The Insanity of American Politics (And How I Plan to Fix It!!)

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I suppose the first real Presidential election I remember was the one that took place in 1988 – Bush vs. Dukakis.  I remember reading about the elections at school, having to do “Current Events” on the election.

So, in 1988, George H. W. Bush won the election.

In 1992, he was defeated by Bill Clinton.

In 1996, Clinton won a second term.

In 2000, George Bush, the son, won the election.

In 2004, George Bush won again.

In 2008 everyone thought Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic nomination, until a new guy named Barack Obama won.  He did name Hillary as his Secretary of State though.  He won again in 2012, and it marked the first time in 24 years that someone not named Bush or Clinton held some sort of high ranking political office in the United States.

But it was announced today, running for President in 2016, will be Hillary Clinton, again.  And just in case you think that’s crazy enough – yup – you guessed it – there’s another Bush.  And while Jeb Bush, the brother of the latest President Bush, has not “officially” announced a campaign, we all know its a matter of time.

But, take it a step further.  You see, it ends up being the same people running for President over and over again.  Mitt Romney ran for President in 2008, and then again in 2012, and to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran again in 2016.  It seems like people just have unlimited funding to be able to run for President over and over and over again.

While I’m not a politician, nor do I like to even talk about politics all that much, I do have one clear thought on the issue:  Isn’t it time for some fresh faces?  Isn’t it time to try a different approach?  Isn’t it time for some new people with new ideas and a new vision for the future to step in and run?

I’m sure Hillary is a great person.  I’m sure Jeb is swell guy.  I’m sure Rand Paul, (who is Ron Paul’s son, who ran for President a few times) is a visionary dude.  But I think its time for some new faces in the political world.  Here are my suggestions for people who should run for President in 2016:

1.  Duncan and RobinsonTim Duncan – People thought it was cool that Barack Obama was a good basketball player.  Hello?  Enter Tim Duncan.  Duncan is one of the most humble guys on the court, yet he’s a proven winner. But what about outside of basketball? Per his Wikipedia page – “Off the court, Duncan is known for his quiet and unassuming ways, as well as his active philanthropy. He holds an honor degree in psychology and created the Tim Duncan Foundation to raise general health awareness and fund education and youth sports in various parts of the United States.”  Suggested VP – David Robinson – (he brings basketball and military experience into the mix)

2. Carey and Brady Drew Carey – Everything Drew Carey is involved with turns to solid gold.  First of all, did you know he was a veteran?  He served in the US Marine Corps for 6 years.  Then he went into comedy.  He had a little show called “The Drew Carey Show” that ran for 233 episodes.  He also took an old great show, revived it, and turned it to pure comedic genius with “Whose Line Is It Anyway.”  After that – he took over for one of the greatest game show hosts that ever lived, Bob Barker, and has been on The Price is Right ever since.  So, he KNOWS how to follow up great figures, and make things even better.  No pressure following someone else in office.  Suggested VP – Wayne Brady – We’ve gotten used to comedic relief with Joe Biden, why not bring some professional comedic relief to the position?

3.  Swift and LawrenceTaylor Swift – While technically not old enough to run for President (she’s only 25), I think we could make an exception to the rule just for her, right?  She has consistently dealt with pressure, and knows how to overcome (remember – Kanye West?) interruptions.  She’s achieved more in her 11 year music career (she started at 14) than most of us achieve in a lifetime.  Besides, if she’s blasted by the media, ridiculed by foreign leaders, or made fun of on Saturday Night Live, she knows how to “Shake it Off.”  Suggested VP – Jennifer Lawrence.  Someone with bow hunting skills as hers may come in handy in a post-apocalyptic world.  Have you seen the Hunger Games?  It could happen people.  So could the Walking Dead.

4.  Fallon and TimberlakeJimmy Fallon – Jimmy was the guy everyone was sort of unsure of to be the replacement for late night guru Jay Leno.  However, Jimmy has filled Jay’s shoes very well.  Jimmy has brought new life to a dying stage in late night shows.  He made it cool again for young people to stay up to watch.  He’s adored by everyone.  He’s confident.  He’s friends with everyone.  In a pinch, he can do all sorts of impressions of past favorite presidents to bring his ratings up.  I feel like Jimmy would listen to people, and then do his best to make the most informed decisions.  Plus, it would be a hoot.  Suggested VP – Justin Timberlake, because these two in the White House would be awesome.  I mean, seriously, have you seen these guys perform before?  I’d tune into a State of the Union address featuring this dynamic duo!

Honorable mentions:

1.  Kid President.  Suggested VP – Brad Montague, because behind every great President is a great helper.
2.  Ryan Seacrest.  Suggested VP – Randy Jackson
3.  Derek Jeter.  Suggested VP – Mariano Rivera
4.  Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid.  Suggested VP – Vince McMahon.

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Winter “Wonder” Land – Day FIVE!!!!! (The one where we are attacked by giant icicles…)

Today, I was successfully able to get the ice off of (most of) Kristen’s car.

In other news – check out this GIANT ICICLE that I pulled off of our front porch!

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I felt like I was wielding the sword of William Wallace!!

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In fact, this thing was so large, it made Josie look like a miniature version of herself:

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Believe it or not – this thing was 31 inches long!!

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Thursday Potpourri

Tonight’s edition of Thursday Potpourri will scan the topics of Saturday Night Live, Snow Days, Icicles, and Family.

