The Right Perspective

Friday, October 31, 2008

Well Isn't This Rich?

Apparently all the "Hope" Obama is spreading around thick enough to need wading boots might just be a tad bit too optimistic.

According to Tim Reid, of the Times of London (as found on Fox News), Mr. Obama's plans for America sound too good to be true...even to Obama. As a result, senior advisors to Mr. Obama are drawing up plans to scale back expectations for the (already-won) Obama presidency so that all of his frenzied supporters who were counting on "change they can believe in" won't be too disappointed when it doesn't happen right away (or at all).

Says Mr. Obama, " 'The first hundred days is going to be important, but it's probably going to be the first thousand days that makes the difference,' he said. He has also been reminding crowds in recent days how 'hard' it will be to achieve his goals, and that it will take time."

So to all those Obama supporters out there, don't get your "hope"s up for too much "change" any time soon. You can keep "believing in" it, but you won't being seeing it in the near future. Even Obama is saying it will take at least 3 years to see any results...and that's only if his plans work. Guess you'd better "hope" his "change" is worth believing in!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pre-school Costume Party

And now we break from Disney photos for a quick peek into the exciting times of a pre-school costume party.
Emily's school allowed the kids to wear their halloween costumes today (since this is the last day they go before halloween) and the classes had a little party with crafts and treats.
The first picture is of Emily with her best buddy Amelia on the left and Riley (who just wanted to be in the picture!). Note that while Em is likely the youngest among them, she is still the tallest.

Next we have and action shot. You might notice that Amelia is still close to Em. I have a feeling the whole time is like that most days.

And here we have Miss Emily and two of the boys in her class, playing with grape-scented playdoh.

Next I included the shot of the little boy on the far right because he really likes Emily. Apparently while we were on vacation, he was very concerned about her whereabouts every day and when she didn't come on Monday, he was REALLY worried. Apparently Mr. Ben likes Miss Em!

And finally, not related to the class party at all, Emily and I made and decorated sugar cookies with a fall theme. Pumpkins and leaves...and they taste good too!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Meal Fit for a Princess (or Five!)

Our little Princess Emily loves anything and everything involving the Disney princesses. Every night for about a year and a half, she has slept in her "pincess besses" (aka princess nightgowns), she loves any and all princess movies and quite possibly one of the highlights of her trip was our breakfast with almost all of the Disney princesses.
We decided to try a new (to us) restaurant in Epcot, in the country of Norway, called Akershus that had a princess character breakfast. As with the dinner at Cinderella's castle (which apparently Cinderella never leaves) the meal included a photo package with Belle of Beauty and the Beast fame. The food was excellent, with a large fruit and pastry buffet and a nice family-style, all-you-care-to-eat hot food platter with sausage, bacon, eggs and cheesy potato casserole. As we dined, we were visited by four other princesses.
Above: Emily posing with Belle

Above: Emily and Snow White

Above: Em and her current favorite, Sleeping Beauty (forever known to us as "Seeping Booty")

Above: Miss Em with Princess Jasmine

Above: Last but not least, Emily with Mulan
Overall, the whole family enjoyed the meal and we decided that it was a definite do-again. I would recommend this to any family with little girls, as it was one of the more laid-back meet-and-greets.

Dinner at the Castle

On Monday evening, we dined royally. We took Emily to Cinderella's Royal Table in the castle to dine. The meal included a photo packagae with Cinderella herself, so Emily's night was made. The picture above (the lighted area with the huge windows) was the dining room, which over-looked Fantasy Land.

Above: Emily poses for her official photo with Cindy herself. We got a nice photo, but my camera was on a weird setting that wouldn't allow flash, so my pictures here weren't great.

Above: The Royal Menu

Above: Emily gets into the performance, waving her magic wand along with the music.

And finally, no Cinderella story would be complete without a visit from the Fairy Godmother and Cinderella's friendly mice. (Again, the picture quality was less-than-stellar.)

