Sunday, November 30, 2008

The end of the weekend

We had such a great Thanksgiving. We always so thankful for our wonderful family and friends.

This morning was cold and rainy - still. Everybody left early, and all were safely back home before noon. We got in a good quiet day, with a super supper of leftover turkey and dressing. No wonder Thanksgiving is our favorite meal.

We're still working on our recovery from these awful colds. I've always heard that a cold will go away in two weeks if left alone, or in 14 days if treated. Well, today starts the second week of this one for me, and 10 days for John. We both chose the treatment mode - at least it helps with the symptoms. We've already begged off from swimming and from bridge - don't think we need that much closeness yet.

This WILL get better!

Special Edition

This cold has really got my brain stopped up, too. I totally forgot when I posted yesterday to acknowledge how VERY special 29 November is.


Happy Birthday, Love!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Saturday

Tennessee won their last football game of the season against KY, but it was the coach's last game, so maybe the team finally decided to play well. Kate's Andy used Margaret's tickets to go (she didn't want to go with him) - he wanted to go because they live in KY. It was really nasty, cold and rainy. But he's now home safe and sound.

Our Lady Mocs lost badly in the second round of their holiday tournament today. John went to the game, and he said it was really awful. We've got a lot of freshmen, and it's just going to take a while.

We had lasagna for dinner tonight. That's so good and so easy (I did my lasagna marathon a few months ago, so I just had to take one out of the freezer). We usually have lasagna for one meal during the Thanksgiving holiday.

I started some deeper coughing today, so got the Rx filled and started on the antibiotics this morning. Yuck! Just thought I'd better err on the cautious side. And now I'm really hoarse. Off to bed soon, and hopefully to sleep.

We've had a good weekend and loved having everybody here. But it's always good to have the house to ourselves, too. And we do have some wonderful leftovers!

Today's photo is the gorgeous photo of a Chilean landscape from the Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Peach pie!

Our Thanksgiving dinner was great. The turkey and dressing and gravy turned out great - maybe the best dressing I've made. Also on the menu were mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, rolls, various cranberry relishes, other condiments, and we finished up with coffee, peach pie (Margaret), and pecan pie (John B). I can venture to say that NOBODY went away hungry.

We ate fairly early, so John and Andy could go to the Lady Mocs ballgame. We'll eat later tomorrow night, for the same reason. John & Sylvia joined us, always a treat. And they're going to come back tomorrow for lasagna.

Boy! are we going to have some great leftovers for next week - if folks don't take all of it home with them.

Look at this wonderful peach pie that Margaret made!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

I hope your Thanksgiving Day was a good one; that all your food was good; that all your football teams won; that maybe you even got a little bit of exercise.

As with most folks, our Thanksgiving menus seldom changes. It's the old "tradition" thing. But I did several things different this year. We're having our turkey dinner Friday (usually we have it on Saturday). I cooked the turkey this morning. I cooked it "unstuffed" (I put an orange, an onion, some rosemary, and fresh ginger in the cavity for moisture). The dressing is made and ready to bake. The taste-testers pronounced both turkey and dressing quite good. It's one of our favorite meals.

Kate and Andy got here in the early afternoon, and got settled in and helped with some of the cooking. Wayne smoked a ham for us, and we had that for dinner tonight. Yum!

Sue, Paul, and Sarah came by briefly. They had come to TN to have dinner with Sue's in-laws, and went back home after they came by here. It was good to see them - and they'll be here again before Xmas.

Margaret and Bobby had dinner with Bobby's family, and then she came here, with her contributions to dinner. She brought green beans, and will be making a peach pie.

Thanksgiving is family time, and it's great to have ours safe and happy. The only thing that would make it better would be to have Jesse back home. But he'll be home in a few months, so we'll just have to wait.

