Friday, August 24, 2007

If You Have To Read Just One Article On The Michael Vick Case...

Here it is- on, that fountainhead of deep social analysis. Seriously, Howard Bryant's article on the Vick plea is excellent. From Bryant's writing:
Still, for all the emotion and anger, for all of the societal hot buttons this case has pressed at once -- race, class, privilege, the debate about cruelty to animals versus the value of human life -- this conclusion feels unsatisfying. Here is the saga of a man who financed and oversaw an inhumane operation, who was party to all of its graphic brutality and who, to date, has not shown an ounce of remorse. The fact that he still has a chance to avoid jail seems incongruous, even unfair, especially in a world in which it appears that hard time seems to exist only for the guilty poor, the average or the unconnected.

Sums it up well. The thing that always occurs to me when a pro athlete is involved with the law is that they get a different deal than the rest of us. It isn't right. Justice is supposed to be blind.

I know- we're supposed to be a nation of laws and not men, too. Alas. There's that pesky idealism that's supposed to be on the wane.
Scary Ride

Besides the raw workload, one thing has been on my mind that has made it hard to get too worked up about much of anything political.

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving on I-74, back home from Champaign, Illinois. It had been a good road trip- I finished earlier than expected, so I was going to be home earlier, which is a major plus. But it was raining, and being that I was early, I decided to take it easy. I normally drive about 75-78mph on the interstate. I knocked it down to 65, set the cruise control, and eased on down the road.

I learned something about cruise control and rain. They don't mix. Moving in the passing lane ahead of a slower semi, I noticed that I was going backwards. It happened so smoothly that I didn't really grasp that I was hydroplaning until I was facing the semi. This was bad. It was behind me.

It was astonishing that I remained completely calm. I had the thought that I was going to be hurt badly, and yet, everything seemed to be suddenly a lot slower, and I was really calm.

I grew up driving in Cleveland, so I know how to drive on ice at speed. I thought it through. I let off the gas (no brakes) and turned the wheel to right the car. As I did this, I was sliding from the passing lane to the thru lane. About 1,000 feet later, the car was reasonably pointed forward, so I began tapping the brakes. I saw that the drainage ditch off-road was pretty deep. This still didn't cause me any alarm. Then, I felt the rumble strips in the berm, so I hit the brakes hard.

Sure enough, the tires grabbed on the strips and I stopped. I had one tire over the edge of the ditch. I hit nobody and nothing.

Well! My heart was pounding through my chest, and with the realization that I was safe, I actually felt some panic. I looked in all my mirrors to see what lay behind me. I was sure that someone else would have wrecked or run off the road in reaction to my movements. But, no! The semi was up the road, as were other cars, moving along as though my spin-out never happened. Nobody had run off behind me.

I sat there for a minute to collect my wits. It really took that long for it to sink in that all was well. It was just a scary moment, but with no harm done.

I was pretty spooked about continuing on the highway, so I got off at the next exit for a slow road home. Luckily, that was SR 32, which I could take home by way of Noblesville.

So, if anyone wonders if the political fire is out of my belly, the answer is that much of the time right now, it is. I did get riled about an anti-capitalism post on Bilerico recently, so it's not gone. It's just that perspective comes easy to me right now, and perspective is very dangerous to the pen of the idealist.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My Life, Illustrated

Pretty simple these days: work & family. Some of it even happens here in Indiana.

Isabel admiring the bunnies with Ame, at the State Fair. She really loves bunnies!

On location Friday in Champaign, Illinois. 110 sites near cross-connect boxes. I've perfected the 80-hour work week.

Watching trains with Alex in Bedford, Ohio on Saturday. Bedford is his hometown. He visited with relatives here all week.
Playing house with Isabel and Sasquatch in the backyard. She outgrew the old playset, so we donated it and found this one. She really loves the house! Now, if a bunny were to come out of the woods and join her, well that would just be heaven on earth for her!