Wednesday, August 27, 2008
It is no secret whatsoever – Bill Clinton is an egotistical ex-president. Simple as that. What is not simple is the media obsession that seems to continue to surround this man. In the past week, two very important actions have taken place:
1. A former President from Arkansas that once cheated on his wife with an intern continued to be hailed as a great politician in all forms of media (though sometimes seen as “bitter”).
2. A former Senator from North Carolina that once cheated on his wife with a campaign staffer was sent to a back room, told to keep his mouth shut, and was dropped from all forms of media coverage.
I find that fairly odd.
It is a simple matter of fact that people tend to always be drawn towards an individual that sweats confidence and charisma – it is no secret that Bill Clinton does this. From his days of standing behind the speaker’s podium as the Governor of Arkansas to his two term Presidency – he has always been able to entice a crowd of believers. Actually – he has managed to do that even after leaving office…and almost on an even larger scale than ever before.
How the mighty have fallen…
In the past 12 months (maybe longer) President Clinton has turned a complete 180 degrees. He is bitter – but what exactly is he bitter about? At one point in time Clinton was the young, hip, popular, strength of the Democratic Party - but with years stacking up on him he has become the image of “what once was”. He was the name that rolled off of the tongues of millions world wide. Now, his wife is the main name of the family. The chants for “Hillary” have quickly replaced those for him. He continues to relish the light when his name is ever mentioned. He smiles because he remembers how it once was – then quickly remembers how it is now. Lately, Clinton has become bitter during interviews and media gatherings. If his name is not the topic of discussion he is quick to release a remark to stir controversy – bringing his name to the top…even if for a short amount of time. The past few weeks have shown a clear bit of evidence of this very point. Scratch that... just yesterday Bill Clinton supported my claim via statements and actions. So it seems, during this trying time for the Democratic Party to unite under one cause and one leader - Bill Clinton isn't able to swallow his pride and join his wife in supporting Senator Obama. Even if Senator Clinton does it in a round about way. The truth remains, Bill Clinton can't get over the fact that Senator Obama has replaced him as the image for the Party.
So what exactly can we expect from the former President Clinton during his speech this evening?
I honestly don't believe we will hear Clinton come out and talk about Senator Obama's leadership abilities. I have a very simple reason for this theory - his wife didn't even do it. Beyond that, I expect we will see the same Clinton that we have seen during this entire campaign season: A cocky, bitter, aging, ex-president.
I expect good ol' Bill to talk about his wife and his hatred of the GOP as he attempts to say something kind about the Obamas. Can Bill "I was a great President" Clinton succeed in this? We will know soon enough.
All I know is that I will be keeping a running tally of how many times he mentions his own Presidency.
Guerrilla Theater blocks a portion of the 16th Street Mall as they attempt to show the general public what "occupation" feels like.
More to come...
Monday, August 25, 2008
The start of the 2008 Democratic National Convention here in Denver Colorado was relatively quiet - for the most part. The early morning air was first pierced by the sound of police and military helicopters hovering throughout the city sky. As I left my condo-loft and began my walk to the office I made an attempt to take in as much detail as possible. The military presence was obvious as their "little birds" and blackhawks patrolled the city from above - ready for a quick reaction to anything. Though the police patrolled along side the military in the sky - their presence in the streets was undeniable.
Some made their rounds on horseback - some on foot. This wasn't very out of the norm for a city putting on a large event...except for the SUVs. The white, unmarked SUVs. The black, unmarked SUVs. All with blacked out windows. All with men harnessed and standing on platforms extending from the sides and rear of the vehicles. These men wore black urban combat uniforms and were decked out in body armor - some held automatic rifles while others held pepper pellet guns. Both were intimidating to everyone that laid eyes upon them. It was very clear that the city was prepared to take care of anything.
The police outnumbered the civilians on the street.
The majority of the morning remained calm. MSNBC setup their broadcast stage right outside of my home. They tend to draw a good number of people throughout the day - and seem to be the only sign of activity in the early part of the morning. As the morning progressed I could see an influx of people and activity while looking down from my office window - perched above the 16th Street Mall. As lunch time approached, more and more people began to move about the Mall. A few protesters marched with their signs and the Code Pink clan could easily be spotted from several blocks away.
Then came 1pm - it was as if everyone had agreed that this would be the time to come out. Signs began showing up everywhere, as did more people dressed in pink clothing. The numbers of police officers drastically increased... the day remained young.
