Friday, January 25, 2008

PS, I Luv U2

I'll be thinking of you all next week while on vacation in Palm Springs. Looking forward to visiting old friends and family there. Don't worry, I'll be back in time for voting on Super Tuesday!

*** Click on the post title for U2 "Where the Streets Have No Name" filmed at Slane Castle in Ireland. The city of Desert Hot Springs (NW of Palm Springs) is known as the town where the streets have no name. The song appeared on The Joshua Tree album. Joshua Tree CA is NE of Palm Springs. ***

Is this the first image that comes to your mind when you think of Palm Springs? It is mine! It's Palm Canyon, one of four such canyons that wind up into the mountains behind Palm Springs, on Agua Caliente Indian land. I hope to spend an afternoon hiking around there on our trip this week.

This is a Palm Cyn wild palm grove. Birds, bugs lizards and snakes are often heard rustling around in the dry skirts. While hiking the Palm Cyn trail 30-yrs ago, I almost stepped on a large rattlesnake, coiled & agitated. Quick thinking & fast leaping reflexes saved the day then. Hope I don't see any this trip!

Having lived there for 5+years, there are many images engraved in my mind, like these roadside dinosaur attractions. They are located alongside the highway heading from LA to PS. Hello, Brontie & T-Rexie, did'ja miss me?

Another favorite icon is the Pink Elephant Car Wash. Periodically some city beautification project (or neighborhood gestapo group) will try to have it removed as an old eyesore, not befitting the manicured ambiance they want associated with Palm Springs. So far, the residents, for whom this is a beloved landmark, have prevailed. The Pink Elephant was one of my guideposts. I related everything to how far it was from the Pink Elephant: What, too kitchshy? Oh well, if you want the more traditional glitzy Palm Springs photos, click here. Personally, I can do without all the golf courses and celebrities, but the wind farm pics are pretty cool.

OK, now here is a REAL treat. Part of the fun of visiting old friends is pulling out the old photo albums -- you know, from back in the dark ages before digital. I thought I'd share a few. Some of these are hilarious. Being much enamored of Bruce Lee, I & the friend I will be visiting once took Kung-Fu lessons. One night, after class, we stopped by one of those instant five-and-dime photo places and took these pictures of us in our most fierce Kung-Fu poses.

D.K., age 19:
35-yrs later, I still remember being disgusted that we got ripped off for one picture, relaxing my pose, when POP, I was caught looking like some stoner. I swear, it was still early that night! These are au natural, no make-up, no eyebrows, don't laugh, or I'll be forced to use a Tiger Paw on you!

My P.S. friend, L.S.:

I can't wait to torture L.S. with these pix!
I think this is the White Crane pose?

A year later, some "friends" convinced me to darken my hair, telling me I would look like Cher with all my eye make-up on. Cher with acne? Again, laughter will not be tolerated. Sheesh, 20-yr olds can be talked into just about ANYTHING!

Sorry about the pic quality; I think you can click ea one to enlarge.

Sunrise or Sunset? ............................... hasta proxima semana!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Aussie Tennie

The Australian Open!

This is what my TV has been tuned to for days and days with no end in sight. This is what it sounds like from the computer room: Thwock-hrunnnh-thwock-hrunnnh-thwock--FAULT! (why is so much grunting required?)
The resident Tennis Maestro has a love-hate relationship with Roger Federer.

That leaves me free to root for Rafael Nadal. Just look at that face!

Vamos Brigade has constant Rafa updates and fan info.

Here's some funny, candid tennis moments, mostly Nadal and Federer, but lots of others for you to identify, including one classic frame of John McEnroe that must surely be a career-ender:

music is Bon Jovi: "Queen of New Orleans" (4.5 minutes)

Blood Oranges!

