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Toonces, the Driving Cat's Journal

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

11:04AM - President Barack!

Last night, Tsukata and I went down to Grant Park to celebrate our local hero, and the guy that I have been obsessed with following for the last 12 months.  I use to be someone who followed politics heavily.  This time I was truly engrossed in it, with constant reading of www.fivethirtyeight.com, Politico, Slate, Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, etc.  I appreciate all the breakdowns of the race that I learned.  Thanks to that, I knew that when Pennsylvania was called for Obama that McCain was in a desperate situation, and when Ohio was called for Obama that this was the ball game.  It meant that when the clock ticked down from 10 seconds to 10 PM Central, we all knew what was about to come.

Personally, I did not go to Wisconsin this weekend to canvass.  I knew McCain had pulled out and that Wisconsin was not going to be close and these days, I don't get to spend a lot of quality time during the week with my wife, so we stayed home this weekend.  I did make about 25 calls to Ohio on Saturday, but the response from people that must have been so bugged with phone calls was really disheartening.

That said, I canvassed in Wisconsin for Obama 3 times this election cycle as well as making a lot of calls during the primaries and caucuses, and donated at least $100 in small increments.  It's not a coincidence.  I've never seen a campaign that not only inspired so many people to volunteer, but also gave you a sense of ownership in your responsibility and the campaign and took such a professional attitude to volunteering.  It made you feel that they had done a lot of planning to determine where you would be more effecting and how you could be best deployed.  I will be curious to see what happens to this huge organization in the coming months and years.  But I will tell you that I couldn't be prouder with what we did.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

2:47PM - Obama's Plans for Me

So, I've been canvassing for Obama in Wisconsin 3 times in the past 45 days.  That's what they say does the most good.  So, I volunteered to canvass both Saturday and Sunday for the GOTV during the election.  In between that, I plan to attend the famous Two's Halloween party.  Well, I got a call from a friendly neighborhood volunteer yesterday confirming that I was going to volunteer both days and that I don't need housing.  Then, she says that I've been assigned to Madison.  Madison?  That's a 2.5 hour drive from my house, and I can't do that twice.  When I told her that I can't really do Madison, she said that Beloit and Janesville were also possibilities.  I told her that I understand what she's trying to do (spreading people out past Milwaukee) but that I can only do Milwaukee, which she reluctantly agreed to.  But I hope I don't end up going out there and learn that they have more volunteers that they know what to do with.

2:17PM - I love that Obama can think outside the box

Barack Obama is using virtual billboards in new XBox games as GOTV tools ... check out these screenshots ... http://www.politico.com/static/PPM106_obamascreenshots.html

What I haven't seen is how they work...are they only programmed to run while the timer says that it's within the timeframe of the election?  Will they change the weekend of the election?

Monday, October 13, 2008

10:49AM - ThirtyCon in the books

I wanted to thank everybody who came to ThirtyCon and made it as much fun as it was.  I think it's pretty cool that we could have people at our house for a whole weekend and have the place look just as nice at the end of it as it did at the beginning.  Thank you to all our friends and thanks to Tsukata for not only throwing and planning an awesome party but helping me through what I needed to do to get the place ready.  It was a huge success all the way around...


Friday, October 10, 2008

1:00PM - What's up with me...

Hey, everyone...

my lovely wife has insisted that I need to start blogging again, because she doesn't want to hear me continue to cry about the stock market and the country going to hell (well, except for Obama's chances increasing). So we'll see how much I can talk about here...

Things on my mind that perhaps you will here about soon:

- What I have learned about the economy thanks to NPR

- The awesomeness that is www.fivethirtyeight.com

- What has been going on with UltimateBet and how my huge BJ tournament win last year may have been at the hands of a huge thief

But today I'm going to talk about ACORN.

ACORN is this progressive group that among other things has been collecting registered voter registrations.  Now, there are a lot of low-income people that work for ACORN, and they have quotas for how many voters they need to register each day.  So, these people return to ACORN forms with names like "Johns, Jimmy" or "Potter, Harry", or dead people.  Now, by law, ACORN isn't allowed to throw out these forms (for completely understandable reasons).  So, instead, when they turn in the forms to the county, like they did recently in Lake County, IN, they give them in in 3 batches.  The first batch is seemingly legitimate forms.  The second batch are forms with incomplete info, like a missing driver's license number.  And the 3rd batch are "suspect" forms, which ACORN believes are illegitimate.

However, when the forms come back rejected (as they should and as ACORN had warned them about), the right wing is using these reports as proof of voter fraud.  The fact is that not only did ACORN tell them that these are likely invalid registration forms, but there is no realistic chance that these fake or dead people are going to show up to vote.  Especially since Indiana has very strong voter ID laws.  So there's no case of vote fraud here...if anything there's a case for vote registration fraud.

Just figured that when you start hearing more about them, you should know what's going on...

