Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's pick = puzzling

McCain has picked his running mate, and it's Sarah Palin of Alaska. Huh? Where did that come from? My initial thoughts are confused, but it seems like he picked her for 2 reasons: 1) to try to draw Hillary supporters to him with a woman candidate and 2) to bring back his 'maverick' style. This pick seems to take away the lack of experience argument against Obama, since she's younger and has less experience (2 years as governor of Alaska, mayor of an Alaskan town) than him. She is a former beauty queen though, so she's got that on the three men running. I hope the Hillary supporters won't be tricked by this move, since Palin is really conservative (pro life, anti gay, really pro drilling to name a few). It'll be interesting to see the analysis.

If you missed it, both Gore and Obama gave great speeches last night! Also, I though Hillary kicked ass Tuesday night.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Barack's Better Half

If you missed it, you should check out Michelle Obama's speech from the Democratic Convention last night. She pretty much kicked ass.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Convention Time, Fellas

I'm watching the first night of the Democratic convention tonight, and they keep comparing the split in the Democratic Party this year to that of the Republicans in '76 (apparently Reagan didn't do much serious supporting of Gerry Ford until it was too late). Having not been born yet, I don't remember anything about the '76 election. I decided to go to the best source possible: The Mark Russell November '76 campaign special. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect it to be.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


For Labor Day weekend, Andy and I are headed to Pittsburgh to meet my aunt to take in a couple of Pirates games, visit the Strip District, and just generally enjoy the city. In honor of that, I thought I'd take a minute to talk about the movie Pittsburgh. It's part documentary and part fiction and follows Jeff Goldblum as he goes back to his hometown to appear in a 2-week run of The Music Man (one of my favorite musicals). This movie is a lot fun and makes Jeff Goldblum seem very likable. Goldblum did actually appear in the musical in Pittsburgh and his mom is played by his mom, but there are certainly portions of the film that are made up (the relationship between Illeana Douglas and Moby being a likely candidate). Check it out!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Trashy Dog

Just last week, Ramona discovered that she could get into our kitchen trash. We keep it in a cabinet under the sink. Since that time, she has spread trash around the kitchen at least 5 times, all the while eating all sorts of things she shouldn't. One day, she managed to eat chicken wing bones, chocolate chip cookies, pizza-grease-stained cardboard, and god knows what else. We had adapted our habits a bit already---we learned the hard way not to leave anything out on the counter (loaves of bread, brownies, a cantaloupe, even an onion), as nothing was safe from our abnormally tall dog with an abnormally large appetite (well, normal for a lab I suppose). We tried reasoning with her (well, mainly we yelled), but it was no use. Now that she knows the trash is there, it's over. So, we went out and bought a gate.

On a related note, a google image search for "dog trash can" pulled up this Barbie pooper scooper set, which apparently is no longer available for purchase.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Turkey Run

Yesterday, we celebrated our anniversary by heading over to Turkey Run State Park and hiking. We'd heard good things about it, but neither of us had been, at least not since Andy turned 11. It turns out that Turkey Run is a damn cool state park. There are 11 hiking trails. We ended up doing all or part of 6 of them (1, 2, 3, 5, 9, & 10), hiking over 6 miles. Unfortunately, due to our lameness, we did not bring the camera. Fortunately, google has a handy image search!

Trail 3 winds through a creek bed, and at one point, the only way down (or up since it's a loop) is a series of ladders. Since we brought our 90 pound dog with us, we diverted over to Trail 5 at this point. There's a lot of variety among the 15 or so miles of trails with trails along the river, one that goes straight through the creek bed, a few that head through forests, one that takes you to a covered bridge. Plus, there's a suspension bridge to get to most of the hikes! Also, if you're not into hiking (!!), there's also horseback riding, canoing, and lazing down the river in an inner tube.

Also, a note about our anniversary. We ate the top layer of our cake last week, and it was really frickin' tasty even a year later. Sweet & Savory rocks!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Walking is Patriotic

Remember this post? Here's a picture (courtesy of my aunt) of the poster that I loved so much! Don't you think this should be a new anti-obesity campaign? Perhaps even add the message: 'if you don't walk, the terrorists win.'

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ronny. James. Dio.

Why post a Dio video? Why not?

Not enough of the RJD? Here's a link to "Rainbow in the Dark" mashed up with some Final Fantasy footage. Can it get any better than that?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What a difference

It's hard to believe that a) it's been a year since our wedding last summer and b) it's been such an eventful year! With that in mind, I thought I'd post some photos of the last year.

