31 August 2008
The DNC convention came and went, and as far as I've heard, there was no violence in the protests. There were plenty of protests (I loved watching the FOX 'News' reporter get lost in a sea of protesters shouting 'Fuck Fox News!'), but no news of violence.
In sharp contrast, let's take a look at security for the RNC, which, apparently, involves sending people undercover into protest groups in order to foil their plan. This page suggests that the infiltration is actually carried out by the federal government. There's a story of a protest group that had their bus siezed, leaving them stranded on the side of the road.
So, are we looking at how two different security forces deal with the same problem (Denver v. St. Paul)? Or, are protesters at a Republican event that much more dangerous than protesters at a Democratic event? Or, are high-ranking Republicans in the federal government authorizing these entirely inappropriate (illegal?) misdeeds in order to make the RNC go off without a hitch?
-in other political news-
There's a photo of Sarah Palin going around on the internet from back when she was in college. In it, she's sitting on her dorm bed, wearing a t-shirt that expresses pride at not being flat-chested. The photo is being used to discredit her, and I think that it's entirely unfair. First of all, the photo was taken when she was in college. College! Really, any photo from college that doesn't involve some sort of inappropriate nudity, drugs, booze, or language could be considered decent enough for a family portrait. And second, just a few years before Sarah Palin was in college wearing a cheeky tshirt, Barack Obama was in college shoving coke up his nose. So, really, let's keep some perspective. There are plenty of reasons that Sarah Palin is a bad choice, and we've got plenty of time to dig deep into them and destroy the McCain campaign. Let's not waste our time on cheap and easy attacks like this.
When we got to the store, the facade looked like it should have been boarded up years ago. Fairly run-down and non-descript. Even the name of the store, Greenspan's, looked like it might fall down any day. Inside was a mess. Clothes everywhere, mostly organized, and mostly hung on hangers. There were stacks and stacks of cardboard boxes and shoes and hats (Greenspan's makes a lot of their own hats).
And oh, the selection! Lots of great clothing! I bought eight short-sleeved button down shirts, all good quality, all around $20. The most expensive shirt was $24.99.
They aren't usually open on Sundays, but they were today because of a nearby film shoot. We lucked out in that we basically had the run of the store. The owner is an odd duck, but very nice, and one of the clerks was also very helpful. I'm looking forward to going back there when I need long-sleeved shirts too!
30 August 2008
1. Drive in the slow lane.
2. Don't slam on the gas to accelerate.
3. Be not an aggressive driver.
The last time I checked my mileage, I was getting about 44 miles per gallon (the read-out in the car said 48. Today, when we filled up, I checked my mileage again. The on-board computer said that we were getting 53.7 miles per gallon, but the actual mileage was 50.7 (404.2 miles on 7.973 gallons of gas).
So, there you go. An increase of 6 miles per gallon just by driving smarter. You too can do it!
29 August 2008
Plus, like Jack Kemp and George HW Bush before her, she's running for the VP spot under an ANCIENT candidate. At least with Reagan and Dole, we knew that if they kicked it, their VPs would be up to the task, but can anyone say with a straight face that Palin could handle the presidency when McCain dies (which is more likely than not in the next eight years)?
So, McCain went looking for someone who was a maverick, someone who is a DC outsider, and someone to shore up his conservative base. And now, with two Y chromosomes on the Democratic ticket, McCain thought 'hey, if my VP has boobs, I can get all of those disaffected Hillary voters too!'
The trouble is that those disaffected Hillary voters are starting to realize that despite the hard feelings between Clinton & Obama, a vote for Obama is way more like a vote for Hillary than a vote for McCain is.
Poor John McCain.
26 August 2008
After that meeting, I headed down to UCI to catch the second day of rehearsal for ENDGAME at UCI. I gave a short presentation and settled in to hear a read-through of the play. I'm looking forward to working on it, but I also wish I had some more time off. I won't really get a break until early October. Maybe.
24 August 2008
22 August 2008
responsibility of correcting text when quoting from a printed source. For
example, if a journalist wanted to quote this text:
"I wants to see big muntains befor I died."
Should the journalist change it to 'I want to see big mountains before I
die," or should she leave it as is. On the one hand, changing the text may
remove essential clues as to the nature of the writer (say, a sociopath).
On the other hand, not changing the text may leave in place a barrier to the
reader's emotional comprehension (ie dismissing the writer as ignorant when
in fact she may be a precocious five-year old). I don't recall the
resolution that the journalist reached, but I was reminded of that article
when I read a piece in THE NEW YORKER about Tavis Smiley (of whom I'm a big
fan). The piece quoted Tavis Smiley saying (not writing) on Obama:
"If the brother wins, I'm gon' be on the front line of the electric slide -
I'm gon' be there celebrating, like everybody else."
If you've ever heard Smiley speak, you know that while he has more
soulfulness to his voice than Obama, he's also just as articulate and
intelligent. I wonder, then, at the thought process behind the
transcription of "gon'." Why not use "going to?" What does using "gon'"
tell us about Smiley that we needed to know? That he's African-American?
