Saturday, September 13, 2008

I don't like Ike

Well, the worst of the storm is over, and I am grateful that I only lost power for about 5.5 hours staring at 2:00 am. I had gone outside a few times to see what was happening, and there was almost no rain, even at 3 am. When the power came back on around 7:30, it was raining like crazy.
Sometime between my 3 am trip downstairs and 7:30, a tree went down right at the corner of the complex:

Street Side:

I took my trusty DeWalt 18V reciprocating saw down and cleared the left lane of the street so people can get through:

All in all, I consider myself very blessed that there was no damage, no long-term power outage, and no flooding in my area. Water pressure is very low due to a power outage at a main pumping station.
There are millions without power, especially in the coastal areas which just got whalloped. I'm a little North of I-10 on the West side of Houston, so really only got "medium" winds/rain.

I think the power is down at my employer, the website is not reachable (we stupidly host our own site).

I reckon that's it for now.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Rudy and Sarah... My Kind of Night!

Oh, man.
I obviously am not objective in my musings about these conventions. So with that said, I gotta say, both Rudy Guliani and Sarah Palin hit it out of the park tonight.

First, Rudy came out and just killed. Part comedian, part statesman, he certainly didn't pull any punches. I love the fact that he called out Biden on his previous stance that the presidency was no place for on the job training... and Hillary on the 3am phone call. Peppered with sarcasm (which of course worked for me!), he took Obama to the proverbial woodshed. One thing I thought he was going to say, but didn't (and perhaps he missed the oppportunity) was when he was reminding people of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, there was a huge backdrop of the New York skyline behind him. I was just willing him to turn around and say "look at that skyline -- never forget the twin towers that once towered over my city".
Anyway, I thought Rudy was pretty brilliant.

Then, Sarah Palin comes out and gets an ovation which I believe was longer than the reception Obama got at his Stadium speech.
Again, using some sarcasm (of course the MSNBC pundits have decided she insulted her opponents) and some simply awesome lines, I'd say she has roared on to the national stage in fine fashion.
When they weren't standing, the folks in the hall were literally leaning forward on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next line.
As I'm writing this, the he/she on MSNBC just said she was surprised that Palin gave an "insulting, sniping, cutting" speech that gave us little of her biography and "a whole lot of what is wrong with Barack Obama". To that I say "so what?" What were all of the speeches at the democrat convention about? "Four more years of the same failed policies... it's not that John McCain doesn't care.. he just doesn't know", etc.
Obviously, much if not all of the speech was written by McCain's policy folks, so as she went down the litany of policy positions, it got a little flat... but when she was talking about her family, her town, her job, and her beliefs, she shone like no one I've seen before.
Some of my favorite bits:

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities.

In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.
And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words.
For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.

...this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform...

Now, it remains to be seen how she really governed in Alaska. So far, the word seems to be that she did some flip-flopping... apparently supporting the "bridge to nowhere" before she opposed it, and sought pork barrel projects as mayor before crusading against that type of spending as governor. We'll just have to see how it all shakes out. At least she's done SOMETHING.

As for me, for this moment in time, I am a Palin fan. She was tough, likeable, she's got a nearly "Fargo-ish" accent that is just subtle enough not to annoy, and it doesn't hurt that she's attractive. Thank goodness when she speaks loudly, her voice doesn't disintegrate into a shrill shriek. That, maybe more than her Socialist views, bugged me to no end about Hillary.

Oh man, Keith Olberman, always the smug bastard, just "had to get this off his list" -- "It's 'pundit, p-u-n-d-i-t, not pundent." Interesting. Did he correct Sean Penn, Michael Moore, or any of the other dozens of left-wingers I've heard mispronounce that word? At least she can pronounce "nuclear."

I wish the timing had been a little tighter (I guess it was Rudy that ran long), because there was a biographical video they were supposed to run before Sarah P came on stage. That would have helped round out the background story and set up the intro much better. But, ya can't have everything.

Anyway, I say it was a good night for the pubs. Go, Sarah, Go!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

MSNBC - Mentally Stunted, Nothing But Critical

So, I'm watching the Republican National Convention tonight, and Fred Thompson, Joe Lieberman, and George Bush gave the main speeches. The theme of the night was playing up service to country, honoring veterans, volunteers, foster/adoptive parents, and non-profit (and NOT supported by government) organizations dedicated to helping the less fortunate.
They played a winning essay by a high school (I think) student about "what the flag means to me". They had a girl who founded a non-profit called SAIF which rehabs properties and allows folks in financial straits to rebuild their lives.
There were descriptions of the things John McCain has done, focusing on his character, Fred Thompson actually saying "Being a POW does not qualify one to be president of the United States. Character does."
I watched the convention on C-Span, because there is no commentary during the program. Then, due to the lack of channels I have with my non-cable "master antenna" thing here at the apartment, I switched to MSNBC to check out their "coverage" of the night.
What are they talking about? Palin's pregnant daughter, Palin was a last-minute choice, there's "news" that she wasn't interviewed until last Wednesday... and the pompous ASS Keith Olberman correcting every little thing he could find to either knock down the impact of what was said during a speech, pointing out how many times Fred Thompson cleared his throat during his speech, etc. That guy is such a hack, I can't believe MSNBC lets him on the air under the heading of "journalist". Chris Matthews, whoever that tranny is (oh, Rachel Maddow) are beating on Pat Buchanan, the one conservative allowed on the dais. Rachel or Rick or whatever his/her name is is nearly apoplectic that Sarah Palin might be thrust upon us when she was a last-minute pick, she's ripping the Republicans for "skipping over the last 8 years" (I guess she missed all of the talk about the war, the surge, and Laura Bush's recitation of all of W's accomplishments). Pat's trying to stand his ground and he called out "us" meaning all of the media for blowing up the Palin's pregnant daughter story, and giving a reasonable assessment of how the night went. They had no such vitriol for Obama, all they talked about was the wonderful message of hope, and how "electric" the atmosphere was. Tonight it's all about "Who do the Republicans think they are?" NO veneer even attempted at journalistic integrity. This is pure editorializing.
One of the MSNBC boobs was saying "well, with high unemployment..." HUH? We're at what, 5.5%? When we had that level under Clinton it was heralded as a freakin' miracle. Some idiot I read online today was saying that the GOP "just won't admit there's a recession" -- A recession is defined by 2 consecutive quarters of NEGATIVE growth... last quarter? 3.3%. Note to moron: no need to admit to something that does not exist.
Look, Bush has been a lackluster President on MANY fronts. He fell down on the job on illegal immigration and has some bizzare fetish for Mexican presidents. Until this surge, he was blowing the war on terror. He hasn't articulated (well, duh) any of the accomplishments of his administration, challenged the democrats in congress, or pointed out their wrong-headedness.
McCain? Well, not the guy I'd hoped would become the nominee, but I'll take him any day over Barry the socialist Obama. Logical criticisms are valid of course. But the hysterical pitch associated with everything I'm seeing tonight and read today just points out that the "mainstream" media (it's only mainstream if you're a liberal) is biased... even worse than ever imagined.