Friday, February 29, 2008

$12 Million an Hour

If you listen to McCain give a speech there are a few threads that you will hear again and again, his talking points. One of them being his strong stance on pork barrel spending. He wishes to end it and he often sites the Gravina Island Bridge, but he calls it by its nickname, the "bridge to nowhere." The Wikipedia article estimates the bridge construction at $398 million. A Jonathan Alter piece in this week's Newsweek estimates the bridge construction at $233 million. The difference in number isn't relevant for what I wish to share, but some background information helps.

Alter's article covered the scope of what an Obama/McCain match-up might see in terms of arguments. One line that struck me: "The $233 million Alaska "bridge to nowhere" that McCain complains about incessantly is equal to less than 18 hours in Iraq."

Mull that one over.

Clinton Memo

Via Andrew Sullivan, a new memo from the Clinton campaign can be read here.

My favorite part:

With an eleven state winning streak coming out of February, Senator Obama is riding a surge of momentum that has enabled him to pour unprecedented resources into Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.
They even try spinning an eleven state winning streak as something bad. They're wrong. Riding "a surge of momentum"...isn't that what winners do?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Comedy Central does the Bucks

First, The Daily Show...

Next, The Colbert Report...

Both bits had great moments. I loved The Daily Show's comments on Feist and douchebags on laptops. I don't hear much Feist anymore, but a lot of opera for some reason.

I loved Colbert's joke about Paul McCartney's Memory Almost Full. Priceless. The day the Bucks introduced this album it played all day long in stores across the country, reminding us again and again that the Beatles were good and old Paul isn't. It is a horrible album.

There is one joke that I hear a lot. It has never really held much weight for me, even before I worked for the Bucks. The Daily Show used it. Whenever people act like they are ordering something at the Bucks they say something like, "Non-fat, grande, dry, latte, cappuccino, extra-hot, with two pumps of espresso." I don't find this all that amusing. Some people may not drink a lot of coffee, but one thing that isn't confusing is ordering at the Bucks unless people have a problem reading all printed menus in all restaurants. The menu is clear. There is no rush to order when in a Bucks. I wish people would take their time and read the board and actually figure out what they want. Just because the Bucks doesn't have value meals doesn't give patrons the right to be confused.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Loving it

Starbucks closes to learn how to make coffee.

Breaking News

Actually, this isn’t really breaking at all, "breaking news" is just so much more dramatic. It happened a few weeks ago, but I don’t think I have mentioned it to too many people.

Kate and I will be flying to Colorado on May 1st for a visit with friends and family. Kate will have to fly back on the 4th. I will stay until the 7th. I am already giddy at the thought of returning and it is still two months away. Ugh.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Closing Time

You may have heard. The Bucks is closing nationwide tonight for retraining for drink making and what not.

I'm actually looking forward to it. Not for the training because my lattes, caps, and fraps have always been above par, but for the chance to watch countless customers come to the door and be turned away.

Ever since I've been at the Bucks I have never quite understood the addiction. I admit, I have a devilish enjoyment in watching the masses get denied their drug. I enjoy it when we close early on holidays. I enjoyed it last year when the blizzards in Colorado forced my old store to close. I'll enjoy it tonight.

Doors close at 5:30pm local time. You better get yours if you don't want to find a locked door with me smiling and waving at you from the other side.

Still Complaining

17 weeks ago I wrote about going to get a haircut.

I quoted the hairdresser in this blog. She said this about the Starbucks I work at:

“I hate that store. They are dumb over there. I get Italian sodas at Starbucks all over, and when I try to order one there they say they don’t have them. They want you to buy one of the Pellegrino waters and then they say they can mix it up for you. It always tastes like crap. I just want an Italian soda.”

It had been a while since I was last at the barber shop. My hair was getting long.

The same lady cut my hair today, reminding me that I was last in there 17 weeks ago. She didn’t remember that, the computer did, and it recorded the time of my last visit and she saw it on the screen when I checked in. Unfortunately, she did remember that I work at Starbucks and I had to sit through complaints about customers, the way some people order their drinks, and how she doesn’t like anything on the menu at the real Starbucks stores. Luckily, it was a short haircut.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The 80th Oscars

The Oscars were naturally painful in most segments, but I watched last night because I love a lot of the movies nominated this year. Oh yeah, and Jon Stewart was hosting.

