Some more Democratic Darkhorses

Here are some more darkhorse candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination:

Mike Gravel

Mike Gravel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, to French Canadian immigrants. He attended French-speaking Catholic schools and as a teenager, when he wasn’t working with his father and brothers in the house painting and construction business, volunteered in local Springfield politics, developing an avid interest in government

Senator Gravel enlisted in the U.S. Army (1951-54) and served as special adjutant in the Communication Intelligence Services and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. He received a B.S. in Economics from Columbia University, New York City, and holds four honorary degrees in law and public affairs.

Mike Gravel served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1963-66, and as Speaker from 1965-66. He then represented Alaska in the U.S. Senate from 1969-81. He served on the Finance, Interior, and Environmental and Public Works committees, chairing the Energy, Water Resources, Buildings and Grounds, and Environmental Pollution subcommittees.

Chance: zero. Nice guy, though, and smart too.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Ohio)

From Derek Goodwin’s site.

Yes, when it comes to the issues, I am closest to him than any of the others. And I deeply respect the work that he does in Congress.

Yet his chances are zero as well. His wife is a beauty though.


February 17, 2007 Posted by | politics/social | Leave a comment

More snow…some “moon” and a mor…er, delusional mom

Another 2-3 inches or so were dumped on us and I “misunderestimated” how much time it would take to clear the driveway.

So, at least I slept in some, but no 7:45 yoga class; I should be able to make the 9 am one though.

It seems as if I only exist to shovel snow. But…we’ve had two “bad” storms and a couple of “somewhat more than dustings”; I can’t even imagine what it must be like in Vermont:

The Valentine’s Day blizzard is one for the history books.

The storm set records in Vermont for the greatest amount of snowfall in a 24-hour period and earned a spot as the second-greatest snowstorm ever in Vermont.

The 25.3 inches of snowfall Wednesday measured in Burlington topped the previous 24-hour period record of 23.1 inches on Jan. 14, 1934, according to the National Weather Service at the Burlington International Airport. Official measurements for state weather records date back to 1883 and are collected at the airport in Burlington.

The Valentine’s Day storm that spread into Thursday morning now ranks second as the state’s all-time biggest snowstorm, behind only the 29.8 inches of snowfall recorded in storm that spread over a three-day period in Dec. 25-28, 1969.

In addition, the storm made Wednesday the snowiest Valentine’s Day in the state’s history, easily topping the previous record of 7.8 inches of snow recorded on Feb. 14, 2000.

While official measurements for records are taken from the airport in Burlington, other locations around Vermont reported varying snowfall totals ranging from more than a foot to nearly 3 feet.

In Rutland County, Killington reported 30 inches of snow, followed by 27 inches of snow in West Rutland, 22 inches in Rutland, and 20 inches in Poultney, according to National Weather Service unofficial observations.

Central Vermont, included Washington County, appeared to be the hardest-hit region of the state. Montpelier reported 30 inches of snow as did Waterbury Center. Barre had 28 inches of snow, Worcester, 27 inches, Northfield, 25.8 inches, and Plainfield, 19 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

vermont snow

In fact, a friend of mine reported:

I can’t believe I’m at work again today. My son and I discussed the snow,
weather, and wind conditions this morning and decided today might be a
dangerous day to ski. The highs today at the mountain will be below zero
with winds gusting to 40mph. So, there’s three feet of new snow there
that I won’t touch today. The mountain currently has most of its lifts shut
down due to the wind, so it looks like a good call.

The storm yesterday was epic – certainly the biggest snowstorm I’ve ever
witnessed. My wife and I left work a little early and we were lucky enough
to follow a plow up the dirt road where we live. Our driveway had over
18″ of snow at that point and I couldn’t get the car into the driveway. My
wife volunteered to take the first shift with the snowblower, so I dropped
her off and followed the plow truck, which was heading right for the gym.
I ran for an hour and then went home to take over the snow blowing

I couldn’t believe what I saw. Our front door was unusable because there
were four foot drifts right up against the door and all around the house.
The snow was so deep that I couldn’t even use the snow blower on the

I worked on the driveway until 8:45 last night until I couldn’t move any
more. This morning, my car, with studded Nokian snow tires, couldn’t get
out of the driveway, but we managed to get my wife’s car, which has
better clearance, out, in a daring high speed maneuver.

We have well over two feet of new snow and other places around town
are reporting 30″ or more. At the NWS station in Burlington, VT, this has
officially become the biggest snowstorm in recorded history. It’s hard to
even describe what things are like out there right now.