OK, I know I'm supposed to be prepping for our P.S. trip (see below), but I can't help myself. I just remembered that Blood Oranges should be available in California now!!! Although Italian in origin, grown in California in the U.S., the season is December through July. The red interior color is due to a pigment called anthocyanin which is not typically found in citrus but is common in flowers. One of the things I most miss about our previous California existence is a very special Blood Orange tree that grew along our driveway. Fantastic fruit!

The flavor of blood oranges is completely different and less acidic from the navel oranges you are now seeing in grocery stores. Many people, upon first seeing the dark red fruit, express a sort of fascinated horror. It's unlike any other fruit. If you’ve never had one, it’s worth a trip to California just to get some. The skin can be dark orange to dark red. The flesh is a deep ruby, the juice stains everything magenta, the flavor is tart and sweet, a mix of sweetest orange and tangy raspberry, the scent is more flowery than regular oranges. I can almost smell them now, even though it will take me 10-hours of driving to reach them!

Here's a salad that combines naval & blood oranges & sweet red onions & mediterranean olives -- enough Vitamin C to chase away the winter blues:
Wikipedia cites these health benefits:

Blood oranges contain nutritional and preventive properties ... incorporated into home remedies for centuries ... blood oranges are a good source of Vitamin C. The fruit's red pigment, anthocyanin, is an antioxidant that reduces the risks associated with many ailments, including age-related illnesses.
Blood oranges contain about 130 percent of the recommended amounts of Vitamin C, and diminish the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer and "bad" cholesterol build-up. They may also reduce the risk of cataracts, and aid in the body's healing process.
One medium-size orange contains 260 milligrams of potassium ... (which) lowers blood pressure, decreasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes, helps to regulate heart rhythm ...

Here's the complete Wiki Blood Orange ref link. It's all good!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Home Means Nevada

I admit I'm a bit depressed over the Nevada caucus, not only because of John Edwards' poor showing, but also because of the whole caucus system in general. It's a really nutty system. A regular primary vote, the kind we are all familiar with from having voted in general elections, allows you to walk into your polling station, sign in, show ID, vote in privacy, and leave. No one is yelling at you, blowing whistles, herding you around, and trying to persuade you to change your vote. You, as a voter, are expected to have already done your homework by the time you arrive at your poll on election day, and be prepared to mark, punch, or tap your choice. Most polls stay open for 12-hours on election day. Not so with caucusing.

Here is my sister's experience in the bizarro world of caucusing in Las Vegas (email paste):

"I arrived at my neighborhood caucus location promptly at 11AM. The whole situation felt unorganized. No one knew how to tell what precinct you were in. Everytime I asked someone, they kept telling me to consult the map. There was no map to be seen. I wandered around for 10-minutes trying to find out where to go. Finally, I figured out where my line was & got in place. I helped out quite a few other aimless souls who could not get any direction from the caucus coordinators who were all volunteers and not very well trained. The guy manning our precinct was very loud & angry; he had absolutely no patience with anyone. Most of his answers were, "I don't know" or "I really don't care, I'm just a volunteer". I could hear angry people yelling at any volunteer who would listen that they don't know where to go, where are the maps, why is this so confusing? While standing in line, we were all solicited for donations from the "Nevada State Democratic Party". After we signed in and got a "presidential preference card", we were allowed to sit down. On one side of the card you mark your first choice & on the other side your second choice.

"The caucus itself started 25-minutes late. To my horror, the same frustrated angry volunteer we checked in with was the one up on stage telling everyone what to do. We listened to him calling our state Nevader and referring to us as Nevadians . According to him, this was a "qwockcass". Well, better than "carcass", the body of a dead animal, which was about how we were starting to feel. This outside surrogate kept pushing his almost unintelligible views on us until the caucus coordinators literally yelled at him to back off!

