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Nitecap: Soft and warm continuum

It’s getting late and I’m on my 5th disc download of RedHat RHEL-5.7 i86_64.  Please stop me now if this is not the right version for the MacBook Pro i7 processor because I am running out of blank discs.  I didn’t want to go with the beta versions because I have a lot of applications to test and beta would only complicate things.

The screendoor is open.  For the first time in more than a month, the air conditioner isn’t droning and drowning out the sound of the world outside.  Tonight, I hear the rain tapping low and high notes on my weatherbeaten deck.  While I wait for the binaries to download, I’m sipping a bit of white wine and listening to the watery music.

Break open your best boxed Merlot and join me.  Tonight, Eva Cassidy sings, life goes on and the loveliest sounds in the world can not be bought for any price.

This is an open thread.  What did you do today?

Monday: Stormy Monday

And, no, we’re not talking about Hurricane Ike, although we are sending good thoughts to our Floridian and Gulf Coast Conflucians today.

What we’re talking about is it the newest USA Today/Gallup poll that puts McCain ahead by 10 points over Barack Obama.  This latest poll was conducted from September 5-7, 2008, sufficient time to gauge the Palin Effect and John McCain’s speech.  Darragh Murphy said that the Republicans would finish Obama off by the end of September.  Who knew that the minions working for Obama would be so efficient in speeding things up?  The DNC must be in full panic mode, hoping and praying that Hillary can pull it out for them.  Bastards.

By the way, I finally got a chance to view McCain’s speech in its entirety on my DVR and I have to say that it took me by surprise.  McCain put his own party on notice.  There were many points in that speech when the applause in my house was louder than the tepid response he got in Minnesota.  I sometimes wonder which torture was more painful and humiliating for him.  The Hanoi Hilton or being broken by the Bushies while they trashed the tattered remnants of his own party?

It remains to be seen whether John McCain can deliver on the reform he promises.  But one thing is for certain: there is no doubt who he identifies with as his role models.  He admires Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower.  These are men of integrity, progressivism and moderation.  John McCain’s voting record in the past eight years has not reflected much of any of those three things.  But he *does* have a respectable record on election reform and objection to the earmark system.  It is regrettable that he broke to vote with the Bushies on so many other horrific bills.  Did he compromise his principles in order to survive and fight another day?

In the meantime, the PUMAs may be flexing their muscles. We are real and there are millions of us.  Millions disaffected enough to bump McCain up, whether or not we intend to vote for him.  We got the word out that the Democrats were NOT unified.  We showed up at the MSNBC kiosk in Denver and “marched and shouted slogans” (generic NPR speak for any sufficiently significant band of protestors).  I didn’t mind shouting “Rise, Hillary! Rise!” but felt uncomfortable about calling Matthews a sexist pig.  He did come out at one point and stood on the corner of the stage, a little like a contrite sinner in the stocks, as the goody townspeople hurled nasty epithets at him.  I suppose we should feel happy that Olbermann and Matthews have now been sidelined.

But *why* are they being sidelined?  What possible harm could they do now?  Exactly.  Their job is done.  They took out Hillary Clinton.  Now’s the time to bring in the less overtly vitriolic team to shore up NBC’s reputation and return to the status quo of treating Republicans with kid gloves while covering the Democrats less gently.  The whole mechanism is reconstructed as it is every four years.  The electoral map hasn’t changed significantly, except that now the Democrats are in danger of losing Pennsylvania.  Plus ça change…

We did what we could.  We got the word out as best we could.  We fought off attack after attack.  We tried to warn our own side not to fall into the trap.  But fall it did.

Lord, have mercy on me.

Nitecap: Thursday

It’s been a rough week and I’m back at Joe’s. Too many meetings yesterday, nonstop from 8 am to 5. Reports due. I need a break.

I come to Joe’s when I need some down time. The brightest lights are the amber glow over the polished wood surface of the long bar. Joe polishes it nightly with lemon oil and elbow grease. There are dusky niches with little round tables all clustered around a small stage.

I’ve seen this musician before, the slight girl with the long blonde hair. She can really sing the blues. But tonight she’s singing that Sting song that sounds about a thousand years old. I went to England for my brother’s wedding about 12 years ago and remember the golden fields of barley on the rolling English hills near Stonehenge. The older daughter carried the video camera up the path to an ancient hill fort. “Beautiful”, she said in her little girl voice into the camera microphone, “It is lovely all around.”

