Category Archives: Mouthinkin

The kids are all write

I’ve been thinking about social web stuff a lot today. The good folks at Nemo Designs were good enough to have a long chat with anners and me about their social interweb. But that’s just the setup, I’m not really going to go into that…it was interesting though.

What I wanted to hit on is the kids and their lack of email! Which is something that’s come up in conversation, and it came up sometime after the aforementioned meeting, but not during. So the argument that I hear goes something like this:

- Email is going away.
- Why?
- Because kids don’t use email.
- Huh?
- Yeah, they’ve studied kids and they use facebook and twitter and stuff and they don’t even have email accounts.

So, my response is…So what? I mean, did you have a mailing address as a kid? I don’t recall getting much mail. And most of it was highly temporal, non-transactional information. Birthday cards, Ranger Rick, um, I think that’s about it. I was way ahead of my time and couldn’t stand sending letters because the transit time was ridiculous and I didn’t want to pay for a stamp.
Continue reading

Tears and hope

‘”Change has come” and we can all work together for a better and united future for all in our country and worldwide.’

That was my mom in the comments tonite. We had a fun little election party, and for the first time in a long time, we ended up happy, not just wiser.

And we cheered. McCain’s speech was great. That McCain may have won the election. He was honest, sincere, honorable, clear, and inspiring. For the first time since this all began I saw McCain make an effort to unite people, not just ignite his base. The cycle could have been far more exciting and far less scary.

And Obama spoke. Pericles, a great orator, perhaps someday Obama will be read, thousands of years in the future, and his words will be seen as the ones that brought a civilization together. He is a man who has ideas and can lead the people. Unite us. Tonight he attacked that divide and Obama will continue to attack the divide.

I had hoped for the 60 senate seats. Not that I believe a supermajority is a great thing. I’m far too moderate. But because I believe that things have gotten so bad that only in the face of utter defeat can we reach across to humble Republicans and say that we’re in this together. We’re not in total lockstep (as the last so many years have witnessed), we’re in a discussion. We are all patriots. Without superior firepower, I fear that the war will continue.

But…back to what my mom said. I watched Barack Obama speak tonight. It was wonderful. I drew near tearful on a few occasions. But I saw the comment from my mom. So much hope. It was beautiful, and it brought tears to my dry eyes.

“Change has come” and we can all work together for a better and united future for all in our country and worldwide.

Memories…

2000. Oh, the disappointment. Later and later it got at the Yukon Tavern, drinking Pabst after Pabst, watching the states black out one after another. The red carpet on the walls and the mannequin legs dangling above. Great conversation as we drifted further and further into desperate (to know!) drunkenness, and then even further into it with desperation not to know.

2004. Doin’ it bourgeois-style at Everyday Wine. Grimmer and grimmer. The wine bar closed when it was grim, but there remained hope. Kieran and I went to The Spare Room, an unbelievably surreal bar, to watch the remainder of the election. We’d expected to be among celebrators, many members of The Greatest Generation drink there, but instead we had a soul-searching time carousing and commiserating with a unique blend of folk. Things changed when they opened up the speakers and a small older lady did her karaoke version of The Candy Man Can. I am still haunted. Rest her soul, she’s no longer with us, but that memory is strong. I hope that she smiles after tonite, wherever she is.

cheers, and Godspeed.

Just Do It

Okay, last email here.

Hopefully I can make it count.

The topic for today is what are you afraid of?

I’ve had a lot of conversations with people who “don’t like either candidate” but are voting for McCain.

My question for them is — Why? What’s wrong with Barack Obama? Sometimes you don’t trust him, sometimes he’s not experienced enough, sometimes, you can’t really express it.

What has Obama ever done to break your trust? He has run an extraordinarily open and honest campaign. On experience, even if he truly was inexperienced (which he’s not), isn’t it about time that we move away from the political dynasties?

“I’m a uniter, not a divider.” This quote from George W. Bush is the most important difference, in my opinion, between the two candidates and their campaigns. While McCain and Palin have attacked, spreading lies (really. lies. Palin is a liar.), mistrust, doubt, and fear, Obama/Biden have been direct. They have sought to unite. They have plans.

