August 30, 2007

And Fred Is . . .

in. At least, as of this Thursday.

This might even make the GOP primary debates worth watching again: the lack of Fred has made those seem like rather silly exercises.


Meanwhile, at the grassroots level, the Fredheads will be conducting monthly "Fund Fred Days," beginning on Friday, Sept. the 7th.

I love the smell of charismatic GOP presidential campaigns in the morning . . .

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The High-Tech Answer to the Problem of E-Waste.

Just blend it away.


Via Glenn, who has switched to kitties lately in the wake of the Michael Vick scandal. (I like "your larger blending projects" as a euphemism for "sweet, adorable mammals.")

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August 29, 2007

I Have an Employee

. . . who may or may not be African-American. It never seemed like a pressing priority to enquire in our first few months of working together, but now that we've put out most of the urgent fires, I'm starting to get curious.

Of course, one musn't go up to another person and say, "I know we've been working together for over a year . . . but I never got around to asking you if you're Black. Whaddya think? Happen to know, offhand?"

I believe part of my interest in race stems from my own mixed heritage. Most of my family members laugh at me when I claim to be Osage Indian (to the tune of 1/164 or whatever it is), but if I didn't have that ancestry, my brother might look like he's related to me: as it is, we appear to be of completely different ethnicities. Teachers never believed me when I explained that the Good Student with the Dark Skin was my brother. Some of them had to be revived with smelling salts.

When we were teenagers, my father—ever the "travelling salesman" type—recommended that my brother change his last name to Garcia, and attempt to get a college scholarship based on that faux-ethnicity. At the time, I had a good laugh, but if The Older Sibling had listened to that outrageous advice, he might not have been rejected from Harvard.

Of course, Baldilocks once hypothesized that a lot of us ultra-pale Anglo-ish Americans who can trace our ancestry back to the Mayflower (yes, it's true: I could join the DAR, if I wanted) may have Africans in our lineage.

There is, after all, the matter of my lips, which are rather full for someone as pale as I. And: my brother's mysterious, hyper-hyper-curly, kinky hair. He got that, by the way, via our very racist (and very blonde) grandfather. Hm. The plot thickens.

With any luck, my employee and I are very distant cousins—and both of us are related to the great Frederick Douglass.

It's unlikely that I'll ever get around to asking. The fact is, I tend to see actual race as a fairly arbitrary thing. And for my money, very few people have been pure-blooded anything for at least 100 years: the Nazis were simply too late.

As was Professor Fractal, who proclaimed in the 1980s that "the races should all be mixed. And I want to do that personally."

I've been meaning to tell his wife about that, of course . . . it's so unlike him, really. But he did say it.

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Well, Yeah—a Path to Another State is a Start.

And I think this will create positive ripple effects. But I'd still like to see a path to citizenship, for those who merely came here to work their butts off. Call me sentimental.

Or: call me the kind of pragmatist for whom a two-pronged attack seems wiser than a frontal assault. (Isn't there an old saying about "good generalship"? Place that quote for me, please . . . AtH? Mr. Manitoba?)

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Chewed-Up Michael Vick Cards

I'm tempted to buy them myself, and leave 'em out for my mom's Pit to have fun with.

Perhaps I'm missing it—I don't follow the story closely, because it makes me want to cry/commit genuine, old-fashioned homicide—but has that scumbag ever apologized to dogs, or dog-lovers? Because I rather think the NFL will be fine without him.

As far as I'm concerned, the Federal guidelines should be modified, so that anything a dog-torturer does to the animals is fair play for his own sentence.

Not that I'm angry, mind you.

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August 28, 2007

And Now—From the Rational Deb of the Blogosphere . . .

Zendo D asks some tough questions about New Orleans.

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Since You Keep Asking . . .

I came down with an acute case of clientitis—that blessed, blessed disease.

And I spent two consecutive weekends on the couch, alternating between Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the latest issue of The Atlantic.

