Monday, August 31, 2009

Mummy/Crit asks:

"Helicoptor ride? Tell me more!"

One of the fantastic things about having an elected official in your family is that sometimes you get invited to do fun stuff - like getting to ride in a helicoptor for an aerial tour of Leesburg and its environs. Saturday was Leesburg Airport's Open House (at Goddard Field) and they were giving helicoptor and F17 rides.

MM went from, "but what if I get airsick?" to "YEEEHAAA!!!" in less than 2 seconds. He loved wearing the headset and talking to the pilot. He loved counting swimming pools from the air. He loved looking at the little toy cars and trees. I loved looking at him looking at all those things.

We flew over the Leesburg Animal Farm Park and generally all agreed that the flight was too short and that we could have done that all day.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yesterday, today, tomorrow

Errands, soup and bread, helicopter ride, playdate at a friend's house (they have a pool!), thunderstorm, 115 doors, sushi, work.

Friday, August 28, 2009


This is MM, acting like a chicken at the local soup and salad place. He's wearing his daycamp shirt, which is bright orange, white, and dark blue.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

If you know the word's offensive, why would you say it?

It's not about being PC, it's about not being a douchebag.

Deliberately using words that are hurtful, when you KNOW THAT THEY ARE HURTFUL means that you are not a nice person.

Two people who have children who fall into the category of people you have just insulted are sitting within hearing distance of you and you know it and you used the word anyway. And you'll use it again. Because you, YOU*, are a douchebag.

*Obviously, the YOU that I am talking about is a co-worker who doesn't read this blog. But I did tell her to her face that I thought she was being pretty horrid.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Saturday saw us back at Old Navy


DanielK @ Blue Commonwealth wrote some lovely things about Mr. Spock!

The Truth About 200 Doors

  • No matter how comfortable your shoes are, after 200 doors, your feet will hurt.
  • No matter how cool and breezy it is, after 200 doors, you will be sweaty and stinky.
  • Wearing an Obama '08 shirt saves time at the doors. People who love him and people who hate him declare themselves immediately.
  • It's much easier to find people who will volunteer for a campaign on a beautiful sunny breezy day.
  • Ground-floor-entry town-homes are still my favorite.
  • Two 32-oz bottles of Gatorade are not enough for 200 doors.
  • The Thermos Hydration Bottle works beautifully. I left it in the car while walking (my walk was broken up into pretty separated locations) and even after hours in the car, my gatorade was still icy cold. The lid locks down so that it doesn't inadvertantly flip open in your bag, but when you do flip it open, it stays open without needing to be held. I love it. Will buy many many more as gifts for the campaign staff and volunteers. (I bought mine at Wegman's. Thermos has neither solicited nor paid for this review.)
  • Next time, I'll start earlier and see if I can do 250.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Pours, The Pours!

Had a good canvass last night. Great conversations, picked up a volunteer, got sympathy for looking like I went fully-clothed into a sauna (it was just a wee bit humid). And then, suddenly, the breeze picked up, everything felt fresh and cool and fragrant.

And the sky turned a roiling, ominous, purple-greyish colour.

And I tweeted this: "Good news is it's cooling off. Bad news is it's about to pour."

And then the skies opened up. And I kept going. I rang the doorbells, I wrote my personal notes, I left my lit at the doors. And the ink on my personal notes washed away. My lit became wet and crumpled. Covering it with the clipboard was ineffective.

I tweeted this: "I am a drowned rat."

But it wasn't me that was melting, it was my lit. And then it started raining harder.

And I packed it in for the night. I walked back to the car, my sandals going squitch, squitch, squitch, my hat brim pouring rain like a store awning, the back of the clip-board swelling up and losing little pieces of itself, the world barely visible beyond my fogged and spattered glasses.

And I thought, "I've really got to remember to pack the rain-poncho and some zip-locks in my lit-bag! Then I could have kept going."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The doors! The doors!

The poor things are being so neglected. Our sitter, a wonderful woman who works at Posh Place, has been ill and the doors aren't getting done*. Which is actually okay since I have a deadline here at work. Which makes me ask, why am I posting?

Procrastination. It's like guilt you make yourself.

*by me. Mr. Spock is diligently door-knocking.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

At first, I couldn't find him

We were at Old Navy, buying up some of those $2 tank-tops. I turned around and MM wasn't immediately visible.

Can you find him?

He fooled some customers and a store clerk!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Did I tell y'all about NARAL?

They endorsed my very own Mr. Spock!

Endorsement highlights organization’s dedication to building a pro-choice majority in the Virginia House of Delegates

(Alexandria, VA) – Today, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC, the commonwealth’s leading advocate for personal privacy and a woman’s right to choose, announced its endorsement of Stevens Miller for House District 86, who is challenging anti-choice incumbent Delegate Thomas Rust.

