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If I am posting it must be insomnia. They’re go the 2:00 am Baptist bells, two minutes late, like clockwork. It seems somehow unBabtist to be two minutes late, two minutes early maybe. But these aren’t your parents Baptists, judgmental and strident, but bland with projection screen throwing up bland hymns. Yawn. A little of that and I could sleep. Instead I have Organic NightyNight tea, still to hot to drink. And blogging my thoughts. See if I get them out of my head to make room for sleep to come in.

I didn’t end up calling in sick the day after I was up posting in the middle of the night. I did sleep in and take some time to wake up. Got my mumps vaccine. 43 years old without getting it, not to bad. The vaccine used to only last 7 years so I never got it when it became available. Now with a booster it lasts your whole life so it makes sense. I didn’t want to kick that can down the road when I would be even older when my immunity failed.

Today started early. I had to get going early and take Fido to a dog park friend’s house to spend the day with Ru the Standard Poodle who likes to hump. I think all poodles do. Fido likes him though, he’s pretty tolerant of such things. He’s easy going to a fault. I had to get there early so Cindy could get to her exercise class but she skipped it to have coffee with me anyway. I brought her some of the dark roast Sumatran I had made. It was good. Best of the lot at its peak this morning. She had broken out the French press for the occasion. I was a little sorry to have given it all away. I roasted a light roast Rwandan tonight so I’ve got something to look forward to. Cindy was dog sitting for a spastic little dog. He humped Fido too.

Tea’s still to hot to drink, had a sip anyways. I came home and dealt with returning some of the phone calls I needed to make. I started to write most but some is more accurate. I still owe my friend Amy and brother Bob a call. Still have an email to family to write as well. I called and did an interview on crime in the second ward with the Trib political paper. He had a 12:00 deadline but it wasn’t in the paper tonight. Maybe tomorrow. That Friday night to Saturday morning is a compressed news cycle. Saturday would be better anyway. It helps door knocking to have been on the paper that day, though you pretty much need to be on the front page and/or have a big picture if you want to get into people’s consciousness. My doors tonight I’d sent them 2 pieces of mail, been in the paper twice a week for a month, and had already knocked on their doors before and no one knew who I was.

Made an appearance at work, mostly just checking email and messages and off to Uprise to meet with the Fire Department Association president. He was meeting with the incumbent from another ward but I got to update Scott, an early supporter who owns an ice cream shop downtown and touch base about not having an event at his place. To much to do not enough time. Its hard to beat doors for voter candidate as far as efficient use of time.

I met with the Fireman, didn’t get endorsed but got a donation and the promise not to be organized against. Still a victory. They don’t want their endorsement to be meaningless and their candidate got beat last time. Drove down to Jefferson City for a meeting of the Missouri Cadre for Co-Occurring Excellence. Been a minute since I’d seen those peeps. I was late because of the fireman thing. We’re planning a peer review process in conjunction with the state. Promising. I picked up a committee assignment again and bragged up my campaign. They’re very proud and miss me on facebook. Nine days and I’m back.

Tea’s yummy. I put in my Michigan honey, the honey of my youth. Sleepy now, but not enough. I drove back to town and caught a couple hours in the office. Not real productive, tired and mind racing. Picked up Fido, he’d had fun and sacked out early and didn’t even get out of bed when I got up to blog so he had a good day. I’ll do it again next week.

Did doors with Ann. Drank the last of the Sumatran dark roast. It threatened rain and had a whole street of no one at home. I wondered if there was a tornado warning and everyone was huddled in their basement. Got a couple signs on the next street. “Bitchin'” a young woman said after I gave her my spiel. The listening tour is over, I’ve been to all 13 precincts and asked what was their concerns. Now I’m pitching myself. Starting back where I started so long ago was interesting. I am a different person. I have a comprehensive knowledge of the neighborhood and its issues, a confidence and a huge array of talking points.

