Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

New Years Eve, 1994, me, JJ, Curry (photo by Susie the Dentist)

If memory serves, the New Year was rung in with gratis cheap champagne served in plastic glasses (with detachable stems), and 8 or 9 underinflated balloons tossed out of a garbage bag, all courtesy of the divey bar in which we boothed ourselves.

The Cruelest Month Of All

It's still with me, though I'm improved. The Girl was examined by our pediatrician as she still throws up everything. The doc prescribed Zofran to keep her from doing that anymore and though she is mildly dehydrated she's not to the point of needing an IV.

The problem with a 22 month old who's sick is they can't be contained. They just get sick wherever they happen to be. So the house now has an odor that can't be described, but no doubt has hindered our recovery. Her blowout yesterday led to my additional output. Thanks kid. We're hoping we have it under control now and things will begin to improve for all of us.

The Boy apparently has a cast-iron stomach. He alone remains unaffected. Stud.

In the "no good deed goes unpunished" department, the saintly neighbors that watched the kids whilst my mate was hospitalized are now paying for their kindness with the same bug. At this rate the neighborhood may soon be filled with the sounds of wretching.

And the topper? As I made the Boy's dinner last night while my wife and daughter were at the doc's, the combination of his food and my olfactory sensitivity to the Girl's deposits set me off and in my rush to get to the sink I slipped. My hand grasped the counter to save me, but in doing so I believe I reinjured the wrist that so recently was surgically repaired. It is astonishingly painful and my stomach is not allowing me to take any kind of pain reliever. It has taken me 45 minutes just to type this.

The month of December is the cruelest month of all.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Trim

Although I still wouldn't recommend it as an alternative to weight-watchers, the bug has knocked 9 lbs off me in the last 36 hours.

And I still feel like crap.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Threepeat Was Not To Be Moved

My wife is now home and surprisingly perky. Five liters of saline over 24 hours will do that. Dehydration is a bitch. The baby remains firmly ensconced in womb.

Thankfully, my mate's recovery means I can retire quietly, to my room, with my trashcan, to die.

Upchuck Update

The wife is still in her hospital bed, but tells me she's feeling better and most of her nausea is gone (and she was loaded up with anti-emetics to keep it from coming back). The Girl seems to have an appetite this morning though that is probably because she needs ammunition come afternoon. The Boy seems fine, thank goodness, though I wish he had a little less energy.

And I have now succumbed. I race from their breakfast prep to the toilet, to the hand sanitizer, and back to breakfast for them. This is not pleasant. Nuff said.

I've taken some of my wife's morning-sickness prescribed Zofran and it seems to be staying down. It has the wonderful effect of preventing the actual vomitting while doing nothing to alleviate the feeling that you are on the verge.

If any of you are eyeing this little bug as an option for post-holiday weight loss I suggest you hold it in reserve - a last resort - in case amputation doesn't do the trick.

How did the Romans do this?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sugar Plums

The holidays are warm and wonderous. This year was especially so, filled as it was with magic family time. We gathered together, eager with anticipation, and looked at one another... to see which would be the next to hurl.

The Girl started us off properly on Christmas Eve. Tucked into her bed as visions of sugarplums did more than dance in her head. They spun and spun. When she didn't join her brother's waking Christmas morn we checked her to see "what was the matter". The contents of her stomach were littered across her bed and blankets and stuffed animals and pajamas and hair. Christmas interruptus. We bathed and changed the queasy one and went about our holiday. She has never done that before so we were surprised.

Sadly, she deemed that surprise to be applause and so graced us with an encore on Christmas night. I heard her cry out and discovered more digestive displays. She was bathed and re-jamied. Our concern was only moderated by her otherwise good mood. She seemed fine with no hint of fever or continued nausea.

The next day she functioned and ate (albeit less than normal) and we felt assured the bug had passed. Yeah... not so much. Last night (Friday) she completed her nocturnal triptych with another midnight pollocking of her bed linens (the three ruined pillows are coming out of her college account). My wife (and fellow haz-mat cleaner) and I agreed that three nights equals a trip to the ER. My wife suggested, however, we wait till morning as she had just left the hospital and the ER had a three hour wait. With the girl cleaned and returned to slumber we turned in ourselves.

At 5:30 am I was awakened by the sound of regurgitation. Oh no, said I, not the Girl again. But she was sleeping soundly. No these sounds belonged to my wife who had arisen at 1:30 and in the following four hours had given her all and then some to the new holiday tradition. I found her seated on the toilet with a trashcan on her lap. She was unable to speak to me but the image said enough.

So the Boy, enviably healthy, happy and hungry, was trundled off to the neighbors (sainthood seems imminent for them) and I transported the nauseated female members of the family to the hospital. Once there I delivered my daughter to the ER, but my wife being 33 weeks pregnant went alone to maternity triage to cure what ailed her.

The Girl in a thankfully short time was diagnosed with the catch-all, gastroenteritis, and deemed sufficiently hydrated to return home. We slipped upstairs to check on her mother. Alas, mom was still ill, but now with the added complication that her substantial dehydration had triggered uterine contractions - the start of labor. They were infusing her as rapidly as they could in order to stop this stomach bug from driving the fetus out of the womb. A baby born 7 weeks premature is bad enough, but to add a mother who spends the delivery wretching and suffering uncontrolled diarhea is just bad form.

I called our saintly neighbors to inform them that not only would I not be getting the Boy but I would need to drop off the Girl (recent wreckless vomitter) into their arms. Bless them for coming to get her from me. Soon after that our midwife decided it was best just to admit my sickly mate for 24 hours as the contractions did not appear to be abating, nor was her nausea, nor her other digestive issues.

I stayed with her through 3 liters of saline, watching the contractions get weaker and farther apart (sort of reverse labor). I grew more relieved, though the blood pressure readings did not improve - 87/39 is very low. I was finally forced to leave and pick up my kids. I kissed my wife (on the forehead) and told her to get some rest.

The children returned home with me after their delightful day of fun with the saintly neighbors who played with and fed them. Of course, once inside my home my daughter immediately stood in the center of the kitchen and let loose all she had consumed today - a flow equalling Niagra poured from her. That was followed by explosive diarhea. Apparently, she's still not well.

In my absence the cat threw up as well, on my rug. The Boy informed me this evening his tummy feels funny - "kinda sick". Oh, and my stomach is doing backflips as I type this.

But I got a new bathrobe for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa's Gmail Account

You'll have to click on the pic to be able to read it, but somebody is pretty funny.