After walking home for lunch I began my return to the office at 2pm. The city had transformed into organized chaos. Protesters could be seen all over the Mall. Police were doing their best to keep opposing groups under control. Helicopters hovered lower in an attempt to remind people that they are watching.
"This is mild compared to what we are expecting this week," one officer told me.
The police maintained control throughout the remainder of the day. There were clashes here and there - usually resulting in protesters being pepper sprayed, thrown to the ground and cuffed.
What tomorrow will bring remains to be seen.
Keep checking back for more recaps and photos - I will do my best to keep track of as much as possible.
You can also check out http://www.denverpost.com/ and http://www.rockymountainnews.com/ for up to date (though bias) information and news related to the DNC.
Monday, August 18, 2008
is 26 for me. So far. I think.
A lot has happened in my twenty six years of walking around looking for my path in life. That being said, a lot has not yet happened within the span of those years. It seems, however, that this new age could quite possibly be my turning point - that's my theory for now at least.
For 13 of those 25 years I attended the same private school from K-12 with the majority of the same friends. With whom, only a minority of which are still in touch with one another. Life is funny like that. What I really enjoy is the ability to not see or talk to some of my friends for months on end - and being able to catch up with them at a moments notice. Life is funny like that also. I was your average student - mainly because I was more interested in sports than in academics. Friendships took priority over homework... I don't have homework anymore but I still have those friends - and some new ones too. My school was an extension of my family; as a result, I have multiple sets of brothers, sisters, and parents. We all have stayed in touch and are quite active in each others' lives to date.
Five of the remaining 12 years were spent being an awesome little kid.
The last seven years were spent in college and work. I attended 2 different places of study – where I met some of my best friends to date. We are now scattered all over this great nation in a variety of occupations. Financial advisors, med school, law school, lawyers, oil business, entrepreneurs, musicians; the list goes on and on. We do our best to stay in touch, but with such busy day to day lives this has become quite hard – still, we try. It is nice to be able to pick up the phone and hear about someone else’s life and happenings therein. Discussions of past adventures together almost always bring laughter to both sides of the phone. Some friends have vanished – moving and losing the contact info of everyone else – occasionally there is the surprising email waiting in the inbox from a long lost friend. Though they are few and far between – they are always worth the wait.
Currently I find myself in the job of a lifetime. Everything is going right for me – personally and professionally. It is such a breath of fresh air and I am so glad that I have finally found myself on this path in life. I truly hope those that read this (if anyone does) find themselves on that path as well. If not, do not lose hope – it is surely waiting right around the corner.
Since I always love hearing what is going on in the lives of others please feel free to leave a comment. You don’t have to say who you are or where you are from… just tell us what is going on in your life. Take a step back and look at it from the outside in. What do you still hope to achieve? What is stopping you – besides yourself?
Also, contact at least one long lost friend. Find out what is going on in their world. I assure you that it will make the day for both parties involved.
I’m only 26 and clearly not as enlightened as I will be next year.
Hoping someone finds a long lost friend… and waiting to hear about it.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
For what can go wrong at the DMV. It truly amazes me the amount of incompetence that individuals, offices, and occupational sectors can demonstrate in one single day – in multiple states. My 4.5 hours at the Denver, CO DMV this morning fully demonstrated the extent of this incompetence. I honestly don’t even know where to begin so I will do my best to narrate in as short of a time frame as possible.
- Trip 1 - Time: o730
I arrive in plenty of time to find a good place in the ever growing line outside. At 0800 the doors open and in we walk. I am directed immediately to a window with a waiting representative parked at his station ready to assist me. We cover the basics and then he asks to see my out of state Driver's License. He begins to review the small, simple, plastic card that for some reason commands more authority in these United States than some 3rd world ruling parties. Suddenly, he looks up, his face turning almost to stone - as if he is used to prepping this image before revealing bad news...day in and out. "Mr. Cole," he says. "I'm afraid I can't accept this DL as a viable form of ID due to the fact that it only contains your middle initial and not your full," he speaks sternly. With little worry and zero hesitation I reply, "Oh that's right - here is my Weapons Permit from my home state, I forgot that my DL only had my initial, this ID has my full name." His face doesn't change. He quickly responds, "I can not accept this."
This is confusing to me for a very simple reason. You see, I had phoned the DMV the previous week about this very scenario - whereby I was informed that it would not be a problem since my photo was on my state issued Weapons Permit and as a result would be accepted as a form of ID in place of my DL.
Clearly my informant was poorly mistaken. Only, I was the one to suffer in his error.
