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Why are Democrats in sequence so bumfuzzled and then so smug and soft-headed? There's just never the sense with them that they can simply make a decision, establish a conviction, and then follow it through. Always there is the handwringing and the worry, asking themselves "oh, is this a good idea". And when they get what they want, all they can do is be smug - feel good about themselves. They're like an Alzheimers patient in a whorehouse. Every 4 years the same things happen - they constantly get screwed, and they don't want to pay for it. They wake up the day after the election and wonder to their self-righteous selves, "how did this happen?" "Somehow the evil Republicans stole the electon from us with their evil evil evil-doing."

They can never imagine how they are wrong. They can never admit that the ideals they put forward are in some way fundamentally, and unequivocally, flawed. It may make them feel all warm and fuzzy to say that jobs must stay in America and not be outsourced, but that doesn't make their conviction in any way right or in any way justified. And when they get uppity about tolerance for other people, they seem to have no notion of how much people are tired of being called racist or predjudiced just for getting up in the morning. As long as Democrats think they are constantly on the brightest white side of Good, and the Republicans are somehow inherently evil, they will never have the muddy pragmatic realism to win with people who don't give themselves the luxury of being too good to come in first.

Obama can preach his gospel all he wants, but as long as his oratory is used to serve the base crassness of decieving yourself as right in order to play on the irrational fears of populist sentiment, he can take his "new politics" and shove it up his ass. You are not being "right" when you insist still on not telling the truth about how things are. And to pretend that you are telling the truth while lying and distorting is surely a larger sin than simple pandering. If you're going to pander at least have some shame in it. Hillary and McCain are held back a little each time they have to push out crap in order to get themselves elected. It doesn't mean they're not going to do it, but at least they don't seem so proud of themselves having done it.

Say what you want about McCain on the attack - he is always principled enough to sign his name at the end of everything he does. He has at least that much pride. Obama has taken to being shy and hiding his ownership of his negative attacks. McCain tags all his ads at the end, so that even after the knife is stuck in, you know who did it. Obama's been doing it up front, so that by the end, you're not sure who did what. And know who does what is the fundamental step you follow in language and in narrative in order to be honest to how things are. If you're going to attack, you can't be shy about soiling your lily white hem with your opponent's blood. Stop pretending to be self-righteous and admit you're playing the same game everyone else is, rather than pretending to stand above it all. You are not a fucking saint. Your party is not a party of saints. At least Republicans have no shame in being who they are.

Decrying the politics of personal destruction, and still playing the gotcha game (saying McCain thinks people aren't rich till their income is $5 million) is fine if you're a normal politician - but not when you think you're the second coming of Christ. No one is better than the game. If you can play, then you surrender yourself to the compromises you have to make. Acting better than how you are is the real presumptuosness.

As for the speech, I've seen this movie before. It worked the first time. But fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. If you're not willing to offer realistic, substantive, concrete ideas devoid of hyperbole and outsize rhetoric, you are not being honest to the people you're talking to. Let your ideas be dramatic, rather than the way you couch it. Say you want affirmative action to be based on economic status rather than race. Admit that allowing people to invest their private savings accounts rather than paying into a failed Social Security system is not "gambling your money on the stockmarket", but rather ensuring for themselves a higher rate of return than the opportunity cost of capital.

Barack Obama is fundamentally irresponsible. These are the most fundamental things I taught my students when I taught them writing: 1) Be clear on who is doing what. Do not obfuscate the agency of a given action. 2) Do not exhalt with melodrama something that is paltry. If something is important, all the more it should be presented in the clarity of prose so that the emergency of what is happening can be appreciated for what it is, rather than exaggerated beyond any accurate of realistic sense.

Barack Obama is fundamentally irresponsible.

Jaimy Gordon said something particularly memorable to me once. She was rightfully reacting to my frequent and strenuous complaints about sentimentality in the writing we were reading for workshop. She described a New Yorker cartoon in which a man is reading a book. As the panels progress, he gets more and more engaged, more and more distraught, more and more moved by what he's reading. But as we get to the last panel, we see him sitting in front of a typewriter, stoney faced with a ballon showing what he's typing - "what a load of sentimental bullshit" - or something similar.

