Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Weekend Off

There’s a beeping down the hallway. A woman sits in the seat across from me. I look up. She’s hunched over in discomfort. A baby cries from across the room. There’s an outlet next to my chair. I plug in my laptop and write.

Well, today is the day after I have finished my time in the Senate for this session and I really don’t have the time to write this post due to a Friday deadline for a small film project. But I figure that I should jot a few details of the day for my own sanity.

To start with, this morning found me driving back home from the logging town of Aberdeen some 50 miles from home. Some of my siblings and I had spent the night with some friends after a night of city orchestra practice and I needed to get back to Olympia for a political action committee meeting.

Now, granted I obviously am interested in politics, but racing to a PAC meeting the day after leaving the Senate is not the break I was expecting.

The meeting went well, I got a communist red t-shirt, complete with white star, that encourages people to register to vote in the name of revolution, and I ended up being commissioned as a legislative district coordinator for the PAC (Faithand Ok, so far.

Then noontime emits its unseen call of the hungry and leads mom and I to investigate a small ritzy French restaurant (located in a quant downtown Olympia house). Now, I warned my date that this place was probably not open, but it was decided (and I was not part of that particular committee) that we should investigate anyway.

We get to the door, see people inside, and walk right in. Right into a private wedding party.

I shut the door behind me, turn around, and find myself standing next to the bride, who had just stopped in the middle of some sort of address. All of the well dressed guests were staring right at me in grim silence.

Not knowing what to do I did the obvious. I smiled, made a few remarks, told the groom he was definitely unworthy, and took a sip of the champaign.

Actually, what I did was duck into the next room, nervously chatted with the chef (who doubles as the Senate chef during session), promised to come back, and then tripped over the many large gift bags that littered the doorway on my way out.

I should have made the speech.

Then we get to a restaurant for lunch. Peace at last. We are seated. Mom is dismayed that there is no seating with a view. I notice that I am squeezing lemon juice onto the table, obviously missing my water. “Excuse me sir, those people left their table over there by the window, could we move?” The waiter shrugged in the affirmative.

Thinking that we were leaving over the fact that mom’s side salad (an item not on the menu but demanded) was smaller than a regular salad, our waitress cries loudly, “What’s wrong? Are you leaving?” My upheld lunch menu disguises my identity as I pass by to our new table.

Then, an urgent call comes from HQ. Little sister is in need of a black shirt for the symphony concert tomorrow night. Thus, after we finish our lunch, we head to the place that has just a little bit of everything…Value Village.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my pride does not prevent me from going to a thrift shop every now and then or buying used goods, but some places ought never to frequented. And my visit reminded me why. All of the scary people!

I try to keep mom focused on the single task at hand as we pass a vastly overweight youth trying to keep a plastic Darth Vader strapped to his face. I glance at the Men’s section. Used suspenders, frayed paper binders, and 70 year old ties line the wall. An employee staggers past as he bellows to a co-worker that they ought to stamp their time card differently. He then staggers away.

Finally we return home. Only to find that one of my siblings had crashed his bike and torn the muscles in his shoulder, the very same shoulder with which he was scheduled to use while playing cello in the Aberdeen symphony.

So off he and I go to ER.

As the sun goes down and my laptop monitor goes up, I glance over at a couple entering the ER reception area. The wife staggers towards the desk as her husband looks around and actually saunters into the men’s restroom. “I’m in labor!” the woman bellows as she walks towards the wheel chair sitting in front of me. The shocked receptionist grabs for the PA microphone and soon the woman is carted away.

The husband then returns to the scene, confused as to where his previously easy to track wife had disappeared to. As his dragging feet softly faded down the hall I wonder how long I'd have to wait for the doctors to yank by brothers arm straight again.

There’s a beeping down the hallway. The woman sitting in front of me remains mostly motionless and hunched over. A tired baby cries once again from across the room. I glance at the outlet next to my chair and unplug my laptop. While leading Stephen, arm now in a sling, back to the truck I hope aloud that my day had run out of adventures.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Computer Talk

With the rise of technology, many people are starting to wonder if computers will ever get too smart for their own good.

I honestly don't think that a global robot take over is right around the corner, but I do wonder how far artificial intelligence has gotten.

Here's your chance to see a very interesting conversation between two chat bots, ALICE and Jabberwackey, who are trained to communicate in a chat room type setting.

The Race

Well, it’s good to see that my friends are definitely thinking about and watching the presidential race as it unfolds. The general apathy among many young Americans, and most Christians, is quite disturbing these days.

The youth culture would undoubtedly make a huge difference in public policy if it just started by turning down the iPod, picking up a paper, and paying attention to what’s going on.

Anyway, back to your comments:

Anonymous said...

Heh. I really really hope that Hilary gets smashed.

