Saturday, August 30, 2008


The steaming bullshit in this election cycle is a global warming problem we don't need!

Catch the lack of logic: McCain says Obama isn't ready to lead because he has a lack of experience.

So he selects a woman with even LESS experience!!! to be one heartbeat away from his presidency - McCain - the oldest geezer ever in the chair if he gets to sit in it.

This is like a good Frank Capra script, or a bad Hollywood script: I can't decide.

Capra: McCain gets in, dies, and she turns out to be a wonderful leader.

Bad script: Or... he dies, she takes over, and is puppeteered by those who seize upon her inexperience to 'help her.'

I don't wish McCain harm. I don't wish Palin ill.

At the end of this run, it will be said (if he wins) that this was a brilliant counterstrike strategy. If he loses, one of the dumbest moves, ever. I don't see any in-between.

It's a pretty tough deal to introduce an unknown and sell her to the public in this short a time span. Unless she has a whole heap of charisma, likely impossible.

Oh - that noise? It's Hillary's teeth grinding!

Yesterday I saw McCain answer a question about Palin's credentials, and in the reply he even mentioned her PTA experience. Seriously. As an example of her executive abilities. He really did.

Friday, August 29, 2008


The newsers were all atwitter about how he would need to define himself, and specifically address the claims made by the Republicans as to his experiential unworthiness. Not that they said it that way.

Some said the Acropolis they were building for him in the stadium was too vainglorious.

But, as fate would have it, it all worked.

Not quite up to the charm that Ronald Reagan could pull off, but very, very well written, very very well delivered, structured beautifully, I feel he hit it out of the park and then some. Some of the pundits I heard were almost speechless. The initial Republican shot back didn't even make sense.

I especially liked the Acropolis... two reasons...

1- This set made it appear on most camera angles that he was in a 'white house-like' environment; one that spoke of authority, and subtle hints of power. It was elegant but understated on camera, in closeup or medium shot (no columns in that view.)

2- The walk to the podium was powerfully dramatic. (And by the way, his film was incredible - already a supporter, I was wowed! Love the story of his first date with his now wife. She fell in love with him on the first date after seeing him in civic action.)

I loved, 'they don't get it, this isn't about ME, it's about YOU...' Great line.

And so: Believable? check. Specific? check. Powerful? check. Empathetic? check. Detailed? check. The risk of appearing in a huge stadium for Obama (as too much of a celebrity) was a clear victory of staging.

You could almost hear the question from the newsers... "What in hell can the Republicans do to match THIS?" McCain is horrible on the prompter. His grin turns on and off cartoonily, even eerily, like it's disconnected from the rest of him.

The Republicans had better conjure up Ronald Reagan's ghost.

Even Hillary and Bill must have been thinking... yeah, she lost this time, but he's darn good.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Good, bad, and in-between, Bill Clinton sure knows how to speak to a crowd. Last night's speech showed that (and those who know, say he wasn't even going full out.)

I DID notice he said Barrack Obama is the man you should vote for... man... get it? Well, that's just me.

But if you see the campaign video still floating around from the Hillary campaign, in which he said the Obama campaign is a 'fairy tale' then it's easy to disrespect the sincerity he poured on last night. Of course, this is what his party expected of him - to support the cause.

Bill must swim in sleaze, and he'll seemingly say or do whatever it takes. I don't think I like that one bit. If he'll do it so blatantly, then what must he do behind closed doors (interns aside?)

Probably my perverted sense of things, but I got the distinct impression that Hillary was laughing all the way through his speech at the position he was in - she knew what he wanted to say and laughed at his tap-dancing.

Bill might be morally bankrupt (though his work on AIDS, etc., is in some odd contrast with that) or at least overdrawn on his account, but he's SMART. And Hillary is SMART. That leads me to conclude there was plenty of subtext and bullshit spun from the pulpit last night.

Tonight at the stadium Barack has to hit it out of the park.

Speaking of the park, last night we also watched the closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics which we had recorded. Can I just say, TACKY. Ginormous, yes. Tacky, indeed. The thing smacked of UP WITH PEOPLE meets THE JUNE TAYLOR DANCERS meets a coked up impresario meets DISNEY. Good fireworks though.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I enjoy watching the details as much as the main story.

