why is it so damn hard to get an obama bumper sticker?

It used to be that campaigns just sent out bumper stickers to anyone who donated, or to registered party members. I know, because that’s one of the things I did when I volunteered at various Democratic campaign offices over the past 30 years or so.

Now, you have to PAY for them. We did get a free one from MoveOn.org—but it took weeks and weeks to arrive. I ordered two bumper stickers at the Obama store—but they don’t have any in stock. If I’m lucky, they’ll show up before the election. Obama’s campaign store is a website called http://www.democraticstuff.com—not very reassuring—which is really a store by http://www.tigereyedesign.com.

You’d think with all that money pouring in to Obama’s campaign, he’d at least get a store that can handle the load. I was told by customer service that they ran out of bumper stickers a while ago, but the Obama campaign just ordered more. Like Tiger Eye couldn’t anticipate that more were needed and just print more? How the hell does a campaign run out of campaign materials? People are begging for bumper stickers and t-shirts—paying steep rates for them—and just waiting and waiting for them. It’s not like a hell of a lot of cars have Obama on the bumper—I saw relatively few of them on our trip to the Heartland and back—and this is with the election less than two months away. Like I said—we want them, we just can’t get them. Stupid.

We’re back. I have about three weeks of blogging to catch up on, including updated pictures of the new pups and other photos I’ve been planning to post. And I will—just not tonight. I’m way too tired.

That was a fast three weeks. It was so, so painful to leave—I miss Mom and Dad already.

We left about 30 minutes later than intended—Slink escaped from his harness and the car and led us on a merry chase around the house. He looked so beautiful streaking through the grass I couldn’t hate him for giving us such a scare—and it made Mom laugh and laugh. Stanley retrieved him from under the house and then we had to leave.

We drove through torrential rains on Sunday, from just north of Saginaw all the way down to Toledo it never let up. If the highways in Michigan weren’t as good as they are (no floods on the roadways we traveled, unlike I-95 and the Merritt here in Connecticut), we would’ve probably stopped to hole up at a motel someplace, or banged on my brother’s door and crashed in Wyandotte. It took us a long, long time to get to Toledo.

We decided to stop at the first service plaza on the Ohio Turnpike past Toledo, where we got on. Got out of the car an almost got blown over. The rain was moving away, but the farther East we went, the windier it got—hello Ike. We stopped to let the pups poop and give them some water (they traveled really well in the carrier), and could barely stand. The wind whipped the water bowl out of my hand and we had to chase it through the parking lot (hey, it’s a great bowl, with one of those no-drip lids—I wasn’t going to let it go!) Getting out of the car and into our hotel room in Clarion, Pennsylvania was challenging. And Stanley said driving in the wind was much worse than driving in torrential downpours. No internet or cable tv at the hotel due to Ike—I actually went to sleep around midnight.

But we made it. And slept well. And the pups were not too bad in the room.

Today we left the hotel around 10:30 a.m., had breakfast at a great coffee shop downtown Clarion, and arrived home in Norwalk around 5:30 p.m. We kept losing NPR on the radio—funny how all the god stations seem to come in (and why are there so many god stations in Pennsylvania?), but not NPR stations, not even near State College. So we listened to a novel instead, which was quite good and made the time pass very quickly. We were in a pretty good mood when we hit Norwalk.

Until we approached our house. The maple tree on the corner of our property has been cut down! A big, beautiful, healthy, 60-year-old maple on the school side of our lot. Not only is the tree gone, the stumps remain, the mess remains, and our hedge was smashed and is gone, the privet hedge that has been there for 40 years. The only thing wrong with the maple is that Connecticut Light and Power hacked out the middle branches, but the tree was not weak, just looked like the middle was missing under the wires.

We have no idea what agency cut down our tree, or why. No one asked our permission or gave us any notice that it was going to happen. Reneev and Ashi, our neighbors, said it happened last week. Stanley is sick with anger about it—that tree has been there all his life, and no one ever asked permission to set foot on our property, let alone cut down our tree. So tomorrow we need to find out the who and the why and what they plan on doing about removing the debris and compensating us for the hedge and the tree and the mess. I only hope that there was a good reason for it, but suspect it might have been CL&P—they are tree butchers and pretend to ask permission to mangle your trees but really don’t.

Stress levels: back up. Headed to City Hall tomorrow to find out what the hell happened and get the mess cleaned up. Damn.

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