Will’s Eagle Court of Honor was held on June 15, 2008, and it worked out very nicely with the entire family being involved. Will’s sister Becky is a member of the Venture Crew with the troop (Venturing is a co-ed part of the Boy Scouts that extends to age 21), Nancy and I were seated in the front, and Harry, as a Webelos Cub Scout, was the escort for the newest Eagle Scout. Clicking on the picture to the left links to an album of photos from the ceremony, taken by Lorenzo Recine and much appreciated.

Since it was Father’s Day, it was nice to see how many adults came to the ceremony. It speaks volumes about the commitment of these guys who shepherd the Scouts. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Saturday, May 31, we get a first pass on how the Florida and Michigan delegations will be addressed; probably half for Florida, but Michigan will be interesting.
  • Sunday, June 1, Puerto Rico votes, most likely going to Clinton.
  • Tuesday, June 3, Montana and South Dakota vote; then we find out what the next metric is that the Clinton campaign wants to use to measure results and where the new goal post will be.

After the results came in from North Carolina and Indiana last week, almost nobody except Hillary Clinton and her surrogates believe she has a shot at winning the nomination. Or, at least, they say they believe it. At this point, she’s either living in an alternate universe, is looking for some strength to negotiate for a position in an Obama administration, or is really playing for the 2012 nomination.

If it’s a negotiation she’s after, I wish they would all just get it done. The longer this goes on, the more harm is done to the Democratic chances in November. Of course, that may be her goal, allowing her to go after 2012. But, that would mean 4 more years of the disasters brought on by the Bush administration, from Iraq to constitutional abuses to the economy and the environment. She would essentially be stating that her own goal of the presidency is more important than undoing the damage of the last eight years, not to mention the additional lives that will be lost or destroyed in Iraq before she gets to run again. If that’s the case, she’ll have no right to run again and ask for her party’s support.

I’ve said before that I cannot vote for Hillary, but if Obama decides to give her the Vice Presidential nod, I can live with it for the sake of unity. If it’s something else they’re after, just get it done so we can move on.

That’s the heading on a blog entry by Dave Winer, this morning. Of the various blogs that I read, his would be the one I don’t miss, and haven’t for many years. I think he hit the nail on the head this time.

note on 4/15, his Political Notes entry, added later, expanded on those thoughts nicely.

Well, as we noted, Friday was the night of the prom at Notre Dame (they do a combined Junior/Senior event). They looked great, and it sounds like they had a great time (from what little they’ll say, which I suspect is positive).

It brought back a lot of memories of my own while I watched them begin to build memories of their own. I’ve really begun to enjoy watching my kids go through rites of passage that I remember well, myself. They’ve got a certain disbelief in their eyes when I tell them it wasn’t that long ago, but I suppose that’s just one more example of the things they’ll have to learn for themselves.

I’ve been listening to Hillary’s statements of outrage over some not so bad things Obama said. I don’t buy into her claims of elitism on his part.

On the other hand, I do find the viciousness of her constant attacks to be amazing. Democrats don’t attack other Democrats in the primary in ways that would help the Republicans in the General. At least they haven’t until now. The only method I can see to this madness is that she’s determined that she would rather let McCain win than Obama, with the expectation that the party will turn to her in 4 years. It’s more important to her that she be the next Democratic President than what 4 more years of the same will do to the country. Isn’t that what deserves outrage?

Her current approach to getting the 2008 nomination would logically lead to a civil war in the party that would tear the party apart. Her backup plan seems to be to help McCain now so she can try again in 4 years.

What is outrageous is her inability to see anything other than a party war or a submission to 4 more destructive years simply because those are the only alternatives with her name at the top. In the first scenario, she changes enough rules to steal the nomination. But her negatives get so high that she might actually lose to McCain (particularly after alienating all those Obama fans he brought in). After starting that calamity, she still thinks the party will come back in 2012? It seems that Option 2 is to let Obama run now, as long as he loses. But if she is a major contributor to that loss, can she really expect to be asked back the next time? That’s what would outrage me in 2012.

Tonight is my oldest son’s Junior Prom. Proms are rites of passage that have somehow managed to get out of control at some schools to the point of cancellation. That’s too bad.