We already knew that. That he has a relaxed speech pattern? Why not change
"celebrating" to "celebratin'," or "the electric" to "th' 'lectric?" Or
maybe there's something more subtle?
21 August 2008
As I write, I am killing some time before our last day of hiking in Rocky
Mountain National Park. We flew out here on Sunday (after a wonderful
wedding on Saturday night) to meet Sarah's folks and her brother. On
Monday, Chris, Ben, and I hiked to Ypsilon Lake, which, according to the
ranger, was 4.5 miles out (and another 4.5 back), with about 2000 feet of
elevation change. I had my altimeter with me, and we deduced that the
ranger was wrong. It was more like 2600 feet, roughly from 8200 to 10,600.
Highlights was eating lunch on a mountain lake and almost sliding down a
steep hill into a bunch of trees.
On Tuesday, the whole clan pretty much stuck together. Ben's fiancee came
in Monday night, and the group of us drove up a dirt road to a lodge on top
of a mountain. From there, we climbed to 12,500 to the top of a mountain
and hiked through an alpine meadow. When we started to get sleeted on, we
hightailed it back to the car.
Yesterday, we started what was initially a short hike. The six of us
started down a 2.8 mile (one way) trail, but when Sarah and Dianne turned
back, the remaining four of us decided to push on further. We ended up
hiking about 1800 feet of vertical, past a beautiful lock, up a mountain,
across a stream, and up a waterfall to a stunning lake nestled deep in the
mountain. I looked across the lake and saw snowpack feeding the lake.
After the long hike down, we came back to the cabin and cooked dinner.
Fresh trout stuffed with herbs and asparagus on the grill, and roasted red
It's now almost 8am. Dianne left an hour ago to drive Chris to the airport,
and Ben, Anne, and I are getting ready to go out for a long hike.
Photos to follow!
Ben, Anne, and I had a long hike today. We started at Bear Lake and headed
uphill to Lake Helene. From there, we hit Lake Odessa, Fern Lake, a couple
of waterfalls, and The Pond before ending at the Fern Lake Trailhead. After
getting back to the cabin, Sarah and I headed into town, where we shopped
for a bit. Estes Park is a nice little town, but as it isn't a ski town,
the shopping isn't aimed at ski town budgets. We found some neat stuff, but
the expensive stores were nestled in a lot of crappy tshirt stores. Our
favorite store was a little Irish store that had a whole wing of musical
instruments. I bought a bodrhan beater, and Sarah bought a penny whistle.
After shopping, we returned to the cabin where we grilled bacon-wrapped
shrimp and veggies. Afterwards, smores!
We're all in for the night. Dianne has just finished packing the kitchen,
Sarah's packing her stuff, Anne has written some postcards (which I must
sign), Ben is watching TV, and I'm blogging. Gotta go write some postcards
We leave tomorrow, sorry to see RMNP go. So long!
13 August 2008
Yesterday, we did the WB studio tour (pretty neat), had dinner at a great placed called Jar, and then we watched our old friend Briana in WICKED! I had never seen the show, and other than hearing 30 seconds of one song a few weeks ago, I had never heard the music either. The first act was unbelievable, but the last act fell flat. It lost its pacing, lost its urgency (from a character point), and the music wasn't as good. The worst part of all, though, was the ending. I won't spoil it in case you haven't seen it, but I was really disappointed by it. Alas.
Don't know what we're doing today! Maybe the aquarium?
12 August 2008
But, Dad thought it'd be fun, so we went.
I had a blast. We hit all the highlights (Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, The Tiki Room), some other bits (Tom Sawyer's island, lunch in New Orleans, etc.) and still didn't get it all done. We were there for about 11 hours, and we loved every minute of it.
The best part, though, was Mom. As we were waiting for the tram to take us from the parking structure to the park, she started giggling and talking about how excited she was to be there. None of us expected it, not even her. She was like a kid all day, and it was a treat to see!
We bought the photo of us on Splash Mountain, and I'll post it here once I have it scanned.
11 August 2008
After lunch, we had a few hours to kill, so we drove around Old Town Pasadena looking for somewhere to shop. Nothing looked particularly appealing, so we just headed towards Pomona.
In Pomona, we were meeting my dad's cousin and her family for dinner. We thought we'd get to Pomona, find a place to buy some wine and flowers, and have 40 minutes to kill. Unfortunately, we had trouble finding a place to buy anything. All of the shopping areas we found were very depressed. After three false starts, we finally found a wine shop with wine that was more than $8/bottle.
Dinner with the cousins was great. There were lots of stories of days of old, lots of great food, and lots of wine. No photos, though.
Today is Disneyland!
09 August 2008
While they're here, they're staying with us in our new place, which means that we had to sprint to get it all set up (as much as we could) before they arrived. We did a lot, but they've still had to endure some of the more annoying pieces of homeownership... utilities not connected, bad wiring, bad plumbing, etc. It's been a bit frustrating.
Heading back to LBC tonight, then up to Pasadena and Pomona tomorrow!
03 August 2008
Today we went around to some retro furniture stores and found some great pieces! A nice desk, a few coffee tables, and a great old bar. We didn't buy anything, but we're thinking about it...