I very much sympathise with that cartoon, because it's a process I find myself repeating very often. I remember even when I was much younger, when I watched Titanic in the cinema, how I wept while watching it - though to be accurate to what went on, there were personal aspects that led up to that event. Once it was over, of course I felt completely manipulated by filmmaking that's the equivalent of pushing an elevator button. Of course over the years I've come to understand at least in part how the percolation of a Marxian perspective very much assists in creating this odd sentiment. This dictates that we should always strive to be able to understand what is going on by looking at it from the outside rather than from the inside (to put it rather simplistically) - not inhabiting the emotion, but rather questioning why that emotion is evinced. This does not necessarily undercut the sincerity of all emotion per se - but it curses us to always question the nature of our being affected by something we watch or observe.

If we were to do a practical criticism, a close analysis, of why we are affected by the ending of great expectations - especially when we are in the courtroom with pip and magwitch and we understand there to be no "help or pity in all the world" - we would perhaps dissect with awe the way dickens constructs scene, uses language etc.

In a political context though, when the sentiments you have to put forward have to be repeatable (in a stump speech) or reproducible (in the sentimental medium that is television) or is in fact the translation and repetition of affections past - it is no less able to bring about emotion. But in the context of such a direct appeal to persuasion - to vote one way or another, rather than to simply nudge people towards a more nuanced understanding of how things are or a particularly focused world view - you question whether it really should be about emotion as a means of persuasion.

The more I think about it, the more I think persuasion should be about facts. About rationality. If you want to help poor people, the question is not how do we make people feel for poor people, it is what are the best policies to lift those people out of poverty. And unfortunately sometimes those policies can seem counterintuitive - like taxing the rich less. It might not make any conventional or emotional sense - certainly not as much as giving the poor money (though that's a good idea too, via the EITC) - but if it's borne out by the facts, how it feels shouldn't make a difference.

But I'm a sucker, whether Adeena would believe it or not, and I'm a sucker for a reality distortion field. That's why I'm emotionally entertained by Steve Jobs, and why I can't help but be emotionally entertained by Michelle Obama's speech.

But so what if you feel the pain of the common people? So what if you are "like them"? Will it stop you from enacting policies simply because you think they'll work and hope they'll work, rather than counterintuitive policies that smart people can measurably and verifiably tell you will work? Because I can never help but worry that Democrats are too soft-headed not to damn the people they are trying to help, just because they can't help themselves from giving in to what people want rather than standing up for what is in those people's long term best interests. You can try and protect people all you want from the pain of free trade and lost industry, but all you're doing is delaying and magnifying the inevitable, rather than doing the hard and radical work required to create a situation where the impact of these changes would be minimised.

Jaimy also helpfully points out that people have every right to be surprised when they find out I'm not an only child.

I tend to record a bunch of things off of MSNBC every day. I have a series recording on my DVR to record Morning Joe, I record Hardball and I record Race to the White House. David Gregory is good (though he looks like a monkey), he's personable, he's pretty balanced, he does a good job of moderating his show. His background as someone who has ever tried to grill Bush and the various Bush press secretaries while in their press room also stands him in good stead. He's a smiley presense on TV and tends to seem genuinely engaged with what's going on. He doesn't quite have Tim Russert's gravitas and chubby heft, but he makes a fun host for "Race" and would eventually be a good replacement for Meet the Press after the election, which will give him time to grow into the role before the next presidential.

Not that Hillary won't be running the day after election day. Even if Obama won, I wouldn't put it past her to at least lay the groundwork for a potential insurgent campaign in case he fucks up. That way no piss-ant little VP will stand in her way in 8 years. Not that Obama's going to win anyway.

But yes, if not David Gregory, Chuck Todd (Chucky T) - though personally I'd have it the other way around. The only reason Chucky T isn't more in the running is probably because he doesn't have quite as much seniority as of yet. Andrea Mitchell would also be an interesting choice, but I wonder. She is doing a lovely job with the lunchtime noon broadcast on MSNBC though, I must say. Chucky T actually anchored an hour of politics coverage today, from 2pm to 3pm before David Shuster, so maybe he can catch up on the airtime gap with others. I do notice though, that Chucky T is the guy that's become the somber backgrounded politics guy the way Tim Russert used to be on the morning shows, so you never know. I wonder if their new bureau chief is going to be an on-camera presence.

