Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No, I'm not doing a real post, because I've just been working, and that's nothing exciting.
I'm just going to say that I'm really disappointed in both Kanye West's and Common's new albums. You're both better than this. Hopefully this'll make you feel worse than if I just yell at you.
Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Seriously, there's absolutely nothing of relevance in my life worth reporting on. Not to say there's nothing relevant in my life - things are happening, but the story of my past couple of days would bore you to tears - a "I woke up at 8 and made a pot of coffee and went to work at 11 and we were slow so we closed at 8:30 then we went out and I had two drinks and some onion rings that were burnt" kind of thing.
I did buy myself a Christmas present, because I've been incredibly awesome about paying off my credit cards. Looking to get out of town in January or February, but right now the cost is too prohibitive, especially since it's nice to see the credit cards get closer and closer to zero.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, my Christmas present:


From, because I'm a huge nerd. It's about 15"X17" including the frame - the picture isn't quite accurate because I got it cropped around the white part of the picture itself, with a 1" mat around it, so it doesn't look quite so rectangular.
Anyways, I'm off to work.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The vindictive Obama scenario.
He "appoints" Hillary as Secretary of State. Hillary resigns her Senate seat. Obama takes back his offer. Hillary is left without a job.
I kid, of course. I can think of a million reasons this would be a bad idea.
Might be a little funny, though.


Friday, November 28, 2008

This has gone too far.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I just heard someone throw up outside my building. Lovely.
Happy Thanksgiving Eve Eve. I'll be going back to Greendale (funny, I almost said "Wisconsin", until I remembered I live in Wisconsin now.) to celebrate the holiday with the family, sans my freedom-hating-latte-sipping-Canadian-brother. (That was a joke. Everyone laugh now. NOW!) It'll be nice to decompress for a few days.
Off to work. I'll be careful not to step in anything.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thank you, internet, for being a sadistic piece of $#%(!$***.
I should really just get a Twitter account if I'm going to post like this.
On to bigger, better things.
I feel really old today. Everything hurts. I'm staying inside and watching movies and drinking coffee, and that's that.
Scary story today out of Yahoo News. United States "elected officials" flunked a civics exam given by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, with an average score of 44%. Your average Joe Sixpack/the Plumber (ugh, give it up already, Nate) didn't do so well, either, with an average score of 49%.
The article doesn't clearly define "elected official," leading me to believe the ISI quizzed more back-woods dog catchers than they did senators or governors.
Oh, and I'm a nerd and a braggart, so I got 90.91% (or 30 of 33). You can take the quiz for yourself here

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day off yesterday, back to work in a few, so I'm just relaxing, not doing much of anything.
I'm in the middle of programming my new phone, which I bought last night after my Motorola Q messed up the bedsheets on me. (What, that's the most polite way I can put it. While this might not be a family blog, I'm tryin'.) Best part was that I got it for free - of course, I had to sign up for two more years with Sprint, but, eh. Might I add to anyone reading, never, never buy a Motorola Q. It's got a good internet system, nice camera, camcorder, instant and easy Google Maps access, and much easier file attachment and viewing capabilities than I had with the Q.

Oh, I did laundry yesterday. Best change machine ever.


I also downloaded some new music yesterday. I was borrowing Catharine's car and wanted something a little more chill to listen to. All good tracks, I'm not into uploading and sharing, but maybe if you hassle Tim over at Friday Afternoon In the Universe, he'll review and post. But I'm just in the business of listing 'em:

Lupe Fiasco - Paris, Tokyo
Talib Kweli - Get By, Soon the New Day (feat. Norah Jones), Everything Man
Strange Fruit Project - Get Live (feat. Erykah Badu)
Jay-Z - Lost One
Common - I Want You, So Far to Go (feat. D'Angelo)
Guru - State of Clarity (feat. Common and Bob James)

I'd better get to work, so that's it outta me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Has it really been two weeks since I last updated? I'm getting worse than Maddox here.
You can't really blame me, it's been a busy, busy past couple of weeks. I'm still kindof winding down from this whole election thing, and doing what I can to put my life back on a semi-normal schedule. Politico and Talking Points Memo have been deleted from my Google Reader account, I haven't been nearly as avid of a fivethirtyeight reader, and CNN and MSNBC have totally gone off my radar.
But this deserves a look. As I've spent so much time railing on Republicans who follow party lines instead of what's actually going on, I feel that it's fair to share it.

Granted, the sample size is pretty ridiculously small. And I'm not sure if I agree with the premise that the cause is media bias in Obama's favor. Rather, I'd blame human tendency to naturally filter what they find (or believe they find) offensive instead of looking at all viewpoints.
I'm not saying everyone should put the same obsession I did into every election. But I don't understand how someone who's paying attention doesn't know Nancy Pelosi. So, in a roundabout way, long story short - vote for the man, not the party. Pay attention. This stuff is important. I think I can say as an Obama supporter, there's been a passionate response to his candidacy and win. But with that passion comes responsibility - to remember that our administration, Republican or Democrat, is working for us, and we're responsible for keeping them on their toes and to make sure they do what they were elected to do.

Anyways. I'm done with political stuff for now. Since I spent so much time blogging about this wedding, I suppose I should let you all know how it went.
Long story short, everything went really well. Of course, there's things that could have gone better, but Catharine and the wedding party were really thrilled with everything, so if they're happy, I'm happy. Menu:

Passed appetizers -
greek meatballs
mediterranean crostinis

first course
pear salad with champagne vinegar, blue cheese, toasted almonds
butternut squash soup with apple cider, pear, vanilla, creme fraiche

entree (choice of)
pork - roasted bone-in loin with grilled peaches, watercress, braised pork shoulder, balsamic red onions
chicken - roulade with wild rice, wild mushroom ragout, thyme

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I supposed I shouldn't be surprised. Copies of the

New York Times and Chicago Tribune are going for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

I'm going to hang on to my Tribune, Times, and Wisconsin State Journal for now. (I also have copies of the Times from Obama's nomination, McCain's announcement of Palin, Obama's address at the DNC, and the other DNC coverage. Maybe they'll pay off my student loans someday (ha).)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And did anyone catch this on CNN last night?

Half cool, half creepy.

Election ramblings.

I'm having a really hard time processing the events of last night, but here's my best shot.
I'm not sure I really understood what was happening at the time. Of course, I was happy, but what I really felt was shock. Yesterday, I described my mood as "optimistically nauseous." I've been following this election like crazy. I saw every poll. I was on at least six times a day. I can tell you, off the top of my head, how many electoral votes are allocated to each state. The past few months for me have been beyond obsessive. I'd describe them more as "psychotic." I had stress chest pains in the line for voting yesterday. I couldn't concentrate at work last night. When all the major networks had called Pennsylvania, then Ohio, then Florida for Obama, I had a hard time believing that this way, finally, things would go our way.
I finished up at work and sat in the restaurant's private dining room, waiting for Lindsey and Veronica to finish their server stuff. The west coast polls closed. Immediately, the election was called for Obama.
I think it was at that point that my brain exploded. I still wasn't sure it was really happening.
We watched McCain's concession speech. Nice and gracious. We went next door to the Old Fashioned and watched Obama's speech from the bar. At the time, I thought, "Not a bad speech."
I called Sam and she came up to meet me. We headed up State Street, and followed the noise to Bascom Hill, hundreds of people walking with us. Hit the top, charged back down the hill, to the library plaza, where people laughed, cried, and gave speeches.
I've been getting chills all day. I still can't grasp how enormous this is.
And the cynic in me comes out. I don't like to refer to it as "cynicism", I think it's more "realism." So let's figure out what this means.
Yes We Can.
Yes We Did.
Vote in an election, that is, and work incredibly hard to elect the guy we thought would take this country on a better course.
But that's not all we should be doing. Of course I'm hopeful, among many, many other things.
As President John F. Kennedy so famously said, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country."
Unfortunately, this era seems more focused on the former rather than the latter. It's hard to blame us when we're told it's unpatriotic, socialist even, to pay taxes. Kennedy was great because he truly understood the challenges we faced, and what we needed to do to accomplish our goals. On the other side, the only thing George W. Bush asked us to do after 9/11 was go shopping.
Whether you've supported President-elect Obama or not, we all need to work together to make this country great. We can't just hope for change. We need to act. We need to keep tabs on our elected officials. We need to volunteer. We need to fight and work to make this country better. We need to understand that we need to do more than just vote. We need to sacrifice. We need to put aside the bitterness and rancor that has divided us into two Americas, and work with those who disagree with us instead of blaming the other side as part of the problem. That's why I voted for Barack Obama. I believe he can inspire our country to do more than just sit aside and hope for change. I think he can inspire us to take action. Yes we can, yes we did, yes we will. We voted in a great candidate. Now it's time for real change.
Pictures from last night will be coming. I got a new digital camera, but the pictures are stored on the internal memory, and I have to buy a memory card to switch the pictures over to.

I'm just blown away. I have no words, so I'm not going to try.
My night was ridiculous. I'm still in shock. Pictures and video will be posted at some point tonight or tomorrow.
I was just out running a couple errands. It's 8:30, and there's not a newspaper to be had in this town. I was able to grab a couple - the last NY Times, the last two Chicago Tribunes, the last two Wisconsin State Journals - but (if we didn't have enough proof already), it shows how many of us realize the gravity of what happened last night.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I was up early to vote today. Hit the polls at 6:45, didn't actually get to vote until 7:45. I was voter #307. It was great to see turnout so high, especially among a younger demographic who isn't known for getting up early or caring about elections. I just got a new digital camera so pictures will be coming at some point. Yes, I'm a nerd.
I'm off to work. My plans are up in the air tonight depending on business. Gobama.
Go vote.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I predict that the supposed "blue state blowout" won't happen, and the electoral vote will be tighter than most Democrats think.
Of course, I hope I'm wrong.
I'll probably have a real post after the election. Polls close in 47 hours.
I'm still not voting for the guy, but I'm impressed with John McCain's ability to make fun of himself and his campaign - even the "Sarah Palin goes rogue" issue. Check out the clips from last night's SNL:

I really hope I can respect John McCain when this is all over. I don't know what happened to this campaign. Presidential politics brings out the worst in people, I guess.

And finally, SNL makes fun of Keith Olbermann -

59 hours until the polls close, if you're keeping track.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Five days left.
Well, barring recounts, lawsuits, fraud allegations...
How can one guy (me) be so stressed over one election? I've tried ignoring it, but it just keeps sucking me back in. I think I need to take a vacation when this is all over.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And this was just too funny to avoid posting.


Yes, I'm a dork. It's madness.
Hooray, Bears win.
I'm feeling kindof "eh" today. Everything's good, I just feel oddly head is swimming a bit and I feel like I can't catch up and wake up. I tried to get out of the house for a bit, but that didn't help too much either. Maybe I need a nap, maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was up until 4 AM...who knows.
As I mentioned in my last post, I was in Iowa with the bride-to-be Catharine on Wednesday/Thursday. It was a good trip. We drove into Waterloo, I got to see the country club where the wedding is being held, and got a glimpse of the kitchen so I could mentally set up the line and had a meeting with the chef and manager of the club to discuss the menu. Some things on the menu stayed, some left, but overall we're pretty happy with the menu.
I've been taking a look at some of the polling sites a LOT over the last week. I don't know what the folks over at DailyKos have been smoking, but their map has Obama winning Montana, North Dakota, and Georgia, as well as the very-close states of West Virginia and Missouri. I think that'd be the absolute best Dems could hope for, but I really think it's unrealistic. Maybe he'll take West Virginia and Missouri (fivethirtyeight has the chances of that happening at 41% and 64%, respectively), but I think it'd take a serious stroke of luck to take all five. Assuming wins for Obama in Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Indiana, and North Carolina as well (as dailykos does), this would put him at 401 electoral votes to McCain's 127, a number that hasn't been reached by any candidate since Bush in 88, oddly enough. I think a more realistic number is 375. Nevertheless, that's the idealist's best-case scenario.
The map is getting harder and harder for McCain. He needs to hang on to red states - and evidenced by the tightening in Missouri, North Dakota, Indiana, West Virginia, etc, etc, it's looking much more difficult for him.
On another note, Obama's going to be in Madison on Thursday at noon. We're definitely going. Apparently people from the restaurant are trying to contact his campaign to get him in for dinner with us, but it's incredibly doubtful (at least, in my opinion). But how cool would that be?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just got back from Iowa - had a good trip, more details later.
The official description of this picture says "US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008."
I think he briefly turned into a zombie. Judge for yourself.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

I don't think ANYONE saw this one coming. So forget the projections I made a couple weeks ago. I don't want to say this one is in the bag for Obama, but it's getting pretty close. Remember, ANYTHING can happen in the next three weeks - so this is not over yet.
Since we talked last, Obama has pretty much solidified Pennsylvania (fivethirtyeight puts his chances of winning that state at 97%). He's also made significant gains in states that were either maybes or "never in a million years will go blue." (See: West Virginia). lists the current swing states as Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
But if you add up all of the states that the site has "solid blue," he's already got 264 electoral votes. Six short. If he wins any one of these states (except for Nevada, which only has five votes), he's got the election.
More numbers from fivethirtyeight - the chances that he will win each of these states:
Nevada 79%
Colorado 93%
Missouri 55%
Indiana 50%
Ohio 75%
Virginia 93%
North Carolina 62%
Florida 83%

So it looks pretty good. In fact, fivethirtyeight says it's 94.1% good. I'll take those odds.
Nothing's settled, though. Make sure you vote.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

They were saying "Boo-urns!"

Whether it's the fact that the campaign "terrorist" rhetoric is falling flat in the polls or if it's that he honestly believes that the slander is dishonorable - regardless, it's good to see John McCain stand up to it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Keating Economics - John McCain and the Making of a Financial Crisis

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

From :

(OMAHA, NEB.) - Sarah Palin said at a hastily scheduled Sunday night rally in this solidly red state that the decision to come here was hers alone and was not the defensive move by her campaign to lock up Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District that many pundits have suggested.

“The pundits today on TV—one of them was saying, check out the vice president’s schedule, check out where she’s going — she’s going to Nebraska,” Palin said.

“But the pundit was saying the only reason she’d be going there is ‘cause they’re scared, so they gotta go there and shore up votes. And I so wanted to reach into that TV and say no, I’m going to Nebraska because I want to go to Nebraska.

Nebraska is one of only two states that splits its Electoral College votes, and the Obama campaign is making a serious play for the solidly-Republican 2nd Congressional District, which is represented by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb. But Palin suggested that the obvious political ramifications had nothing to do with her decision to come here.

“And you can ask — and probably the reporters will ask — the top dogs in our campaign why am I in Nebraska, and it’s truly because I asked to come to the heartland of America today,” she said.

Joe Sixpack rears his head

It's another lazy Sunday - coffee, baseball, rain. Yeah, I'll get out in a few. I think I deserve a little down time.
But for now...I finally watched the VP debate. I can't believe Palin WINKED at America. The whole thing was a little too down-home folksy for me. It's getting difficult to tell the difference between the SNL parodies and real life. It was so over-the-top-ridiculous - does she know she's running for Vice President of the United States?
That's all I'll say about that. It's image dump time.




Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lol what.

Shut up, I'll post for real tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So, you've probably all heard that the bailout failed yesterday. I don't really have a position on it - I can't support it just because Obama does (if you know me, you know I'm not that kind of voter), and, like John McCain, the economy has never been my strong suit. So I'm not sure how to feel about this one. On one hand, you can see the effect the bill's defeat had on Wall Street yesterday, and that alone is scary. On the other, last time the Bush administration told us that a bill had to be passed without delay or thought, we ended up with the PATRIOT Act.
After a little Googling, I found a good article from the New York Times explaining it all:

The Wall Street Bailout, Explained

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Last night's debate.

Did anyone else have the phrase "Main Street not Wall Street" running through their dreams last night? Regardless, it was certainly the cliche of the night.
Will McCain's obnoxious little chuckles become the new "Al Gore Sigh"?
Maybe more on the debate later. For now I'm headed to the farmer's market to pick up stuff for the menu tonight. I think I'm going to take the day off. See, I have to go to Washington and fix the economy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

This pretty much sums it up.

And from the flip side:

Good news - the debate will go on! Thank goodness for DVRs, because I've got to go to work. Busy weekend coming up, then to New Glarus on Sunday for Oktoberfest (if you had my job, you'd LOVE company outings).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

John McCain needs a time out to get back to Washington and help with the economic crisis.
It's not at all because the election is slipping out of his reach and neither he nor Palin are ready for the debates. No, it's because he's a Real American Hero (TM) and we need to put politics aside to help the American people.
Seriously, Senator, how dumb do you think we are?
According to, "morning after" polls have found Obama's lead growing from +4 to +6 (Research 2000) and +2 to +3 (Rasmussen). Don't screw with our debates.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Exhaustion sets in.

Hi everyone. Boy, am I tired! It's not over yet.
I apologize for my absence, but I've been working 12 to 13 hour days every day over the past week - with two more to go before a day off. It's been tiring, but really good and a lot of fun, oddly enough.
I'll do a real post sometime soon. For now, it's off to work.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's been a busy week, yes, I'm still alive.
Keep yourself entertained with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on SNL:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I don't feel like doing a real post today. Over the past week, I've highlighted a lot of political stuff, full of links, videos, and all the rest.
But today...I turned on the tv to catch the rest of Prison Break and saw everyone's favorite Alaskan governor on MSNBC. Of course, I happened just to turn it on as she was repeating that tired line "On that bridge to nowhere...I said, 'thanks...but no thanks.'" Watched a minute and a half of last night's Countdown, couldn't do anymore.
I'm just tired. I've come to terms with the fact that I'm a political junkie, but today I'm not feeling up to it. All of the lies, the half-truths, and the plainly irresponsible, malicious, and dishonorable campaigning by the McCain side have really gotten to me today. And I can't handle it right now.
So, congratulations, all of you. I'm officially exhausted by the 2008 election. Less than two months to go. I'm sure I'll be posting more about it later, or tomorrow, or in a couple of days. But today's a great day to ignore all of the top stories that aren't really top stories - just the reiteration of the same. The sun is shining, there' s a cool breeze in the air, and I have errands to run.
Another post may be coming later today - with the kinds of links and videos I used to put on this blog.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Quick pre-work post of political projections.
Much has been said about so-called swing states. Obama's getting excited because it suddenly seems that Florida and Virginia are in play. McCain may still be focusing on Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. Most people think the current "swing states" are Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. I think that the numbers will stay fairly consistent until November - so here's my analysis.

To the Dems - Minnesota, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire.
To the Reps - Nevada, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida.

Mark my words and so forth.
If this plays out as I'm predicting, the Democrats will win narrowly - 273 to 265.
Just thought I'd share.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Politics free. I promise.

Well, kindof.
The only somewhat-politics I'll deal with in this post is a New York Daily News fluff piece - apparently, even John McCain will be voting Obama. (Yes, of course there's a catch - just click the link.) Of course, this John McCain is a musician out of Brooklyn, and actually bears a slight resemblance to Senator Obama.

According to a Japanese expert on North Korea, Kim Jong-Il has been dead since 2003, and a team of lookalikes has been fooling the world ever since.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella and first base coach Matt Sinatro tried to drive from Chicago to Cincinnati for their matchup against the Reds this weekend. They got all the way to Pennsylvania before they realized they'd driven too far.

And, the Bears beat the Colts last night! I bet the restaurant's going to be dead tonight thanks to the Packers' opening night.

'Til next time...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

It's a decent little Sunday so far here in Madison - 65 degrees, intermittently sunny, breezy, a windows-open-with-a-pot-of-coffee-and-the-newspaper sort of day. Wood Brothers/Common Market/Blue Scholars on the iTunes, baseball and football on tv...and of course, I'm (somewhat) working, trying to come up with a draft for the restaurant's eighth anniversary dinner in two weeks, and being more or less tied to my phone and/or computer as the boss and I attempt to brainstorm over email.
I'm getting annoyed with Blogger. (Yes, Google, I'm talking to you.) As I briefly mentioned yesterday, the formatting just sucks. Copying and pasting is a hassle, and if I italicize, sometimes it doesn't understand when I say I want to turn the italics off. There's workarounds for most of the problems, but sometimes I have to throw my hands up and say "forget it" (like yesterday's post).
Did you really think you were getting a politics-free post? Good luck with that. Today it's just a copy and paste from, again, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo - here's the link to the main article - "Not Training Wheels We Can Believe In:

There's a lot of complaining that the McCain campaign won't allow anyone to interview Sarah Palin. And for the major news outlets that would be in line for such an interview there's a logic to keeping up the drumbeat. But McCain campaign manager Rick Davis is right: It's their campaign to run. They can do it how they want. Everyone else should just shut up, stop complaining and call the reality for what it is.

Davis says Palin won't give any interviews until she feels "comfortable" giving one. And this morning he added that she wouldn't give any "until the point in time when she'll be treated with respect and deference."

Sarah Palin could be the President of the United States in four and a half months. We tend to think of this as an abstraction; but it's true. And yet today she's so unprepared and knows so little about the challenges and tasks facing the country that she can't even give a softball interview.

That's really all we need to know. Yes, she's off being prepped at some undisclosed location. And I've little doubt that by the time her debate rolls around she'll be sufficiently pumped full of slogans and bromides to make a show of it. But now, this moment, is the one that tells us all we need to know.

As is so often the case, Palin is the incarnation of the Republican slurs. The darling of the hard-right; she gives a stem-winding speeches. She pushes all their buttons. But she's such a lightweight, they can't risk letting her answer a few questions. Not even on Fox. They know she's not ready and probably never will be. But they think the politics might work for them.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Moar Newwwwws!

Attempt at a quick pre-work post:

Backlash on the maybe-or-maybe-not-Walter-Reed-mixup.
From Talking Points Memo reader SR:

I hope you are penning something to this effect: that the Walter Reed mix-up last night is indicative of GOP politics and policy-- that is, injured troops are merely political props, and even then the GOP can't get it right. If they can't get the actual Walter Reed up on screen as a political ploy, how can we possible expect their competence in addressing the needs of actual veterans at the actual Walter Reed?

Also from TPM:

Principal Donna Tobin of Walter Reed Middle School:

"It has been brought to the school's attention that a picture of the front of our school, Walter Reed Middle School, was used as a backdrop at the Republican National Convention. Permission to use the front of our school for the Republican National Convention was not given by our school nor is the use of our school's picture an endorsement of any political party or view."
Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Tamar Galatzan:

"Though I am flattered that Senator McCain chose to use a school from my district as backdrop to his remarks at the Republican National Convention, I wished he had checked with me first. As a strong believer in public education, I don't think the Senator is the most appropriate person to showcase one of the premier schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He is unwilling to bring fairness and equity to No Child Left Behind and ensure that schools like Reed get the resources they need from the Federal Government. From what I've heard, that's not a priority for the McCain/Palin ticket."

(I'm having formatting issues, bear with me...)

In her acceptance speech, Sarah Palin said, "That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay." True, she did. But McCain mixed up his facts on the issue when he said, "You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay — made a profit."

In fact, while the luxury jet was put on eBay, it didn't sell there. It instead went to businessman Larry Reynolds for $2.1 million - a half-million dollar loss.
Links are here and here.

Palin is being accused of intentionally stalling the Troopergate investigation, apparently hoping to hold it off until after the election.

And Palin's acceptance speech may have energized the Republican base, to the tune of $1 million in donations. But it rallied Obama supporters even more - ten times more, to be somewhat exact - as the DNC counted $10 million in donations after that speech.

Done with politics for this post - it's links time!

From the Telegraph, 20 memorable doctored photographs.

A kid from Australia RickRolls his school ten times a day, after (apparently) winning a contest to choose the school's bell:

And check out Dark Roasted Blend's photograph collections - namely Shipwrecks and Sea Disasters and The Most Alien Looking Place on Earth.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I'm going to start off politics-free today. Go figure.
I keep meaning to share this, but I've totally forgotten about it until now.

United States researchers have finally figured out the trick to invisibility. The article, for all of you linkophobes:

Scientists at the University of California in Berkeley have engineered a material that can bend visible light around objects. This development could soon result in technology that can render tanks, ships and troops invisible to the eye.

Results of the US military-funded research are expected to appear in the scientific journals Science and Nature this week.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, this breakthrough follows earlier work undertaken at the Imperial College in London that achieved similar results with microwaves. Like light, these are a form of electromagnetic radiation, but their longer wave-length makes them far easier to manipulate. Achieving the same effect with visible light is a big advance.

The head of research, Professor Xiang Zhang, said in the case of invisibility cloaks or shields, the material would need to curve light waves completely around the object like a river flowing around a rock.

In essence, an observer looking at the cloaked object would then see light from behind it, making it seem to disappear.

Substances capable of achieving such feats are known as metamaterials, which get their electromagnetic properties from their structural mix, rather than directly inheriting those of the substances composing them.

They have the power to grab electromagnetic radiation and deflect it smoothly. No such material occurs naturally and it's only very recently that molecular engineering has advanced sufficiently to give scientists the opportunity to create them.

Not since Project Rainbow, when in October 1943 the US Navy rendered the destroyer escort USS Eldridge invisible to human observers for a brief period, has such a breakthrough in light-refraction stealth technology been made. Of course, that last bit's complete nonsense.

Cool, huh?

Are you tired of my politics talk yet? (Although I hear a resounding chorus of "yes" out there, too bad. Go write your own blog or something.)

First, is, as of this moment, giving Barack Obama a 71.8% chance of winning November's election. More specifically, in Nate Silver's enigmatic formula (of combining current polls and voting trends), followed by 10,000 computer simulations, Obama wins the election 7180 times, winning 310.6 electoral votes, and 50.2% of the electoral vote. (Note - many people read this last number as a "virtual tie," but remember, the electoral college is what matters, not the final percentage. As we all remember from the 2000 election, a candidate can lose the popular vote while still winning the election - and according to Silver, there's a 4.84% chance this will happen to Obama, and a 3.83% chance this will happen to McCain.) More can be found on the method here. This is obviously good news for Democratic voters - preconvention numbers showed his chances at just over 50%. Of course, we have yet to take into consideration any possible "bounce" from the RNC, but my (nonpartisan) guess is that we won't see much of one (maybe a point or two), mainly because the "big speakers" McCain, Palin, and Giuliani really spoke more to the GOP base rather than doing anything to swing undecideds into their camp. We should know for sure the effect these speeches have had by Monday, I think.

Yesterday was a day of unfortunately placed headlines and screen captures. If I may:




Look Ma, no Photoshop!

So McCain gave his acceptance speech last night - blah, blah, blah, Republican talking points, all rhetoric, no policy. (Although I DID learn that he was a POW back in Vietnam. Did you know that? I had no idea.)
It was very "huh?" for all of us watching on television. He appeared to give his speech, yet again, in front of another green backdrop - which, as you may remember, got him in trouble while he clinched the Republican nomination a couple months ago. The audience was left to wonder - even Karl Rove mentioned it on Fox.
But as the camera panned out, the backdrop began to make more sense - or did it?


What is that building, and what relevance does it have to McCain's acceptance speech?
A bit of digging by the folks over at Talking Points Memo may have solved the mystery. Could it possibly be?
Yes, the building was (quoted from TPM):

"actually the main building on the campus of the Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California...several readers have suggested that perhaps one of the tech geeks charged with setting up the audio/visual bells and whistles for the evening was tasked with getting pictures of Walter Reed Army Medical Center but goofed and got this instead. At first I thought, No, that's ridiculous. This is a major political party with big time professionals putting this together. Nothing is left to chance. I mean, is this the RNC or a scene out Spinal Tap or Waiting for Guffman? I still have a bit of a hard time believing they're quite that incompetent. But when you figure in what appears to be the utter lack of any logic for this school being behind McCain and the fact that it has 'Walter Reed' in its name, I'm really not sure you can discount this possibility.

(ed.note: Special bonus snark: That's not stock photo keyword searching we can believe in.)"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

This is so sickening, I don't want to even post it, but I really feel like I have to say something of this outrage.
This video was shown as a "Tribute to 9/11" during the Republican National Convention tonight. For what purpose, who knows. It seems pretty obvious that the RNC was hoping to exploit our fears of terrorism and turn them into votes (if Giuliani's constant "9/11 9/11 9/11" wasn't making it clear enough).
This is repugnant. Disgusting. Repulsive. I could go on and on with synonyms, but you get the point.
Here's the video. The first 2:52 is the supposed "tribute," and then Keith Olbermann's response:

"Ah, I'm sorry, it's necessary to say this and I wanted to separate myself from the others on the air about this. If at this late date any television network had of its own accord shown that much videotape and that much graphic videotape of 9/11, and I speak as somebody who lost a few friends there, it - we - would be rightly, uh, eviscerated at all quarters, perhaps by the Republican party itself, for exploiting the memories of the dead and perhaps even for trying to evoke that pain again. Uh, if you reacted to that videotape the way I did, I apologize, uh, it is a subject of great pain for many of us still, and was probably not appropriate to be shown."

From the YouTube description:

This "tribute" which served to only throw fear into the political discourse and frighten voters was shown at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Keith Olbermann spoke for many of us at the sickening images used for political gain.

From the Boston Globe blog:

One of the most enduring taboos in American politics, the airing of graphic images from the September 11 attacks in a partisan context, died today. It was nearly seven years old.

The informal prohibition, which had been occasionally threatened by political ads in recent years, was pronounced dead at approximately 7:40 CST, when a video aired before delegates at the Republican National Convention included slow-motion footage of a plane striking the World Trade Center, the towers' subsequent collapse, and smoke emerging from the Pentagon.

The September 11 precedent was one of the few surviving campaign-season taboos. It is survived by direct comparisons of one's opponents to Hitler.

Contest of the Day

From, it's the contest to name Bristol Palin's baby!
From the link:

On Monday, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin shocked the political world with news that her 17-year-old daughter Bristol is five months pregnant. While the political ramifications of the pregnancy are much disputed, one thing is perfectly clear: Bristol’s baby will be born into a family with thoroughly weird names. Bristol’s siblings are named Track, Willow, Piper, and Trig; Sarah Palin and her husband Todd were inspired by a variety of sources. Track is named after the sport, a family favorite. Bristol is christened after Bristol Bay, a preferred family fishing spot. Trig, the family says, is derived from the Norse for true or strength. Willow is the name of a community in Alaska. And Piper—well, as Todd Palin told People, "There's just not too many Pipers out there and it's a cool name." (If you don’t find those speculations satisfactory, Andrew Sullivan posted speculation from two readers that Willow and Piper are named after TV witches; that’s been more or less debunked.)

Reader contest alert: With all this intrafamily competition for unique names, Bristol Palin and her husband-to-be, Levi Johnston, need your help. Send your baby name ideas to or post them in the Fray by 6 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Sept. 3. Please write your suggestion for the baby’s name in the subject line of the e-mail or the Fray post, then include a sentence or two about its derivation in the body. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Goodbye, summer.

At least, it feels like it. We got our (hopefully) last 90 degree day yesterday here in Madison, a day which was dedicated to sitting in my apartment with the blinds closed and the fan on "high" watching baseball and movies. Overnight the temperature dropped like crazy, so I'm actually wearing a sweater and putting away hot coffee without feeling slightly dehydrated.
Hope you all had a good Labor Day weekend. Like I said, mine was really nothing exciting, but it was much better that I relaxed rather than running all over the state/Midwest.
Just got an email from Go here and donate $12 or more to the Obama campaign and they'll send you a t-shirt. It was just about time for me to donate anyways, and I like getting things in the mail, so I've got mine on the way.


Pretty snazzy, right? The fight for the White House isn't over yet by any stretch. Donate as much as you can if you believe in a restoration of progressive values to our nation's government.
If you're unfamiliar with, visit their website and watch the video:

In other news, Senator McCain has pulled out of an interview on Larry King Live after Campbell Brown eviscerated his spokesman Tucker Bounds on the experience question this weekend. It's a bit frightening that he has absolutely no response to this. Of course, they have complained that Brown's interrogation was "over the line;" CNN disagreed, saying they're "committed to covering both sides of issues." I see nothing "over the line" with Brown's interview - these are questions that deserve, no, need to be answered if we're going to elect a president on a little more than "Just trust me, I got it, I got it."
And, as you all have heard, the GOP convention is being cut short this week, presumably out of respect for victims of Hurricane Gustav. Whether this is sincere or an attempt to make a political statement out of a (possible) national tragedy has yet to be seen. Regardless, the McCain camp has to be very careful with this issue. The senator could win this battle and see a bounce for putting "America First," but it could also easily go the other way. If McCain is viewed instead as exploiting a tragic event for political purposes, it could be the last nail in the coffin for the GOP in 2008. I'd assume the plan is to give his acceptance speech among the devastation - and the next week will tell us if McCain has successfully navigated this tightrope.
Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Palin Drama continues.

There's so much news today I can hardly keep up - but we're going to try.
Whew. I don't even know where to start. Shall we?
The evidence that McCain didn't properly vet his VP nominee is really piling up. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the campaign admitted McCain had only met Palin once, and had a "lengthy" phone conversation with her. Then, after campaign manager Rick Davis claimed that they had an FBI background check done on Palin, the FBI promptly refuted the statement. Now the LA Times is saying that "A GOP source with close ties to the campaign said that McCain aides "vetted her through Google and clipping services."
The Huffington Post is reporting that the McCain campaign has sent a team of "a dozen communication operatives and lawyers to Alaska", although, if senior adviser Steve Schmidt is to be believed, "the campaign always planned to send a "jump team" to the eventual running mate's home state to work with the nominee's staff, help with information requests from local and national reporters, and answer questions about documents that were part of the review."

Despite the supposedly thorough vetting process, there's a lot of stories coming out revealing things that may hurt the GOP in November, continuing the trend of John McCain's attacks on Barack Obama being rendered practically useless.
Yes, we're going to back to the big "experience" question. Both Tucker Bounds and Rep. Stephanie Bachmann were ripped on CNN this weekend (by Campbell Brown and James Carville, respectively) for McCain's choice of a VP with even less than experience than Obama:

And Palin has hired a lawyer for the "TrooperGate" investigation.
And she was a member of a "fringe Alaskan independence party."
And she admitted that the war in Iraq was fought over oil.
And she's "so focused on state government, she [hasn't] really focused much on the war in Iraq."
Despite her lack of knowledge and focus on the Iraq situation, Republicans have claimed that her executive decision making (as governor of Alaska) has helped prepare her for the White House, mentioning that she's in charge of the Alaska National Guard (something, they're quick to mention, Barack Obama has no experience with), and believe that this gives her "national security experience." But hold on just one second. Again, from the Huffington Post:

Maj. Gen. Craig Campbell, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, considers Palin "extremely responsive and smart" and says she is in charge when it comes to in-state services, such as emergencies and natural disasters where the National Guard is the first responder.

But, in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, he said he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.

I feel like I'm missing something here.
Oh yeah, Palin's 17 year old daughter Bristol is five months pregnant.
I'm not going to make a big deal about this, because all in all, it isn't. I'm not going to get into the drama and gossip about whose baby Trig actually is (Google it if you want, but I think it's a lie, so that's all I'll say). But I will say that it affects the campaign in a couple of ways. First, it directly contradicts Palin's argument that "abstinence works," hence, we shouldn't be making sure kids understand how to stay safe if they don't choose to stay abstinent. Second, although the McCain campaign says they knew about Bristol's pregnancy before Palin was announced as the VP nominee, it casts a shadow of a doubt (among all of the other evidence piling up) that, as we discussed already, the vetting process wasn't as thorough as he'd like us to believe - which therefore becomes an extension of McCain's policy, proving (in a sense) that he's one to rush to judgement and make too-hasty decisions.
Obama's response, while speaking in Milwaukee yesterday:

"Let me be a clear as possible: I have said before and I will repeat again, I think people's families are off limits," Obama said, "and people's children are especially off limits.
"This shouldn't be part of our politics," he continued, "It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as governor, or her potential performance as a vice president.
"And so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories," he said. "You know my mother had me when she was 18, and how a family deals with issues and, you know, teenage children, that shouldn't be the topic of our politics and I hope that anybody who is supporting me understands that's off limits."

A classy response, but obviously, one that's politically motivated, as it just looks bad to slam a candidate's family. It's the proper response, too, because he understands that the media will say enough about this story, and it won't do his cause any good to respond to it.

Anyways, it wouldn't surprise me if McCain has used the media to conduct his vetting process - in the next week, we very well may see Palin step away from the campaign with the "spend more time with my family" line, now that the national opinion on her seems to have been taken.

This is exhausting me, so it's time to go do something else.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Palin Reaction.

I know the subject lines lately have been reminiscent of a series of Robert Ludlum novels, but...go ahead and deal with it.
Lots of news and opinion coming today, reacting to McCain's Sarah Palin pick.
The Obama/Biden campaign says, "Take her. We've got ice cream."


First things first, it looks like the Palin announcement is going over like a lead balloon. There's been a lot of polling and tracking done (we're getting new numbers every day from various polling agencies, and will continue to have them right up until November 4th), and the undecideds/PUMAs are definitely not reacting in the way the GOP has hoped.

In fact, FiveThirtyEight published an interesting set of numbers yesterday, which seem to suggest that women view Palin more skeptically than men - I'm not going to copy and paste the whole thing here, but the article essentially says that many women see the move as an obvious pander, and are much smarter than the GOP gives them credit for.
The blogosphere echoes this idea. HuffPost blogger Linda Bergthold calls it "The VP choice that lost the presidency for McCain". Van Jones wrote that "John McCain has gone from maverick to "me too" -- trying to out-Democrat the Democrats and pick up some Hillary voters...But it ain't working.", and quoted a female friend who (accurately) said,

"Palin makes McCain look ancient, out-of-touch and totally yesterday. McCain makes her look like a perky kid. Each one dramatically and perfectly underscores the other's weakness. At least, nobody can criticize Obama's alleged youth and inexperience now. But this is not the best team America could produce, by any stretch."

And Susie Tompkins Buell, the mainstream media's "go-to PUMA," will hopefully pull a few more "Hillary holdouts" onto the Obama side with her essay on why she's finally turned the corner.

So, overall, it looks like this was a very poor decision from the McCain side - in their attempt to be smart, cunning, and neo-Rovian, it actually emphasized the obviousness of their tactics and the American people seem to know what's going on. In fact, Obama went from a virtual dead heat a week ago to a 8 point lead and a 4 point lead in the Gallup and Rasmussen polls (respectively).

We can also take a look at Palin's home state of Alaska. You'd think a governor with a 65% approval rating in a mostly-red state would find herself with good support from her fellow Alaskans, once you figure in the bump gained from middle-grounders who appreciate the small fish's recognition in the big pond, but as the news and polls are showing, this isn't the case, either. As I mentioned yesterday, the Palin pick pretty much nullifies the McCain camp's "but - but - but - experience!" argument against Obama, which is basically all they have going for them, save for the old and tired "traditional family values" line. Alaskans, seemingly a people difficult to fool with a little main-stage exposure, have been echoing this sentiment for the past 48 hours.

From the Anchorage Daily News:

Alaskans are delighted because the eyes of the world will be on Alaska as Sarah Palin campaigns for the vice-presidency...And it's stunning that someone with so little national and international experience might be a heartbeat away from the presidency...Palin joins the ticket with one huge weakness: She's a total beginner on national and international issues.

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

Alaskans and Americans must ask, though, whether she should become vice president and, more importantly, be placed first in line to become president...When a candidate for president picks a vice presidential running mate, that partner ought to have more qualifications than “She’s not from Washington.”...Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it...It’s clear that McCain picked Palin for reasons of image, not substance. She’s a woman. She has fought corruption. She has fought the oil companies. She’s married to a union member. These are portrayals for campaign speeches; they are not policy positions...The televised punditry followed up with mostly positive comments, calling Palin’s selection a clever “chess move” by McCain. The chess analogy offers some caution. Gov. Palin, while extending her amazing adventure in politics, must prove she is more than a pawn.

And again from the Anchorage Daily News:

State Senate President Lyda Green said she thought it was a joke when someone called her at 6 a.m. to give her the news..."She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?" said Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"...Alaska Democratic Party chairwoman Patti Higgins, attending her party's national convention in Denver, said she was shocked to hear the news this morning..."In this very competitive election for them to go pick somebody who is ... under a cloud of suspicion, who is under investigation for abuse of power. It just sounds like a pretty slow start to me," Higgins said...The state Legislature is investigating whether Palin and her staff broke state law by pressuring the public safety department to fire a state trooper who was in a custody battle with her sister..."We need a vice president who can step in if, God forbid, something happened to John McCain," Higgins said. "I don't think she's someone who is ready for that 3 a.m. phone call."

From the New York Daily News, Palin's own mother-in-law may vote for Obama.

Is this starting to sound repetitive yet? You'd think all of these op-ed writers are plagiarizing each other - "a heartbeat away from the presidency," "stunning," "stunned," "hockey mom," et cetera, et cetera. But I think the repetition emphasizes what a (possibly) insane decision the nation thinks McCain has made with this pick. Time will tell if the numbers will even out at some point, or simply be another nail in the coffin for the campaign.

But Palin did have a great stint as a 24 year old sports newscaster, way back in 1988, for KTUU-TV up in Anchorage:

Wow, that accent. Yipes. But who doesn't like the mushing caption "LOTS OF DOGS"?

Now for a video that's not even close to politically related. Apparently, in St. Maarten, they only have space for a 40 foot runway (citation needed - sorry), so planes have to buzz the beach to get on the ground.

Happy Sunday/Labor Day Weekend!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Palin Pick.

You know you're a huge nerd when:
John McCain announces his VP pick and you get ten people asking you "What's up with this Palin chick?" (By the way, I've been hearing various newspeople stumble over this one for the past 24 hours, so I got it confirmed - it's "PAY-lin," not "PAL-lin.")

I've been reading a lot about this, and well, it's an interesting one. Some people are describing it as crazy, others say it's safe, and I really don't know - I think it's somewhere in the middle.
So, a quick pros and cons rundown (note - if you think you've heard some of these before, you're probably right - this is basically a combination of things I've read and things that are pretty obvious to someone who's following it closely):

Pros (to the McCain side):
- Looks "progressive" in picking a woman...
- ...therefore may pick up some undecided female voters
- and with Joe Biden's penchant for slightly inappropriate comments (for example "You cannot go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent,"), the chances for a slip-up on Biden's end are decent, which would make it incredibly easy for McCain to label the Democrats as the "sexist" party.

Cons (to the McCain side):
- is the choice of a woman too obvious of a pander to disappointed Hillary voters? (see the CNN article which mentions that McCain only met Palin once - six months ago - and spoke on the phone with her once).
- the "Obama is too young and inexperienced" argument is basically taken off the table, as Palin is 44 years old to Obama's 47, and has two years of major political experience (as governor of Alaska) to Obama's four years (as United States Senator)
- with that being said, McCain may be healthy (so he says), but voters may be unwilling to take the risk of someone so inexperienced being so close to the presidency
- is young enough to be McCain's daughter, and her youth may very well amplify McCain's age in joint appearances (see also: Nixon/Kennedy debates)
- is younger and more attractive than Hillary Clinton, a fact PUMAs may resent (and, according to, this could very well be the reason for Obama's brand-new one point lead in Florida).
- slightly breaking news - on July 11, Palin fired Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan - apparently, because Monegan himself said no to firing state trooper Mike Wooten, who just happens to be Palin's sister's ex-husband (who passed out at 31 Flavors last night - thanks Simone). Needless to say, the firings seem to be personally motivated, and the Alaskan Legislature has convened a special commission to investigate the charges - with the findings scheduled to be announced a couple days before Election Day. For those of us looking to escape the shady dealings of George W. Bush, this kind of story doesn't exactly inspire confidence that a McCain/Palin administration would bring the kind of change this country needs.
- And, Governor Palin, you'd better find out in a hurry:

Don't think that one won't be used against her - like they say, saying something on the internet is like peeing in the pool - once it's there, it's really hard to take out.

So, politics is politics, and the game continues. Like I always say, it'd be a great game to watch if the implications weren't so frightening and the need to make an informed choice wasn't so important (note to all of you McCain supporters who may be reading this - notice I said "informed choice" - if you know what you're talking about and have done the research, go ahead and vote McCain - I'm not in the business of implying that every Republican voter is just uninformed.)
But nevertheless, it's an interesting game, and we'll see how these tactics play out against each other in November.
If I can get off of work, I applied to work a shift at my polling station here in Madison. It'll be a nice chance to hang out with some retirees for a while (ha). We're also in the somewhat-planning stages of an election party, with nowhere to have it (all of my friends, myself included, have ridiculously small places). Possible taglines for the flyers include "Celebrate or cry - drinks will be provided, regardless of the outcome" or "Drinks will be provided - unles you're a Republican and don't believe in handouts."
So, I'm going to get ready for work. Taste of Madison is this weekend, and they're expecting a quarter of a million people on Capitol Square - I'm not sure I believe that, but I do know that we're going to rock tonight - plus the Badgers open their season today, so it's going to be a busy night.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The blog returneth.

Hey internet. Did you miss me?
Not much to say here, because I'm back like a kid in an amusement park - checking the blogs I read every day (and sadly, like, sometimes multiple times a day), finally getting my address changed for Netflix, the credit cards, and all of those people, et cetera.
But wow, what a hassle getting all of this done was. (There's SO MUCH cool stuff on here! What's first??) To condense the story, I called AT&T last week for internet and Directv for cable. I would've had all of this done a while ago, but Directv couldn't get on my roof to point the satellite dish (too steep, and a line of trees in the direction it needed to go). Canceled Directv, canceled AT&T, called Charter, found out it was cheaper than what they first quoted me, had an appointment between 8 and 12 on Monday, left my house for work at 12:01, cell phone to my ear and seriously pissed off. Got the appointment rescheduled for today, the guy came with 15 minutes left (like they always do), and totally pulled an attitude with me. He needed to get to the basement, the neighbors weren't home (I have no basement access), had to call the management company, they said they'd have someone over in ten minutes, guy threatens to leave and suggests I should reschedule because he "hears ten minutes all the time and then it turns into three hours", I refused to reschedule AGAIN because no one told me they had to get to the basement. Luckily the neighbors got home before he threw a temper tantrum (seriously, this guy had an attitude), and now I have cable and internet.
So that's that. I have the night off (for once) so I'm probably going to catch some of the DNC speeches then head out with the kids for a little while.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No new posts until I get internet set up this week. The new apartment is good - but the wireless connection I was hijacking disappeared, so now I'll have to actually - gasp- PAY for it! You'll have to find some other way to entertain yourself for the next few days.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vultures! They're everywhere!!

I'd heard stories about moving day in Madison from people who have been here for a while. I wasn't sure whether or not to believe them until I woke up this morning. For the past two hours, I've been moving things I don't want or need out to the curb for the garbagemen to take tomorrow. I pulled a dresser out there earlier, five minutes later a couple of guys in pickup came and asked me if they could take it - I looked out a minute later (I kid you not) and it was gone. A box of books - gone. Two ugly chairs - gone. I've got a bookshelf and two mattresses out there now, so if anyone wants 'em...although, it just started raining, so they're a little wet.
I guess it's a good idea thing that my parents are coming today to help me pack my stuff into their cars - otherwise, I'd have nothing left.
Anyways, off to finish this stuff.

Oh, wait. Quick note to the media - lay off John Edwards. I don't condone cheating or infidelity in any way, shape, or form, but there's a lot more this country needs to worry about right now. Like, I don't know, like such as the John McCain:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

From the man who brought you "Thank you, Your Holiness - awesome speech," comes the President of the United States of America acting like a drunken frat boy while hanging out with the US women's volleyball team. (I know, I hate linking to CNN - you have to watch a quick ad.)

My favorite part is at about 35 seconds in when he says, "So what are you DOING here?" - like it's so strange to run into Olympic volleyball players at the Olympic volleyball court during the Olympics.
The part where he smacks one of the players on the backside is pretty funny too.
Or the part when you distinctly hear someone say "Sir, come on!" as if he's about to add "You're causing a scene!"
Or at the end when he winks and gives a look like "Oh yeah, they TOTALLY want me."
I think the whole video is funny.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I'm urging you not to click the link I'm about to (hypocritically) provide (because really, these people don't need any more encouragement). I just saw this on the internet, and it angered me so much that I felt compelled to blog at 10:00 on a Friday night.

Stuart Shepard wants people to pray for rain.

Not because our fields have hit drought, not because he likes the sound of a good ol' fashioned thunderstorm, not even because his kids like to splash around in the puddles.

No, Stuart's praying for rain because he wants to wreck Obama's upcoming speech at Invesco Field.

Stuart, hopefully this message will get out to you (or another similar message). You seem like the type of arrogant idiot who Googles his own name on a regular basis, so maybe you'll actually read my post.

I'd like to mention that I never call anyone an idiot based solely on their political beliefs. As far as I'm concerned, if you've done your research, if you don't parrot all of the "Obama is a Muslim!" lies, if you get your news from more than one source, you have all of the information you should need to make an informed, rational decision.

But you, Stu (is it okay if I call you Stu?)'ve sunk as low as it gets.

With a arrogant sneer on your face (which I'd really like to slap off of you, despite the fact that I'm not a violent man), you've sat yourself in front of a video camera, twirling an umbrella like a demented, poorly dressed Gene Kelly (you probably don't catch the reference, because you believe in "families," not "the gays"), and worst of all, you've contributed to the problem. And you'd better believe I'm going to tell you why.

First, I'm not here to debate on whether or not Jesus would be a Republican or a Democrat. The United States of America didn't exist two thousand years ago, and we haven't gotten any sign from heaven telling us one way or another, so let's just consider that a moot point. Your arrogance and message tell me that you believe Jesus would be a Republican, and that's all fine and dandy. Let me back up, maybe I am here to debate that. I don't believe Jesus would be a member of either party. You say, "Look at the Bible! No gays! Eye for an eye! Et cetera!" I say go back and read that Bible. Jesus preached compassion, tolerance, and peace. Most people you ask (well, maybe not anymore, since you and your type have perverted the Bible's meaning and message) would say that the Bible, summed up in a sentence, says "Love thy neighbor." You and your party have gone completely against that mantra - you haven't helped the downtrodden or fed the hungry. Your party has been running a hate-filled dialogue for the past eight years, not to mention the Constitution you've disregarded, the innocents you've so thoughtlessly murdered, the lies you've propogated, the lives you've wrecked simply to earn a buck for your sleazy friends. Next.

Probably worst of all, your arrogance and hate has destroyed the very thing you claim to be fighting for - presumably, for more people to embrace Christianity. You've actually done the exact opposite. You've blocked the path to our expression of Christ's true message, because you've loudly and visibly declared "I'm a Christian! I hate things!", just like the name of Islam has been tarnished thanks to a bunch of insane hijackers who blew up some buildings. Now it's impossible to talk to anyone about religion without saying, "Wait wait wait. I'm not a nutcase. Hear me out." Yup, great job there, Stu.

Wow, I know this has been long - I'm about ready to wrap it up. In summary, your video was arrogant, juvenile, and just plain stupid. Not to discount the power of God in the slightest, but if you plan on your man winning in November, you'd better do a lot more than ask for one speech to be interrupted.

It's over!

This is the last I will speak of this. Brett Favre is a Jet. This makes me ridiculously happy. I love the yummy sweet tears of unfathomable sadness of Packers fans.


Dear Brett - Go be annoying somewhere else.


And that's it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Dear Packers Fans:
You deserved it.
It's a sad little tragedy, in any situation, when people start believing their own hype - and when others start to exacerbate the problem, you've got a whole 'nother mess on your hands.
I've half-joked about this since I was eleven years old - normal life in Wisconsin stops when Brett Favre stubs his toe - but, just like with any joke, there's an element of truth to it. Packers fans have spent so much time obsessing over every move the star quarterback makes, to the point where one player starts to believe he's bigger than the team - and now it's coming back to bite all of you. Ha.
Anyways. As you may or may not have gotten from the subject line, this is the 100th post of this blog. Just wanted to mention that.
"Productivity" beckons, so I'm out.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Rock. On.

Here's the story of my pathetic little version of Monday, August 4, 2008, written as concisely as possible, edited for beginning readers, et cetera, et cetera. Enjoy.
I woke up to a thunderstorm this morning. That was pretty obnoxious, as the getting-back-to-sleep thing got fairly difficult.
Eventually, I did get back to sleep, woke up a couple hours later - and the day really ran like any other Monday. Returned my library books, went to Starbucks (as I'm too lazy to ice coffee in my own house), did the crossword, went to the bank, got to work at about 11:30.
Put the stock on, checked the reservation book (30 - ugh), made coffee (again), did some assorted prep, checked over/signed for/put away the deliveries, sent the grill cook with the busted ankle home (again), set up the line, ran through the specials and menu changes with the waitstaff, got through service (minus the aforementioned grill cook), cleaned the kitchen like a madman, inventory, prep list, phone calls to purveyors for tomorrow's inventory.
Off to the Old Fashioned for a beer or two with Craig and the cocktail-waitress-crew, watched the end of the Cubs/Astros game (called in the eighth thanks to lightning), closed out, debated whether or not Cafe Montmartre was a good idea, decided it wasn't, bid the party adieu and walked home.
$100 Apple rebate check in the mail (hoo-ray) as well as a $25 iTunes gift card from my Juniper credit card rewards. Signed on to the iTunes store in a pathetic attempt to spend the gift card, and only bought four songs (seriously, how sad is it that I can't spend $25 on music and movies? Recommendations please.). Attempting an email to the family, but we'll see how that goes.
And I'm assuming bedtime will be happening in the next hour or so.
I saw "The Machinist" last night, after sixteen or so people told me I really needed to. And it was really good - kind of creepy, but very, very good. Netflix is seriously turning me into a hermit.
Anyways. Go do something productive.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A quick Sunday post...

for a long Sunday video.
Just wanted to share this one with you guys - at 55+ minutes, it's not by any means a quick watch, but it's a fascinating one nonetheless.
For those of you who know me from real life (which should be all of you, as I don't know why anyone would sit through the pointless drivel and relative minutiae of things related on this blog if you don't), you're somewhat aware of my fascination with cultural anthropology and ethnography, especially as it relates to the internet. (See the previous post "Charlie is making me dumber, and other off-topic ramblings" for more of my thoughts on this, albeit less interesting and more spur-of-the-moment than the forthcoming example.) So, to me, this is really cool.
Anyways, watch Michael Wesch's Library of Congress presentation on the anthropological study of YouTube.

My mom's on her way from Milwaukee to pick up some furniture and help me clean out my apartment a bit before I move in less than two weeks. So, I'm looking forward to hanging out with her, as I've been an awful son who hasn't been able to get home for a couple months now (note: those are my words, not hers - what can I say, I don't think I've had consecutive days off in a few months).

But the consolidation is still happening, and the cleaning is going well. (Ugh, he's blogging about cleaning now? Yeah, I know...) The Madison sanitation specialists (or whatever "garbagemen" are calling themselves these days) must hate me. I think I might actually be able to fit into an efficiency.

So that's it from me, for now. You all have a good Sunday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm having internet issues right now - some pages are loading as quickly as usual, some just refuse to do so. It's a little frustrating, but somewhat expected when you're dealing with an unpaid-for wireless connection. Oh well.
I don't have much to report on. I've spent the last hour or so doing a week's worth of crossword puzzles, because I'm a huge nerd and haven't had the time or energy when I wake up.
I've been working a whole lot lately - but what's new? - it's more or less par for the course these days. My daily routine is basically: wake up/coffee/shower/coffee/email/read the paper/work/home/couch/bed. So that's fun.
Regardless, life's treating me pretty well right now. I'm trying to get set up for the move upstairs, and trying to get rid of a whole bunch of my stuff (I have a lot more furniture than I could possibly fit in an efficiency, so if you need any...), so I've also been trying to consolidate, consolidate, consolidate. I finally finished separating everything I need or want from everything I want to get rid of, and then finding the combination of dressers, bookshelves, and nightstands that'll take up the least space but still hold everything I need. And I'm happy to say, I think I've got a winner.
Yes, my life is ridiculously boring. I think I'll start a series of small fires in my apartment just to liven things up a bit.
I kid. I'm not a pyromaniac. But I am off to work.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

So. It's been a busy week. What's new, right? I haven't done much besides work - I watched a couple of movies - Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Begins - just to see what the hype was all about - and they were alright, I guess. The whole superhero thing never really impressed me, especially when (in the case of the first two) the movies are from the late 80's and early 90's and just so cheesy.
Anyways. I really have nothing to report on. Tim's in the process of packing for his move back to Canada tomorrow. I'm sitting on the couch, drinking coffee, listening to people outside go to the farmer's market, and blogging (but you knew about that part already).
To avoid wasting this post entirely, I'll pass along a couple of things that I've seen on the internet this week.
About a month ago, I posted a video of the Epic Ball-Girl Catch, which I thought was just about the coolest thing ever.
Well, my bubble has been burst, because the whole thing was revealed to be a hoax - the "ball-girl" was actually a stunt woman, and the "game" was a Gatorade commercial. Oh well.

The whole "accidentally" calling Obama "Osama" and vice versa is getting pretty old. If you really can't tell the difference, Jon Stewart gives us some ways to remember - for example, "Obama has only ONE radical Muslim wife."

And, I've seen some close calls (well, on the internet), but...whoa.