Zachary Cohn

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.” How often have you heard that phrase? How often has it come close to home? I try not to have any enemies, they just aren’t a useful thing to have. But over the years, there have been people that I’ve clashed with in stressful work situations, and they are perhaps the closest I’ve got towards enemies.

One person I had frequent clashes with was Brian Cohn. We both worked at S.A.C. Capital years ago. I haven’t spoken with him since I left over six years ago. A lot has gone on since then. I was going through my divorce while I was at S.A.C. I’ve remarried, and Fiona was born. Brian and his wife Karen had a boy named Zachary. Zachary was about half a year older than Fiona.

While we were listening to music at Falcon Ridge, a horrible pool accident happened at the Cohn’s house and Zachary drowned. The Stamford Advocate is reporting that the investigation includes drainage apparatus.

When I read about the pool drain, my thoughts went to John Edwards’ famous 1997 case against Sta-Rite. Sta-Rite has made pool products since the 1960 and according to an article in the Washington Monthly a dozen children had already suffered similar injuries from Sta-Rite drains before the trial.

Last month, there was another pool drain accident where the drainage system sucked out most of a six year olds small intestine. TwinCities.COM is reporting that the parents are contemplating legal action “against Sta-Rite Industries, which manufactured the pool's drainage system.”

I don’t know if the drainage system at the Cohn’s was made by Sta-Rite, but it does seem as if issues with pool drainage systems still haven’t been adequately addressed.

Brian is now President of S.A.C. Reports say that S.A.C. currently has $14 billion under management. S.A.C., like other hedge funds, has been making the news in political circles as Brian and others have made major contributions to Chris Dodd’s Presidential campaign. Brian, along with others at S.A.C. also contributed significantly to Dan Malloy’s Gubernatorial campaign.

Riches, political influence, all of that becomes pretty meaningless when faced with a horrible accident like the loss of Zachary. Brian and I aren’t likely to cross paths any time soon. If we do, I don’t know if any of the old conflicts will cloud our interactions. But I do know, that my heart goes out to him, Karen, and their whole family during their time of horrible grief. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

When I was a Mommy Blogger

I won't forget when Peter Pan
Came to my house, took my hand
I said I was a boy, I'm glad he didn't check
I learned to fly, I learned to fight
I lived a whole life in one night
We saved each other's lives out on the pirate's deck

Yesterday, I received an email inviting me to The Motherhood. Their welcome message says,

If you believe in the power of mothers to make things happen, you're going to love this neighborhood. Come on in and make yourself at home!

Well, I do believe in the power of mothers to make things happen. I spend a lot of time visiting Mommy Blogs around the Internet and I tell all my political friends to step beyond their political blogs and reach out to the Mommy Blogs.

That said, I would like to remind people of my gender. The picture of my white bearded face should make it clear that I am not a Mommy Blogger by most popular definitions. However, Dar Williams helped me put this into proper context. The quote at the top of this post is Dar singing about when she was a boy. The song ends with

And I tell the man I'm with
About the other life I lived
And I say now you're top gun
I have lost and you have won
And he says, "Oh no, no, can't you see

When I was a girl, my mom and I we always talked
And I picked flowers everywhere that I walked
And I could always cry, now even when I'm alone I seldom do
And I have lost some kindness
But I was a girl too
And you were just like me, and I was just like you"

So, to all the Mommy Bloggers out there, either by birth or by conviction, stop by The Motherhood and see if we can save each others lives out on the pirate deck and perhaps even help all of us find some of the kindness that has been lost.

Robocalls already!?!

The phone rang. Fiona rushed to it saying, “I’ve got it”. She picked up the phone. We asked who it was and she handed the phone to me.

“I said hi,” Fiona said. “I said, who is it. And it said stuff about the mom and the children. It was so weird. It’s like an advertisement. I think it was an advertisement.”

That is how Fiona described the phone call we just received. She handed the phone to me and I heard a woman’s voice saying something to the effect of “Press 1 on your telephone to hear what I will do as your President.”

“What possible good could doing Robocalls to Connecticut do?” Kim asked. “It’s July!”

