There are multiple ways of being sore.

Wrapped up as I was in the Iowa caucus results, I neglected to mention that yesterday morning Joe and I had ourselves some very fine games of one-on-one basketball. Joe refused to play zone defense—a shocker since all my plans were predicated on it—and I’m certain I would’ve done much better had he simply chosen to guard, say, the top of the key and left me unmarked. Nonetheless, we again proved fairly evenly matched, which is my way of saying that I hope he’s as sore as I am today or else I’m going to call the Battle Ground police department and accuse him of beating up on an old man. I haven’t been this stiff since last soccer season at least.

Beside enjoying the game we both have the peculiar quality of not wanting to quit. We only played roughly an hour and half , but if I hadn’t had to return to Salem, well, we’d probably both have died from exhaustion somewhere in the mid-afternoon. Good times, good times.

Once I got back to Salem, I met with Bob VanDeusen, our realtor from days of yore, to take a look at a local property. I had hopes that despite the lack of curb appeal this particular home would emerge as a diamond in the rough. The listing described it as “needing some TLC,” a phrase that is a gross abuse of the word “some.” Indeed, it became readily apparent that the word “some” had no business being anywhere near the “TLC” so needed. In short, the place was a disappointing hellhole of a meth house in need of either $100,000+ of fix it work or complete demolition (but not without an asbestos abatement crew!). I really enjoyed seeing Bob, though.

I confess to being as surprised and disappointed as anyone with Dean’s third place Iowa finish. Dean HQ did a lousy job managing the expectations game. This does not mean that I think Kerry (or Edwards) will win New Hampshire. Despite having the Big Mo, neither will find New Hampshire much like Iowa in political temperment, and I think Dean’s message will resonate more strongly there. A loss by Kerry in New Hampshire spells trouble for his campaign. For Edwards a third place finish is victory…if only he hadn’t accepted federal matching funds he might have a better shot. Could make a decent Veep choice, though. So I’ve lost neither hope nor belief in Dean. Nonetheless, what I’ve said before stays true: I’ve got my guy and maybe you’ve got yours. If mine doesn’t win the nomination, I’ll happily support yours against the worst president this nation has seen in my lifetime. Anyone but Bush in ’04.