First of all, if you didn’t catch it, SNL (Saturday Night Live) had its 40th anniversary show this past week.  In a word – hilarious.  Rolling Stones Magazine did an article ranking every single actor that ever appear as a cast member (not host) on the show.  What do you think about it?  Did they get it right?  Read it here:  ROLLING STONES RANKS SNL CAST MEMBERS

Second – I just need to take a second and scream.  AAAAAHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!!!  We’ve been in the house since Sunday night.  While there have been a few brave souls venture out of our neighborhood, we have not seen them return.  Okay, that’s not true, but our road is still a solid sheet of ice.  I love my family, and I love spending time with them.  I just wish I could spend time with them like this in more than one place!  Poor Josie has cabin fever too.

This leads me to the wonders that are icicles.  We have captured a few shots of ones from our roof.  Its hard to get scale in the shot.  Trust me, they’re huge.

These are dangling over our back door.  Makes me nervous to go out..

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These are dangling out the window of our bedroom:

First this giant cluster – and these are about 18 inches long:

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And this one – it is at least 26 inches long, maybe more:

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But oh the fun we have had, watching our neighbors, across the street and to the left, attempt to go up their driveway.  Here’s a shot of Kristen and Josie watching out the window, as they made their 50th attempt up the drive.  I am grateful they finally stopped and parked on the street like we did:

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We were hoping to be able to get out tomorrow, but they’re calling for even more ice and snow!  Fortunately it is supposed to be 45 degrees and rain all day on Saturday, so hopefully it will ALL WASH AWAY!!!

The Hilarious Curse of Having an Overly Complicated Last Name

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I grew up in a small town.  My father was a teacher and a principal at a small Christian school, and was also a preacher in town.  While he was not what most would call “famous” he was well known.  More importantly people knew how to pronounce our last name…if they knew us.  If they didn’t, we knew it was going to be a wild ride.

For people who know us, and have known us – they don’t understand how our name could be mispronounced.

Widick.  It is pronounced with a long “I” sound – like “Why.”

But for some reason, people like to pronounce it differently.  And when I say differently – I mean, about 900 different ways.

Now listen, I can understand mispronouncing it with a short “I” sound, effectively making it sound like “Widdick.”  I get that.

However, I don’t understand how people absolutely butcher our last name.

Below are just a few of the ways our name has been mispronounced or misspelled:

Widwick

Werdrick

Widlick

Wiredick

Wicklick

Widmick

Wyldick

And my personal favorite:  Widdawick

How do random “Ls” and “Rs” end up our name?  I suppose I’ll never figure it out.

When I went to college, my brother and sister had gone to the same school before me.  They allowed, apparently, all the college professors to mispronounce our name.  You can imagine my surprise when I started class the first day, and the teacher was going over the class list – and said “Lane Widdick.”

I corrected him, and said “Here, but sir, its pronounced Widick, with a long “I” sound.”

He looked at me and said “No, I don’t think so, I think its pronounced Widdick.”

Going to restaurants is always fun.  Its to the point now where I just give them my first name.  Its just easier than hearing people try to say “Widd…Why…Widrick…party of 3.”

Because of my complicated last name, I am very sensitive to people who have unusual or complicated names.  My first job out of college was teaching/campus ministry/coaching at a Christian school in Houston, Texas.

My first period class one year had 12 people, and 8 different nationalities represented.

We had players on our basketball teams with last names that were 15 letters long with 7 syllables.  I always felt so bad when the announcers would butcher their names.

I’m proud of my last name, and I know that wherever I go, its almost a badge of honor.

Like today – we had our carpets cleaned in our home to prep it so we can sell it in the next few weeks.  Over the phone the gentleman tried very hard to write our last name down.  When he asked me for my first name, I said “Lane, L-a-n-e” and when he asked or my last name I did what I always do.  I said – my last name is spelled “W-I-D-I-C-K.” And then I pronounce it – “Widick.”

Now, I do this because when I just say it first, it tends to freak them out.  They usually stammer and ramble “Uh…um…okay…that’s W…”

So I just spell it.

He repeated back to me “Okay, that is W – E…”

Me – “No, no… ‘I.’”

Him – “Oh, sorry, so its ‘W-I-E.’”

Me – “No, no…i’m sorry, its ‘W – I – D – I – C -K.’”

Him – “My apologies sir ‘W – I – E – D – was it another W…?”

Me – “Yes…that’s fine.”

This morning when the technician came in, he was very professional, and had my paperwork to sign before he began.  On the paperwork – it said “Lane Widlick,” which wasn’t even one of the options the man a few days before gave me.

The technician asked me “Are you related to a Matthew Widlick?  He’s another one of our customers.”

I said “No sir, that’s not my last name.” to which he responded “Oh, let me correct that for you.”

I just said, “Don’t worry about it.”

To all of you out there with complicated or unusual last names, my heart goes out to you.  Here’s to another day of deciding “Do I correct them, or just let them think they’re right?”

Praise Songs or Hymns?

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This is a re-post from December of 2009.  Its also a classic joke that I just love.  I hope you enjoy this tonight:

Here’s a funny little story about Hymns and Praise Songs.  The author is unknown .

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the farmer. “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.”

“Praise choruses?” asked the wife. “What are those?”

“Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.

The farmer said, “Well it’s like this … If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a hymn. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you,

‘Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh, Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA,
the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white cows,
the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn,
in the CORN, CORN, CORN, COOOOORRRRRNNNNN,’

Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well that would be a praise chorus.”

As luck would have it, the exact same Sunday a young, new Christian from the city church attended the small town church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the young man, “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of praise songs.”

“Hymns?” asked the wife. “What are those?”

“They’re okay. They’re sort of like praise songs, only different,” said the young man.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.

The young man said, “Well it’s like this … If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a praise song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you,

Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals who can explain
There in their heads is no shadow of sense,
Hearkenest they in God’s sun or his rain
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight,
Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn chewed.

So look to that bright shining day by and by,
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn
Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn,

Then, if I were to do only verses one, three and four, and change keys on the last verse, well that would be a hymn.”