After 8 years of neoconservative power, we have found ourselves in a downtrodden state. We’ve been at war. Many believe that we should never gone there to begin with. We’ve alienated allies. Our economy outlook is frightening. Jobs are moving overseas, or just going away. I believe that the administration of the last eight years has been a failure in nearly every way.

Obama/Biden have plans. And while they can’t please everyone, they’ll at least have respect. McCain’s plans are almost identical to what we’ve had over the last eight years.

What are you afraid of? Vote for change, and a united America. It really does matter.

Please watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfe9hNxWXVw

While I’m at it, California friends please vote no on 8.

10 Good Reasons

A good article by a conservative voting for Obama.
Cliff notes version:

1) It’ll devalue Jesse Jackson.

2) He’s more fiscally responsible.

3) Better foreign policy

4) Better relationship between foreign policy and the military

5) Obama is cool, calm, and collected.

6) He’s intellectual about his Christianity

7) I’m not sure what he’s getting at here…I think it’s that he’ll help ease the generational divides.

8) President Palin. Scary.

9) An opportunity to do some conservative reform. I’ve long held that there are a lot of reasonable republicans, but they’re not being represented by their party.

10) We need a new strategy on the war on terror. And that’s not (necessarily) the one in Iraq.

This is his list, as he put it (link follows):

10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.

9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won’t touch defense of entitlements. And his refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain’s plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama’s. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.

8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain’s knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran’s nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush’s first term and George W.’s.

7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.

6. Temperament. Obama has the coolest, calmest demeanor of any president since Eisenhower. Conservatism values that kind of constancy, especially compared with the hot-headed, irrational impulsiveness of McCain.

5. Faith. Obama’s fusion of Christianity and reason, his non-fundamentalist faith, is a critical bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.

4. A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.

3. Two words: President Palin.

2. Conservative reform. Until conservatism can get a distance from the big-spending, privacy-busting, debt-ridden, crony-laden, fundamentalist, intolerant, incompetent and arrogant faux conservatism of the Bush-Cheney years, it will never regain a coherent message to actually govern this country again. The survival of conservatism requires a temporary eclipse of today’s Republicanism. Losing would be the best thing to happen to conservatism since 1964. Back then, conservatives lost in a landslide for the right reasons. Now, Republicans are losing in a landslide for the wrong reasons.

1. The War Against Islamist terror. The strategy deployed by Bush and Cheney has failed. It has failed to destroy al Qaeda, except in a country, Iraq, where their presence was minimal before the US invasion. It has failed to bring any of the terrorists to justice, instead creating the excresence of Gitmo, torture, secret sites, and the collapse of America’s reputation abroad. It has empowered Iran, allowed al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan, made the next vast generation of Muslims loathe America, and imperiled our alliances. We need smarter leadership of the war: balancing force with diplomacy, hard power with better p.r., deploying strategy rather than mere tactics, and self-confidence rather than a bunker mentality.

Those conservatives who remain convinced, as I do, that Islamist terror remains the greatest threat to the West cannot risk a perpetuation of the failed Manichean worldview of the past eight years, and cannot risk the possibility of McCain making rash decisions in the middle of a potentially catastrophic global conflict. If you are serious about the war on terror and believe it is a war we have to win, the only serious candidate is Barack Obama.

Source: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/10/the-top-ten-rea.html#more

In Good Company (Email Campaign)

Sent: 10/22/2008

It appears that internally, at least, al-qaeda and other terrorist organizations support McCain’s candidacy. Makes sense, considering how successfully the war in Iraq has divided the country, emptied our coffers, exhausted our military, and alienated our allies.

“Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election,” said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the “failing march of his predecessor,” President Bush.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/21/AR2008102102477.html?hpid%3Dtopnews?=new

At least Sarah Palin got a new $150K wardrobe.

Email campaign: Up is Down

Sent: 10/15/2008

Okay, I just can’t resist commenting on this, because it is such an absolutely clear illustration of Sarah Palin and her in-your-face lies.

Sarah said:
“The report that came out also was very clear in that there was no unethical or unlawful behavior on my part,” Palin told a local CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, adding, “No abuse of power there at all.”

