“Max”- imum Humor

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was part of the entertainment business.  A struggling wannabe actor, I made bills every month – well, most months – by working in the technology side of the industry.  I had a number of freelance jobs over the years with ABC Television, MTV, and others.  But after many weeks of begging, my 40-hour-a-week day job started with the three-year-old E! Entertainment Television cable network in November, 1993.

When I arrived at the E! Channel I ran into this guy:

Max proudly displaying the wedding gift he received from me. $200 worth of gift certificates to In ‘N Out Burger. You can see that he liked it.

… Ron “Max” Baer.   Max and I worked east coast prime time, the 3-11 shift, for the better part of seven years, not counting military leaves of absence.  Some quick calculations show that together, we were forced to watch close to 15,000 hours high-quality E! programming.  Having worked there both before and after I did, he’s watched probably five or six times as much high-quality E! programming.

Well, E! programming, anyway.  Some was quality and the other 14,999 hours… Well, you can figure out what I mean without me having to openly disparage my former employer.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun place to work — particularly at first.  While many of the tasks were mundane and mind-numbingly boring, people like Max made it a fun place to spend eight hours every day.

Max and Dr. Darren Jones (left) on the front of Tim Sweeney’s Christmas Card from one year back then.

Max was unflappable in a crisis and I learned a lot from him and his extensive prior experience with E!, its predecessor Movietime, and other master control jobs he’d held over the years.  I recall one weekend we were working together, Max was seated at the switcher, legs crossed, hands folded casually in his lap conversing with me when the whole plant went dark.  Boom!  No power.  No TV.  No lights.  Nada.  A few weeks prior, E!’s crack (addicted)* engineering staff had just installed a brand-new, uninterruptable power supply for the critical equipment in master control.  It failed on first use and there we sat in the dark.

A mere two or three seconds passed – if it was even that long — and Max make his “I don’t effin’ believe this” face.  Without uttering a word, he calmly reached over, pulled out a notebook containing the phone number of people to call when emergencies happen, and made the call.  He didn’t even uncross his legs.  That’s how unflappable he was.

When hired at E! , I and everyone else was issued this badge…

… which got me in the building and into the master control area where Max and I worked.  Most often, I’d plop down my stuff and my coat, often leaving the badge attached to the coat or on top of the pile o’ stuff that I brought in for the day.  Then I would go about retrieving from the media library the videotapes containing the next day’s commercials and loading them into the ACR-225 commercial playback robot:

Ampex Corporation’s ACR-225. Mercifully, these digital videotape systems were replaced with hard-drive-based storage and playback some years later.

Unfortunately, I often left my badge vulnerable to parody and alteration as Max, bless his heart, had a predilection for sketching funny things on Post-It notes and sticking them to my badge like this:

“Dub Boy” refers to Craig Burritt, who worked in duplications making, yes, dubs for everyone.

My badge was always fair game for him because of my own absent mindedness.  So he had ample opportunity to modify my badge with funny Post-It’s over the years and I was always delighted to discover them.

Remember Day Runners? How about Thomas Guides?

The other day, I was sorting through some stuff in the junk room and rediscovered the little remnants of the Post-It Notes that Max had attached to my badge over the years.  They were all stuck to two Day Runner pages that I had saved precisely to preserve these nostalgic little gems.  I was so delighted to have found them and I remembered all the genuinely good times that Max and I had while we were doing fair-to-middling master control work.

Now, I’m delighted to post them here.  I know they won’t be funny to the vast majority of you, but Max, I hope these bring back some memories of the olden days when 1” videotape ruled and TV’s were closer to being square.

One other thing you should know.

In the early days of my E! career, I told to my new E! colleagues the story about how I got nicknamed Liz.  It was short for “Lizard Lips.” When I was teaching high school band at the SHAPE American High School in Belgium, the music students bestowed upon me that nickname.  It stuck and I embraced it.  It also got shortened to “Liz.”  So many of my colleagues knew me more as Liz than they did as Dan. Hence these modifications:

Sunday night at E! network control was “X-Files” night. We’d swing the steerable satellite dish around to pick up the east coast Fox network feed so we could watch it three hours earlier and fast-forward through the commercial breaks.

Max had a large appetite and an adventurous palate when it came to food.  Me?  I’m a burgers and fries kinda guy.  Max recognized my dislike for sushi with this:

 

I have no clue what this means in ANY context.