"The captains split everyone up into your first choice group which could include undecideds. I went to the Edwards group where there were only 8 people, out of about 130 total in my precinct. They counted up the groups & said, you need 20 people to be a "viable" candidate (15%?). After the first grouping, all the undecided people and the unviable candidate people were asked to sit in one section to be harrassed by the Obama and Clinton people to join their group. No one mentioned anything about our second choices which we had already marked on our "presidential preference cards", so what was the purpose of that?

"We listened as various people persuaded us about Obama and Clinton. The folks that spoke on behalf of Obama sounded pretty good. But then a woman got up & spoke on behalf of Clinton and really blew everyone away. She was very professional, she knew her stuff, and she really connected with the people. When they did a final count, it was Obama 45, Clinton 70, and undecided 3. (DK note: what happened to the other 12 people? Did they think they had already voted & left?)

"The whole thing took over 90-minutes. Do I need to say I prefer a regular Primary to this? Out of all my "neighbors" at my "neighborhood caucus", I only recognized 1 from our block, 2 church ladies, and a guy from work. I heard a lot about "Change", but only saw disorganization. " ~~ submitted by KKC

Observation of a caucuser reported in Las Vegas Review-Journal tonight: Clinton supporters who signed in voters would not sign in Obama supporters. Then Obama supporters were told they could leave after turning in their ballot. Doesn't this mean they weren't around for the final count?

Another caucuser sent this into the Las Vegas Review-Journal: No one seemed to know their precinct number. Volunteers kept referring to maps which no one could find. We heard later there were two maps, but we never saw them. We more or less organized ourselves into lines for signing in.

The R-J reports there were 200 separate troubling incidents at caucus sites in Clark County Nevada, including doors being closed early and ID being requested in a non-uniform fashion. Even the Big Dog himself roamed The Strip, using the full weight and majesty of a former president to persuade Culinary Workers to defy their bosses' endorsement of Obama.

For a "fun" report live from one of the famous Las Vegas Strip caucus locations, don't miss Wonkette's Live Blogging Nevada Caucus at The Wynn Hotel: link This is a friggin' hilarious democracy we got ourselves. Look at her linked pictures & vid, too. What a way to vote!

OK, so how to analyze the results? The good news is that 2 of every 3 Nevadans who caucused, chose a Democrat instead of a Republican for President. This is an overwhelming vote for a new direction in America. The final results were: Clinton 51%, Obama 45%, and Edwards 4%.

Some insight into the Obama results might be obtained by looking at the county-by-county results. Obama won these counties: Carson City (capitol of Nevada) 51%, Churchill 49%, Douglas 50%, Elko 63%, Esmeralda 63%, Eureka 49%, Humbolt 51%, Pershing 48%, Storey 54%, Washoe (where Reno is) 50%, and White Pine 45%. Clinton won the other 6 counties, with the biggest prize being Clark County (where Las Vegas is). It seems she won Clark County by having a superior organization and professional surrogates. Obama did better in the northern part of the state which is a bit odd to me, since that part of the state tends to be more conservative.

I hate to point this out, but another thing that worked in her favor was having Saturday caucuses where you had to show up by 11 AM. The reason I hate to point this out is the tremendous support Obama has among students, who as I well remember from my college days, are prone to sleep in on Saturdays. Perhaps I'm being too harsh. Tell me I'm wrong.

But how to explain Edwards' poor showing? Last week's polls had him at 29%. A couple days ago, he had dropped down to the 'teens. Why did his support dissipate? Can we really blame this on the media for unjustly narrowing people's minds down to only looking at the top 2 candidates? I believe there is some truth in this because people generally don't want to vote for an unviable candidate (just ask Kucinich). But I also wonder if the caucus system itself isn't really to blame. There is much peer pressure from the moment you arrive. You are being asked to stand out in a way that normal primary voters are not. Then you are expected to try and persuade others to stand with you. Do caucus states think people are incapable of making up their own minds?

