Learning To Enjoy The Silence

It’s been a little over a month since I got my hearing aids. My feelings about them are mixed.

When I first got them, I loved the fact that I could suddenly hear everything. I would get excited over just being able to hear a clock ticking or an air conditioner blowing. These are sounds that the rest of the world take for granted but which I hadn’t heard in years.

However, after about two weeks, I found myself missing the silence. It’s hard to explain. Sometimes, I would hear so much that I felt overwhelmed. I know that’s because I’m still getting used to it all but there are times when you really do need the peace that comes from silence. If I’m at work or at the store or spending time with the people I love, I definitely want to hear. I’ve fallen in love with Lisa’s voice all over again. But when I’m trying to write or make plans for the future, I find that it’s easier to do without my hearing aids.

I actually feel lucky. When I want to be a part of the world, I put in my hearing aids. And when I need to escape from it all, I simply turn them off or take them out. It’s nice to have those options.

I’ve loved being able to hear again. But I’m also happy that I’ve learned how to appreciate the silence.

Two Things I Never Thought I Would See

There are two things that I honestly never thought I would see.

I never thought we would leave Afghanistan, or at least not in my lifetime.  I thought it really would be a forever war.  I wasn’t happy about that prospect.  I always felt that the time had come for us to leave, that we had done just about everything that we could realistically do.  But I never thought we actually would leave.

Secondly, I never thought I’d see the government knowingly abandon Americans and then brag about what a great job they did.

Say what you will about anyone not named Joe Biden who ran for either the Democratic or Republican nominations in 2020, I don’t think a single one of them would have done that.

Getting Caught Up

Looking back on the last few days, I feel like this country went through a year in one week. Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan may have dominated the news but it’s hardly the only thing going on in the world.

First off, Ida made landfall. New Orleans is currently without power. There are people in Louisiana who are currently trapped in their homes, waiting for be rescued. None of this is good, especially not during a public health crisis.

The Delta Variant is still out there and it’s still scary. Even those of us who have been vaccinated know that we can still get ill. Our chances for survival have increased but COVID is still nothing to shrug off.

In California, Sirhan Sirhan has been recommended for parole. It falls to Gov. Gavin Newsom to approve it and considering that Newsom is currently in the fight for his political life, I doubt Sirhan is going to be getting out any time soon.

Having finished spreading COVID through Washington, the idiot Texas Dems finally returned to Austin. The voting rights bill that they tried to stop has now passed. I assume that self-described “brave Texas Democrat” Michelle Beckley is still running for Congress.

Meanwhile, crime continues to increase and the economy continues to struggle.

It’s at times like this that you realize why we need a real President and not a figurehead who was planning on spending four years eating ice cream.

An Early Football Prediction

The Cowboys will go 0-4 in the preseason.

It will be announced, short before the 1st regular game, that Dak Prescott is going to be out for the entire season.

Andy Dalton will get injured during the first scrimmage of the season opener, will miss the entire season, and will be replaced by Cooper Rush.

People in Dallas will still say that this is the year the Cowboys are going to win another Super Bowl.

Hurricane Ida

You know that things are bad when the approach of a major hurricane isn’t even the biggest story of the week.

Since Katrina, there has been a tendency to say that every hurricane has the potential to be the worst in history. However, Ida does look pretty serious. I hope my friends and family who are in the storm’s path have either evacuated or at least found some place safe. Be careful out there.

If I Could Do 2020 All Over Again

I wish John Delaney or Seth Moulton or even Joe Sestak had been able to find a break-out moment during the 2020 Democratic primaries. Any of one of those three now-forgotten also-rans would have been a better president than any of the people who made it all the way to the Iowa caucuses.

Resign, Joe

Look, I get it.

Everyone who encouraged Joe to run in 2020 obviously felt that he would be protected by his staff. All of the media people who covered up Joe’s long history of incompetence told themselves that he couldn’t be any worse than Trump and that he would step down after four years and allow Kamala to become the nation’s first woman president.

They assumed that Joe would spend four years having ice cream and being everyone’s lovable grandpa and that his staff would run the country.

I understand how it happened. But at least 13 Americans and countless Afghans are dead because of Joe’s incompetence and our President’s main frustration about it all seems to be that he had to answer a tough question from FOX news.

Get out of there, Joe. This isn’t just about you anymore.

Herschel Walker Is Running

It’s official. Herschel Walker has filed the paperwork to run for the Senate in Georgia. Walker is probably guaranteed to win the primary, unless his opponents all coalesce around one alternative. Unfortunately, Walker is probably the weakest candidate for the general election, a celebrity who has never had much to say about politics in the past and who brings a lot of personal baggage to the race.

I do think that there is a lot of good that can be said about Herschel Walker and he deserves all of the credit in the world for being open about his past personal struggles. But a part of me hopes that he’ll abandon this Senate run and instead continue to try to make the world better as a mental health advocate and a motivational speaking. There are many ways that you can help the world. It doesn’t always have to be politics.

In Memory of Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts, the drummer of the Rolling Stones, died today at the age of 80. He passed away peacefully in London, surrounded by his family.

This one is hitting me hard. Charlie Watts was one of my drumming heroes. He was also the underrated glue that held the Stones together, the steadying influence that controlled the chaos that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards released on stage. He was a key member of the band but, because he was so self-effacing, he was often underrated. In many ways, he was the perfect drummer. While the lead singer and the lead guitarist prowled the front of the stage, Watts stayed in the background and produced the beat that propelled the Stones’s best songs.

Not only was Charlie Watts one of the best drummer, he was also perhaps the best dressed drummer to ever grace the stage. By most accounts, Charlie Watts a gentlemen, through and through, one who stayed loyal to his wife despite the temptations of the road and who often viewed touring as member of the world’s most dangerous band with a bemused wit. Reportedly, he was the only member of the band to openly cry when they first learned that co-founder Brian Jones had drowned. In the documentary Gimme Shelter, while Mick Jagger remains detached while watching the Hell’s Angels kill Meredith Hunter while the Stones perform at the Altamont Free Concert, Watts is clearly upset by the violence unfolding on the monitors before him.

Charlie Watts, R.I.P. You shall be missed.

The Thing About Joe

I first started to get into politics in 1996, when I had just started high school. I voraciously read everything that I could get my hands on. If it was about politics, I wanted to know it. Looking back, that’s kind of embarrassing. But, when you’re starting at a new school, you need an identity. I wasn’t an athlete. Most of my classmates didn’t care about movies or classic rock. So, I became the kid who knew how the government worked. I probably would have been better off sticking with classic rock.

From 12 years, from 1996 to 2008, everything I read about Joe Biden indicated that he was a pompous blowhard who no one took seriously. Neither Democrats nor Republicans thought much of Joe. It wasn’t until he was selected as Obama’s running mate that people started to cast his flaws as actually being virtues. Even then, most of the coverage was along the lines of, “Isn’t nice of Barack to let grandpa hang out at the White House?”

It wasn’t until Biden was running against Trump that people suddenly started describing him as a statesman and as the most empathetic politician in the history of this country. People who actually followed the news knew better. Many other people were drawn in by this imaginary Joe Biden.

Now, we’re all seeing the real Joe Biden and it’s not a pretty picture. Joe Biden is exactly who he was back in 1996, when I first started to follow politics. The world had changed. Joe has not.