“What are we afraid of?”

Steve Duin asks this question in today's column. He says: Weariness and stress are back in force. They fuel the apocalyptic nastiness in the political debate, a growing rancor best explained by a thought from British philosopher Bertrand Russell: "Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd." But fear of what? What divides and conquers us? What keeps us up at night? If you read some of the better-trafficked blogs out there (and I try to, and I even link to some that I have huge philosophical differences with), we ought to be afraid of Them. But who are They? Terrorists. Those who would [Read more...]

Reason #759654 why my daughter is so deprived

(...according to her, that is. She's definitely a 'glass half-full' child lately...) Me: I'm running over to 7-11 to get a newspaper. Deprived child: Can I come? Can I come? (I know this gleam in her eye - it means 'I'm going to try and con Mom into a treat!') Me: You can come with me if you want to, but there will be no treats, understand? You already had a treat earlier today, remember? (Her brother bought her a lollipop, with his own money, no less...) DC (putting on her pensive, pitiful face): Yes, but...(heavy sigh)...I didn't enjoy it... Sigh. It's not yet two weeks into summer break, and already the most detested phrase of the summer is her "But I [Read more...]

“Yes, I am a registered voter”

A friend and I took the kids over for a long session at Grant Park - the weather was perfect, the kids had a ball in the wading pool & sprinkler, and we got a chance to have some adult conversation. But we had something happen to us that I've never experienced yet in a Portland park - we were hit on by not one, not two, but three different people asking us if we were registered to vote, if our information was current, or if we needed any information about voting. They were all pleasant, well-spoken, and not at all intrusive in the least (unlike other petition people I've encountered in the past.) Once we replied in the affirmative, they'd politely move on. No request for [Read more...]

Coffee and graham cracker crumbs?

Since neither child has my 5:46 am wake-up bug right now, I decided to sneak out of the house quickly to walk over and grab a Sunday paper at 7-11. (You may all alert DHS now if you must, but I did actually whisper the news to older child, who grunted, nodded, and rolled back over...) While there, I flirted briefly with the idea of buying a cup of their coffee as a jump start. Wow - 7-11 is doing their level best to jump on the conspicuous consumption coffee bandwagon. There were several pots of coffee, ranging from the usual stuff to French Roast, Dark Mountain Roast and the flavored stuff - Vanilla Nut, and (urgh) Berrylicious. Then, there's the assortment of creams [Read more...]

5:46 in the morning

Why does the universe want me awake each day at exactly 5:46 am? What message is it trying to send me? No matter what time I go to bed, no matter what time I need to get up, whether it's a weekend or weekday, I wake out of a sound sleep...look at the clock...and it's invariably 5:46 am. Not 5:45-ish. But exactly, precisely 5:46 am. There's nothing in my environment that's the catalyst here - I hear no noises, and have little light coming in the room. (Besides, it happens when I'm at Mark's place as well.) And no, it's not a physical issue. Sometimes, I can fall back asleep until the alarm goes off an hour or so later. But that rarely happens. Instead, I'm up each day [Read more...]