August 2007

One of my favorite moments of the reception. I really do feel cheated when people don't do this at their wedding

Our honeymoon to London, Glasgow, and Amsterdam - this photo's from the hortus botanicus in Amsterdam

September 2007

A trip to San Francisco to see the sea lions.

November 2007

Um, let's not travel for Thanksgiving this, wait, let's go to Hawaii...

December 2007

Holy crap! We bought a house!

February 2008

Driving across the county...from Seattle to Indy via the Redwoods, the Grand Canyon, Sedona (pictured), Santa Fe, and Carrboro

Getting used to the new house

March 2008

Back to Seattle for a wedding --- time see to friends and drink Manny's!

April 2008

Spending time with Alex

July 2008

My girls weekend over the 4th

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Always a seller

I am a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. The Pirates have not won a World Series since 1979, the year I was born (hey, I know this is a lot more recent than the Cubs in 1908). They last made the playoffs in 1992, when I was in middle school. And they last had a winning season that same year. It's been rough being a Pirates fan in my lifetime. There are a lot of players historically to love---to name a few: Honus Wagner, Willie Stargell, and Roberto Clemente, about whom I just read and enjoyed this fascinating biography.

Every year in recent memory, July 31st (the trade deadline) has been a frustrating day for me. There was the year that the Pirates seemed to trade every recognizable player to the Cubs (the one that really hurt was Aramis Ramirez). Then, there was last year when they payed a gazillion dollars for a washed up pitcher who isn't pitching!

That brings us to this year...the Pirates have made two big trades. First, they traded Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Yankees for 4 prospects. I like these two players, but I can't say I was very attached to them. Plus, the X-man's contract was up after 2009 and with the evil Scott Boras as his agent, there wasn't really any hope of retaining him long term. The Pirates got some prospects in return including outfielder Jose Tabata, who has been described as being like Manny Ramirez (um, yea?) and pitcher Jeff Karstens, who shut out the Cubs yesterday. This deal did not upset me. I did not feel emotionally attached to either player. While I am tired of the Pirates constantly rebuilding, I keep hoping that they can get it together and end up like the Tigers or Brewers or Twins, other small market teams that have been able to have success.

The next trade hit me harder. It came at the 11th hour, allegedly at 3:59 pm (the deadline is 4 pm). The Pirates traded away their best and most recognizable player, Jason Bay, to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent Manny being Manny to the Dodgers. In recent memory, the Pirates have been a team of no-names, young, unproven players that only the biggest Pirate fan or baseball geek could name. While Jason Bay doesn't have the name recognition of say Derek Jeter, his was a household name to most baseball fans. I think it's important for the fan base to have players to root for. In the Pittsburgh team shop, they sell Clemente and Stargell shirts rather than current players because there aren't any recognizable ones playing. Bay was a two-time all star. More than that, he was easy to root for; he seemed like a nice guy. I felt a connection with him because he's from Trail, B.C., the site of a major projects at my old job. He's in the Trail sports hall of fame, though he's one of the few non-hockey/curling/skiing athletes (another being his sister, a softball player). He's not flashy; he doesn't have Manny being Manny moments, he's not out on the town with Madonna. I liked him; he was my favorite Pirate.

Maybe the trade will pan out---they're getting 4 prospects, one of whom is, oddly enough, the brother of their current 1st baseman. Maybe the LaRoche boys will become like the Alous or the Griffeys. Maybe, but the fallout has not been all that positive. ESPN describes the Pirates as "losers" and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette is critical of Pirates management: "Pirates management, in its various incarnations, has been writing this script for 16 years, an evident narrative arc to nowhere. Characters come and go, none fully developed, and they are replaced by others, far less developed. And, if you were chilled by Chapter 2008, wait until you see Chapter 2009."

I think I will continue to root for Bay even though he's a Red Sock now. I know there are some Red Sox fans reading this post, but I have no tolerance for the Red Sox anymore. I rooted for them up until they won their first recent World Series, but now I find their fans intolerable [pay attention Cubs fans should the curse be broken!]. They are worse than Yankee fans...though I definitely still hate the Yankees more than the Red Sox. Watching this highlight reel of Bay's first game in Boston made me sick to my stomach. He should be in Pittsburgh damnit!

If you've made it through this whole post, which has taken me more than an hour to write, I'll reward you with this gillette commercial from the 1960s starring Bill Mazeroski.