Lastly, about Edwards: CNN quoted entrance polls of 12-18% of caucusers saying as they went into their caucus location that they were going to caucus for Edwards. Their resolve seems to have disappeared as they entered the caucus rooms and saw the larger crowds for Obama and Clinton. This is very disappointing, but perhaps inevitable. I had hoped for a better showing, so that he would keep accumulating enough delegates to affect the convention. Would a normal primary have yielded Edwards enough votes in Nevada to award him delegates? We'll never know for sure. Super Tuesday is looming large on the horizon.

Click here for the current Democratic delegate scorecard (which includes committed super delegates).

******** Non-Nevadans can skip the balance of this post, it won't make any sense to you unless you sang it everyday in elementary school. Instead of reading it, might I suggest a practice session in pronouncing Nevada? Neh-VA-duh! The "VA" rhymes with bad, dad, or lad; it's not "aw" like "awful". I can't tell you how many earaches I have after hearing it butchered by the TV pundits all week. ********

OK, for old-times sake, and for my Nevada family, here is the Nevada State Song (aren't you glad you don't have to listen to me sing it):

Home Means Nevada (cue the harmonica):
Way out in the land of the setting sun, Where the wind blows wild and free,
There's a lovely spot, just the only one That means home sweet home to me. If you follow the old Kit Carson trail, Until desert meets the hills, Oh you certainly will agree with me, It's the place of a thousand thrills.
Home means Nevada, Home means the hills, Home means the sage and the pine. Out by the Truckee's silvery rills, Out where the sun always shines. Here is the land which I love the best, Fairer than all I can see. Deep in the heart of the golden west, Home means Nevada to me!
Whenever the sun at the close of day, Colors all the western sky, Oh my heart returns to the desert grey, And the mountains towering high. Where the moon beams play in shadowed glen, With the spotted fawn and doe, All the live long night until morning light, It's the loveliest place I know.
Home means Nevada, Home means the hills, Home means the sage and the pines. Out by the Truckee's silvery rills, Out where the sun always shines. There is the land that I love the best, Fairer than all I can see. Right in the heart of the golden west, Home means Nevada to me!

Watching and Waiting, Nevada

Rather than amuse myself with National Geographic photos as I did during New Hampshire's primary, I may walk the maze today while waiting for meaningful results of Nevada's caucus. Implications of feeling caught in a maze are intentional.

Maze Games Online

Amazing church maze designs online

The Chartres Labyrinth

The Chartres site has many links and historical information.

I'd like to construct a labryinth in my next backyard.

If the mazes aren't doing the trick, I'll re-read these articles from yesterday:

Close Contest Kingmaker

Glorious Future American Unions Walked Away From

Didn't work? Still thinking about Nevada?

Many sites, like CNN and MSNBC and have live caucus updates as they come in. There's always TV if you can handle seeing Blitzer's or Tweety's pontifications.

********** Update: Keep refreshing whatever online news you are watching. Right now, with 3% of votes counted, Obama has 47%, Clinton 46%. A few minutes ago, Obama had 64%. The polls just closed 25-minutes ago. Next update in comments.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Psst, wanna see a tactical nuke?

President Bush has been spending time in the Middle East. Of course, he passes the time doing many silly things, like chiding U.S. allies who have withheld civil liberties. He tells them they will never build trust by harassing or imprisoning protestors. But his rebukes are gentle, and he does not single out any one in particular. To do so might force him to name the U.S. itself as one of the countries where people are jailed for peacefully petitioning their government.

In Saudi Arabia, he was so moved by their deeply undemocratic government, that he pledged $20 billion worth of military armaments, obstensibly to allay their concerns about Iran's military might and spreading influence. He believes they are jittery after the January 6th confrontation between U.S. Naval Battleships and some Iranian speed boats in the Strait of Hormuz. He thinks the Persian Gulf states are nervous about Iran. I think they are more nervous about the U.S. because Bush has got such a bug up his ass about Iran, he's sending war machinery to Saudi Arabia specifically so they will be in place to use against Iran.

