Monday, November 01, 2004

Plodding Along

It's a little odd being back on standard time again. It's only 7:30, but it feels as if it ought to be 9 or so. It's not all because it got dark at 5ish... I also left work early to go see my doctor for a check-up and spent some time before Dawn and Rachel came home trying to figure out where I stand on the 45 BILLION issues on our ballot tomorrow.

Some of them are ridiculous, and the sniping between the people for them and the people against them is even worse. Not sure why I'm surprised. Of course, I don't have time to really get into them, so I'll either go with my first instinct or just skip the ones I'm not immediately sure about. The only ones I really care about right now, really, are the federal and state elected offices. In particular, which idiot we are less opposed to having in the White House for the next 4 years. Saw a great t-shirt the other day while walking on Telegraph after lunch... had outlines of two people, about the same size... one said Bush, the other Kerry. Kerry's male genitalia were substantially larger in this drawing than Bush's. I don't think there's anything more important than getting Bush out of the office he was given by Judicial Fiat four years ago.

My next door neighbor is convinced Kerry's going to win, for four reasons I can think of:
  • because no sitting president polling under 50% has ever won re-election
  • because the polls that have them so close together only take into account "likely voters", which does not include the newly registered
  • because there are something like 14 or 15 million newly registered voters with a distinct advantage on the democratic side, and
  • because a large percentage of undecided voters tend to vote against the incumbent - they don't really need to be convinced whether to vote for him because he's been in office for four years... they're just taking time to decide whom they actually will pick

I've also been hearing that turn-out in certain groups could make a significant difference. For instance, Kerry has a 2-1 advantage in the 18-34 (I think) year-old age group, so every 1% of the total turn-out that comes from that age group represents a 1/3 percent net gain for Kerry. Only time will tell.

I've actually paid unusually little attention to this race. John asked me a couple of days after Kerry's acceptance speech whether I had watched it. What for? There's nothing to change my mind... if there were someone I believed in more than Kerry, which probably isn't hard, I would only dare vote for him or her in an election when keeping such an awful choice as George W. Bush out of office wasn't a problem. Though I agree with some of his politics, I'll never vote for Nader in anything ever. He says he's staying in the race for the good of the country, but that's either bull or he's lost his mind. Maybe both. While there are certainly similarities between the evils of the Republicans and the Democrats, there's simply no way to justify helping Bush stay in office.

During the primaries, a campaigner for Kucinich came to my door and started talking about him. He's for socialized (or at least universal, anyway) health care. The right to choose. Peace. Basic civil rights. Education. The environment. I was actually quite impressed with the obvious intellectual capabilities of the campaigner, which I realized then have actually been lacking in those of most other candidates. I asked, "why should I vote for him? he doesn't stand even a snow-ball's chance in hell of winning." Imagine the response - the point is not to win the primary, as there's no chance of that, but if we can get a significant showing, maybe we can get some real attention from the party when it comes to making the party platform for the election. I voted for Kucinich in the primary on principal because I think his ideas much better represent mine and because there's no way a vote for him at that time could possibly interfere with getting Bush out of the office!

Work has been a lot of long hours for several weeks. Not as badly lately as early in the month. I spent the last week of September in NJ visiting M to go over their requirements for the next build. This led to a significant amount of time working on the spec and refining it with them through the month of October until we got them to sign it and the price structure on the 29th. Hallelujah. Bob, who was our project manager on M's implementation and left right before the conference in NJ, and Derek, who was Patrice's boss and was laid off in... July I think, evidently had a bet about the signature. Bob said we'd get it signed but not until the end of the calendar year. Derek said we wouldn't get it signed at all. I'm a little disappointed in those assessments. Their faith was overwhelming. Especially considering that I've really not found M to be anywhere near as unreasonable as the seemed before Patrice and I took over and that the project was in an absolute shambles before then. For instance, we were in NJ sitting in the conference room with them making the project plan! How anyone knew what was going on or when things were supposed to be done, I do not know. M, I'm happy to say, has come to realize lately how much better things are now.

I think I'm already behind schedule on M and we only got sign-off on Friday!

Meanwhile, Dawn and I are planning a night away for our anniversary, which is coming up on the 11th. It's our fourth. I have both the 11th and 12th off, though I'm not lucky enough to work for any of the huge number of employers in the country (not to mention Europe) who take the 11th off, so I have to take 2 vacation days rather than one. Not that big a deal, but it seems as if it should be really cool to have Veteran's Day (or Armistice Day) for an anniversary... So, we're going to have dinner at the Lark Creek Inn where we got married and then spend the night at a b&b-esque cottage near Point Reyes. I figure we'll spend most of the 12th out there wandering or whatever and then come back in time to pick Rachel up from school.

Rachel will stay home with Elisabeth... I think that should go pretty well. I'm hoping we can see about having a practice night before then so Elisabeth can put her to bed when we're not in the house. It shouldn't really be a big deal at this point, since she's getting to spend a lot of time with E (and her cats). In a real pinch, we'll be close enough that we can come home if we have to. I don't think anyone's ever dropped Rachel off at school besides us, though... not that there should be any problem there either; we just have to make sure the school knows it's going to happen.

We're really looking forward to this. I was thinking about calling up the woman who made our wedding cakes and having her make two small cakes for us again; she did that for our first anniversary when we went to the Lark Creek as well. They were delicious, but I think we'll go with the desserts they have. I know that whole meal is going to be outside our diet plan, along with breakfast the next day. The cottage will provide an "ample" supply of organic breakfast materials, including pancake mix, fruit, eggs, and on and on. Ample really is how they put it, but I seem to remember the food they provided for us when we stayed in one of their other cottages with my parents being enough to feed at least 6 people. Not that we'll over do it... we can probably bring some of it home with us too.

I need to look around and see what we should do on the 12th around Pt. Reyes... I don't think it's whale watching season yet. Maybe we'll just wander around Pt. Reyes itself and go to the light house. Hmm...

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