From Us, To You


Merry Christmas

A quick note: my hair was not grey before I had kids

My Moral Quandry

Am I a bad father if I get friggin tired of feeding my kids?

Oh, and do kids really love Mac & Cheese or is it just a marketing gimmick designed to assuage parental guilt?

The Limit

Our Acura is a pretty spirited machine and drives more like a sports sedan than an suv. It's very fast. That said there's an electronic governor that prevents it from going faster than 118 mph. Now I can't imagine a situation where I would need to do 100, much less 118, but that number - 118 - just seems rather arbitrary.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Laughing Stock

As long as I'm pointing out the maligned OMD, I'll go a step further and sing the praises of the ignored.

Talk Talk, new wave's most musically travelled, flew through a decade producing 5 albums along the way - each different from the other, each progressing further from their hair band roots and into something deeper, more fantastical and ultimately uncategorizable. Their last album achieved a pinnacle of artistry that no other new wave popsters ever approached (and even fewer of their brethren understood).

Dumped by their record company for producing nothing remotely commercial with their fourth album, Talk Talk signed to Polydor for that last outing. Polydor, in an act of deep respect for the work actually revived the retired jazz imprint, Verve, for the album's release.

The lyrics are mumbled and muddled - even the liner notes are illegible - but they all allude to deep and personal battles of spirituality and the tragic struggle that entails. There are moments of shocking awareness where we feel uncomfortably close to the essence of another's soul and its fragility is terrifying.

From allmusic of the track, After The Flood:

It's not until a minute and 45 seconds in that it reaches its full momentum. The song is like a free jazz quilt with an experimental pop bent. It's hard to say if it's Mark Hollis or Tim Friese-Greene who's responsible for the meditative organ that holds the song together, but it's definitely the percussion of Martin Ditcham and the drums of Lee Harris that give the song its throbbing energy.

For a ten-minute song that actually relies on a verse-chorus-verse structure, Mark Hollis barely seems to sing at all, as long instrumental passages with all players weaving in and out of each other's notes and sounds rule the song. But when he delivers the devastating "Shake my head, turn my face to the floor, dead to respect, to respect to be born, lest we forget who lay" the song takes on a tangible and powerful, if cryptic meaning. That Hollis pours so much passion into "After the Flood" makes it one of the true highlights of Laughing Stock.

It might take repeat listens for some people to appreciate "After the Flood"'s subtle grace, but this necessity is a testament to the song's and the album's daunting complexity.

And of the track, Ascension Day:

Wailing, scratching violas tear at the song's walls. Mark Hollis goes back and forth between pristine guitar notes and epic electric storms, all the while offering stream of conscious, nonsensical vocals like "Farewell fare well/Mother numb to and devout to/Reckon luck sees us the same." It's as if he's rediscovering his sense of humanity and knowledge of language at the same time, while accepting that he'll "burn on judgment day."

Martin Ditcham adds some levity via harmonica, but even then, his contribution packs more disturbing feelings into the song's growling belly. The track's shockingly abrupt ending, as if all the recording equipment has suddenly lost power, is a stunning act of defiance and a refusal to adhere to traditional musical structures. Uplifting, yet creepy, "Ascension Day" sounds like an abstract film score transformed into a glorious rock movement.

Sadly, the album came out at a moment when musical tastes changed suddenly and profoundly. Around the time of its release another little album was released as well - Nirvana's Nevermind - and the tidal wave of grunge and DIY and lo-fi that followed drowned out this masterpiece.

Post-rock music would not exist as we know it were it not for Laughing Stock. Its mix of jazz, classical, and experimental atmospherics has few precedents. Though it should take nothing more than the distorted and lengthy single-note guitar solo on After The Flood to convince anyone, in my opinion, no recording of the last twenty years has been more unjustly ignored.

From allmusic:

Laughing Stock continues to grow in stature and influence by leaps and bounds...

...A work of staggering complexity and immense beauty, Laughing Stock remains an under-recognized masterpiece, and its echoes can be heard throughout much of the finest experimental music issued in its wake.

That a band which was once lumped into the dance-oriented new wave scene was able to create a career-capper of an album as challenging and sparse as Laughing Stock and do so in such a staggering, uncompromising manner is further testament to its genius.


If you've never heard it, indulge. If you have, revisit.
Hear it.

Genetic Engineering

A little text convo with Curry this am bout his latest project led to a discussion of the oft-maligned OMD. Prior to becoming 80's electro-popsters and John Hughes soundtrackers, they were much more interesting. Their masterpiece, the dark valentine to 20th century technology, Dazzle Ships, remains, twenty-five years on... well... dazzling.

Pop music today would not be the same without them and Arcade Fire's everything but the kitchen sink stage show owes more than a little tip o' the hat to the boys.

Bailout Explained

Friday, December 19, 2008

Too Much Time On Their Hands

Sullivan put this up but I can't resist putting it up too.

Merry Christmas

Get Your Christmas Force On!

This may be the most ghastly of holiday spectaculars: The Star Wars Christmas Special.



Via Sullivan

Grandma Won't Make It For The Birth

Well, Bristol Palin's baby is due tomorrow and to celebrate that fact the baby's grandmother, Levi's mom, Sherry Johnston, got herself arrested yesterday on 6 felony counts of "producing and/or distributing narcotics." The arrest came at the "conclusion of an undercover narcotics investigation."

Welcome to your (seriously fucked up) world, Little One!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

See, It Could Have Been Worse

From Phillyist

Top 10 rejected names for Adolf Hitler Campbell

10. Osama bin Ambulance Chaser Campbell
9. Dahmer Amin Stalin Telemarketer Campbell
8. Torquemada Hussein Waterboarder Campbell
7. Progresso Chunky Minestrone Campbell (They enjoy soup; who knew?)
6. Oswald Sirhan Booth Insurance Company Campbell
5. Rove Cheney Bush Limbaugh Campbell
4. Stained For Life Future Juvenile Delinquent Campbell
3. Save Time And Arrest Me Now Campbell
2. Better Not Get Pulled Over By Any Jewish Cops Campbell

And the Number One Rejected Name for Adolf Hitler Campbell:

1. Terrell Owens Campbell

House Party

For some reason, perhaps because it's so freakin cold, the kids awoke this morning with far too much energy. It had to be channeled somewhere. That meant it was time for the infrequent, but much beloved...

Stupendous, Electro-House, Mashup, Dance Party!