Getting back my old walk sheets for my turf tomorrow. Will be nice to have my notes when I follow up with people for a second time. Even just to know if I talked with them before or not. Stopped by Jeff’s when it started raining. Did a couple houses in the rain but then my sheets got damp and its no fun any more. Got a better tour of his awesome house. Built in 1906 by a biologist who testified in the Scopes trial. Its a 3 story built of concrete forms 1′ x 1′ x 2′ with rock facing on one side. He has a pond with frogs and his fruit trees are in bloom. Very lovely.

Gave me the night of, and I do what my advisers tell me. That was a good strategy. We’ve had remarkably smooth sailing.Allowed me to do dishes and clean my kitchen. I’d had ants, so it needed to be done. No more stacking up dishes for days. Flow has a scrubber that holds dish soap and will start washing them as I go. Ants are God’s way of telling you you are a slob.

Made some fried rice. Was going to do salmon patties but had leftover rice to eat from Fido’s party. Waste not want not, Grandma Trapp always said. Watched a little news and went to bed. Now its time to try that again. A little sleepy and some Spiderman ought to do the trick. I’m down to the Annuals so soon there will be no more. I also finished The Order of Things, only took me 7 years. Have to pick  a new book out. Maybe finish that book on the origins of intelligence I borrowed from John in the Spring. I could return it on my cross country odyssey.

Hope to mow, do a load of laundry, straighten the house, do an interview with a Missourian editoraiist. He writes on issues of religious liberty (the freedom from not freedom to do perspective [hope he’s going to slam my stridently Catholic opponent who criticized Catholic politicians who don’t act like Catholics claiming they’re following the will of their constituents] all before 10 when Vicki comes over. I have a public radio interview at 10:30, oh and I’ll need a shower. Seems ridiculous when I write it all down but you never know. Oh, and I saw a rainbow.

another full day

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Continue to suck the marrow out of life. It is full, it is exciting, it is good. Got up early and made my coffee to go. I’m into the medium roasts now and had a Rwandan I roasted yesterday, pretty good. Fido and I walked down to the park, and his buddy the standard poodle Ru was there. Fido was as happy to see Ru’s mom who has a treat for him when she sees him. She says the park is really talking about the election and encouraged me to do more outreach. She is going on vacation but offered to have Fido over for the day when she gets back. She had a thing to do so we walked the long way home. She was teasing me for Fido needing a bath and a brush out and for thinking I could clip his hair myself.

At lunch a prospective roommate came over, Flow. She seems nice and actually I knew her from River Relief and some of Heidi’s parties. She thinks about 2 weeks and she will move in. She liked Fido and wants to take him for walks. She is also into cooking and it will be nice to get to eat twice as often as I eat. I think she will get along well with Brenda as well.

After work I hit doors with Terry Frueh who was visiting from Oregon. I did my opponents neighborhood. Found all the signs rather intimidating. I stopped at most of them anyway and one person was outside with her little dog and I chatted her up and without asking she put her vote back in play. I talked to another of his supporters who seemed liberal, judging by the big Buddha on her mantle. She asked about my involvement with the neighborhood association and thought hers was active because they have one meeting a year.

I also knocked on the door of a woman from the Chamber of Commerce who seemed supportive. She was impressed with my door knocking which she had seen mentioned on some blogs. Got in 35 doors, best weekday yet. Add in a beautiful sunset and it was a nice day. Went to Bangkok with Terry and it was nice to get caught up and get some Columbia history. Some good Thai food was nice as well.

Then home for calls and emails wind down and tomorrow I do it again. 60 and sunny is enough to make me forget its February. Got our hotspot ordered, first mailing at the mail house, and the political wheels keep turning.

Categories: coffee, dogs, politics

winter float trip

February 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m waiting for a friend to come over and then we’re going to go see a roots rock show at the Blue Fugue. I’m impressed with myself for still going out even though I’ve had a long day. Pretty much took a day off the campaign trail, though I still slogged through an hour and a half of sorely needed follow up calls and dealt with some electronic correspondence. Most of the day I spent out on the Big Muddy with Trevor, Eric and Andy. We drove out last night and stayed at the the East Wind(or something like that)  motel in Glasgow. Very quirky, divey kind of place but the owner was really sweet and hilarious. Gave us chocolates and walked us to our rooms to show us how satellite tv worked. It was a nice start to the trip after allowing myself to get a little frustrated with the little delays and driving back and forth across town that group floats always seem to inspire. Just tired.