There's Andrea Mitchell, for NBC News, on the floor with a bad microphone connection. She's a real pro - just keep going as if nothing is wrong. (What else could you do? Well, believe me, it's an adrenal moment.)

There's the NBC newscast Monday night, with Brian Williams at the convention. He intros a 'package' which means a reporter standup into a recorded piece. Immediately following, the screen jumped to Beijing, where Lester Holt was standing, awaiting his intro. He picked up on what happened without missing a beat, ad-libbed his own intro. Very pro.

Then back to Brian, who explained what happened. No fluster to be seen. Again, very pro. And these newscasts are timed to the split-second, so that left some time to fill somewhere. Again, Brian filled at the end of the newscast with no visible effort. Smooth.

Hillary did what was 'the right thing,' calling for unity in her speech. She works a PA system and crowd pretty well. (Speak clearly and slowly. Establish a good rhythm.) Gee, I am sick of the pantsuit. Having Chelsea narrate the film (which was great) was a slick idea... and it linked nicely to having her intro Mom with efficient brevity, live. Chelsea almost delivered the final recorded line correctly. It needed to be bigger, and a pause in the right place would have done it. I wonder if she had a director, and if so, if he/she really understood impact. Nevertheless, that young woman must be an interesting person, given her genes and upbringing!

I almost sigh every time I see Caroline Kennedy. It isn't lust or anything like that, but more than anyone she represents for me the lost hope and dreams of Camelot. She's like the sister we never had. She seems classy. I like classy.

Teddy must have seriously reformed himself along the way. But I can never see him without wondering about Chappaquiddick, a car, a bridge, the water, and the trapped girl.

Michelle Obama also was impressive for someone relatively new to this. I thought her speech or delivery were a little tepid at the intro. She led with a bit of a joke and I think the delegates didn't feel comfortable enough with her to fall for it. Nice dress choice: green. Green is the color of nature, which equals nurture, and is peaceful.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


"What we have heah, is a failyuh to communikate!" so said the prison boss in my memory to Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke.

That's where it seems to me we ARE with the politics of electing a new president. The this'n'that which appears as advertising seems more like third grade attempts at 'gotcha.' I admit I lean way toward Obama. Maybe this is why McCain seems like an old fool (though not entirely, with his $100 million wife and all those houses - a mighty nice rebound from POW.) He has contradicted his own bad self so many times it's like watching a ping pong game. Maybe Obama brings me a blink of hope, where I figure the old guys have screwed it up so much I just can't trust another one. Think ENRON, think high unregulated gas prices, think the housing crisis, find the source: McCain's advisor, Phil Graham.

I actually cut McCain slack on the home front, so to speak, as I believe he was groping for a truthful answer to how many houses he owns (some are in his wife's names, some his? Which is which? Is a condo a home in the context of the question? Or rental properties?

Obama seems stuck on the same message. I heard it. I got it. I wish he'd say something of substance NEXT. I wish either of them would explain HOW they think they might accomplish the general healing of the sick, the economy, the country, the war.

We should be IN THE STREETS about the waste in IRAQ - the lost moneys - the horrible construction failures at 'rebuilding' - the bogus war, the national debt.

The whole election process is one of grand promises with little attending hope to achieve those results. We are skating on a thick ice rink of reality, numbed by the cold, frozen to apathetic.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


FACEBOOK might be over. I just recently joined it. Under the theory that by the time it gets around to me...

It IS interesting how the program lassos friends' contacts for you to see, in case you know someone and want to add them to your list. So far it won't acknowledge my email addresses, which is good because that list is populated with homeowners throughout this development, VERY tenuous biz contacts, rapscallions, neer-do-wells and reprobates. It'd be pretty darn pesterfull to have the automaton ask them all if they wanted to acknowledge me.

I enjoy the line you are supposed to fill out to bring the world up to date on what you are doing right now. It's a fun goof. Hey, that's what I want to be when I grow up - a fun goof.

The picture I posted is from a beach in the leeward islands (West Indies.)