It should be noted that while the Girl's primary motion was either a smooth waltz-like glide or a Lemmy head-bang, the Boy has upped the ante. Where previously he was basically working the Dead-head school of dance, there are now: spins, a variation of a moon-walk (where did he pick that up?), hand movements that on the wrong side of town might be considered gang signs, and a wicked one-hand-behind-the-back-bend-at-the-waist-wag-your-finger-Jagger move that popped my top.

Cue the tracks maestro... (you can DL the tracks free, of course, from the highlighted links - just right click and save target)

Here's a good one: DJ Y alias JY - Can't Stand Beggin', Madcon vs Police



DJ Earworm - Britney's Leaving Home, Britney vs Beatles (better than you might think)




DJ Moule - Fa Fa Fa Good, Datarock vs JB vs Beatles




DJ Zebra - Roxanne Should Be Dancing, Police vs BeeGees




This one blew the roof off. GHP - Finally, Did You No Wrong, Sex Pistols vs Ce Ce Peniston (I'm linking to Mark Vidler's GHP site as you have to DL the entire collection to get this track)




After a sweaty workout you need that cool-down and this was the ticket for the toddler mash-dancers: DJ Schmolli - Wicked Wedding, Isaac vs Idol

Nature Makes The Call

NoCal and SoCal are officially divided this morning as every road connecting the two (except the impossible Pacific Coast Highway) is closed due to snow. I say we make it permanent - take a cue from the Dakotas and the Carolinas... and Pavement.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Little Bit Of Bear

One of the fringe benefits of having young kids is that you are subjected to children's television. I say benefits because it isn't all bad. The wonders of Kipper have been revealed to me more than once and it's a favorite of mine for it's jazzy score and simple, sometimes surprisingly philosophical, stories.

But the one that has become my great delight is Little Bear. Even when the kids aren't home or interested I will turn on some episodes, kick back on the sofa, and slip in to its wonderous world. It really is the best children's television I've come across. It isn't loud or obnoxious; it isn't patronizing or stupid, it isn't hawking a product tie-in or some other marketing gimmick - it's merely gentle stories told well.

I got the kids some Little Bear DVDs for Christmas - they're hard to find and Amazon is the only place I was able to nail them down. I'm perfectly willing to admit now that they're as much for me as for my little ones.

My wife finds the show incredibly dull, but I think she just hasn't had enough exposure to let its pacing and quiet tone work wonders on her soul. Try one.

Life Under Water

Jason deCaires Taylor creates underwater sculptures. They are dream-like and sad, perhaps because they seem to emphasize the temporal (and temporary) nature of our existence. Stunning stuff.


via Sullivan

Twitchin' In A Winter Wonderland

Tom Jones gets all freaky, dancing his way through Winter Wonderland. Don't you just want to up his dose of Dopamine?

Freaky Weather

I'm sure those of you suffering the weather in the middle of the country won't be impressed, but we're supposed to get snow tonight. And it's friggin cold right now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Carnal-Niverous Desire

If you're stumped for that special person on your list or just need another stocking stuffer, how bout giving the gift of meat fragrance? Burger King has released its own cologne called Flame that lets the wearer smell just like a Whopper. No, I'm not kidding.

In their words:

Behold the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat.

Thanks Mom And Dad

In the baby name game we have all heard horror stories, but naming your kids Adolf Hitler Campbell and JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell has just moved to the top of the list. The birthday cake fiasco is the cherry on top.

Ignoring That Call

There is something fascinating (I hesitate to say, enviable) about toddlers and their... um... waste issues. The Girl will often suggest to us now, a potty use break, though she doesn't really use it yet. She isn't quite ready to begin serious work, but we're happy to indulge her when she toddles off to her little seat in the bathroom. We, of course, don't disrobe her until she arrives (that would be madness) and in the course of her journey to the bathroom she will occasionally become distracted - a book here, a bright shiny bangle there just can't be resisted. Distraction is ok though - there's that backup system in place; a safety net, if you will.

It must be comforting to know that even when nature calls, regardless of the call's urgency, you can afford to put it off if something more interesting comes up.

Life just gets more demanding from here on out.

Midnight's Clear

I have, over the last fifteen years or so, become something of a connoisseur of Christmas songs. I seek them out and save them. From the moving to the cheesy to the sacrilegious, I find, I listen, I add them to my collection. As a result, this time of the year my family is subjected to all manner of holiday audio assaults. It's my thing.

I have my personal favorites, both old and new. My Morning Jacket's Christmas EP from a couple of years ago is one. There are also some stunning bop jams worked from Christmas standards that I'm fond of.

There is one however, that I have been unable to track down. The recording is out of print and I have yet to find a DL that is still intact. It remains as haunting now as it was the first time I heard it. A standard carol, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, this arrangement is dropped down into a minor key. The singer, Sam Phillips, solemnizes it, but she also imbues it with a deep sadness and - almost - dread. It originally played over the end credits of the film, "A Midnight Clear" - an equally moving and sad story of disaster overwhelming a desire for peace in this season.

Bruce Cockburn later used the same arrangement (and rightly credited Phillips for it) to great effect and had some success with it, but it isn't the same.

The only thing I can offer you is someone's montage of the film backed by the song. The song itself does not begin until around 1:50 in.

The Rules

Last night I made meatloaf. I made it for my wife. Her mother made it frequently during my beloved's youth and so it's a comfort food. Her mother sent me the recipe at my wife's request. I don't follow the recipe. I make the loaf differently. I make the sauce differently.

As I made it last night it occurred to me (not for the first time) that I don't ever follow recipes. I may start with one, but I bastardize it in the process. I just can't seem to follow directions to the letter. Perhaps I think too highly of my own kitchen skills: that 1/2 tsp of thyme would be better as a full tsp; that sauce would hold its own with cream rather than butter; the scones don't need that much sugar.

I read recipes mostly for ideas and not for the directions. Cookbooks are for light reading; not to be used in my world as manuals. I honestly don't know if what I make is better than the author intended because I've never tried the original. I'm just too lazy or cocky or, perhaps, inept to color inside the lines.

Baking is different as the chemistry is intrinsically part of the magic, but that need to stick with those exacting measurements is probably why baked goods are rare in our home. I just can't follow the rules well enough to dedicate myself to lovely cakes or delightful pastries.

I could never do the French Laundry at home. I am too much the kitchen scofflaw.

The last recipe I followed to the letter (kind of) was when the the Cluteaus (the Burks?) visited us a couple of months ago. RC remains a vegetarian and being a decent host I indulged her dietary needs with a recipe from Thomas Keller for gnocchi with squash and shitake mushrooms. The fact that the recipe comes from Keller guarantees a degree of difficulty in preparation and timing. I had to follow directions. I cheated though and produced my own gnocchi rather than his - too much damned work. The rest though was followed to the letter. It was great and I doubt that any innovation I might have come up with would have improved it one whit.