Today's google picture is a typical turkey dinner (definitely not ours - we'd NEVER have broccoli).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Almost Thanksgiving

I finally went to the doc's office this morning. I saw the P.A. - a very nice, thorough young man. He said there is no sign of bacterial infection, but did give me a prescription for antibiotics in case this crud gets worse or goes down into my chest over the holiday, since they'll be closed. I hope I won't need to get it filled. I HATE to take antibiotics - always get a yeast infection - but he gave me a thing for the Diflucan, too. And I know to load up on yogurt, etc. Anyway, I hope it won't get to that. He said I do need to use one of the OTC ear cleaners to keep the wax cleared out of my ears. Sighhhhh.

Our holiday will be fairly quiet, I guess, since we're both sick. Kate and Andy will be coming from KY anyway tomorrow morning, and Margaret will probably come over tomorrow evening or Friday morning. We usually have our big dinner on Saturday. Jean has this crud, too, so she's going to stay home. Sue and her family will probably come by tomorrow for just a few minutes after being at her in-laws, and then head back to SC.

I may cook my turkey ahead of time and get John to slice it off the bird. I've never done that before, but that sounds like a good idea this time. I don't know what else we're going to have, other than dressing and gravy, green beans and corn. My brain seems to be congested, too. I did get the cranberry relish and cranberry chutney made.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

WKRP in Cincinnati

John is getting better. I've still got the cold and cough, but it's mostly a head cold. John may make me go to the doctor tomorrow - we'll see. But we're still planning on having some of the girls come this weekend. In the meantime, this story was in the news today.

Cincinnati hosts annual frozen Turkey Bowl
City heralds Thanksgiving with event using birds in place of bowling balls

Updated 12:11 p.m. ET, Mon., Nov. 24, 2008
CINCINNATI - Cincinnati is warming up for Thanksgiving with its traditional Turkey Bowl, an annual outdoor event using frozen turkeys in place of bowling balls.

Contestants will try to knock down 10 pins Tuesday by sliding rock-hard birds down a lane on a holiday season ice skating rink in downtown's landmark Fountain Square.
The person with the highest score after three rounds wins $100 cash and "WKRP in Cincinnati" DVDs including the series' famous "Turkeys Away" episode.

That's the one about a station promotion in which live giveaway turkeys are dropped out of a helicopter to their deaths because the station manager thought turkeys could fly.

The frozen birds used in Turkey Bowl are discarded store turkeys not intended for anyone's table.

Just in case you don't remember this classic TV show...

WKRP in Cinncinati's Turkey Drop Episode
The Classic Sitcom "Turkey Drop" Radio Promotion From 1978

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!" -- Arthur Carlson, WKRP in Cincinnati

The above quote is from the famous WKRP in Cincinnati episode where Station Manager, Arthur Carlson (played by Gordon Jump), arranged to have live turkeys dropped from a helicopter as an advertising stunt.

The TV "Drop"
Unfortunately, this turned out to be a serious miscalculation. The poor birds plunged to earth, never even having a chance. Their tragic "last flight" was relayed to WKRP listeners by reporter Les Nessman, played by Richard Sanders:

"It's a helicopter, and it's coming this way. It's flying something behind it, I can't quite make it out, it's a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From ... W ... K ... R... P!! No parachutes yet. Can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but - Oh my God, Johnny, they're turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!"

Based on Reality
Oddly enough, this famous WKRP episode was loosely based on a real event! Back in 1946 (some sources say 1945), Yellville, Arkansas inaugurated the "Turkey Trot Festival" which included a wild turkey calling contest, a turkey target shoot, a Miss Drumsticks Pageant and oh yeah: a live turkey release from the roof of the courthouse.

After a few years, someone thought it might be fun to actually toss the poor gobblers out of a low-flying airplane for the event. This repeated for a number of years until 1989 when a national animal-rights protest cast the event in a bad light and the "National Enquirer" splashed a photo of the event across the nation forcing promoters to abandon the turkey drop.

Sometimes, real life is funnier - or plain stranger - than anything you can make up.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sick on a rainy day

We're still pretty much on hold around here. I took John to the doctor this morning. He does have a secondary infection (but no fever), so she gave him some antibiotics. She also gave him some cough medicine with codeine to take at bedtime to help him sleep. He's still coughing up his toenails, and went to bed about 7:30.