Fall Family Vacation

This past week, we took a much-needed family vacation to, (where else?) Walt Disney World. We started driving on Friday morning and arrived at our hotel in Orlando sometime on Saturday evening. (I don't remember the time...we had all just been in the van too long!) We got a good night's sleep and then began the vacation in the Magic Kingdom, as is tradition.
Above is a picture of Cinderella's castle as viewed from main street.

This picture is of the same castle from a side view. The flowers and gardens in Disney world are beautiful year-round and the day was pretty spectacular too.

The picture above was taken as we walked through the ticket booths. Up above the main walkway is the railroad station and apparently the characters ride in on the train first thing in the morning to greet the early birds who are there at the park's opening. (I've been quite a few times now, but I've never seen the characters ride in before. There were more, but I won't bore you with all of them!)

After having our bags inspected, our tickets and finger prints scanned and fighting the masses of humanity, we headed straight for every child's favorite ride...DUMBO! Here is one of the many rides Emily took with various members of our family, this time with Daddy.

And finally, the picture above is of Emily donning her 3-D glasses just before Mickey's Philharmagic show. She really didn't know what to think of it, but it was more fun for us to watch Em react to what she was seeing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Photo Shoot

Today was such a perfectly beautiful fall day that I decided to try out my still-new camera and take some pictures of my favorite subject....Emily!
The first photo is Em standing at one of the railings along the trail by the local river. I thought the bright yellow tree would make a nice backdrop. Em picked the pose.
Below is Miss Em throwing tiny red maple leaves. She had no problem doing this over and over to "get" the shot!

Now we are a little closer to the river and playing hide-and-seek with the tree.

Our little "tree-hugger". (No, not that kind!) She's much sweeter.

And finally, gazing out over the river. I had planned on taking lots more pictures, but unfortunately, the battery in my camera gave out at just the wrong time. Oh well...there will be other days....

Pumpkin Patch Time!

Saturday was a beautiful day, more like Indian summer than Indiana fall, so we headed out for some family fall fun.
We started the day with a treat...breakfast at McDonalds. After briefly thinking I might have won the $100,000 grand Monopoly prize, I recovered from my disappointment and we headed to a local pumpkin patch. Em was supposed to go with her class next week, but as it turns out, that will conflict with our much-anticipated trip to Disney World with Pa and "Bammaw". So being the fantastic parents that we are, we took Emily ourselves.
Below is a picture of Em inside the barn where there were animals to look see.
Next we have Miss Emily pointing us in the correct direction in the corn maze.

And below, Emily is marking her card after finding one of the farm animal markers in the maze.

Next up is Emily, hiding in the corn. She's a cutie, I know!

And finally, after much deliberation, we have a pumpkin!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thoughts on the Election and Some Suggestions for McCain

I am fed up. I am frustrated. I am mad as heck and I don't want to take it anymore. I almost want to run for president myself.

I haven't commented much about the election this year, not because it doesn't interest me, but rather because it infuriates me and I'm certain it poses a health risk in the form of too much stress and high blood pressure. That being said, I've held my tongue long enough and I need to vent.

For the record, I will vote Republican. I will cast a vote for Palin/McCain (order intended). But I am almost ready to say I'm as done with the Republicans as the Democrats. Both parties are so messed up and wrong on so many issues that the majority of Republicans no longer represent me. I think it's bad enough that I am done calling myself a Republican and ready to just label myself as Conservative, because apparently the current Senate and House Repubs (with a very few excluded) do not believe in being both.

Now, before I go on, let me publically state that I could not be prouder of Indiana Republican Congressman Mike Pence. I wish I lived in his district so he could represent me. I wish I could cast my vote for him. He GETS IT. He understands what we are up against. He stands, solidly, for conservative values and principles, he votes for them and he is not afraid to rock the boat. Talk about a true maverick! In fact, I inted to write him a letter, thanking him for his service to our country and for the people of Indiana and maybe even begging (I mean, asking) him to consider a run for the presidency.