I presume that this one… Well, shoot, I have no clue on this one either.

Last one. Who didn’t love “The Simpsons” in the 90’s?  And who doesn’t love donuts?

That’s pretty much it.  Thanks, Max, for making years of boredom bearable.  And remember, you can’t spell “loser” without E!.

Max, his lovely bride, Juile “Sparky” Baer, and their wedding party. I was honored to officiate. Sparky was also a colleague at E! master control.

I found this photo of Max after I already posted this. I’d have used this one at the top if I had known where it was hiding.

* I’m definitely kidding about the E! Engineering Staff of the day. They were terrific folks and did back handsprings to keep things on the air.

 

Cool Pictures That I’m In or That I Took – Alternative Facts Edition

Here’s another in a series of posts I’m going to make when I find some of these treasures. Some will be captioned, others will not. The only criteria for posting in this series is that:

a.) I’m in the photo or…

b.) … I took the photo.

#alternativefacts: I am neither in nor did I take any of these. Unless that’s not true. Then maybe I did. Or not. Click on any photo to enlarge in a new window.

This has been posted on Facebook before but I was surprised to learn that I’d not put it anywhere on this site. This is my Dad in 1949 right about the time he started working for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in our hometown.

F-Tower was the railroading equivalent of an air traffic control center. Dad routed trains through a complex network of five different railroads traversing Fostoria. This was his professional home for 30-plus years, not counting his multiple times on active duty in the Army. He retired from the B&O on December 16, 1980.

I have no idea how to credit this, but it looks like a publicity shot perhaps for the new electronic traffic control system at F-Tower.

 

Last post, I showed you photos of the pups that have blessed me with their presence over the years.  This one is also Addie, the Wire Fox Terrier, with my Mom in 1952 in Germany before he, Mom and Dad returned from duty in Europe.

My guess is that Dad took this one.

 

I miss the days when you got photo prints with the month and year on it.  Makes it easy to identify.

This was taken at the Camillia Apartments in Columbus, GA while Dad was stationed there for the Infantry Officers Advanced Course. We lived there for a number of months, but as I was just three at the time, I have virtually no memory of being there. That’s my sister, Bobbi Jo and my Mom in the photo with me. I suspect Dad took this one, too.  He was quite the shutterbug.

When I went back to Fort Benning for Airborne School, I had the strangest, spooky feeling when I walked through certain areas of the post, as if I had been there before, but had no real, solid memories. When I went there again with BJ in 2003, I warned her that she’d have the same spooky experience and she didn’t believe me until it happened.

This one was among my Dad’s photo collection so I suspect this is his. It’s a guess, but I’d bet substantially that this is from the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. A quick photo search on Google seems to indicate that this is the case.

That’s Chief Wahoo up there, by the way, who remains the mascot for the Cleveland team, for better or for worse. This article talks about what happened to this neon Chief Wahoo when the Indians moved to then Jacobs Field.

 

Some Cute Puppy Pictures to Sustain Us Through These Next Days

No politics, just puppies. 

More specifically, puppies and dogs with which I’ve shared space ever since I can remember.  You’ve probably seen some of these photos before, but I’m compiling them here because… well, because I want to. 

So there, too.

Click on any photo to see the large version.

Addie:

Addie was a Wire Fox Terrier born in Germany sometime in the early 1950’s.  My Mom and Dad brought him home with them after Dad completed his assignment there in 1953.  I don’t remember much about Addie except that he would often sleep with me on my bed.

He was a stereotypical male dog who wandered off for days on end only to return roughed up and hungry. He dashed out the door one night and never returned.

 

Schatzi:

A Collie, as you can tell, Schatzi was the family Christmas gift in 1962-ish.  She was loyal, well-trained and just the sweetest dog ever.  She was raised around me and my older sister when we were still in elementary school.  She tolerated without complaint all the relatively unkind shenanigans that kids inflict upon their dogs like trying to ride her like a pony or hitching her up to a sled.  She never fussed.  Not once.

We had to give her away when we moved to Camp Hill, PA in 1969 and she died shortly thereafter.  Dad said that her new owners told him that she was never the same after that and that she died of a broken heart.

 

Myrtle:

After our cat, Sam died, Dad brought home Myrtle from Lebanon, PA near Fort Indiantown Gap, the Army post where he was stationed after returning from Vietnam in 1969.  I remember watching him come up the front yard from the parking spots of our apartment building concealing something under his uniform overcoat.

