Debate correction

So, after watching a good 30 or more minutes worth of debate, I must admit it was not the recitation I expected. No one could have their prepared content bomb so badly.

The post-debate discussion seems to suggest that President Bush didn’t play the part of the misbehaving yet righteous child. It also seems to suggest that he “made some strong points.” I must have lost track of what those points were in the giant gaps of dead air space between “um”, “er” and condescending “listen”.

I was somewhat surprised, and delighted that Senator Kerry mentioned Nuclear (new – clear) proliferation as one of the greatest threats to our security. It was a hippie issue back in the day, and a startlingly important hippie issue now. Thank you Senator for not “wilting” and addressing a supremely important issue. And for making the President point out the rather blatant “we can, they can’t” gap.

Political Compass

Tonight is the first Presidential Recital Debate. I’m missing part of it because of work, and I don’t really mind. We know what they’re going to say. Heck, you can even plot their political bent. They’re not that different.

You can also calculate your own political leanings through a series of questions and see how you compare to your friends, historical figures, and evil tyrants. I really suggest reading the Analysis more than anything. There’s a good bit on the neo-cons and neo-libs in America.

No surprises for me really. I’m a leftie and I’ve even drifted further from the shore in my old age.

By the numbers:
Economic Left/Right: -6.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.33

First Day @ PSU

Yesterday was my first day of class in the Geography graduate program at Portland State. I was a little nervous leaving work on the busiest day of the year, but was able to forget about it for a while and get excited about going back to school again.

The majority of the class was introductory stuff like Syllabus and reading material, but we also looked at the department and talked about other happenings. The class is pretty small and seems to have a fairly wide variety of people and interests.

Something that immediately stood out to me was the amount of reading to be done. It also seemed somewhat foreign to me that we have to “make photocopies” of the material to read. Having worked with instructors to create PDFs of reserve material so they could be fetched online at one’s leisure has warped my perspective on the matter. Maybe I’ll bring it up.

Now I’m looking for bibliography software (or a web app) so I can keep track of all this stuff as I read it in case I need to refer back to it. So far, BibDesk takes the cake, but I’m looking for something a little bigger – like an online personal depot that can also store my electronic copies of this content. Heck, Moveable Type could probably work.

Anyway, I’m started and relieved to hear that 3+ years for the program is about average. I’m a slow reader, you see.

Bike Friz

I joined a pseudo-coworker and some of his friends for a game of Bike Friz at Franklin H.S. this morning. I’ve been meaning to play all summer but just haven’t had the time. It was a blast, and its unfortunate that next week will probably be the season’s last game.


Yesterday was my 26th birthday. I dressed very casually, wearing my new thongs, and felt good as I got to work. Work was lame, but afterwards Scott, Jason, Michelle and I tried the Rose and Thistle pub for dinner. It was about as Scottish as Woolite, with nary a Scottish ale on tap. The bangers, beans and mash were great, but we left pretty quickly to find some cask ale. Rose and Raindrop provided, and despite the smoke, it was a fun time. I even won a game of Hearts.

This year’s birthday cake was a special request. Rice Crispy treats. They were good. Not “like mom makes” good, but still good. I think I’ll go have some.

Dog Daze of Summer 2004

Because we’re absurd parents, we took Barley to Clackamas County’s Dog Daze of Summer. Its the last day of operation when the county lets dogs play in the pools before they get cleaned out for the winter.

Barley at Dog Daze 2004

There were several sessions, and we were able to get Roo over for the last session at 6pm. The parking lot was packed with large sporting dogs – more retrievers than anything, but lots of others who had no idea what was going on, and why there were so many dogs in one place.

Once they were let in (with a suggested last minute walk around the park), chaos met it’s match. Dogs were running everywhere, splashing jubilantly, barking happily, and getting really wet. Barley took a quick few laps into the wave pool then ran with a pack to the upper level, where he jumped up into an empty hot tub, falling 5 feet into the basin. Our hearts stopped until his dopey grin appeared over the edge again, just as freaking happy as ever. He continued playing in multiple pools, fetching other dogs’ toys, feeling important, and getting people wet.

Eventually we coaxed him off the ledge into the deep pool where he started chasing a spaniel rather aggressively for a ball he felt was his. He continued to harass the spaniel for a bit until we decided he’d had enough. Its better to leave while he still works. I’m not sure if he was just in a good mood, or was thankful, or what, but he was rather gracious about getting a bath afterwards.