Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rove speaks out against Palin

"With all due respect again to Governor Palin, she’s been a governor for under two years, she’s been able but undistinguished. I don’t think people could really name a big, important thing that she’s done. She was mayor of a city of 8000 people. And again, with all due respect to Wasilla, Alaska, it’s smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona; north Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. It’s not a big town. So if he were to pick Governor Palin, it would be an intensely political choice where he said, 'You know what? I’m really not, first and foremost, concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States?'"

Ooops, that was Rove talking about Tim Kaine a week ago.

Friday, August 29, 2008

God DOES answer prayer

Just maybe not quite the way you wanted.

The prayer:

Focus on the Family Action has pulled a video from its Web site that had asked people to pray for "rain of biblical proportions" during Sen. Barack Obama's acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Aug. 28. . . .

In the video, Shepard called for Christians to pray for "abundant, torrential" rains during the Democratic nominee's acceptance speech in order to disrupt it. He had asked Christians to pray for rain that would create flash flood warnings and "swamp the intersections."

God's answer:

Republican officials said yesterday that they are considering delaying the start of the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul because of Tropical Storm Gustav, which is on track to hit the Gulf Coast, and possibly New Orleans, as a full-force hurricane early next week.

The threat is serious enough that White House officials are also debating whether President Bush should cancel his scheduled convention appearance on Monday, the first day of the convention, according to administration officials and others familiar with the discussion.

For Bush and Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Gustav threatens to provide an untimely reminder of Hurricane Katrina. A new major storm along the Gulf Coast would renew memories of one of the low points of the Bush administration, while pulling public attention away from McCain's formal coronation as the GOP presidential nominee.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Scrapbooking weekend

This past weekend, I spent a couple of days at the Ramada in Wayne, NJ. The rooms were pretty basic - they were almost motel-like, with "no smoking" signs that failed to inform the carpeting and drapes of their intentions.

However, the trip was well worth it. As you probably know, I'm a keen scrapbooker. Well, the National Scrapbooking championships haven't been held in the Northeast in six years, and this weekend they were on the grounds of Montclair State University. 840 people showed up for this thing, including two-time world champion Rose McNair. I specialize in "times past" images of dogs from the 1940s in my work, but you can really meet people who do just about anything at these events, from their own children to some R-rated stuff. The Somerville, MA group was actually on probation for a year because of one of their local events in 2005.

The hotel setup was actually nice, because the rooms surrounded a central courtyard. It had some benefits, as well as a few drawbacks. On Saturday afternoon between heats, a bunch of us hung out by the pool, trading stories about past events and gossiping about the scrapbookers who weren't there. And even at 2 PM, holy SHIT can those scrapbookers toss back the mojitos.

We headed back to MSU for the evening eventing, and a small scuffle broke out over the provenance of some pinking shears that someone had left on a table near the entrance. You're strictly responsible for your own supplies at the competitive level, and this whole thing kind of cast a pall on some of the competition.

I didn't get anywhere with my work this weekend, and I ran out of green squares at exactly the wrong time. Plus, the hotel is pretty hard to find in the dark - it's not as far as the Willowbrook Mall, but you have to make this U-turn and almost thread the needle to get to the Rt. 46 service road, then cut hard to the right just as you're merging.

Last night got a bit rough. People wouldn't go to sleep. Rose McNair gave a good seminar at the college, but she went a bit overboard when she got back to the hotel (they comped her suite), and they had to close the pool at 9:30 PM after she yuked in it. It sort of scattered us for a while, and I was feeling pretty tired anyway. But these people wouldn't SHUT UP! 2 AM, I had a guy pounding on the door next to mine, yelling "I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU HAD THE GLUE STICK." It was wild.

Anyway, I got a few photos up in my Scrapbooking gallery. If you've never seen scrapbookers in action, it's worth a look.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I is learning in college

Just a quick rule of thumb here. If you've got a list of things you are - employee, parent, student - you should preface them with "I am:". If you say "I am a:" and then make the list, complete with bevowelled words, it just doesn't work right.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympics joke

Well, I don't watch the Olympics because I find it excruciatingly boring and don't generally get off on jingoism. But I did write a joke!

Q: Why did the dog watch the Olympics?
A: Because he wanted to see Phelps finish Spitz!


No, see it's "finish Spitz" like the obscure dog breed. Yeah, it's a type of dog. Sigh.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Photos from Brooklyn

Last night I headed over to Greenpoint to see two great bands, Regina Hexaphone and Schooner. The show started at 8, and I got there at 7. So I tooled on over to the waterfront to see if I could get a few photos of Manhattan.

I drove up West Street, looking down each street to see whether it was fenced off or open to the water. After a couple of false starts, I drove down Java St. I heard some people congregated at the end, listening to music. There were some concrete blocks set up by the water, and two older guys were sitting there quietly, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.

I pulled my tripod out and set up to take my photos. After the first batch, one of the quiet guys started talking to me in almost a whisper. "You want a better view, go down to Huron. You don't have any of this crap in the way. Huron is two blocks over." He pointed north.

I took a couple more photos, then thanked him for the tip. The second guy piped up. "You don't wanna go down to Huron," he said gruffly. "Huron's where the scumbags are."

Without missing a beat, he then turned back to the first guy and continued talking. "Who's this guy Brett Favre, anyway? My Giants beat him in the playoffs last year. He's got more gray hair than I do."

The two men started comparing stories about the relative arm strength of Chad Pennington versus Brett Favre, and I packed my gear away and headed up to Huron St.

Places like the end of Huron St. have that "feel unsafe to outsiders" thing going on. But at first glance you might see 12 "shady" New Yorkers, when it's really four or five different, unconnected groups hanging out.

Two Hispanic guys were sitting in their car listening to music and drinking beer. One Asian guy had brought his SUV there and was spending a lot of time washing its tires. A couple was sitting on a cement block, looking like they were discussing a college project. A woman was trying to catch a Canada goose that was swimming around. Three old Russian ladies were throwing hunks of stale bread through a fence, feeding some ducks on the other side. Scumbags.

I set up on Huron, and the view was great as well. The setting sun was tossing off golden highlights on the clouds, and made the city seem beautiful and tranquil. A woman was standing at the end of a concrete outcropping. I don't know who she was or what she was doing there, but she didn't move during my bracketing shots.

NYC photos here.

Monday, August 4, 2008

McCain misses 5/8 of all Senate votes

Maybe they should STOP scheduling votes at the same time as the "early bird" special at Denny's. Second place? The guy with the brain hemorrhage.

Vote missers:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Votes: 399 votes missed (63.3%), 231 votes cast

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Votes: 311 votes missed (49.4%), 319 votes cast
Note: Sen. Johnson suffered a brain hemorrhage on Dec. 13, 2006, and spent several months recovering. He has since returned to the Senate.