Slow Weekend

This weekend (which starts right about now for me) will, aside from the normal Sunday evening work regimen, be devoted to catching up on my sleep. ResurrectionSong will be catching a little rest as well.

Next week, though, we have our new guest, Mike Heid's, take on same sex marriage--a very well-considered piece that will probably drag me back into the conversation.

We'll also have The Zomby War Doctrine, a post that I've been working on for the last few weeks. It has far less to do with B movies than the title might otherwise imply.

I'm sure there will be a post here or there throughout the weekend, but the really good stuff starts back up Monday morning.>

Well, That's Strange...

I'm working in Photoshop to create new graphics for a Web site that I'm working on and I'm running into a bizarre bug that has my mind boggled. Here's the process:

I go to the Web site and copy the image that I need to replace (I want to make sure that I'm create a new graphic of precisely the right size.

I then go to Photoshop and create a new document. The document size is already pre-determined by the size of the file in the clipboard.

I past the old document into the new document (I want to keep some elements).

The item is pasted in upside down and backwords.

That is truly mind boggling. Every day I do this a few times--copy and paste from jasminlive web pages into documents that I'm working on in Photoshop. Sometimes I need to match files, some times I need to "steal" graphics from sites that have relationships with the company I work for, and sometimes I just want to share a picture with the class.

If I weren't the only Mac literate person in the company, I would think someone was playing a trick on me...

Smite This, Pal!

I'm thinking that open, virtual churches aren't necessarily the best idea.

As offensive as the guests might be, this is still funny stuff.

It's also predictable. Anyone who has experience with nearly any kind of open online forum could tell you that there is a severely high jerk quotient involved; people behave in virtual settings in ways that they would never behave in the real world. Except for Andy, of course, who is every bit the grinning provocateur in reality that he is on his site.

Lastly, as poor as some of the behavior was, I find myself wondering whether a virtual church, using cute little icons and cartoonish avatars, is in good taste to begin with. I can't imagine any sense of reverence when it looks and feels like you're only playing a game (be nice, Andy).

Whatever. All I know is that I really wish I had a "smite" button of my own here in the real world.

Prologue: Melancholy

Note: When I was feeling depressed a while back, I decided to write a book about relationships. Like all good books about relationships, it would be based on something real in my life--something that had made a mark on me. I actually sat down and wrote the Prologue, hoping to set the tone for something that I could follow up with a story about what happens to a thirty-something man after a relationship falls apart.

I ended up deciding that it wasn't a particularly good idea, and that I didn't really have anything to add to any conversations about relationships.

While I was looking through some notebooks for a particular piece of information, I came across that little chunk of writing. Honestly, it's probably meaningless to anyone but me, but I thought I would put it here anyway. Just because this is probably as far as that book will ever get toward completion.

American Idol

The Aussie American Idol winner proved something important to me: bad musical taste and a preference for crappy pop music isn't unique to the United States.

Even the chirpy girls would be an improvement over this guy. The song he was singing kept referring to the answer to his prayers; after the first few seconds, I was praying he would freakin' stop.

Apparently God ignores some prayers.

Side note: Since I'm watching a taped episode, I have no idea who gets kicked off this week. If Fantasia is bumped, watch the ratings for the show completely tank next week. No one will want to watch the Jasmine, the power-dial contestant, up against Diana.

At that point, the winner would be merely sadly wrong (in the case of Diana) or tragically destructive to the show (in the case of Jasmine). And, yes, i realize that I'm being overly opinionated here, so take it with a grain or two of salt.


Imagine that you aren't one of the Republican faithful--that you aren't sure who you want to vote for, or that you are planning to vote for Kerry, but you aren't terribly happy about it. If you imagine yourself as someone who is willing to be persuaded, did tonight work to persuade you or push you away?

The powerful attack from Zell Miller and the punchy attitude of the crowd with the "flip flop" talk and the "booing," it seems, could work either way. I could see people being turned off by the negativity and serious attack nature, and I can see them being turned off by the people being too fervent in their cheerleading.