Myrtle was all Poodle through and through, with all of the frenetic personality traits for which miniature Poodles are well known.  She was a good guard dog and doorbell, would play ball relentlessly, and was an excellent judge of character.  If Myrtle didn’t like you, then it was pretty clear that I shouldn’t either, which made her dislike of the first Mrs. Wolfe so much more contextually relevant.  Of course, by the time the two of them faced off, it was too late for me.

I used to take her outside and smack a tennis ball with a racquet as hard and as high as I could.  She would take off at warp speed often arriving in time to greet the ball as it bounced its first bounce, zeroing in on the sound of the impact.  The last time we got to play ball like this, she was much older. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.   She dashed after the first ball like she was a puppy and them came back so out of breath that it was clear that hitting another one was a very bad idea.  Myrtle and I had to be satisfied with that last moment of play together.

Somewhere I have a picture of Myrtle, but I can’t seem to locate it right now.  I’ll have to add it later.

Alexander:

Alas, I have no photos of Alexander.  He was a large mixed breed dog that we rescued in 1981 when I lived in Augusta, GA.  He was as sweet as they come and equally dumb.  He would jump the fence so we leashed him.  He jumped it anyway.  We discovered him one night hanging by the neck over the fence with one foot on the ground keeping him from hanging himself.  I was horrified.

Later, he went to live in Augusta with my in-laws and finished out his lazy life as the neighborhood dog, wandering about greeting the cul-de-sac house by house and returning home at night for food and rest.

Esme:

I was stationed in Belgium when I heard an AFN radio ad for an American family that was trying to find homes for a litter of puppies.  (Not unusual that I heard radio ads as I worked for the AFN station at SHAPE, Belgium.)  So after work, I dashed a few miles over to a small Belgian village and found Esme.

She was a fierce little thing, and playful.  We’d sit on the couch and watch AFN’s SHAPE’s fuzzy TV signal together.  One evening, Esme and I were roughhousing and she got a little too excited and bit me, not breaking the skin.  I yelped in pain and surprise and she immediately backed off, tucked her tail between her legs and decided that we were done with that for the evening and we should go back to watching TV.  So I sat down with a beer in one hand and started watching TV.  Esme snuggled up next to me and started licking the spot where her teeth had indented my hand.  She sat there soothing my “wound” for a half an hour until the beer finally had it’s effect and I got up to excuse myself.

She remained behind in Belgium with a trusted neighbor.  Esme subsequently had a litter of puppies and for whatever reason was afterward uncontrollable and dangerously aggressive, so much so that she had to be euthanized for the owner’s safety.

This is the only photo of Esme that I have.

 

Gizmo:

He’s a Papillon, for those curious about the breed.  Like most Papillions I’ve met, he’s ridiculously smart, friendly and craves interaction and activity.  Gizmo’s passion was playing ball, and he would — and has literally played until he fell over unable to move. He would come to you looking for something, a treat, his ball or frisbee or some other item he wanted.  If you couldn’t decipher what he was after, all you had to say was “Show me what you want!” and he’d show you.  If it was a treat, he’d stand near the kitchen cupboard and gesture to where the treats were stored. He was the best companion and while we’ve not lived in the same space for a long time, miss him terribly.  (P.S. He had his own web site at one time.)

 

Chloe:

Chloe was Gizmo’s pal until her untimely demise not too long ago. Although she didn’t share Gizmo’s size, she was otherwise all Papillon — gregarious, playful and happy-go-lucky.  In fact, she and Gizmo both would get together with about 15-20 of their Papillon friends, and not once do I remember any aggression breaking out. Pap’s are the most agreeable pups in my experience.

  

Charlie:

The first of the real canine hard luck cases in my experience, Charlie was a rescue who was in the worst shape of any dog I’ve ever seen.  His coat was matted and sheep-like, filthy dirty and greasy to the touch.  His breath smelled of rotting teeth and he was an emotional wreck.

While that last part only slightly changed before I was forced to find him a better home, the rest changed quickly. Once bathed, his coat grew out soft and luxuriously.  Once his dental issues were resolved, his breath improved because he had no teeth left.

He often tried to bite, but without teeth all he could do was gum you unexpectedly.  Disappointed that he wasn’t able to stay with us, a better home was found for him that immediately enrolled him in obedience classes for abused dogs.  While I have no updates on what happened to him, I am choosing to believe that his life is better now.