Stewart did a wonderful job, but I am biased. Of course I am going to enjoy his humor. His opening monologue was poignant and sharp. He mentioned that if Vanity Fair really wanted to respect the writers this year they would have simply invited the writers to the Vanity Fair Oscar party, not just cancel the thing.

It didn't take long for the jokes to turn political. There were quite a few in the first five minutes, but this one was beautiful. Talking about Away With Her, starring Julie Christie (nominated this year), Stewart said, “Brilliant movie. It was a moving story of a woman who forgets her own husband. Hillary Clinton called it the feel good movie of the year.”

If the actors voted for who they wanted to host the Oscars, I am not convinced Jon Stewart would be victorious. However, I think he is one of the best hosts in recent years because he appropriately walks the fine line between respecting the actors and grounding them a bit, reminding them of how often they all get together to celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Why Texas doesn't count

WOW!!!!!!!!! Don't miss this.

New rules for airplane exit-row seating

  1. People seated in the exit-row must be 6’5” or taller.
    1. Exception #1: When someone within the height range is traveling with a spouse or family members that aren’t 6’5” or taller, that spouse or one family member will be allowed to sit in the exit-row.
    2. Exception #2: Exit-row seats will only be available to average-height people once it is determined by the crew that no one within the accepted height range is on the flight. If it is found that someone on the plane 6’5” or taller wants an exit-row seat, the smaller human being must relinquish his or her exit seat. Patrons will follow this pattern if there is more than one tall person wanting an exit-row seat.
  2. Being obese doesn’t qualify you for exit-row seating. The seats are no wider in the exit-row. This is a problem only money can fix. $200 more for a first-class seat.
  3. If there happens to be an average-height person who refuses to give their exit-row seat to a taller, vastly superior being, they will be immediately removed by flight attendants and stuffed in the overhead bins.
    1. If the overhead bins are too full, try under the seat in front of you. If this does not work, the person must check themselves as baggage.
  4. In order to force a segment of average height people from being able to sit in the exit-row window seats, the exit door will now way 85 lbs instead of 35 lbs. The argument being: the tall people that want those exit-row seats are usually much stronger than the short people that all too often get those exit-row seats.
  5. When seated in the exit-row, and an average-height person in the row in front of you tries to recline their seat and can’t because they are in the row in front of the exit-row, all of those that are seated in the exit-row must perform the wave, cheer, and high five each other.
  6. If the flight attendants do not offer their services in finding a seat with more leg room for you, your flight is free.
  7. If a short or average-height person refuses to give their exit-row seat up at all costs, that person is officially a jackass. He or she will now have to be subjected to a contest. The contest: a dwarf-tossing contest. The contestants: all people 6’5” or taller that were denied an exit-row seat. The ammo: the average-height jackass.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lion King

We went to The Lion King last night. While it was impressive in all the ways Broadway musicals can be, I left just a little disappointed. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t wowed for a number of reasons.

1. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables. I guess I don’t like the musicals that you can bring your little kids to as much as the ones that feature darkness, death, action, and a whore house.

2. I enjoyed about three songs.

3. I got sick of the fart jokes. If you’ve seen this production you know what I mean.

4. I feel bad about this, but at the start of Act III, I just wanted Simba to kick Scar’s ass already. The end barely came soon enough.

Was it worth seeing? Yes. I might not opt for eleventh row seats next time. Something in the balcony would have been fine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Afterthoughts: Obama's Wisconsin Victory

I’m pleased with Obama’s win last night. Most bloggers are saying there is no way she can spin this victory for Obama. Wisconsin was a state she had a legitimate chance at winning, but in recent weeks Obama has turned quite a few Clinton supporters in groups that he didn’t carry in previous states.