Chris Matthews, whatever you want to say about his politics and his slightly stubborn and fussy manner (especially when he's made to stay up late and do election coverage), he's good at what he does and very insightful. I think he pretends he's a little less in love with Obama than he was, but somehow I doubt it. He can tend to get some of his analysis of stuff skew more left than makes sense, but when you're actually good, you're sort of entitled to your views. There was a pseudo puff-piece on him not long ago that was really a hatchet job, which was a shame. It'll be interesting to see him run for Senate.

I remember Joe Scarborough as someone who was rather odious as a prime-time commentator, but I have to say that for some reason the shift to Morning Joe has done wonders for his presentation. Either that or it's age, or having Mika there for him to constantly browbeat, he's come to be genuinely watchable. He's also a well of knowledge when it comes to explaining to a liberal audience how conservatives think. Being able to explain how some things just play well, even though certain left leaning partisan audiences might set their hair on fire. Like the 3 am ad, and now the Celeb ad. It's a good show, and I watch as much of it as I can as often as I can take it. Some days the politics just gets too silly though, and I don't last much beyond an hour. I also speed through the show pretty quickly, since I skip Mika's news, most of the finance (except for Jim Cramer and Erin Burnett), all the sports and ads etc.

I'd rather stab myself in the chest than watch Keith Olberman. He and Rachel Maddow deserve one another. I'll say what I've always said about him. If "do it live" pappa bear Bill O'Reilly is an idiot (and he probably is), then Olberman is as much if not more so. Dick. And every day I tape Hardball, and every day I see Mike Barnicle in the first frame I immediately hit delete.

Pat Buchanan is my hero.

I've had a rather nice day watching the Sunday morning shows and getting a haircut. I've come to like "This Week" more and more, if not for Stephanopolous, then for the usually very good panel, particularly George Will and Cokie Roberts. I can only hope that after the election NBC does the right thing and installs either Chuck Todd (Chucky T) or David Gregory in Tim Russert's chair. For my money, Tom Brokaw just isn't aggressive enough. I refer to Face the Nation as "watching that old man", and Fox News Sunday is just surprisingly disappointing. Even after a set revamp, they still look like they're stuck in the 80's, and except for the occasional appearance by Karl Rove and sometimes Bill Kristol, the panelists are sub-par.

For such a deep voiced man, John Kerry has come to sound decidedly shrill. A shrillness that is only matched by Claire McCaskill. The Republican surrogates on the other hand are much more civil and well behaved - positively polite even. I'm just compiling a list in my head of all the rather impressive people they manage to put forward, not just as surrogates, but as potential VP picks.

Lindsey Graham I like very much, and he seems of all of them the most likely to be an attack dog and McCain's man in the Senate. Joe Lieberman is fantastic, especially today up against Kerry. I still say about Kerry that he was a mistake and he should never have been nominated. He's awful and boring and stiff, and now he's exactly the same only contrivedly forceful from having been smacked around. I remember saying very pointedly that I rather Howard Dean lose the general to Bush than Kerry win. Bobby Jindal is nicely impressive, and would be a superb pick in any circumstance. Rob Portman I trust just because of his trade background and his impeccable economic credentials, and he's not a bad surrogate, if a little mild and bland. I wouldn't be surprised if he had hidden depths of killer though. I must say I was less than wowed by Tim Pawlenty, especially up against the jibber jabber of the very charismatic Rahm Emanuel a couple weeks back.

