Saturday, August 30, 2008

Dems Giggle While Nola Drowns

A tip of the Toque to Dave in Texas from Ace of Spades HQ.

So glad to know that the suffering of of the people of the Gulf States is worth it to the Left if that means winning this election.

Because, you know, they're for the little guy.

"Light" Blogging

A little break from politics...

I took The Lad to the park down the street from our house today. It was gorgeous outside today, but there was a bit of coolness in the breeze, even when the sun was high overhead. It definitely had that late summer/early fall feel to it, when the sun feels like it's farther away than you've been used to all summer, and it feels like twilight even when the sun is high overhead. I wonder if the angle of the suns rays striking the earth affects our perception of its light in the same way it affects the amount of warmth we receive from it.

I've been doing a lot of reflecting on the qualities of sunlight this summer, and how things like time of year and time of day and ones surroundings affect sunlight, and how that sunlight in turn affects how we perceive our surroundings. And like today, most of that reflection has occurred while taking The Lad to the park -- though unlike today, it has mostly been at Skinner Butte Park in Eugene. Usually, I've taken him there near the end of the day while waiting to pick TFR up after work. Even with the late sunset of summer, it's been late enough in the day most times that the sun, while not on the horizon, was low enough to be below the park's treeline.

But Skinner Butte Park, as its name implies, is located at a butte. Not just on top of the butte, but also extending next to it, between Skinner Butte and the Willamette river. The playground to which I take The Lad is located on the lower land between the river and the butte. So while it was in shadows by the time we would leave, the butte itself was high enough that it was still bathed in light. And what strick me was the way the light striking the butte while we were in shadow made the features of the trees on the butte stand out -- it was as if I could see each branch, each leaf and needle in greater detail and clarity. The light often had a warm, golden quality to it that enhanced the effect. It was glorious -- relaxing, warm, and distinctly summerish.

After I'd enjoyed the sensation for a while, I found myself pondering what the cause of this effect was -- was it the fact that my eyes, accustomed to the shadow, was more sensitive to the light coming off the butte? Was it psychological, in that the dimness of the lower altitude enabled the brain to ignore it, and focus on the butte? Or was it the angle of the sun's rays, coming in under the leaves and highlighting them, instead of coming down more directly from above and washing everything into one mass of green? Or was it, as I suspect, some combination of all these causes?

I'll have to ponder this further -- next time I'm at the park.

Obama will Palin Comparison

A Tip of the Toque to Redstate:

A Tale of the Tape, Palin Vs. Obama.

The Noble Left

A Tip of the Toque to NewsBusters.

This is disgusting. The Kos-tic slime over at daily Kos started with a wild speculation, and ran with it. The allegation is that Sarah Palin's son, Trig, isn't really hers, but her teenage daughters, and that she faked her pregnancy to cover up her daughters.

It's bad enough that such a tabloidesque rumor could be given credence without any evidence to support it, and in fact, with some pretty compelling arguments against it (for starters, Downs Syndrome is much more common in children of older mothers). What's really disgusting is the depth of ugliness the posters at Kos have gone to, and the glee with which htey have done it. There's a references to Trig as a "Mongreloid", and much much worse.

You know how the other day I wrote that I believe that most people on the left are not truly evil, merely misguided? The scum over at Daily Kos are an exception to that.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Alaskan Gold

He did it! I had despaired of it happening, I had actually been foolish enough to listen to the MSM pundits discussing Romney and Pawlenty, but McCain did it! He nominated the running mate I've been hoping for some time that he would -- Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. What a ballsy choice, and I believe the right one. Palin's a staunch conservative, And her pro-life stance reinforces my growing belief that McCain is pro-life too. By tapping a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, fiscal conservative, McCain has effectively reached out to those in the party to the right of himself, while at the same time, by picking a strong, accomplished woman, he's effectively reached out to those in the center.

And let's be clear about this, Palin's gender is not, by any stretch of the imagination, her only asset. She is an accomplished, successful person we can all respect. She married her high school sweetheart, and together they built their own fishing business. She's the mother of 5 children, the eldest of whom is about to deploy to Iraq. She fought her way up through Alaskan politics, making a name for herself as a public servant, she fought corruption within the ranks of her own party, she faced down the backlash from that, and won the gubernatorial election without help from her party's state apparatus.