Bella:

Bella’s story is here.  Every time I read this it makes me laugh and tear up.  But there’s some fun pics of this truly lovely addition to my life that I hadn’t shared before.  Bella had a huge positive impact on me aside from burrowing under my laptop computer when she wanted attention.  I miss her terribly.

In Bella’s defense, it was warm under there.

This is a video of Bella just after she realized that she was going outside for a “romp.”  That meant that she and the kids and I were going out to the large field behind our home to romp and play off-leash.  She was like this ANYTIME she thought she was going out to play.  The neighbors thought wrongly that we were somehow abusing our sweet Bella, but we weren’t.  She was just that exuberant.  TURN DOWN THE VOLUME on this video.  She gets loud.

You’ve been warned.

And this is Bella behaving as she most often did.

Romping.

Bella and Nathan on a romp.

  

Emmett:

Yes, he’s still a jackass.  But he’s so much improved now that he’s almost like a real dog.  He’s cuddly on occasion, and craves belly and neck scratches, but ONLY on his terms.  He’s affectionate with the family and squeals with delight when he’s furiously licking our faces.  He’s also fiercely protective, as Dachshunds are.  But he’s really only mean to one person.

If he’s outside, off leash and sees the autistic kid down the street, he chases him.  And the kid runs.  Emmett thinks it’s a chase game while the kid is freaking out, being chased by a snarling little wiener dog.  If it weren’t so horrendously un-PC, it would be hilarious. Anyway, we put an immediate stop to that behavior and now make sure that the kid down the street isn’t in the area before we go out.

You gotta admit, that’s kinda jackass-ey.

He does not greet romps with the same exuberance as Bella did. Thank heaven for small favors.

“I’m not a jackass! And I’m hurt that you’d even think such a thing.”

    

That’s it.  Enjoy the puppy pix!

The Disillusionment of a Pseudo-Intellectual

I’m one of those “students” who crammed four years of college education into five. I have a bachelor’s degree in Speech.  That’s it.  And I literally flunked out of two other departments (Math and Physics) before Dr. Scheid took pity on me and graciously permitted me to transfer into his Speech department when I probably didn’t deserve it.

It’s not as though I don’t value education.  I do.  It’s just that for me, the process is too painful and lacks any tangible reward beyond the piece of paper that you get to hang on your wall after you’ve suffered the run through the gauntlet of academic rigor.  It just ain’t worth the trouble.  At least, not to me.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t admire smart people with advanced degrees and who make their ways through the world using the brains and education to advance and support themselves and their loved ones.  On the contrary, I wish I had the discipline to make it through the rigors of academia as so very many of my colleagues in and out of uniform have done.  I particularly admire and respect all the Ph.D.’s and other researchers with whom I work here at the Research Center.  But for better or for worse, I lack their academic discipline and ambition.

Having said all that, I’m not stupid.  I may have been born at night, but tweren’t last night.  I pay attention. I read a little now and again.  I’m not a low-information voter nor do I center my world in the ongoing real-life drama that government has become.  I can sift through the BS, the fake news, the outright lies and only occasionally be fooled by something that rings unusually true.  I check sources often, though not always.

Yet here on this blog from time to time, I spout off opinion as if I know what the hell I’m talking about.

Clearly I do not.

I have never been as completely wrong about anything as I have been in reading the tea leaves of this past election cycle and the subsequent fallout.  I wrongly presumed that reason would prevail.  I wrongly presumed that the Nation would come to its collective senses and make this a more routine election cycle rather than the wholly embarrassing spectacle that it’s become.

I was not just a little bit wrong. I was horrifically wrong.

I watch the headlines flash across my Facebook page and the words only become more extreme and mean spirited by the minute.  No longer is it easy to find genuinely reasoned dialogue among disagreeing parties.  No longer is it easy to find a post regarding politics that avoids personal attacks and profanity.  (Don’t get me wrong. I swear like a sailor — and that probably does a disservice to sailors everywhere.  And I love Nicki’s Blog which is hilariously profane and fun.  I wish I could swear like her, but she’s had some advanced training or some such shit.)

Bottom line here, about ten poorly-constructed paragraphs too late:  I’m done with it all.   I’m done talking about it, I’m done posting about it, and I’m pretty much done reading it.  One day I share a meme that makes me laugh and the next thing I know, people whose opinions I often respect but with whom I occasionally disagree immediately trade profane insults.  No disagreement, no ramping up the passion, no escalation of the language.  Right to the profane personal attacks.