Actually she said things like that multiple times. Maybe she believes it?

The VERY FIRST LINE of the findings (what comes immediately after the technical who we talked to blah blah) reads verbatim:

Finding Number One

For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.

We’ll miss you Kali

Kali, one of my favorite pups in the whole world passed on this morning. She was always so sweet, and just wanted to be loved as much as she loved you. A great personality, she’ll be in my heart. And my love goes out to ACUC, I can only imagine how you are hurting today. Here’s my effort to help you celebrate her.

From Dogs
From Dogs
From Dogs

And this video I came across just tugged at my hearstrings…it’s not Kali, but I think you get it.

Greeted after 14 months in Iraq

Back when I was near-homeless my aunt and uncle took me and and I got to live in their basement. Kali was a great friend then, I’d let her come into my room, and she’d lie next to me while I sat on the computer until four in the morning. Or she’d hang out on my matress and I’d scratch her ears. She was a great friend.

PLB

Prediction

McCain will show up to the debate, and there will be more than one “fist pump” on the approach to the podium. You heard it here first.

But Obama will still hand him his ass, probably still with fist pumping.

Beer drinker google ads

Playing with google ads. I don’t have any illusion that they’re going to make be rich, or even more than a few pennies a year, but I’m not in this blog thing to retire early. I’m in it for the fame and notoriety. So you’re probably better off pretending they’re not there.

The antismear

Not sure if any of you get the forwards digging into Barack Obama…his secret code references to Muslim jihad and his non-citizenship and all, but I came across his personal site addressing the smears. It’s pretty good. Even more interesting is reading the ones that I haven’t heard yet.

Not not caring about Iowa anymore

Personally I don’t really give a crap about who Iowans think should be president. I know one or two people from there, but that’s as far as it goes. But man, did they just hammer some hork into the republican gameplan. Romney just got hosed by Huckabee, and Giuliananinaniani didn’t even show. A couple other dudes got some votes. I missed Ron Paul, who despite my serious issues with libertarians (in brief I believe it’s a great philosophy for an ideal world) is better than all the others. Except maybe McCain, and that’s because he didn’t suck so much a few years ago.

As far as the Democrats, I dig Kucinich. Too bad he didn’t really show. I’ll sign the petition and support and vote. He’s the most real dude out there and he has my vote any day.

But. Seriously, I have faith in all three of the front-runners. Obama is charismatic and idealistic, full of energy, and new. Of the likely’s he’s my pick. I get chills when he’s on. Really, he could be a great man. And I’d love to see Kucinich at his side, or the other way around.

Hillary has pissed me off a lot. She stands when she should sit and sits when she should stand. She’s been playing the game, and I was angry with her for a long time, for underperforming. But it’s true. She is a politician. She is doing that political crap, playing the game blah blah. And I think her endgame is to kick ass for our country, and for the people who live here. She may be power-hungry, I don’t care and I don’t know, but if she is, her power is the power of the people. I’m down.

Edwards. A bit curious. He hasn’t played it up too well. He hasn’t generated excitement. I don’t know. I can’t say anything I feel strongly, because I just don’t know that much…but I think his heart’s in the right place, he’s a sharp dude, and he’ll work hard. Funny thing is, if that’s what’s important, I can think of a president who is entirely lacking in all three of those.

So, Iowa happened. I really didn’t care. But then I browsed the results, and all I could see was some elephants trying to backpedal. Because the running as a social conservative alone isn’t enough to win.

It always has to be the wrong way

There have been a number of tragedies involving bikes and motor vehicles around Portland recently. Very sad for all involved, I truly feel for the families of the victims, and for the drivers of the vehicles as well. But setting up bicycle stings at innocuous intersections is just not the right way to go about fixing the problem. Why are the victims being punished?

Cyclists, watch out at Flint and Broadway, the man is waiting to swoop in and wreck your beautiful day.

Is google losing their edge?

I love Google. I use a number of google applications. Google’s search is and has always been fantastic. I have a gmail account and a picasaweb account. Blah, blah, google’s does a lot of great things and makes my life better. Thank you google!