She is bright, articulate, passionate, and committed. She is a good person, and she'll make a great VP.

It was a brilliant move on McCain's part. Her choice blunts one of the main talking points of the Obama camp. He who spouts "Change" as his mantra selected a longtime DC insider as his running mate, while his opponent selects an outsider, a normal person who earned her place, and a reformer at that. Are you more likely to reform Washington with someone like Biden at your side, or someone like Palin?

And McCain's choice of when to announce was as politically canny as his choice of running mate. Talk about stealing Obama's thunder.

I had hoped for some time she would be his pick, and I'm absolutely thrilled. I was already resolved to voting for McCain, but now I won't be holding my nose when I do.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Waving the Eye-Holed Bedsheet

Oh, for crying out loud... A Tip of the Toque to Ken at It Comes in Pints.

So apparently, if you notice that Barack Obama is skinny, you're actually making veiled references to his ethnicity.

I don't recall if I actually stated this or not at any point in this blog's past, but one of the things about watching the Democratic primaries that filled me with a sense of dread was the knowledge that regardless of whether Obama or Clinton won, we were in for a general election campaign season in which the left's response to any criticism of their candidate would be to call the critic(s) prejudiced. If Hillary had won, it would have been "SEXISM!", but since Obama won, the cry we hear whenever anyone questions his fitness for command is "RACISM!"

I started writing this post back on August 7, but set it aside to deal with regular life stuff. Since then, a lot more has been said regarding this. But the penultimate example of that of which I speak was pointed out to me by Ace of Spades HQ earlier today (Yesterday by the clock): a writer at Slate has actually stated that "If Obama Loses Racism is the only reason McCain might beat him."

Has it really come to this? Yes, yes it has. I foresaw it coming some time ago. And here's why I believe it has happened:

Set aside the cynical machinations of the political operatives, both sides employ those, and each side's operatives use slightly different tactics to acheive similar strategic goals. So why has the Obama camp been so successful in spreading this particular theme? In part because they're simply perpetuating what a lot of the people on the left actually believe. Not all, but the most adamant and died-in-the-wool leftists and liberals do. They really honestly believe that if you vote against Barack Obama, you must be a racist.

Logically speaking, their reasoning is valid, but not sound, because their premises are not true. Their argument, which I believe for most is almost subconscious, goes something like this: Barack Obama's idealogy is, almost to a T, their own idealogy. Politically AND philosophically, regarding matters of foreign and domestic policy, economics, Obama really does reflect and represent the beliefs and aspirations of the American Left. And these beliefs, this idealogy, is so dearly held, so firmly and completely believed, that they cannot fathom anyone in their right mind believing otherwise. Therefore, if someone is opposed to Obama, why, it CAN'T be because he simply disagrees with the man's politics, because those are impeccable! There must be some more nefarious reason, some personal vendetta! And once that conclusion is reached, it's a fairly short hop to note Obama's pigmentation and decide that the ulterior motive is racism. The person's real fault isn't that they're bigots, it's that they're not doctrinally sound. But since that doesn't compute, the Left falls back on the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Which explains why everything John McCain says critical of Obama must be racism, whereas actual racist comments by Obama's running mate are excusable, even "Strengths".

To be fair, the same could be said of many of the beliefs held by those of us on the right -- some of those beliefs more commonly held by the right than others, but still, without much effort I'm sure I or my readers could come up with a quick list of things that most conservatives, both religious and non-religious, as well as quite a few libertarians, would argue are so blazingly apparent that they surely CAN'T be disputed with intelligence (The phrase "We hold these turths to be self-evident" comes to mind).

So why don't we all start claiming that everyone who supports Obama or opposes our candidates or positions is evil (or racist or whatever other variation of evil you want to pick)? Well, some of us do, and they embarrass most of the rest of us. And almost all of us are sure that SOME of our oponents ARE evil, or at the very least, self-interested and not concerned with upholding those truths we support. But we also acknowledge that not everyone who is on the left, particularly those who fall in the category of "Liberal" (in the modern, not classical sense) as opposed to outright socialist, has evil in their hearts or minds when they vote as they do. That's because we tend to filter our views of such people, to varying degrees, through Hanlon's Razor. It's possible that some of those on the left really do hate our system of government and/or way of life and want to replace it with somehting else, but except for the hard-core Marxists out there, it's more likely that people who vote opposite of the way I would truly mean well, they just haven't really thought through the logic of what they conclude they believe and support. It's like one of those cults where the congregations are true believers, and the "clergy" are the ones who know it's really a con game, and the deeper you get the less an innocent victim you become, and the more you join the ranks of the deceivers.