So I offer you Mr. Keller's "Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Butternut Squash". Impress your friends and family, but don't mess with it - you can't make it better.

One 2 1/2- to 3-pound butternut squash (one with a long neck)
Canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 small sage leaves
12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cleaned
Canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced thyme
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 recipe Herb Gnocchi , thawed if frozen
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1/2 lemon

Preparation

For the squash:
It is easier to dice the neck of the butternut squash uniformly than the bulb, which is important for this recipe. We use the remaining bulb for soup. Cut off and discard the stem end of the squash, then cut off the neck. Use a paring knife or sharp vegetable peeler to slice away the peel deep enough to reach the bright orange flesh of the squash. Trim the neck to straighten the sides, then cut it lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut the slices into 1/2-inch dice. (You need about 3 cups diced squash.) If you have less than 3 cups, peel the bulb of the squash, cut it in half, and scrape out the seeds. Trim and cut as much of the bulb as you need into 1/2-inch dice. Reserve the remaining squash for another use.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Heat a thin film of canola oil over medium heat in a skillet large enough to hold the squash in a single layer (or cook the squash in two batches). When the oil is hot, add the butter and brown it lightly. Add the squash, salt and pepper to taste, and the sage leaves. Cook, stirring the pieces to brown them on all sides, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until tender throughout. Reduce the heat as necessary to cook the squash and brown it lightly, without burning; the best way to see if the squash is fully cooked is to eat a piece. Drain the squash on one end of the paper towel–lined baking sheet and set aside the sage leaves for the garnish. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and set aside.

For the mushrooms:
Trim away the tough stems and cut the caps into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Heat a thin film of canola oil in the same skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the mushrooms and salt and sauté for about a minute. The mushrooms will absorb the oil and should not weep any liquid. Add the butter, shallots, thyme, and pepper, then toss and sauté until the mushrooms are thoroughly cooked, 3 to 4 minutes total. Drain the mushrooms on the paper towel–lined baking sheet. The gnocchi should be cooked in two skillets: Wipe out the mushroom skillet with paper towels and add a light coating of olive oil to it and to a second large skillet.

To complete:
Heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to each skillet. When the butter has browned, divide the gnocchi between the two skillets and season to taste with salt and pepper. Once the gnocchi have begun to brown, shake and rotate the skillets, tossing the gnocchi so that they brown and crisp on all sides, about 2 1/2 minutes.

Add the squash, mushrooms, and chives and heat just through. Spoon the gnocchi and vegetables onto serving plates and return one skillet to high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cook until it is a rich brown, then quickly add the parsley to crackle for a few seconds. Standing back—the butter will spatter—add a squeeze of lemon half. Spoon the brown butter and herbs over the gnocchi and around the plates. Garnish with the reserved sage leaves.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoe Leather

Hey, just because you aren't Iraqi doesn't mean you can't throw a shoe at George Bush. Whip off your size 10 and take a fling.

Don't you just love the internet?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Special Announcement

Let's just get this out of the way - stop dancing around the issue. Nobody wants to say it and it has to be said. Someone has to be bold enough to step up on the dias and yell it as loudly as they possibly can. That someone might as well be me.

Jennifer Aniston is a celebrity - She is NOT a movie star!


Thank you for your time

Fuzzy

The Boy wants to know why there's a big fuzzy ball on the top of a Santa cap. Help me out here, folks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Celebration

And a Happy Birthday to my loving and patient mate. Though you will certainly outlive me I doubt you'll ever outlove me. Your birth was my great fortune.

Filler

Still in recovery mode so to tide you over... Kid pics!

Halloween Horror Hug


Girl destroys Boy's sand fort


Girl's pigtails


Girl on beach with Dad and Boy in background


King of the Beach

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stuffed For The Holiday

All hail the hideous rinovirus. The petri dishes we call children delivered the fine infection last Saturday just in time for our annual Christmas Tree hunt. By the end of the day the tree stood proudly in our living room as my wife and I lay exhausted on our bed. Bless my mother's presence or the household would have collapsed. She kept the healthy kids occupied so the Mrs. and I could whine and wail.

Sadly mom left yesterday with our return to health still days away. So we, my wife and I, trade shifts in slumber knowing full well the holiday responsibilities pile up even as we rest.

And the tree stands proudly still, though it remains entirely naked - undecorated until we get the energy, any energy, to properly go at it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Those Moments

I picked the Boy up from school yesterday. It was cold out and in the closing darkness of winter he played with the other kids on the playground. Bundled in a new fuzzy brown fleece and climbing on the monkey bars with his back to me, he had the appearance of a bear cub. I watched him as he alternated between concentration and laughter, maneuvering through the metal rungs. He was as happy as any person has ever been and I felt that never distant, but sometimes ignored, deep feeling in the pit of my stomach that is warm and overwhelming and indescribable.

When he finally turned and saw me he grinned and leaped from the bars. He raced to me and threw his arms around me, embracing me tightly and yelling, "Daddy! I missed you."

There are battles to come that will make the daily skirmishes over bath and bedtime pale in comparison, but moments like that one - simple grand perfection - make my life ideal.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Spanish Man

I had my annual physical last week. During the course of the exam I asked my soft-spoken, mexican-born, primary physician for a referral to a urologist. "I want to get a vasectomy," I explained. He asked me why and I told him that this child will be our last and shared the fact that my wife had gotten pregnant while still nursing our youngest and while on the pill. My elderly doctor paused, lifted his eyebrows, looked me up and down and then smiled broadly as he proclaimed, "Usted es muy macho!"

Yeah, just get me that referral, ok?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Constitution And The Lady

Remember my Clinton Constitution post last week? Article 1, section 6 of the U.S. Constitution specifies that no member of congress may take a government position if during their term in congress the position they might take received a raise. Clinton was in the senate when the cabinet got salary increases last year.

Well, it has happened before. During the Taft administration Philander Knox was named Secretary of State. He had been in congress when nominated and the Cabinet had gotten a raise. Congress got around it by lowering the salary to its previous amount. Same with Lloyd Bentsen when he was named Secretary of the Treasury during the first Clinton administration.

The problem is there are constitutional scholars that claim this "salary rollback" doesn't solve the problem since that remedy is not specifically provided in the clause - the appointment of those men and of Clinton is not constitutional.

