Sunday, September 16, 2012

There's too much relentlessly serious stuff going on in my life just now.  I was astonished to see that I hadn't posted anything here since July.  One of the editors on the Examiner contacted me, too, about my dearth of posts over there.  I'll keep my column alive, but I'm not going to bust my butt for them.

But I won't detail the problems I'm facing other than to say that I have to make a decision about whether to continue working or retire, and that decision has to be made soon.  It's a weight on my shoulders.

So what happens when the pressure gets intense?  How do I deal with it?  Well, one way is to write about politics on a local forum.  This is a response about Mitt Romney's "guilty pleasures":

RE: Romney loves Snooki

RM wrote:
...Romney offered a side he rarely shows to the public—a jokey, sometimes hokey candidate who called peanut butter sandwiches and chocolate milk "a guilty pleasure" and said he'd like Gene Hackman to play him in a movie—in part because his loved his work in "The Birdcage," a film about a man who introduces his fiancee's parents to his gay father and his partner.

The bit about chocolate milk as a guilty pleasure jumped out at me, Michael. You have to wonder if Snooki gives rise to guilty pleasures, too.

But the chocolate is far more disturbing.  As you know, Mormons avoid caffeine because it's a mild stimulant.  Yet chocolate contains many of the same alkaloids as cocaine.  Is Mitt telegraphing that he's secretly a drug addict?

Should we trust the levers of government to someone who...let's be frank...won't be at his best when aides wake him at 3AM. When I'm up that early, I'm completely incapable of civilized behavior until after having a cuppa.  But then again, I'm not the leader of the Free World, either.  If Mitt wakes at that hour, we might find ourselves invading Finland.

Ben Krull has a piece in today's Post Gazette on this very issue.  He mentions the enormous difficulty of staying awake through "snore-a-thon budget meetings" and similarly dull speeches, but he offers this telling piece of wisdom from Chairman Bill:

Mr. Clinton told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "I can't tell you how many times I found myself nodding off while meeting with Al Gore, even with the help of a double-espresso."

Granted, Al Gore is an extreme case, and there's still not much in print about the military's attempt to weaponize the Gore Effect for battlefield use, but I think it emphasizes the importance of caffeine in our federal government.

We really have to wonder what keeps Mitt Romney awake some nights, and if it involves Snooki and Gene Hackman, do we really want to know?

(Seriously, go read that piece in the PPG.  It's funny!)


Blogger Steve A said...

Ed, what's up?

7:50 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I'm torn over a decision, Steve. The company is offering an early retirement deal and I'm old enough to take it. But my big concern is medical insurance. Since Mary and I both have pre-existing conditions, we're difficult to insure. COBRA will cover it, at the expense of nearly half my retirement money! That's simply unaffordable.

So I'll probably keep working, and seriously, I'm OK with that. In 2014, the affordable care act will see that we can get insurance at lower rates, and by then I'll be old enough for social security too.

Still, the prospect of early retirement is tantalizing.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Steve A said...

Early retirement IS nice. And decoupling retirement from when to stop working is even nicer. Health care uncertainty is a bugger for us as well.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Steve A said...

SO, did you take the deal?

7:45 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Nope. I'm staying for a while yet. I'll be old enough for SS next year, but when the affordable health care act takes effect in '14, I'll be able to get insurance for Mary that won't bankrupt us.

9:16 PM  

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