I was irritated again by Clinton’s speech last night. There was no acknowledgement of Obama’s victory or of the thousands of votes she did receive last night from Wisconsonites. She has every right to continue with her classic stump speech, but acknowledge the man. After all, you were friends before this and you will be friends after this. Can you not be friends during the race? Her recent attack ads in Wisconsin weren’t very friendly. I posted one of them here. Obama politely responded with one of his own, reminding her that they have already had 18 debates together. The 19th is coming to you on Thursday night.

As it looks now, Obama doesn’t stand a chance in Ohio and Pennsylvania, but the tide may be turning in Texas. For what it is worth Obama is getting endorsements in Texas, most recently from The Houston Chronicle.

Clinton’s clout still scares the hell out of me. Victory is still within her grasp. By winning Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania she could gain back a ton of momentum lost in Obama’s current ten-state winning streak.

The Guardian is reporting that the Obama campaign is urging Clinton to concede. I don’t think we have reached that point at all. The Obama campaign needs to keep a reign on that kind of wishful thinking or else it will spur up even more tension between the two candidates. I think it is obviously clear that the Clinton campaign isn’t going to back out anytime soon. She wants this too much and I can see it getting much nastier between the two of them before it gets any better, especially if she presses harder on seating the delegates from Michigan and Florida at the August convention in Denver. Also, this urging by the Obama campaign to concede because an Obama nomination is “inevitable” sounds a little arrogant at this point. If I was a superdelegate supporting Clinton and I heard this, it would probably solidify my vote for Clinton even more.

Though Clinton still stands a chance at victory, there is this sense that a Clinton sweep in two weeks isn’t inevitable anymore. Obama may not win the next batch of states, but he is definitely closing the gap.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Obama Rally in Racine

On Monday I got a notice in my inbox that Obama was going to be in Racine on Wednesday night. The subject header said something like, “Join Barack at a rally in Racine.”

I opened the email and read the contents of it over and over to make sure Barack really was going to be at this rally. Once my keen powers of observation confirmed he was in fact going to be the special guest at this rally I signed up.

When I arrived in Racine I was frantically trying to find a parking spot because I had driven past the line a couple of times and it was growing with every second that I was looking for a parking spot. Instead of trying to find a good spot I drove a couple blocks away and found a parking garage with tons of spots. I parked and ran/speed-walked my way to the end of the line.

Everyone had to have these printed tickets that we received in our email inboxes once we signed up for the event. There were tons of Obama volunteers telling us that we were going to get in. One guy said, “If you have a ticket, you’ll get in. I can’t say the same for people arriving fifteen minutes from now.” He was right. Fifteen minutes after that the line had wrapped around the corner and started extending down the third side of the large building the rally was being held in. However, in the end, I think most people got in. 3,500 to be precise.

It was below freezing out there in line. Most people that got actual seats (including me) stood in line for over an hour. My toes were near frozen by the time I got in the building. The guy in front of me was trying to warm his feet by sticking them near the exhaust pipes of all the TV vans we were lined up next to. An elderly couple that had driven up from Illinois left the line after 45 minutes. They couldn’t take the cold. The doors were supposed to open much earlier than they did. Thus, many people were getting very frustrated with the long wait. We were told later on that the delay was caused by metal detector issues.

Security was tight. There were metal detectors at every entrance. I had to relinquish a coveted Swiss Army key chain dilly-bob. Coats had to be opened while in the building. There were cops everywhere. Obama even has some Secret Service agents assigned to him already. I really didn’t mind the security because I think the man should have it. However, I wish I knew what stinking TSA agent now has my Swiss Army key chain dilly-bob. I hope whoever it is that they lose it quickly. Punk.

I got a balcony seat, which wasn’t that bad. I was a little far away, but no more than 50 yards separated me and the podium that Barack would soon be standing at.

From the moment I got in line to the end of the evening people were very friendly. Everyone was so happy. People were smiling, laughing, engaged in thoughtful discussion and debate. I never felt that the excitement was just because Barack was near. Certainly, that played a role, but there was this excitement in the air that was so energetic. Excitement for the end of Bush’s presidency, for America’s future, for what we have a chance to do for this country, for involvement in the political process, and for alleviation and possibly an end to some of the problems that have been plaguing this country for a while. We were there for all those things and, of course, to see Barack, the only candidate out there that has a chance of carrying that kind of hope for such a diverse crowd.