But all in all I'm most especially impressed by Carly Fiorina, who's probably at least going to be Treasury Secretary, but who I personally think would be one of the very best choices for McCain's VP. The "shrill" comparison was especially marked when she was going toe to toe with McCaskill on Meet the Press not long ago. McCaskill was flailing away and Fiorina was dignified and unflappable. I only worry that it would be thought of too much as stunt casting, but I think she has more than enough substance to fight against that characterisation. And in the end I think she's a much better presumptive nominee in 4 or 8 years than the one waiting in the wings now, who seems to be getting so much buzz. I appreciate that Romney is helpful in Michigan, and in many ways that's going to be the whole BOW (ball of wax) this time round for McCain, but I'd like to think that as long as Obama doesn't choose Hillary, McCain would be well placed to be competitive for the womens vote.

I know Hillary is a long shot for Obama, but in many ways if he was going to choose her, this is the way he should go about it. The last thing you want is to not have the full list be aired, the right names be put forward for the future of the party, and the right constituencies smoothed by having their guy mentioned on the short list. Also, you want the Republicans to be napping and have to really dust off their Hillary ads/strategy when you bring her back. It could still happen, and it really should happen. For the uninitiated, I was a Hillary supporter before she got out of the race and I've just been gradually more and more alienated over to John McCain's side. Not lest by the character of Obama, but by the manifest problems with the Democratic platform under his candidacy. For Hillary the pivot to centrism would have been so natural, and instead we have to live through him fumbling for authenticity in the middle.

I suppose I should talk about McCain's "Celeb" ad, which I think is fantastic (also "The One", which is not unfunny). The press can jump up and down as much as they want, but these are ads that are exactly effective where they need to be effective, in Ohio, in Michigan, in Pennsylvania - the same places where Hillary smacked Obama around. If only John McCain could now pull off being "a fighter" for the people of those states.

It particularly annoys me when the press decide to be willfully stupid and act dumb about why Obama is being compared with Paris and Britney (happily, second album Bleatney, rather than the drugged-out mommy version). Did their high school Lit teachers fall asleep the day they discussed metaphor in class? When you associate two things that are not like one another, it is exactly the frustration of a direct comparison that makes that comparison interesting. Communication always does two things. It communicates, and it frustrates communication - because direct communication is clear but often too bare-faced. McCain could run ads saying Obama has no experience, that he basically has only had one year in the Senate - and I have no objection to an ad like that. But this way, when you allow your audience to figure out for themselves what it is you're trying to say, that Obama is a dilletante who is famous for being famous, things get more interesting (Britney did sell all that corduroy though). To me, there's nothing trivial about it, and for liberal mouthpieces to foam at the mouth about it is simply disingenuous (that means you Rachel Maddow).

Every once in a while the electorate decides to vote for someone who says they'll be different, but who won't actually be different. And a politician can be sucessful in two ways, by passing lots of legislation, or by winning elections. So far Obama is the latter. But let's be clear that his achievement will not be to herald a "new politics" or some other blather, but rather be a means of bringing more people into the process. This is not inconsiderable, but this is not the metric on which the press is judging the campaign. Exactly by their yardstick of "issues", McCain is the one with the proven record of actually getting stuff done.

At the same time, McCain is exactly right to be defensive about race. He has done nothing wrong. He has every right to stand up and not get tagged for something he has had to work hard not to do.

For those of you who want to say McCain is not putting forward a positive message about his approach to running the country, I'll say this. When that was exactly what he was doing, was anyone listening? Did anyone care? Did it get coverage on the news? A little maybe, but mostly no. The media is more interested in Obama going on a handshake tour. But what McCain is doing now fits into a very natural frame around what he's been saying all along. McCain is someone who again and again has stood up to the Republican party - much to his own detriment politically - in order to do what is right for the country. This is something he's done throughout his political career. It is indelibly a part of who he is and how he approaches things. Obama on the other hand may well be the same way with the Democrats, but right now he's all talk. He has not come close to showing how he'll act under intense pressure to "dance with the one who brung him" - by pandering to the Democratic orthodoxy, rather than governing from centrist principles.

In contrast, look what McCain did with the surge. When the popular consensus was that withdrawal was the best way forward, he advocated the strategy he had had in mind all along - more boots on the ground, a greater effort to provide security and allow space for political reconciliation. Sure Obama can argue that pulling out would have similarly put pressure on the Iraqi government, but I can't imagine how reconciliation brought about amidst a less problematic surrounding is somehow going to be the less durable of the alternatives. Deals made under pressure are much less happy, especially in the long term, than deals made at leisure with the space of a relatively more protected environment. Also, the idea that you are going to have more influence by reducing the extent on which you are relied upon is counterintuitive at best.