However, I’m feeling more and more that google just isn’t getting it like they used to. The internet has changed, it grows more dynamic, more personal. But while new sites keep popping up that enable users to do more, google looks the other way. They are building and building, or more likely buying and buying, but they aren’t reaching out, they aren’t connecting. I have two examples of this that I think are very relevant.

First, Blogger. Every blog on Blogger should have an RSS feed. Natively. Period. Authors should have the option to turn them off, but RSS is the real deal, and having to use a feedburner widget is a hassle.

Second, PicasaWeb. I love my picasaweb account. The interface is clean and fast. But the community seems tacked on. And that’s not even my real problem. My real issue is that Google has not built partnerships with other sites. Everywhere you go, you can integrate your flickr data. But with picasaweb, there’s nothing. I can’t go to moo.com and use my existing photos on picasaweb to make cards, I have to select them in iPhoto, export them, and upload them again. Same with sites like dopplr.Hassle!

I keep getting a Microsoft feeling from Google. Like the people who really ‘get it’ have lost to business, marketing, and management. Like they have a 20-year plan and can’t reel it in enough to see what’s actually happening today. Acquire, assimilate, devour.

Broadway Brewery & Grill: Experience the westside on the eastside

Something’s wrong with NE Broadway. There are a lot of cool little businesses along there. I love the Rose and Thistle. But for the most part, they are underperforming. Almost every stop along NE Broadway is a bit too…bland. I gave this some thought awhile ago, and my conclusion then was that Broadway and its surrounding area is the westside invasion. A few weeks later the Broadway Brewery and Grill opened up. The BB&G is an offshoot of the Old Market Pub, a microbrew joint down off SW Garden Home, and one that I’d never been ecstatic about. Mostly the food is extraordinarily bland.

I’d managed to avoid the BB&G since it opened a few months ago, but cruised in there Saturday afternoon with my brother. It is extremely typical, with birch veneer and flatscreen TVs. The bartender was very nice. We split a calzone. The crust was baked perfectly, kudos to the chef, but, the calzone was very bland. Just like with the Old Market Pub, they are able to take something that sounds fabulous and make it very white bread.

I won’t say much about the beers, except that I got a bloody mary instead of a beer today. We sampled the Granny Smith, which I’d thought would be a cider (instead an apple-brewed beer), but it wasn’t inspiring as a beer either.

So this started out as a rant about Broadway catalyzed by a visit to the Broadway Bar & Grill, but it turned into a bit of review. Overall, the BB&G is a fine sports bar, but not a destination for me.

dangit NFL!

So now you’ve got some big channel or contract or something to make it a bit tougher to watch games. Well, I didn’t watch many anyway. But now I hear some controversy and you need cable and Monday night football is on cable…at least Dennis Miller is gone I hope. But dangit! Now I get so many stupid sp@m emails about football this and football that. I guess I should watch more football. Like I should lose weight and take more viagra.

Thank you early adopters

Well, the iPhone dropped in price way faster than I expected. I’d figured they had a price point figured out and would keep the phone around there. But they had the trendsetters figured out and took their cut. The 8GB iPhone is now $399 instead of $599. So tempting. But for all of you who are upset that you paid the extra two hundred bucks to strut it around for two months, I’m still not rushing out to buy one. Though I sure drool over it. Honestly, I really want it to have a GPS in it. But no whining. I saw enough iPhone cage matches in the first week or two to know you got your money’s worth.

A little note to DaveKnows

Hi Dave. I’d email you but amazingly I don’t have your address. Weird. Anyway, I always forget to mention this when I see you, but I’d comment on your blog but I am not going to register. I’ve registered for enough crap and I’m not gonna put my crap into your system and wait for you to generate a password and email it to me and then click on a link to verify and then leave my f’ing comment.

Que sera. I’d live in silence about it but then I read your Timbers post. What the fuck? It was a great game. But are you saying that the 15000 of us who don’t stand with the army aren’t fans? I’m hoarse after every fucking game, wear green, stand when we’re close. I’ve gotten personal reactions from opposing players for the harassment I’ve delivered, players who eventually received cards.

Trust me. I love the army. I think y’all do great stuff. But y’all can suck eggs if you think you’re the only timbers fans in town. So take a load off and quit feeding me that crap.

