"Undermining my electoral viability since 2001."


Quick hits from Embarcaderro:

  • I didn't catch tonight's debate, but I will tell you what I thought of last week's VP contest: less exciting than expected, though Palin's sex appeal remains a great unexplored aspect of the race.
  • Gay marriage question was interesting. People I know are unhappy w/Biden's answer, but I found the framing of constitutional rights to be ok. Civil unions for everyone, including breeders. Leave the magic "marriage" word up to the church. In another decade it won't matter though.
  • SF is pretty beautiful, and I'm hells-all busy as per usual. Secret plans which will be revealed in time.

Here comes the train. Wish I hadn't left my headphones in the HC. Anyone got any book recommendations?

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High Octane Nostalgia

I'm back in the Bay for a week. BadCAMP coming up, and business to conduct for our budding Cycling Empire. Also happy birthday Zacker. Good fun and a nice drive, so I'm content with all that.

Oft's the time I wonder about graphing my changes in mood and fortune, a little personalized stock ticker of the soul. Regular journal-writing is beyond me, and actually recounting the details of my daily life would be debilitatingly dreary. No one must know just how ho-hum my routine really is. Gotta preserve the mystery.

A numerical composite would be interesting, while (probably) allowing me to retain whatever shards of sex-appeal I can still muster. And what might such a life-market show? Finances flat but stable. Politics looking up and responsibility on the rise. Stress back down after peaking in August.

It's all well and dandy, and I'm especially happy that visible signs of over-stress -- e.g involuntary muscle-twitching -- are declining, but as things level out I worry muchly about the void, that it may just sit there gaping at me. Nature abhors a vacuum, and although I could really use a vaction, the kind of soul-emptying boredom that may be in the offing here seems dangerous.

The best answer seems like a long shot. Short-sellers are killing the Love index. The gut feeling: flat-lined.

This is starting to become a problem. Aphoristic wisdoms along the lines of "age is a state of mind" are cold comfort when contemplating a creeping case of cynicism. I really don't want to end up a jaded or pessimistic person. It's a shit way to live, but objectively that's the trend. Me no likey.

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Dr. Robbins Channels the Bard

My good friend Frank writes:


Thinking about the current financial crisis/bailout predicament, I noticed that you've begged off in your blog from weighing in. I thought it strange until I remembered something you'd said to me perhaps 200 times before:

"In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way with more advised watch,
To find the other forth, and by adventuring both
I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof,
Because what follows is pure innocence.
I owe you much, and, like a wilful youth,
That which I owe is lost; but if you please
To shoot another arrow that self way
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
As I will watch the aim, or to find both
Or bring your latter hazard back again
And thankfully rest debtor for the first."

If you remember, that didn't end very well. I was heavily invested in overseas contracts and you convinced me to leverage myself even further (deregulation had laid the way for exotic, organ-backed securities). Ships are but boards, sailors but men and when I lost all three ships, I had an instant liquidity crisis. If the judicial system hadn't been biased against predatory lenders (and had I not enlisted a knowledgeable corporate legal team) I would have lost everything.

Lucky thing, that.

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Up With Hope

Canadia to the rescue:

In demonstrating the technology in practice, Keith and his team used a custom-built tower to capture CO2 directly from the air while requiring less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide. The tower unit was able to capture the equivalent of approximately 20 tonnes per year of CO2 on a single square metre of scrubbing material -- which amounts to the average level of emissions produced by one person each year in North America.

While still in its early stages, the atmosphere-scrubbing technology has already been touted by environmentalists as an energy-efficient and cost-effective way to complement other approaches designed to help reduce transportation emissions, such as biofuels and electric engines.

Now, this should be pursued in addition to planting a lot of trees, but the truth is that over the past 300 years, we've dug massive amounts of shit out of the ground and set it on fire. Getting back into balance means taking a bunch of that shit out of the air and putting it somewhere else again. Trees don't cut it because when you cut them down they rot and the gas gets out again.

Basically the idea is you perfect this kind of rig along with some solar/wind power to keep it running -- just like highway lights on the remote parts of the highway -- and it becomes somebody's high-paying Union Job to service the thing, put the used-up scrubbers in a box car to be hauled off for burial, etc.

Maybe we can re-build the ruined mountain-tops of Appalachia.

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The Oval Office is for Closers

As Atros says, Poll Porn.

This is only one pollster, and one that's been showing bigger margins for Obama in general -- which is why sober analysts use composite averages -- but it would appear that the Obama campaign is indeed beginning to pull ahead:

State Pre Debate Post Debate
Florida Obama +6 Obama +8
Ohio Obama +7 Obama +8
Pennsylvania Obama +6 Obama +15
Pre-debate surveys ended at 8 p.m. Friday with post-debate surveys Saturday-Monday.

"It is difficult to find a modern competitive presidential race that has swung so dramatically, so quickly and so sharply this late in the campaign. In the last 20 days, Sen. Barack Obama has gone from seven points down to eight points up in Florida, while widening his leads to eight points in Ohio and 15 points in Pennsylvania," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.


"Sen. Obama clearly won the debate, voters say. Their opinion of Gov. Sarah Palin has gone south and the Wall Street meltdown has been a dagger to McCain's political heart. Roughly a third of voters, and almost as large a share of the key independent vote, say McCain did more harm than good in trying to resolve the financial crisis, and the share of voters who see the economy as the top issue has risen from roughly half to six in ten."

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