Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama's Doing It

I have to admit: I did NOT watch Barack Obama's speech last night. I was out on the town having a good time with some friends. I meant to tivo it, but I forgot. Since I missed the speech itself, I've been looking into reactions. I haven't read the speech, because I want to hear it delivered. I want to hear the crowd reactions. I want to hear what words are emphasized, and where Obama gets on a roll.

From what I've seen, it looks like Obama gave a speech for the ages. I'm not one for hyperbole. It usually seems desperate to me, but from what I've seen, this speech was nothing short of amazing. For Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan to say the things they said about the speech, for Alex Castellanos to make the comment he made at the end of this clip, it must have been a truly remarkable speech.

Andrew Sullivan, a conservative I admire - not a talk-radio windbag, not a conservative who invokes the name "Hussein" to scare people who believe that it simply must indicate some level of terrorist tendencies - said something that I found inspirational in its own right. He's a small-government conservative who talks about issues instead of Britney Spears' set designer. I would encourage you to check out his site, but more specifically what he had to say about last night's speech:

Look: I'm biased at this point. I'm one of those people, deeply distressed at what has happened to America, deeply ashamed of my own misjudgments, who has shifted out of my ideological comfort zone because this man seems different to me, and this moment in history seems different to me. I'm not sure we have many more chances to get off the addiction to foreign oil, to prevent a calamitous terrorist attack, to restore constitutional balance in the hurricane of a terror war.

I've said it before - months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.

Love Obama or hate him, I think that should be enough to encourage those of us who haven't heard the speech to at least check it out.

I'm not going to say anything else. I don't feel like I need to, but I will add a song to my Desert Island Jukebox. I think I will add "Please Forgive Me" by David Gray. It's a mellow counterpart to the more lively song I added yesterday. I'll need a relaxing evening song to enjoy by the beach while sipping on margaritas from the Desert Island Margarita Machine that came as a free gift with the Desert Island Jukebox.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Press Release 8-28-08

In the spirit of full disclosure, in order to maintain an air of openness and transparency in my campaign, I feel it important for you to know that I own exactly zero homes. After some research into the matter, with some help from my closest staffers, I came up with this figure. It is the most current figure and has remained unchanged since I was born.

In this day of the 24-hour news cycle and the blogoshpere, I know that had I not produced this figure myself, at this time, I would have been lampooned for making an errant estimation. While, in my day to day affairs, it is sometimes easy to lose track of my nonexistent properties, I assure you that I am in touch with the American voter, as I have never been able to afford more than zero homes, and I will remain in this financial stratum for the foreseeable future.

There were those in my high school band who accused me of being out of touch, because my trumpet was silver. My friends, let me assure you that that was a gift that counted for both Christmas and birthday that year. And, if you'll allow me, when you're good, you're good.

Rest assured, I remain firmly in the middle class. And, if I ever do win the lotery, I will not forget the plight of the rest of you suckers.


There's this music snob show on NPR called "Sound Opinions." During the show one of the hosts always gets to add a song to their "Desert Island Jukebox." I'm going to copy this idea, because I like it and so the first song that goes on my Desert Island Jukebox is Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, by Paul Simon. I'm not saying this is the best song in the history of songs, but it does feature two of my favorite musical artists in one song (Ladysmith Black Mambazo & Simon), it is upbeat (if I'm only getting one song to start with), and I could probably kill a good number of hours making up a great dance to the horn break.

I'd like to hear your recommendations too. I'll add to my jukebox next time I post.

Thanks for humoring me.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Travelogue: Beantown

Greetings from Boston. The spirit of true patriotism has captured my heart yet again, as I've spent the evening walking the same cobblestone streets once trodden by such American heroes as Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere's horse, just to name a few. I didn't get to spend much time downtown yet, as I'm spending most of my days in class at Boston University, alma mater of the right reverend Nathan Robinson, yet another true American hero in my book.

I haven't yet been able to enjoy the dulcet tones of the New England accent, as I spent two consecutive hours with my head a mere 16 inches from a live jet engine. I've heard that these engines produce about 140 decibels at a distance of 100'. Now I'm no acoustical scientist, but I'm guessing that since my head was a mere foot-and-a-half from said jet engine, and, given the nominal amount of sound insulation in the wall of the fuselage, I was probably subjected to about 10,000 db of continuous noise (rounding down). I also was forced to watch an episode of "The Wire" (S4E5), to distract myself from my discomfort with the notion that I'm in a 20 ton tube of steel that uses "lift" to get itself and its passengers (more on that later) about 7.5 miles from the ground. Given my proximity to the engine and the fact that I can't understand a word the black characters on "The Wire" say, I was forced to listen to it at full volume. I would assume that this added another 1,300 or so decibels to the equation, but only for 1 of the two hours. For those of you following along at home, that's 11,300 decibels for a full hour and another hour at 10,000. To put this into perspective, according to most sources I've found, permanent hearing loss is probable at a sustained 90-95 decibels. I may never get to hear anyone say "che-owdah."

I do have to commend the airplane that brought me here. I would say that it had to work about 15-20% harder than other planes its size, given the enormity of many of its passengers. My flight left Chicago at 8:45am, and I got to the gate around 7:30. In the hour that I sat and waited a 20-something couple arrived, with a combined weight of about 550-600 lbs. Upon arrival the husband (I saw rings of gold) consumed two Starbucks muffins. "Hmm... eating healthy," I thought to myself. That is, until I wandered off, only to come back with a couple Egg McMuffins. (If you think I'm kidding, I will punch you next time I see you.) In the course of about 45 minutes, I would estimate that this man consumed about 1200 calories. UGH! Let me be clear: I am NOT making fun of fat people. I'm not the slimmest dude myself. But I am commenting on the sheer number of obese people that were on my flight. One lady had to take about three wind-up attempts before completing a stand-up out of her seat. So congratulations are in order for American Airlines flight 1718 from O'Hare to Boston Aug. 3rd. You really did an excellent job lifting us off of the earth.

Note: I did bring my camera, and I DO have some pictures, but I don't have the proper cable-age to transfer my pics to my sweet Apple iBook. So patience will certainly pay off when you do finlly get to see my travel photos.