So let me spell it out for everyone out there who really believes that conservatives oppose Barack Obama because we're racist and he's black. No. We oppose him because we oppose his political views, just as we opposed Kerry and before him Gore and Clinton etcetera etcetera.... We don't like his ideas, we don't like the politics he and his party espouse, and we would rather not have someone who THINKS like him in the White House.

That's not to say there aren't racists who will oppose him, simply because of his color. Hell, he lost votes in the DEMOCRATIC primaries because of that, just as his opponents probably lost the votes of people who SUPPORTED him simply because they wanted a black president.

But really, for most of us, it truly is more about creed than color, more about policy than pigment. So when Obama says that we oppose him because he doesn't look like other presidents, my reply is that most of us oppose him because he reminds us TOO much of certain presidents.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Trains Ran On TIme

Apparently, Obama thinks we should emulate China. I wonder if that extends only to the efficiency of their infrastructure. Give his upbringing in radical American Socialism, I kinda doubt it.

(A tip of the Toque to Rob at Say Anything BLog)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One of these things is not like the others....

SO I've been watching the latest round of political ads here in Oregon, where the only really truly contested race is Gordon Smith (R) vs. Jeff Merkley (D) for US Senate.

I'm not the biggest Gordon Smith fan, and BOTH sides' ads are particularly negative, but here's the part that has struck me as interesting:

Every pro-Smith ad, and all but ONE anti-Merkley ad, that I've seen, has been accompanied by the now cliche, "I'm Gordon Smith, and I approve of this ad". But EVERY ad I've seen promoting Merkley or attacking Smith has been the responsibility of, and sponsored by, one liberal PAC or another -- SEIU, the Oregon Democratic Party. Not ONCE have I heard from my TV, "I'm Jeff Merkley, and I approve of this ad".

Which is interesting, because the ads approve of HIM. Pity the man doesn't have the balls to speak for himself.

UPDATE 8/21:

It's about time. I finally saw one of the pro-Merkley ads today, one that was originally either a DSCC or SEIU-COPE ad, that is now ending with, "I'm Jeff Merkley, and I approve of this ad". I guess I'm not the only one who commented on this.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Qoute of the Week

"And just talking about "the least of these" at Rick Warren's church just makes it worse; you're for the little guy? Well, they don't come any littler. "

-- Reader Noel at Ace of Spades HQ, regarding Obama's stance on the Born Alive Bill.

Long Week

I quit my job last Thursday. I won't go into details except to say that I'd had enough.

I called the winery back last week, they said call me back when I have a car. I've quite afew apps and resumes out, including to the U and the local hospital. Meanwhile, I'll be splitting my time between job hunting and being househusband, a job I tolerate at best.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

HE DID IT!!!!!

Quote of the Day

A Tip of the Toque to George Will via The Maximum Leader:

"Not since the Nazi’s 1934 Nuremberg rally, which Leni Riefenstahl turned into the film “Triumph of the Will,” has tyranny been so brazenly tarted up as art."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Quote or the Day

In Honor of the Olympics:

"Pre turned distance running into a blood sport."

-- Bill Bowerman

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Oregon has lost some of its heroes.

This was on the local news here tonight. The pilot and six of the firefighters were from tiny Merlin, Oregon, outside Grants Pass.

Wildland firefighters are justifiably adored here in the west -- I'm sure they're admired everywhere, but wildland fires are a particularly prevalent threat here, between the brush of Southern California and the timberlands of the Northwest. And when the sh**, or in this case thesparks, hit the fan, everyone who can lends a hand to fight the fires -- from local volunteers crews all the way up to National Guardsmen. But those who make a career out of facing the red devil -- particularly elite units like Hotshots, smokejumpers, and Helitack crews are out heroes. Fighting wildland fire is like fighting a war against an enemy that never surrenders, always fights to the death.