It wasn't the actual hours I put in this past week and the week before: it was a question of trying to figure out how to use a limited amount of time most effectively, and being as useful to the client as possible, when one of the pivotal players there was in a rather difficult position. I had to make continuous judgement calls regarding what matters he would or would not want brought to his attention.

Total mess. Knocked the stuffing out of me. Plus, my battery problems make it harder for me to work on the laptop from the living room. So, Dead Tree Media seemed like the obvious choice when it was time to go into nervous collapse.

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August 27, 2007

Wham, Bam, Thank You, Man.

Goldstein on media bias and "unnatural" acts.

Via Glenn.

Of course, if one wanted a more neutral example that doesn't involve sexuality (the media rationale being that we are such gay-bashers anyway, it's positively a public service to "out" members of the GOP, and it's much more relevant to assign an "R" than a "D" to those accused of sex acts), one might look at coverage of corruption among public officials. In those particular cases the trend is to either label the miscreant "Republican" or not to mention his/her party affiliation at all.

GPW (also via Insty): "Craig should resign." Yup. We're beyond the "dead girl, live boy" stuff, thank goodness—but I don't think it's too much to ask that elected officials get, you know—a room.

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Ah, Yes. Burning Man.

I wish I were there.

ScanMan writes:

I'm sitting in a colorfully lit tent listening to guitar music watching ornately costumed people wandering aimlessly, seeking true purpose.

In the distance, someone's dancing to "Lets do the
Time Warp Again" at the Rocky Horror theme camp.

In the middle of the Nevada desert, there is little
purpose.

I dunno. I think dancing the Time Warp might qualify, in a pinch.

Of course, the name of the song is "The Time Warp." Just in case you're interested. (Hey! How come no one wants to hang around with proofreaders and fact-checkers in his/her spare time? Here's a real-life conversation:

"Would it help you if I were to correct your entries on the household shopping list?"

"No. And it wouldn't help the marriage, either."

No rest for the wicked—or the obsessive-compulsive.)

Have a great time, Mikal and ScanMan. Send lot of larfs & pix.

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Rumors of My Death . . .

are the result of grotesque hyperbole.

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August 21, 2007

Mine Over Matter.

More on the Rosia Montana mining controversey. The environmental extremists are looking worse and worse.

If it were up to me, everyone would see Mine Your Own Business; the points it makes go well beyond Transylvanian gold.

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Well.

That's one way to get people away from abortion, and onto the Second Amendment.

I realize that it's different on the SoCon side of town, but in the libertarian camp guns are, hands down, Rudy's weakest issue—just as free speech has been John McCain's.

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Wrap It Up!

I'll take it.

(Okay. Fixed.)

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August 19, 2007

Adorable Pit Bulls!

This nice doggie site is wonderful. It doesn't just include examples of media bias and reflections on how to combat Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL); it also has lots of pretty pictures of lovable Pit Bulls.

Since yesterday was the day of the Big Nonprofit Meeting, I stayed over at my mom's place on Friday night. I usually ask her to take the dog in with her at night and close the door, so I don't have to worry about putting all my gear and books and purse and jewelry up/out of reach.

But the other night the puppy sounded like she wasn't settling down quite yet, so I went in and brought her back out to the hall. My mother got up later to get her midnight snack and found us curled up together on the rug. Apparently, I didn't wake up when the mom raided the refrigerator, but she checked the dog bowl and got out some dry food. I hear that was too much for Mandy, who had to desert me so she could go into the kitchen and show my mother what a good dog she was. There is, as I understand it, genuine magic in the sound of a dog-food canister.

So I woke up alone and went back to bed—which means the back couch in the family room at my mom's.

In the morning my mother came back out, and the dog with her. Mandy jumped onto the end of the couch, and curled up there at my feet while my mother made breakfast.

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August 18, 2007

Hangin' with the Twelve-Step Crowd . . .

So, after the meeting I'm putting something away and I overhear this priceless tidbit:

A: "I can't believe we gave that project such a good sendoff."

B: "But—Holy Crap!—what a lot of work. I told Ms. Subcomittee Chair that after that many months of us busting our butts, she owes me either a dry martini, or one really big joint."

