Monthly Archives: November 2004

rock on

thx rayray for pointing out this cool site of balancing rocks. I’ve tried such things and now had nearly the luck as this guy!

US passes judgement on election

What the heck? We have some nerve passing judgement on anybody else’s election at this time. Our elections over the last 4 years have been corrupt, failed disasters. And now we’re calling out the Ukraine? If we’re not able to do it right ourselves, we just need to STFU and go sit in the corner. And we couldn’t. Let’s figure out our elections mess for ourselves before we try to bring democracy to the world, because right now it’s just not working. So, do we laugh or do we cry?

Bridgeport Pearlization

coworker Stu has made me aware that the nearby (to work) Bridgeport pub will be closing for major renovations for ten months in order to pass more Pearl denzens through faster. I have to say that they’ve been on a downward spiral ever since they replaced the Far Side comics in the me’s room with those ads shortly before their 25th anniversary party. Which was followed by the implementation of table service. My word, the table service has been a disaster. I’ve had it take ten minutes to identify the fact that I’m not getting my beer. And the confusion. It’s a mess. But now they’re going to add a bakery and maybe a little Starbucks or something. It’ll be like a mini-mall. Well, at least On Deck opened across the street recently (despite being a wee bit spendy, especially for a “sports bar”), and the Low Brow (my favorite, but too smoky for some of my coworkers) is there and fabulous. And BP will still be selling kegs during the outage.

Brief Note to Kroeger

Read what I have to say to Wild Oats below. Fred Meyer is a fine name for a store.

Brief Note to Wild Oats

It was some time ago that you purchased Nature’s from the local owners. good choice, great job! Nature’s continued to maintain the same level of service and similar pricing to when it was run locally. I remember an evening some years ago, going over my credit card bill and seeing a charge to ‘Wild Oats’. My first thought was that my card number had been stolen and somebody was using it for internet pr0n. I even called the card company. Together we were able to determine that my moolah didn’t go to Nature’s but to Wild Oats. That’s cool. But then you had this stupid ass idea. You needed to call Nature’s Wild Oats. Just to remind everybody who’s in charge. Not to mention the fact that the noncompete the original owners signed had expired and they were busily propelling their latest project, New Seasons, into the local markets. By now I’m sure that you’re feeling the crunch of New seasons. They recently opened a store some ten blocks from you on Division, and when I pass by, it looks packed, and you’re pretty empty. Changing the name was a bad idea. Here in Portland, we’re not just about the organic gourmet ingredients, we also like to support local farms, local people, and local businesses. We believe that it’s one of the things that makes us special. And a drive around other American cities might indicate something along those lines. So you can buy our stores, and run them, and if you do a good job we’ll generally support you, but the name change was a bit of a slap in the face. A wake-up call, perhaps. It’s not that we’re totally against your store. It’s that all things being equal we’re going to drive the extra mile to support the local folks.

simple and slackin

added two new Oregon links: simple subjects and Slacker Manager. The first is just about a guy and/or his family living a low-impact lifestyle (environmentally speaking) and has some thoughtful words. The second is a guy with a job writing about it the way he knows. Seems pretty sharp. He also wrote this nifty manifesto, Slacker @Work.

read this kos

This one here. If nothing else, it builds nicely. But it is also quite plausible, there’s no telling.

election memories I

I have some fond memories of the election last Tuesday. The last one that comes to mind, thus the one I have to write about first is of the news report (NBC local @ JK’s local HQ, I think) relating the tragedy as it has recently occurred while two guys are making out good’n heavy in the background with some sly salsa dancing. Slowly the camera panned left until the reporter was at the far right of the picture, and then she sidestepped to the center. It was pretty cool!

hmmm the south?

via Blue Oregon, a nice little rant responding to the usual conservative hoo-haw. PG-13, but work friendly bee-yatch!

Good ole days

all this poker and medication spam makes me yearn for the days of pr0n and MMF garbage

Elections Fraud

I no longer believe that Bush won the election fair and square. That’s a bad thing. I thought that there would be problems, and wondered why the heck the conservatives were fighting so hard to _not_ have printed receipts from the electronic voting machines. Well, here we are. There have been numerous accounts of more votes than voters in Florida and Ohio. Here’s the latest. If it turns out that there’s nothing we can do, or if Bush won anyway, we at least have to make sure that there is a paper trail for every vote cast. We should be able to run a fair election.