I suppose my “two shovel” tool kit would be a tad inadequate. I can say that having a good shovel makes a world of difference with snowfalls such as the ones that we’ve gotten around here.

This is Mount Baker in Washington State in 1999.

Mount Baker

So why all the snow?

I had to laugh when I read this:

10/10/06: Warmer-tha-Normal Winter Forecasted by NOAA
Many Americans could see lower home heating bills during the 2006-07 winter with milder-than-normal temperatures expected from the West to the Northeast, U.S. government weather forecasters said. A year after the contiguous United States experienced its fifth warmest winter on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the El Nino weather anomaly should keep most of the frigid cold air in Canada.

“If you like cold weather then you might not be too happy this winter,” said Michael Halpert, lead forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “Typically with El Nino winters we just don’t see…any of those real cold arctic blasts come down.”

NOAA said weak El Nino conditions will persist through the winter and could even increase to a more moderate level. El Nino, Spanish for “the little boy,” is an abnormal warming of water in the Pacific Ocean every three or so years that can wreak havoc on global weather patterns.

Forecasters said they expected El Nino to bring warmer-than-average temperatures across much of the country including the West, the Plains, the Midwest, the northern mid-Atlantic and most of the Northeast. Florida will see average temperatures and should be spared freezes that could threaten the state’s citrus crop.

For the winter season — December through February — NOAA also forecast average temperatures for the rest of the Southeast. But conditions in the southern mid-Atlantic, the Tennessee Valley and much of Texas could not be predicted.

Temperatures across the United States are expected to be slightly cooler than 2005/2006, but only because the winter season last year was unusually warm. This is good news for consumers in the Midwest who depend mostly on natural gas for home heating.


“Butt”….there is hope after all.

I check in with various blogs via my google reader. One of these is Mind (and Body) of Iron by Crackhead ( a female triathlete). She often posts photos of herself on her blog.

Here are a couple of them: (obviously not taken today)

crackhead front

crackhead from the rear

Ahh, a welcome reminder that this winter won’t last forever.

My one worry is that I am straining my piriformis with all of this shoveling, and my right lower hamstring/knee is also acting up a bit.

Now, for a bit of a downer: Iraq.

Have you ever wondered just who are those 30-35% that support President Bush? Here is one:

I have a son, son-in-law, nephew and brother-in-law in the military. All four have served or are serving in Iraq.

Obviously, I have a vested interest in the war. I am aghast at the number of people who pretend to have an educated opinion about this war.

There are so many co-workers or relatives who mimic such messages as, “I support our troops, but not the war.” Well, you can’t have it both ways.

Our men and women serving this great country don’t know how to feel about their mission due to the lack of commitment from America. This country is full of people who are quick to criticize, but who don’t have the integrity to seek out information on what they are talking about. We do not have the need or right to know all the strategies before they unfold. This would put our troops at even greater risk.

We do have the ability – nay, the responsibility – to be informed citizens.

When 9-11 became a part of our lives, there was such an outcry for action. It was explained that this would be a different kind of war and would take time to win. There have been mistakes made. There always are.

The questions are many. Why are we over there? That answer is simple. We don’t want the war taking place in our own country. Why are we sending more troops, as opposed to pulling out? Our mission is not accomplished yet. We need to accelerate the effort in order to finish.

We should, however, lead and not be led by Iraq as long as our soldiers’ lives are in the balance. When Iraq is ready to lead, we should leave. This is not a popular view, but it is a valid one.

I, as a mother, in no way want my son to go back to Iraq, but he will. God and God alone knows if he will return alive and intact. I can only pray. As a citizen of the United States of America, I thank my son and all the others for their brave service.

Freedom comes with a price. My family members protect this freedom of yours. They ensure your safety. Make the sacrifice of our military men and women worthwhile. Don’t squander being a part of the greatest nation in existence.

You see, we are fighting “them” over there, so we don’t fight “them” here! After all, if we left Iraq, all of those Sunnis and Shiites would fly right over here and fight it out!!!!

I suppose that the compassionate response would be to acknowledge that this individual simply can’t face the fact that these young people are risking their lives for no good reason. Perhaps a more realistic response would be to make some rather blunt assesment of this individual’s intelligence.

But a professional politician has to deal with these sorts all of the time, and I just couldn’t do it.

February 17, 2007 Posted by | Friends, injury, Peoria/local, politics/social | Leave a comment