Election 2012

Well I woke up this morning and my guy didn’t win but the world didn’t come to an end.  In fact, life went on.  That is a testament to the American system many people take for granted.  It is not a given in many countries that the day after an election will be peaceful.  The peaceful transfer of power is something many nations struggle with.  So, despite our differences, we should all be happy about that.

I spent Election Day as a poll watcher for the Romney campaign.  It was a 13-hour day but totally worth it.  I was assigned to a heavy democrat district (Hell I live in a heavily democrat area so that is no surprise.)  The voter turnout in this precinct was 71% – well above the natural average, which hovers at or below the 50% remark.  That in itself was very inspiring…and crazy…the amount of people we were processing an hour was unbelievable. 

Even more inspiring was watching the great lengths some people took to exercise their right to vote.  Some waited in line for 3 hours.  Some had to curbside vote because they could not walk.  Some needed translators so they could understand the ballot.  But everyone one of them felt it was their duty to vote.  I love that.  It is such a simple thing that too many people take for granted. 

Two of my favorite stories from yesterday:

A group of mentally challenged adults arrived in the afternoon to exercise their vote.  One particularly individual, Jimmy, was very excited to be there.  In fact, he kept shouting everything.   Each of them needed the help of their caretaker to vote and explain to them what the ballot said.  Jimmy took about 30 minutes to vote.  After he finished he got his sticker and was leaving.  He made sure to tell us all Goodbye and then he said, “I sure hope my guy wins this time!” – clearly disappointed his guy didn’t win last time.  It was very cute.

We also had one voter arrive barefoot (it was 30 degrees outside) with toe rings, and piercings on his feet (probably why he was barefoot).  The Democrat pollster leans over to me and says, “He is one of ours.”   We had a good laugh about that!

So – overall nothing has changed.  Now we have to wait and see if a different tone is struck in DC.  Will they start to compromise and get things done?  The problem is Obama won by larger than expected margins…I am pretty sure he is going to think he had a mandate.  So, we will determine the tone shortly in the lame duck.  I doubt it…but who knows…maybe we will have some heroes.  

Posted in Life in general | 1 Comment

Franken – What?

We survived…and we survived with Power the entire time.  Toby really enjoyed hunkering down with me on the couch (see picture).  He was also very relieved to go outside this morning for a long walk!  I was not as excited about the walk this morning..its 35 degrees out!  The nor-easter is here but I have no snow at this point. I am thankful for that.  I guess this means the Hurricane officially brought winter.

As someone who has a little experience with Hurricane’s growing up on the Gulf of Mexico I have to say this was a weird storm!  The winds were awful and scary sounding but it was the strangeness of it being 50 degrees, not 100 degrees that I couldn’t wrap my brain around.  It reminded me of a Blizzard, minus the snow.

We got so lucky.  There are a few trees down in my neighborhood and there are some people with water damage in their homes that are close to the water.  We have a lot of people in the area who are without electricity but we got lucky overall.  My heart goes out to those in New York and New Jersey.  It doesn’t look good.   Especially when you think about New York City where most of the people rely on public transportation and now the subway system has water in it.  How long will that take to fix?

We did have a little scare early this morning. I was awoken to the sounds of sirens early this morning.   The building directly behind mine caught on fire.  There was a massive fire and rescue response (I saw at least 8 fire trucks, 4 ambulances, and several other rescue trucks).   They put the fire out quickly and I think everyone was okay.  My poor neighbors, its not really a great time to be displaced.  Thanks to the emergency personnel who responded…they did an amazing job.

Posted in Life in general | Leave a comment

Wind, Rain & Wine

Heading into the evening when the winds and rains will be at its worst. I have to admit, it sounds really scary. But we are safe and sound in the warm house with electricity. I can’t complain too much.

I do get the chance to watch the Chris Christie press conference (Governor of New Jersey).  I love that guy.  He was sooo annoyed with the Mayor of Atlantic City who apparently told people they did not need to evacuated and had people go to questionable shelters.  He was rolling his eyes during the press conference when referring to the Mayor.  I think the reason I loved this so much is it is one of my pet peeves as well.  When you are told to evacuate by emergency personnel you should evacuate.  They are not doing it because they want to be mean to you.  When you stay you risk someone else’s life as well as your own.  And why do you stay?  So you can check on your property sooner?  Seems kind of silly doesn’t it?  So I absolutely loved it when the Governor said for those of you in Atlantic City, shelter in place till morning because I am not risking emergency personnel’s lives to come rescue you because you were told to evacuate.  Thank you Governor!

Toby is now in a complete holding pattern….we are not going outside for at least 12 hours.  He has hunkered down and is sleeping with one ear open – in case he gets the call to immediately evacuate. 

As for me, I opened up the bottle of wine, got a puzzle out, and am listening to the rain, wind and the radio.  Oh yeah, it’s a wild night with Frankenstorm.   Thinking and hoping we are getting pretty luck with this one.

PS  My neighbor has decided this is the best time to hammer. I have no idea what they are hammering, but it is constant hammering.  I fully expect to see every inch of their walls covered with pictures.  Or perhaps they are building an Arc.  Regardless –its weird and annoying!


