5 Lessons Learned In The Last 36 Hours Of The Election Season

Yes I do normally write my posts way in advance, but sometimes I have something to say that’s more timely; this is one of those times. And I have a dichotomy of emotions as I’m writing this. Yes, this is going to be a controversial post so if you don’t want to deal with it, I’d stop now and go read one of my happier posts. lol

Suffice it to say, Barack Obama has won reelection and will be the president for the next 4 years. Yes, I’m happy about that, moreso because I’m happy the other party lost rather than his winning. I think there was a lot at stake and that overwhelmingly people ended up voting for the other candidate for the wrong reason. As a matter of fact, the polls showed that they voted for him for the very reason I wrote this post and accusations against me and my “ilk”, if you will.

In any case, like most things in life, there are lessons to learn that might not be the types of lessons others might see; or maybe they will see them. Let’s find out as I explore these 5 lessons learned in the last 36 hours of the election season:

1. People’s real feelings come out strongly as the death knell is approaching. Some of the things I was reading and seeing about President Obama in the last 24 hours before the results were due to start coming in riled me up so much that I lost my mind. So I got into it on Facebook and, for the most part, people left me alone. There comes a point where things aren’t political anymore, they’re personal, and I was tired of the Muslim, patriot, traitor, “we’re gonna impeach him” and all the other mess that people just kept saying. If you think the link I left above was off the mark, trust me it wasn’t.

2. It seems people can’t filter out truth from hyperbole when it comes to TV political ads. Learn this from me if you need to. When those ads come out saying that so-and-so voted this much of a percentage with other members of their party like it’s the worst thing in the world… folks, they’re supposed to! Most people tend to vote along with their party; that’s just how life is. Now, at the same time every once in awhile someone votes their conscience and goes against their party… well, they used to before the Tea Party folks got there (notice almost no one identified themselves as Tea Party folks this time around?). What’s more interesting is when the number isn’t 100%. That happened locally when one of our representatives backers kept saying the guy who lost in the last election voted with his party 94% of the time, while leaving out that she voted with her party 100% of the time.

Here’s the reality. Unless someone says something really stupid (Akin) or does something really stupid, almost all politicians are decent people. Ads are misleading and vicious; that’s why most of us turn them off. However, in the last hours leading up to the election not only were they more vicious but they just kept coming and coming and coming. And let’s not even talk about the robo-calls; oy!

3. Social media can be both a curse and a blessing. It certainly was for the candidates, but it was for us as well. Every website I went to, and every app I opened on my smartphone gave me an ad for someone who was running for office. On Facebook it started getting really heavy, even after I added the FB Purity add-on to Firefox (you don’t know about this one? Check out this post from our buddy Adrienne Smith; it’s a lifesaver even now, after the elections, for blocking stuff you don’t want to see in your stream). Even on Twitter, where I pretty much only connect with people of “like” values and such, assaulted me with all kinds of stuff. Remember the days when we only had newspapers and the TV news we had to avoid?

And yet, through social media a lot of people learned what was going on, and some people knew what was going to happen early on; not quite sure how they did that. I know I shared the news about the Karl Rove meltdown (it was classic; who knew live TV could be that entertaining?) everywhere. Faux News; never watched it before, was entertaining last night, will never watch it again.

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4. Competition never ends; never. As soon as it was announced that President Obama had been reelected, the politicking began. There was already a discussion on who would run for president four years from now. Both sides were saying they didn’t think anything would happen and each side said it was the other that had to bend; yeah, that’s going to happen. Some people were already trying to figure out how to shake things up. One guy was saying that maybe the Electoral College would change the outcome of the election for Romney (seems that happened once in history; that’s how John Quincy Adams won the presidency without winning the election). It’s like sports now, where immediately after a team wins a championship they immediately wonder if the team can win it again and if not who they believe will be the strongest team the next season. And sometimes it’s all for naught (isn’t it Senator McConnell?).