Besides being friendly, the crowd seemed pretty informed about Barack’s policies and why they were voting for him. There were a few exceptions. A gentleman sitting across the aisle from me was having a discussion with a couple of people sitting near him. He was telling them that Hillary recently stated that she would love to be Barack’s running mate if it became clear she wasn’t going to win the nomination. I still haven’t found proof of this anywhere and I was a little skeptical of anything else that came out of this man’s mouth. He was a little too excited, at one point yelling, “We are watching history. They are going to remember our names because we were here today. This is something we are going to tell our kids and grandchildren about.” I know I witnessed something historical, even if Obama doesn’t go on to win the nomination, but I will not be remembered for being there, Obama will be. History remembers the leader. Sometimes the nameless crowd beside that leader is remembered, but often only in number.

People yelled when Obama volunteers started handing out signs. Everyone knew Obama was near. The Secret Service agents that came out to stand by the crowd really got everyone excited. The Governor of Wisconsin introduced Obama and the U2 music was queued for his grand entrance.

Obama shook hands and waved and eventually made it to the podium. He gave his classic stump speech, making several good points, but there wasn’t much there that I hadn’t already heard him say in speeches I’ve watched on his website, YouTube, or other outlets. It is a good speech though, filled with dramatic pauses, humor, and details. Yes, he did include details.

I enjoyed the 25 minutes after the speech, during which Obama took questions from the crowd. Even though there was no teleprompter for Obama’s speech, it was pretty much set in stone what he was going to say. The question and answer session made it less unscripted. I’m not going to elaborate about the questions or his answers, but I will say I was impressed with Obama’s answers because he answered the questions. All too often, politicians will disguise their response as an answer. Obama wasn’t doing this and that was good to see.

After the formalities ended I watched from the balcony as Obama greeted fans pressed up against the safety rope. Standing up there, trying to analyze the whole evening, I decided it felt like going to church in a way. The only other time I have been around that many people excited about something was at church, and even then, this isn’t the case every Sunday. The Obama movement is a religious movement. I had read that numerous times before Wednesday, but that night I believed it, saw it first hand. There is something he stirs up in Americans, something that McCain and Clinton certainly do not. It is more than a popularity contest with Obama. People actually want to change the country with him. Obviously, not every Obama supporter is going to become this vessel of change, hope, and volunteerism, but the desire to be that vessel is being nurtured by this campaign, and as I left that hall on Wednesday I thought of how an Obama presidency could unleash that desire. That made me feel patriotic, a feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

On Clinton's Whereabouts in Wisconsin

I haven't seen any news about her being in the state of Wisconsin and I was wondering if she would be coming to Milwaukee before the primary on February 19th which she is clearly concerned about.

I just finished up reading this article at the Journal-Sentinel website and got my answer in the last sentence.

"Former President Clinton will visit Milwaukee, Waukesha, Madison and La Crosse today to campaign for his wife."

Boring.

I think I'll hit up the next Obama rally in Milwaukee tomorrow.

Hillary's Wisconsin Ad

I don't think this ad works when tomorrow Obama will be holding his third rally in the state since Tuesday night and taking questions from the audience.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Seeing Obama

Bragging about going to a political rally? Yes, I am. It was a spur of the moment thing. I had to switch my shift at the Bucks today. I had to speed to get there. I stood in a really long line, but I didn't get denied a seat and a good view to hear and see Barack Obama today.

Awesome. The love, energy, and friendliness of everyone around me was unforgettable. More later.

Kristol on The Daily Show

It's always good when Kristol is on the show because you know there are going to be fireworks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Realizing California

I’ve written before on this blog about my childhood desire to move back to Southern California and how that desire drastically diminished with, I would say, a dash of maturity and a whole lot of Colorado.

I return to that theme today.

Eleven days ago, as Kate and I were landing in San Diego, we were admiring the beauty of the city from above.

We were walking toward the baggage claim when I heard this out of Kate’s mouth.

“Let’s move here. I wanna live here.”

“No you don’t.” I said.

“Yes, I do.”