We had a really great time on the river. My friend Trevor beat me to blogging about the day. He includes pictures. We shuttled our vehicles and Andy and I waited with the canoes on Stump Island. We hiked around and I read the interpretive sign. Lewis and Clark took a rest day there. Wind was out of the Northwest like today but they were heading up river (a much less chanellized and slower river, I might add) and we’re heading down of course (we do float trips here in Missouri, in Michigan we call them canoe trips). They’d had 2 days of rain so they dried their shit and played the fiddle and had a good old time. They all journaled, a great activity.

Julie just called, she is running late. I said I would add more detail. Trevor and Eric finally made it back and we were ready to embark. They had stopped to pick up breakfast burritos at the Glasgow bakery so well worth the wait. Eric makes cold pressed coffee concentrate so we had caffeined up before leaving the hotel. A little hot breakfast was a bonus.

It was a beautiful day on the river for February. Brisk for sure, but that thins out the crowds. Only saw 2 fishing boats, no other canoes of course. Plus in the winter you can see through the woods and get a better feel for the country. The highlight though were the bald eagles. Must have seen 5 or 6 plus some hawks, ducks, and a flock of cardinals on the way out. It was really amazing. There’s a number of eagles nest south of Stump Island (named by Lewis and Clark because it was island with a lot of stumps. Now its no longer an island and pretty much stump free.) so not a bad place to go and check out the big birds.

We had a pretty fun time, taking our time. We only did 14 miles and there’s a pretty good current. We stopped and tossed around the Frisbee and explored some sand bars. The currents are tricky in some places. The Big Muddy is fun to float because it is very easy until its not. Its wide with a channel and if you pay attention you can easily avoid hazards but there’s some bits can get tricky around sand bars and such.

It was a good environment with good company. We packed up with only a little less misadventure then loading the boats to come out but I was in much better spirits. I dozed some on the way home. Picked up Fido from Ashley, he was happy to see me. He’s been sleeping so I don’t know if he did at Ashley’s. First time we’ve been apart since Dad died. I missed him. I’ve become one of those people.

Ordered pizza as I’d thought we’d stop for dinner. Did my follow up calls. Got through a bunch and will do the same tomorrow and hope to be completely caught up by the end of the day. Eager to read my newspaper coverage. The Chamber of Commerce endorsed my opponent. I thought I got some good coverage though I came in last. Was on the front page though. Don’t forget to vote for me in the poll, I’ve fallen 2 votes back.

Tomorrow its back to door knocking. Olive, Fido’s buddy is coming over and I’m having breakfast with Amy and Michael. No Walking Dead this week, Harry has to work. He will DVR it and we’ll get a double feature next week. Well I should let the dog out before Julie gets here. Goodnight faithful reader, sleep tight.

Categories: coffee, dogs, friends, nature, politics

red faced and wind blown

February 12, 2012 1 comment

Life continues at a pretty fast pace. Been rolling hard since 5:00 am and its a Sunday. Feel good though and found time for some fun. I woke up bolt awake pretty early and didn’t fight it but just got up. Made my first batch of the new batch of coffees and started with a Light Roast Sumatran. It was pretty good but made it a little weak. I didn’t have much gave 1/2  the batch to Jane for coming to my house yesterday for another photo shoot. We did some torso shots and got some with me with the dog. We have plans for the dog photo but I want it to be a surprise. Jane also brought Ursula her Pyrenees 11 month old puppy and she plays good with Fido. He led her on a merry game of chase being his home turf and he practices his routes. He enjoyed that more then photos.