Even more interesting to all of us is the court's apparent feeling that the average U.S. citizen has no legal standing to challenge the appointments in court; that once the Senate approves the appointment Joe Public has nothing to say about it. It's our constitution, it's our government, the appointments are of keen interest to all of of us and our interests, yet we can't challenge it in any court. That's seriously disturbing.

It all may be moot, however. Even the sceptical scholars agree that the clause in question provides an out that gets Clinton in to the Cabinet; a technicality that opens its own ugly little door. Article 1, section 6 specifically says "his Continuance in Office". Clinton gets in because the clause doesn't apply to her due to its gender specificity. Yay, Hillary Clinton gets the Secretary of State position - 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling are happy. Except that means the Constitution is now interpreted as gender specific and how many rights and privileges refer to "him" or "his" or "he" or "man" or "men".

Irony - that always present irony - isn't always funny; sometimes it's thoroughly unpleasant. I believe the term is bittersweet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Deck The Halls

Doesn't it just figure that tough economic times would arrive just as the Boy has discovered the true (american) meaning of Christmas. His list is long - very long - and for some inexplicable reason now includes a goat.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is Clinton Constitutionally Allowed?

Pete Williams of NBC has pointed out an interesting problem. According to Article one, Section six of the constitution, Hillary Clinton is effectively barred from becoming Secretary of State. That particular section essentially says that you can't take a government postition in the Cabinet if during your term in congress the position received a salary increase. Cabinet Secretaries got a raise last year, while Clinton was a Senator. So she can't take the job without violating the constitution. This is bizarre, but it's hard to imagine it not having occurred before.

Strange.

via Ambinder

Life Rolls On

The family budget will require serious revision now that the Girl has begun unfurling rolls of toilet paper with the same unbridled glee that accompanied the painful dental impressions she used to leave in her brother's forearm (that was potentially even more costly).

What is it with kids and TP?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Don't Try This At Home

I just assaulted myself - with a razor. I have my annual physical this morning and had to shower for it. As if the plastic bag and duct tape arm wasn't bad enough, the post-shower ablutions were messy beyond imagination. I've never tried to shave with my left hand - the blood at my throat evidence of that fact - I could be an extra in Sweeney Todd. Then there was the otherwise simple act of applying deodorant - not pretty.

If I ever lose my right arm I will have to remain bearded and malodorous.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Blog Gets Analyzed

Typealyzer will analyze your blog and determine its "type". Mine is:

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generelly prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts. The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

All that from some Palin whines, huh?

Not Ambidextrous, I

All apologies for the brevity (or complete lack) of posts. I had surgery Tuesday night on my right wrist to repair torn cartilage and my typing ability is substantially hindered as a result. I should be somewhat back by next week. Hey, you're probably happier without my musings.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Infant Penises Make You Pretty Again

I don't bang the drum often, but it is one of my issues. Male Genital Mutilation now has the beginnings of financial incentive. The newly lopped off foreskins of babies are being tested in a cosmetic procedure to make the vain and rich look younger. The ghastly is now absurdly tasteless as well.

People, stop cutting your little boys' foreskins off. It is unnecessary, brutal, and amounts to little more than child abuse for the sake of cultural aesthetics.

via fellow intactivist Andrew Sullivan

Monday, November 17, 2008

Texas Tea

Palin will probably get $7 million for her book deal. Wonder what the ghostwriter will get?

And up from the ground come a bubbling crude.

Cotton-eyed O

Weird. Strange maps correlates the cotton bale production from 1868 (dots) to the 2008 Presidential results. The key of course is African American population. Interesting that in nearly a century and a half the population has changed little.

King Of The World

Obama won't take office for another two months and already he's done us a world of good. The Economist conducted a very unscientific online poll from around the world and found that 90% of the global population supported Barack over McCain. McCain inched Obama out in Congo, Algeria, Cuba (huh?) and Iraq. For fun they assigned electoral votes to the polling - Obama got 9115; McCain 203.

Christine Amanpour addressing the ICF awards dinner over the weekend said the world reaction to Obama's win was akin to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Change has already come.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

Want some fun on your Hawaiian vacation? Constantly prod your children to pronounce the state fish of Hawaii: Humuhumunukunukuapua'a. A load of laughs.

Poetry

The Boy and I spent some time on the rocks looking at tidepools and watching the large waves break. After some time he offered this:

"Some waves must be so sad. They all want to be big, but some of them just never get to be."

Returns

We are back. We have returned to the Mormon controlled state of California (more on that later), with our flesh a lustery golden brown and our spirits a mellowed hue, as well. The fiftieth state, birthplace of our fourty-fourth president, was kind to us, allowing our cares and tensions to be set adrift on the waves that break upon its shores.

Yeah, whatever.


Having been through, but never to, the isle of Oahu we opted for its charms, such as they were. The paradisical Kauai has nothing to worry about. Since Oahu in general and Honolulu in particular are so reminiscent of urban California I was left wondering what could possibly entice anyone to suffer the hassles and costs to live there. Nastiness. The west side of the island, where we stayed, was less problematic as developement is only now busting out. However, the enormous vacant space next to our resort (even that word is unpleasant) was breaking ground for the latest Disney hotel. Welcome to misery.

The national economy will make the island state pay for its single industry reliance as even now bookings are down 30% and as we flew home the telling sign was all too clear: while First class was full, economy was an echo chamber - not even half the seats occupied. It will be bleak for all but the most upscale of destinations in Hawaii. The middle class is staying home.

But enough of this, here's an anecdote...


Upon our return, while preparing to pass through the airport security in Honolulu, I dutifully removed my shoes and placed them in the bin. I turned to the Boy and took his shoes from his feet explaining that they needed to look at them and then would give them back. As I loaded the bin with my accoutrement I heard my name shouted in panic by my wife who stood behind me with the Girl in her arms. I turned to discover the Boy removing his pants and underwear - by now at his ankles. He apparently believed security required a strip-search. Cue embarassed dad smiling at the long queue behind as he attempted to re-robe his son.


Aloha, paradise.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's Done

Congratulations to all of us.

The Best Blog Post You Will See Today

I will violate Boyd Reed's copyright, but I feel compelled to share all of this. If this doesn't get to you, nothing will.

I Didn't Vote For Obama Today
November 4, 2008, 9:37AM

I have a confession to make.

I did not vote for Barack Obama today.

I've openly supported Obama since March. But I didn't vote for him today.