A: "Get her to cough up both. I'll meet you two at your place next Friday; you take the joint, and I'll have the martini. With a little luck, she can pay it all off in one night."

They say that if you really want to get to know yourself, you should work in a nonprofit for a while . . .

As for me, I think I wasted my time on the wrong subcommittee.

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August 15, 2007

So. Order of the Phoenix.

[Spoiler-free. I think.]

The husband and I saw Phoenix on Monday, and now I'm re-reading the book again. It's only my third Potter book in as many weeks. I'm half shocked and half delighted to see myself spinning into full-bore fan-girl mode this way, of course. It happens so rarely for me: every 30 years or so. When I'm 75 I'm quite certain some bit of popular culture—something current—will catch my eye, and I'll obsess over it. For a year or so, I'll be hip. I'm counting on it, if you want to know the truth.

It's a difficult moment, though: my husband has seen The Order of the Phoenix, but has not read The Deathly Hallows. My mother has read The Deathly Hallows, but has not seen The Order of the Phoenix (we may attempt to catch it in 3D, if it's still around next week).

But of course from moment to moment I'm not sure what I should—or may—talk to either one of them about. I musn't say too much about Hallows around the house, or I'll ruin it for my husband. I musn't discuss the casting choices in Phoenix with my mother, or I won't get a fresh perspective on it when she does see the film.

These, of course, are high-quality problems. Unless I do let something slip.

I'm ready to call my stepmother, who has a theory about some exotic discontinuity she thinks she caught in Hallows, that she was bursting to tell me two weeks ago—before I'd read the thing. I mean, sure: I've found some tiny little irregularities, but that's to be expected. After all, I'm a freakin' fact-checker, and Rowling suspended this work over the course of seven gazillion-paged books. It would have been bizarre if I hadn't caught a tiny error or two. The stepmother theory is different, of course; she honestly thinks she's caught Rowling in a major inconsistency of characterization. Naturally, I'm dying to know what that might be.

[Spoilers permitted in the comments section, if necessary: Honey, don't read this thread all the way through.]

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August 14, 2007

"Dear Dr. Helen,"

"Every day that your husband doesn't link me, I feel vaguely aggrieved. Is this pathological?"

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August 13, 2007

My Second-Favorite Athiest

. . . on why we fight.


Via Insty.

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August 12, 2007

The 51% Minority

Beth at My Right Wing Conspiracy just let Ellen Goodman have it over her assertions about the paucity of women in the blogosphere. (Wait. I thought Goodman was only alleging that the leftosphere was sexist. Guess I was wrong . . .)

Yeah. Loved Goodman using support-for-Hillary as a litmus test. The Daily Kos is definitely where I'd go to find centrists of the type who might vote for Hillary. (There is more to a candidate than her internal plumbing, Ellen.)

UPDATE: Juliette tells us where not to go if we want our preconceived notions of an "old boys' bloggers' network" confirmed.

And Sissy Willis thanks us for the trip down memory lane.

Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake defends the leftosphere:

There’s plenty of sexism in the blogosphere, don’t get me wrong, with a strong dose coming from the right wing and an even stronger dose coming from the “why don’t you link to me” crowd on the left. But this “there are no women in the blogosphere” whinge is deeply sexist and insulting to those of us with two X chromosomes who work all day at this and what we’ve managed to achieve. [. . . ] It’s a narrative that both wingnuts and the MSM alike are fond of pushing and my guess is that it’s off to the races thanks to misniformation provided by people who don’t blog, aren’t the community builders of the blogosphere and haven’t had enough exposure to it to have any kind of sophistication to their analysis. With people in the MSM on the receiving end only too willing to erase us women from the political landscape in order to grind their axe, I don’t expect we’ll be getting the kind of credit we deserve any time soon.

Well, Jane, you know: not every wingnut is pushing that same narrative. There are exceptions.

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August 11, 2007

I Just Finished The Deathly Hallows.