My cold doesn't seem to have gotten as bad as John's - at least not yet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We had a raw, chilly, rainy day today. At least it brought some much needed moisture. I brought the rain gauge in for the winter - it's plastic and will crack with freezing weather. We were predicted to get about one-half inch. I skipped swimming and we both skipped bridge. But I did get to WalMart for a Thanksgiving run. We may still have to cancel - but I'm not ready to make that decision yet. Let's hear opinions from Margaret, Kate, and Jean, please.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Absolutely nothing done today! John's still got the epizootic, and I'm afraid I'm coming down with it.

John & Marty left very early this morning - before we got up. Margaret headed out for Knoxville and the Lady Vols game. After that, other than the laundry, it was an all-chair/all-day kind of day.

I'm skipping swimming in the morning and probably bridge, and we'll see how John is in the morning before I decide whether or not he needs to go to the doctor.

To better tomorrows!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Here are the Gallery photos

John's still feeling terrible with this awful upper respiratory thing he has. He's even going to skip going to the Lady Vols game Sunday with Margaret.

It was good to see Matt, if only for a short time. He blew the leaves off the roof and cleaned out the gutters - a great help.

Margaret hadn't seen the Gallery, so I took her over there this morning. And we drove around the Southside and checked out a few other galleries.

Margaret spent the afternoon working on photo albums of the picures she took during the wedding festivities. We even found several new, unused photo albums up on a shelf in the utility room, so she didn't have to buy new ones.

Marty and John came in earlier than usual. Because John was so yucky, we got carry-out ribs and pulled pork, etc., from Sticky Fingers for dinner. Yum! They had gotten up early, and driven all day, so went to bed early.

I finished off the evening, getting some of my computer photo albums copied onto disks and deleted from the computer. Not early enough, of course, but it's a start.

And, as promised (and thanks to Margaret for taking them), here are some photos of the Gallery and the new show.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cold and colds with hot basketball

Lady Vols 66, UTC Lady Mocs 63 !!!!!!!

And we were ahead by as much as 8 points and were ahead or tied until the last 30 seconds of the game.

It was a barnburner of a game, and we came closer than anyone could've hoped!

Margaret came over for the game and the weekend. And Matt stopped by for the night on his way home.

John has a terrible sinus infection and cold. He's miserable and sounds awful. We all hope he'll be better tomorrow. Margaret says she won't take him to the ballgame in Knoxville on Sunday if he doesn't improve.

Our high today was only in the mid40s, with lows tonight predicted in the 20s. Brrrrrr. Stay warm, friends!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gallery2 show

I'm really tired tonight. What a busy life. (Yeah, right!)

In any case, we started out with routine optometry appointments. Both of us have eye problems that need fairly close follow-up, but everything looked good today. We'll get the second half of exams afer Thanksgiving.

Our Thursday lunch is always a high spot in the week. Next week, we get pre-empted by Thanksgiving. Guess we can survive.

The opening of our new Gallery 2 show was tonight. The show looks really good (sorry, I forgot to take a photo of the show itself - I'll do that tomorrow). One of the artists sold a piece, but that was the only one. There was an event featuring lots of shops being open on the Southside, so there were folks walking from one to another. It made for lots of traffic and fun talking to people. We had some good snacks and even live music at the Gallery.

And, even though it means getting up early, I'm going to enjoy getting into the pool for the exercise and stretching.

Have I posted this photo before? I just love it. It's a picture of one of Jupiter's moons, Io, from the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Another busy day today. The Gallery is starting to look really good for our new show opening tomorrow. I'm hoping to get a nap in tomorrow before going over for the reception. In the meantime, I'm fading fast.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Unseasonably cold

It was unseasonably cold today - high in the mid40s, although sunny and breezy. I know that's now "cold" by Minnesota standards, but it'll pass for it around here. Lows tonight are predicted to be in the mid20s. Brrrrrrrr.

I spent most of the day at the Gallery. I was showing one of the artists about Google's Picasa program for photo storage. We like it, and it surely looks like something she can use. We're getting the Gallery ready for the new show (Art Treasures for Small Spaces) that opens Thursday. The opening is in conjunction with a special event spotlighting the businesses in the Southside. We'll be open until 9, together with other galleries, dress shops, a bakery, a sandwich shop, etc., etc. Even though it'll be cold, we hope we'll get lots of traffic.

