Thanksgiving will be a little different this year.

This will be the first year that we’ll be spending Thanksgiving at home. Usually we trade off on going to either mine or Anne’s parents each year—this year would’ve been my parent’s turn—but this year both Anne and Courtney have to work Thanksgiving day. So we won’t be making the trip and instead will have a small dinner of our own at home. I have Thanksgiving and the day after off so I’ll probably spend part of it playing WoW while the ladies of the house are at work. It’s a little weird not traveling for a change.

I can recall from my childhood trips to my maternal grandparents for Thanksgiving most years and I can recall that we eventually started staying home for Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t tell you at what point we made that change or why. It’s a change I’m aware of, but wasn’t so jarring that the exact point of change is embedded in my mind. There will come a point, just as it did with my grandparents, where my own parents won’t be around to have Thanksgiving with anymore and the same will eventually come to pass with my in-laws and at that point staying home will be more or less a given. Which is also a weird thing to think about. I wonder if Courtney, once she moves out on her own, will make the trip back every year to spend Thanksgiving with us for a few years and carry on the tradition. I wonder if I’ll know how to cook a turkey properly by the time that comes to pass.

I don’t see my older brother or younger sister as much as I’d like to so the holidays have always been one of the few times we get to see each other. My sister’s schedule is very incompatible with my own and the distance between Ann Arbor, where I live, and Pontiac, where she’s living in our childhood neighborhood, is enough to make visiting with any frequency difficult. Of my two siblings I get along with my sister the best, but our lives are so different to each other’s that I often don’t have a clue what to talk to her about. My brother and I get along a lot better than we did as kids, but there are other… stresses… in the relationship between our two families that keeps our contact limited to holidays. And, again, our lives are different enough that I’m never sure what the hell to talk to him about. I actually talk more with his son than I do him because my nephew is a bit of a geek like me.

There are days when I wish my relationship with both my brother and sister could be closer than it is and that sentiment is part of why holidays like Thanksgiving are nice as it’s one of the few days I’m likely to see them. Usually that wishing-we-were-closer feeling is gone by the end of the day as I realize just how little I have to say that either one of them would care much about. I have no idea what the hell we’d do other than sit around and talk anyway as our hobbies are wildly different. Still, not seeing them on Thursday will be a little weird. My parent’s less so because I see them fairly regularly throughout the year.

Not really sure why I decided to write all this down. I don’t really have a point with it other than “it’s kinda weird” which isn’t really a point as much as an observation. But, here you go.

Nebraska learns a lesson in unintended consequences.

I always say that before you pass a law you should carefully consider whether or not you understand the full implications it holds. What sounds like a great idea may, in practice, come with some unitended consequences.

Take Nebraska’s Child Safe-Haven law. Like similar laws in many other states it allows parents of children who feel they cannot care for them to drop them off at a local hospital without fear of being prosecuted for abandonment. Unlike the other state’s laws, the Nebraska law allows not just parents, but anyone to drop off a kid and there’s no age limit on the child. It sounds like a good idea. After all if a kid isn’t being cared for properly it’s probably best that he be given up to the state.

The trouble is they didn’t anticipate how many people would take advantage of that law nor did they anticipate that parents would drive from other states to drop off their kids:

A Michigan mother drove roughly 12 hours to Omaha, so she could abandon her 13-year-old son at a hospital under the state’s unique safe-haven law, Nebraska officials said Monday.

The boy from the Detroit area is the second teenager from outside Nebraska and 18th child overall abandoned in the state since the law took effect in July.

[…] Last week, a 14-year-old girl from Iowa was left at an Omaha hospital by her grandparents. The girl has since been returned to her family.

It would seem there are a lot of families out there struggling with parenting issues and the Nebraska law is bringing them out into the open. Needless to say this wasn’t what they had intended:

“I certainly recognize and can commiserate and empathize with families across our state and across the country who are obviously struggling with parenting issues, but this is not the appropriate way of dealing with them, whether you’re in Nebraska or whether you’re in another state,” said Todd Landry, who heads the state’s Department of Health and Human Services’ division of children and family services.

[…] State officials have stressed that the safe-haven law should be used only for children in immediate danger; some worry the broadly written law could make the state a dumping ground for unwanted children.

State officials have said parents and caregivers need to understand there is no guarantee an abandoned child could be returned to them if they change their minds. The have encouraged parents to seek other resources before resorting to abandonment.

Lawmakers have spoken about the need to re-examine the law, but the Legislature doesn’t reconvene until January. Gov. Dave Heineman has been reluctant to call a rare special session.

Landry declined to comment on whether a special session was needed, but he did say Monday that a new law is needed to specifically address infants in danger. Two children coming from out of state is clear evidence changes are needed, he said.

“We need to get back to the intent of the law,” he said. “The intent of the law was always the protection of newborns in immediate danger of being harmed.”

It’s those pesky unintended consequences once again. They’ll come back to bite you in the ass every time.

One would hope this would spur a national conversation on what to do to help all the struggling families out there, but chances are they’ll just change the Nebraska law and go back to ignoring the problem. Kids with behavioral problems will continue to not receive the counseling they need and parents will continue to struggle to deal with their kids and the problems will never be resolved.

John McCain tries very hard not to answer question on gays adopting kids.

If nothing else it’s amusing to watch John McCain try to give a non-answer to a question he knows will get him in trouble with Democrats AND Republicans no matter how he answers it. In the case of gays being allowed to adopt children his answer implies that he’s against it because that’s what his party’s base expects, but he never actually says he’s against it so when people claim he said he’s against it he can truthfully say that he never said that.

Still it’s plain to see that John McCain is running for President with the intent of only catering to the interests of heterosexuals. At least it’s clear from this interview with George Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS: What is your position on gay adoption? You told the “New York Times” you were against it, even in cases where the children couldn’t find another home. But then your staff backtracked a bit.

What is your position?

MCCAIN: My position is, it’s not the reason why I’m running for president of the United States. And I think that two parent families are best for America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, what do you mean by that, it’s not the reason you’re running for president of the United States?

MCCAIN: Because I think—well, I think that it’s—it is important for us to emphasize family values. But I think it’s very important that we understand that we have other challenges, too.

SEB Translation: “I really, really, REALLY, don’t want to talk about this issue! Surely there’s hundreds of thousands of other topics much more important than letting the fags adopt children we could be talking about? Don’t you want to hear about my economic recovery plan?? Please, for the love of all that’s good in the world, don’t make me talk about this issue!”

I’m running for president of the United States, because I want to help with family values. And I think that family values are important, when we have two parent—families that are of parents that are the traditional family.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But there are several hundred thousand children in the country who don’t have a home. And if a gay couple wants to adopt them, what’s wrong with that?

MCCAIN: I am for the values that two parent families, the traditional family represents.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you’re against gay adoption.

MCCAIN: I am for the values and principles that two parent families represent. And I also do point out that many of these decisions are made by the states, as we all know.

And I will do everything I can to encourage adoption, to encourage all of the things that keeps families together, including educational opportunities, including a better economy, job creation.

SEB Translation: “Let’s talk about education! Or the economy! Or job creation! OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN THIS TOPIC! PLEASE!!!”

And I’m running for president, because I want to help families in America. And one of my positions is that I believe that family values and family traditions are preserved.

SEB Translation: “I’m running to represent solely the interests of Heterosexuals. You fags can go fuck yourselves. But if anyone tries to claim I said that I’ll deny it till the end of time.”