November 8, 2006

Two Things That Should Have Occurred to Me

Filed under: Not Tech — Chris @ 8:12 pm

1) The plastic delivery container from the comfort-food take-out place might melt and dissolve in the microwave.

2) Chicken pot pie crust won’t reheat in the microwave anyway.

P.S. Can you imagine how much work I’m getting done today?

In Non-Election News…

Filed under: Not Tech — Chris @ 7:49 pm

You know those cardboard sleeves that come with CDs these days? The kind that wrap around the jewel case and are always kind of hard to slip the CD into and out of? The ones that you end up leaving around empty and crushing under a stack of jewel cases on the shelf?

Does anyone not hate those?

I can think of exactly one thing in their favor (and it’s a small thing): CDs that come in cardboard sleeves don’t usually have the barcode stickers of death along their top edge. (BTW, the barcode sticker of death is pretty manageable if you just always have a knife handy.)

POSTSCRIPT: It occurs to me that I might be the only person left on the planet who still buys CDs, a possibility that is reinforced by the fact that Tower Records is closing its doors. Which leaves me with only the rather-inconvenient Virgin Megastore in terms of corporate CD buy-ery. But that’s OK, because I buy almost all my CDs at Other Music, in either the In, Then, or La Decadanse sections (I can’t remember which).

POSTSCRIPT (2): Which reminds me that I bought a copy of Cometbus fanzine there the other day. Can you believe that paper fanzines still exist? As there are photocopiers in the world, Aaron Cometbus will carry on…


Sorry, Lois. Sorry, Diane.

Filed under: Not Tech, Politics — Chris @ 7:18 pm

PA-6 has been called for Jim Gerlach. That gives me an 0-3 record doing GOTV at the federal level. Boo.

How is it that the Democrats can pick up almost 30 seats in the House and lose in moderate districts in PA and CT? I mean, arithmetically, is that possible?

Am I Dreaming?

Filed under: Not Tech, Politics — Chris @ 6:18 pm

It’s like Christmas and Halloween are giving me a massage and the crystal meth is just kicking in… Rumsfeld resigned!?! Somebody in the vicinity of the White House is aware of and responsive to objective reality?!? Oh, brave new world!

More (bad) advice for the Democrats

Filed under: Not Tech, Politics — Chris @ 4:37 pm

First bill out of the House: Nancy Pelosi gets to kick George Bush in the balls! On national television!

A Little Schadenfreude

Filed under: Not Tech, Politics — Chris @ 4:24 pm

My favorite part of all of this is seeing Rick Santorum, that frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter posing as a U.S. Senator, get his ass handed to him.

My second favorite part is that, even if he ends up winning—which we apparently won’t know for sure until December—George Allen, my bete noir, has had his presidential aspirations dashed. (If a Republican can’t win by more than a few hundred votes in Virginia, he can’t win the presidency. Sorry, sucker.)

Advice for the Democrats

Filed under: Not Tech, Politics — Chris @ 4:14 pm

Don’t screw this up. Be the party of competence.* You’ve got to be more Catholic than the Pope (I’m not sure who the Pope is in this metaphor): pass a balanced budget without egregiously raising taxes, don’t climb into bed with the lobbyists, and forgo earmarks for at least one election cycle. And please just sit out the culture wars: show people you can engage the real issues directly, without throwing red meat to your base.

Good luck! I love you! (For now!)

* I don’t mean run as the Party of Competence (*cough* Dukakis)—just be the party of competence.

Democrats! Yay!

Filed under: Not Tech, Politics — Chris @ 2:54 pm

Can we all now admit that Karl Rove is not a genius? The Republicans’ strategy for this election was: (a) try to convince the average voter that the economy and Iraq are both fine, (b) if that fails, slime the opponent with negative ads and robocalls, and (c) if that fails, suppress and/or steal the vote. If the voters believe that your party’s governing philosophy is basically sound, this can work (see: 2004); if the voters are convinced that your party’s leaders are incompetent and out of touch… Bzzt.

Good for you, America!

My record on volunteering is decidedly mixed. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a candidate for New York State Senate in Westchester who I volunteered for kind of by accident, won her race by a nose. Lois Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 6th is down by about 3,000 votes as of this writing but the race hasn’t been called. (Presumably, they will look at the absentee ballots.) [CORRECTION: I originally mistook Lois Murphy for Patrick Murphy and reported the results for Pennsylvania’s 8th district: Murphy up by about 1,500 votes. Right now it looks like the Dems will pick up the 8th and fall short on the 6th. Fingers crossed.] Diane Farrell in Connecticutt’s 4th is down by about 4,000 votes with 93% of precincts reporting; the race has been called for Chris Shays. You can add these to my 2004 record working for America Coming Together in Independence, MO: John Kerry lost Missouri by about 200,000 votes. (But he did win Jackson County!)

Maybe I’m a jinx. Or maybe this GOTV stuff doesn’t really work. Seeing it up close, it’s hard to believe that it does: the lists are sloppy, the voters are jaded, and the numbers don’t really work out. Yesterday, I probably visited 100-150 households with 200-250 voters. There were a few dozen volunteers like me, meaning we contacted a few thousand voters. If, say, 5% of them voted when they otherwise wouldn’t have then we produced a few hundred extra votes in an election where nearly 200,000 votes were cast.

I don’t know if the Republican’s have some magical better way of doing things (maybe it looks something like this)—I know the Democratic volunteers are convinced they do. (But the Democratic volunteers are convinced that the Republicans stole the last three elections, murdered Paul Wellstone, and have better snacks.) Clearly, the Republicans turn-out machine is not so magical that it can completely subvert the popular will (which is essentially what Karl Rove was trying to convince us of, up to and including yesterday).

Weirdest voter reaction from CT-4: “We’re not voting for Diane Farrell. We have friends!”

Blog at