I didn’t feel like saying, “No, you don’t” again. I knew after she got a good taste of Southern California she would change her mind. Of course, I didn’t point this out to her. I just kept my mouth shut regarding that and indulged in a dream with her. “I’ll only move here if we can buy a beach house. One right on the beach. Not a block away. Not with a view of the beach from a distance. A front row beach house.”

“Okay.” She said with a perky twist to it that just slightly undermined the difficulty of being able to purchase/afford such a house.

Less than 48 hours later, after Kate saw the expanse that Southern California suburbia is, after driving great distances on six-lane roads over sweeping hills to just go to the super market, after hearing about traffic on the five (I-5), after learning more about the cost of living in Southern California, after observing the lifestyle of Californians that pushes the limits of sustainability, after realizing all those things make living by the Pacific and not having to experience a winter not look so good anymore, she said, “I don’t want to live here.”

I told her. “I know.”

Monday, February 11, 2008

A pill-counter she is not

Here is a snippet of a conversation Kate had while we were in California a week ago.

Person: So what do you do, Kate?

Kate: I’m a pharmacist.

Person: Oh. A pill counter.

Kate: Well, actually not.

The conversation continues. Kate explains that pharmacists don’t count pills. The person, obviously a little surprised, listens.

This happens a lot. I’m sick of it, and I’m not even the pharmacist. There really is a swath of people out there that think pharmacists are the ones that count out the pills and fill each and every bottle of prescriptions at the local pharmacy. A lot of people don't even realize there are pharmacists employed at hospitals.

Here’s a little education. Think of it as a little tutorial from the inside of the drug world and my head.

Often the people that count pills at pharmacies are pharmacy technicians. These are people like you and I that could walk into a local pharmacy and apply. We don’t need a degree. We don’t need a background in the medical field. With proper training we could be back there counting some pills, by fives of course (this speeds up the process while maintaining accuracy) in a matter of months, maybe weeks. Sometimes it is the pharmacist counting the pills, but this is not the pharmacist’s primary responsibility at work.

Kate works in a decentralized hospital pharmacy. She actually meets with patients and consults them. She has to talk with doctors and even sometimes let them know that they have prescribed an incorrect dosage. This year she is working 60+ hours a week. Her work is hard and draining. Not to mention, when you are consulting doctors and patients on which drugs to use there is absolutely no room for error.

She didn’t go to school for six years to count pills and, one more thing, Dr. Perica, is not a typo.

Obamania

Andrew Sullivan gets a lot of emails. He regularly posts them on his blog. I post this one in its entirety right here because it is stellar.

Yesterday I participated in the Democratic caucuses in central Maine. I am nearly 50, and I've never seen anything like it. The turnout was amazing - four little towns in the same small community center, with over 200 people attending. In 2004 the total number might have been 40. But that's not the interesting part.

When our little town split off for our individual caucus, I realized much of what you have been saying about Obama being a game changer is true.

There were 30 of us, with about 10 for Hillary and 20 for Obama (27 when absentee ballots were counted). Four of the Obama voters spoke up - there were all independents who had switched their registrations to Democratic so that they could participate. And this on a snowy day. In 2004, we had only 8 people caucus in our town, so in a typical year, that would have been half of the draw.

The most poignant words came from one of the independents, a clean-cut career military guy in his 40s who said he had always voted a straight Republican ticket, and was devastated at what has happened to the military in the last seven years. He said early in his career his was treated like royalty overseas; just last year he was spit on twice.

The most heated moment came late in the process, when an elderly gentleman for Hillary said, "I want everyone here to make a pledge, and I'm talking to all you Obama supporters. I want you to pledge that you will be loyal Democrats, and vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination." The 4 (former) independents all said flat-out if it was Clinton vs. McCain, they would be voting for McCain. One Obama supporter said, "I'm an American first, not a Democrat, and I will make no such pledge." The rest of us Obama supporters were quiet because we didn't want to offend our neighbors, but I did a quick poll of 4 around me as we were leaving, and their position is the same as mine - we are not voting for Hillary for president under any circumstances.