Among those $20 billion of military arms, I wonder if there are any tactical nukes? The neocons have been itching to try these out ever since they discovered there might be a problem with total thermonuclear war, i.e. that WE might not survive such a crisis and live to fight another day. This brings to mind the famous warmonger General Curtis LeMay's crazy summary of such a war: "In the end, if there are 2 Americans left standing and 1 Russian, WE WIN!!!" Recalling how Nixon used to talk to the dead presidents' portraits in the White House ... do you suppose Bush is talking to some LeMay monument he has constructed out of military hospital waste in that little secret alcove where he stores Saddam's gun and ears? Live nukes "accidentally loaded" in Minot AFB & flying down to Louisiana seem like something a conversation with LeMay's spectre might have inspired. But I digress ...

Ever wonder what a tactical nuke explosion looks like? Well, wonder no more! Your intrepid resident nukehead, having lived nearly on top of our nation's above-ground nuclear test site in the 1950's & 60's, has dug deep to find records of the only such test ever recorded, performed 55-years ago. Here's a still-shot (note the blast cloud fire peeking through in some horrorshow mimic of a smile):
This was Operation Grable, a nuclear weapon test conducted in 1953 at Frenchman Flat in Area 5 of the Nevada Test Site. The warhead was a gun-type fission weapon in the form of a shell. The shell was fired from the artillery gun cannon shown. It remains the only artillery-fired atomic projectile ever tested, and is considered the model for today's tactical nuclear weaponry.

The Grable detonation occured 6.2 miles away from its artillery gun launch point. An anomalous feature of the blast was the formation of a precursor -- a second shock front ahead of the incident wave. The precursor formed when the shockwave reflected off the ground and surpassed the incident wave. The streaking lines coming down from the clouds may be related to the precursor wave. It remains an anomalous event to this day. The result was much more damage to ground objects, which is one reason the military is so interested in its possible application in tactical nuclear warfare.

1953 Operation Grable video (2.5 minutes):

Now, am I the only one who makes these jarring connections whenever Bush plays statesman to the Middle East? He's a known believer in end-times, with only a year left to help usher them in! aaaaah well, what the hell else is he gonna do during his final year as president .... Re-READ CAMUS and a few more Shakespeares?!?

If you're interested in reading a previous nuclear post, click here and follow links.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"The Gallery Will Refrain from Applause"

Rep. Wexler of Florida was on C-Span last night calling for impeachment. I think it was about the best five congressional minutes I've seen in a long time. You can watch his speech by clicking on this direct link:

Wexler on C-Span

Or watch it and read comments on Politico.Com by clicking on this direct link:

Wexler Renews Call for Cheney's Impeachment

Reading some of the comments at Politico.Com reveal real fear on the part of the right wing.

If you haven't already done so, click here to sign Wexler's Impeachment Petition.

Wexler points out that if we don't at least begin impeachment hearings to find out what there is to find out (as Rep. Conyers of Ohio promised but failed to do), history may well hold US accountable and complicit:

“In the history of our nation, we have never encountered a moment where the actions of a President or a Vice President have more strongly demanded the use of the power of impeachment.”

Wexler delivered his remarks to a nearly empty House chamber, just after Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members left to attend a reception. At the end of Wexler's speech, as spectators in the gallery began cheering, the acting speaker told the gallery to refrain from applause. WE are the gallery, folks! WE are the ones being told to refrain. How long until we are ordered to do so? Or worse...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

All the News that's Fit to Print

The motto of the New York Times is "all the news that's fit to print". I've never cared for it. To me, it reeks of censorship. What is fit? What isn't? More importantly, who decides?

Democratic Debate Tonight, 6PM PST, Las Vegas, broadcast on MSNBC. NBC's Brian Williams will be moderating, joined by Tim Russert. You can bet candidates will face questions about education, health care, the economy and immigration. I would hope the Iraq War and Yucca Mtn will surface as well.