I did some busy work on the computer and emailing photos took a lot of time and effort because the file size was so large. Watched some Laurel and Hardy while I was doing that and This Week with George Stephanopolis. Bout the best thing on the handful of channels I get. Read the paper too but selectively, reading the whole thing cover to cover is a luxury I can no longer afford.

I also made stew so I would have food to eat this week. I took some stew meat and rolled it in whole wheat flour and browned in olive oil. Cooked a couple of local onions in the drippings and scraped all that in the slow cooker. Added a can of green enchilada sauce, maybe a 1/4 of jar of spaghetti sauce and the rinse water from the containers. Chunked in 3 russet potatoes, 4 smallish local turnips and 4 carrots plus some dried tomatoes I got from the Sellmeyers. Added 4 big cloves of Michigan garlic, going to be sad when that is gone. Its a ways until fresh garlic comes in. Added some Braggs, Worcestershire sauce, Oregano and fresh ground pepper and let that cook a few hours. Then I added a can of green beans and some frozen peas and corn. and let that cook while Ann and I hit some doors for a few hours.

I’ve been doing the Vanderveen neighborhood and finished that today. Its been interesting hitting a high poverty area. People just look really flattered that a politician would come and ask them about what they want in the city. Few of them have complaints or issues. I come back with that’s OK they were’nt planning on a pop quiz on their front porch and tell them a little about my approach of focusing on neighborhoods. Did two trailer parks, the projects and a former trailer park that was brought into the city. Found a number of folks who don’t speak English. They’re is a Rising Sun social club in the neighborhood and they must facilitate civic engagement. Seems worth reaching out to. There is also a Hindu Temple. I love Columbia.

Still struggling to find hosts for yard signs. Its hard to go from I’ve never heard of you to I’ll advertise for you in 5 minutes. Had a couple long conversations and still couldn’t win a yard sign commitment. The burly guy with no pants on I thought was a shoe in. I came in when he invited me but stayed close to the door. It was a trailer so I knew he didn’t have a cage in the basement. He had some issues though and seemed like a player in his neighborhood so it was worth taking the risk and the time to make a connection.

Anne was outside, started calling me after 5 minutes so I would have an excuse to step out but I didn’t notice. Finally gave up on vibrate and am going to learn to live with the phone ringing. Doesn’t do much good to have a cell phone if I never know when I get a call.

Worked hard to get maybe 80 doors. There is no concentration of April voters, a house here and a house there. Plus we took a break for stew and coffee. Made the damn coffee week again and gave the rest to Ann. I roasted a Rwandan this morning when I did laundry. Hung it out to dry even though the weather was calling for not getting above freezing. It was breezy and sunny and ended up being kind of nice. Though 2 days outside and my skin is dry and my face feels warm from being wind blown. I skipped a shower, starting to get dry skin. Will try to move to every other day showering but I’ve got appearances this week. Labor Club Meet and Greet, Valentine’s Date. At least two other meetings to go to possibly a third tomorrow.

Knocked off just a tad early, wasn’t worth going out to start a new neighborhood. Allowed me to get my clothes while it was still light. Then I did some follow up calls. Still back on last weeks. Gotta get caught up, maybe a 1/2 hour after the Labor Club, maybe I can get some in before that if I don’t have to go to the transit public meeting. Only got a half hour of calls in before I went over to Harry’s for dinner and The Walking Dead. The second part of season 2 is off to a strong start. Impressive stuff. It was nice to relax and do something like what I used to.

Categories: coffee, cooking, politics

up early again

February 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Woke up about 3:00, forced myself to stay in bed until 5:00. Had a long and strange dream. I had gone back to Amsterdam but it seemed more like Austin. I was following up on some mystery from my last visit but it was more like a detective show then the actual mysteries I encountered in my eventful Amsterdam trip. There was political intrigue. I remember being in the situation where I knew I couldn’t remember most of what had happened in the last trip so people knew me but I didn’t know them. I remember someone taking my car. Eventually I encounter these business guys who did it and they think it is a pretty funny bit of hazing and I remember grabbing this heavyset bald guy in a suit and telling him that he just committed a felony and that if this shit doesn’t end right now I am having him prosecuted. I remember walking around with people I know through long tenement type apartment buildings and walking through people’s apartments and introducing ourselves. Flea markets with a big radio station promotion.

