"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."

Right on Schedule (Guard your Milky-Skinned Daughters)

Update: excellent response from Obama. Political Judo, even. If he's able to consistently push back like this, they should have no problems.

So right in line with my post on anti-Obama smear emails below, <a href="http://openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=7228>a new high-profile advert from the McCain campaign:

Paris and Britney. What did I tell you, Whipple?

The real hammer-points here, of course, are Taxes and Oil. I don't think the tax argument will really affect many swing voters (there are some who were already convinced, but most realize that people making a couple hundred K can afford to pony up for America), but Obama and the Dems in general need a coherent answer to this drilling nonsense. It's working, from what I can see, even though it's bogus and people know it. They've turned it into a battle for leadership: even if it's not going to do any good, the Republicans are doing something and the Democrats are against doing something, etc.

At a certain point here, I'm going to have to get myself into the fray. As I've been relating to most of my political cohort, I'm not "sold" on Obama, in the sense that I'm not a true believer. However, I think he'd be a hell of a president, and I want him to win, and I can give you some pretty good reasons why.

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The Chapter Three gang is assembling in our Eureka office for a few days of long-awaited retreat, teambuilding, and planning for the future. It's not quite Drupal in Paradise, but it should be pretty fun and productive. As long as I'm geeking out about work, my new favorite thing is the awesome graphic Monica whipped up for us:

Tree of Life

We actually have a tree in our SF office now, so that's pretty exciting to be all in-sync.

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Rumors, Propogated By Our Enemies

Via Atrios (the coolest dude in the 'sphere), we discover that the good satirists over at Sadly, No! have the latest Obama smear email. It's a doozy, digging into Vince Foster territory; the death list.

The themes here are somewhat predictable: black nationalism, drug ties, FBI informants, radical Islam (9/11, event) and, of course, the ultimate threat of an African Calligula ruling the roost, seducing our milky-skinned virginal lasses with his carribean reefer and dark-continent jazz guitar:

The following is a partial list of deaths of persons connected to Barack HUSSEIN Obama during his time inside the United States. Read the list and judge for yourself…


MERCEDES HUGLEY, one of Obama’s many white, female conquests while at Harvard. Filed sexual assault charges against Obama for date rape in 1990. Because “date rape” was not considered a crime like it is today, she ended up dropping the charges. Two years later, she was found dead of an apparent cocaine overdose.

Just in case anyone's confused, this is, naturally, bullshit.

However, it's another example of why this election is going to be so awesome. It's going to be like that clay you put on a bee sting to pull out the toxins. It will be hilarious, tragic, and ultimately (hopefully) very healing.

But seriously, "Mercedes Hugely?" You'd think they'd at least make up a name that was a bit more believably WASP-y, like, say Keelin Isabelle Nelson.

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I need a good BART image. There's something about the "I've got 7 minutes to kill at the Embarcaderro station" post that really appeals to me.

Anyway, just came from a great little convo with the inestimable Dan Droller, who's back out in SF from business school. Great to catch up. He seems to be doing well, and chatting it up with him makes the weight of my world seem a whole lot lighter.

On the other hand, I didn't pee before entering the mass transit system. We'll see how two pints of beer sit with me on the train ride home!

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Deep In The Heart of Texas

Things are churning here. The Netroots Nation scene continues to evolve. It's a younger crowd every year it seems, though still wonky and sometimes a bit paranoid (the cute blond girl I chatted with complained of accusations of being a Republican plant), but overall everyone looks good. People have lost weight and look healthy; they know they're winning, even if the win is questionable and the progress seems too slow.

A great find has been hanging w/the coolkids behind Music For Democracy, which is shockingly familiar, and fun. I also got to play Phil Donahue -- microphone man -- in a nice little "Dean to Obama" session. You might have seen my somewhat poofy hair on C-Span there.