I can also see people coming away with serious questions about Kerry's capacity to be a strong leader in war time.

Cheney is doing a fine job, but I would still say that the big four--Giuliani, McCain, Arnold, and Miller--did an even better job of conveying the reasons that we went to war and the reasons we must continue the war.

These speeches today will set the Kerry Jasminelive campaign into a serious defensive posture on things like the "more sensitive war on terror" and the repeated belief that Kerry would allow the UN to decide American foreign policy. The responses, of course, will look as defensive as they are--and lend weight to the accusations.

"My fellow Americans, we have already been attacked."

And that is probably the main point of contention.

"There is a difference between leading a coalition of many nations and submitting to the objections of a few. George W. Bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of the American people." (Apologies for errors in transcribing.)

Aside: They brough flip-flops to the convention? Not as serious as I would like us to remain. And the regular "boooo" when mentioning Kerry is a little disconcerting, too--a little like a melodrama where the crowd boos when the comic bad guy is brought back. Get a little serious, people.

"America needs and America has a President that we can count on to get it right."

Can Dick Cheney live up to that rousing, incendiary speech by Zell Miller?

A lot of us were hoping that President Bush would ask (quietly) for Cheney to step down so that he could pick someone like McCain or Rice to be his running mate. Cheney, though, is an experienced, intelligent politician who has always lent his experience and gravity to this administration--at a moment like this, he can act as the anchor to a campaign that is beginning to solidify its base.

While he may not be the most popular person for the position, he does have a lot to offer in a more practical sense..

"I'm sure glad Zell Miller is on our side." Perfect way to open up, and the Edwards joke was freakin' gorgeous.

Aside: I actually like Cheney. I know that isn't terribly popular in many circles, but there is it.

I still think that No One Left Behind was flawed, although I understand his touting a bill that every Democrat wishes secretly in their hearts had passed on Clinton's watch.

It's good to see this speech moving away from Iraq--although that is rightfully the focus--and onto domestic issues. While the most important issue to me, and, I believe, to most Americans, remains the war on terror, that doesn't mean that we need to forget the issues that we face here at home. I'm hoping that Bush communicates some vision on that tomorrow night.

Aside: how wussy is it that Michael Moore decided not to return to the convention because of the greeting that he got the other day? This man who has made his career on getting in peoples' faces couldn't stand the table being turned.

His detour onto domestic issues was short lived. I would like to have had him stay there longer, although he's getting much bigger applause for his war speech. His listing of achievements in the war on terror is a welcome note from a Bush administration that has seemed frightened of being its own best advocate.

Good for them.

Miller is now making Kerry look like the anti-war candidate that he is, listing the weapons systems that Kerry opposes and talking about Kerry's career in Senate.

"Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending..."

This is a serious attack on Kerry's record and intents.

Aside: will an attack this blatant backfire on the GOP?

There is no doubt how Miller feels tonight--there is no doubt what the most important issues are to this man or how he feels about Kerry (and Ted Kennedy, for that matter).

This is the most personal appeal that I have ever seen from a politician for another candidate; it's amazing. "Right now the world cannot afford a faint-hearted this hour of danger, our President has had the courage to stand up. And this Democrat is proud to stand with him."


Zell Miller certainly is a firey one, isn't he? Pulls no punches and gets right to the point. "My family is more important than my party."

Aside: He is going to be crucified by his party tomorrow. Utterly despised.

"Where is the bipartisanship in this country when we need it most?"

His appeal is a wildly emotional one, filled with extremely pointed attacks at his party. He is accusing his party of holding politics above the safety of the nation.

I feel an amen coming on.

"No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad..."

ZombyGirlfriend: "He is not pulling any punches at all..."

New category: WTF?

Newt Gingrich is accusing Kerry of something pretty interesting. The accusation is that after Kerry returned to the United States following his four months in Vietnam, he secretly travelled to Paris three times to hold talks with the North Vietnamese government. These were not trips sponsored by the American goverment.

That would turn out to be an interesting tidbit if proven true, but a real tinfoil hat award for Newt if proven false.

Either way, a hell of an accusation...