Strategic Meanderings

This is from an email conversation I’m having with a buddy of mine. His side is very interesting as well, but I haven’t asked him for permission to post. So this is just me. We’re chatting about what the left needs to do in order to overcome the religious right juggernaut in the future.

My thing about the religious right is that it is a self-perpetuating system. Like a whirlpool, it may not have a large impact quickly, but once ensconced, few escape.

The left is not like that. It is very difficult to move as a unit, there is no single group that is as subject to a single dogma, thereby no single unifying perspective exists.
Ask somebody what the left stands for and you’ll get many many answers. Ask somebody what the right stands for and you’ll get just a few. Generally, neither side will give you a higher answer, but a few specifics instead.

Where does the left have to go? It has to go in a direction that encompasses the beliefs of everybody on the left side, or enough to build enough momentum to sweep the left along.

I am thinking that making strides towards social freedoms are the first steps. The left must unanimously and fervently believe in our inalienable rights, and that there are no exceptions. These are, as has been evidenced by the right, the easiest to create a defining line, and the easiest to get behind.

It is sad that John Kerry got snagged in the ‘Security is the most important thing for America’ line. He emphasized it too much, when what the left truly needs to believe is that ‘Honor is the most important thing for America’. Security is of course important, but first and foremost our country must behave in a manner in which it feels comfortable with itself. And that is what the left must embrace, and come together with.

Embracing a belief like this has got to happen fast. At this moment, we are two similar rivers, one meandering, the other travelling with great momentum. We are still strong enough to face it head on, but not for long. The alternative is to slowly build, redirecting the torrent slowly, over a long period of time, using its power against itself, to make it face another, less harmful way. This is the way of the eastern fighting styles, to redirect rather than oppose. Perhaps even more effective would be to suddenly pull rather than redirect, and have the torrent tumble and fall. Maybe we should identify the strike from the religious right that is thrown too confidently, too strong, and give it just a little tug to help it along, and with that the harm of what they are creating will be evident.

The war in Iraq is a done deal. Not meaning that it’s over, but it’s happened. There is nothing that we can do about it. We have to move past it as a group and accept that we did what we could. We have to stop expending our efforts on it. The quagmire is not ours. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for our soldiers, and the Iraqi families, but our efforts are wasted there, and are better spent preventing it from happening again.

The Next Four Years

As opposed as I was to so many of prezzo’s actions over the last four years, I feel that the best way to come through the disappointment of the election is to pull out a clean. Not a pessimistic slate. And not totally clean, but to treat this like a new day. Bush’s words make him sound like he’s going to try, but they have before. Perhaps he’s embracing the ‘centrist’ as I’ve heard it said on the strong right talk shows: religious right. I hope not, and I’m not going to start off that way, but I don’t want to get taken for a ride either. My thought is this: In 2000, Bush believed he won by the mandate of God, but in 2004 he was chosen by the American people. Thus he must appease a different constituency. So, George Bush do your best for America.

Here’s an interesting read with a similar opinion, more details and cynicism, and text of W’s recent speech.

Tragedy Strikes

It’s over. And not much good came out of it. W won the presidency, apparently fair and square. That’s what the people wanted, I guess. So now begins the great experiment. Four years of the same group with significantly less opposition, probably 1-2 supreme court nomination (maybe more….shiver). He now has the popular vote and the electoral vote, so he doesn’t feel obligated to play the middle like he did so well over the last four years, and his career politicking is done, all he is concerned with for next election is getting his brother in there. But no sour grapes here, there’s nothing more I can do about it now except keep watching and keep talking. I think Kerry would’ve done a good or even great jorb, but he failed to separate himself on the real issues. He really needed to take the gloves off. The amazing thing about W is the number of single-issue voters he gets. The zealots, the moralists (whatever that means), the reactionaries, the fearful. I think my favorite is the person who said that they were voting for Bush because Bush doesn’t have a litmus test.

The country is now theirs to do with as they will. I hope that I’m wrong and they do good. If so maybe they’ll have a convert, but sadly I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Voting Day is Here

Amazing. As far as I can tell this is the most anticipated voting day for generations. Many generations. So many people have put in so much effort to help the Good Guys win (and I hope they do). MoveOn, Dean for America, bloggers, and more have really built the grass roots effort. The volunteers helping people get to the polls, making calls, knocking on doors, it’s been truly amazing and heartening. I’m actually feeling slightly optimistic about today. Despite my ‘slight’ optimism I’m going to say Kerry with 57% of the electoral college today. Just get out and vote. Drop your ballot off. When it’s over, it’s over. Our plays are in motion. Cheers, and thank you.