I searched for classmates. They look old. Apparently they try to look younger by: growing facial hair (me) - wearing a hat or hiding baldness (me) - or marrying the younger second wife (maybe that's their daughter?)

What not to show: gut, formal pose in suit, triple chins, disco clothes, leisure suit, afro.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


We've seen Lyle a number of times; last night he performed at the Long Center here in Austin. It was our first visit to this impressive venue and Lyle's second. He is on tour with his Large Band (12 players, up to 12 singers.)

In a word: great!

What's so cool about Lyle is his wit and intelligence between songs (also infused). I think he could speak into a recorder and do a book, but his timing is that of a natural wit. At one point while he was talking the lighting grid 'burped' behind him... somebody bumped a switch? and a row of lights flashed. Maybe they do this every show but it seemed a legit mistake. Lyle immediately looked back and said "I thought we were being pulled over!" The perfect ad-lib (if it was. If not, still funny and wonderfully delivered.)

Lyle likes Austin. He likes the venue - he said so but you could tell without a word. His musicians included impressive guests and he generously included them in their spotlit solos and ensembles. They played a little longer than 2 and 1/2 hours.

This man is an entertainer in the truest sense of the word. I urge you to see him if and when you can.


I didn't realize that Google had photoed much of the USA. You put in your street and you just might get a picture. If you do, you can "drive" the picture up and down the street, rotating the view up, down and around. I just drove my old neighborhood where I grew up. It's certainly changed since, but what a great way back machine.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Faking Their Way to a Perfect Olympics
Olympics Ceremony Featured Fake Fireworks, Fake Singer, All in the Name of National Interest
BEIJING, August 12, 2008

Eager to put on a perfect Olympics, Beijing has swept its streets of fake designer handbags, pirated DVDs and phony corporate logos.

In recent days the Chinese Olympics organizers have admitted to faking the "footprint" fireworks that dazzled television audiences around the world.

And today they conceded that the perfect little girl who stole the show while singing "Ode to the Motherland" wasn't singing at all. She was lip synching for another little girl who was deemed -- for the good of the country -- not cute enough for China's national image.

Fake Fireworks

Part of Friday night's jaw-dropping opening ceremonies revealed sweeping shots of the footprints in the skies over Beijing marching from Tiananmen Square north to the Bird's Nest.

Viewers were led to believe they were synchronized fireworks going off across the city.

<< So why believe anything broadcast? Nevertheless, at one point they cut to President Bush in the stands who I swear looked like he'd pay $1000 for a beer! >>


I am going to try my hand at the world of Stock Photography. IF they allow me "in." Standards, you know!

I've been taking photos since I was a teenager, all over Europe, then as high school yearbook candid photographer. This qualifies me for nothing, but it does say I've been around single and double lens reflex cameras since a long time ago. Now with digital, I feel my work has progressed to a point where I might even sell something.

However, there are two obstacles:

1- You have to be blessed as appropriate by whomever runs the stock photo 'shop' you choose.

2- You have to get signed releases by anyone who appears in a picture. That's where I get weird... do I run after a jogger I just snapped and try to convince them to stop and fill out a form for no good reason? Or does their ego help me out there? The stock shops won't even take a picture with a person if you don't have the sign-off in the release. Since there's such a demand for people pictures, I have a big hurdle there. I don't want to hire models. In fact, I have to start without spending, so I may have an insurmountable hurdle.

Wish me luck! And if you are nearby, will you sign a release and let me follow you around for a while with my camera? No posing!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


It's August 5th... mid summer... but maybe because the weather was hot early this year - May for sure, maybe April? --- my internal clock says it's fall. Odd. We are still having 100+ degree days. 42 so far, I believe.

I am sitting watching radar for the remains of Eduard which are slated to dump some much-needed water onto the area. We are way off for the year. I assume we won't have too much wind this far inland, and I hope not, because the house under construction next door has stacks of uninstalled Spanish tiles on its roof, and they could "kite."

<<< We got no wind and only about a minute of rain. This should help grow serious complacency for the next one. >>>

Later this year we will go to the wilds of Utah and Wyoming where my clock will be smashed. We'll trade hills for mountains and low trees for tall ones and summer for fall.