Even better, though, we're loving the exposure for the Gallery. We are seeing people coming in every day - just looking right now, but hopefully they'll be buying before too long. Certainly original art is not a priority in such terrible economic times, but it WILL get better.

We ended the day with good friends (John & Sylvia), good food (Mom's Italian Restaurant), and good music (a free concert by the UTC Jazz Band).

I'm REALLY glad that it doesn't get as cold here as in this winter view of Old Faithful erupting at Yellowstone. (And, no, we've never been to Yellowstone in the winter - this photo is from Google.) Stay warm!

Mondays are busy

Today was jam-packed! It was good to start it off with swimming - at least there was some real exercise involved. But then we went to tea at the home of one of our group who's had to miss class for a while. It's fun to get together away from the pool every once in a while.

When we got home, both of us crashed for naps - John in the bed, and me in the chair. We headed right off to play bridge. Last week, John came in 5th, and I was second - who'd've thought it. We definitely won't be in the running for highs with today's scores.

We got home, got a quick supper, and then headed out again for the Lady Mocs game. They were really scattered during the first half, but really got it together in the second half. The final score was Lady Mocs 77, ETSU 71. And on Friday (gulp), we play the UT Lady Vols (last year's national champs) - who lost to Virginia tonight 83-82. Oh, dear.....

Go Mocs!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Slow Sunday

Today was a sit-in-the-chair day. Well, I did get the laundry done, but otherwise, we were just resting up - from yesterday and for tomorrow.

I just had to share this "rant" from the paper this morning.

The new GOP board game, CLUELESS: The media did it, in the living room, with the television.

Today's photo is one John took on our Copper Canyon trip.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

MidNovember Saturday

We got another inch of rain overnight. All day today, the weather changed from sunshine to dark clouds to very windy to rainbows, and back again. All the while, the temperatures kept dropping during the day. It's now 25 degrees cooler than it was at midnight last night.

We had folks coming and going all day today. We all left about 9 this morning. John and Margaret headed to Knoxville to see the Lady Vols play San Francisco (68-39). I took Wayne and Andy to the History Center for the tour of Hooker's Campaign in the Civin War.

After I left them, I went to the Mosaic Market to browse and visit with Essie, who had a booth selling some of her gorgeous self-designed knitted pieces. She uses the loveliest natural yarns and does such creative things for them. She sold a few pieces. Click here to see Essie's web shop

A nice quiet afternoon followed, getting caught up on some magazine reading. I picked up Wayne & Andy about 3:30. They had a good time on the tour, and got lots of usable information for Wayne. Margaret and John got home about 5, and she promptly left for home.

We had an early Cajun dinner at Blue Orleans, and then settled in for an evening of more basketball and football. All in all - a fun day!

For no apparent reason, today's photo is one of John's photos from the Head of the Hooch.

Busy Friday

We had a nice, cloudy, rainy day today. Wayne, Andy, and I went to the Friends of the Library Annual meeting. The guest speaker was Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South. Mr. Hicks gave a delightful talk, and his book sounds like a good read. It's a chronicle about Carrie McGavock and her family plantation, Carnton, in Franklin, TN, during the Civil War and the Battle of Franklin. You can definitely give this book a read.

When we left the luncheon, we went to our local huge used-book store. That's always good for an hour or so, and spending a few bucks. But we always leave smiling!

Margaret got here, and we got some carry-out Chinese for dinner. Yum!

Tomorrow will be a busy day, too, with folks going in all different directions.

This photo of a hang-glider taking off from Lookout Mountain is one of John's.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Cold and dreary again - but we did get about an inch of rain last night.

Our lunch group was in hilarious mode today. It surely does brighten the week to get with this bunch. Haircuts followed. Funny how the shorter the hair, the more often it needs cutting.