So when we lose one, it's a tragedy. But when we lose NINE? It's devastating -- even if you have never met them. And my heart goes out tonight especially to the family of the men lost and to the town of Merlin -- they knew these men personally, had social and business contact with them daily (and in a small town in the Northwest, business contact IS social contact). They didn't just lose heroes, they lost friends.

According to the local news, there was an incredibly heroic act after the crash -- there were four survivors, and eyewitnesses report that the third survivor went back into the burning helo to retrieve the fourth.

Keep everyone involved in your prayers. This is the first crash of a helicopter owned by this particular company in its entire history. The survivors, their associates who weren't involved, their friends, their families, and the people of the Northwest whom they served have all suffered a great loss.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

People Skills Advice for Front of the House Folks

If you're an opener and have open tabs when you clock out, is understandable that you'd be upset if the closers don't tip you out of those tabs. However, if you also happen to be the bartender least prone to tipping out the back of the house, bitching to the cook about the closers probably isn't going to garner you the sympathetic response you hoped for.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Musical Geography Trivia Question of the Day

Vic gets a Bye on this one, and is ineligible to answer, because I know he knows it. For second place:

If your country told you there's work to be done, so they gave you a tin hat and gave you a gun, to where did they send you?

That Rhytmic Thudding You Hear Is My Head Hitting the Desk

I just got off the phone with the sous chef at the restaurant at King Estate. I responded to a job posting, and found out via the phone call that it was them. This is the second time they've called me, once was back in the srping, that time it was the executive chef. The place is amazing -- the winery, the land, the restaurant. It's elegant, it's high quality, everything about it is wonderful, and it's damned well close to perfect in terms of the kind of work I want to do.

The problem is, it's 23 miles from where I live, and TFR and I share one car -- a car which, by the by, would burn over 2 gallons of gas per day to get me to work and back if I got a job at K.E.

I explained all of this to the sous chef -- the job is a dream job for me, but I just can't consider it until my transportation situation changes. He was disappointed, but understanding, and encouraged me to give him a call if and when my situation changes. I was close to tears when I got off the phone. I want so badly to be working in a real restaurant, cooking good food for people who aren't eating merely to help absorb some of the copious amounts of alcohol they're consuming. The place where I'm working now has provided some... ahem... interesting work experience, but I don't feel challenged, I find it hard to take pride in the product, even doing my best, just because of the "quality" of product being used. The owner's wife is a controlling harridan who is constantly meddling in the kitchen, despite having NO experience as a cook or chef, and on several occasions has scolded (and given her tone, that's the best word I can think of) me for failing to follow procedures that I was never informed of in the first place, or for doing things in a certain way, when that is the way I was trained by the existing staff. And to top it all off, despite repeatedly telling them that I need more hours, they're still only scheduling me 15-20 hours per week. I can't continue that -- I need a full time job. And now, when I have a shot at one I'd love, I can't take it. I'm going to keep on trying for a better position, but it kills me that I have to let this one pass me by.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Kitchen Staff... er... Distaff...

Poor TFR gets pretty frustrated at times -- with my passion for cuisine and territoriality in the kitchen, she seldom gets a chance to express her own culinary creativity. But earlier this week, on her days off (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday), she asserted herself, and the results were damned tasty.

Monday she made shish kebabs with cubed sirloin, peppers, and onions. She took a "Mediterranean" style salad dressing mix, and instead of may, mixed it with lime juice and olive oil, and used it as the marinade. We had pitas and hummus on the side, and paired it with a Chardonnay. Then on Tuesday she made a delicious vegetable beef soup from scratch.

Then I took over again. I love her, and she's a great cook, but the kitchen is, for me, what the woodshop or the den or the underside of an old car being restored in the garage is to some men.

Wednedsay it was sea scallops wrapped in bacon and glazed with Berryaki.

Last night it was homemade carne asada tacos.

Tonight I'm trying a riff on tina fish sandwiches. I'm starting with fresh-caught wild albacore from the Oregon coast. I'm going to give it a quick sear and then slice it thin, carpaccio-style. I'll lay it on sourdough crostini, then drizzle it with a dijon-balsamic vinaigrette, and serve it with home-cooked krinkle potato chips.

My Word!

Your Vocabulary Score: A

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!

You must be quite an erudite person.