No arguments there. Can you imagine the amount of respect our nation would lose if it were run by a woman? Let alone another Clinton.

Daniel Berkompas said...

No one in particular, mostly because I don't approve of any of the candidates, Republican and certainly not Democrat. I won't waste time on Obama or Hillary, we wouldn't vote for them anyway (obviously). Both main R candidates are adulterers and Giuliani is pro-death, besides the fact that McCain is listed as the 6th most liberal Republican. Not good. Time to see what the Constitution party puts up.

I agree that McCain and Giuliani both have more than their share of severe family troubles and political baggage that make them none too desirable for true conservatives.

Bryce said...
Hi Daniel,I would support Rep. Ron Paul(, and was happy to see that he is giving constitutionalists an option in the primaries.Bryce

Thanks for brining that up Bryce. The more I watch Ron Paul the more I like the guy.

Though his whining voice can be difficult to take in strong doses, this Doctor from Texas has a strong style that really gives conservatives a glimmer of hope. He sticks to his guns in debate, makes valid (and sometimes controversial) points about our foreign policy, is pro-life, is a strong gun rights activist, and just strikes me as someone with good old fashioned guts.

However, Rep. Paul needs much more publicity to really get near the celebrity status of Giuliani, McCain, and even Romney. His recent tiff with Giuliani has people abuzz, and he’s practically on every post under the user generated DIGG site under 2007 Election, but he seems to be getting shunned by the media.

Patrick said...
Well, I haven't thought much about it. I've heard most candidates were not all that good. I'll have to do some more researching I guess.This country is in God's hands!!!

Keep the nose to the grind stone the saying goes (You know why? Back in the day when millers ground corn between massive grindstones, the mill room would fill with explosive dust. If the miller keeps a good eye out for any sparks between the grindstones and work with the distance between them accordingly then the town won’t have to worry about picking up the mess when the he blows his operation to high heaven). There’s your history tidbit for the day.

Archangel_06 said...
Daniel,Long time no talk. personally it might come down to the lesser of two evils, Bill-ary, oops I meant Hillary, is just another way to get bill back into the big white building in D.C. As for Obomma, well, isn't aiding a terrorist against the law. who knows if that man can be trusted, same with Hillary. With the way this election year is going I might not even vote.

Well, I’m sure there will be a better alternative than then one of these two scary individuals, but who that will be, and how conservative he will be, is anyone’s guess right now.

Hannahlee said...
What about Fred Thompson? Has anyone heard anything good about him? I read something where he's compared to Ronald Reagan. We should could use another Reagan!

Ah, the talk of the town. This guy has been a personal favorite ever since I heard about him in January. Trouble is, he hasn’t announced any plans for candidacy yet, though that doesn’t necessarily stop him from jumping in soon.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows Giuliani at 25%, eight points more than Arizona Senator John McCain’s 17%, and Fred Thompson, who has not even entered the race, just a single point behind McCain at 16%.

He’s got the stardom. He’s got the money. And, he’s got the values.

"I am prolife."– Fred Thompson
"Roe v. Wade was bad law and bad medical science." – Fred Thompson

"I warned that there should be no place on Earth where terrorists can rest and train and practice their deadly skills. I meant it. I said that we would act with others, if possible, and alone if necessary to ensure that terrorists have no sanctuary anywhere."– Fred Thompson

Gay Rights
"We ought to be a tolerant nation. I think we ought to be tolerant people. But we shouldn't set up special categories for anybody. And I'm for the rights of everybody, including gays, but not any special rights. " – Fred Thompson

Civil Unions
"That ought to be left up to the states. I personally do not think that that is a good idea, but I believe in many of these cases where there's real dispute in the country, these things are not going to be ever resolved. People are going to have different ideas. That's why we have states. We ought to give great leeway to states and not have the federal government and not have the Supreme Court of the United States making social policy that's contrary to the traditions of this country and changing that overnight. And that's what's happened in a lot of these areas. " – Fred Thompson

Gay Marriage
"Marriage is between a man and a woman, and I don't believe judges ought to come along and change that. " – Fred Thompson

Gun Control
"I'm against gun control generally. You know, you check my record. You'll find I'm pretty consistent on that issue… The court basically said the Constitution means what it says, and I agree with that."– Fred Thompson

Anonymous said...
Well you couldn't just not vote. There is always a better candidate out there, and always a worse. So why not keep the worst ones out of office?

That’s right. Don’t throw your vote away. Do some research and vote for the best candidate out there.

Better yet, find a campaign you can be a part of. They could use every bit of help out there. Trust me, there’s something you can do.

thevaguequeen said...
I'll vote Republican, to keep Hilary out of the White house, but I'm not sure which candidates is the best at this point.

Time will sift a few things out. But after that hopefully there is a clear conservative runner that we can all push for.

Jkplayschess said...
no more blogging for you?

There. Happy now?