Return of the Cold War: Russia invades Ukraine
Putin is a bully, and the world needs to stop allowing him to prance around bare-chested with a fishing pole in his hands while millions of Slavic people suffer the whims of the ultra rich, those corrupt and bankrupt souls of the post Communist era. Ukraine is more important than most people think. Obama is showing off just how weak our foreign policy is these days, and as someone so eloquently wrote today, Putin is playing chess, while Obama is playing checkers. America cannot possibly intervene, at least militarily, in all of the world’s conflicts, but it can stay consistent in its messaging and follow-through on its threats. For those of you who say let Putin have Crimea, you might as well just toss in the rest of Ukraine too. It’s a toe-hold on one of the world’s most important regions. For those of you who ask why we should care, I say it’s much harder to catch a strongman who is killing people slowly through neglect or starvation when he already owns everything in sight. It’s much easier to stop a strongman when he is aggressively peeing on the fences around his own home than when he’s killed the neighbors and claimed their lands for himself.
Most of our dinner table conversations are good.
My kids amaze me with their global prowess, though my wife will complain that we spend too much time talking sports.
With three boys to two girls, I’ll admit that sometimes we do take over the conversation a bit.
Tonight was not a good conversation. And it’s my fault.
I brought up my son’s basketball practice after he started talking about going to play for the local Catholic school.
He talked about playing football for the local Catholic school.
It’s time for some more honesty.
When I’m in a moving vehicle, I’m a control freak.
I like to be in control of my situation, and the only person in the world I completely trust at the wheel, when I’m in the car, is my wife.
The only other two drivers in this world that I trust at all are my father-in-law and my dad. Both of whom have immaculate driving records.
Borderlands are dangerous places.
No matter what their topography or economic value, they are desirable, for one reason or another, to both sides in any conflict.
Borderlands tend to be small, which means they don’t often have a significant population. And whatever population there is tends to be insignificant to the larger conflict.
Sometimes borderlands are a much bigger deal.
The department of fish, wildlife and parks biologist parked his rig up along a small ridge in a remote part of northwest Montana and got out to address the reporter and photographer waiting for him.
“What we’re going to do today is try to relocate a small, 2.5 year-old male black bear to a prepared habitat where he will hopefully hibernate the rest of winter away and awake in the spring with no memories of the human food he was consuming,” the biologist said.
Sometimes the questions make me swallow hard.
It’s a way for me to process them before I attempt to answer.
Being a dad is not the easiest job I’ve ever had.
That was working at Burger King when I was 16.
Tonight started off with politics.
It should’ve been simple.
And if I would’ve just ordered the damn thing on Amazon, it would have been.
I’m a procrastinator by trade.
My daughter’s eighth birthday was no different than my last news deadline.
That’s how I found myself at three different Wal Marts and two Targets in a major snowstorm trying to hunt down a Hello Kitty sewing machine.
I hit the first Wal Mart in the city, hoping that I could kill a few different birds with one extra stop on my way home from work.
The kid who helped me asked me if I was looking for the Hello Kitty sewing machine for myself.
I played along.
“Yeah, man, I collect Hello Kitty stuff and travel around the world to conferences.”
Recently my daughter’s teacher told my wife that our incessant moving around the country seems to have benefitted her quite a bit.
I was taken aback by this, feeling a father’s guilt at loving a career too much to the detriment of the well-being of my children.
It seems Gabbers has a keen understanding of political boundaries like counties and state lines, well above that of her second-grade peers.
Her teacher even said that she had learned things about places and people because of her interactions with Gabrielle.
I shouldn’t be surprised.
This was my education too.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
The first was an unfortunate accident, the second an unfortunate circumstance.
Each death somehow invaded my normally tepid and still pond of existence. Their announcements left me cold and my waters troubled.
I don’t mean to trivialize the other deaths which have impacted my life.
My uncle took his own life, dear friends gone too soon and the inevitable loss of grand parents.
Each left a life-sized crater in my heart.
But on the outside of the womb of family, there are satellite deaths that occur with some regularity, enough, in fact, to disrupt our normal orbit.
He came bounding out of the school wearing an old Easter outfit I recognized from a few years ago.
He’s not the paragon of fashion, and I’m okay with that as long as he is.
It was a dark mint shirt with a striped tie where one stripe matched a shade of the shirt. Khaki cargo trousers and a belt rounded out the ensemble.
“How was your presentation?” I asked, sort of feebly.