Sad Day

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I don’t believe in “the rainbow bridge” – that animals have souls. Rather, pets are mirrors to the souls around them. Kelsey showed souls around her in their best possible light: the joy, the serenity and the quiet kindness. These she reflected to friend and stranger alike and her loss makes the world colder and grayer.

RIP Kelsey Bella Grace Canis Fidelis

Kelsey loves the new lawn


“What Kind of Republican Are You”

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It was years ago when I was first elected to the Representative Town Meeting in my hometown of Fairfield CT. We had finished the organizational meeting in January when, after the formalities and I was collecting my papers to walk out, Rep Nello Ceccarellii indicated he wanted to speak to me. Nello had seemingly been on the RTM forever and came across as a real old-school Yankee.

“So Thomas!” he asked in that reedy voice that could cut concrete “what kind of Republican are you? Do you vote your own way? Or do you only vote the Republican way?”

“Mr. Ceccarellii, I only vote the Republican way. But sometimes the other Republicans don’t know which way that is.”

I expect I’ll be telling that story often over the next few weeks.

Mr Lillis is on vacation…

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…but not unwell.

Live-blogging the UK General Election 2015

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5/8/15, 1:49:58 AM EDT Well Good Heavens! What an election! The last results I’m waiting for won’t declare for hours so I’m going to bed. As of now the BBC is reporting the Conservatives will have a bare majority. This doesn’t mean smooth sailing but certainly it wasn’t expected. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Good night all. Thank Heavens we won’t be back here in December!

5/8/15, 1:45:59 AM EDT I’m fading faster than the reporters on BBC News (which is saying something). I’ll wait a few more minutes to see if Morely & Outwood reports.

5/8/15, 1:23:18 AM EDT Excellent result in Bradford West. George Galloway was pummeled by Labour’s Naseem Shah (despite Labour’s best efforts to lose the election).

Disappointing to me, John Reckless lost in Rochester and Strood. He was intelligent and energetic – the UKIP can’t afford to lose MPs such as these.

5/8/15, 1:04:34 AM EDT Paranthetically, where do they find some of these commentators? I thought some of the US ones were be bad but, yeesh. It’s a wonder that these people ever learned to walk.

5/8/15, 12:54:33 AM EDT Cameron made a very statesman like speech at his return. He wants to return the Conservatives to the “one nation” mantle it once had. He will hand Scotland full fiscal autonomy and tell them to run with it. They will predictably run the nation into the ground.

Danny Alexander lost as well. This means there are no Liberal Democratic cabinet members left except for Nick Clegg. All the commentators are talking about Clegg needing to leave due to result. But there’s nobody left in the parliamentary party to hand-over the reigns.

5/8/15, 12:43:20 AM EDT And in news from Doncaster…

5/8/15, 12:20:58 AM EDT And, just like that, Charles Kennedy and David Laws both lose their seats. Laws seat in particular, Yeovil, had been Liberal going back to the days of David Lloyd George. Imagine Republicans winning in Chicago and New York is a good idea of how earth shaking it is.

5/8/15, 12:05:41 AM EDT Esther McVey just lost Wirral West by 417 votes. Not sure where she goes from here. Liverpool doesn’t have a mayor. She’s too popular in Merseyside to ignore but has crossed David Cameron too many times to an easy return. Leading member in the Johnson government, perhaps?

More surprising, give the wipeout Scottish Labour has suffered, David Mundell has retained Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale. At this point there are just as many Conservatives in Scotland as LibDems and Labour MPs.

5/7/15, 11:56:53 PM EDT Nick Clegg wins reelection in Sheffield Hallam against the odds. Many reports of “tactical voting” – local Conservatives told to vote for him to keep him in Parliament. While it’s sad from a human point of view this didn’t “happen to him”. Had he played this even slightly differently he would have been official opposition instead of being a political “dead man walking”.

5/7/15, 11:37:24 PM EDT Tania Mathias looks like she will need smelling salts after beating Vince Cable. Will the last person in the Liberal Democrats bring the picture of Gladstone on the way out?


5/7/15, 11:30:56 PM EDT One of my candidates to watch is going down to the wire. Esther McVey is going to a recount. Boris Johnson wins Uxbridge & Ruislip South. In true Boris fashion no matter what happened he would have “won”.

5/7/15, 11:18:35 PM EDT Douglas Carswell wins Clacton for the UKIP. I wonder if he could use a newly minted American polisci graduate as a researcher. Alas, UKIP has lost in Thurrock and looks shaky in South Thanet. That means they could REALLY use my help, right?