Which means that I finally dared to read Caltech Girl's review, though she does keep it nicely spoiler-free. (The link, of course, does contain spoilers.)

She quotes the first review as pointing out that Book #7 in the Harry Potter series lacks charm, but that didn't really concern me. Given how much had to be packed into this installment, it was inevitable that its structure and pacing would be different from that of the others. I was absolutely aghast, after all, when I finished The Half-Blood Prince and realized how much ground she was going to have to cover in the final volume.

But she manages it—the trade-off being that the last book reads like an action movie some of the time. But I never remember anyone complaining that the Die Hard series lacked "charm."

The thing that Rowling attempts, in this series—and largely manages, quite well—is that she duplicates the experience of adolescence, in real time. That is, subsequent generations will be able to read one of these books per year, at an appropriate level of development. I don't think that's ever been done before: even the Little House books, though they come close, don't change in the same way. The sentences get a bit longer, but the words don't. The subject matter becomes courtship, rather than store-bought soap vs. homemade. What doesn't get broached are the Big Issues: good vs. evil, the permanence of the soul, the enticing possibility of life after death. And those books remain charming. Yet charm is not part of the experience of being 17 years old. Not in any conventional sense. It's appropriate that it falls by the wayside as one moves along in J.K. Rowling's series. (I did once read a fascinating article in American Heritage that discussed The Long Winter, and suggested it as a candidate for Great American Novel. Certainly, it is the most adult of the Little House Books, and the bravest. But it is still social history more than politics and theology.)

I found myself in these last few Harry Potter books (as with the very early ones) thinking once more about A Wrinkle in Time, which also tackled the subject of evil. And Madeleine L'Engle came to exactly the same conclusion J.K. Rowling did: when good sets out to fight evil, it is the power of love that is its main weapon.

And those who have truly given themselves over to evil cannot see this.

More below the fold, spoilers and all.

Naturally, I tried to figure a few things out, attempting to use the clues within the text more than "what would the writer think?" (Although I've thought all along that the presence of twins might make it tempting for Rowling to sacrifice one of them, reasoning that it would be enough for one set of that exact DNA to live on. And though she does that, at the end the body count includes enough beloved characters that one cannot accuse her of cowardice: the sacrifice of Remus and Tonks is particularly gutsy, though I didn't get a sense of who it was that was bringing up their baby, even in the "Nineteen Years Later" segment. I might have missed that, though.)

I was right that the Ravenclaw tiara was the unidentified Horcrux, but I mistakenly theorized throughout most of the book that it was the one belonging to the Weasley aunt. So of course I imagined that after the Hogwarts battle there would be another one, at the Weasley "safe house." This wasn't either logical (in that case, which Horcrux was at Hogwarts?) or sound from a storytelling point of view (it made far more sense that the action ended at Hogwarts). But I thought I was being clever.

I've certainly thought throughout that Snape would turn out to have been working for the Order all along: certainly the point is made that he is a master at Occlumency, and therefore would have been able to keep an important secret from Voldemort. But any careful reader knew that, I think. And I've always thought that Draco Malfoy would turn good (reluctantly, of course) at the end—but I didn't imagine that his whole family would, or that he would go as far down the path of evil as he did.

Kreacher's transformation was a delightful surprise, and I found myself buying it. Furthermore, the subplot of Rights for House Elves was masterfully handled: after all, Hermione's early efforts to eliminate this sort of slavery are treated as jokes. The point is made, time and time again, that (in contrast to slaves in real human history) the elves want to serve, to be owned. Yet that doesn't, Rowling asserts in the end, absolve anyone of the need for basic human decency. Or: love.

There were a few tiny discontinuities, such as the fact that the tunnel to the Shrieking Shack got smaller this time. (Adults never had to crawl through it in the old days, after all.)

But the entire series is still a stunning achievement, pretty much unprecedented in its scope and reach. (Tolkein fans will disagree, but I have to give the nod to Rowling because of her humor, her eye for detail, and the fact that this narrative continues through seven books, with her imaginary world holding steady—and its rules consistent.)

