Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thinking cap

I feel like I've been stale, flat and unprofitable lately. Based on the precipitous drop in comments I think you have responded in kind with a rapid exit from the aircraft in flight.


Part of this is that I seem to be writing about nothing but domestic matters. I don't want this blog to turn into one of those "hey, look at the hangnail I had yesterday, and isn't is a cute thing my kid is doing" forums. But lately it seems like all I've been doing is working and coming home to parent and's not a life conducive to reflection. And when I do reflect my mood has been pretty dark. I think it shows in my writing.

In particular, I'm detecting a tone of grim resignation in my political writing. While I may not believe in sunny happy endings for our current politco-military fairy tales like "How the Maliki Government Found Victory on the Tigris" and "FISA: No, Of Course We're NOT Spying on our Domestic Opponents!" I think I need to find a less curmudgeonly way to express myself.

The wierd thing is that I look around and I see idiotic wars, domestic misgovernment, economic shortsightedness and the sorts of civic dysfunction that seems to accompany the slow failure of an enervated society...but my own work and home and family life is pretty damn sweet at the moment. Maybe that's why the odd tone and all the House And Garden posts lately. Dunno. But if I want you to keep reading, I need to figure this out and get my mojo back.

So I may not post for a bit while I do a bit of cogitating to try and figure this stuff out. Check back, though, OK. I suspect that I still have a scintilla of good writing in me.


Jimmy said...

Well, we can always make fun of the next idiotic actions coming out of HQDA! That's an endless source of amusement right there :)

Red Sand (aka Mrs. V) said...

Thank you for the random "cogitate" - not sure why I'm fixated on that particular word lately. My own reading continues, although I'm finding my own mood is grim indeed lately and that is when I tend to comment less.

Meghan H said...

I blame Bill O'Reilly for my foul political mood lately. He's such an easy target, I suppose. (Did you know Bill O has a new book coming out called "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity?". As Keith Olbermann said, "well, he's a fresh piece of something, alright!"

basilbeast said...

I know just the thing to boost your morale soldier!

Fun for the kiddies too!

Call up some fine rain, put on the appropriate gear, and go for it!

If you want such trash on your hard drive, there's a free conversion site at

If it helps, HI FRIEND!



You Know Where You Are With said...

Most of the time on your political posts, I'm just nodding my head up and down, up and down...hard to capture in a comment.

Oh, I know: Word.

Publius said...

Yeah, I think we're all kind of feeling the same way. It's not you; it's the times. After all, how many times and in how many ways can one express outrage in a different way?

WRT to the state of the nation, I think a lot of us may be suffering from a little clinical depression. When I think of the funk I sometimes find myself in, I can't help but admire folks like Nader and the like who have that ability to keep on going for years on end.

When burn-out occurs, there is nothing wrong with turning a little inward and taking smaller bites. I find myself doing the same thing: you may note you don't see nearly so many impassioned posts full of righteous wrath these days.

Refresh your batteries a bit. The family and house are clearly important. And you like to write. So write about those closer to home and easier to influence things for a while. The other stuff will always be there. Unfortunately.

But no self-pity!

mike said...

Don't give it up. I still think you should be posting on the editorial page of your most un-favorite newspaper. They need a house curmudgeon. It might improve their readership.

walternatives said...

I'm with red sand and YKWYAW - nodding at the political comments, and finding myself quiet when (to use a friend's term) I'm in Crabbyville.

Personally, I love the house/family/domestic bliss aspect of your blog and find the sharing engaging, but I'm a sap for all that. Just wait - you're gonna be getting a load of those kinda posts - the good, bad, and ugly - from us once we get back from China.

pluto said...

I'm going to attribute your post to management, good and bad.

The result of good management is a steady increase of happiness and all of your problems tend to slowly shrink.

The result of bad management is a steady decrease of happiness and all of your problems tend to grow.

Your household seems to be well-run, your problems are mostly under control, and your happiness is expanding.

The country is not well-run, its problems are getting worse every day, and general happiness is shrinking. To make matters worse, your control over the government seems to have vanished leaving you with a look last found on Wiley Coyote's face as his rocket plummeted towards the desert floor. The primary difference being that Wiley wasn't allowed to hold up a sign saying "Oh sh!t."

A natural question is how do you keep the nation's problems from polluting your household's happiness.

I've been giving this question considerable thought since I first discovered it in 2005 and I have a few answers:
1. Make sure that your income doesn't depend on areas that are national problems. For example if you were a mortgage broker I'd recommend a very quick change of profession.
2. Figure out what is most valuable to your family's happiness (MUCH easier said than done) and figure out how best to protect it. For example I realized that I was caught in a major bind between spending more time with my family, my two hour commute, and a job that I loved. I wound up moving my household closer to work. It took about 8 months to work out the kinks from moving (particularly for my kids) but now we are enjoying the benefits.
3. Build up reserves of cash and other resources. There is very little that protects your family like not living paycheck-to-paycheck.

I'm sure that another distraction from your writing is your two cuddly kids. I know from my own experience just how distracting it can be to be a good parent. But in my opinion, being a good parent comes almost before everything else.

So do whatever you think best to recharge your batteries but always remember that you've got a lot of friends out here in the bloggerscape that will keep an eye on this space patiently waiting for your return.

srv said...

I'm here, and happy to follow as the old crowd is still somewhat active on the new intel-dump.

Not much to look forward to has Obama throws progressive or "change" causes under the bus. I didn't have any illusions, but one always has hope.

It is sad that while netroots/blogroots have brought all these new communities together, their ability to affect change is pretty illusory. Ron Paul can bring in $7M in one day, but no one has a 4th Ammendment PAC that can do the same. Even if they could, it would only raise the bar that corporations and special interests can well afford. But we all now that Hoyer, et al, sold us out for peanuts.

Perhaps a change in the WH will revitalize some, but the core of the problems will remain and just cannot be addressed by our current system. How does one raise kids to accept that reality? Would they be better off remaining ignorant? Should I curse my parents for throwing retorts at St. Ronnie when he appeared on the tube in my youth?

basil said...

srv and everyone, meet my "posse".


This is where I am, my local buddies. The guy in the back is the chairman of our local party, he's out trying to get his wheat in before it storms again.

If the national political situation gets you down, there's always the fellowship of like-minded friends to boost you.

I would really appreciate it if ya'll would stop by and drop a "hello" to Kathie.

A much better person, and better-looking may I add, than I.

She's in the last pic at the bottom.

I know, I'm shamelessly blog-whoring, and I'm cheap.


FDChief said...

I do want to thank everyone for the props - y'all rock.

Hi back, basil!

Just wanted to check in an let you know I'm still here, still thinking of new places to take this thing (almost posted something on the appearance of that wretched little niddering shit Addington before the House but it would have consisted of nothing but solid profanity, so, enh...).

I'll be around. Thanks again. Drinks at the Mock's Crest are on me.

Lisa said...

more than a scintilla. . .

rangeragainstwar said...

drive on! jim