The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


The rumor that I am hiding under the covers not speaking to anyone is simply not true. Sometimes you don't blog because you're globetrotting and getting used to a new computer program.

Took two trips to DC in almost as many weeks and in addition to learning lots about the state of US healthcare (don't ask.....although who would have known that an economist like Uwe Reinhardt could be such a stitch and still teach you so much???!!!) and seeing Barack Obama (would the newspapers and TV stations PUHLEEZE stop calling him Osama? And spell check doesn't catch it people!)got a few good nights sleeps in. No offense to my dogs but there sometimes is just not enough room in a kingsized bed for all four of us.

And after viruses pretty much ground my computer to a halt, Dan the Man wiped it clean and we're starting all over and not putting on AOL software and seeing if that makes a difference. And I run virus programs all the time now. Welcome to the 21st century MJW.

Of course along with the AOL went all my "bookmarks" to everyone else's blogs, so I'll have to reconstruct all that and see what the world is thinking and saying. And we're off to sunny (maybe...who knows?) CA next weekend to celebrate Ms. Ware's birthday. And I don't care what they say about Peyton Manning....I'm routing for DA BEARS.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The answer to the old joke is "Anything but that!" I am considering having a stiff upper lip surgically implanted so that it won't even have to become second nature.

For those of you who do not read the Statehouse news, Dan Bosley is staying in the Great and General Court. This is truly great news for North Berkshire because literally his shoes would have been impossible to fill. I couldn't even claim that I was as funny as he was, although I was going to run on the proposition that I was the funniest candidate (ok guys, no cheap shots.....I'm feeling fragile!)

So anyway, as I said to the people who were supposed to be meeting at 71 Main Street tomorrow at 10AM, "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." The Lord also haveth an interesting sense of humor. I guess renting Jane Swift's old P.O. Box DIDNT bring me luck. She probably could have told me that!

I guess that means I have to move all that junk out of 71 Main Street and put it back in my front hall. And just as I was getting used to the lack of clutter (in the front hall, that is....) We're having a sale on old envelopes and stickers.

Anyone who has pull with Governor Patrick can let him know that I'm back in the job market again. Normally I wouldn't say that in public, but I guess it's pretty obvious to my employers now that I was looking for new opportunities. As I said to someone "I feel like the kid who keeps trying to run away from home and keeps being pulled back halfway up the sidewalk."

So tonight it's bourbon manhattans, leg of lamb and lots of laughs. I won't make Drinking Liberally, but I'll be drinking liberally.

Peace. And a reminder that when the last client you talked to was someone battling leukemia and looking at a bone marrow transplant, life is a bit more complicated that whether or not you get to run for office. My week in Florida is back on as is my trip to the South of France in June. YAHOO!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Actually, that's a play on words because I just noticed that my last post was number one hundred. But having attended the swearing in of Governor Deval Patrick, I feel like we ARE in a new century in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Thursday was a day to "keep hope alive" as the Almighty cooperated and gave us a mild day on which to stand outside and witness history. The best decision I made was to show up at the Old South Meeting House and get a seat at the prayer service that preceded the inauguration. The procession of clergy, highlighted by a Native American in full dress feathers, was spectacular, and included virtually every faith tradition you could imagine. Peter Gomes, Harvard chaplain, and recent Republican, gave the main remarks which were punctuated with humor, hope and inspiration. The music was nothing less than spectacular.

Getting to the Statehouse grounds one hour ahead of time proved to be timely enough to be within a few hundred feet of the podium. And it is not too much to say that while Deval was giving his Inaugural address, the clouds parted and the sun came out! I am NOT MAKING THIS UP! And inspirational he was. I will not go into detail about his speech -- you can read it on the internet -- but his announcement that he was changing state government, and that an 80+ year old frail elder had not walked down and back six flights of stairs for us to just give her same old, same old, was the highlight of the day.

Ben Downing was up on the platform in a blue shirt and red tie and looking every inch the Senator. When someone in the crowd (who must have been a State Government groupie and/or employee) said she couldn't remember the name of the new Senator from the Berkshires, I told her it was Ben Downing. "He's a great guy," I said. "He beat me in a primary." One of the people listening said "If his opponent says that, he must be a great guy!" (Note to pol-watchers: Chris Hodgkins and his lovely wife were seen at the Inaugural Ball. Rumors that he has left the state are obviously not true.)

We saw more of Dorchester Avenue than we had planned while trying to find Amrhein's in South Boston, but we had a great dinner with the O'Brien clan and ran into State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli and State Senator Jack Hart so it was obviously the place to see and be seen. Except for the big do, which was $100/person, but TO WHICH I WAS ACTUALLY INVITED. Next time, when I can take it as a business expense.

Yes, everything they said about it being too crowded and having to wait in lines to get upstairs (we'd been upstairs and went downstairs to get a seat -- bad move but necessary with aging backs....) but we did see Deval, Diane, Tim and Tammy up on stage dancing and the best line of the evening was "Someone told me that this was the most integrated event they'd ever attended." (Pause for effect) "Well, get used to it!" Hee Haw! The African-American community in the Commonwealth was out in force, celebrating an amazing experience that many probably didn't think that they would see in their lifetimes. It was a sight to behold and hopefully will lead to lots more dialogue, partying and collaborations on behalf of the Commonwealth over the next decades.

And so to bed. And while getting into town proved a bit elusive, your humble servant deserves some credit for navigating herself and her spouse back to Andrew Square from the Convention Center with nary a wrong turn. See, I AM learning.....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Housework reduces risk of breast cancer
Posted: Jan 1st 2007 10:14AM by Jonathon Morgan
Filed under: Alternative Therapies, General Health, Women's Health

A new study of more than 200,000 women suggests that doing household chores like dusting, mopping and vacuuming was significantly more cancer protective than playings sports, or having a physical job.

While it's long been known that physical exercise lowers the risk of breast cancer -- most likely due to the resultant hormonal and metabolic changes -- housework is the only physical activity that's been shown to have positive effects on both pre- and post-menopausal woman.

This isn't to say that there's something inherently cancer protective about the act of mopping itself, but rather that moderate physical activity, like housework, may be more effective in reducing a woman's risk of breast cancer than more rigorous, but less frequent exercise.