If you read any of the posts on my travel blog about our recent trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, I hope you enjoyed them. I plan to publish two more in the near future. But now that we've been back in Florida for a week, and both my house (thanks to Erika) and my desk at work are almost back to normal, I feel ready to resume this blog by offering up a sampling of the thoughts running through my head.
First off, I have to congratulate Erika for being chosen as a design team member for the scrapbooking web site Polka Dot Whimsy. Yes, I'm biased when I say she always churns out excellent scrapbook pages, especially when you consider that scrapbooking is not my cup of tea...but even so, I know I am correct to make that claim. She often posts the pages on her own blog. If you are into scrapbooking or anything similar to it, you will enjoy following her creations.
Switching to politics, it is a simple fact that Massachusetts is as blue as the U.N. flag, and that it elects Republicans to federal office about as often as snowflakes fall in Venezuela. For those reasons, I am not one of those Republicans who expect Scott Brown to defeat Martha Coakley on Tuesday. But there is no doubt that the race is a genuine toss-up, and that Coakley is having to fight for a seat she would usually win without breaking a sweat. That this is true in Massachusetts, of all places -- and that Brown's rise has occurred as he focuses on opposing federal involvement in health care, which was Ted Kennedy's most cherished cause for more than 30 years -- is proof that the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to Obama's agenda.
Switching to pro football, this year's NFL playoffs have been the most uncompetitive and boring I can remember. Minnesota just beat Dallas 34-3. Arizona gave up 45 points -- twice! It's hard to take the games seriously. Hopefully the Chargers-Jets contest that starts in a few minutes will be good and balanced.
Switching to college football, I know the season ended more than a week ago, but I have to mention that I found it almost scandalous that the two "BCS busters" (Boise State and TCU) were forced to play each other, which denied them a chance to play teams from the BCS conferences. Considering that BCS busters were 3-1 in BCS bowls going into this post-season, it looks like "the system" pitted Boise State and TCU against each other in order to avoid any possibility of another credibility-damaging outcome.
And sticking with college football, I have to say that the Outback Bowl -- in which my Auburn Tigers pulled out a 38-35 overtime thriller against Northwestern -- was by far the best bowl game of the season. I watched it from the 35-yard line and almost went into cardiac arrest several times, but it was worth it.
And finally, back to a personal note. A week ago I did something I swore I would never do: re-enter the world of dog ownership. We got a 2-year-old, already-potty-trained, sweet-as-could-be Chihuahua. We got her for Sarah, and even though my reasons for opposing the move are as valid as ever, Sarah's excitement proves we did the right thing. Here is a picture I took in the car the day we picked her up: