Sunday, February 24, 2008

Is Obama going to win Texas?

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader announced this morning that he's running for president.  Some people blame Nader for leeching democratic votes in 2000 and 2004, giving the election to George Bush over Al Gore and John Kerry.
 
I do not blame Ralph Nader for giving us George Bush. 
 
I blame the people that voted for George Bush. 
 
 

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bullseye

From the New York Times:
Completing a mission in which an interceptor designed for missile defense was used for the first time to attack a satellite, the Lake Erie, an Aegis-class cruiser, fired a single missile just before 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, and the missile hit the satellite as it traveled at more than 17,000 miles per hour, the Pentagon said in its official announcement.
 
This is a beautiful story on so many counts.
 
1. We have kick-ass spy satellites that are so advanced, that we really really don't want the debris of a broken one to fall into the wrong hands.  If anyone is going to have spy satellites this cool, it had better be us.
 
2. We have kick-ass missiles that can shoot down spy satellites if we need to (even ours!). 
 
3. Well, we needed to.  And we did.  In one shot.  Ever hear baseball players bloviate about how hard it is to hit a major league fastball?  You can see where I'm going with this one.
 
The beauty here is that we got to do this for the right reasons.  Public safety was the main line - don't want anyone to get a frozen hydrazine fuel tank landing in their yard.  Not acknowledged, but most obviously, we had to do this because we have a real need to protect our secret spy technology.  The real beauty comes in the side effect.  While the cover story leads with our more noble motives, what we've actually just said to every other country in the world: Look, don't mess with us.  We know where all your satellites are, and we can take 'em out whenever we feel like it. 
 
Take that. 
 
Come to think of it, have we ever gone to war against a country that has satellites?  I guess the point is to not go to war against an advanced enemy.  It's better to just intimidate.  Meanwhile, this whole episode means nothing to any the people who have been killing our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Hillary Matching Game

Match the politician with the observed behavior:
  
1.  ______  Refuse to acknowledge you're losing despite evidence to the contrary. 
 
2.  ______  Put all of your chips on state(s) with large number of delegates; lose big in the rest.
 
3.  ______  Stay in the race after the prospect of winning becomes impossible or improbable.
 
 
A) Mike Huckabee
 
B) President George W. Bush
 
C) Rudy Giuliani
 
 
 

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Freaks and Geeks

Lindsay Weir, main character of Freaks and GeeksLast week, Hugo ordered Freaks and Geeks DVDs from Blockbuster Online. I had never seen it before, but I decided to give it a spin. Despite the fact that I was working like crazy last week, I still found time (mostly by not sleeping) to watch the nine episodes that we had in our posession.

Now I have a dilema. I am in love with Freaks and Geeks. And I know that I have exactly nine episodes left. The show only lasted one season, and there are but eighteen precious episodes for me to love.

I've begun feeling anxious. Nervous. I'm already half-way through the best series ever, and there is no hope of there being any more story. Have you ever been a relationship that you knew wasn't going to pan out, so you try to convince yourself that you don't actually like the person? It's starting to come to that. I can anticipate the separation anxiety. I already have it.

Is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all? I've started to tell myslef that it's not really a series, cut short in its budding infancy. If I think of Freaks and Geeks as a really great movie that goes on for 18 hours, it seems to dull the pain a little.

Those of you who know me might try to minimize my love for the series as merely lust for the main character, Lindsay Weir, played by Linda Cardellini (who was 24 when this was filmed, f.y.i.). Sure, that's a part of it. But the the whole cast is incredibly strong. And the writing is fantastic. The show is so gut-wrenchingly real that I actually find myself shouting back at the TV ("Go for it Sam! She likes you!").

My roller coaster feelings for this show remind me a lot of the way I feel when I watch The Wonder Years. Its an emotional current. That show evokes a very strange feeling that I've never been able to astutely describe. It's like a "painful nostalgia." Back when I was a kid watching The Wonder Years, I was younger than the characters (and had never lived in the time period portrayed) yet paradoxically, the show would impart this feeling of nostalgia for things that I had not experienced. Earlier today, I went back and read the series synopsis on Wikipedia, and the feeling came back. My stomach tghtened up. I got goosebumps.

Too much.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Austin's Mayor Endorses Obama

Austin's mayor endorsed Barack Obama on Thursday. The mayor of Austin is named Will Wynn.

A good omen if you're a betting man.



Monday, February 11, 2008

Overheard ...

"I would love for my job to be to count beans, because I think I could do that pretty well."
- someone walking past my office
 
"First he made me ashamed to be a Texan.  Then he made me ashamed to be an American."
- a stranger at the Latona Pub, who was also from Austin, referring to the President

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Rock the Caucus

So it looks like my vote will matter after all :) I want to go buy an American flag and hang it from my balcony, along with a big sign that says Caucus Saturday at 1PM! A lot of people will see it since I live above a pretty busy intersection which is also a off-ramp from the Alaskan Way Viaduct. Let's see if I can find some time when I'm not working to go to the store.

For those of you that live in Washington, this Saturday, February 9, you can exercise your right as a citizen to participate in the election of our leaders! Caucus in Washington!

Don't know where to go? Go visit Erin Dean's Washington State Caucus Information Superstore and find out how!

Also, update: $J = $B/5. For those who are interested in knowing how much other people contribute, check out this site and this site. The data are updated once per quarter, so I'm not in there yet.