Finally, Rowling managed a shout-out to the blogging world via the underground radio show Potterwatch that operates during Voldemort's regime: "River," "Royal," "Rapier," and "Romulus." Sometimes telling the truth requires one to assume a new identity, no?

It's always a lovely thing when something so popular actually has the quality one is looking for. Nice when the "masses" don't turn out to be "asses," after all.

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August 10, 2007

Sometimes, a Little Brainstorming Is in Order.

On the dangers of "thinking like a terrorist," Hackbarth muses: "Experts are fine, but the experts let us down Sep. 11, 2001."

Yup.

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"If It's August," Quoth Glenn,

" . . . it must be time for another round of 'Gender in the Blogosphere.'"

This time Goodman and Althouse get into it. I can't wait for the predictable choruses from aggreived male bloggers about how they can't truly compete, because they don't have breasts.

Ye gads. The only thing more boring than the gender of top bloggers is the race of top bloggers. It's probably just a matter of time before that one starts up, too.

I'm going out for ice cream, myself.

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August 09, 2007

From My Cold, Dead

. . . Amazon account.


Kyle Cassidy's new book about American gunowners looks really, really cool. Newsweek's site has an audio-visual digest of the book that contains a little intro from Cassidy himself, along with some recordings of the featured families/individuals from the book: ordinary Americans talking about why they have guns.

Go here, check that your sound is on, and hit the red link. It's good stuff. Best phrase: "wrangling the gun vote."

Hat tip: KC.

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August 08, 2007

Overheard, 9

"What I really hate is when my husband looks at me while I'm talking and all outward signs point to someone listening. Then I find out a day or two later that he has no recollection of the conversation."

"Hm. I wonder if you could test this by suddenly, in the middle of the conversation—without changing tone at all—talking about your imaginary lover, Alberto. But don't specify "imaginary." Merely switch from a discussion of your son's college prospects to the lovely time you and Alberto had in the sack last week."

I love fireworks in the summer, whether someone is hitting a home run or not.

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Mission Accomplished

I finally got to hug Dr. E-Sharp: he was helping his company set up its booth for Siggraph, and it was just crazy. So while Professor Fractal complained that Scanmaster clearly wasn't attending Siggraph this year, Dr. E-Sharp was only a vague rumor to me. (I did see Scanmaster, and he showed me around like he always does. If you want to meet people it's a plus to hang out with eccentric, gregarious businessmen.)

E-Sharp and I trade voice mails, but can't seem to synch up. He's available, he tells me at one point. Of course, this is during the time I'm at the Siggraph Chapter party in the basement of that cool club on 6th and Broadway, chatting up people I haven't seen in 16 years—not since I stopped living with Martin G. Naturally, there's no cell phone reception in the basement.

So it goes. I start to open my voice mails with "this is your stalker. I'll be at thus-and-such around 3:00."

I stop by his company's booth and ask after him. "He's not working right now," the receptionist tells me. "Would you like to leave a business card?"

"That's okay," I reply. "Just let him know that his stalker dropped by."

She smiles. "Are you his wife?"

"Heavens, no," I tell her. "I don't have her class. Or her height."

Fifteen minutes later I run into Martin G., and we take another stroll by the good doctor's booth. Sure enough, the jinx has run its course. The E-Sharps are just standing there. We greet them, and escort 'em to the sandwich shop. Then they head out to the Electronic Theater while Marty and I take a turkey sandwich to Professor Fractal.

This is the most fun I've ever had at Siggraph: I knew I was there for social reasons, but I'd started to get an idea of what things were the most fun, and I no longer needed a tourguide to pick out the most interactive or interesting exhibits, or the coolest technology. So other than scoring a few hugs from the E-Sharps—and catching the Electronic Theatre—I went to San Diego without much of an agenda at all.

Just a hippie girl taking in the sights.

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At the Electronic Theatre Yesterday . . .

one of the featured filmettes was the U2/Green Day "The Saints Are Coming" video.

