Friday, August 22, 2008

Denver Convention

I leave for Denver Sunday AM, arriving around 5 PM. I will be blogging and doing phoners from the Democratic Convention and probably ignoring this blog until I'm able to upload pictures on my return. So check in using this site. There will be a link to Democrats 2008 that will contain blogging from a variety of county residents who plan to attend.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

O on Stage

This morning was spent at opening day of Les Miserables, School Edition, at the Hangar Theatre. O wants me to point out that "It wasn't very 'school edition,' because there were prostitutes, swear words, and the director quotes, 'loud noises, dramatic violence, and adult concepts,' and this was for little children." I'm so proud to have a program announcing that my own child is Whore #1. She didn't want to be, but after they gave her the role of Combeferre, they said, "Your voice is good, so we're giving you additional solos as a prostitute," and she said, "Oh, joy."

Can you tell that some of this was ghost written? BTW, the production was quite good, even though they had only three days at the Hangar for staging, plus the play itself is so inappropriate and confusingly plotted, even for those of us who once upon a time read the book in translation.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


See how easy it is to cut $500 million?

In our household, we are at odds over the tax cap.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What a Difference Two Weeks Make

Our next president will inherit a very different world order, as Russia waxes violent and Musharraf takes a hike in Pakistan. I wonder who will replace him--probably not his right-hand, Soomro, probably not his army chief, Kayani. Leadership in Pakistan definitely matters to the world order of the next eight years.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Barn, Continued

Paul's weekend:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

William Kohn

Yesterday, O welcomed from afar what she terms her newborn "god-brother." Bill and Lela's new arrival, Wm. Kohn Henry, was born in the early hours and joins stepsibs Isabella and George.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Georgia on My Mind

It just seems cruel to send the ineffectual Condoleezza Rice to "negotiate" with the Russians when she hasn't a leg to stand on. Not only has she no armed forces to back up her tough talk, but she can't really win with a message of "Do as we say, not as we do." Just sad.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Don't Know Much. Period.

NYCO blogged this really tough series of geography quizzes. They're long, so wait for a time when you can spare half an hour or so. They're also quite humiliating.


We planted two cucumber vines, and boy, do we have cucumbers. Every night, Paul comes up with a new pickle recipe and I do a different cucumber salad.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


A good friend of ours just died of brain radionecrosis, which is, as it sounds, the death of some part of the brain after radiation treatments. His treatments started many years ago, when he was still a teenager. He leaves his parents, his brother, his wife, and his very young child. We'll pay a shiva call on Sunday.

Sometimes I wonder whether in 200 years, people will look back on the way we treated cancer--poisoning and burning it out--and be amazed at our stupidity. It will look like trepanning or bloodletting or any number of pointless, painful treatments used by our forefathers and mothers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Endangering the Endangered

Before he leaves office, GW feels compelled to pull the temple down around him. Now comes his plan to gut the Endangered Species Act by removing any oversight from scientists and placing it in the hands of the would-be endangerers. My familial endangered-species expert doesn't think it'll fly, but comments that their evil knows no bounds. Their reason seems to be that too many reviewers are using global warming as an excuse to protect animals -gasp-.
"It is important to use our time and resources to protect the most vulnerable species. It is not possible to draw a link between greenhouse gas emissions and distant observations of impacts on species."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hail to Thee

Sadie decided to go out in it and came running back all squinchy from being pelted. Paul got the camera and recorded it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Historical Quote of the Day

"I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen."
-- John Edwards, quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer in 1999, on Bill Clinton (with thanks to CB for sending it on)

Friday, August 8, 2008


Inertia wasn't enough. Now Krugman, truth-teller that he is, lets us know how stupid we are.
[K]now-nothingism — the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise — has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: “Real men don’t think things through.”


I'm thinking a lot about the inertia of certain institutions that requires them after a certain tipping point to invest most of their energies into prolonging their own existences. (This was brought back up by the recent BOCES report, BOCES being a big offender in this regard.) I'm seeing a lot of evidence of this in the budget discussions happening at the county and city levels. Yet these institutions must do it convincingly, because no one wants to cut anything. I wonder whether certain small governmental bodies might fit into this group--village boards, for example. (I know that will rile Simon up.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Reading List

It appears that I haven't done this recently, but it's not that I haven't been reading--just that I haven't been reading much worth mentioning. But I did like these two, for similar reasons--because RR (author of Empire Falls, Nobody's Fool, Mohawk, etc.) does small-town CNY atmosphere better than almost anyone, and RP (author of Clockers, Freedomland, etc.) gets NYC in a way few do. It's worth pointing out that many of both of their works have been made into movies, but with the exception of Nobody's Fool (Paul Newman), I didn't like 'em much.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Afghanistan: To Surge, or Not to Surge?

My extended family is having a burning email discussion about the proposed Afghan surge, with Mark and SAZ on the no-surge side, and my bro (with Lisa the only one of us who's actually been there [and worked on their Constitution, BTW]) quite vehemently pro. It's been an interesting and wide-ranging battle, involving 95-year-old Grace as well as the somewhat younger generation. I expect it to continue. We'll see whether anyone is won over.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I'm enjoying Pandora Radio, which allows you to customize a "radio" station on your computer with music you like. Hate a song? Dump it forever. Find a new artist you love? Create a new "station" around him or her. It's created by the Music Genome Project, which is a wonderful name for a bunch of people who dissect music based on a multitude of factors and create a sort of musical taxonomy that says if you like artist X, you might well like artist Y and Z. Sometimes they're wrong, but not that often!

From Wall Street to Main Street

When it comes to people who garner my sympathies, Wall Street executives aren't usually high on the list. However, this NYT article on the expected drop in Wall Street bonuses is disconcerting enough that Central NY School Board Association is sending it around. Here's the clincher:
The state’s budget department estimated that the projected decline in bonuses would reduce state tax revenue by about $700 million this fiscal year, which ends March 31, said Jeffrey Gordon, a spokesman for the department.
Don't think for a minute that your school, town, or county will be immune.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

See Through NY

It's essentially unusable at present, because they didn't anticipate the traffic they've seen, but if they ever get the bugs out, this site will be brilliant. Want to see how your teachers' contract compares with that in Tioga County? Want to compare judges' salaries? It will all be there.

Low Road Express

It can't be usual for a campaign to use its own website to dissect the ads of the opponent's campaign, but that's what's going on with Obama's new "Low Road Express." The campaign asks you to send in particularly low blows you spot on the Internet. I hardly know where to begin; it seems as if Bill sends out a new one he's received every few days. Not much substance in this campaign so far, and it's August already.