I have voted for the Democratic candidate in every election since I was eligible to vote first in 1980, and sometimes I had to hold my nose. But no more - I simply won't vote for someone I know will be a poor president, and bring so much baggage to boot. My key issues are education and health care - Hillary started the debacle of more and more testing and federal intervention in schools, bringing the dubious Arkansas programs she championed with her when Bill was elected. She set health care reform back a generation. We all have our reasons for opposing her, and there are plenty of them. I think many people who have claimed blind loyalty to the Republican or Democratic parties have seen what acting like sheep has gotten us, and we're done with it. If it's Clinton and McCain, we'll still be voting for the other offices on the ballot, but the presidential one will remain blank.

Many of us Obama supporters are a strong anti-Hillary vote, more than a pro-Obama vote like you. And that's why it's such a pleasant surprise as we get to know him, see what he is building, and start to believe.

I think the Clinton supporters had to be struck as everyone was by the numbers, and the new people. The kid elected chair of our caucus was 20, figuring out the delegate split with the calculator on his cell phone. The average age of our caucus attendees is usually 50+ - we've never had college-age kids show up in the time I've been involved.

Just imagine this same scene played out in thousands of little towns across the country, as independents, life-long Republicans, and kids show up to Democratic caucuses. Game changer indeed.

*Bold highlights by me.

Amy Winehouse

It didn't take long to find a comparison picture. On the left, we have Winehouse in her current condition, a walking anti-drug poster. On the right, we have Winehouse circa the release of her Frank album, possibly.

Don't do drugs, kids.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Grammy Randomness

I’ll never make sense of the mainstream music industry.

Yes, I am watching the Grammys, live-blogging them I guess. How lame.

What did Rihanna just do on stage? I am clueless. Who was dancing and singing with her? They probably are Grammy winners. Some would say I should know them, but I don’t. Frankly, they suck.

I will never work in the music industry. I’ve never wanted too, but still, I’m watching this and trying to understand it and the whole thing feels like an inside joke, not as big as an inside joke as the MTV VMAs seemed to be, but still often confusing and over the top.

Right now, there is a woman in a red dress having a Grand mal seizure while she is being suspended with ropes above the stage. Apparently, this is a tribute to the Beatles. I feel like I get the Beatles, but I don’t get this tribute to them. Who thinks of this crap? Most of the people in the audience have to be wondering the same thing. Maybe not. I suppose a lot of them are trying to find the beauty and the art in it because it must be there, after all, it is the Grammys. Finally, a voice in this tribute. I don’t know who this boy is (he does look like he is 15) but I’ve enjoyed listening to him more than most of the performers so far tonight.

I know Miley Cyrus is the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. I learned this just the other night, but what does she do? I saw her name on the bestsellers list on iTunes today. She must sing. News to me. Update: Miley Cyrus is Hannah Montana. Also news to me. I just learned this on Wikipedia.

It’s really too bad Amy Winehouse won an award. I shouldn’t care, but from what I’ve seen and heard of her, a Grammy is the last thing she needs. I saw some pictures of her in USA Today a couple of weeks ago. What I’m about to tell you may shock you all, but Winehouse used to be good looking. She looks legit in these pictures. I will post pictures of her later. I have to.

I’m 40 minutes into this and I have only seen one artist on stage that I like, Alicia Keys. There might be some other good artists on soon. I think Foo Fighters is going to perform. I like them. I wish Foo Fighters stopped yelling in there songs so much. I enjoy their singing more.

Wisconsin’s primary is February 19. I think Barack Obama’s commercials made their local debut today. This isn’t related to the Grammys, only that I just saw a commercial of his on CBS, the network hosting the Grammys.

Whoa. Kanye West’s crazy sunglasses are battery powered and his deejays look like they are straight out of Tron.

Ah. John Legend. I like John Legend. He seems to be an odd partner for Fergie in this performance. Can you picture Legend breaking out into a rendition of “My Humps”?

Ringo is short.

Now I’ve destroyed untold number of brain cells by watching the Grammys for 58 minutes. My patience for these shenanigans dies hard. There is something better to do.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Brooklyn Video

video

Here's a short video of Kate holding Brooklyn and trying to get her to smile or do her little laugh. We were fairly successful. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Facebook Birthdays

Crappy.