If Obama has shown anything, it's that he's willing to shift with the political winds in order to get elected. And he's done so when the fundamentals of the situation have remained unchanged. I can appreciate people who follow the happy rule, that "when the facts change I change my mind", but what changed with the FISA bill? Nothing, except that Obama suddenly had to strike a centrist note. On campaign finance, I actually mind less, except that he didn't change his mind when the facts changed, he changed his mind much later when the primary was over. He knew he would have a huge fundraising advantage even before the primaries began. It was particularly weasely for him to claim that his not taking federal funds was somehow a virtuous thing, and campaign malpractise for his people to make him do it facing directly into the camera. It's one thing to be bald-faced - but to look people in the eye while you're doing it?

In contrast, McCain's so called "changes" I find much more benign. For him to no longer dismiss people as "agents of intolerance" is not a bad thing - remember that he wasn't just talking about Jerry Falwell, he was also talking about Al Sharpton. I'd like to think that for someone running to be president, that he would want to be president of everyone, even the ones who listen to idiots, who may not be necessarily idiots themselves. There's a lot to be said for not disenfranchising voters. If you cannot bring voters into the process through a mainstream candidate, you are leaving them to the extremes in a way that is unhealthy. Just think of the ultra-nationalists in Europe. On tax cuts, McCain makes sense - that he opposed the tax cuts in the past because they had problems with them, and he preferred his own tax proposal - also he was pissed off with Bush for winning. Now to repeal those tax cuts would have the net effect of a tax increase, which is going to have a dampening effect on the economy when it could exactly do with more long term stimulus.

Even when it comes to the "presumptuous" charge, McCain has been substantive whereas Obama has simply been image-bound. Obama using the seal that looks like a presidential seal, and making a "statesman's speech" in Germany before he's a legitimate statesman, all involve him putting on the trappings of the presidency, rather than auditioning to do the work of a president in addressing issues. In that way, when McCain does a radio address, he's exactly putting forward an issue-based message about how he wants to run the country. When he gives a mock state of the union about what he hopes to achieve by the end of this first term, again he's trying to be substantive about what he would do, what he would set as his goals. Obama is not even trying to have that kind of heft and detail to what he's doing. Instead, it all empty suit with nothing to go in it. To be fair, there are ads with the term "President McCain", but even then it's about asking voters to imagine him in the office, rather than presuming he's already there.

To me it's shameful that the Democrats have become the party of the working people. I'm not saying they don't claim to want to give those people what they want, but giving them what they want will work exactly against the self interest of those people, rather than being good sensible stewardship of the economy. But the Republicans have done a piss poor job of making their pro-business message clear. They are (or should be) pro-business because businesses create jobs. That is what is most helpful to the well-being of the working and working poor. When it crosses the line where they use the tax code to incentivise specific sectors, then they are interefering rather than allowing markets to function. Government has perhaps erred too far in the direction of being risk averse - or averse to the consequences of risk. When companies should fail, they should be allowed to fail, rather than being rescued. By rescuing them, you are stopping another company from filling their space. Worse still, taxpayers end up taking all the burdens of risk, without reaping any of the returns that come from those risks - which is what's happening now with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

At some point I suppose I'm going to feel obliged to write in more detail and focus about a number of things. Immigration, USCIS, OPT, H-1B, H-1B1,, Kamehachi, La Condesa, Follia, digital converter boxes,, jon and kate, Ordernetwork/Foodler etc. Jubilee, Wall-E, Problems with Globalization, The OC (again), Clean, Courtship of Eddie's Father.

But as much as moving through those topics would be a useful proxy for what is going on, I just can't seem to get it up for these things that really just seem too straight ahead and lacking in some real complexity.

Small Designs

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There are ways in which my life has just gotten smaller. I seem to focus in on small things - fidgeting with the detail in order to turn them the corner.