Update: Wow, just reread this baby and it sounds way harsher than intended. I’ve been a bit frustrated with some of the Timbers Army BS (love the army, keep being agro…but there are other ways to appreciate the Timbers). Dave is a buddy of mine, so I was trying to flip him a bit of smack in the process. Good friends, good people. Anyway, go Timbers. And thanks for getting rid of the registration thang.

Naughty filthy Ikea

Not really, but metroblogging has the dirt on Portland’s Ikea installation. Honestly, I’ve been looking forward to getting an Ikea for quite awhile now, and now that the date is almost here, I’m starting to look at my closets and corners just a bit differently.

Long ago I linked to Defective Yeti’s genius Ikea Walkthrough (at The Morning News). Here it is again for the local Portlanders.

A bunch of folks seem upset about the new big box store. Well, it’s an unfortunate reality. At least Ikea has some sense of corporate responsibility. It rates strongly for environmental concerns, employee and women’s rights, and they are trying to integrate with our transportation ideals.

As Portlanders we need to continue supporting our local businesses. I proudly have never spent a dime in a Wal-Mart, though I’ve sucked conditioned air in a couple (sadly, I believe that I have spent some cash at some of their other-brand locations. It’s so hard to keep track of who owns who). We have such a great environment, with so many local businesses and craftspeople offering unique goods, it is one thing that keeps Portland strong and unique.

But, the big box store has a place. But remember to swing by your local hardware store before hitting Home Depot (Do it Best is awesome…the folks are helpful way above and beyond any reasonable expectation. Beaumont location, for my experience, but I hear good things about the others). Nothing pisses me off more than somebody proudly proclaiming the money they saved by going to a local store, getting assistance, trying things out, and then going to a discount place for the purchase. Well, there’re a lot of more serious issues than that, but try not to do it! That’s what the small businesses are all about, and you need to fulfill your part of the social contract as well.

Now, there’s the argument about location. Where the heck do you want the Ikea to go? Probably to hell, I suppose. But out there by the airport seems perfect. There’s the Cascade Station, which looks like it was intended to be a bit like the development area near St. Johns. Nice public transportation, lots of land, and such. Perfect for a place that’s going to get a lot of traffic. Out of the way, accessible in several ways, lots of land, and an airport for a neighbor.

So, when you go to Ikea, get some good stuff. But remember the places like Storables (somewhere near NW 14th and Couch) that also sell nifty little plastic cubes.

Searching for the soul of Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a pretty sweet city. It’s gorgeous. There’s a beautiful beach, tons of restaurants, shops, and things to do. A few good breweries. Nice views, hikes nearby. It was selected as one of Outside’s most desirable places to live (Portland too!). But after a few days here, I’ve found myself wondering: where is the soul of this city? And I haven’t found it.

Time on the beach is great, the sand is pleasant with the sound of the surf and the seagulls, a heavy sun radiating powerfully, beautiful people building sand structures to watch them erode with the tides. Several lighthouses are visible from any given shore. But I don’t feel the soul there.

Downtown is small, but pleasant. There are several coffee shops. Three bookstores. Restaurants galore. A venue for shows. Surf shops, gift shops, clothing stores, water pipe outlets. But I don’t feel the soul there. Starbucks and Peet’s. Borders. Even the local store feels like it wishes it were a Borders. No local artist showcase that I could find. No outlet for local expression. And Logo, the used book and music store. Almost there, but still it is unwilling to carry the torch. Unwilling to offend.

Walking the streets, I felt a strange familiarity. Santa Cruz felt to me a bit like Las Vegas, a softer expression, the opposite in so many ways, but the same. A stand of naive liberalism lacking a grounding in reality where Vegas stands for nothing but is deeply entrenched in all too vivid reality.

The experience has been sanitized. Overdeveloped, too expensive, a facade of beauty but is there anything underneath? Keep it safe, keep it clean. Do the right thing. Recycling is the law.

But I know it’s out there. Local talent. Individuals. Stifled and forgotten, but not gone. A scene, something that is the character and the culture. Or is that it? Is the culture this soccer-mom turned surf and skate shuttle world? If you know, if you can help me find it, please show me the way.