Welcome back.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

5:42PM - I'm Back!

but only because the laws of memes require. :)

If you comment...

1. I'll respond with something random I like about you.
2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
3. I'll name something we should do together.
4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me (or just me).
5. I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you.
6. I'll leave you a quote that is somehow appropriate to you.
7. I'll ask you something that I've always wondered about you.
8. If I do this for you, you must post this on your journal so you can do the same for other people.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

9:45AM - Road Rallye Announcement

As Seen on TV Productions is proud to present a special private road rallye, entitled "Desperate Housewives (That Work Outside The Home, And Come To Think Of It Are Not Really Desperate)". DW(TWOTHACTTOIANRD) will begin tomorrow, January 14. Registration begins at 6:00 in Gurnee, and the first vehicle departs at 6:30 PM. Dress is casual, but nice. Be sure to pack a extra pair of clothes, as the rallye could last into the night. Feel free to e-mail me for more details (but good luck in getting them).

Thursday, January 15, 2004

1:04PM - States I've been in

These are the "states I've been in" Meme...
Read more...Collapse )

Monday, November 17, 2003

5:17PM - All-Star Survivor Speculation (possibly spoilers)

Well, it turns out that the All-Star edition of Survivor is being filmed as we speak...

Do not click if you don't want to hear who will be thereCollapse )

Overall, it looks like a good cast with a couple of exceptions, and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

10:35AM - The Influence of the Bartman Continues


October 20, 2003

SPORTS GALLERY -- Columnist Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel used perfect logic to determine who was to blame for the Miami Dolphins' overtime loss to the New England Patriots yesterday.

"The Chicago Cubs already hate Steve Bartman. Now the Miami Dolphins can hate him, too.

"Just think: If Bartman, the infamous Chicago Cubs fan, had not interfered with that foul ball during the National League Championship Series, the Cubbies likely would have closed out the Florida Marlins and gone to the World Series.

"And if the Cubbies had closed out the Marlins, the groundskeeper at Pro Player Stadium already would have covered the slick dirt infield with the gripping green grass of home.

"And if there were no dirt infield, Dolphins kicker Olindo Mare, one of the most accurate at his position in NFL history, would not have missed two late gimme field goals that cost his team a 19-13 overtime loss to the New England Patriots . . . "This one's on you, Steve Bartman."

10:32AM - That's right, baby...I am Pi!

What Irrational Number Are You?
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<tr [...] ;>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

<div align="center"><!-- shinylemur.com What Irrational Number are you? version 1.0beta --><table style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; border-color: #006666; border-collapse: collapse;" width="400" cellpadding="4"><tr><td style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font: 110%; font-weight: bold; color: #FFFFFF; background: #066d98; text-align: center;" border="1">What Irrational Number Are You?</td></tr><tr style="color: black ; background: #DDDDDD; font: 10pt;";><td style="color: black ; background: #DDDDDD; font: 10pt;";><div style="text-align: center; font: bold 12pt; color: black; font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times Roman', Times, serif;">You are &pi;</div><p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times Roman', Times, serif;\ color: black; font: 10pt;"><div style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times Roman', Times, serif; color: black; font: 10pt;">Of all the irrational numbers, you are the most famous. You have many friends and fans. Like many people, non-Euclidean geometry makes you feel uncomfortable. You are involved in so many things that it seems like it would take two of you to make ends meet.<p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times Roman', Times, serif;\ color: black; font: 10pt;">You are particularly close to the rational number 22/7. However, you and <em>e</em> have been called "remarkable."<p style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', 'Times Roman', Times, serif;\ color: black; font: 10pt;">Your lucky number is approximately 3.14159265</div></td></tr><tr style="color: black ; background: #DDDDDD;"><td style="color: black ; background: #DDDDDD;"><table width="100%"><tr><td align="left"><a href="http://www.shinylemur.com">Shiny Lemur</a></td><td align="center"><form action="http://www.shinylemur.com/modules.php?name=Irrational_Numbers" method="post" style="margin-top: 0; margin-bottom: 0;"><input type="submit" value="Take the Quiz!"></form></td><td align="right"><a href="http://www.livejournal.com/users/straif/">Straif's Blog</a></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></div>

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

3:39PM - Your Life is on Google

In checking out the Sun-Times article I posted earlier, Itried googling his name. Google returned the following links and suddenly I realized that the newspaper did all of their research off the internet, once they had his name. Most of the links referring to him had been taken off-line, but Google still has them cached, including this one that they took direct information off of the web site in the article. Also, a link to his name on the site, gives his e-mail address as steve.bartman@hewitt.com which told them where he worked.

It got me to thinking what people could learn from me if all they knew was my name. Supposedly, they would know that I play Robo Rally, Decathalon and Rail Baron, and bridge. I do road rallyes and post a lot about television online, especially game shows. I play online poker. I used to work on the Technology Reinvestment Project for Andersen Consulting.