“Voters in House District 86 are fortunate to have the opportunity to elect Stevens, who is committed to fully protecting women’s health,” said Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Stevens Miller is running against Delegate Rust, who has promoted politics and ideology over comprehensive reproductive healthcare. Delegate Rust has moved from being a moderate to an 100% anti-choice delegate.”

“Stevens Miller is a pro-choice leader who is vowed to work on the legislative level to help prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion – values the residents of the 86th District look for in their legislators. We are thrilled to endorse Stevens and look forward to working closely with him in years to come.”

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia supports candidates who are dedicated to family planning, preventing unintended pregnancy, and increasing access to reproductive healthcare for women and families. The organization’s powerful statewide network of activists will mobilize pro-choice voters throughout Virginia to help elect Stevens Miller and other pro-choice candidates in November.

Mr. Spock says:

"NARAL’s endorsement makes it clear there is no comparison between my opponent and me on the issue of choice. I am honored by NARAL's faith in me and pledge to work in Richmond to protect the reproductive rights of women."

Delegate Rust (R), along with his slate-mates McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli are anti-choice and anti-birth-control. We need to get Rust out and keep his slate-mates far away from the writing and enforcing of laws that limit the choices of women in Virginia. So once again, I'm asking you to donate to Mr. Spock's campaign. The ActBlue thermometer is back up at the top of the page. And once again, I'll blog your requests! A donation of $5 helps us buy paper to print walksheets, and sunscreen for walkers. A donation of $500 helps us print mailers. Help us keep their laws off our bodies.

(Edited to add) Lowell had a timely post on his blog about Bob McDonnell that included this spot:

We can't allow that man to win, nor can we allow him any anti-choice friends in office. Please help Mr. Spock kick one particular anti-choicer out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Question about Mancala

MM's been playing Mancala at camp a lot and they play this way:

Your turn starts when you pick the stones from a cup. You put one stone in each cup you pass including your own (but not the other person's) mancala. If your last stone goes into your Mancala, you go again. If your last stone lands in a full cup, you pick up all the stones from that cup and keep going until you hit an empty cup. Then your turn is over.

Over the weekend, I bought Mancala for us to play at home ($4.99 at Target). It came with some printed rules. They are as follows:
Your turn starts when you pick up the stones from a cup. You put one stone in each cup you pass including your own (but not the other person's) mancala. If your last stone goes into your Mancala, you go again. If your last stone lands in a full cup, your turn is over. If it lands in an empty cup on your side of the board, then you can take the stones in the cup opposite and put them, and your last stone, into your mancala. Your turn is over.

My question is this: How did MM's day camp start to play with different rules? Their mancala sets are identical to ours at home (except that they've replaced the slippery clear glass half-marbles with less-slippery and more visible stones from a "gem-mining" field trip).

At home, we stick to the rules that come with the games. Variations tend not to be fair to the "away" team, as it were. Is the summer camp version a version in common play elsewhere?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mommy, somebody told me luck doesn't exist..."

"...what do you think?"

"I think we make some of our luck ourselves."


"By keeping our eyes open and our ears open and our mouths closed. And by being kind and thoughtful to others without being asked."

"Oh! I get it. Like if you're talking and not listening, you'll miss it when the teacher tells you something important? And that's bad luck? But if you listen and don't talk, you'll hear what you need to and if someone sees you being helpful at school, you can maybe get a prize and that's good luck!"

"That's it. And when you found that penny, it's because you were keeping your eyes open."

"People make their own luck. I like that."

I just realized that I'm going to have to tell him that sometimes bad things just happen and sometimes good things just happen, even when we haven't done anything to "deserve" it. Yipes. I've told him this before, but I'm afraid that the "you make your own luck" theory may be contradictory.

Yesterday was hot. Really, really hot

Maybe not Texas hot, but hot nonetheless.

I had 2 packs of doors to get through. One, a pack of 59, the other, a pack of 53. Single-family detached, one-car garages. I finished the pack of 59 in a bit under three hours. And I was soaked through. Drank 3 bottles of water on that walk. It was HOT. Except when it was breezy. The breezy was nice.

Then I went back to HQ for a meeting, looking as wilted as a corsage three days after prom. Ate a sandwich. Drank a vitamin water. Went back out into the fiery sunshine to do more doors, passing SturdyCampaignStaffer as he came back from doing nearly 100 doors ("mostly apartments").

I did another 29 in a bit over an hour and then had to stop for the day to pick up MM from the sitter's house.

I was soaked through again. Had gone through another bottle of vitamin water. I was a limp rag doll.

It was hot.

But I did 88 doors. I wish I had gotten through all 112, but I did 'em. Today it's hot again, and I'm going to finish up the last 24 from that pack I didn't finish yesterday and then I'm going to pick up another pack and get 'em done.