5/7/15, 11:11:35 PM EDT And in a few short moments Lynne Featherstone and Simon Hughes both lose their seats. These were two heavy breathers in the Liberal Democrats. This is historic – both were high flyers expected to be leaders in the future. Now they are both out of a job. Both the leader Nick Clegg and his putative successor Simon Hughes are both under threat.

5/7/15, 11:06:15 PM EDT And “Cruel Remark of the Election” goes to:

5/7/15, 11:00:20 PM EDT Liberal Democrats keep Orkney & Shetlands (just). SNP will tell you that they aren’t part of Scotland anyway.

5/7/15, 10:55:17 PM EDT While there’s a lull in the returns I can’t decide – should I open another bottle of wine or move on to beer?

5/7/15, 10:46:58 PM EDT Lib Dem “big beast” Ed Davey has lost in Kingston & Surbiton. I have no sympathy for the Liberal Democrats. If they had shown any political intelligence, any at all, they would be preparing themselves for official opposition.

5/7/15, 10:42:02 PM EDT George Galloway is rumo(u)red to have lost his seat. He was a real piece of work – can’t see the back of him fast enough enough.

5/7/15, 10:25:26 PM EDT Amol Rajan, Editor for the Independent, puts it plainly for the Liberal Democrats. All of their top names are in danger of losing. Extra-ordinary!

5/7/15, 10:15:34 PM EDT BBC is pointing out while Labour is wiped out in Scotland they aren’t making any headway in England or Wales. This could turn into a rout (now wouldn’t that be terrible heh, heh, heh).

I have to hand it to Jim Murphy. His concession speech was both kind and gracious without conceding a thing. Definitely someone to watch.

5/7/15, 10:11:48 PM EDT Jim Murphy, the leader of Scottish Labour, has lost to a nobody in Renfrewshire East. This will mean blood. Murphy dropped a promising career in London to go north and “fix” Scottish Labour. He won’t go quietly if they try to ease him out of his job.

5/7/15, 10:07:08 PM EDT OK, a break in the action. As of now

  • SNP is trouncing Labour in Scotland. As of now all 18 seats declared in Scotland has gone SNP.
  • Tories are holding strong in England. Losses to Labour in London being made up by gains in country and Wales from Liberal Democrats
  • Thurrock, which was a UKIP target, is too close to call and looks like will be a long night.

5/7/15, 9:47:40 PM EDT Just as Tessa Jowell comes on BBC to foam BS at the mouth (as my friend Kerry would put it) my browser crashes. It was that last live-feed from the Spectator that did it! Time to reboot (and get more wine).

5/7/15, 9:22:37 PM EDT And in a shocker “Wee Dougie” – Douglas Alexander – has lost to a college student in Paisley and Renfrewshire South. It’s hard to overstate how shocking this result is. Douglas Alexander is a Labour front bencher and shortlisted for the next leader. Now he’s unemployed. Shades of the NDP in Quebec during Canada 2011. However, it says something that they cut her (short) acceptance speech to cut to Nicola Sturgeon.

5/7/15, 9:17:27 PM EDT While we wait there are developments in Northern Ireland. UUP has taken South Down from the DUP. This will have a large effect on the ground in the province and, depending how close the Tories are to a majority, it may have UK repercussions as well.

5/7/15, 9:08:19 PM EDT NOW we are talking. Paisley in Glasgow is about to announce. The experienced Labour incumbent is facing Mhairi Black – a college student who ran in the seat as a class project and looks to win. Shades of the NDP in Quebec during the last Canadian election.

5/7/15, 9:03:07 PM EDT Some of the twitteraty are saying that David Laws may have lost Yeovil. I hope he doesn’t run into Paddy Ashdown!

5/7/15, 9:00:48 PM EDT Well, they did ask.

5/7/15, 8:56:41 PM EDT It’s jarring that the only talking head that doesn’t sound like “the honorable member from Stepford” is… David Blunkett. Is he lining up for a comeback?


5/7/15, 8:35:53 PM EDT All holds so far. On the other hand, no Scottish seats reporting, either.

5/7/15, 8:32:27 PM EDT I should like to second Mr. Martin’s sentiments.

5/7/15, 8:21:20 PM EDT Time for more wine.

5/7/15, 8:11:41 PM EDT Still much speculation but not much news. Good time to get some more wine and review some of my key constituencies:

Morely & Outwood: Ed Balls’ constituency

Sheffield Hallam: Nick Clegg’s constituency

Wirral West: Esther McVey’s

The first two are obvious. Esther McVey is interesting – if she can keep her seat despite her… notoriety… it would indicate a good night for the Tories.

