Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Maddening/Funny post from ACCT

See what unravels when someone rides her bike to WalMart and cant find a place to lock it up. Read the post here.

Clarification

Now I guess I have to watch the videos, I have been trying to avoid them.
The short story- video of Virgil Goode walking in the Scottsville Parade surfaced shortly after the 4th of July. The video seemed to suggest that Virgil Goode came with the Hummer and that Goode was in favor of a do anything approach to obtaining oil for our gas guzzling vehicles. However, turns out as with most things, there is more to the story. But that would be the end of it, except for John Stewart featured some of the video on the Daily Show last night in a segment called Rapper or Republican (see above link).

My friend Chris, a Sorenson classmate, owns the Hummer in the video and is deeply offended by the inaccuracy of the video. Virgil didnt come in the Hummer, the Fluvanna Republicans came in it. I was at the parade, there is nothing remotely interesting or funny about the Hummer or Goode walking in the parade.

I know perception is reality, but in case anyone is interested in the reality here- Virgil Goode, someone I loathe to defend in any arena, simply did not bring the Hummer to the parade, nor did he ride in it, in fact he walked the entire time. The day was fun-filled, full of small town cheer and patriotism. Tom Perriello had nothing to do with the video, he is too busy running an outstanding campaign (find out more here)

If this video hadnt made it to the Daily Show I would never have mentioned it. But my friend Chris' point is that the video is "intentionally misleading their
constituents, and stating that a good man, whether you agree with his
politics or not, wants to kill people from other countries for greed.
" The video and the song that overlays are wrong.

There are MANY (Keith Ellison) real (legislative record) reasons to vote for Tom Perriello and to vote against Mr. Goode, the Hummer is not one of them.

Perriello and Goode to hold a forum

From the Daily Progress:
The candidates for Virginia's 5th congressional district will present their views and field questions at an Aug. 13 forum at the Senior Center.

U.S. Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., R-Rocky Mount, is facing challenger Democrat Tom Perriello of Ivy in the Nov. 4 election.

The forum, sponsored by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia and the Senior Center, will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 1180 Pepsi Place.

The event is free and open to the public.


Senior Statesman puts on great events. Come out and support Tom Perriello with your insightful questions.

More China related Olympic stuff

Surprise, ok not really. China and IOC have made a deal, a deal they told no one about, in fact they expressed the opposite. Foreign journalists were to have unrestricted access to the internet while reporting on the games. Well some journalists noticed they could not access Amnesty's website after its critical report came out last week. So those pesky reporters started poking around, and now this report from Yahoo!News indicates that IOC and China made a deal to restrict some sensitive, non-Games related websites.

I would be concerned if I were headed to China for the Games. In a country where the government can do anything they want, it usually does whatever it wants.

And the IOC is shockingly corrupt if it would deal on this which was one of the few demands it had placed on China (unrestricted access to the internet).

I really hope NBC does its job reporting on everything not just the happy smiling stuff. What I appreciate about Phil and Paul's coverage of the Tour de France is they never gloss over the bad stuff.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

'splainin the army to the boys at bedtime

"What is armies?" David asks, Andrew echoes the question.
"An army is a group of..." I am interrupted in the middle of my wonderfully vague statement.
"Do armies carry guns?" Andrew asks getting to his bottom line.
"Yes" I hesitate.
"Why do you ask?" I ask frantically thinking of what to say.

The boys then explain they saw the photograph that is tied to this article. They explained it something like a man carrying a boy, wearing camaflage, the boy looked scared. We discuss armies, soldiers, the military not in much detail but explaining how grandpa, Pauline and Grandma Sherry have all served in the military.

"Why was the boy scared?" David really can see himself in that photo- he is 5 now, why would any boy need to be so scared?

I think about the story tied to the follow-up article and how scared that soldier and the boy must have been and my heart is breaking. I tell the story of a brave man carrying the boy away from harm and how soldiers protect our freedom. I explain very briefly how some want to harm us ("why?" David asks, why indeed). I talk about being peace-loving people and others arent so peaceful. And we are in Iraq to protect the peaceful people of Iraq who want freedom from the people who would scare them.

Who is this person explaining this? Karl Rove? No, it is me. Thankful the boys cant read a 1500 word article, thankful they didnt see the picture on the front page a few months ago of a person holding a wounded child, who died later and most certainly looked dead in the photo (all I can think about is the shoes the child was wearing- really cute sandals, absolutely something my children may wear). I cant find the link to the WaPo photo/article.

Andrew wants to be a soldier, David an astronaut. Those are both noble, brave professions I tell them, praying we end this war soon and somehow find a way to be a force for peace in the world.

"What is the government?" David asks, I say "time for bed".

Cheap Pasta about Town

I tried the pasta at Fabios last night, its a new addition to the menu. I was basically comparing it to Sals, Sals used to be cheap now it is not and it is not worth it ($16.95 for mediocre pesto and pasta, wth?). Fabios has some pasta on its menu. The cost was $8.95 for penne pasta with red sauce and sausage with a salad and bread. Not a bad price, certainly I can make it cheaper, but I am not cooking, as Chris notes regularly.

The sausage is the key part of the meal for me, but was nothing to write home about-neither is the sausage at Eppies (below), perhaps I have high standards for the sausage in pasta, it doesnt mean I wont eat the pasta and sausage at those places but I may try meatballs. Sausage should be flavorful and add a delicious jolt to the pasta sauce. The bread was clearly microwaved which left the bread too chewy and hard- it really looked like it could have been good though, so I was surprised it wasnt. The red sauce was good, not too tomato-ey, had a little texture to it, although it was watery, couldnt really figure out why unless it was the pasta water. The pasta was cooked perfectly. And the salad was as usual delicious although its iceberg lettuce and very little else. I love Fabios pizza, I prefer the reasonable prices of Fabios to Sals, so Fabios wins the battle between those two restaurants (not really a fair fight).