By the time anyone reads this, the Presidential Debates in Nevada will likely be underway. It's being built up as somewhat of "an Old West duel". Does anyone else find this offensive? This is not a shoot to kill situation. It is a legitimate format for discussing issues and plans by potential presidential candidates.

At this moment, Dennis Kucinich is in Nevada fighting for his right to participate in the debates. It has see-sawed back and forth with NBC vowing to exclude him by only allowing the top three candidates to debate. Judge Charles Thompson of the Clark County District Court has said he would issue an injunction cancelling the event if Dennis "does not have a place on the stage" ... (ignore the odd wording, "stage" is appropriate for Las Vegas, although it does make me wonder if his place on the stage might involve raising & lowering the curtain or handing out bottles of water) ... This is a hell of a way to run a debate!

I care and worry that our choices are being limited by some arbitrary corporate decision. Why is NBC deciding this? What is the DNC's position? If the people are supposed to pick our candidates, why are we being denied the right to hear Kucinich's opinion? If he is unviable, he will not garner enough votes to make it beyond Super Tuesday in February. Same goes for John Edwards, who will mostly likely be the next target of this type of censorship. Whatever we don't see and can't hear, might as well be invisible.

Well as I say, by now the debates have probably already commenced, so everyone knows whether Dennis has been censored or not. You know, I've never seen a debate that did not benefit from his presence. He has raised issues the front-runners dance around. He adds to the discussion and helps voters clarify the finer points of topics that are otherwise only generally addressed. And he manages to do this even when he receives far less debate airtime.

In Nevada, candidates will be facing a diverse electorate for the first time. The Nevada debate tonight has been preceeded by more intense local campaigning than that state normally sees. From important union endorsements to personal neighborhood canvassing, the candidates have gone far beyond the usual quick in-and-out rallies. Most Nevadans have never voted in a caucus, never had a chance to influence the national selection of a presidential candidate. They don't have the years of experience of Iowa and New Hampshire in this regard and since their caucus will be this Saturday, January 19th, tonight will be the final opportunity for Nevadans to hear them all together.

"Minority Issues" has been set as the theme for tonight's debate, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. (the theme was set by the debate co-sponsors). John Edwards told South Carolinians on Sunday, "As someone who grew up in the segregated south, I feel an enormous amount of pride when I see the success that Senator Barak Obama is having in this campaign". On Monday, Edwards, whose debate performances have gotten solid reviews, said "This is an opportunity for people to hear and see what I have to say ... whenever people have a chance to hear what I have to say, I do well." He refuses to be written off: "The national media has wanted this to be a two-person race for a year now. My job is to get through that noise". I think he does well in debates and am wishing him break-out moments in the Nevada and South Carolina primaries. Otherwise, he will become news unfit to print, and that doesn't bode well for his campaign in Super Duper February.


To me, the problems the democrats are facing at the Michigan polls today belong in this post about censorship. I think we're all aware by now that the DNC has stripped Michigan (and Florida) of their convention delegates because they moved up their primaries without authorization. As a result, in Michigan today, Democratic voters are looking at a ballot that only allows them to vote for Hillary Clinton or Dennis Kucinich. They cannot write in a vote, or their ballot will be invalidated. Their other option is to vote "Uncommitted". Big whoop. An uncommitted delegate, even if the DNC eventually allows them to be seated, can still vote for Hillary. They can vote for whomever they feel like; they are uncommitted.

The interesting result I'm looking for out of Michigan tonight is a high percentage for Kucinich and/or Uncommitted. What this would say is the Democrats in Michigan do not appreciate Hillary being crammed down their throats. Because make no mistake about it, that is EXACTLY what is happening. WHY it is happening is hard to fathom. Is it a return to old time Tammany Hall party control? Because that's what it looks like to me when the DNC itself is trying to suppress the vote. What does it mean that Michigan Governor Granholm is an avowed Hillary supporter, and Hillary is the only top-tier Democrat on the Michigan ballot today?

