Good Morning From Palo Alto

I’m in Caaaa-lee-four-neee-ah (that’s the way you’re supposed to say it now, right?) for a CSS Working Group meeting, with my fellow AOL rep, Kimberly (who is an excellent navigator). We’re meeting at the Microsoft Mountain View campus. We went out to dinner last night as a group, and I’ve never been at dinner where half the people there had laptops out on the table. By that point in the day, after eight hours of arguing about what boils down to punctuation, I was ready to not talk about standards anymore. But, my fellow group members are committed (obsessed? fanatic? crazy?) about this stuff, and just kept right on going with the same energy they started the day with. I honestly have no idea how they do it.

Oh, when given a choice, don’t rent a Buick Century. For a 2004, it feels like the car is 10 years old. The steering wheel is narrow, the seats too mushy, and it drives like a bar of soap. I feel old driving it. Honestly.

We are missing one of my favorite CSS WG members, Daniel. I met him in France, and we had a great time at dinner. We talked about French food, American politics, and the history of Netscape. I’m pulling for a meeting in Europe next time so he can make it (Norway, anyone?).

I’ll hopefully get to hang out with Tim and Dawson on Saturday and then get back to my beautiful family on Sunday. I miss them. So much, in fact, that I set up a screensaver of a bunch of pictures (I hate screensavers) of them to scroll by while I’m not working on something. They’re gorgeous.

Culture of Life?

I get to give my snide comment here. I just read my brother’s anti-Kerry diatribe, which reads like the RNC’s talking points. I have one thing to say. Even if all of those things are true, Kerry is still a better choice than Bush.

Why? Kerry lives in the real world, not some fantasy land of far right illusion and coddled fratboys.

Speaking of Bush, I was thinking this morning about how he goes on and on about “a culture of life”, as it relates to abortion. That’s all fine and good. But, does he really believe in a culture of life? Bush presided over more executions in his time as governor in Texas than any governor in history. He openly mocked Karla Faye Tucker before signing her death warrant. He started a war in Iraq, against a country that wasn’t a clear and present danger to us (Steve, all those biological weapons you’re talking about? They’re either scientific samples, debunked, or “lost” from before the first Gulf War – look it up). That war has cost almost 1100 coalition soldiers’ lives, 14,000 Iraqi lives (that’s the most cautious number, could be as high as 20,000), changed over 7,000 U.S. troops’ lives through injury, and injured tens of thousands of Iraqis, with no end in site, no strategy to win the peace, and no one willing to help out while Bush is still playing the cowboy. He’s also presided over the highest increase in children below the poverty line since those numbers have been tracked.

It seems to me that if Bush was really for a “culture of life”, he would worry a little more about those already living in this world that those about to come into it. Oh, and on abortion – abortions have actually gone up while Bush has been President.

So, Bush is a miserable failure on more than one front. He’s botched the war on terror. He’s botched his “culture of life”. How does this man deserve a second term?

Live in Sterling, VA and Want to Vote?

If you live in Sterling and you used to vote at either the Sterling Community Center Annex or the Satellite County Offices, our voting location has changed to the Farm Heritage Museum in Claude Moore park. The address is 21668 Heritage Farm Lane. You should also check the Sterling District polling locations from the County. It has all the polling places, not just this one.

There’s a good chance that Claude Moore isn’t your polling location. You should use the handy dandy polling place lookup tool.

To save yourself a walk, go in the entrance to the park with the stoplight (if you’re coming from Church Street, it’s the first one). Follow it around until you see the big metal building. That’s it!

Now… don’t forget to vote!!! I personally would appreciate it if you vote for John Kerry, but if you don’t, I’m OK with that too. Just vote.

Some may wonder why I’m posting this… our polling place has moved three times in the past four years. In 2002, I ended up at the wrong place and had to run over to the satellite offices. Yeah, they’re all fairly close to each other, but anything I can do to help stop confusion, right?

And, if you show up between 8 and 10, you’ll probably see me. I’ll be the smiling fat guy with all the Kerry and Socas buttons on. Yes, I know I was going to be an election officer, but I didn’t get the forms in on time, so I’m going to be a poll worker for the Kerry camp. I know it’s a stretch to think that Kerry will win Virginia, but it’s close. It’s really close (three points last poll I saw), and with registrations through the roof, I think all the polls may be wrong and this could be a blowout for one side or the other. It all depends on who those new registered voters are, and if they actually end up voting.

Mini-Album Reviews of No Significance

I’m taking a break from slaving over JSP code to write this one. Shhhhh, don’t tell. I’ve been listening to a ton of new music lately, some from groups or artists I’d never heard of before. Now, I do live in a hole… underground, you know, where the critters are. That aside, I still try to get way out there and try out new stuff. Here are some fun albums you should go check out toute suite:


Josh Rouse: Dressed Up Like Nebraska

If you like REM, Morphine or Ben Folds’ non-ass-kicking songs, you’ll like Josh Rouse. Great lyrics, and some really heartbreaking songs. Good for wallowing.

Kirsty MacColl: Tropical Brainstorm

Ignore your first inclination to throw this in the “crap tropical” pile, and listen to it twice. See? Now you’re hooked too!! The brilliant lyrics are matched perfectly by seductively simple tunes and hide amazing layers of sounds. Great stuff.

The Gotan Project: La Revancha Del Tango

They’re not kidding around… this is some seductive tango goodness, with a little electronic edge. As addictive as it is haunting.

Orchestra Morphine & Twinemen: Live Boston, MA 10/23/03

Found this in the Apple Store. It’s raw, and not everything works like it should, but that’s part of the beauty of live music, right? The covers of Morphine’s old songs are beautiful, and hearing that sax again is totally worth it. Plus, it’s two hours of great live sets for $10.

Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast

OK, this one’s not so obscure, but I was in the dark. A wonderful cross between the Housemartins and Ben Folds – this is pop worth listening to. It’s fun, melancholy and all pulled off with a truckload of skill. Good, good, good stuff.

Luna: Bewitched

Groovy alterna-pop, with a hint of Dire Straits. Yeah, I know, that sounds stupid, but that’s what I thought of when I first heard them. Sneaky lyrics and simple but addictive hooks will have you tapping your feet for no good reason.


OK, now back to work… and to my cold… and then home to Jen’s cold… yeah, we’re all sick, and it’s FANTASTIC!!

Max Jumps

Max Jumps

I took Max on his first school field trip! We went to Krop’s Crops in Great Falls, and had a great time (more pictures to come, probably). I just had to post this one RIGHT NOW. This is the corn pit. It’s full of corn!! Two whole feet deep! The kids were climbing up on the hay bales on the other side of the wall and jumping off. I caught my boy in the act. What form! What action! Thank you, brand new camera!