According to Facebook my popularity has sharply declined over the years.

I joined Facebook in time for my 23rd birthday in 2006. I got 22 wall posts on that birthday from new friends and old friends. From old crushes in college to crushes long before that time. From friends I hadn't spoken to in months and maybe even years to friends that I talked to everyday. From teammates to roommates to my girlfriend. I'm sure there were some Facebook messages in there too. I'm telling you I was popular. I was someone people wanted to stay in touch with. I was an established veteran of a school, of a team, and of an online pseudo-friend community, Facebook.

In 2007 the number of Facebook happy birthday wall posts more than halved to 9 posts.

And in 2008 the number of Facebook happy birthday wall posts dropped to a measly 5.

I'm a little worried. At this rate I'll have only two or three friends next year that will say happy birthday to me the easy way, on Facebook.

The year after that I could have one...maybe. This is not good. Not good at all.

It is telling though. All my "Facebook friends", aka fake, electronicky friends, are slowly dying off because Facebook can't keep people together like real face-to-face, personal interaction can. Time is quickly stripping the electronic connection and friendship down to bare bone. That bone isn't very strong. It's crumbling. Such is the life of the Facebook friendship.

"A Perfect Ending, for the Giants"

This is irrelevant and late by now, but I couldn’t resist.

That was the greatest Super Bowl in recent memory, minus the first three quarters…BORING. Yes, the Giants did beat the Packers a couple weeks ago. All is forgiven. I had a hunch they were the much better team to send on to the Super Bowl if I wanted to see the Patriots lose. I did and so did 97% of America.

Unfortunately, for the Patriots, some of their most hated qualities were or were not on display on Sunday night.

Most hated quality on display: Bill Belichick. He shook Tom Coughlin’s hand after the pseudo end of the game and marched right off into the locker room. What? You and your short-sleeved hoodie couldn’t hang out for one more second to formally congratulate your opponents at the end of the official game. As if there were any risk of you liking us at some point later in your career you sealed the deal Sunday night. Throw in that wonderful post-game interview and that thing earlier in the season, oh yeah, cheating, and you gave us a lot of fuel for the fire. It burns brightly. I bet you would say you don’t care though.

Most hated quality not on display: The Patriots ability to pull victories straight out of their ass every close game of the season. They still count for wins. Don’t get me wrong, but how did it feel to be the receiver? 18-1. I was happy to not be able to hate that about the Patriots on Sunday.

In the last minute of the game, after Manning’s escape and Tyree’s catch there was a feeling of inevitability swirling around the Giants’ magical drive. There wasn’t a Patriot fan in the house where I watched the game. That made the end even sweeter when Burress made the game-winning touchdown catch. He schooled the defender so well it looked like a shell drill from practice. No defense.

Appropriately, this goes out to the 1972 Miami Dolphins. They seem a little slimy, bitter about something, old, and leathered, but I had to chuckle Sunday night when I thought of them toasting to another end of another perfect season.


*Title for this blog stolen from The New York Times, Monday, February 4, 2008.

*My condolences go out to Jarrod.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Who Needs Writers?



Hilarious.

Morning After

Morning Folks.

I haven't checked any blogs yet to get a much more educated analysis of Super Tuesday. I'll get around to that. The TV isn't talking about politics right now either, just tornadoes and 45 people dead. Very sad.

I could have been in a very bad mood this morning. I am not. I am in a pretty good one because there is still a race for the Democratic nomination. A couple months ago there never was supposed to be one.

Now, Clinton edges Obama in delegates, but according to the media her lead is less than a hundred.

States she won:

Arizona
Arkansas
California
Massachusetts
New Jersey
New York
Oklahoma
Tennessee

Obviously, New York and California are huge wins, but the Clintons are so entrenched in those two states that Obama never really stood a chance. However, given the Clinton's popularity in California, Obama did impressively close that gap a little bit, so that has got to be encouraging to his camp. So, she got eight states.