It's stunning on every level: in its use of computer graphics (check out that water), the sound, the hittability of the lead singers (both generations, but of course Billy Joe Armstrong in particular—mascara notwithstanding), and as a piece of propaganda.

Those who are familiar with the U.S. Constitution will now start discussing posse comitatus, giving Bono a pass because he's Irish, and wondering why on earth leftists are now advocating a return to martial law based on Presidential whim.

But, please: the video was beautiful. It was an artistic/technological achievement, and it tugged at my heartstrings. It made me want to put up one of those posters about how the Navy doesn't need to hold bake sales to buy aircraft carriers. In short, it did exactly what good propaganda does: it made me feel, rather than think.

And it was a privilege to see it on a big screen, without the loss of resolution one always experiences with You Tube.

(Professor Fractal: "I hate You Tube. What about all those people who are posting their videos to You Tube, and deleting the originals? When better quality is available, where will they be?"

Martin G.: "If they are deleting the originals, it serves them right a few years down the line if they are stuck with horrendous-quality clips.")

Anyway, if you're in San Diego for Siggraph, be sure to get a ticket to the Electronic Theatre (or the Computer Animation Festival—whatever they're calling it these days).

It's longish (even grueling, as one nears the two-hour mark), but always—always—worth it.

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August 07, 2007

Emerging Technologies

Unfortunately, today will be my last day at Siggraph; I'll have to make it count.

My very favorite exhibit in Emerging Technologies was "Globe 4D," put together by some whip-smart Netherlanders at the Universitat Leiden. In the middle of the display is a an ordinary globe atlas; surrounding it is a lazy Susan sort of device that allows one to track changes the occur, or occurred, or might occur, over a matter of time. (That is, one can historically track what has happened with continental drift, and which tectonic plates will be crashing against each other in the future—and therefore what continents will be merging in the next few million years. Or one can simply look at the effects of light on Earth, by tracking the days and seasons. Or one can look at what could happen if water levels rise. [Hint: Florida and Holland could be in trouble.)

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Geena Davis Spoke Yesterday.

on behalf of See Jane, her new entertainment watchdog group that looks at issues of gender disparity in children's entertainment. So far, most of their research has focused on strict counting of characters in shows, which I don't find useful. What I find more interesting is the mushy, subjective stuff: how many strong female protagonists are there, for example? The number of "extras" in a cartoon that are male doesn't matter much to me.

And, needless to say, I'm in favor of neither government mandates on these issues, nor arbitrary guidelines that place handcuffs on writers and story editors. There are enough restraints on creativity in the world of children's programming as it is.

Nonetheless, it's worth keeping an eye on, so to speak: the idea of female visibility/freedom implied in a group like See Jane is another one of the fundamental liberal values that we need to promote. It is yet another Western notion that is under threat by Islamo-Fascism.

Just as I seek to make common cause with moderate Muslims, so I also intend to continue my dialogue with feminists who are seeking to enhance female visibility, support continuing opportunities for women, and fight the spread of Sharia law and other fundamentally sexist, oppressive political systems worldwide.

Very often, of course, the moderate Muslims and the creative feminists will turn out to be the same people. And that is delightful.

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Sean Hackbarth Joins the Fred Thompson Pre-Campaign.

They made a thoughtful choice: Sean has been blogging for nearly a decade—he started a long time before the terms "weblog" and "blog" were even coined. And with his background in computers and economics, he's going to bring a lot to the table over there in D.C. I just hope he finds the time to continue his own efforts at The American Mind.

I suspect the weather is a bit better in Washington, D.C., versus Wisconsin. And I've long suspected that D.C. would be a fun place to live. Wasn't it Jeff Harrell who said that it was nearly impossible to get lost in the nation's capitol after a few weeks, what with all the famous landmarks everywhere one turns?

I'd be pretty happy with Fred as a candidate. Of course, one never knows what the MSM has up its sleeve: one person I know speculates that there's a lot more dirt on Giuliani than we know, and that the media aren't focusing on it right now because they hope Rudy will be the GOP nominee. That seemed a bit conspiratorial to me, but they are certainly going after Fred with enough gusto that I rather think they don't want him to carry the banner for the Republicans.

