Friday, October 31, 2008

Why the republicans will lose Virginia

I got home last night to find my daily robocalls listed on my Caller ID. The usual suspects were there: some combination of "Anonymous" or "Name withheld" or no name at all, just an 800 number. Only one of them - the nameless 800 number, by the time stamp - left me a voicemail.

"Come to the Victory Rally tomorrow at 2 pm! Senator John Warner will be there! And [whatever his name is, the zealot], Virginia's Attorney General! And a Vietnam Prisoner of War! It'll be at the Victory Headquarters! Don't miss it! That's the Victory Rally! Tomorrow, October 30th, at 2 pm! See you there!"

The time-stamp on the phone call was Thursday, October 30th, around 3:45 pm.

Yes, they were inviting me to attend a rally that had already taken place. And the rest of their efforts seem to be equally disorganized.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why I'm not a farmer.

Well, there's the hours, of course.

But there's also the results. Here is a photo of my harvest from this year's garden. Not a representative sample of the harvest. Almost the entire harvest. I actually got two bell peppers (the other one was smaller than this one) and four tiny stalks of swiss chard.

Thank goodness for supermarkets.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obama rally, update.

Here's a video of the last five-plus minutes of Obama's speech at the rally in Richmond.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama rally.

I went to the Obama rally here in Richmond on Wednesday. Lots of fun. I wish that the sound system in the Richmond Colliseum were better: some of the speakers sounded exactly like the adults in Charlie Brown TV specials. Obama came through clearly about half the time, and when you get down to it, one doesn't go to this kind of rally to hear the specific policy details of the candidates. (People at my workplace watched it live online and had no trouble understanding what he said. Natch.) About 13,000 people got into the Colliseum for the rally, and another 7,000 watched in a nearby park where there were big screens wet up.

My favorite line was something to the effect of: "You don't even have to ask whether you're better off today than you were four years ago. Are you better off today than you were four weeks ago?"

Here's a nice little presentation on the event - photos and about 90 seconds of the Call to Action at the end of Obama's speech. What makes this slideshow and audio clip even more impressive is that it was put together by the local newspaper, which is of the "It's Okay If You're a Republican" variety. I'm guessing that even they can read the handwriting on the wall. (The alternative is that they occasionally act like responsible journalists, and from what I've seen of this paper over the years, we can safely conclude that's just not the case.)
My seat in the Colliseum was reasonably close to Obama, and he entered and exited the arena right below where I was sitting, so I was within maybe 30 or 40 feet of him at that point. It was absolutely amazing to see the level of security around him,
especially when he was shaking hands with the crowd on his way out: he was surrounded shoulder-to-shoulder by the security detail, with two or three rings of additional agents checking out the folks ahead of him.

I think that what impressed me the most was how excited so many of the people at the rally were. There was a black woman, about my age, sitting next to me who was calling all her friends, giddily telling them that she was about to see the next President. (I remember being that excited about candidates before; I remember becoming heartbroken as a result. So now I'm somewhat jaded. Or, at least, more cautious in commiting so wholeheartedly to a candidate.)

Certainly the rally had the desired effect of jazzing up the attendees, getting them to go out and work harder in the days remaining before the election. And that's especially exciting for those of us of a certain age - and you'd have to be - who remember the last time that Virginia voted for a Democratic candidate for president.

Someone I work with was at the rally as well, and was interviewed by The Daily Show. Don't think his interview ever made it on the air, but that's fun, too.

Thursday, October 16, 2008