It's been plaguing my mind since John(?) at Aberdeen brought it up, that the issues with my front windscreen washer may have been due to the alarm being installed. In the end I had had the car for so little time before the alarm was put in so I can't know for sure either way. And they mostly fiddled with the wiring from the door. But again, whatever. Everything's fine. I'm hoping talking about it will help exorcise it from my head.

Even though it meant repairs and money etc., the new BugMobile is now pretty much tip top, and I should just be happy. The rear washer doesn't work, but that really isn't that big a problem. The tail light is fixed, the door lock now works, and the suspension is much much better. Someone even called up with a parking space I may get to rent from August onwards. I suppose it must be an owner who's been renting their spot to another renter.

But yes, small things. My OPT card should arrive in the next couple of days, if not next week. Once that happens I've promised to tidy up my room and get rid of all kinds of clutter. I should apply for a couple more jobs.

But while all the waiting is happening, I've been taking lots of advantage of - where they list deals. I've bought my favorite new pair of shoes from there for about $10, a laptop cooler today for about $12 or so after a rebate (the envelope is already on my desk waiting for the UPC to arrive). It also got me my new favorite flashlight, which I've been keeping on my keyring - especially now I don't have two sets of house keys anymore. It led me on my whole crusade to find PAR20 sized floods that use LEDs.

Also on my keyring is a canister of pepper spray, which is fun. I haven't tried it out yet with the inert training canisters, but we'll see. I got it from the same place I got my baton. I suspect if I hung a utility knife on top, the christmas tree would just fall over. Not to mention if I added a coin change thingy. Though I've been tempted by the kind used by bus conductors.

If you go to, you too can buy a Fat Cell, just like you'd get at the MCA giftstore, which is a lovely place. I now also have a pair of one silver and one gold dice that are spherical.

I've been watching episode after episode of Grand Designs, which is a fantastic series. I had seen an episode years ago back in the UK without realising it was part of this series. If you have an interest in buildings and architecture, there's really no better series. Rule No. 1 in building your own house: always spend the money to hire a professional project manager, but also make sure your architect has someone who can do the engineering and materials side, and a quantity surveyor is not optional. The host is then spookily like Butternut Squash (Matthew McFadyen), who played a surveyor in Shooting the Past.

Fat Cell

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And so the weekend has really been a sort of lull. Any number of things that I could expand on, but we'll see if that happens. I think I'm going to have a moratorium on the writing plan. I just want to have some time not to think about it.

Just been watching more and more of Jon and Kate, which was initially traumatic, but which is now quite compelling. The hourlong format can be a little taxing. Planet Green has similarly been fun watching. A much more palatable form of remodelling shows.

Went to watch Wall-E. I with the crap bits weren't paired with some otherwise rather lovely filmaking. So much was so leaden.

Tomorrow is back to getting car bits looked at. But it'll be nice once my locks work again and my front squirter works. The MCA was fantastic and Jeff Koons was good fun.Will go to the smart home some time next week.

We bought a Fat Cell. Called Anna.

I'm imagining to myself, if you will, what would be an incredibly insensitive and politically incorrect sketch about pairing tornado victims and home makeover shows. I'm thinking of a show in the UK called "Life Laundry", where it's still about the same things, it's about producing a manifestly better quality of life for someone by improving their physical surroundings. In this case by cleaning out their house of all their accumulated stuff.

But in the UK, unlike the US, they don't have an emoting Leonardo DiCaprio at the beginning and up front chest clasping about the tragedy of all this. Life Laundry always begins as if it were a bitchy scoldy show before resolving in some life affirming way. It's always about the "tough love": "How could you hold on to this old thing that has no meaning or significance or use?"

So. Walking around the wreckage of the town, pointing at things: "How do you people live like this?" "How could you do this to yourselves?" "Living in this kind of squalid shithole?" "I mean, is that a fallen beam in the middle of the street?" "Is the wall of that building lying on its side in the middle of the road?" "I'll bet the homeowner's association's gonna have something to say about that."

Yeah, maybe not so much for me with the comedy.