That being said, if I had to write a letter to Dick Lugar, Indiana's "esteemed" Republican senior Senator, I would beg him to step down ASAP. I would also like to send that kind of letter to most of the current Congress. That, of course, includes John McCain.

And herein lies my biggest frustration. I will happily admit that I was never a fan of McCain. I never wanted him to be the Republican candidate for President. But I also knew that this election was far too important to risk voting for a better candidate who had no chance of beating the Democrat nominee.

Now I'm not certain there's a great deal of difference on a good many issues between the two parties. It's that bad. On the other hand, I do recognize that McCain is right on a few absolutely essential, must-win issues such as the right to life, the war on terror and judicial nominations. It is these three issues that make McCain worth my vote. And yours. Even if we have to grit our teeth, hold our tongue and bit our lip while we pull the level or fill in the ballot. It's that important.

So now that all of that "stuff" is out of the way, I need to vent. I am absolutely furious at John McCain. I hate that he voted for the bailout bill the first time. I am livid that he voted for it, now loaded with PORK, the second time. I am beyond livid that he ignored the will of the people and did whatever the heck he wanted, the consequences be....well, you know. I am so utterly sick of hearing that McCain is a "maverick". Since when is going along with the crowd, riding the fence and "reaching across party aisles" being a maverick? Since when is refusing to be partisan being a maverick? Anyone?? McCain is nothing more than a moderate on MOST issues and that irritates me to no end. He's nothing new in Washington. He isn't an outsider...he's an insider just like virtually all of the current Congressional leaders.

I could not attend one his rallies or town hall meetings without being disgusted. No, it wouldn't be disgust at what he said, but rather, what he stubbornly refuses to say. McCain has had so many perfect opportunities to to knock out Obama and Biden, but he is determined to, in his mind, "play nice" to the extent that it may very well lose him the election. Can somebody explain to me what is wrong with being "partisan"? How about what is evil or nasty about telling the truth about an opponent, particularly when the opponent's own words can be used to hammer home the point?

And so now, I addrees you,Sen. McCain. Your base (who you obviously either don't recognize or studiously ignore) WANT you to be partisan. We are literally BEGGING you to take off the gloves, and start an all out war against Obama. Telling the truth about Barack Obama is not wrong or partisan or is your job and duty to the American people. The truth needs to be heard and repeated and shouted at every opportunity from you and your campaign every minute of every hour until every vote has been counted. Talk about Obama's association with Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, ACORN and so on until every American who has a television or radio or newspaper knows who the real Barack Obama is. And if you won't do it, then let Sarah Palin attack. Something tells me she won't hesitate. Don't just sit there and assume that being nice and having an honorable war record will win you this election. I'm only one person. I'm only one vote. I will tell anyone who cares why I will cast my vote for your party, but now it's your turn to get out there and fight for this election, fight for your base, fight for your principles and fight for the future of this country. The other side is fighting tooth and nail...and so must you.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

First Field Trip - The Apple Orchard

About a week ago, Emily and I went on her first-ever official school field trip. It was rather disorganized, but I think Em enjoyed herself, even though she had had 3 vaccinations and the flu mist the day before, had a huge welt on her thigh from the DTap vax, and would throw up at school the next day. (Our life is rarely boring!)
Below is Emily picking her very first apple. She didn't really want to pick the green ones, but she just couldn't wait until we walked all the way back to the red section.
Below, we have Em playing a bit of hide-and-seek for the camera.

Em, proudly displaying one of her red apples while wearing her apple shirt and matching apple jeans that her Aunt Kathy bought for her. (It just seemed appropriate...)

A self-portrait of Emily and Mom. Not great, but still, a memory. (Ignore the "boohind" of some other person that appears to be sticking out of my head!)

And finally, what to do with a grocery bag full of somewhat ripe apples that you purchased for a whole dollar? Make home-made apple pie, of course! (Is there really any other answer?) Emily helped me make the pie, but then never wanted to eat any of it, so Andrew and I had a delightful late-night treat of apple pie a la mode for quite a few days! (It was even better than it looks.)