After arguing and throwing in a few legal terms I tucked my pride deep into my pockets and left - headed for my condo to fetch my passport.
-Trip 2- Time: 0915
I return... with passport in hand and high spirits to boot. I am quickly directed to my original window where I wait patiently for the person in front of me to finish. Instead of my stone faced greeter from my previous trip I am met by a kind, slight spoken woman.
Doris is simple in her appearance - deceptive. She would more easily fit in as a greeter of an art gallery than a DMV worker. Her voice his quite kind as she welcomes me and we begin what should be a brief encounter.
I go through the very motions I had been through previously - only this time I am quick to hand over my Passport...as it has my full name. Everything seems to be going smoothly as Doris and I jokingly discuss my incident from earlier in the morning. Suddenly, her face loses color - I sense something is not right. "Umm...Mr. Cole," she nervously inflects her voice as if she herself is not sure of my coming reaction. "It seems there is a problem," she continues. "What KIND of problem?" I quickly respond. She seems to gather herself before continuing, "Well, there is a red flag by your name on the national database and it is instructing me to hold your process," she responds.
I am shocked - once again. What else could go wrong?
Doris provides me with the phone number to a department in my home state so that I can inquire for more information. It is necessary that I resolve this issue since my license is due to expire in 3 more days while I am out of town.
I will now do my best to make a very long story short...
Back in April I had received a speeding ticket in North Dakota. I paid the fine for this ticket the very day I violated the speed limit. It seems however, that my home state did not "notice" this payment and instead believed that the State of North Dakota asked that my license be suspended - and so it was. After arguing on the phone with - speaking frankly - the idiots at the department in my home state... talking to the North Dakota State Patrol... talking with the Clerk of the Court of the District Court in the area of North Dakota that issued me my ticket... We reached the following conclusion.
It appears that a lady at the department in my home state failed to read the notice from the State of Dakota fully. Had she read the entire document (specifically the item at the bottom of the page in bold print), she would have read "Payment received: 04-10-2008. Conviction of violation issued: 04-14-2008." What does this all mean? It means that I paid my ticket. Simple as that.
So once again... someone made an error - and I am the one to suffer.
-Trip 3- Time: 1215
I return to the DMV and stand in front of Doris' window. She re-greets me with her simple smile. Processes my info. Finally, I leave with my temporary paper ticket. My true DL for my current state should arrive in the mail soon.
This, my friends, is how I spent my day at the Colorado DMV.
Patiently waiting for a phone call telling me that something else is wrong with this situation.
Monday, August 11, 2008
My mind struggles to understand why this broken world has failed him so. My heart aches with an unconditional love for my dearest friend. I know what awaits him in these closing months… for the time being I am content that he does not.
Though the plan at hand is to continue this method of treatment for several months, the reality of the situation is that the majority of dogs diagnosed with this condition live from a range of 8 days to a few months post diagnosis.
I knew that this day would be upon him – but I was not expecting it for several more years. I was not prepared for this development. I am not prepared for his departure. I am not prepared to face any of this – and I will never overcome it all. I will never be the same because of him. I will never be the same without him.
He is loyal. He is smart. He is a loving companion. He is sincere. He is gorgeous. He is athletic. He is a hunter. He is a friend. He is my dog.
He always will be.
It is inevitable that all of us will eventually be spoken of in past tense. For most of us, our stories will be lengthy ones – full of fond memories.
I’m proud to say that my Drake’s story is pages longer than mine will likely ever be – and I will cherish his name and take it to my grave.
Friends come and go – loyalty lasts forever. For Drake and I… our loyalty to one another outshines the sun – and will outlast us both.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
2. a picture employing this technique, esp. one in which it is prominent: an architect's perspective of a house.
3. a visible scene, esp. one extending to a distance; vista: a perspective on the main axis of an estate.
4. the state of existing in space before the eye: The elevations look all right, but the building's composition is a failure in perspective.
5. the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship: You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.
6. the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship: Your data is admirably detailed but it lacks perspective.
7. a mental view or prospect: the dismal perspective of terminally ill patients. –adjective
8. of or pertaining to the art of perspective, or represented according to its laws.
[Origin: 1350–1400; ME perspectīva (ars) optical (science), perspectīvum optical glass, n. uses of fem. and neut. of perspectīvus optical, equiv. to L perspect-, ptp. s. of perspicere to look at closely.]
Take a moment. Sit back. Prop those feet up. Put your life in perspective... just make sure that you magnify the "happy" each and every day.
With feelings of bliss and a smile to prove it.