What the fuck is wrong with people?  Have you never heard of civil discourse?  Seriously.  Your opinion is not the only one out there and, news flash, there are people who don’t think like you do.  That doesn’t immediately make them WRONG.  Maybe they are and maybe they’re not.  Without some kind of discourse based on facts and ideas, how can you be sure that your opinion is 100% correct?  How do you know for certain that you’ve drawn the only correct conclusion?  And if you are sure that your opinion is 100% correct, chances are you’re wrong.  (In my experience, the chance of me being wrong is directly proportional to the degree to which I think I’m right.)

Disagreements do not mean that the person with the opposing opinion has no worth.  If you behave like that, it diminishes your opinion.

So anyway, I’m done with memes, reposting what I believe to be enlightening articles and engaging in fruitless arguments potentially pointing the way to a differing point of view.  It’s too much and it’s become too mean spirited.  I refuse to arbitrate when people on my page go down that road.  I guess I’m neither smart enough nor savvy enough to make a reasoned argument that will provide a different perspective.  You wanna live in your bubble, that’s fine.  I’m probably not going to visit.

I’ll leave the political “discourse” to the real intellectuals.

Why I’ve Not Written Much Lately

I certainly have nothing cogent to add to the already ridiculous political discussion on Facebook. No sense in joining that shit show. So in addition to recusing myself from the cacophony that is Facebook politics, here’s my list of ten other reasons I’ve not written much lately.

1. Winter’s here and it’s hard to type when wearing mittens.

2. My give-a-shit meter is pegged.

3. Lamenting the dreaded holiday season in writing makes me seem like a non-McDuck Scrooge.

4. Because I’m cold all the time, my brain functions more slowly.

(Now this requires a brief explanation. As a rough approximation, for many chemical reactions happening at around room temperature, the rate of reaction doubles for every 10°C rise in temperature. Therefore, it stands to reason that there would be a commensurate reduction in rate for similar drops in temperature. It is winter. I am cold. My brain is also cold. Therefore, my brain chemistry is slowed and there exists a reduction in brain function sufficient to inhibit writing. QED.)

5. See reason #2.

6. I’ve been unusually busy at work. (This one’s actually true. I’ve been unexpectedly busy this year during the weeks when it’s usually slow. I suspect that’s just probably procrastination and piss-poor prior planning on my part.)

7. Supporting Emmett during his recovery from a recent muscular injury and upset tummy took up much of my attention. (He’s fine now, thanks for asking.)

8. I was busy binge watching a season and a half of “Daredevil,” the entire season of “Luke Cage,” both on Netflix, and the “Star Trek: TOS” marathon on BBC America. Priorities, people. Priorities.

9. Wild horses kept me away.

10. See reason #2.

We Have a New President

This is a repost of an entry from four years ago.

As an additional thought this morning after. Even though he was not my choice, I will do eveything in my power to help our new President succeed. To wish for or work towards this or any U.S. President’s failure because he wasn’t your candidate is to work towards the failure of our Nation. No one wants that.  I WANT this President to succeed because when our President succeeds, so do we all. 

To all my politically inclined Facebook friends:

election2016Good morning!  Either congratulations are in order or condolences. Either way, our Nation has chosen its leader without war, without bloodshed and without a change in the fundamental way our Nation is governed.  Our system — the American system of government defined in the Constitution of the United States did its job and a peaceful selection of a leader by the masses has occurred.

Do not take this for granted.

There are many nations around the world in which a transition of any kind results in death, destruction and the suppression of rights. As I write this at 9:25 AM on the day after election day, my cable TV is still working, my Internet access is still blazingly fast (according to Comcast) and I can still search for and find opposing views on any issue my meager brain can conjure.

Do not take this for granted.

Yes, there ought to be election reform. Yes, there ought to be less pissing and moaning between candidates for any office.  Yes, it would be lovely if the candidates focused on ideas for the Nation instead of on how to get elected.  And yes, the governed need to feel as though their vote actually impacts the election; that they’re closer to their government than they are now.  But I would not trade this system of government for any other system of government in the world.

I will not take this for granted.

