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New Place

I can’t quite figure out how to do an auto redirect right now, so please click here to visit the new and under construction Blog de Ford.

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The Poor Give More than Most?

Interesting:

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I’d like to see the methodology used and how charitable giving was measured, but on the face of it, this information seems to be commonsensical.

If you are low-income, chances are that the people that you know are also living through touch economic times. If a neighbor is in need of help, you do as much as you can. You can relate to where the person in need is coming from and you see that need on a daily basis.

When I worked with homeless individuals, I was often surprised by the small acts of philanthropy they practiced  daily. They tended to be generous almost to a fault, as they regularly shared food and blankets with each other, along with other items that are less healthy, but provide comfort. They ‘took care of their own.’

It seems that kind of behavior is unexceptional among those in need.

Hiatus Ends

Sometime in the end of January, I took a hiatus from posting to this blog. I’m not really sure why, except that with the inauguration and election season over, I thought I’d take a break.

And what was going to be a week off became a month and then several months. I fell out of the habit.

Well, the hiatus is over.

In the upcoming months, I think you’ll be seeing some changes here, including a site redesign and the addition of some other posters.

But, Blog de Ford is back. I hope you enjoy it.

Reflections on an Inauguration

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Maya Angelou – On the Pulse of the Morning

Angelou wrote those words sixteen years ago to celebrate Bill Clinton’s first inauguration, but I think she was a little bit ahead of her time back then. Those words beautifully sum up the feeling in Washington on inaugural weekend. I’ve never seen a city so full of smiling and happy people.

My journey started with my old friend Alicia (she’s not old, but our friendship is) who lives in DC. She was kind enough to host me and show me a wonderful time. My flight got in early Saturday morning, so after an attempted nap that was aborted by our excitement, we headed to Capitol Hill for lunch and to observe the goings-on around the Capitol. We wanted to view the preparations and feel the vibe of the city.

It was a good choice.

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Of course, the Capitol looked as majestic as it ever did, but there was something special about seeing it ready to go for January 20, 2009.

But the real story that day was the people who also gathered to check out the preparations. Ever single person was smiling. Huge smiles. Joyous smiles. Loving smiles. But they all  had their different ways of expressing them.

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We walked up and down the National Mall that day, putting up with the cold and sore feet, enjoying the moment.

We ended up in Georgetown at Moveon.org’s Manifest Hope display of Obama-inspired art. It seemed like less of a gallery opening and more of a celebration of our country and where we are right now.

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It was the most joyful gallery experience I’ve ever had. It felt more like a party than anything else.

On Sunday, we attended the We Are One concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Phenomenal. U2, Springsteen, Wonder, and others gave great performances, but I didn’t know how emotional I was about what was transpiring until the show began and a Naval band performed the “Star Spangled Banner.” I wept like a baby. It was some kind of strange catharsis for me, as I sobbed when they got to the “flag was still there” part. It seemed like such a great metaphor. Given all that the Bush administration put us through, we are still America.

We capped off the night with dinner at the home of one of Alicia’s friends who was hosting another friend of Alicia’s who popped into town from Rwanda as a guest of Nancy Pelosi’s. Odette (the friend from Rwanda) was delightful and her story of how she came to support Obama while speaking from Kigali with her son who was in Zanzibar was a great reminder about how much an Obama presidency means to the world.

Monday was a great day. We didn’t do much special but wander around the city in search of food and cocktails, but there are some pics from that day worth sharing.

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Tuesday, January, 20? What can I say?

When we left Alicia’s apartment at around 8:00 AM, we were a little panicked as CNN told us the National Mall was full. We went anyway and found nice real estate on by the Washington Monument. We were cold, but we were happy.

I must have said “good morning” to 1000 strangers that day. It was simply a matter of making eye contact and reciprocating those words. It was a joyful crowd.

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When I think about the inauguration, all I can think is that change happened because of us. We voted, we donated, we blogged, we canvassed, we spoke to our families and neighbors. We were the catalysts behind this beautiful moment.

President Obama will disappoint us. He’s human. But this is a moment that we will hold on to forever. We made change happen.

Happy New Year

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I’ve taken something of a break from bloging since the election, but I’m back. 2009 promises to be an exciting new-filled year, even though there won’t be a presidential election.

It will be blogged.

NFL Picks – Week 3

Last week’s record – 10-4

Record for season – 19-10

% accuracy for season – 66

This week’s picks are based on which team’s mascot would kick the ass of the other team’s mascot.

Kansas City at Atlanta – Tough one, but I think an Indian chief would beat a falcon pretty easily.

Chiefs win.

Oakland at Buffalo – Raiders are pirates. Bills are basically large cows. Pirates are carnivores.

Raiders win.

Tampa Bay at Chicago – Easy. Bears eat Pirates.

Bears win.

Carolina at Minnesota – Panthers are large and scary predators. Vikings are, as well. I’m giving the edge to Minnesota because I think Nordic hoards would easily kill a panther or two.

Vikings win.

Cincinnati at New York Giants – I’m not sure how the NY team means its name. A giant as in the giant from Jack and the Bean Stalk or a giant of industry, like Donald Trump? But when I think about it, a tiger could easily eat most any giant.

Bengals win.

Arizona at Washington – Racial slurs aside, is there any team’s mascot that couldn’t beat a cardinal?

Redskins win.

Detroit at San Fransisco – Lions versus drunk guys who pan for gold?

Lions win.

Miami at New England – Any patriot could easily kill and eat an America-hating dolphin-fish.

Pats win.

Houston at Tennessee – Texans make me think too much of our current president, and I’m sure that any real titan would defeat Bush.

Titans win.

New Orleans at Denver – Hmm. The battle of the wussy names. But I’m thinking if the Saints really are saints, the Broncos will stampede them.

Broncos win.

St. Louis at Seattle – I gotta go with Seattle. I think a seahawk would be glad to eat the guts of a dead ram.

Seahawks win.

Cleveland at Baltimore – The Browns are named after Paul Brown, or some former owner of the Browns? Though the Ravens were once the Browns, I think a raven is far more threatening than a brown.

Ravens win.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis – A jaguar would easily hunt, kill and eat a young horse.

Jaguars win.

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia –The eagle is a beautiful and noble bird. It’s too bad for it that steelworker could easily kill and roast an eagle.

Steelers win.

Dallas at Green Bay – I hate cowboys and that whole Texas, “tougher than you are” attitude. Meat packers are tough people who are able to kick the asses of cowboys.

Packers win.

I don’t like most of these picks, but they are the ones I have to go with.

PalinDefense!

From Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle:

The other side has made the point that Alaska is a small state, but… you can fit more than 250 states the size of Delaware within Alaska’s border.

I’ve seen this same line of argument on Red State: Palin is qualified because she is the governor of the largest state in the union, even if that state has a population smaller than Indianapolis, IN.

So to the GOP, the geographic size of a state is more important than the quantity of citizen living in that state?