Because I am Mrs. Intrepid Campaigner, Queen of the Doorbells! SturdyCampaignStaffer out-canvassed me yesterday, but I WILL earn the title!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

On Earning the Title

Folks, my daily average is about to go way down because my walking schedule's about to get wonky.

Here's my new walking schedule:
Sunday: 12-6 (babysitter)
Monday: 5-8 (babysitter)
Tuesday: 5-8 (babysitter)
Wednesday (most weeks): 5-6 (between work and MM pickup)
Thursday (most weeks): 5-6 (between work and MM pickup)
Friday: 5-6 (between work and MM pickup)
Saturday: The occasional shift if MM has a b-day party or playdate, or when he feels like coming with me.

So, 3 days a week I'll do 70 - 100 or more doors and 3 days a week I'll be doing 25-35 doors.

That's 15 hours of walk time, over 400 doors a week. I guess I'll track my weekly average too!

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Tweets That Went Astray

Here are the Tweets that never went through, much to my chagrin. I thought I was keeping everyone updated and excited, but no...the tweets went into the ether never to return until today! With commentary in the parentheses!
  • On line at Obama/Deeds event! So many happy people! (waiting to go thru the metal detector, the secret service guys were really nice and friendly)
  • This is so much fun!
  • Amazing how many people I know at this event! (Seriously, out of the thousand-plus people there, I had met at least 150 of them before! Including several from non-political sources - like my friend whose son is friends with MM.)
  • It's like a big party!
  • Ryan Myers is talking 'bout Loudoun! (The Loudoun crowd is loud and proud! Our cheering rocked the hotel!)
  • So many people here! If everyone here does doors this wkend, 100,000 doors'll get knocked! (@EliseRichman points out that not everybody is a door-knocking demon like the Doorbell Queen. I say, pfft! What's 75 to 100 doors each among friends?)
  • We need to get walking and knocking!
  • Tell 'em Tim! (Tim Kaine was talking about McDonnell and the Republican-led House of Delegates turning down $125 Million in stimulus funds)
  • Tell 'em Creigh! (Creigh was talking about how foolish McDonnell is for wanting to pay for roads by taking away money from schools)
  • We are FIRED UP!
  • Obama's roasting Deeds. The crowd loves it. Now he's reminding us of Creigh's xlnt record.
  • Now Obama's reminding us of his own xlnt record.
  • I love listening to our President talk intelligently about problems and solutions.
  • Wonderful event! I sent many tweets and not one went through.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Question for the health conscious

MSN has an article up today on 10 Common Medication Mistakes That Can Kill. At the end of each segment they have a suggestion on "how to avoid it". Each of their suggestions requires questioning the doctor and/or pharmacist to make sure they know what they are doing, that they haven't overlooked something important (like your age! and the fact that you're taking something else that contains that ingredient or has that side effect!), and that they've prescribed/dispensed the correct dosage and/or medication. One suggestion is that you ask the doctor to put on the precription why sie is prescribing that medication to help eliminate confusion at the pharmacy.

And all of that is very wise and sensible and good but...given that the AMA just considered a resolution to code for non-compliant patients (defeated - this time - thank goodness), how well will MSN's methods go over with some doctors and pharmacists?
I'm not even starting on the question of how the patient is supposed to get the doctor's attention back to even ask the questions considering that by the time a patient receives a scrip in a doctor's office, the doctor is on to the next patient.

I am, again, thanking goodness that my doctors and pharmacists seem to actively encourage questioning, but holy guacamole, that's by no means universal, is it?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Found another McCourtish post

Can you tell me what time it is?

This one was written at work at the end of a long irritating day, when I was facing an hour-plus commute back home. I remember writing it with McCourt's voice in my head. I still like the footsteps going to and fro and the note at the end. It's short, but I took my time with it and it kept my spirits up the whole grinding way home.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

72 doors and the Skechers were not up to it.

They're cute as all get out, but they're not ready for prime time campaigning. Three blisters. Not Cool, Skechers. Not cool. I finished the doors, but my feet were Officially Pissed Off. And my hourly door rate went into the cellar. 24 doors/hour? What am I? An amateur?

I've got my trusty Liz Claiborne sandals on today (can't find a link). I think I've got 80+ doors to do this evening.

Monday, August 03, 2009

And! (Now with picture!)

I forgot to tell you that my mom dyed my hair for me.
I has no grayz! Not one person has noticed without my pointing it out to them.

This is me taken with my cell phone in natural light. No makeup. And no grey.

Back from a weekend away.

Had a great time talking with assorted wonderful people about politics, skylights, and expanding houses. And then we did active things like jumping rope, jumping into a pool, watching the wildlife (I got thisclose to a wild deer), sitting on a screened porch while the rain came pouring down outside, and playing Scrabble. For the record, the Scrabble Player's Dictionary (4th Ed) doesn't include "jew" but it does include "nazi."