Friday, October 31, 2008


Tonight was Halloween and the Trick or Treaters were out in force. I drove down to the grocery store to pick up some last minute candy. The town was jumping!
The merchants were hosting Trick or Treat from 4 PM to 6 PM and the Mormon Church hosted Trunk or Treat from 5 PM to 7 PM.(the people who live in the country park at the church and open their trunks and pass out treats to all who come by. Then, the final football game of the season started at 7 PM with the winner assured a playoff berth. We still had a fair number of little kids come by, though not as many as in previous years.

All this got me to thinking how the church had stolen many of the pagan rituals to use as religious holidays and have had them co-opted by the secular humanists as reasons to party. In my day, Halloween was just for kids, you seldom saw adults dressing up or partying. About the only holy day that we haven't lost completely is Easter and that is rapidly becoming Easter Bunny day. Serves the church right, if they had made the celebration of these holy days a little peppier, we might not have lost them. Oh well, Happy Halloween, remember our sainted ancestors while we rob our kid's candy loot.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Voting in Oregon

We got our mail-in ballots last week. We have until Nov. 4 to have them into the County Clerk's office, but since we live in the county seat it is just a matter of going to the court house to turn in our ballots. I think the vote by mail system is pretty good at getting a good turnout of voters. I miss the old days of going to the voting site, we would always meet our friends and neighbors and get some visiting in. There was something magical about going into the voting booth and filling out your
ballot and then putting it into the ballot box and hearing the elections official saying, "Daniel Gardner has voted." I miss that camaraderie that went along with going to vote at a polling place.

Voting by mail has also done away with poll watchers. When I served as mayor of our little community we would take turns sitting at the polling sites with a list of registered voters marking the names of those voting. From time to time someone would come and look at the list of those who hadn't voted and then go and call supporters who hadn't voted. Of course, the other side would do the same thing and we would lighten the day by saying "there's one of yours voting" and they would reciprocate. Now days, all you get is "thank you" from the county employee watching the ballot box.

We don't have problems with hanging chads since our ballots are like the old standardized tests we took in school. "Fill in the appropriate box with a number 2 pencil." The only problems that arise from time to time are the misplaced ballots that occur when the mail is picked up at the Post Office and not put in the proper place at the Court House. That doesn't happen around here where the numbers are relatively small, but in the Portland area where there are 1.5 million people there is a a better chance of misplacing a batch of ballots. Actually, there haven't been any problems with misplaced ballots affecting an election's outcome.

I will continue to be apprehensive about the outcome of the election, I'm afraid that our country won't be able to survive another 4 years of Republican control. My great-grandchildren have already been saddled with an unpayable debt caused by Rebpublican malfeasance and conciete.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ageing and Sports

I just realized that Pheasant Hunting Season started yesterday, which is really unbelievable for a guy who grew up with a gun or a fishing pole in my hand. In my family we all hunted or fished for whatever was in season. The anticipation of opening day of whatever season was coming next was something that could tasted.
The equipment was cleaned and oiled and tested over and over. For deer season we would go out and sight in our rifles and polish the lens of our scopes. Ammunition would be checked and counted and we would spend hours at the sporting goods store deciding which ammo to purchase. For bird season we would get out the shotguns and make sure that we had a good supply of Pheasant loads. Evenings would be spent poring over maps and deciding where to start the season. Fish and game seasons would be every bit as well planned as a military campaign. During the season we were in the field as much as we could, and filling your deer tag on opening day was kind of a letdown.

I haven't hunted anything for over 30 years. I can't remember when I last went fishing. And, I don't miss it at all. I still have all my equipment, gathering dust in a closet. For some reason, killing an animal for food has become something I don't enjoy. I really don't like the taste of venison or game birds, and I haven't eaten a trout in years. I don't think this change of heart is an age related thing, because many of my friends continue to hunt and fish well into their 80's. I have found other things that I enjoy much more than hunting and fishing. We won't go into skiing, or golf, or watching baseball or pro football on TV, I guess I'll say that I've evolved.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


My mother used to have a saying that she used from time to time; "There's no disgrace to poverty, it's just awfully inconvenient". In this day and age when we have so much, it's hard to believe that anybody could still live in poverty. That there are so many in the US who go to bed hungry is a terrible indictment of us as a country. We must find a way to share in the abundance that surrounds us. We must also find a way to share our abundance with the rest of the world. We are rapidly moving to a one world government and we must bring the have-nots out of poverty and into our own wealth. There is no religion that teaches us to ignore the suffering around us. Likewise, there is no moral code for the non-religious that teaches us to keep people in poverty. We must learn to share. We must unlearn the hatred that we have been taught. We are all equals and the sooner we all learn this the sooner we will eliminate poverty. Don't look away from the beggar, look deep into his eyes and learn how degrading it is to have to beg for food.

Blog Action Day - October 15 ,2008

If you scroll down the right (no,the other right) hand side of this blog you will see a small picture of a factory belching smoke. If you double click on the picture you will get more info on Blog Action Day. This year, all of us who participate will write on the subject of poverty on October 15, Blog Action Day. So, plan to check me out and see what I have to say on the subject of poverty. Also, try to look at some of the other blogs and their writings on poverty. I'll try to post some of the other sites that are participating.