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The Running Bets

I like to bet. For those of you who have read the story about how I was a professional gambler, this is obvious. What I don't like to do is exercise. At one point in my life, these two activities joined to provide an interesting story.

I have a friend named Hayden. He likes to bet me. For a while we had a running string of bets, and I was down overall because I failed to get 10x his score in a Tony Hawk competition. At one point I was one of the top 10 Tony Hawk players in the world. That lasted for about 5 minutes until someone from Japan beat my score.

Hayden and I sat across from my kitchen table.

Early on a Sunday Morning

On Where Pianos Roam

Ugh.  I just sneezed five times.  I'm not a quiet, gentle sneezer either.  It's loud, thunderous, and almost obnoxious.  It runs in the genes.  We are a family of loud sneezers. So, I watched most of the first big presidential debate between Senator Obama and Senator McCain on Friday.  To me, Obama came out punching and was aggressive from the start.  McCain just sort of eased into it and progressively punched back more and more as the night wore on.  There seemed to be valid points made on both sides, and they both are quite formidable. Honestly, I seem to be leaning more towards Obama right now only because I happen to agree with where he stands on most of the major issues--the environment, energy, immigration, abortion, same-sex marriage, and education.  I guess I'm really looking for a change in direction and a new perspective. I have nothing personal against President Bush, but  we've had 8 years of a leader who just doesn't really seem to know what he's doing.    He seems like he might be fun to shoot pool with, have a laugh, and enjoy a beer with, but as the leader of the free world, not so much.  McCain strikes me as very quirky, articulate, and smart, but I'm not convinced that he will present enough of a departure from Bush ideology and policy-making.  I'm also not confident in his running mate Sarah Palin's abilities to help run this country and deal with the world at large.  I'm all for a woman being president some day, but the right woman, just as we need the right man, is always ideal.  I'm not sure at all that she fits the bill. In less than 40 days, we will have determined the course of our history over at least the next four years.  These are precarious times.  Gas prices are at an all-time high.  Our economy is on the verge of a MAJOR crisis.   We are still embroiled in an unfortunate war with Iraq.  The list of troubling concerns is seemingly endless.  Our next US President will inherit all of this.  We will need someone with the courage and the wherewithal to take all of this on. The role of a President is a daunting and difficult one because invariably you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.  You can be celebrated in one corner and flogged as the nation's whipping boy in another.  The nation's chosen leader is also the occasional scapegoat.  He will be glorified, demonized, smiled upon, and addressed with sheer disdain.  There are people out there who have rough jobs (port-a-jon cleaners, proctologists, sewege maintenance workers, Disney Mascots, etc.), but  imagine never really knowing if you're doing a good job and being under the scrutinity of an entire country of millions of people.  It takes a special kind of person to handle all of this. In any case, I have been more intrigued by this year's Presidential race than I ever  have before.  Perhaps it's because there's so much at stake.  Well, whatever the outcome, I hope he is chosen fairly and wisely by this discerning country of ours. I've stopped sneezing.  Thank Goodness. Have a flower .  .  . Have a wonderful week!! -g

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