Friday, February 22, 2008


My car got hit by a truck yesterday. Which then slammed me into a concrete wall.

OK I'll admit that saying it that way makes it sound way more traumatic than it actually was. It was snowingsleetingwintrymixing during the morning commute. I was on my way to the train station and had meant to take the side roads, but out of habit, I found myself on I-44. But it's good, I thought. Traffic is moving at a good pace, even if they are rubbernecking to get a look at the 3 accidents in the westbound lanes.

And then I see a blue pick-up truck heading across 3 lanes of traffic right at me. He hit me in the door on the driver's side. We were on an overpass and I know I hit the concrete wall on the side of it because I remember thinking, "ah, man! I'm going to hit that concrete wall!" And I did, which bounced me back out across 2 lanes of traffic. I braced myself to get hit by other cars --- but they missed me, YAY!!! I backed my car over to what little shoulder was left after a re-striping project a few months ago. The truck that hit me ended up facing the oncoming traffic. He, too, managed to miss other cars -- just hit me. The whole thing was almost like a well choreographed ice-ballet. Spinning, sliding, and gracefully pirouretting into walls. When it ended, we got ourselves to the shoulder and sat there, back to back, calling 911 and work from our cellphones. Well, that's who I called, I'm assuming he did the same. We did acknowledge each other's presence and waved, signaling we were both OK.

Looking out of my side mirror, I didn't see any damage to my car. Dang, I thought. They are right about these Saturns being made of plastic. The dents jut bounce right out. While we waited, I saw a Ford Escape flying along in the far left lane and thought he was going way too fast for conditions. As I thought that, he spun out of control and slammed into the concrete wall on the other side. He hit it hard, too, because it knocked off a tire and made his vehicle lean sideways. I saw him moving around inside his vehicle and talking on his cellphone, so he was OK. Just a dumba$$ for going so fast, but you know, he had a 4-wheel drive so he can drive like an idiot in ice, right?

When I called 911, they told me there would be quite a wait as they were answering a lot of calls. So I was pleasantly surprised to see the Webster Groves police arrive 10 minutes later. He confirmed neither of us were hurt. I asked him if my car had any damage. He looked at me rather strangely and said, "Yeah, your DOOR?" I hadn't gotten out to inspect it because I was sitting on a very narrow shoulder on an ice-covered overpass and cars occasionally spun out of control. I figured I'd do the inspecting later. The cop had blocked off the lane next to us, so I did get out to look and yup. What my side mirror hadn't shown was the outside portion of the door had shattered. And, it had affected the rear-door so it wouldn't close all the way. I looked to see what hitting the wall had done.

Nothing. I had hit it with my bumper, which is rubber and it just bounced back into place. But getting back into my car was tricky. I no longer had a door handle and have to climb in through the passenger door. I have bucket seats. "Graceful" is just thrown out of the equation. What I have since started doing is leaving the driver's seat reclined so I can open the back door, lean w-a-a-a-y over and open the door. I ventured out later in the day yesterday to run a couple of errands. I left the door slightly ajar (let's face it, the door looks MORE than slightly ajar) . There's nothing inside the car to steal and if anyone wants to steal it and take a 10 year old damaged Saturn off my hands --- then who am I to stop them?

It has 140,000 miles on it and had been slowly disintegrating around me. The sunroof leaks when the rain comes in from a certain direction. The rear windows tend to slide down of their own accord whenever they feel like it (so I've surreptitiously wedged pieces of cardboard into them to prevent that) and my windshield wiper will occasionally take a swipe whenever it wants. Meghan was driving it last summer as we were running errands. I hadn't told her about the windshield wiper action. When it happened on a clear day, she turned to look at me and said, "Seriously, when are you getting a new car?" She actually had the nerve to refer to it as a ghetto car!!!!

I was thinking about getting a new car this year (which for me means newer -- I don't buy brand spanking new cars. I'll let someone else take the hit on depreciation.) But with Meghan getting married in April and my trip to St. Thomas next month, I thought that maybe I'd wait until later in the year.

So with this.... maybe I'll go ahead and start thinking about getting one sooner. Maybe.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Prayers for Mayor Swoboda and Todd Smith

RIP Connie Karr

RIP Kenneth Yost

RIP Michael Lynch

RIP Tom Ballman

RIP William Riggs

RIP Cookie Thornton

What happened last night is incomprehensible. How can this happen here???.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Last night, Judy, Jerry and I decided we needed a change for a Saturday night, so we went to a rally for Obama, which was held downtown St. Louis at the Edward Jones Dome, where the Rams play.  

Now, the land of politics is filled with lies and the lying liers who tell them. I'm sure this hadn't been condoned by Sen. Obama, but we were lied to as soon as we got to the Dome. We arrived a half hour before the doors opened and the line was huge. We saw a young man with a clipboard (Judy said this is a sign of authority) and wearing some sort of official looking volunteer button and asked him if there was only one entrance. He told us that the entrance nearest us was for people who wanted to be on the floor, but they would have to go through metal detectors and security. The other doors let people into the balconies.

We opted for the balconies because we figured we could see and sit down.