I’ve listened to the sniping among my friends and colleagues.  I’ve seen the anger over whose candidate is better, more qualified, more personable and more competent, and most of that has really turned me off to the political process.  But I voted.  I’ve had my say. And now it’s time for all of us who are far more alike than we are different to recognize that we are Americans FIRST.  Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Yellow, Purple, Chartreuse — frankly I’m not interested in your partisan rants.  We are Americans, dammit, and we can and should come together and stay together regardless of who won last night.  We are stronger, better, more productive and more compassionate when we concentrate on our similarities than our differences.

So today, instead of gloating or drinking heavily, look at that person on my Facebook page whose posts you hate to read ’cause it really gets on your nerves and think to yourself “We’re both Americans.  I’ll bet that person likes ice cream just like I do.”  Find the commonalities.  Find the things that make us alike rather than the things that make us different.  You’re all my friends for a reason: I’ve found something in each of you that is similar to something I find in myself.  You all, my Facebook friends, have me in common. (And there’s no one more common than me!)

See if you can find what else you have in common with one another. You might just be surprised that you’re far more alike than you think.

And never take that for granted.

Dan

Things I’m Keeping in Mind Today

1. In spite of the political flame throwing, Facebook is still fun.

2. Regardless of who wins, we’ll all be OK.

3. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” notwithstanding, the Three Laws of Thermodynamics still apply.

4. Exercise still sucks.

5. News hasn’t been news for years.

benedict-cumberbatch-filming-doctor-strange-set-pictures6. Benedict Cumberbatch is a tremendous actor.

7. So is Tilda Swinton.

8. I’m the worst political pundit ever. I’m not making any political predictions because I’ve been surprised at every turn.

life-regular-50th-detail-sflbec4155418cb46e438643ff2300547e50

9. Life cereal is a gift from whatever gods there may be.

10. Emmett, the family Dachshund, is still a jackass.

img_20160818_185902-picsay

Yes, he’s wearing a bow tie.

We’re Down to the Wire Now

new-election-day-2016It’s nearly Election Day and hopefully, blessed relief from all the noise, anger and bitterness that has characterized this presidential election season.  To my knowledge, no party and no one can be held harmless in directing invective at their opponent.  Every side has engaged in election tactics and behaviors that are genuinely disheartening to any rational person.  I, for one, will be relieved to see this election in the history books no matter who winds up with the Presidency.  I just want it to be over with at this point.

And shame on us as a nation for buying into this.  Voting is supposed to be largely an intellectual exercise not a visceral one.  We should be deciding the Presidency based on fact and logic not innuendo and hype.  Yet this is what 2016 has come to.  Hell, even rabid Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians fans in the midst of the 2016 World Series, one of the closest and most exciting in history, sounded almost Spockishly rational compared to the candidates and their surrogates. Since when are Americans more rational about the outcome of sporting events than the outcome of presidential politics?  That’s bass ackwards.

Yet here we are.

I keep reminding myself that it’ll all be over soon but that’s not very comforting considering the slate of candidates with which we have been presented.  Yes, as a nation, we screwed up by buying into the hype and the leaks and the sound bites, but the political parties also screwed up by giving us less than their best.  If this is the best that they can offer up, I really do fear for the future of the United States and its Constitution.

signingconstitutionMy high school history instructor at Valley Forge Military Academy, one Air Force Colonel George Rickert, drilled into us that the collection of minds that created the Constitution of the United States was the single greatest collection of minds ever assembled and that even in the midst of the compromises that were necessary to create it, the product of their work would stand the test of time because of those great minds.

I agree.  So much so that I and millions of other veterans have sworn to support and defend it.  It’s the one thing that gives me hope not just for the outcome of this election but for its aftermath as well.  Yes, we’ve been pissing in each others’ lunch boxes for nearly two years’ worth of run-up to this election, but in the end, the checks and balances created by that greatest collection of minds will keep things from imploding.  The Constitution and its authors created a system of government which is highly resilient — resilient enough to handle whatever comes of this Nation and no matter who winds up in the White House in January.

On Tuesday, the Nation makes its choice.  Perhaps reluctantly, but we will choose.  And while we have failed as a Nation to uphold our responsibility to be a well informed electorate, while our political parties have failed to provide us with the best, brightest and truly inspirational leaders, and while our Fourth Estate has failed to act as an objective check on American politics, we will survive this. The United States of America will be just fine, thank you very much.

The road to excellence in politics is bumpy right now but the GPS was set in 1789 by people who really knew what they were doing. They had faith in the future of the Nation and I have faith in what they created.

I hope that their faith is us is warranted.