It all makes me consider my own future. This world is one I've grown ever more distant from over the past four years, and a world in which I feel like I've let a lot of people down, or at least not realized the great expectations that I and others helped to engender. For instance, we evangelized Drupal as a platform technology which helped break up the DC tech oligarchy and drive "the .org boom," but ultimately that promise remains unfulfilled, and our personal interests become diffused, focused on other things. The technology is better than ever, but our crucial human energy is missing, and so the value remains undelivered.

As I said before, it feels like my immediate first-degree network is coming up in the world, starting families, careers, etc. As I said before, it's a wonderful thing, but I feel the spread, the phenomena of "continental drift" as my Pa used to say.

I realize the impossibility of holding on to the past. In truth there are more people I love and cherish that could ever be knit together directly. I just worry that in the midst of everything everyone will just slip slide away, that I'll say stuck where I am and the distances will continue to grow.

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SF, Austin, SF

Quick note: I'm back in Albany/SF for 24 hours, then headed to Austin to schmooze it up at Netroots Nation (while furiously trying to close out some work, natch), then will fly back to hang here in the Bay for a couple days, then head back up to the HC a little advance of this year's Chapter Three Retreat.

Quick observation: everyone seems to be dating. At least, all my roommates.

More from Austin, most likely. Looking forward to some real heat!

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"I think God lives on the Sun, don't you?"

More resisting apoccalyptic thinking: researchers at MIT improve solar cell performance:

As a result, rather than covering a roof with expensive solar cells (the semiconductor devices that transform sunlight into electricity), the cells only need to be around the edges of a flat glass panel [e.g. a window]. In addition, the focused light increases the electrical power obtained from each solar cell "by a factor of over 40," Baldo says.

The real solutions to all of humanities problems are energetic in nature. Currently, as we confront an end to the burning of a billion or so years worth of stored photosynthesis that we dug out of the ground -- that's what oil, coal and natural gas are, really -- we look in new directions. The future is in fusion, and while there are some exciting things (which aught to get funding) happening with small-scale earthbound actions, we have a pretty functional fusion reactor up and running in the neighborhood. It'll burn you too, if you're not careful.

The Sun is the root source of almost all energy, of all life on our Earth. With the exception of geothermal, tidal, and nuclear power, everything else comes exclusively from the Sun. It's a mind-bogglingly huge thing, a mas of incandescent gas emitting literally incomprehensible amounts of energy. There is no scale of reference that can even begin to convey the reality of what the sun is, it's power.

It is truly the most God-like for 35 light years around. We should do a better job of worshiping.

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New Office Blog Post

Check out photos of the new office, if you're so inclined.

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ZOMG! Freddy Robbins

Baby pictures are in: Frank Edward Robbins VI; aka "Freddy"

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That Ole Tyme Bloggin'

It's time for a good old fashioned post, like back in the day. Contrary to what you might think, literary exhibitionism and all, I do all this first and foremost for myself, as way of processing my life. In the 21st Century, blogging is the fist draft of history, and doing ones own autobio in real-time is a powerful way of controlling and making sense of the personal narrative. I'm glad if it brings some light into the reader's world, but the main thing for me is pursuing my life goals; truth, presence, appreciation, flow.

Today was my first day working in our brand-spankin' new Humboldt County office, located in Old Town Eureka. It's going to be good, a really nice feeling. Currently it's somewhat empty as a space, but the potential is palpable. It feels like the beginning, pun intended, of a new chapter.

My life for the past few months has been -- more than my life already was -- consumed by my job. Workaholism runs in my blood, and it really does have all the lovely features of addiction. Patterns, void-filling, debilitation of other life-aspects, the whole gamut. If I really were a devotee of the bottle, say like Charles Bukowski (we should be so lucky), this would be the part where I'm haunting some seedy bar where I get a few pints for free in the morning, and the bartender lets me sleep away the afternoons on a pile of cardboard boxes in the alley out back.

But I'm not writing epics of the lush life, and so the outcomes are different. Arguably favorable. And yet I wonder where this leads. Conventional career success feels more and more like a potential bait-and-switch. As the hippy engineer used to say, "don't get a job, get a life."

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