Wayne and Andy got here near 9. They said the traffic from Nashville to here was really bad - but that's not too unusual. At least the drive was uneventful otherwise. We're going to be doing lots of Civil War programs and explorations. Chattanooga was pivotal during the war because it was a transportation hub. Click here for some links about The Battles for Chattanooga.

Today's photo is one of John's abstracts from his trip to Lula Lake a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Easy Wednesday

Today was a gloomy, chilly day - with none of the forecast rain.

I'll just share some great photos. The first one is another fall close-up by Troy Moore.

This second one I originally saw in the 2009 Smithsonian desk calendar. I looked it up on the web so I could share. It's a July 2000 photo of the Lena River Delta, in Russian Siberia.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans' Day 2008

Thank you to our veterans and active military! We would not be here without you.

This is OUR sailor!

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's basketball again!

It seemed to be a long time in coming, but basketball season has finally started! The Lady Mocs beat Lee University in an exhibition game. They're pretty rough, but with the three stars from last year having graduated, they've having to play a lot of freshman. It'll take a while for things to settle down.

Here are two more of Troy Moore's great fall photos.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

More election stuff, plus some guest photos

I wish I had seen this before the election:

To put (undecideds) in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?"

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

I hope you've had a chance to read the post-election issue of Newsweek magazine. We received our issue in the mail on Thursday (I think). It's a superb chronicle of the 2008 campaigns and the election. And it's probably the best writing of this genre since Theodore White's Pulitzer prize winner, The Making of the President 1960. And the amazing part of the issue is that it came out so quickly after the election. Pick up a copy if you can find one.

Here's one more Clay Bennett cartoon.

The guest photographer today is Troy Moore. He's been out this weekend getting some gorgeous photos of the Tennessee River Gorge.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Music and leaves

We had a lovely night last night. We went to hear the Chattanooga Symphony. The theme of the concert was "Legends", and the music was late-19th - early-20th Century. Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg; Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks by Ricard Strauss; and Firebird Suite (1919 Version) by Igor Stravinsky. Till Eulenspiegel is one of my all-time favorites - and this was the first time I've heard a live performance. What a treat!

It was much more seasonable today, temperature-wise. But after yesterday's all-day rain, today was windy and sunny. The leaves are definitely falling. Here's a fall abstract that John took a couple of weeks ago.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Just can't quit on the election

Maybe we haven't come as far as I thought.

A friend is student-teaching in a 4th grade class in a neighboring town (in Georgia). A little boy came to her and told her he was "afraid". She, of course, asked why. He replied that his mother had told him that if Obama was elected, the blacks would come and kick their doors in.

Remember the Rodgers and Hammerstein song from South Pacific? It was true when it was written 50 years ago, and unfortunately, it's still true.

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!


Morning Edition on NPR repeated this text message:
"Rosa sat so Martin could march.
Martin marched so Barack could run."


And we're not even through with election ads on TV. The two candidates in the run-off race for the Senate in GA (on 2 December) are advertising heavily on our stations.


One more editorial cartoon worth sharing - this one from Mike Luckovich.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fall, glorious fall!

I've definitely started getting ready for the show in January. I took the invitation/announcements ideas to Kinko's this morning, and they'll be ready to pick up tomorrow. Then I can get to work on addressing them.

We have had the most glorious Indian summer the past week. The highs have been around 70, lows around 50, with glorious sunshine and fall colors. They're calling for rain tomorrow, and if it happens, the leaves will probably all get blown and beaten off. The photo is one of John's taken a couple of weeks ago at Lula Lake.

A few more comments on the Election. One of our Thursday lunch group is an officer-of-elections at his precinct. He said that, after the usual early morning rush, there was never a long line or crowd. He attributes this to the number of voters who voted early. That option certainly has taken the pressure off the workers on election day.

And one more editorial cartoon. This is Bruce Plante's cartoon from today's Tulsa World.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

We've come a long way, Baby!!!

Both candidates made excellent speeches last night. Click here to read the text of John McCain's concession speech. Click here to read a transcript of President-Elect Barack Obama's victory speech.