5/7/15, 8:01:37 PM EDT Is it just me or does Justine Greening looks like Camille Coduri?


5/7/15, 7:56:29 PM EDT The tittle-tattle from Thanet isn’t good for UKIP.

Not to start a conspiracy theory but I don’t think he’ll be too crushed if he loses. Reading between the lines one gets the idea he’s not in good health.

5/7/15, 7:54:03 PM EDT Much ado about Conservatives holding Swindon North. Ho hum – Iain Dale called this ages ago.

5/7/15, 7:41:46 PM EDT BBC and Sky with their typical coverage – lots of supposition and spin but very little news. Sky presenters are slightly prettier but slightly dimmer so it all evens out I suppose. For example, why in the world would Sky spend 5 minutes with Al Murry during an election when there are real (and interesting) candidates to be had.

When there’s a break in the action I’ll run through what I think are the key seats. One of them is Morely and Outwood: Ed Balls’ seat. He had a hard time keeping it in 2010 and I don’t think the locals have warmed to him in the interim.

I’ll also see about fixing the text to make it more readable.

As my wife would say “of course he is”. I’m an avid follower of UK politics (among others) and will be writing updates from the vantage point of middle America. And, yes, I was up for Portillo.

5/7/15, 7:22:33 PM EDT First glass of wine in hand and the British version of “gasbag gulch” is in full swing.

  • The Daily Telegraph says exit polls are predicting that the Conservatives will win 216 seats. This is acres ahead of all other polls during the campaign.
  • Back biting has commenced among the good-and-great in the Labour party (not to be confused with Backbite Publishing).
  • In a spot of trouble: both Nigel Farange and Nick Clegg look to be in danger of losing their seats.

Still need to set up my multi-media feeds. And away we go…

Hospital Diary #12 – (Dis)Charge!

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INR 2.8 +0.6 ☜ In range!

My INR is in range and Judy and I are waiting for my official discharge. I’ve been disconnected from the IV, the EKG leads have been removed in what was not unlike a scene from the “40 Year Old Virgin” and we are just now waiting for infectious disease doctor to give us the final “okay-doaky”. Because I’d been seen by so many doctors during my medical Odyssey hunting down the signatures for discharge is taking time. I’m not getting my hopes up until I’m home and the dogs are slobbering all over me.

Hospital Diary #11

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INR 2.2 +0.2

I’m still in the hospital and look to be for at least the next few more days unless I check myself out. I had to fight tooth-and-nail to get the pharmacy to increase my dose of Cumadin and even then they wouldn’t increase it high enough. They are making the classic mistake of treating the protocol instead of the patient.

The snow has started and, thanks to Judy, I have a front row seat. She arranged for me to be switched to the bed next to the window. I really like being able to see outside – there’s a world out there. The windows aren’t insulated so I threw on an extra blanket. After my sponge bath I’ll put on my heavier sweats for good measure.

So today should be interesting. I’ll need to contact my professors about the makeup exams I was supposed to take tomorrow. I’ll also need to see what is supposed to happen next week and make sure I don’t get behind in my readings. I’m feeling fine – it’s time to get back into my old routine (albeit, a routine in a hospital tethered to an IV drip).

Thanks for all the prayers! Keep Judy in your prayers, too. Once again I’ve given her a handful.

Tom IV

Hospital Diary #10 – Groundhog Day

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INR 2.0 —

On Tuesday I told the doctor here (among other things) that keeping me on 4 mg of Cumadin will take a week to bring up my INR to 2.5. Turns out that might be optimistic. While furious I’m not surprised – at home, being active and bouncing around my day-to-day life my maintenance dose is 4 mg. So, not surprisingly, in hospital I’m maintaining at 2.0. I’m hearing rumors they will up my dosage tonight – three days too late in my view. Not sure where to go from here – it seems that shaking a physician until their brains turn to malted milk is illegal in Ohio.

I certainly have been spending too much time on the Internet – that will rot your brain almost as much as TV. On Facebook someone asked what my high school’s motto (Qualis Fiam Talis Iam Fio) meant. Given my complete lack of school spirit and… indifferent study habits in Latin class it is the height of (non-Socratic) irony that I would have the answer. And it wasn’t even correct; I left high school much the same being as I entered. My personal growth didn’t occur until much, much later. What can I say? I’m a very late bloomer!

Even with all the time on the Internet I’m ignorant as to many of the developments, both political and sporting, in the world – I haven’t had the focus. Now I’m trying to get as much studying in for my exams Monday and I’m “Thinking the Unthinkable” (Herman Kahn reference intended) – I may not be out of here before Monday. I will handle that if it happens – I own enough trouble without borrowing any!

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