Posted in Life in general | 1 Comment

Howling Wind

I think the howling of the wind is what makes a hurricane so scary.  It just sounds scary!  The wind is really picking up.  Scary part is, this is only the beginning.  Good news is Toby went outside with the purple monkey about 30 minutes ago and did his business. Neither Monkey or Toby seemed phased by the wind and rain.  Bad News, he is too “big boned” to fit in the raincoat (Full disclosure – the rain coat was bought for a different dog!).  We are hunkered down…probably going to start a puzzle!

I will try to take some video of the trees bending this afternoon.  I keep hearing from various people that their ISP are shutting off their connectivity in prep of the storm.  Man I hope Comcast doesn’t do that…that is my lifeline right now.  Everything in my house runs off my Internet – even the phone!


Short Video of the wind blowing – not to bad yet.

Posted in Life in general | Leave a comment

Frankenstorm – The Beginning

In the past two years we have had Snowmageddon, an earthquake, the derecho, and now Frankenstorm.  I can only assume that Mother Nature is not a fan of the Nation’s Capital.  As I like to do during states of emergency, I will be blogging my observations from the Nation’s Capital.  (Like how I worked the title of the blog IN the blog!) I will try to update the blog and Facebook so you know we are A okay.  The good news is I am on the back side of the storm, not NY or NJ, which will be much worse.  I have no fear we will be fine…I am just wondering how long I might be without electricity.   If you know me I function in a purely electronic world.  I can’t invasion being without electricity for tooooo long!  My other minor worry is the only spot left in the parking lot was under a huge tree and my vehicle, named Fancy Girl Barbie by the Lyons children, is parked under that huge tree.

Please do not panic based on the weather people. They LIVE for these types of weather events.   I am sure they are very excited to be front and center for a few days.

So, lets talk preparation!  Am I prepared?  I would like to think over prepared.  I did not make it to Target until late on Saturday and the shelves were already bare!  No flashlights, no batteries, and no water.  Now don’t worry, I was just going to stock up on these things knowing full well I already had supplies at home. In fact, when I got home I pulled out my shoebox size container of batteries and realized the lid barely fit on top.  I got batteries covered!

But, what I am a little worried about is food without electricity.  No stove, no microwave, no opening the refrigerator.   I have a large container of peanut butter and jelly, some tuna fish and wheat bread.  I also used Frankenstorm as an excuse to buy chips.  Who can’t survive on chips for a few days?

I cranked up the heat in the house.  I know most people would NOT do this but I can’t stand being cold and if I don’t have electricity I have no heat!  (at least I assume I have no heat).  So we are warm and toasty.

I swear Toby knows a storm is here. He is glued to my hip…literally.  He has to be touching me at all times.  We went outside and he wants to go for a walk but he isn’t crazy about the rain.  He also won’t do his business immediately because he is used to a nice long walk.   I can’t make him understand that this wind and rain is as good as it’s going to get for about 48 hours.  Toby has a raincoat somewhere I just can’t find it!

Here are a few pictures from the beginning of the storm.

Posted in Life in general | 1 Comment

Wow – Did I really almost make it to Election Day without a Blog Post?

I got pinged the other day from one of my avid Blog supporters (Okay it was my Mom) who said, “I can’t believe we are two weeks away from a Presidential election and you have not posted ANYTHING on your blog.”   Let me just clarify – it was not because of voter apathy but rather being overworked.   So, here is my typical election blog.

First and Foremost…Please go vote.  Don’t make me go into why it is important you vote…no matter where you live – battleground state or Texas.  VOTE!  It’s your right and your responsibility.  (I could explicitly call out certain people here but I won’t.  You know who you are!)   BTW –  You can go early vote…you don’t have to wait until election day.

This is going to be a very close election.  In fact, I believe like many pundits are now saying that we will have an election where the person who wins the Electoral votes (Obama) doesn’t win the popular vote (Romney).  This will be the 4th time in history (most recent being Bush v. Gore).   Additionally, I don’t see Congress switching control, only the margins getting smaller.  Do you know what that means?  Pure Hell for the next 4 years of absolutely NOTHING getting done.   (I will have to do a post soon about the Fiscal Cliff that we are about to go over.)

Living in a Swing State

Sucks!  I don’t know how else to explain it. I was actually happy when I was in California because I did not see one Obama/Romney commercial (Just a TON of proposition ads).  Thank GOD for a DVR and fast forward.  If you think about it, its really a shame.   Between Romney and Obama we have raised $200 million in the last two months for a presidential political campaign.  I would so much rather apply that to something like our deficit or investment in small business.  Instead, the money is being used to ensure none of us can turn on the TV or Radio.

Good news: I am in a swing state (which I believe will go Republican) and it has provided a lot of opportunity for me to volunteer for the campaign.