I wanted to vote for Ronald Woods. He was my algebra teacher at Clark Junior High in East St. Louis, IL. He died 15 years ago when his truck skidded head-first into a utility pole. He spent many a day teaching us many things besides the Pythagorean Theorem. He taught us about Medgar Evers, Ralph Abernathy, John Lewis and many other civil rights figures who get lost in the shadow cast by Martin Luther King, Jr.

But I didn't vote for Mr. Woods.

I wanted to vote for Willie Mae Cross. She owned and operated Crossroads Preparatory Academy for almost 30 years, educating and empowering thousands of kids before her death in 2003. I was her first student. She gave me my first job, teaching chess and math concepts to kids in grades K-4 in her summer program. She was always there for advice, cheer and consolation. Ms. Cross, in her own way, taught me more about walking in faith than anyone else I ever knew.

But I didn't vote for Ms. Cross.

I wanted to vote for Arthur Mells Jackson, Sr. and Jr. Jackson Senior was a Latin professor. He has a gifted school named for him in my hometown. Jackson Junior was the pre-eminent physician in my hometown for over 30 years. He has a heliport named for him at a hospital in my hometown. They were my great-grandfather and great-uncle, respectively.

But I didn't vote for Prof. Jackson or Dr. Jackson.

I wanted to vote for A.B. Palmer. She was a leading civil rights figure in Shreveport, Louisiana, where my mother grew up and where I still have dozens of family members. She was a strong-willed woman who earned the grudging respect of the town's leaders because she never, ever backed down from anyone and always gave better than she got. She lived to the ripe old age of 99, and has a community center named for her in Shreveport.

But I didn't vote for Mrs. Palmer.

I wanted to vote for these people, who did not live to see a day where a Black man would appear on their ballots on a crisp November morning.

In the end, though, I realized that I could not vote for them any more than I could vote for Obama himself.

So who did I vote for?

No one.

I didn't vote. Not for President, anyway.

Oh, I went to the voting booth. I signed, was given my stub, and was walked over to a voting machine. I cast votes for statewide races and a state referendum on water and sewer improvements.

I stood there, and I thought about all of these people, who influenced my life so greatly. But I didn't vote for who would be the 44th President of the United States.

When my ballot was complete, except for the top line, I finally decided who I was going to vote for - and then decided to let him vote for me. I reached down, picked him up, and told him to find Obama's name on the screen and touch it.

And so it came to pass that Alexander Reed, age 5, read the voting screen, found the right candidate, touched his name, and actually cast a vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Oh, the vote will be recorded as mine. But I didn't cast it.

Then again, the person who actually pressed the Obama box and the red "vote" button was the person I was really voting for all along.

It made the months of donating, phonebanking, canvassing, door hanger distributing, sign posting, blogging, arguing and persuading so much sweeter.

So, no, I didn't vote for Barack Obama. I voted for a boy who now has every reason to believe he, too, can grow up to be anything he wants...even President.

DTRT

Though I doubt any readers here are going to do any differently, it is time to do the right thing. Today is our day.

Take history by the reins and meet the moment. Whomever is elected, they face a daunting future; we all do. There is but one candidate that grasps where we are, from whence we came, and what we must do. If you do nothing else in your lifetime of consequence know that what you do today is fundamentally important. This is the end-all and be-all of choices. I do not exagerate. It's in your hands.

Reap/sow.

Do the right thing.

My family and I will bed down early tonight in order to catch a plane tomorrow morning. It will jet us to a tropical paradise for a week or so. Depending on what happens today, we may or may not return. So our dogs are depending on you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Big Mc Hack Attack

Am I a juvenile if I'm amused that McCain's website got hacked?

It said he was quitting and endorsing Obama. It then sent you to Obama's website. It's unclear if the hack is still on as the site is overflowing.

McCain Corpse Walk II

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ghoul

A "lady" in Michigan hit her trick or treating neighbor kids with a litmus test: "McCain or Obama?" If the kid went Obama they got a doorslam.



She's the reason they invented TP and eggs.

McCain Corpse Walk

At a Palin rally today in Florida, all the official campaign signage featured Palin's name. From banners to hand held placards, all of them said "Palin". Interestingly, not one of the signs anywhere during the event said anything about McCain - not one.

She walks on his corpse.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Great Pumpkin


It's Official - Nobody Likes McCain

Ken Duberstein, former Reagan chief of staff, endorses Obama:

"Well let's put it this way - I think Colin Powell's decision is in fact the good housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama."

Referring to the vetting of Palin and McCain's two meets with her:

"Even at McDonalds you get interviewed three times," he said.

Even McCain Can't Choke It Out

When it comes to Palin he can't even get the word out. "Or..."

Socialist Muslim Terrorist Endorses McCain

Is this the last person they could find to say something nice about McCain?

Sign Of The Times - Halloween Edition

-You're not going to be the only one wearing it. It's painfully obvious.
-You are not being frugal, just lazy. Your friends thought up and likely paid for costumes. You are wearing a pair of glasses and a dress of your mom's.
-Seriously, there were like five people at Jim's party going as Sarah Palin, this is getting ridiculous.
-We don't care if you're a dude in a wig either.


via Wonkette

Is It Something In The Moose?

What the hell is it with the politicians from Alaska, anyway? They are just in complete denial. First Palin says the Troopergate findings exonerated her and proved she broke no laws when the report said she actually DID break the law, and now the nasty old Ted Stevens lets loose. Found guilty in a federal court last Monday, the guy had the gall to say this in his debate last night:

"I have not been convicted of anything. I'm not going to step down. I have not been convicted. I have a case pending against me."

Did he just completely blank about this last week entirely or is it just a case of "Who ya gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?"

Emprically Speaking

The premiere scientific journal in this country, Nature, for the first time in its 139 year history of publication, has endorsed a presidential candidate. Wanna guess who?

The Oval Office is not a debating chamber, nor is it a faculty club. As anyone in academia will know, a thoughtful and professorial air is not in itself a recommendation for executive power. But a commitment to seeking good advice and taking seriously the findings of disinterested enquiry seems an attractive attribute for a chief executive. It certainly matters more than any specific pledge to fund some particular agency or initiative at a certain level — pledges of a sort now largely rendered moot by the unpredictable flux of the economy.

This journal does not have a vote, and does not claim any particular standing from which to instruct those who do. But if it did, it would cast its vote for Barack Obama.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

McCain Has No Friends II

The utterly conservative Economist changes its mind and endorses Obama:

This cannot be another election where the choice is based merely on fear. In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency.

The Bradley Defect

So how do racists feel about Obama? Let's find out, shall we?

