Voice of Bruck News Service

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Where were you?

A reader asked me to comment on the Mark Sanford situation, as it blew onto the media scene just as the storm was dying down from a similar incident involving Senator Ensign upon which I bloviated in my last column.

There’s not a whole lot I can say that hasn’t already been said about the sordid affair. When I heard that he had been missing for 5 days and nobody knew where he was, my first thought was, this is not good. There are plenty of bad reasons for a governor to disappear without notice, but no good ones. So when the truth finally came out earlier this week I was actually a little relieved – he was healthy and not, apparently, doing anything or being anywhere against his own will. That is, if the governor and the media are to be believed, neither party having a stellar record of reliability up to this point.

So, based on the info we have so far, my opinion is, hey, boys will be boys, he’s an alpha male, and an alpha has to “put it around.” Love me, love my dog, haha, the loveable cad! You can’t blame him for taking the bait that gets dangled in front of him every day. It’s one of the perks of power. I mean, everybody does it, at least everybody who can. Based on what he’s done for women’s rights, he deserves a little payback anyway. Oh wait, there’s an “R” next to his name. Hang him high!

No, seriously, to me, it’s basically the same deal as with Senator Ensign – he got caught, apologized, expressed a level of obligatory contrition, etc., so let him work it out with those directly affected by it. I would say, for those of you out there who still put your faith in human beings and manmade institutions, here’s yet another reason to rethink your position. I’m personally more concerned about his dereliction of duty. I can’t leave my job for more than half a day without reporting my whereabouts and how to get ahold of me, and I have about a tenth of a percent the responsibility and accountability of a state governor. So my only advice is to the fine voters of South Carolina: if he doesn’t resign, resign him at the ballot box next chance you get. I believe in forgiveness and reconciliation as much as the next guy, but I wouldn’t appoint an arsonist fire safety warden.

Nuff said. Let’s move on to more important things.

Like, where were you when Farrah Fawcett died? I was at a grueling four-day conference in Chicago, toiling away at the buffets and happy hours, and studiously taking notes from contractors trying to sell me on their vision of how businesses should run, and what a good idea it would be to hire them to do it. I’m not sure exactly when Charlie’s Angel numero uno crossed the river, as she had the unfortunate timing to die just a few hours before the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Between the two, I would say Ms. Fawcett had a bigger impact on my early emotional development than did Michael Jackson, although I do admit to having attempted, unsuccessfully, at one point in the 80’s to moonwalk. At the moment MJ died, I’m pretty sure that was when I was working out in the hotel gym, playing hooky from the early afternoon session that day; don’t tell my boss, okay?

As I write I’m on an Amtrak train from Chicago to Royal Oak, MI, my hometown. I love trains, and the idea of taking a train “home” gives me a poignant feeling of solid, nostalgic symmetry. Trains are undoubtedly the mellowest way to travel. It’s about a six-hour trip, which is a lot longer than flying, and a bit longer than driving the same distance, but nothing could be more chillin. Cheaper too. I paid $44, and got a free business class upgrade. Actually I’m not sure if there’s a difference between business class and coach. It was closer to the club car, and there was toilet paper in the restrooms. I got hooked on trains while traveling in Europe in the 90’s, and if not for the time component, would prefer to take them more often for my domestic US travel.

You’re probably thinking, wow, he got through almost an entire page without a single mention of amateur radio or firearms. Here’s the firearms angle: first of all, I don’t have any with me. Second, I do not condone the violation of any laws or ordinances regarding same. But, those of you who have flown with firearms know that it is a HUGE hassle. Amtrak’s rule regarding bringing firearms or ammunition onto their trains is, you can’t. But guess what? They don’t check! Just sayin’…

The radio angle: alert readers learned, then in approximately 13 milliseconds forgot, and are just now being reminded, that I picked up a nice little FM VHF handheld ham radio transceiver a couple weeks ago at our club’s swap meet. It transmits on the 2-meter ham band (144-148 MHz), and receives most of the VHF-HI band, 136-174 MHz. So right now I’m listening to the train radio traffic (with an earphone – I wouldn’t inflict my radiosyncracies on the muggles). It’s semi-interesting; most of the traffic occurs just before stops. While departing Michigan City, IN, I heard the conductor chide the driver for a rough departure. In case you’re wondering, the train staff doesn’t mind being monitored. In fact, when the conductor saw me entering frequencies, he keyed up for me to make sure his channel was on my scan list. As they say, there are two kinds of people in the world. If you don’t find this discussion of train radio scanning interesting, and are not just a tiny bit envious of my little radio forays, you’re the other kind.

So… where were you?


  • At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    your hometown is royal oak? that's my hometown!


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