Obama won:

Alabama
Alaska
Colorado (yeah, that's my homeland)
Connecticut
Delaware
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois (Clinton's real home state)
Kansas
Minnesota
Missouri (by 1 percentage point)
New Mexico (not confirmed, but he is leading by 1 percentage point)
North Dakota
Utah

That's 14 states. She may have pulled in more delegates, but Obama had a very impressive night. He wasn't really expected to win in some western states like Colorado and New Mexico, but he power-bombed Hillary in Colorado. That was beautiful, not just because Obama won Colorado, but also because I just used a wrestling metaphor.

I'm not totally sure about this, but it looks like Obama won the states where either name wasn't necessarily a household name. Where the plain was level he pulled ahead. That is my impression of last night. A longer battle over each state falls into Obama's favor. And he is still riding a wave after last night.

Like a Clinton strategist said recently. It is hard enough running against a viable candidate, but running against a movement is a whole different story.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Watching the results

For Obama, this night was always going to be a little ugly, but how ugly is it? It’s way too early to tell. We probably won’t be able to tell until tomorrow. For now…

Clinton has won Arkansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Obama has won some though. CNN has called Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois (surprise, surprise), and North Dakota for him.

What is up with Huckabee tonight? The man is on fire in West Virginia, Arkansas, and Georgia. If he weren’t in the race right now, who would his votes be going toward? It is tough to say, but it is definitely weird to have him in the race still when it is clear he is not going to be the nominee.

It looks like Obama could win Connecticut. CNN hasn’t called it yet, but I think that would be a big win for him because it is nudged in there with a bunch of states that already went, or will be going to Clinton.

Obama is definitely going to win Minnesota.

Angel Moroni, Romney just won Utah. This is the surprise of the night.

It looks like Kansas will go to Obama. I don’t know Kansas very well at all, but this news makes me proud because I know people there. They probably didn’t vote in Kansas, but still, there’s a little pride.

Huckabee is on the TV right now from Arkansas. He said “a lot of people have been trying to say this is a two man race”. Are you kidding me Huck? There is not a chance. He has got to be in the race now in hopes to be someone’s running mate or a cabinet member. Colbert will probably be calling him a Huck-a-was pretty soon. By the way, Huckabee needs braces. Campaign money, hello!

That’s it for now. I can’t yet blog and watch TV at the same time so I’m going back to the TV.

Oh, CNN just officially called Connecticut, Kansas, and Minnesota for Obama.

Thunder Snow?

I don't really know what thunder snow is, but that is apparently what we are going to get throughout the night and into tomorrow. The greater Milwaukee area is expected to get 12-20 inches of snow in the next 24 hours. I've heard about 14 inches where we are. We'll see though. It could be worse. It could be a lot less. It is definitely coming down right now though.

Right Now

Now I have to go to work for four hours. I'm so glad I have tonight off. I'll be glued to the TV and hopefully get another blog or two up.

The Defining Moment

Many moments from this weekend will never be forgotten. I don't have time to tell you about them all. However, I'll share with you this one.

After Megan and Brooklyn picked us up at the airport we started driving back to San Marcos. It was 3pm Pacific time. Kate and I had been up since 1:45am Pacific time so I suggested stopping for some caffeine at Starbucks. We did.

We got in. We ordered. While I was waiting for the drinks Kate picked Brooklyn up and held her for the first time. I came over with the drinks and watched.

After a bit I was ready to hold my niece for the first time. I took her in my arms. Cradled her. Loved on her. Tried to get her to smile. Her eyes enveloped me. She brought smiles. And when I looked up I noticed she brought tears, tears to my sister's eyes. I realized what a big moment this was. I was holding my sister's daughter for the first time. I didn't say anything. It was a huge moment for all of us and it was so beautiful because it was meaningful in different ways to each one of us.

No words were shared at all. The moment transcended description so I took a deep breath and looked at the women in front of me and the little girl in my lap and I was happy.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Quickly Now

Just got back.

A lot to write about...the visit...the Super Bowl...traveling...the birthday...people. Ah, so much.

A lot to think about.

Need to load some pictures up here.

Huge day tomorrow.

Our niece is picture perfect. She is beautiful.


And I still have hope that America will make it a race tomorrow.