War on Women

I had to mention this…as a Woman I had no idea I was at war!  I wish someone would have told me sooner how awful it is to be a woman and how much I am being oppressed.  Did you know people are actively trying to take away my rights and freedoms and they are threatening my health and my family?  (It is even in Wikipedia!) (and don’t get me started on the taking away my rights regarding my health…not gonna happen in my lifetime and should not be any part of politics.)  I have to say, if this is living through a War I can’t imagine what it will be like when we finally end the War on Women!

Me neither.  Why?  Because it is a political creation that is a result of both parties realizing the major swing vote in this country is women.   In order to get re-elected Obama must take a large margin of female voters.  Voter statistics show that women vote more often then men.  Additionally, when asked, the top concern among women voters is the economy.  When the economy tanked it affected more women than men (No wonder economy is their top issues).   Hence the focus on the Economy and the need to create the War on Women.  Its all about votes people.

So – my final point – every time I hear there is a war on women I want to punch someone.  Now, if it isn’t too awful being a woman I would ask that you go vote.

Posted in Life in general | 2 Comments

Video Memory of Friends

So glad Fox 26 in Houston posted an update on the Classmates with Cancer video they produced 3 years ago.  It is great to be able to see and hear Kathy’s voice and see Julie’s kids.



Posted in Life in general | Leave a comment


Do you believe in signs?  I do.  I was looking over the blog stats and noticed one of the top searches right now is everyone looking for the Classmates with Cancer video (It appears the video is no longer available online.)  That took me to my blog post from the day the video aired in November 2009.  There was one comment on that Blog Post.  It happened to be 4 simple words from Kathy, “I Love You Kerber!”.  It’s like a little hug from Heaven.  Great way to start the day.

Posted in Life in general | Leave a comment

Another Angel

Here we go again.  Today my childhood friend, Kathy Voigt Nuernberg, a kind compassionate, caring, church going,  mother with a smile a mile wide lost her battle with cancer.  It was painful watching her deal with it but it is even more painful knowing what her kids and family are going through.   It makes me re-live everything we went through 5 years ago with Julie.   I watch some of her closest friends go through everything I did with Julie and my heart aches for them.  It aches for the loss of another good friend, but I hate knowing these guys are going to spend years trying to hear Kathy’s voice, or wishing they could talk to her on the phone, or having to tell her Good news by sending it to Heaven.

Kathy was always able to light up a room and was the life of the party.  She used to have the BEST 80’s wing hair when we were in Intermediate and High School.  (She went through some serious AquaNet).  She absolutely loved being a Mom and raising her kids and I can only pray that God will take care of her family.  I feel so blessed to have gotten to see her one last time before she passed away.

Watching all of this go down it is hard to understand at all times where God & Faith come in.  I just wonder, why not me?  I don’t have kids…seems a little more humane situation.  I see God all the time in things, but I just don’t understand his plan on this. It is strange to me to have 4 people I graduated High School with die from cancer (unfortunately two of the four were very close friends of mine for more than 25 years).    Aren’t there some red flags here?  Doesn’t someone want to do a study?  Is there a chemical in the water responsible?  There must be some answer right?

I do wonder if Jules will meet her at the gates with the rest of her family…big smile on her face?  I have to believe that is the scenario at the end because it’s the only thing that makes all of this palatable.

Oh yeah – if you want to know the type of person Kathy was…see this picture below.  She came to my 40th Birthday Party. She was barely out of the hospital, not walking well, in pain and yet she showed up and spent almost an hour with us.  It meant the world to me (and you might notice I was crying in this picture because she surprised me and in classic Kathy styles she said, “Don’t Cry” in a manner that you must be crazy to cry over something so simple).

Posted in Life in general | 7 Comments

Train, Horses & The White House

You ever have one of those incredibly insane weeks?  Work has been hell but everything else has been fantastic.  This week alone my Dog announced his run for the presidency and a Vice Presidential Candidate search (toby4president.wordpress.com); I went to the Preakness Horse Races where I bet on the winning horse (I’ll Have Another) for the Win; I had a meeting in the Indian Treaty Room of the White House; and I had breakfast with the band Train.  (And I expect more great stuff as I head to Orlando for a quick getaway).

Through good connections and incredible timing my friend got us into an exclusive performance and breakfast with the band Train. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Train_(band) There was maybe 25 people and we got to meet them, hear them sing and take pictures with them!  They sound even better live than on the radio (wish I could figure out how to add the sound recording I did).  And the lead singer Pat is very personable and funny.  I was awe struck and I am not normally awe struck by celebrities (just the people who run our country!).  The event was held at an exclusive hidden Gibson Guitar studio that is located near the Verizon Center. It allows singers to go exchange or fix their guitars prior to a show.

I also attended a meeting on an important Cyber Security and Identity Management issue in the White House Indian Treaty room.  It is in the east wing of the White House and has the most amazing architecture.

I celebated a childhood friend’s 40th Birthday with another grade school friend at the Preakness where I actually picked the derby winner, “I’ll Have Another” for the Win.  So with that I decided to have another Black Eyed Susan!  Not sure if I mentioned this but the Preakness is in a rather economically challenging part of Maryland.  Made for an interesting mix.



Posted in Life in general | 1 Comment