Michigan is a very independent state. They have an odd habit of bucking party trends. They handed George Wallace their votes over McGovern or Humphrey. I'm afraid this year, the Michigan independents, not seeing anyone on the democratic ballot they like, will follow New Hampshire's lead and hand their votes to John McCain. I'd like the DNC to explain their tactics, because now, whatever happens in Michigan and Florida, the democratic convention will NOT be reflecting the voter's will. And this doesn't even begin to address the Super-Delegate fiasco!


Open rant to the Media and the DNC: Stop telling us who to support. Stop limiting our choices. Stop shutting off information on all but the top one or two candidates. Stop suppressing the vote! It's bad enough that we have to fight voter disenfranchisement and electronic machine fraud in the General Election ... can't you even give us a clean primary election?

To the Candidates: Get back to the issues. Stop censoring yourselves & give us some details about your plans. Let us see who you are. Stop exaggeration and personal attacks!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Why Utah?

Some people, including myself, have wondered why I live in Utah. Here are Reasons #1000, #999, and #998, as part of a continuing series.

Reason #1000 = Today I found this note politely taped to my front door:
Neighborhood Enhancement Program
We will begin working on your street starting tomorrow. We are installing house numbers at your front curbs, so in case of an emergency, your house can be more easily found by official responders and special guests. This year, we are doing something different, involving long-lasting reflective glass beads that will be as night visible as an interstate highway sign. To be included in this Neighborhood Enhancement Program, print your name and street address on the order form envelope and tape it to your front door along with $20 cash or check. We will begin picking up forms and painting curbside house numbers at 8AM (rain or shine)! Remember to check the box below to show support for our troops by having an AMERICAN FLAG painted next to your house number at no additional cost!

D.K. Analysis -- Cons: do we all really want to see brilliantly reflective interstate highway street addresses glaring in our eyes every night? does anyone else worry that those "official responders and special guests" might be providing transportation to somewhere other than the local hospital? and how would having a reflective curbside painted American Flag be showing my support for the troops? How many tire marks will show the proper flag respect? Do you think I could get them to paint it upside down? Pros: No one around here even worries about taping $20 to their front door, I'm serious! No one even questions that the Neighborhood Enhancement Program may simply be enhancing some disreputable thief's wallet.

Reason #999 = This is my neighbor's idea of a liberal candidate. Kind of resembles a headstone. In my opinion, the only purpose of Ron Paul's campaign here in Utah is to steal votes from Mitt Romney. I take solace in the thought that even Mitt's most loyal base might prefer to give their vote to a guy who doesn't stand a ghost of a chance. RiP GoP ...

OK, here is a nice one: Reason #998 = This is the view from my backyard, taken today. It looks pretty much this way all winter. Snow up in the mountains where it belongs, not down here on the ground where I would have to deal with it. Not quite the same as sunny southern california, but then again neither is the traffic.

As you can tell, I've got plenty more reasons. If they are even remotely interesting, I may put up a few from time to time. The headline painting is Edouard Manet's "A Bar at the Folies Bergere". Click on the painting to get up close and personal. Learn more about the painting here. Read more about Manet here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Watching and Waiting, New Hampshire

Do you find when you're watching and waiting for something, that everything you see reminds you of it? Today I am watching and waiting for results of the New Hampshire primaries. I'm also flipping through the latest "National Geographic Expeditions" Travel Catalog. The strangest connections occur while viewing their wonderful animal photos:

John McCain looking for the "independent" NH voters?

Four little repub-birds sitting in a tree:
Why is Rudy yellow, asked the red three.
Because he shouts 911 constantly.
Nine Eleven's pretty scary,
Echo Fred and Mitt and Huckabee.

Live Free or Die ...