You wish shows like Greensburg (set in the town of Greensburg) - really American society and social discourse in general - would have a greater sense of irony and self-reflexivity. It goes back to what Mr. Purvis used to say, that American narratives tend to be heroic, whereas UK narratives tend towards the anti-heroic.

It starts to get more fun when they walk around the wreckage and point to show - this is how bad *we* had it. "That was our store." Comcast in Chicago only gets the channel Planet Green in SDTV, rather than HDTV. I'm just used to seeing Greenovate in HD on TLC.

Personal tragedy is one thing, but two things spring to mind. If you live in a region that tends to have natural disasters, how smart is that? If it is exactly prone to such disasters, how smart is it to rebuild there? Because "like flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods - they kill us for their sport." I'm not saying people tempt fate or deserve what they get - in many ways exactly the opposite.

Why thumb your nose at nature when nature doesn't know you exist?

It's an odd thing to realise that local economies don't necessarily do as badly as you think, though that is mostly a product of how much money rebuilding brings to places that are being rebuilt. I also wonder if building with materials other than wood would work out better, or is it that much cheaper than any kind of brickwork, and would brick building not necessarily stand up that much better. It seemed to work out okay for the little piggies.

Also wonder if there are better and less lazy ways to plan infrastructure than grids, which makes driving so silly - stop signs everywhere and so much stop and go driving.

I hope the show gets better when they show the actual rebuilding. I like Greenovate better, but again only when they're doing really ambitious things. They started to sag when they just did the same old stuff to the same old single family homes. Stripping a house down to its studs and doing real innovative things is just much better television than simple renovation - "oh let's have our house be prettier."

I suspect the only reason Greenovate is as compelling as it is is because it's done by the good people who did "The War Room." In contrast, shows like Wasted are just annoying. I just wish people could focus on the cost savings and tone down the whole smug holier than thou bullshit. But I suppose you never give a sucker an even break. I wonder if many of the links aren't working because there's so much traffic to the respective sites.

I suppose I should be writing about the passing of Tim Russert, but instead I'm going to mention how much fun Million Dollar Password is. I've been liking Moment of Truth, but it's fun having celebrities and just the joy of winning money. Rachel Ray was fun, as was NPH (Neil Patrick Harris). Betty White was surprisingly good fun. But hearing how damaged people are is also okay.

I'd love to go on that show and just not give a fuck about what's revealed - similarly with whoever's in the audience. You're fine as long as you can stand the boos of the (oddly judgemental) crowd. And as long as you know how polygraphs work. Though they seem to be less keen on tripping people up this season with ambiguous questions. 

Whenever I'm productive in some way, I always think about Dead Like Me (now cancelled, though apparently there's to be a straight to DVD movie), Delores Herbig (as in, Her Big Brown Eyes), and "Getting Things Done". That Millie was too much a laggard to stay on. Went to Target and exchanged the trash bags for the ones without odorshield, since it comes (apparently) with some kind of dusty residue. Got more Diet Root Beer via A&W. I wish I could get vats from The Port Drive-In, but some other time perhaps.

It's all about having gotten the wonderful Jokari Soda Dispenser, that makes 2 liter bottles fun again. As long as when you first get the dispenser you flatten it out so it doesn't curl up. I put it under a wooden chopping board.

Since I was at Target, I went to get water from Costco and had hot dogs and a churro. Also moved over to new shampoo, body wash and facial cleanser in an effort to get these things in a convenient yet reliable supply. I also like being able to buy off the shelf, rather than having to special order these things. Luckily Cetaphil sells a scentless facial cleanser.

Since I was up north, I went to the post office and mailed the remote control to Marty, the Interfolio thing to the Transcript clerk at Western and the disc for Digital Imaging Suite to Mark. Though I maintain that he's probably better off with the (absolutely free) Irfanview if he wants to view and do simple editing of images.

Since I was there, I went to Dinkels and bought pastries, Since I was driving back from Dinkels, I bought Boston Market for monkey. I have to plan ways not to get back till 3pm, since that's when permit parking starts. Otherwise there's not a spot for me and I get cranky.

August 2008: Monthly Archives

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