Let it Snow

Well, that was lame. We were all set to enjoy a snow-filled weekend, but the snow didn’t really commit to the occasion. In fact, our schools closed for a couple of snow days this week when there was actually no snow at all. As fate would have it, I was the only Rushing to experience snow this week as I was off visiting my friends and clients in Iowa.

Iowa is famous for it’s role in the national political process and the amount of effort that the candidates expend there. While I was there Trump and Palin were also there making their announcement. Cruz visited the small town where I work days before I got there and Rubio was to visit days after my departure. Watching TV from the hotel room, I was amazed and amused by the sheer volume of political attack ads. My clients say their phones have been ringing off the hook. I suppose the benefit of living in a state like Tennessee that leans solidly toward one party is not having to deal with that mess.

As most of you know, I hate politics. The tone and tenor of our national discourse is deplorable. There is no level of civility and the overwhelming majority of the arguments are mean-spirited. In the end, both parties serve the same masters- choice is an illusion (as is the “change” we are always promised).

I’m a moderate conservative- a dying breed. Unfortunately, there is no candidate on either side that represents my perspective. Those at the far right end of the spectrum have taken over the Republican party (along with some crazy people). There is little compassion in this group, and even less willingness to consider ideas that fall outside of the far right party line. Most of them would classify me as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) for my tendency to value pragmatic compromise over ideological purity. On the other hand, Democrats will flat out say publicly that I am of the most loathsome class of person on the planet- a self-employed, white, straight, male, conservative, gun owning, Christian from Alabama. Beyond being offend that they are offended by my existence, I’m philosophically opposed to most of their other aims- primarily as it relates to the size and role of government.

What’s a boy to do? Should I vote for a mean, crazy right-winger? Should I vote for a party that blames people like me for all of the problems in the country and that is not shy about promising to take more of my “wealth” because I’m not paying my “fair share”*? That’s a dilly of a pickle. In the end, the question is moot because I won’t likely be around to vote in November anyway. I have serious concerns about the future of the country, but that challenge will be for my boys to deal with. Moving swiftly on, now that I have thoroughly offended you all…

This week I did something that I rarely do- check the stats on this ol’ blog. I was astounded and mortified by what I found. The astounding part is that the average number of page views is now several times over more than what it was when this was strictly about urban design in Chattanooga. I was mortified to see that this is my most viewed post of all time- by a long shot. I cringe at that post for a number of reasons: a) it portrays my whiny side; b) things actually got worse than they were at that point; c) in hindsight it was a missed opportunity.

There are at least a couple of lessons to be learned in this case. First and foremost- always put your best foot forward. When I wrote that post I had no idea that readership would extend well into five figures(!?).  The overwhelming majority of those people didn’t read anything else that I’ve written. That single post is the only version of C.Rushing those people will ever know. I’m gutted that the bitter, whiny version of myself is what so many people were exposed to (at least to the extent that I should care about what others think of me). Now matter how funny, caring, thoughtful, (or modest) I think I am, those folks will never know, because I did not represent myself in that way. Such a shame.

The other lesson to remember is that everything you put online has the potential to be seen by a lot of people. This is something that I know I know, but I guess I have a problem keeping it in the forefront of my mind. Had I known that I was going to have such a big audience I would have written something of value and meaning. Alas, that ship has sailed- a missed opportunity.

I hope ya’ll have a great week. Please don’t slate me because of political rant, I love all of my friends on both the left and right. Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers. Again, I love hearing from you and apologize for being slow to respond to so many of you. I’ve been terrible but resolve to do better from here on out! Until next week, I love you, take care.


Let's Dance

...and with that win order has been restored to the universe. If the good lord does indeed call me home this year, to be able to go out on a national championship year is a nice touch. I had another great weekend of watching the boys play basketball. The youngest put in an energetic and enthusiastic display against some older kids. The oldest, had another good outing- so good in fact, that the league director has decided to move him to the 13-15 year-old league (he’s ten). We’ll see how that plays out. 

Big news of the week was the passing of David Bowie and Alan Rickman- both English, both aged 69, both of cancer. 69 is way too young, but damn, what I wouldn’t give to make it another 26 years myself (yes, I know I’ve said that before). I won’t front like I was a huge fan of either, but I have a great deal of respect for them both. I wasn’t always keen on Bowie’s music (and he seemed a little weird), but I really admired his ability to influence so many different avenues of art. Rickman, of course, had one of the coolest voices ever. The way he crafted his lines is probably the reason why I found Snape the most interesting character in the Potter movies. (Incidentally, the oldest and I just finished reading the series simultaneously. That was fun. Now we’re on to Asimov’s Foundation series).

I apologize again for not anything more substantive to write about this week. I’m going to try to put together something with a bit more meat on the bones very soon. In the meantime know that things are going pretty well and that I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Chemo music: My favorite Bowie song of all time. I only bought one Bowie record, I was eleven years old and it was a 45 single (and I vividly remember buying a yellow 45 RPM spindle at the same time).


Happy Tuesday

Before we get started, I will say that this is a Seinfeld post. In other words, it’s a post about nothing. My mom gets mad if I take too much time off, however, so I figured I needed to write something. Also, this is funny.

The news of the day will be the national championship game. By the time you read this it will be settled, but as of writing the game has yet to be played. I am excited about the game and seeing Alabama play for another ‘ship. Unfortunately, we are spoiled, this being our fourth championship appearance in seven years. I must admit that it’s been more difficult getting up for this one than it was for the first in this run in ’09. My poor children are in for a shock as they get older and realize that playing the NC isn’t something that happens very often. In any event, I hope the Tide played hard and gave a good accounting of themselves last night.

As for me, things are peachy. I’m writing this from the chemo chair as I get my biweekly dose of Irinotecan. The main side effect of this drug is potentially life-threatening diarrhea (Of the things that might get me, dear lord, don’t let it be diarrhea). Although this is the moist common side effect, it hasn’t bothered me just yet. Nausea, vomiting, cramps and fatigue have been the trade-off. As with the Gemzar and Cisplatin, however, I’ve handled things pretty well. That my body has dealt with chemo side effects so well is certainly a blessing, and something I’m very thankful for. Many of the people in the room with me right now aren’t nearly as fortunate.

For now, there is still hair under the hat.
It's just freezing out there!
Speaking of the people in the room- I am by at least a decade the youngest here virtually every visit. I would wager that most of the folks here are at least in their sixties. What I wouldn’t give to live for another twenty years in order to die young in my sixties (as David Bowie did today, God rest him). Unfortunately, that does not appear to be my fate. Fortunately, I can make peace with that.

On the whole, life is good these days. I will do my best to come up with some more entertaining/engaging topics in the coming weeks (if you have any ideas, please let me know). Until then, ya’ll be good.

I've spent my time in the chair today listening to Depeche Mode. With so many good tunes, it's tough to play favorites, but for today let's go with this, this and this.