5. When all is said and done, things usually end with a whimper, grace and class. What makes this country great is ultimately how people accept their own defeat. Former Governor Romney was class last night, as has every person who’s ever run for president and then had to make a concession speech has done (can’t blame Gore since he didn’t learn he wouldn’t be president for about a month or so). This is something about politicians that confuses me and probably everyone else. We get riled up for or against someone, are ready to get into fistfights over all of it, and then these people can walk up to a podium after having lost and say “So-and-so ran a great campaign and I hope they do well” or some such nonsense like that. 🙂

You know what though? That’s kind of a lesson most of us need to learn, but probably won’t. A lot of rhetoric is just that; noise. Often people say things to get us irritated; that’s what trolls do. For me, I stayed out of it for 729 days, only to let myself totally go off the deep end in the last 24 hours. Even as I write this I haven’t gotten it totally out of my system (but I will soon; I promise). But the politicians who participated in the process have moved on and gotten over it, seeing it as business as usual. It’s a strange business but that’s what it ultimately is.

Lessons; I’ve learned a few. Let’s see what I can retain and what I can forget; what about you?
 

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Heat And Your Feet

A few of you are saying “is he talking about feet again”? Hey, I’ve only talked about feet once before, when I wrote this post in June talking about 5 Things You Should Know About Your Feet after visiting a podiatrist. This time around it’s a real life story; heck, who am I kidding, they’re always real life stories. So instead it’s a tale of caution; stay close.


Last Sunday I got an early morning text from my friend Scott about going to a hockey game, my first in more than 30 years. I’m not a major hockey fan, though I don’t mind watching the games, but the reason I stopped going was because my feet would always get really cold pretty quickly, no matter what I did, and then I couldn’t enjoy myself. He told me I shouldn’t have to worry about it since technology has changed and they had renovated the place where the game was being held from so many years ago.

I didn’t want to take any chances however. Two weeks earlier I had gone to one of those stores that has lots of hunting stuff and bought two things. One package was warmers for toes, the other package foot warmers. I had tried the toe warmers and they didn’t work out quite to well. They did keep my feet warm, but I did a test where I put the warmer on top of my left foot and on the bottom of my right foot, with socks on both. My left foot ended up getting burned slightly while my right foot handled things much better, but burning my left foot should have been a warning call of sorts.

This time I put on two pairs of socks, then slipped the warmers in them, thinking I had enough protection from both the cold and potential heat of the warmers. They picked me up, and we went to the game.

All seemed fine early on as we watched the warmup. We had to be there early because Scott was acting as official photographer for the game. Then the game got started and it was actually kind of cool to watch. However, midway through the first period both of my feet started to feel… uncomfortable. They didn’t feel like they were burning necessarily, but discomfort is never a good sign. I decided to err on the side of caution and remove both foot warmers. Turns out I really didn’t need them to keep my feet warm, although I have to admit that I used them every once in awhile to warm my legs, especially around both knees, and Scott’s wife used one of them to warm her hands at one point.

Here’s the thing. Ever since I got home last Sunday, the bottom of my feet have been tender. This is 8 days later, and it might be hard to see in the picture I’ve got above because, trust me, it’s hard taking a picture of the bottom of your feet, but my toes are still red. I didn’t blister or anything, thank goodness, but my feet are irritated even now.

The questions are thus: did I have problems because my feet are sensitive; did I have problems because I’m diabetic; did I have problems because of the extra pair of socks, which might have pushed the cushion down too far and thus generated more heat than normal; or do more people than what shows up during an online search have problems with this type of thing that I know about?

I don’t know, but I know this; I had problems. I found the brand online that I bought & tried to see if anyone had written any warnings about it but they haven’t so I’m not going to mention the company name. All I’m going to say is that you might need to consider how tender your feet are if you decide to test these or any of those number of homemade foot warmers that you put in to microwave, since I did find warnings about those. It seems that the best way to warm your feet safely is in warm water by soaking them, but of course that limits you to being at home. Sigh…
 

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Ode To Joy Day!

This is something different from me. Ode To Joy is actually a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1800, but most people know it as the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the one he wrote when he was totally deaf. It has been performed in multiple ways throughout history, and it’s a piece I absolutely love.

It’s in that vein that I’m doing a video post of different ways the song has been performed. Some are goofy, some are eclectic, and some are outstanding; okay, in my mind they’re all outstanding. Yes folks, it’s the same song over and over, but something amazing with each one.

Let’s start with something funny, Beaker from the Muppets:
 


 
A flash mob performance:
 

 
How about hearing it via 10,000 voices?
 

 
A commercial with David Beckham
 

 
Pete Seegar’s folk music version with English lyrics; love this:
 

 
On a glass harp; amazing:
 

 
Piano variations:
 

 
A techno version; this is kind of extreme lol:
 

 
We started with Beaker, we end with Beaker:
 

 

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