And ended up on the floor. Behind the people who went through the other door. And stood for 3 hours. NO ONE was allowed into the balconies.

Mr. "I Have A Clipboard and a Badge" had lied to us.

We heard HE was going to arrive at 8 or 8:30. At various times, the crowd got the impression something was about to CHANGE.

There was a performance by the Harris Stowe Teachers College Marching Band and Drum Line.

A young woman came out and sang a very soulful National Anthem.

A guy threw beads to the crowd. (Hey, it was Mardi Gras weekend.)

And we had a surge!!!

All of a sudden, the crowd surged forward and closer to the stage!

By three feet!

We were so excited!

And crushed!!

Behind us, there was a young woman with a child in a stroller. An unhappy child. Who cried a lot. Jerry asked if there wasn't some airplane missing a wailing child. The woman with the stroller kept pushing the stroller into the back of Judy's leg and due to the crowd, Judy couldn't move. She eventually gave up and she and Jerry went to the back to get out of the crowd.

And then the stroller was digging into my leg. The woman somehow managed to angle the stroller to one side and was then pushing into my back with the diaper bag. I found that I could relax my legs a little by leaning back on that bag and stuff she had shoved into me. She finally asked me if I couldn't move a little bit as I was crowding her. I pointed out that my friend had to move because of the stroller and that I hadn't moved one bit so if she thought she was being crowded, she might want to shift a bit. And then I lost my "resting place".

A little later, we heard "excuse us, coming through, excuse me, I need to get through."

We looked down and saw a couple of women making their way through the crowd. I was standing with a pocket of middle-agers and we looked at her as one and said, "why?"

Young Woman: I can't see.

Middle-agers: And?

Young Woman: We want to get up front so we can see.

Middle-agers: We've been here two hours.

Young Woman: So you won't let me through?

Middle-agers: No.

Young woman: But I'm worse off than when I started.

Middle-Agers: And?

And she and her friends turned around and started back through the crowd.

Middle-agers get surly after standing on concrete for 2 hours.

AND then...... we felt More Change!

Local dignataries were introduced!! Our junior United States Senator and former State Auditor Claire McCaskill informed us there were 20,000 of us. Really? 20,000? Well, she was our State Auditor, so she ought to know. I couldn't judge the crowd from where I was towards the front, but Judy and Jerry said that most of the floor was full, so maybe there were close to 20,000. And it was a very diverse crowd; multi-generational (but more on the younger side), multi-racial and pretty much split, multi-gender.

Also in attendance on the stage were former U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan and her son, Russ, a United States Congressman. When Jean's late husband, Mel, was governor he died in a plane crash shortly before he defeated John Ashcroft for United States Senator. Jean went on to take Mel's seat in the Senate. Claire now occupies that Senate seat. We were counting the Missouri Democrats endorsing Obama and couldn't figure out who is left to endorse Hillary.

I asked if Nixon (Missouri Attorney General) is a democrat.

Jerry: Nixon is a democrat.

And that sentence made us giggle. OK, Jerry didn't giggle, being a guy. He kind of snorted.

I had a great view of what we had thought was the stage with the "Change" banner where we thought Obama would be standing. But shortly before Another Change in the evening, a local TV reporter and camera crew set up shop, blocking my view.

But the staging ended up being a little to the left of that, where I was totally blocked by a 6 foot guy.

But by standing on tippy toe, and also with the aid of a very nice tall young man next to me, I did get some decent pics of Obama after he finally arrived.

Security at the doors prevented people from bringing in their own signs, but "volunteers" handed out "official" signs to the crowd, "Stand Up for Change" and "A Change We Can Believe In".  

BUT ----  I did see a few home made signs that people had folded up and carried in under their coats; "Vets for Obama", "Vietnam Veterans for a Change."   Gotta love those crafty Vets!!

I'll admit, I don't know yet if I am for Obama or not.  I'm still working on that.  In his message, he said he wasn't going to tell us what we wanted to hear, but what he thought we needed to hear.  Which, if you are wanting change, IS something you want to hear.

He made some campaign promises that he promised he would accomplish, and they all seemed expensive, especially since he made the usual campaign promise regarding tax cuts.   I was intrigued by his promise of money for college students BUT --- those getting the money would be expected to serve their communities.  Good idea.   He addressed some rumors, that he's Muslim (while he has no problem with the Muslim faith) "...he has praised Jesus at the same Christian church for 20 years."  He also mentioned that there have been e-mail rumors that he won't pledge allegiance to the flag, yet he is often seen on C-Span doing that very thing in the Senate.

He received rousing applause when he mentioned how happy he was that George W. Bush would no longer be on the ballot.  He got even more applause, and laughter, when he said that the ballot would also not include the name of his cousin, Dick Cheney. 

Today, Hillary and The Remaining Missouri Democrats (Nixon?) will be at the Machinists Hall in North County, and Romney is going to be and Busters in West County.  Can't get 20,000 people at Dave and Busters!

And today, my legs are killing me!!!  Attending these political rallies is NOT for wimps.  

But it's time now for me to get ready to attend a Supebowl Party.  Since I'm still in my robe, this means that I'm ready for a Change.

Sorry.  Couldn't resist.