Saturday, April 20, 2024



Friday, April 19, 2024

Jessica's trip to the Inauguration

Vermont Dean Blogger, Jessica Falker, set this to post
on Thursday, 1/22/09 at 9:24am
but it somehow was still sitting in Draft!  ENJOY!!

On Sunday, January 18, 2009, I woke up at 4:30am, threw my suitcase in the car and headed off to the inauguration of our 44th President, Barack Obama! First I picked up my Aunt Jeannette in Southern Vermont. There are no bus stations in Central or Southern, VT, so from there we drove to Albany, NY to get on our Greyhound bus. It was windy and snowing the whole way there, but we made it safely. We had a transfer in New York City and then arrived in Silver Spring, MD (just north of DC) that evening.

We stayed at a friends house that night and left there very early the next morning to go to our hotel in Downtown DC where we would be spending the next 2 nights. It was too early to check in so we left our luggage with the front desk and walked to the closest Metro to get to Bernie Sanders office where we needed to pick up our tickets. When we arrived at the Senate office building, there was a line around the block to get in, but that was OK, we knew we would be standing in lots of lines during this trip. We got in and got our tickets. Unfortunately Bernie wasn't there himself, but the person handing out the tickets was someone I knew, so that was cool because I didn't even know he worked for Bernie now!

We were starving at that point so decided to look for a restaurant. That was a lot harder then it sounds! We walked up and down streets for about 2 hours before we found a restaurant (where do all those people who live and work in DC eat?), but while we were walking we saw lots of monuments and buildings, so that was cool. After lunch we took the Metro back to the hotel, checked in and took a nap. We had dinner at the hotel and decided to go to bed "early" (11pm) so we could get up early the next day. We had planned to take part in a service activity that day as Obama had asked everyone to do, but it just didn't work out...I did give a homeless person my pack of cigarettes that morning, so I'm counting that ;-)

We had set 2 alarms for 3:30am and neither of them went off! Luckily we also put in a wake-up call for 3:50, just in case, so we jumped out of bed when that rang, threw on almost every piece of clothing we had brought, and headed off for the inauguration at 4am! This was the 3rd morning in a row that I had been up before dawn, but who needs sleep ;-) The Metro was packed! We did get on the first train we needed, but we were squished right on there!

We arrived at our gate's line about 4:30am. It was a single file line and we were about the 200th people in it. We were in that line about 1/2 hour, and there were probably about 500 people in line at that point when one of the security people yelled for everyone to move to another place to line up. This of coarse made everyone start running to the new place in a totally disorganized way. The new line was about 30 people wide and we were about 20 people back, so we ended up a little farther back, but that was OK. This was our home for the next 3 hours until the gates opened at 8am. It was 19 degrees and felt like 8 degrees with the wind chill, but as I overheard 1 person say on her cell phone "I can't feel my fingers or toes, but there's no place I'd rather be!" So we sang, and chanted, and marched in place to keep circulation in our feet, and bid on imaginary cups of coffee, and sang some more. We finally resorted to Christmas carols because everyone knew the words. LOL.

I've waited to talk about the most important part of this trip until now because I took a picture that sort of puts what 2 million people were feeling for 2 straight days and nights into a visual image.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thank You, California Nurses

         Our own dear puddle left this for us in Draft!

                  Thursday, November 10, 2005          3:34AM

This is from the left coaster. Says it better than I could.

Thank You, California Nurses

Before anyone forgets amid the euphoria of batting around Arnold’s political testicles with badminton rackets this morning, I would like to say a special thank you to the California Nurses Association.

Only 18 months ago Arnold was considered to be unbeatable for 2006. Being the rank corporatist Republican liar that he is, he told the nurses that their extremely hard-won patient ratios meant nothing to him. They, the law and their patients would suffer and die as he lied about heisting the money.

Some lines are just never crossed—the risks are so horrifying one just never goes there. Like lying to your wife, the consequences are going to be nuclear and leave nasty scars (assuming one survives), no matter how stupidly one rationalizes the act. Arnold is a novice and a dumbass, so I guess it isn’t surprising, really, that he thought he could cross nurses over their patients.

It simply didn’t matter that Arnie was hugely popular, that most analysts thought he could get away with it, or that organized labor had not won a big fight in a while. The nurses knew damn well a thief had come in, stolen what they had worked a generation for and was laughing as he gave them the finger across the street. Get out the mattresses and die going down, if it means that, for something like this could never stand.

They dogged him relentlessly at every public appearance, becoming a great story picked up over the country.  They aired commercials, got on the news cycle agenda with creative tactics and relentlessly messed with the Arnold message machine.  They got into his head and knocked him down, and when he was there they stepped on his neck until the results came in.

Along the way a lot of other people stepped up, encouraged by the results.  It gained momentum and this morning that odious lying Republican cretin is politically crippled. 

Thank you.  Thank you for showing us all what courage is, for what the will to fight against the violation of core principles can really produce. The results be damned, sometimes, no matter what anyone says, you have to go out there and defend who you are, or never bother showing up at all.

One also has to do it very publicly over a specific media-easy fight to prove to everyone who you are, that there are limits, and that one won't be perceived as weak.  I'm sure I don't have to play that record again for this crowd.

Thank you, California Nurses.  I and the rest of the state and country so owe you.  You'll always have my vote for any your issues for the rest of my life.  I won't forget.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Here's puddle in 1974!


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The First Daffodils


Monday, April 15, 2024

Sunday, April 14, 2024

we are so small

See that bit of plasma leaping out from the eclipsed Sun?

                                                                                                ~ listener

                                                                                               ~ NASA

Now see that plasma and the size of our Earth next to it?

(Not quite the Solar System they showed us in school, eh?)