Too much information for one topic this week


There are weeks when I sit down at my computer to start putting together this column and I come to the unnerving reality that I don’t have any idea what it is I’m going to write about this week.

Usually, some idea takes hold in my muddled mind in the beginning of the week, and I kind of mentally toss it around a little bit over a couple of days until I’m ready to start putting it to paper. There are other weeks when a conversation at the office or home just snowballs to the point where I have to get out my thoughts, and this is my best venue to do so without just randomly stopping people at the grocery store to make them listen to my rantings. And then there are the weeks when I have nothing. Zilch. A big fat goose egg.

On the flip side, there are weeks like this one. Having sat through most of two political party conventions, taken a visit to the Delaware State Fair, seen a group of people that I really enjoy at a cocktail party and the typical tribulations of having a 20-month-old lunatic little ray of sunshine at home, there are just too many topics to settle on just one.

So, without further adieu, let’s take them all on at once:

• Between Ted Cruz not endorsing Donald Trump at the Republican convention and the leaked e-mails and Bernie Sanders protestors at the Democratic convention, I can’t help but wonder if we are seeing the beginning of the end of our two-party political system. “Outsiders” Trump and Sanders each did significantly better in their respective primaries than the pundits ever thought possible, and it’s easy to surmise that people are truly getting tired of “politics as usual.”

One could make a valid and reasoned argument predicting a divide among both parties before the next national election comes around, and it wouldn’t be surprising to me at all to see big donors attach themselves to a Libertarian or Green Party candidate in 2020. Four years ago I was bemoaning how the country had become divided solely in terms of Rs versus Ds. Now I think we will be seeing a division between “us” versus “them,” and I think the “them” are the career politicians.

• Celebrity endorsements kill me a little bit inside every time I hear one. I don’t really care what Chachi from “Happy Days” or Annie Savoy from “Bull Durham” have to say about our trade deficits or racial divides. Just hang out with the Fonz or teach Nuke LaLoosh how to control his fastball.

• The fabulous Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, benefitting the Friends of the South Coastal Library (FOSCL), was held this week, thanks to an amazing group of volunteers, donors and gracious homeowners. To thank people for their efforts, FOSCL holds a cocktail party every year the week before the event, and I was fortunate enough to attend this year, along with our publisher, Susan Lyons. Gov. Jack Markell also made an appearance at the event to thank people for what they do to help make the library what it is today, and what it promises to be tomorrow.

I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it many times again —this area is amazing. It’s not only the sunsets, ocean, bays and general aesthetic wizardry that we get to enjoy on a daily basis, but because of the people. Going to that party not only reminded me again of how much I enjoy the individuals who volunteer for this cause, but also how much their generosity and tireless efforts inspire me.

• We decided it would be a great idea to take our daughter to the Delaware State Fair in Harrington on Sunday. It might have been a little more comfortable if we decided to take a trip to the Sun, instead.

It was hot. Like, it was really, really hot. It was hot walking around. It was hot sitting in the alleged shade with a lemonade. And it was hot when I was stuffing a 2-foot corndog down my throat while washing it down with a bacon-wrapped hot dog and a side of chili fries.

But it was also a fun time. My daughter loves all things animal, and she was able to feed a giraffe and a zebra, check out some goats and chickens, and even ride a pony. She was also able to get on a few of the kid rides and even enjoy a drink out of a pineapple. But, yeah... it was hot.

• NFL teams are now reporting to their respective training camps, so football season is on its way. In a related topic, I will soon be unavailable from 6 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.

• Yes, I’m still undecided on the presidential election this year. I know. Do I pick one candidate because the other is not someone I can support? If so, which one?

I’ve been researching Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, and they both seem like nice people who have identified core issues, but I keep being told by people close to me that I am just throwing away my vote if I don’t pick someone from one of the established parties.

I feel like that’s an issue in itself. If people did just vote for the candidate they liked best, without considering political affiliation, would a candidate emerge? Is it throwing away my vote if the final count is 43 million to 41 million to one vote, or am I voting my conscience? Can I write in fictional President David Palmer from “24” because I usually agreed with him?

• It is already the end of July, and the softball World Series games start in Roxana on Sunday. How did this happen already? How does it happen so fast every year?