Pittsburgh-only signs: "Left turn yield on green". The Pittsburgh left is ingrained enough that they need special signs for those intersections where it's a really really bad idea.
The actual canvassing? Eh. I got paired up with a lovely old guy who used to work for the Bureau of Mines regulating coal-mine ventilation systems, who knew everyone in the little suburban town we were in and stopped every block or so to berate and be berated by McCain supporters he'd known for twenty years, so that was fun. But we really didn't successfully make contact with a whole lot of voters. Possibly tomorrow will feel more productive.
One excellent thing, though, is that the Obama office I'm working out of is set up in a United Steelworkers union hall, and there are steelworkers hanging around. I desperately want one of their "Steelworkers for Obama" t-shirts, but have been too shy to ask if I can buy one somehow.
What are you doing this weekend and during the last push before the election to make sure Obama wins? I'll be canvassing this weekend. Also, I voted early today.
I think it's great that so many people on this site have volunteered, and many of you in ways that have made me feel like a huge slacker in comparison. For those of you who haven't volunteered yet, this is a great time to get involved! You get to feel good about helping out but don't have to worry about being asked to help out again over and over. Isn't investing an afternoon in canvassing worth four years of not wanting to throw something at the TV every time the news is on?
And if you're tempted to dismiss this with "Obama has this in the bag", remember that there are a lot of other downticket issues that still need the help, like helping get to 60 Democratic senators or local referenda like Prop 8.
Bostoniangirl sent me a link to this article in the NYT about women getting charged higher health insurance premiums than men. (To give credit where due, she sent it to me waaaaay before other people blogged it so if I'd been a good blogger this would be totally fresh news.) Since McCain's plan involves encouraging people to buy their own insurance on the private market, it will effectively be a pay cut for women (or if not a pay cut, at least something that widens the pay disparity between men and women). This seems to be a recurring feature in any health plan favored by the GOP: a little over a year ago I blogged about HSAs costing more for women participants than men.
Everyone and her sister is linking to this story, if not to that page. But I have the best title.
This NYT article about schools adding newfangled electives really piqued my "you'll go to school and you'll like it, now get off my lawn" instinct. Kids don't need to be taking The History Of Rock And Roll in high school. They need 4 years of English, 4 years of math, 4 years of a foreign language, 3 years of history/government, and at least 3 years of a laboratory science. When you're done with that, maybe we'll talk. A high school education should be about (in order): academic fundamentals (the above), complementary academic topics (art, psychology, economics), and then life skills (health, personal finance).
I'll be the first to admit I had low expectations for Barack Obama's half-hour segment on TV last night. I expected some Perot-esque charts-and-numbers thing—an appeal to the yawners of the world to keep yawning.
But it's quite good! The long format plays to his strengths as, well, a smart guy who says smart things.
As far as the World-Series-delay issue, yeah, whatever:
In fact, McCain's own convention speech this summer forced a change in the start time of the NFL's season opener, which started an hour and a half earlier to accommodate McCain's speech.
These things happen.
Carrie Brownstein, formerly of Sleater-Kinney/now of NPR, suggests:
[Let's] compile a playlist: songs to get us through the euphoria of a win, the devastation of a loss and everything in between.
Good idea. What's on your mix for November 4?
Recontextualization is a heaven born and ever bright technique for laffs and insight!
Were it not for its rendering of "The New Yorker" as "The Newyorker", I would put the Pynchon one in the winner's circle, and even as is it bests the last three honorable mentions.
I think the natural response to this story, about how an average of 80% of campaign contributions come from contributers outside of the Congressperson's district, is to want to make a rule that politicians can only accept donations from the constituents they're supposed to represent. But I'm sure that would have just as many bad unintended consequences as letting them take money from lobbyists and contributors from all over the country. Still, the system as it stands makes you wonder whose interests really matter.
Anyone else remember that 100 Pushup thing? How far did you all get? I appear to have solidly broken down on Week 4 -- I made it through once, but with a great deal of difficulty, and haven't managed to repeat it. I'm not sure if I've actually lost strength somehow, or have just developed an attitude problem causing me to give up halfway through sets I could have completed. I think I'm going to go back to Week 1, and see if that helps me get through the blockage. (I'm really not expecting to get to 100, but I'd like to break 50; I'm maxing in the low 40s now.)
But good heavens have I put on a lot of arm muscle -- I can't think of another exercise routine that has quite so obviously changed the shape of my arms in a fairly short time.
On a completely different topic: those skinheads who wanted to assassinate Obama. I'm really stuck on the fact that they planned to carry out the attack in white tuxedoes and top hats. This seems to me to have two necessary implications: First, skinheads or no, these guys are the murderous version of Wayne and Garth. Second, something idiotic like that? It seems clear to me of them had the stupid dressup idea, and the other one thought it was dorky, but went along with it to keep the plan going. It somehow makes me happy that for at least one of these guys, not only is he evil, pathetic, and going to be off the streets, but even his own co-conspirator almost certainly thinks he's a dweeb.
Today, my boss informed me I could knock off an hour early, part of this Appreciation Week we have going here at Corporate for my particular department of expertise. And goddamn if it was not delightful to have that extra hour with which to have my way.
And that delight draws me to the conclusion: I'm overly enthusiastic about the notion of a four-day work week, but that's just because I'm a no-good, shiftless, Generation Awesome ingrate, right?
Okay. Word. Awesome. Just checkin'.
On Friday my plan is to come to school carrying a fishing pole, with the hook through my facial piercing. Maybe fake blood, maybe not.
For Friday night we're signed on to one of these murder-mystery games with the pre-assigned roles. Jammies and I are a pastor and wife. I found a delightful light pink two-piece outfit, with tiny white polka-dots and excessive lace around the collar. The skirt comes to mid-calf for maximum stumpiness, and has accordion pleats, which I generally love very much. The obvious choice for shoes are what I call my "Miss Piggy goes to church in Dallas" shoes. They are pink with a kitten heel and some gold ornamentation.
Orange juice? Not, I admit, what I would first have thought of.
I think we can all agree that Trader Joe's comes out on top here. But what's up with this chick? She strikes me as quite lazy: doesn't want to have to juice too many oranges, as if it's so burdensome; would rather remove the frosting from a cake or cupcake—who knows how long it's been sitting there!—than make some herself. Again: how burdensome is that? I suppose that if you want to keep the sweetness to a minimum you might find a real buttercream useful, and that is admittedly more difficult than mixing powdered sugar into butter, but isn't it occasionally worth the extra effort? But someone worried that melting chocolate might render it too hot to touch probably hasn't a whole lot of baking experience, I suppose.
I would also like to register my distaste of the evidently highly productive technique of taking any common noun or adjective and appending "play" to convey that something sexual is intended.
Watching the ten o'clock news on Channel 11, I see an otherwise conservatively dressed newscaster in a three-piece suit. As in, a suit with a vest.
Have vests become a normal part of a men's suit again when I wasn't paying attention? I could swear I hadn't seen one since the mid-80's. Or is Chris Glorioso out on the cutting edge of fashion?
I thought m. leblanc's piece over at Bitch's place was fantastic and raises a lot of questions that I don't know how to answer.
Sorry about that, folks. Technical difficulties. Not sure quite what broke but of course it would happen when I was spending the weekend somewhere with no Internet access or phone reception.