Tom Metzger, head of White Aryan Resistance and former Grand Dragon of the KKK is backing Obama because, "I’m a leftist. I’m not a rightist. I hate the transnational corporations far more than any black person.”

Erich Gliebe, Chairman of the National Alliance and founder of Resistance Records, backs Obama because, "He’s a very intelligent man, an excellent speaker and has charisma. John McCain offers none of that. Perhaps the best thing for the white race is to have a black president. My only problem with Obama is perhaps he’s not black enough.”

Rocky Suhayda, Chairman of the American Nazi Party, backs Obama because, "It’d be poetic justice to have a non-white as titular chief over this decaying modern Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Of course, there are countering views...

Ron Edwards, Imperial Wizard of the Imperial Klans of America, opposes Obama because, "I think he’s a piece of shit."

And from the black racists...

Yahanna, General,Israelite School Of Universal Practical Knowledge (Black Racist Org), opposes Obama because, "Finding out Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for president was one of the saddest days in black history... He’s going to have to harm black people to make white people satisfied that he’s not Reverend Wright’s boy. The disappointment we’re going to suffer from him is going to set us back another fifty years. McCain is definitely the better shot for black people.”

So there you have it. 3 out of 5 racists support Obama. What more do you need?

McCain Has No Friends

Poor McCain is now just a tool. Palin is standing on his corpse to get to 2012 and now Joe the Plumber, who would still be up to his armpits in raw sewage if it weren't for McCain, is so busy trying to be country music star and congressman he doesn't even have time to show up at McCain rallies.



Aren't there laws against senior abuse?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quote Of The Day

Reason has polled its staff for their voting choices. John Scalzi answers question #1:

Who are you voting for in November?
I'll be voting for Obama, because I think as a nation we're about to descend into a pile of hurt, and I want someone who is smart, pragmatic, and not prone to temper tantrums working to get us out of it as quickly as possible. Also, the possibility of a President Palin makes me want to prepare a bolthole in New Zealand, and as a patriotic American, I should never have to feel that way. Finally, I think the GOP need a moment or two in the Time Out corner, don't you?

By and large the staff of the oh so libertarian online mag is voting Obama with a few Barrs thrown in for credibility.

Glass Houses

McCain is beside himself, simply amazed at the audacity of the Obama campaign to boycott media who might treat them unfairly. Referring to the annoying interview Biden suffered through with WFTV, and the Obama campaign's subsequent refusal to do any more interviews with that poor little anchorwoman who was just doing her job (and just happens to be married to a paid GOP media consultant), McCain told Hannity yesterday:

“And of course, if anybody in the media, much less Joe the Plumber asks a tough question, then they’re boycotted. They pull their ads, etc.”

Thank goodness McCain is tackling this problem and putting those Obama folks in their place. One can only hope he goes after more of those politicians that boycott the media, like, say John McCain:

– McCain canceled an appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live after CNN’s Campbell Brown conducted a tough interview with McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds about Palin’s foreign policy experience.

– Last month, the McCain campaign barred New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd from flying on both the McCain and Palin press planes after she wrote a negative column.

– McCain campaign officials barred Time’s Joe Klein from traveling with them, after he asked McCain an uncomfortable question about foreign policy.

– Campaign officials have repeatedly gone on air to bash journalists after tough interviews, saying that Katie Couric asked Palin “a series of trapdoor questions,” the New York Times “cast aside it’s journalistic integrity to advocate for the defeat of John McCain,” and demanded that the media treat Palin with “deference.”

Go Johnny, Go!

via Think Progress

Who Needs Enemies

McCain's BFF, Chris Shays, won't be getting a card this Christmas from John:

“I just don’t see how [McCain] can win,” Shays said in an interview here on Sunday.

Shays, the Connecticut co-chair of McCain’s campaign, said he was disappointed by the standards of McCain’s race, which has increasingly relied on mudslinging.

“He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign,” Shays said.

Suckling

Hit the teat and back off the Ritalin or so says a new study. Breast feeding keeps your kid from having behavior problems, eventually going crazy and maybe voting for McCain.

Parents of youngsters who were breast-fed as infants were less likely to report that their child had a behavior problem or psychiatric illness during the first five years of life, a new study found.

And the likelihood of mental health issues decreased in proportion to the duration of breast-feeding, meaning that a child who had been breast-fed for a year was less likely to have behavior problems than a child who had been breast-fed for just two months.

I am so betting Palin was a formula kid.

Si Se Puede

The Republican-leaning Cuban American National Foundation endorses Barack Obama.

Both presidential candidates have made clear that they want to help the Cuban people achieve freedom. But Barack Obama's forward-looking and proactive approach toward empowering the Cuban people is more in line with these proposals than John McCain's vow to continue the Bush administration's policy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SNL Alum Really IS An Idiot

Remember that really dumb blond on SNL in the 80's, Victoria Jackson. Yeah the one who wasn't funny and that you figured kept her job because being a dumb blond didn't require her to "act". The one who did handstands? That's the one. She's got herself a website (exactly my reaction, "why?") and on this website she has some political wisdom to bestow upon us and some political recommendations to boot. Now, she's not so much endorsing a candidate as telling us which one of them is the anti-christ. Guess which one the idiot thinks has the mark of the beast? Go ahead, guess, I'll wait.

I don't want a political label, but Obama bears traits that resemble the anti- Christ and I'm scared to death that un- educated people will ignorantly vote him into office.

You see, what bothers me most, besides being a Communist, and a racist (Obama writes in his book, From Dreams of My Father, "I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and and animosity against my (white) mother's race.") (Obama's "religion" of the last 20 years is Black Liberation Theology. What is that? "It is simply Marxism dressed up in Christian rhetoric. But unlike traditional Marxism, Black Liberation Theology emphasizes race rather than class. It's leading theorist is James Cone who says Jesus was black, African-Americans are the chosen people, and whites are the devil. Cone says, "What we need is the destruction of whiteness, which is the source of human misery in the world." The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor), is that he is a LIAR. He pretends to be a Christian and he incriminates himself everytime he speaks about Christianity. To lie about being a believer in Christ is very dangerous. Lightning could strike him at any minute! But seriously, he doesn't have a clue what the Bible says and yet he pretends to be a church- going Christian to win votes. That is sooooo evil.


At least when Dennis Miller went rightwing lunkhead you could remember when he used to be funny. With the bimbo though, the grey matter is just leaching out of her ears. Can she even breath without a post-it note to remind her?