Is anyone else receiving robocalls from Hillary?
(Cross posted at MyLeftNutmeg.)

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Delayed Departure

I didn’t sleep well last night. I think it is because I got some bug bites on my feet. Whatever it was, my feet were horribly itchy and I couldn’t sleep. Kim says that itchy feet mean your going to be traveling soon. Well, current travel plans include Falcon Ridge, the NCSL conference in Boston, and a teacher’s union conference at the other end of Connecticut. Kim thinks it is something job related, perhaps a trip to California, Colorado or North Carolina. We’ll see. If only my palms would start itching.

So, I rested a little later this morning than I otherwise would have, only to be awoken by Fiona running into the bedroom saying, there’s a strange dog in our living room. “This is Serious,” she said in a sing song Wonder Pets sort of way.

Yes, a beautiful Australian shepherd had found its way into our living room, probably following our Chocolate Lab, Barley. Wilson had a collar on, identifying him as being from Limerick, Maine. Attached to his collar was a leash. Kim called the number on the collar and got no answer. Kim called the number on the rabies tag and spoke with the vet who would try to trace down Wilson. Then, a car drove slowly down the cul-de-saq calling “Wilson”. We rushed after it and re-united Wilson with his mommy, who was visiting her mommy on a trip down from Maine.

Around the same time, Kim noticed that her IV was bleeding. She is back on IV antibiotics in her ongoing battle with Lyme disease. We called the doctors and someone has come out to check the IV. Meanwhile, I whittled down the backlog of unread emails, checked a few blogs, helped pack, and got ready to go. We shall leave shortly.

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Random Stuff

In a few hours, we will be heading up to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. This is a yearly festival that I’ve gone to just about every year since 1994. I think I missed one or two years because of conflicts. Usually, we camp, but last year we could really only take time for the day. Many of my old favorites will be there and we’re really looking forward to the event. Fiona was practicing her contra dancing in the family room yesterday in anticipation.

Kim went out to a political dinner last night, so Fiona and I stayed home for some father-daughter time. First, we made a quick movie. People have been talking about Obama Girl and stuff like that. One person suggested that we need an Edwards Girl, but others thought it sent the wrong message. My thought is that the Edwards campaign is focused much more on the stuff of everyday life, so Fiona has made a video which I think better reflects what the Edwards campaign is about. That said, I believe that Fiona played with Grace Dodd at some campaign event back in 2004 when Sen. Dodd was running for re-election and Kim was running for State Rep. So, Grace got added to the list of people for the playdate.


This video was originally shared on blip.tv by ahynes1 with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

Besides making the video, we put the bubble on top of the car to carry our camping gear up to Falcon Ridge. We picked more berries, watched the fireflies light up the yard as the bats flitted about overhead. Then we got out the telescope and looked at the moon and Jupiter and its moons. One of these days, I get things so I can hook up a digital camera on my telescope so I can share the images here.

This morning, I checked my email, probably for the last time until next Monday. A friend from my college days, whom I haven’t heard from in about 25 years added me as a friend on Facebook. It is great to be back in touch with him. One email pointed me to a very funny post on DailyKos about Elizabeth Edwards swearing off tangerines and the right going bananas. While it is enjoyable for its excessive puns, it also has a great message about the importance of eating locally grown food. Those who have read my farmers’ market posts will see why I consider it such a great post.

Another topic that I’ve been meaning to write about, and hopefully I’ll write about in more detail, is how we view movies. I’m particularly interested in various groups where people gather to watch movies for political reasons. Have you asked your state representative to go see Sicko with you yet? Kim has asked ours.

I’m on a mailing list of group psychotherapists. (Yeah, I’ve got a pretty wide range of interests). A psychiatrist on the list leads an outpatient group where people gather and watch movies and then related it back to their own experiences. He has published a book, Movie Therapy, Moving Therapy!. There have been some wonderful discussions about movie therapy on the mailing list and it would be interesting to see this melded together with some of the political discussions about movies.

So, that wraps up the random thoughts for this morning. I’m likely to be gone until Sunday.

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