Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone! This year we are, collectively, the act of kicking a field goal.

Ashley is the goal posts, Otto is the ball, and I am the unerring field goal kicker.
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Write your representatives

Add a drop to the bucket.

Senator Casey, Senator Specter, and Representative Doyle,

I am writing to express support for reform of the health insurance industry. On this issue I trust the judgment of my father, an emergency room physician, and his conclusion after significant research that a single payer health care system would be the best way to cut costs and ensure basic care for everyone in this country who needs it. Unfortunately, a single payer system does not appear to an option at this time, nor does a government run health insurance option. Of the remaining reforms on the table, I wish to express my support for the following requirements for private health insurance coverage:

1) Mandatory minimum benefits that guarantee anyone with health insurance easy access to basic preventative care;

2) Elimination of denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Additionally, I wish to express my support for the establishment of a national standard for digital medical records.

I feel that the Democratic party, with control of both houses of congress and the support of the President has no excuse not to implement these badly needed reforms.

That you for your consideration.

Nick McCullar

At the beach

We had a great family trip to the beach in North Carolina. I didn't get the best pictures, but I thought I thought these were worth sharing.

Someone, not us, made this fantastic sand sculpture of a beach dog. The collar is decorated with shells. After a day at the beach Otto had just about the same amount of sand in his fur as this dog did.

The water was beautiful five of the six days we were there and everyone got to get out various distances in the waves.

We didn't take the camera on the sailboat, so I didn't get any pictures of Mom and Dad introducing Ashley and I to sailing, but I did get a shot of Ashley getting ready to go. I wouldn't want to try to cross the Atlantic, but we were able to go out in the sound, come back, turn, go into the wind, out of the wind...all sorts of things. We didn't even capsize! We went back a few days later to try a catamaran, but the wind was up, they were doing a race, all the boats were out, and they were afraid that we would get capsized or swept to the mainland.

Not sure what to make of this

Here's a bottle of hot sauce I found in a grocery store in North Carolina.

The back says:
"Democrats have caught fire under Barack Obama and it is a well-known fact that Democrats love hot and spicy food. They will be building bridges, highways, tunnels, & new schools all across our nation. Join this heat wave of historic proportion by enjoying as much of the Democrats on Fire Hot sauce as you can. Do your part by adding fuel to the fire in this great cause!"

If I were a hyper-sensitive Democrat I might think that this was an inside joke between conservatives trying to suggest that the Democratic leadership ought to be in hell, or at least on their way there by way of a large publicly fueled fire. Of course, the language on the label is really pretty mild and even the charicatures on the front are pretty complimentary, except for Pelosi. So for now I'm pretty sure this is just trying to take advantage of the Obama brand.

Summer Adventures

Phew, what a busy few months. The sisters have better more scenic pictures, but I thought this posed photo properly conveys how it feels to have your butt simultaneously kicked by (1) your little sister, (2) a 7,984' hill, and (3) a cold. We were supposed to do some backpacking, but when we went up to the lake and I was hacking and sniffling and it was raining slush, well, the older and wiser among us put the kibosh on those plans and we ended up just chilling at the cabin.

Thanks to J&S for lots of driving, cooking, and scrabble. Sorry I didn't get any equivalently cute shots of you in the woods, but you were too well camouflaged in your coordinated green, black and tan outfits. And really really really sorry about giving you that cold.

C. was supposed to be taking pictures of me, but she got distracted and took this one instead.

And here is me in a precipitous pose upon Paulina Peak.

I was supposed to stand up, but my knees got all wobbly, probably a delayed reaction from the climb.