It's no secret that I was an Obama supporter. But I've always had a great deal of respect for John McCain. He is a true American hero - I just disagree with his politics. P-E Obama is certainly an eloquent speaker, and is a breath of fresh air with his calm demeanor and his stirring words. I also happen to agree with most of his political philosophy. I hope he is able to stay on his course to work with leaders from all the political spectrum to work toward solutions to the incredible problems facing this country.

I want to share today's editorial cartoons from my two favorite artists - Clay Bennett and Bruce Plante.

And thanks to lemmonddrops blog for posting these wonderful contrasting photos of how much we have changed in the last 50years.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008






For the United States of America

Monday, November 03, 2008


What did today bring? A lot of the usual - swimming, Walmart, bridge (TERRIBLE cards!).

On the unusual side, I had been called and asked to participate in a focus group. As I understood it, this was to be a presentation to a mock jury, to work out the strategy for a malpractice trial. Sandwiches, drinks, and $50.00 were the incentives for three hours of my time. Sounded like fun, so I agreed to do it.

I showed up at the appointed time at the public relations firm's office, and had my sandwich. Before this group of 12 (7 women, 5 men; 2 blacks; I was probably the oldest) were taken into the conference room, the moderator asked is any of us knew or had any dealings with Dr. X. Two of us said yes - that we had had treatment by Dr. X. So we were thanked, and told our services would not be needed. But we did get our $50. Not too bad for eating a sandwich, and an hour of my time.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008, is the BIG day! No matter what else you may do, VOTE!!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Head of the Hooch

Neither one of us slept well last night. On rare occasions, I can't go to sleep when I hit the bed, and after about 30 minutes, I just get up and go read or something. So I read for a while, and had the TV on for a while, and read in bed for a while. I finally did get to sleep, but even with the extra hour (from "falling back"), it wasn't nearly enough.

We had planned to go to the Tennessee Chamber Orchestra concert this afternoon. We went to the posted venue and the appropriate time, but all the doors were locked and there were very few cars in the parking lot. We walked around, and talked to a few other folks who had come. Nobody really knew what had happened, but we finally went back home after about 15 minutes. On checking the paper, John found the notice that said the concert had been postponed. Oh, well......

I found some leftover jambalaya in the freezer, and added some additional shrimp - a pretty good, easy dinner. That plus laundry was the sum total of my accomplishments for the day.

John went down to the Walnut Street bridge to take some photographs of the scullers in the Head of the Hooch regatta. That's the rowing event put on by the Atlanta Rowing Club, in conjunction with our Lookout Rowing Club. It's a huge event. John usually doesn't work in this one, so he went to take some pictures. Here are three of them.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

VOTE!!! (And don't forget to reset your clocks, and "fall back".)

On his broadcast of 31 October 2008, the last before the election, Bill Moyers closed his Journal with the following words. I feel they're worth repeating.

We know tragically how bullets can change the course of history - bullets cost us Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert, Martin Luther King.

But ballots change history, too, and when I say our votes matter, I speak not out of some mystical belief in "the will of the people" but because elections - imperfect as they are, twisted and smattered by smears and lies and counter-lies galore, subject to distortion and manipulation - elections offer an alternative to violence, they keep us from coming apart altogether.

Just before election day in 1968, a fellow in advertising who worked for Nixon wrote a newspaper ad that began, "It will be quiet on Tuesday. No speeches. No motorcades. No paid political announcements. It's a very special day, just for grown-ups. America votes Tuesday…and . . . on Tuesday, the shouting and the begging and the threatening and the heckling will be silenced. It's very quiet in a voting booth. And nobody's going to help you make up your mind. So - just for that instant - you'll know what the man you're voting for will do a thousand times a day for the next four years. Now it's your turn."

Democracy, this is still the most radical idea ever let loose in the world -that masses of people, so feared and loathed by monarchs of old, so distrusted by monied and political elites, should be charged with self-government, and get on with it, imperfectly, crudely, but with the idea of creating a prosperous society that leaves no one out. That's not mystical, either. It's been at the heart of the American experience, the hope that sustains one generation to the next. Every election is an effort to retrieve that radical idea and breathe new life into it.

So don't forget or fail to vote.