Sunday, November 28, 2004

Look up and you'll see that I've put out the Christmas decorations. By this time I expected to have a new holiday logo to go with my long-promised site redesign. Alas, I've not come close to tackling that task, so we all get to enjoy my original bit of seasonal flair for (at least) one more year.

I'm actually glad. I love pulling out the old ornaments and hanging them up year after year. Maybe I'll keep this one even after the site gets its much-needed revamp. It'll make for a good tradition.
Posted @ 11:56 PM

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

So, did everyone enjoy their hamburgers last night? I went to three different grocery stores after work yesterday looking for ground beef, and finally had to settle for the pricey specialty brand that was left. I can only assume that folks were looking for easy meals to make last night, since this evening and all of tomorrow will be devoted to Thanksgiving prep. And everybody had the same idea I did: burgers.

Speaking of Turkey Day, I'll be picking up my baby brother from the train station around 3 this afternoon, barring any delays. This'll be the first year that my whole nuclear family has been together for Thanksgiving in maybe ten years. Needless to say, we're all pretty jazzed about that.

Have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!
Posted @ 6:54 AM

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm jumping on the brand spankin' new Random Shuffle Meme, recently unleashed by the great John Scalzi.

Here's how to play:

1. Open up the music player on your computer.

2. Set it to play your entire music collection.

3. Hit the "shuffle" command.

4. Tell us the title of the first ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing.

I gave it a try, and this is what I got:

1. "So This is Christmas" - John Lennon
2. "Enterprising Man" - Tom Smith
3. "Into the Night" - Benny Mardones
4. "Happy Holidays" - Bing Crosby
5. "Reminiscing" - Little River Band
6. "Beautiful Day" - U2
7. "Interstate Love Song" - Stone Temple Pilots
8. "Burn On" - Randy Newman
9. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" - Tears for Fears
10. "Let it Snow" - Dean Martin

And, in deference to certain friends who might not be feelin' the impending holidays, here's a second spin minus my Christmas folder:

1. "Stonecutter Song" - The Simpsons
2. "This Used to Be My Playground" - Madonna
3. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" theme - Nerf Herder
4. "Days of the Week" - Stone Temple Pilots
5. "The Patriot" theme - John Williams
6. "Another Perfect Day" - American Hi-Fi
7. "Field of Dreams" theme - James Horner
8. "Just the Two of Us" - Bill Withers
9. "Mrs. Robinson" - Eddie from Ohio
10. "Oldest Established" - Guys & Dolls 1992 Revival Cast
Posted @ 6:31 PM

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Okay, enough of the political stuff from me for a little while, at least for the length of this post. Time to focus on something I really care about.

Take a look at this year's Christmas stamps!

Are those great or what! Those are hands-down my favorite Christmas stamps ever.

These are so good I may actually get off my lazy butt and send Christmas cards out this year. Watch your mailboxes, friends and family.
Posted @ 8:21 PM

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

One quick post-election thought, this one having almost nothing to do with party partisanship. It's based purely on rank pettiness.

I'm thrilled that beer baron Pete Coors went down to defeat in his bid for a Senate seat representing Colorado. Why should I give a flying fig about who the junior senator from the Rocky Mountain State is?

Because when I was in Denver earlier this year, the hotel I stayed in was also being patronized by delegates to the Republican nominating convention. There were a bunch of Coors supporters staying on my floor, folks in their early to mid twenties.

My last night in the hotel I went to bed around 10:30. I had an early flight home and things to do once I got back, so I wanted to be well-rested.

That plan was shattered around midnight when drunken Coors supporters began treating the hallway like their personal playground, shouting and slamming doors every seven to ten minutes. This went on for over two hours, going on just long enough to wake me but never long enough for me to get out of bed and confront these inconsiderate sots. I maybe pulled five hours sleep that night.

So while my reasons are vindictive and small, I am taking a measure of joy in Coors' defeat. I even hoisted a fine brew to toast the event. A bottle of Bass Ale, to be precise.
Posted @ 6:58 AM

Friday, November 05, 2004

Hey Red States,

Any chance y'all would be interested in reviving the Confederacy? I'm just asking because we here in the Blue States seem to be so sharply at odds with so much that you hold dear that maybe you'd just be happier and more comfortable if you had a country all your own.

Think about it. We don't need to go through another civil war to affect this separation. We can treat this like an amicable divorce and divvy things up fairly through negotiation.

To get the ball rolling and sweeten the deal right off the bat, we'll give you Washington DC. You're welcome to all of it. We'll just take the Constitution with us on our way out. I can't imagine you'll miss it. You'll want to write a new one anyway, right? Something based on the Patriot Act and Leviticus, I'd imagine.

In trade for DC, I'm going to have to insist that we keep the name. If you don't like the old Confederate States of America moniker, I'm sure you guys can come up with something new and catchy like USA-Red, God's Country or Gunland.

Sorry. Just a little bitterness slipping out there. Like the song says, breaking up is hard to do.

Okay, back to my proposal. To keep our geographic continuity, we're gonna need the northern thirds of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Indiana and Ohio. Sure, you'll lose access to the Great Lakes, but you'll also no longer have to share a border with Canada! In exchange, we'll give you all of New Mexico and the southern half of Illinois. Here's a rough sketch of what that might look like:

Pretty cool, huh? Except for southern California, you'll get to keep all the warm spots!

Speaking of warm spots, we should probably discuss Hawaii. We want it. And since Alaska would clearly be happier with you than it would be with us, that seems like a fair swap. Just think, you'll be able to drill that sucker for oil now without us pesky Blue Staters moaning about the caribou or whatnot.

Now, on to population. I realize there are lots of folks in each of these proposed countries who are philosophically more attuned to the other side. To address this, I propose housing and job swaps. We create a giant database listing the occupations and living arrangements of those who want to switch their citizenships. For example, a blue-tinged librarian with a two-bedroom apartment in Atlanta might change places with a reddish librarian living in a duplex outside St. Paul.

I realize there are any number of big logistical problems with this plan, but if we really try... if we really...


This won't work, will it? We've all got too much invested in this Union to split it up, despite our substantial differences.

Okay, fine. We're all just going to have to stay here and work this thing out together, no matter how long it takes. Better put some coffee on.
Posted @ 2:27 PM

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Regarding the outcome of the presidential election, my friend Timbo posed the question, "Where do we go from here?"

Where do we go? My answer is we go forward. We advance. In different venues and definitely with different tactics, we take the fight for what we believe in to those who would deny our rights and fill us with fear.

But not today. Today we're down. Today we lost. Today we graciously congratulate the victors and exit the field.

Personally, I'm taking a couple months off from all the politics and the
fighting. For just a little while, I'll let tomorrow worry about tomorrow.

I'm going to enjoy the holidays and the rest of the football season. I'm going to do my level best to show my loved ones what they mean to me. I'm going to cook some really kickass meals. I'm going to travel a little bit. I'm going to read excellent, engaging books. I'm going to play some games. And, as much as I can, I'm going to avoid the news.

If the outcome of this election felt like a body blow to you, I strongly suggest following my lead. We're all going to need our rest if we're going to be prepared for the fights to come.
Posted @ 10:45 PM

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

It took me over an hour to vote this morning. It wasn't because of confusion or voting machine problems, it was because of the line. I've never seen so many people voting in a presidential election, and this is my fifth.

And it's not like Maryland is any kind of swing state. It pretty much gets posted in the Dem column by default (though I think that may shift some in the next few years). I can only imagine what things look like in Florida and Ohio.

Big turnouts traditionally favor Democrats. Here's hoping that holds true.
Posted @ 10:31 AM


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