Tuesday, January 08, 2008

New Year Notes

The New Year is here. Down with the Christmas tree and plastic yard reindeer and up with the campaign banners as the caucus & primary season is underway. So many states have moved up their elections to these first few weeks of 2008 that there is a tidal wave of coverage on the races at this early stage. I have to admit that all the attention on the Presidential race has a political junkie like me excited.

With Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee winning in Iowa last week the remaining candidates are scrambling to craft themselves as the change candidate. Whatever your political affiliation, it is easy to admire both of these guys as experts at crafting and delivering a message of hopefulness that so far transcends left/right, blue/red, liberal/conservative. It is really interesting to watch.

Full disclosure -- I am an Obama guy. After reading his book, The Audacity of Hope, I began drinking the Obama kool-aid. Yes, he is light on experience. Yes, he speaks in platitudes that are devoid of many specifics on how he would change things. (As Amy says, he needs more "red meat" in his speeches.) But his vision for America to bridge differences both among people in the country and with people beyond our borders is genuine to me. I think it reflects an inclusive way of thinking -- that you have to listen to all points of view and not surround yourself with people who support your way of thinking -- that I believe is exactly what this country needs right now. His message resonated with tens of thousands of new voters in Iowa last week. We'll see if he has the staying power to take New Hampshire tonight and more states in the coming weeks. It will be fun to watch it unfold.

On the homefront, Amy is almost to 35 weeks with the pregnancy -- or as she likes to say, "5 weeks, 2 days, 8 hours, and 15 minutes until I can go 10 minutes without having to pee." She is a trooper as she waddles around the house scrounging for Honeycomb and keeping the three men in order. We go to the doctor tomorrow to get her checked out, and then it's an appointment every week from here on out. A couple of our neighbors pulled together a baby shower for Amy on Saturday which was great. Amy got to get a surprise night out on the town with her friends, and the boys got to eat pizza and roughhouse with pal Chad Guthrie.

We are still plunging forward with potty training with decent results. The boys are progressing at telling us when they need to go to the bathroom. Sometimes they tell us as they are going and sometimes right after they have gone. I'm sure you can imagine some of the mishaps so I'll spare you. Let's just say that so far the number of Fabreze bottles it takes to get the "accident" smell out of a certain two year-old's favorite pair of green lizard boots is at two and counting.

Finally, I have been receiving some good-natured ribbing from my friends here in Carolina about a certain basketball team's less-than-stellar start to its new era of basketball. After Kentucky's seventh discouraging loss to archrival Louisville on Saturday, I vowed to quit reading message boards because of the endless sea of negativity coming from the Chicken Littles among UK fans. That resolution lasted only days as curiosity got the best of me today. After reading the posts from the "This is all Tubby's fault" crowd and then posts from the "Gillispie was a huge mistake" crowd, I take solace in the calls for calm from the few sensible posters that still post on the boards. The reality is it is going to take some time for Gillispie to get his mindset instilled in his type of players. It will take time, which is never easy for a rabid fan base to accept.

The other reality is that after the second consecutive Music City Bowl victory and a win over the national champion LSU Tigers, Kentucky is a football school anyway!


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