Monday, November 17, 2008

Whacked Out Winter

The Michigander in me loves the concept of global warming. I mean honestly, who in the northern states would REALLY object to a few degrees warmer of a winter? Certainly not I, that is for sure. We would get a climate more along the lines of....Kentucky, while still having the seasons and lots of fresh water to drink. Not too bad actually.

The side effect of this concept called global warming however, is more whacked out weather. Some seen to think that global warming means it should be hot all the time, or that winter should always be milder. That is part of the reason I disdain the term global warming, and vastly prefer the term global climate change. Global Climate change more accurately sums up what is going on anyway.

This weekend was strange, weather wise. We has rain and balmy 50's on Friday and early Saturday. Then yesterday we received a good inch or two of snow courtesy of an Alberta Clipper. Now a dusting of snow at this time of year is not unfamiliar to me, it is the fact that we will be in the 30's all week as a high that is a little strange. It looks and feels like December out there. So apparently there is no global warming, because it is cold out earlier then normal. But if you believe, like me, that we are experiencing climate change, then this is just par for the course. I do agree that global warming sounds better, maybe we should just stick with that and hope.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Election Redux

I wanted to wait a few days to post me election reaction, just to make sure that it had officially sunk in. I think the best way to describe my experiance is to take you through my election day.

It began at 8:30 in the morning when I showed up at the local Obama office here in Plymouth to help with the GOTV (Get Out The Vote) effort. With a quick training they put me on my turf and let me go to work. To give you an idea of how advanced the Obama ground game was, we were only targeting sporadic voters who tend to LEAN democrat. That meant that out of my local precinct we were targeting 47 homes.

I wandered around and knocked on peoples doors, more reminding them to vote then anything else. I did have two particularly memorable experiences. The first was when canvassing a 19yo woman. She came to the door and was AMAZINGLY excited to vote. This being her first election, she was almost shaking she was so excited. It was very refreshing to see someone woo fired up about democracy. The second encounter was when I stopped into a party store to buy a pop. The guy behind the counter asked who I was canvassing for, and after I said Obama he told me "You must have drank the jungle juice", and that "If you vote for Obama you are going to hell." Now for a Christian that is a hard thing to hear, but knowing that it comes from a probable racist, I think God is on my side...ya know that whole love your neighbor thing.

So I wrapped up canvassing and went and voted and then headed home to eat some lunch and generally relax. This was definitely the hardest part of the day. From about 2pm until 5pm I just bounced back and forth between CNN and my computer. The Wife got home from voting and we ordered some pizza (from a new place that gave us very mediocre pizza) and sat down to watch the returns start to come in. At first we were slightly nervous because they were not calling any of the big states. I know that CNN was just being cautious, but it was nerve wracking.

At 8:30 I was meeting up with a friend to head over to the local Obama worker party in downtown Plymouth. The funny part about this is that the party was at a pretty swanky place, and our table was initially next to a bunch of McCain supporters. As more and more Obama people got there, I am pretty sure they decided to watch returns somewhere else. As the returns started rolling in the cheers got louder and louder. When Ohio was called we all got really excited. At this time my friend and I decided to head over the a larger party put on by the Democratic Party in Livonia.

This party was pretty nice as there was food and beverages and band. Hardly anyone was paying any attention to that though, we were all looking at the giant screens showing the coverage of the presidential election. At just before 11pm, when CNN called Virginia, I knew that the math was impossible for McCain, as long as the West coast did it's thing. The entire room, probably 500 people counted down till 11pm second by second. When CNN called the election at 11pm, the entire room went crazy, and I felt a sensation I have only felt a few times in my life. That immeasurable pride in being part of something that is truly historic. I hugged a lady behind me stood up on a chair, raised my fists in the air and cried. It was truly one of the great moments of my life.

Now I know that not everyone out there voted for Obama or even thinks he is a decent guy. Even if that is descries you, the historic nature of the election must be recognized. The old black lady sitting at the party just balling her eyes out and telling her son standing next to her that "he can do anything, just like Barack" should move any soul in America. For that alone I am proud of my country.

After this I hightailed it home to watch Barack's speech on TV. I also heard John McCain's concession speech was masterful, and completely appropriate. I bet a lot of McCain supporters were asking themselves where was that John McCain over the course of the campaign. I was also impressed with Barack's speech not because of it's grandeur or boastfulness; but rather because of it's humility and call to service. It is easy to gloat in victory, but hard to be humble and I thought he did that sincerely.

So congrats to America, land of the free and home of the brave; the place where truly anyone can grow up to be President if they just work hard enough and are bold enough.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Life of Blessings

As many of my readers know, I recently lost my job. This has definitely been a trying time in my life, and there have been tough times in the past few weeks. Overall though, I have tried to remain positive and focused. I have also been focusing on letting God speak to me in the direction He wants me to go with my life. This is HARDER than it seems! One thing that has become evidently clear to me in this time of transition is the incredible blessing that my life is.

Firstly, I have been blessed with the presence of incredible people in my life, especially my Wife. You realize WHY you were put with that person in times like these. When there is the chance for you to fall down she is there to help lift me back up, to help re "run the race" that is my life. My family and friends have also helped me tremendously in dealing with this transition.

Secondly, I have been blessed by an amazing church. First Presbyterian of Plymouth has really become an integral part of the person that I am, and the chance to have a church that really shows the love of God is something that I will always be thankful for. From the head pastor asking me how it is going to the prayers of my Bible study group, I know that God is using FPCP as a community of faith to help me through this time.

Lastly, I have been blessed with such an incredible gift of being born and raised in the United States of America. I think we all often take this for granted, but from the young men and women in Iraq to the Elks club around the corner, there are so many people here vested in the future of this country. Whatever your political stripe, I know that you probably have the best interests of this country at heart. As the recent election has shown (more about that soon), we are still that shining beacon of light on a hill, the place where all things are possible through work and sacrifice. We are all truly blessed to be living in the USA.

So thank you God, thank you for this time of introspection and soul searching. As I move on to other, hopefully better things, I know you are with me always. JD

Monday, November 3, 2008

Live Election Updates

Here is a great little widget for monitoring the election.