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August 06, 2007

Personally,

I take a purse cam with me everywhere I go. It pretty much accessorizes with everything.


Via Insty, who remarks that Michelle Madigan is "not ready for prime time." I'm amazed that she thought she could pull that stunt off.

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August 05, 2007

Well, I'm Here.

I'm in San Diego, where the people are nice but the internet connections can be spotty.

Having a great time nerd-watching, socializing, and (let's be honest) reading the last Harry Potter book.

This, of course, is all exhausting. There's little time to blog.

Furthermore, one cannot write brilliant entries from the lobby of a Holiday Inn—I saw that written down somewhere, but I've forgotten where.

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August 03, 2007

All We Are Saying . . .

is give war a chance.

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Does No One in Iowa Eat Arugula?

I rather doubt that.

Come on: You've got to give Obama credit for trying. Remember the milk thing? As I recall, it was George Bush Sr. that got caught in that particular trap, which led to that leitmotif some years later in The West Wing wherein the President and his aides kept trying to find someone who worked in the White House and knew the price of milk. Once the information was located, a memo was send 'round.

What bothers me is that it's hard to find the blends of prepackaged salad mix that have arugula and/or mustard greens already in 'em (e.g., the "Portofino" blend by Ready Pac). So one either has to get a whole bag or arugula (and risk that some will go to waste), or live without spicy greens in one's salad.

So give the kid a break, okay?

Of course, had I been stumping in Iowa, I might have stuck with the price of corn. A safer bet—and still delicious.

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August 02, 2007

"You Know," My Father Announces, "I've Never Balanced a Checkbook in my Life."

"Yes," I respond. "When I got my first account and asked you how to keep it straight, you replied that the secret was to have two accounts, and use them alternately.

But I never had trouble with the 'running balance' thing. It was trying to reconcile them against the statements that always made me crazy."

"I can't even spell 'reconcile,'" my father replies.

This is the same guy who criticized me in college for not taking enough courses in "the natural sciences." (I used to wonder what unnatural sciences would be, but I never bothered to ask.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:07 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Everyone Draws the Line Somewhere.

My mother doesn't mind my keeping beer in her fridge, or a bottle of vodka in her closet.

She refuses to let me leave Cheerios there, however.

Of course, what she doesn't know can't possibly hurt her. (Unless she finds it, in which case I'll simply disavow. And, yes—that is, in fact, a word, though one wonders how much currency it enjoyed before the 1960s.)

Posted by Attila Girl at 04:01 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 01, 2007

Heck of a Twelve-Hour Span.

It included: (1) more work in the office, which meant coming to terms with The Calculator That Hates Me, and with QuickBooks.

I swear: like learning to drive a clutch again. I felt like I was 17 again. Ick.

(2) Driving across town to take my mother to the chiropractor. I was late in picking her up, so she used the opportunity to give me helpful advice regarding what route to take there, which lanes I should be in on the freeway, and the like. "Okey-dokey," I kept saying. I know she knew I was aggravated, but what can you do? Old habits die hard.

At a certain point I did say, "I think I'll navigate for a while, here."

(3) Dinner back on this side of town with my father, my stepmother, and my husband. Lovely meal, but it made it a long day. Dad, of course, was at his quirky best.

Did I tell you what my best friend in the 80s used to say about my parents? "Five minutes in the same room with either one of them explains sooo much."

I'm not sure she meant that in a good way.

So I'm sorry I'm so dull lately, but I do (sort of) have money in the bank, which is nice. I hate to make it sound like I prefer money to traffic, but . . . well, except for Darrell and a few other Bright Stars out there, the denizens of the blogosphere can't compete with Paying Clients. Not right now.

I'm halfway through re-reading The Half-Blood Prince, in preparation for You-Know-What. And I must get a move on: the husband is line right behind me . . .

Posted by Attila Girl at 09:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


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