Ready, Set, Let's Go Vote NOW!!!

at least one candidate's face upon hearing New Hampshire primary results (this is not quite fair as I find the 'drill very handsome -- except for the beady little eyes)

Now, maybe I just have an overly suspicious mind, but I find the timing of this news story a bit coincidental. Oh but who might benefit from this type of incident on an election day? Who, indeed. Later, some newscaster said the boats were probably Iranian Republican Guard. Aaah yes, the group we have officially classified as terrorists. How convenient for the echo chamber. Now it all makes sense. Time goes by so slowly when you're waiting for real news ...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Saturday Night Debates (plural) Reminder

OK, I don't normally promote these "things" that pass for presidential debates here in America. Yes, I've enjoyed moments of some of them, but mostly I find them a poor excuse for meaningful education about what each candidate stands for, what specific programs & plans they have for our future. What we get is sound-bite posturing.

But I think the New Hampshire debates tonight will be a bit different. Both Democratic and Republican debates are scheduled for the same day, back to back, 90-minutes each. That's different. Since New Hampshire boasts a large percentage of "independent" voters, I guess they will be attending BOTH debates? The impact of Iowa will be felt, as well as the pressure of the New Hampshire primary (not another caucus) coming up in 4 days. The dropping out of Senators Dodd and Biden may free some time for more in-depth discussion among the remaining democratic candidates. All in all, I think this will be good Saturday Night TV.

Broadcast on the ABC network. Check your local times.

Click here for full promo details from ABC News.

Or read these Who-What-When-Where "snips":

Saturday, January 05, 2008, beginning at 7:00 PM EST
Live from Manchester…It's Saturday Night !!!
"That's the Way You Do It! That's the Way You Debate!"

Tune in tonight to watch the Republican and Democratic candidates battle it out in two separate debates hosted by ABC, WMUR, and Facebook.

"World News" anchor Charlie Gibson moderates the Republican contest first from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, from 7:00-8:30pm ET. The Democrats take the stage second, from approximately 8:45-10:15pm ET.

The participants for the Republican debate will be:
Rudy Giuliani
Mike Huckabee
John McCain
Ron Paul
Mitt Romney
Fred Thompson

The participants for the Democratic debate will be:
Hillary Clinton
John Edwards
Barack Obama
Bill Richardson

There are a few phrases that are being tossed around like candy as it looks like the campaign is getting nastier – "the gloves are off!" the pundits shout; "down and dirty," scream the headlines.
So, get out your umbrella for a rainstorm of clich├ęs, with the race this close and each candidate trying to distinguish themselves from their opponents...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Years Day, laugh or cry?

Fair warning: we all know by now that my poetry sucks. And for some reason, on New Years Day, it falls below even the suck standard. Save yourselves. Scroll through to the vids at the end. Please!

First, a D.K. "mini-limerick":
We have a big date
in Two Thousand Eight,
Early November,
Time to remember
It's never too late!

Thought that was bad?
Well then, try "D.K. Nostradamus":

We anticipate
Two Thousand Eight.
For a year sublime,
Try Two Thousand Nine.
For mid-term men,
Think Twenty-Ten.
Equality for all in
Year Twenty-Eleven.
World peace dwells
in Two Thousand Twelve!

Whew! Don't you wish you had the last minute of your life back?

File the following under "Laugh": Have you been missing the late night talk shows due to the writers' strike? I love David Letterman's Great Moments in Presidential Speeches. Here's a wonderful compilation guaranteed to leave you scratching your head about the current occupier of The White House (under 5-minutes):

Jeez Loueez, that didn't even include his famous definition of "tribal sovereignty" or obsession over "slicing the pig" with Angela Merkel or any of his thoughts on avoiding WWIII. Power-drunk or plain stupid, this guy can't get OUT of my life too soon!

OK, finally, file the next vid under "Cry": Scary Bush Speech ... you decide if we are getting a preview of things to come or merely experiencing a Twilight Zone moment (1.5 minutes):