School Days

This was the first day of school (speech therapy) last year. Emily was almost 3 years old.
Below is the first day of school (actual pre-school) for 2008. Emily was a week away from being 4. Although she is standing on her toes a bit, notice the huge amount of growth from one year to the next. (The wreath on the door is the same.)
Here is Emily in her classroom on her birthday. She got to wear a special birthday crown and, being the wonderful mom that I am, she handed out homemade cupcakes with sprinkles to her 9 other classmates.

I stayed around to help on her birthday, so I took a couple pictures of the birthday girl in action with her classmates.

And below we have a picture of Emily's gym class. This particular day the class was playing with a parachute, making bean-bag frogs bounce up and down on the parachute. (Am I the only one who totally does not "get" the whole parachute thing?) Clearly however, Em enjoyed the activity.

So there you have it....the beginning of the 2008 school year in pictures!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Cheeseburger, The Lobster and The Bailout

Imagine if you will that a man walks into a restaurant, sits at the table and opens a menu. He has $5.00 in his more, no less. He sees a cheeseburger meal for $3.99 (I wish!). But he keeps looking at the menu and suddenly notices a huge lobster meal that costs $20.00. (Again, we're imagining here.) The man likes the lobster. He really, really wants the lobster. But he has a problem. He only has $5.00. He has no way of getting any more money. This is what he can spend on his meal. Yet that succulent lobster is calling his name. It's not just a meal, it's DINNER and it would be so nice. So the man (let's call him Bob) decides he must have the lobster.

Bob calls the Manager over to his table. He says, "Sir, the lobster looks wonderful. I really, really like lobster. I want it. I have enough money for the cheeseburger, but I don't want a cheeseburger. I want the lobster. I must have it, but I only have $5.00 and I won't be getting any more. What can you do for me?"

So the Manager, who is interested in making money, thinks for a moment and says, "Okay Bob, I'll cut you a deal. I know you only have $5.00. I know you won't be able to pay any more than that, but we'll worry about that later. Who knows, maybe sometime before you leave, you'll find the rest of the money, so I'll let you have the lobster for 30% off. You only have to pay $15.00. But if you don't pay that $15.00 before you leave, I'll have to take back your half-eaten (read: now worthless) lobster. Deal?"

And without worrying about what might happen later, Bob, who really wanted the lobster, but still had no way of paying for it, said, "Deal!"

Well sadly (and we all feel really bad for him), Bob could not pay for the lobster and before he had finished even a little bit of it, the waiter came back and took away the lobster that Bob really, really wanted, but knew he could not afford. The Manager then took all of Bob's $5.00 as payment and also took a hit because he did not make a profit (and perhaps even lost money) on the once-yummy lobster.

Now Bob and the restaurant Manager were sad and upset and even a little angry. How dare they not only not get what they both really wanted, but they both lost something in the process!

So both Bob and the Manager went to see the King. They both told their sad tales to the King (with a few tears, some screaming and lots and lots of panic). "Help us get out of this mess we've made!", they cried. And the King had a decision to make. He could either help the two men or he could let them suffer the consequences of their foolish decisions. If he helped them, then all the King's responsible Countrymen would have to pay more taxes, (which were already far too high) and they might even revolt and kill the King, but if he let them suffer the consequences, the restaurant might go out of business and Bob might go bankrupt.

What do you think the King should choose? I think the answer is obvious, don't you?

Now, of course, this is just an imaginary tale and I am admittedly not an economic genius. (I hate math!) But this is my understanding of the way the whole sub-prime mortgage lending/bailout crisis happened. This example seems silly, but isn't this what happened on a much larger scale? (someone please correct me if I'm way off base here) Why then, should I, as a responsible tax-payer and borrower, pay even more of my hard-earned money to fix this mess that irresponsible gamblers created?

And can someone else explain to me what is so bad about allowing the market to correct this mess as it is designed to do? Yes, companies will fail, times will be rough for many, but the free market would also root out the irresponsible lenders and be stronger for it, right?

Someone, please correct me if I'm wrong.