Luckily, nothing too damaging, but it's scary what someone witha search engine can learn about you these days.

1:39PM - Say hello to Steve Bartman

Ask and ye shall receive...

Sun-Times article...

12:51PM - The Mitt Hits the Fan

Call it nuts, but I have a morbid interest in finding out about the guy who likely cost the Cubs Game 6 of the series. Was he with anyone? What was he thinking? Has he ever considered what he would do in such a situation? When did he realize just how bad his mistake was?

I do hope for his safety, but I still want to learn about this guy. And even if the media doesn't report his name, I bet it comes out on the internet.

Monday, October 13, 2003


and I went down to Louisville for the 8-hour "Lewis and Clark Rogaine" this weekend. Most of the teams did the 24-hour event, but I was very glad we just did the 8-hour event. It was quite challenging. Feel free to also read Tsukata's version which is pretty similar... Read more...Collapse )

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

1:54PM - Happy Birthday

My, sweetie, turns 25 today! She got her present from me this morning, and we are jointly celebrating every year of her life. I believe we are up to 17. :)

Monday, September 29, 2003

2:31PM - Rebuttal

In her blog, my sweetie, Tsukata, made references to a discussion we had after services of all of the passages in the prayerbooks that are being re-written as gender-neutral. Please feel free to go back and read the post to give you the context for my response.

Tsukata argues that since I don't follow all of the traditions of Judaism, that I have no right to want things to be a certain way, based on "tradition". First of all, as for full beards and pepperoni pizza, I've never practiced these traditions ever. But the prayers are things that I have personally recited for over 20 years. Just as I think that people are freaked out if their nursery rhymes were being rewritten, I felt that way about these prayers.

I'm also annoyed at the piecemeal way that the changes seem to take place. A long time ago (maybe 15 years ago), the temple started to change the word "he" referring to God to something less elegant; for example the phrase "He is our God" became "Adonai is our god", adding an additional two syllables to the song. Also note that since they don't reprint and resell thousands of prayerbooks each time a change is made, as a result everytime the change is made, it must be done in our heads and from the rabbi making the correction in talking over the rest of the readers reading out of the books, making it even more awkward.

That being said, removing "He" as referring to God made sense to me, since there is no reason to believe that god is a he, or has a sex at all.

Years later, the next big change was to a prayer known as the "Avot". Avot means "The Fathers", so you can see where this one is going. The prayer honors the ancestors of the jews; in this case, Abraham, Issac and Jacob. So someone came along and asked, "well, why aren't the mothers mentioned?" Well, I don't know that anyone often refers to the "Foreparents of our Constitution", and I'm pretty sure that back in these biblical days Abe, Ike and Jake had a little more to do with the creation of the religious tenets of Judaism than Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah...but never mind that. To show that today, women are just as important, the prayer was completely rewritten, to refer to the "fathers and mothers". OK...I can live with that one.

Again, a few years later, it was decided that it's not enough to remove references to "He". We need to do away with referring to God as our "father" or "king". Now these references weren't even referring to the actual God, but just a role in which God plays in our lives. But those got rewritten also, and there were more disconnects between the words in our prayerbooks and what was said on the Bimah (the podium).

Now, I arrived at Temple this year, and there was a brand new rewrite. Somebody came up with the brainstorm that "The Lord" (as opposed to "The Lady") actually refers to a guy and thus must be rewritten. In some of the prayers, it was referred to as "the Soveriegn One". The Lord? The Lord may as well be a synonym for God for as many times as it appears in the prayers. Almost every Jewish prayer begins, "Blessed are you (Baruch ata), the lord, our God (Adonai Elohenu), king of the universe (melech haolam)". Just how inelegant is this phrase going to get? What about the Sh'ema, the most important prayer in Judaism. "Hear o' Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One". Is this going to change next year?

I'm not saying I know the solution. Clearly, change has to happen sometimes or it never happens. But it always seems to me that equality of men and women should take place as pay equity, as improving opportunities for women in management and leadership and in more toilets for women's restrooms at sporting events. Rewriting prayers written thosands of years ago to be more gender neutral just seems a little strange to me.

Monday, September 22, 2003

11:22AM - The Amazing Emmy!

The Amazing Race wins an Emmy!!!!! Not only beating out Survivor and American Idol, but also a Bob Hope Special, that seemed like a lock after Bob dies.

Go TAR!!!

Jeff Probst and Ryan Seacrest...I'm sorry to say you've both been eliminated from the race :)

Friday, September 19, 2003

11:36AM - National Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Arrrrrrrrr! How can me not blog on National Talk Like a Pirate Day? IHope you land lubbers can appreciate it.

P.S. Anybody out there good at swabbing decks? Ours needs some staining, at least.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

10:17AM - Greektown's Semola is COO of the year?

What a joke! Anyone who knows my history with Greektown know how ridiculous that is...and for those who don't...feel free to ask me personally.
Here is the press release.

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