“Are you awake now?” I ask myself lying in bed allowing the details of the dream to come back in my mind. Dreams are cool and well worth cultivating. They’re just thoughts that we experience differently. The visual acuity, the sense of emotion, the heavy emotive content and lack of logic and social norms. The overall feeling (really the only thing that matters in dream interpretation) was one of discovery and adventure. A challenged sense of purpose that bounces back strong. Only a touch of confusion and that tempered by acceptance. I must be in a good place. Fido too, he slept in his own room last night.

Might take him for a walk even though I just did yesterday. I’ve got the time. All the house really needs is dishes done. Too rainy for laundry and it will force me to delve into my second tier dress clothes. All the walking and Marcus Aurelius is getting me more fit and trim. Wouldn’t mind growing down into some of my older dress shirts for example. My brown pants are fitting nice where I used to not be able to wear them with a shirt tucked in and they had fallen into the only to be worn in a pinch category.

Glad to have a tough week behind me at work. Closing or transferring all my cases has been grueling. A lot of details and good documentation essential for the hand off. Saying goodbye. “Mike, sorry I missed our appt. can I reschedule” “Well actually no you can’t, sorry I didn’t get to see you…good luck with the next guy”. I’m the only one who really meets people where they’re at all the time without exception. Some clients need that, everyone likes it. Everyone gets a step down in service.

The advantage of being a human being who talks to other human beings instead of the dis-empowering counselor to client relationship is they all care about me as a person too. Even though it sucks for them, none of them like people stepping out of their lives, they are happy for me and want me to be happy. They are proud to see me looking good and stepping into the spotlight. They know what I can do and can imagine that in the City Council. But its sad nonetheless.

I had a driver for my doors last night. Ann is a pilot and an interesting character who had some good tips and some things I hadn’t thought about. We hit the scattered houses in the precinct in the brand new neighborhood. All this generic America development. It was rainy and we saw the construction sites running with water mud pouring into the feeder creeks. In one site we saw the barrier material still in its rolls while the red mud pours into the creek. Everyone has a security system. The few people at home are content with the city. My picture and quotations are in that days paper and no one knows who I am.

Sarah is driving me today, might try her hand at door knocking. I am afraid its a little early for a surrogate. It definitely bombed when I tried having some help with signature gathering. If Sarah wants to do it we’ll give it a shot. Mostly she wants to hang out and be supportive which I appreciate. I got caught up on my follow up calls but it seemed late to be calling my assigned political contacts I need to reach out to. That’ll be today, Lord Willing and the creek don’t rise. Its supposed to be a rainy one. Need to figure out better plastic for my clipboard. Tried a comicbook bag cut in half which has the right size but was to flimsy.

The garage is flooded. I’ll need to get the subpump outflow extension back on track I suspect. Should have left well enough alone when I was messing in there. Dad usually had a reason for doing stuff. I miss him this morning. His wisdom, his unabashed self interest, which I always seem to run a little short on and causes me trouble.

Ordered beans yesterday. Will run short and probably have to pick up half a pound. Don’t even know if Z-Best is still at the market been roasting my own for so long. I’ll chat ’em up if they’re there. I hope the bread lady has some sliced. I ate the last of Jeff’s last night. I’d make myself some eggs but no bread. Eggs have been around awhile and will probably hard boil them. That or get the bacon out of the freezer. A pound of bacon is a big commitment for a household of one. (Sorry Fido no salt and nitrates for you buddy, I want you to live to be 20 so you’ll stay on dog cereal.)

Guess I’ll get my second cup of coffee, made it stronger today as this Guat is not that flavorful, hope the next is better. Got a Guat, Sumatran, Ethiopian and a Rwandan for the next round. Was going to treat myself to a pound of Kona or Jamaican Blue Mountain, damn the expense but they’re both out of season.