I went to Chaminade from 69 to 73. I didn’t meet the girl I took to the Junior Prom until April, with the prom in May. I was technically too late, but they sold me the ticket anyway. All the good tuxes were gone, but I wore a brown, western style, tux that met my minimal expectations I remember it had brown velvet lapels on the jacket, but a brown satin stripe on the pants. I guess I was really late.

I think John Hutter’s band (Odyssey?) provided the music. John was in my grammar school class, which is why I remember him in particular. John, if you ever do see this, you were good

My recollection is that I sat with Tom Hajny and Jim Rivas.

Her gown was from a cousin’s wedding. I think we had the color of the shirt match something on it, but I don’t remember. I know it was critical for later proms, but this was so last minute.

The prom was held under a big parachute stretched across the main school gym. In NY, you can’t get a license until you’re 17 if you live in certain areas, so Dad drove us and we sat in the back. In hindsight, I hated being driven around, but it was manageable.

It was 36 years ago that I went to that first prom. I hope my son has as good and safe a time as I did.

I didn’t think it could get worse, but it did. Last week we were told that Mark Penn is lobbying for a Columbian Free Trade thing. Note to Hillary; he should have been fired not demoted. Then Hillary claimed that she was against the war in the Senate before Obama was by basing her claim on who made the first antiwar statement as a senator (a really silly criteria though even with the fuzzy math, she got it wrong).

Today, she claimed that she is the only candidate who will end the war. That’s amazing. Who knew?

Here’s the quote:

“One candidate will continue the war,” she told an audience at Hopewell High School, near Pittsburgh. “One candidate only says he’ll end the war. And one candidate is ready, willing and able to end the war.” — from wcbstv.com

We went to see Livingston Taylor at the High School last night. It was nice. The last time I saw him perform was in college. We were trying to narrow the date down to something less than a 4 year window, and all I can think of was that I don’t think I went with my wife, which would make it somwhere between late ‘73 and early ‘75.

Back then, I went simply because it was something to do. As far as I can recall, I had never heard of him before, though I was a fan of his brother, James. It was probably in the Oak Room at Fairfield, and beer was probably involved as it was in most things in the Oak Room but I really don’t remember anymore. I do remember enjoying the music but never took it any further. I was more into hard rock at the time, so it was an isolated evening of entertainment.

Since then, my tastes have evolved somehat. I still enjoy Ozzie and the like, enjoy Mountain on the rare occasions some DeeJay blows the dust out, but listen to almost anything except pure CW, Hip Hop, Rap, and traditional Opera. Even some of the Hip Hop, I enjoy (not much, but some), and try to give an unbiased ear when the kids ask me to listen to something.

Last night, my daughter sat with us for the concert, and when I asked her if she liked it she said, “not really.” Actually, she was a bit more specific. Without trying to quote her, she told me that he wasn’t her kind of music, but that she thought he was incredibly talented. I like hearing that flexibility. Maybe my wife and I have taught her something after all. When I was her age, I don’t think I would have thrown in the talent part.

Back to Livingston, the music was really enjoyable. I have never purchased one of his CD’s, but will consider it. He’s similar in style to his brother, but different enough to stand out in his own rite. I always saw James as a shy performer, and I would say Livingston brought an overt approach with a light banter between songs that definitely added to the performance. To the audience, he seemed like one of us, rather than a star we were watching. He connected.

This was the first in what is envisioned as a series of concerts to benefit the new High School (and it’s new music department). I hope they do more like it. The seating was comfortable, and the acoustics were good (both firsts for Oxford), but the fact that Livingston “connected” with the audience is what I hope happens again. I guess I’m at an age where I’m not looking for the mania; I just want the relaxed connection that sees commonalities in our experience that he has an ability (gift?) to express.

Will received a congratulations letter from Governor Jodi Rell the other day. She’s designated this Saturday (April 5) as William Joseph Schmitt Day in the State of Connecticut. Nice touch.

So far, he’s received congratulations letters from a number of other folks, as well, including Representative Shays, Senator Dodd, Barack Obama, George and Laura Bush and others (even the New York Jets). In a sense, these are political/PR, but I think they also indicate the level of accomplishment that is represented by the Eagle Award. With all the craziness in the world, these letters are recognizing the confidence we have in these boys as they become men. The hard work these boys do to reach this goal should be recognized. Whether people can all agree with the individual rules and restrictions that the Boy Scouts embrace, the overall goal of the program is still to turn good kids into good men. We need more of those, and William Joseph Schmitt Day recognizes the importance of that.