Set’em up, Joe. I’ll have a Macallans again if you’ve got it. And send a round to my friends, all 18 million of them.

Wednesday- Wunnerful, Wunnerful

Morning all! I fell asleep during Nitecap and didn’t get to wish RonKSeattle a Happy Birthday. So, let me do so now. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RONK!!! How old are you now? 20 something? (insert your favorite multiple) If you feel so inclined, you may wish to send your birthday wishes to RonK in the form of a donation to Rep. Jim McDermott’s legal fund. Our gentleman colleague from Ohio, John “weepy eyes” Boehner, took him to court many years ago over a serendipitously intercepted cell phone call involving nasty Newt Gingrich. Boehner’s been vindictively pursuing the case ever since (because it contributes so much to Congressional harmony?) Anywho, if you would like to help Rep. McDermott retire this debt to society (/snark), please visit this site and mention it was for RonK.

Here are some other things to ponder this morning:

  • Following up on Hillary’s plan to increase spending on breast cancer research by $300 Million dollars and what this exciting news portends for the research industry in general, I thought I would try to bring everyone up to date on what really goes on in biomedical research. Specifically, how do we researchers discover, design and develop treatments for various diseases? Well, the first place to start is with the Human Genome and, once again, Terry Gross has a first rate interview with Craig Venter, head of Celera, who along with government scientists cracked the DNA code for the human species. I hope you will find this interview as fascinating and informative as I did.
  • Elizabeth Edwards, who is so far not endorsing any candidate, has some positive words for Hillary’s health care plan. Elizabeth knows that in order to achieve a real cost benefit, universal coverage is the key. When everyone is covered, there will be fewer emergency room visits and lengthy hospital stays for untreated illnesses. Did you know that in the state of NJ, taxpayers fork out $700 million each year for hospital costs of the uninsured? That’s a hidden tax on all of us that could be put to better use keeping people healthy.
  • Who is Luke Ravenstahl? He’s the 28 year old mayor of Pittsburgh and he’s a Clinton supporter. Read all about him and his unlikely rise to prominence in my home town. This is a kid who understands hard work and what it will take to help Pittsburgh make the transition from industrial to high tech age. With Pittsburgh, he’s got a lot of good material to work with. I see a bright future for Ravenstahl and the city. And with Clinton as an ally, well, it’s going to be wonderful.
  • One more thing: Did you know that you can now direct where your contribution to Hillary’s campaign in PA will buy?  Yep. So far, contributors have bought $15,000 worth of door signs, $25,000 worth of van rides for seniors and the disabled to make it to the polling places and we are now closing in on $50,000 worth of yard signs.  But you can still help with radio and TV ads.  Barack Obama is spending $2.2 Million in TV ads throughout the state, more than any other candidate in PA history (not that it will help him much).  It would be great if Hillary could roll out some of her own optimistic ads and show those of us who aren’t internet junkies what a great president she’d be.  So, if you have a few bucks and want to buy 10 seconds of ad, send it her way.  Here’s the link.

Nightcap- New Old Friends

Joe’sIt’s getting late. But some of us aren’t ready to call it a night yet. So much going on and our minds are working overtime to take it all in and make sense of it. But we need to wind it down, kick back, relax, feed our cells (that means you gqmartinez)

So, we’re hanging out at Joe’s. It’s always cool and dark here. The bar is a long gleaming wood affair that Joe keeps in tip top shape with daily doses of lemon cream polish like the kind my grandmother used to use.

There are small tables and chairs and dark secluded corners. That blonde singer is back. She does the blues so well, like she feels it deep down. “The eagle flies on Friday…Lord have mercy on me”

Set’em up Joe. I’ll have a Baker’s bourbon OTR.

Nightcap- Tuesday in February

scotchI’m beat, guys.  I’ve been dealing with Excel all evening.  It makes me want to rape and kill.  So, I’m heading over to Joe’s for a nightcap.  There’s no crowd tonight.  Just some tables near the music and a long wooden bar gleaming in the low light.  Joe polishes the heck out of the bar.  It’s his baby.

The singer is new tonight. I’ve heard her play down at Blues Alley.  She’s sooo soothing…

Set’em up, Joe.  Make it a Macallan’s 12 yr old OTR.  Ahhhh….