Socialist A or Socialist B

That crazy Marxist, Obama, isn't alone. He isn't the only one who wants to take everything you own and give it to some lazy slob with a hankering for Cheetos and cable porn. It seems they're all frickin socialists who want to "share the wealth", looking to turn us into *gasp* that Volvo driving gulag called Sweden.

Where's Michele Bachman's investigator anyway? Who speaks for good old American Babbittesque values? Not any of them, but especially not Sarah Palin:

For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face. The state that she governs has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual check to every man, woman, and child in the state. One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269. A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of [The New Yorker]—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”

Responding To A "Crisis"

The crisis: rain. The candidates' responses:

Wearing jeans, white sneakers and an insulated windbreaker, Barack Obama delivered his stump speech this morning in a chilly, steady rain in Chester, Pa.

"A little bit of rain never hurt anybody," Obama said, surveying the soaking, umbrella-covered crowd at Widener University, occasionally rubbing his hands together for warmth and squinting through the raindrops.

Obama took the stage less than an hour after the McCain campaign announced it was postponing a rally at 1:15 p.m. in Quakertown, Pa., about one hour north of Chester, "due to weather."

The Obama campaign considered moving its event inside, but couldn't find an appropriate venue, an aide said. An estimated 9,000 people turned out.

via Ben Smith

Monday, October 27, 2008

Screw Plumbing

Because affording that business was always a bit of a stretch, and because plumbing sucks if you don't even have a license, Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber", is thinking about running for congress in 2010.

Joe Wurzelbacher, the most famous plumber in America thanks to John McCain and Sarah Palin, told conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham Friday he's considering a run for Congress in 2010.

Wurzelbacher's comments come a week after a group of college Republicans launched a Web site with the hope of drafting him for a congressional run.

“Washington, DC is broken and it needs to be fixed. Joe Wurzelbacher has a real-world perspective and the right attitude to clean up the mess on Capitol Hill,” says the group’s Web site, which carries the slogan, “Plunge the crap out of Washington.”

This all begs the question, if Joe the Plumber runs for congress who will be his Joe the Plumber?

Dork Gets Palin to Sign Obama Shirt

And now he's selling it on Craigslist, because he's... well... a dork.

I managed to get Sarah Palin to sign my Obama-Biden Tshirt when I attended the McCain-Palin rally in Virginia Beach Monday Oct.13 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. I was wearing the Obama tshirt underneath another shirt, and when she came by signing autographs I asked her if she could sign my shoulder and I pulled my collar aside to expose enough space for her to sign but keeping the Obama logo hidden at the same time... voila.

via Ben Smith

The Obama-Voting McCain "Volunteers"

In one of the more entertaining stories of the day the McCain campaign is hiring "volunteers" in Chicago and shipping them to Des Moines to do "volunteer" work. Why go to the expense? Because the "volunteers" are African American and will perhaps influence some others as a result. Of course their McCain enthusiasm is a little suspect when the paid "volunteers" are voting for Obama.

Two women walk out of John McCain’s Mid-West headquarters carrying a pile of voter canvassing sheets, one sports a baseball hat declaring her a “team leader” of the Republican campaign. And both are black — an unusual sight in an election where Barack Obama’s support among African Americans is almost monolithic.

Are they volunteers? They look at each other sheepishly. “Not exactly,” replies one. “We work for an employment agency,” says the other. Who are they voting for? “I don’t want to say,” says the first woman. “Obama — of course!” whispers the braver of the pair.

They laugh, then look over their shoulders at the office behind them. “Don’t give him your name, he’ll put it in the paper,” says the cautious one, explaining that they cannot afford to lose their $10-an-hour (£6) jobs. “This is embarrassing. We’re doing this because we have to live. At least none of our friends can see us. We’re from Chicago — like Obama.”

If the people you're paying aren't voting for you how do you expect people to do it for free?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Doppleganger

McCain in Iowa today (yeah, why?) and behind him is a Palin lookalike. Ok, I can take that, but she thinks she is Palin. Watch the crazy lady thank the crowd. Um, security?

Oh, and McCain couldn't tell the difference.



via Wonkette

Unlikely

This is the electoral map as of today from Pollster. It shows the states that will more than likely go McCain (red), the states that will more than likely go Obama (blue), the leaners (pink and light blue), and the tossups (yellow).

A point to be made here:

It takes 270 electoral votes to win the election. Look at the numbers. To reach 270 McCain must win all his red states, all his leaners, all the tossups, AND all the Democratic leaners. If he does that he reaches 270... exactly. If Obama wins the dark blues and just one red, pink, yellow or light blue state, Obama wins the election This is the row McCain must hoe over the next 9 days.

Another Weekend, Another 100.000

Barack Obama has another one of his intimate gatherings in Denver. You know, just a few close friends... 100,000 of 'em.


I used to live about four blocks from there and that space is a lot larger than it appears in the pics. That is one big crowd.

From the Denver Post:

"Do you ever have small crowds in Denver?" Obama asked the crowd, which shouted back "NO!"

Denver police estimated the crowd at more than 100,000.


The Obama campaign said it was the largest U.S. crowd to ever attend rally to see the Illinois senator.

The Capitol building in the background is four long blocks away.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bad Day In McCainville

Charles Fried, Solicitor General under Reagan and a McCain campaign adviser, asked today to be removed from the various McCain advisery committees upon which he serves. He felt that was the the right thing to do since he had just voted for Obama.

Will the last McCain supporter turn off the lights when you leave?

She Should Have Gone With An "O"

Remember the McCain staffer who got the backwards "B" carved into her face yesterday by a mugger/Obama supporter? Well, not so much. She has confessed to having made it up and carving that letter herself. So much for McCain's Tawana.

Oh, and they're filing charges against her too.

The Vet Who Did Not Vet

A Bedtime Story:

Beware The Right

There's a quick, but fascinating interview at Foreign Policy with Larry Wilkerson who was Colin Powell's very powerful chief of staff. The money quote:

FP: What’s your take on the tone of the campaign?

LW: I was fully expecting the grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan to arrive from Maryland and endorse McCain. I was becoming frightened that we were returning to 1968, when they assassinated Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Those were bad times.

One of the most dramatic moments for me was when I was watching McCain on television, and I thought I saw in McCain’s eyes himself, when someone yelled something out, a recognition of, ‘Oh, God, what have I done?’ This is not McCain; he doesn’t cater to this. But for the first time in his political life, I think he realized that there are some strange people in the Republican tent. My father used to say, ‘Larry beware of the left because they will bankrupt you; beware of the right because they will kill you.’