Eppies pasta comes with the most pungent garlic bread in the universe (sorry to all those who encounter me after such a meal), but no salad. If I order pasta at Eppies it is tortellini with pink sauce ($7.34) and sausage (~$2.04 more). The pasta is placed at the bottom of the bowl, with white sauce then marinara sauce on top. I love the idea of pink sauce, and one time I had the dish it turned out so terrific I had to have it again. The second time was not quite as awesome because lunch had to wait until after a meeting, so the sauces never really mixed. So sad. But it is a great meal, for a reasonable price, but without the sausage which to me isnt worth it.

I love Eppies, I love their Greek salad best, I love that they have a website and really delicious, quick food for lunch and no pizza on their menu (and the sides are delicious). I love the tortellini, but I wish they would combine the sauces for me and get a more delicious sausage, and serve pumpkin bread with everything and... obviously they are doing something right.

Virginia is the land of Presidents or VPs

I am proud Tim Kaine is being considered for Obama's Vice President. I love being a Virginian, the land of many Presidents (of course all those who know I was born in NJ and lived other places will point out I am not a Virginian, sadly they are correct, BUT MY KIDS ARE VIRGINIANS and they too will have the love and pride associated with it).

I will never forget how Tim Kaine pumped up the crowd in his introduction for Obama at the February JJ Dinner, he was amazing and Obama fed right into the introduction. They were a good team.

I trust Obama to make a good choice, all the names being bandied about are solid choices. I look forward to the excitement the VP position will add to the summer doldrums.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

WINA's decision

I listened to Charlottesville Right Now's host Coy Barefoot reaction to Savage's comments on CPN this afternoon.

I am so grateful that WINA has taken Savage off the air. I never listened to him- but I happened to watch 5 minutes of the end of the Larry King show during the TdF rest day on Monday. Glenn Beck guest-hosted and apparently Savage had come on and been completely unapologetic and downright confrontational with no supporting evidence to back up his statements. Two doctors had about 30 seconds each to dispute the apparently numerous (I didnt see Savage, based on the doctor's remarks I make the following statement) unsubstantiated and misleading remarks. The doctors were compelling and persuasive- you know since they have medical degrees.

I appreciate Coy sharing his son's autism with the WINA audience. He is one of the few people I know who has a child with an autism related disorder. Coy's experience is a window into a world we usually dont get to see or hear about, and since we know Coy (mostly from the radio), we cant ignore, make fun of or malign him or his son and no one else can either. Coy's sincerity and his experience is not something we can deny.

Thank you to all the WINA folks who emailed/called the station to get that guy off the air in our area. And thank you to Coy for sharing his experience with us, giving us a window into a world that we wouldnt necessarily know about, making it real to us and making it unacceptable for this community to continue to listen to someone who is so hateful to something so personal.

Race up L'Alpe d'Huez Stage 17

Brilliant stage yesterday in the Tour de France- the Queen of Stages indeed- three massive climbs, two dangerous descents, and 6 capable, strong, relatively equal contenders.

Carlos Sastre is not my favorite this year, but I appreciate his efforts and his team- I love Team CSC they are disciplined and have risen to the occasion. Sastre was brilliant and no one could match his efforts up L'Alpe. The mountain is historic in the Tour, fans will always remember Lance's time trial and the manic fans (one of whom always ends up showing up half clothed). Sastre's effort is made more remarkable by the following Top 10 list I found at www.cyclingnews.com
Sastre's time would rank in 17th in the 'official' standings. The top 10 are:

1 Marco Pantani 37'35 (1997)
2 Lance Armstrong 37'36 (2004)
3 Marco Pantani 38'00 (1994)
4 Lance Armstrong 38'01 (2001)
5 Marco Pantani 38'04 (1995)
6 Jan Ullrich 38'23 (1997)
7 Floyd Landis 38'34 (2006)
8 Andreas Klöden 38'35 (2006)
9 Jan Ullrich 38'37 (2004)
10 Richard Virenque 39'02 (1997)

Most of these people have at one point or another been accused of doping, some certainly were doping on this particular climb, is it appropriate to continue to include their times on this list? Without the dopers, Sastre's time would be a top ten climb.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

China, Roads, Pollution etc.

Did anyone watch Ted Koppel's China documentary on Discovery Channel? [birds chirping].

While at Sorenson last weekend, I decided to have an early night and ended up watching some part of it (30 minutes out of a significant 8 or so hours over multiple days).

According to the documentary, China is modeling its road system on the Eisenhower model, so the country is building massive road system- bridges, tunnels and roads go up quick and efficiently. So people in the countryside can more easily access the cities.

So here is interesting caveat to the road building. The air of the country is so polluted that dramatic measures must be put in place to have the air ready for the 8/8/08 start of the Olympics. Given the ability to be innovative, its rather unimpressive that China falls back on old, pollution driven models instead of creating a model for efficiency and minimizing air pollution.

And in the Communist Olympic spirit, China is making it increasingly difficult to get in the country and once you are in, you are subject to multiple searches, ostensibly to prevent terrorism, BUT ALSO to prevent demonstrations and any Tibetan flags from entering the country.

Having said all of that President Bush says it would be offensive to the Chinese to pull out, and based on this NYT article, we owe the Chinese because they helped bring the 1984 Olympics together. We skipped the Olympics in 1980, by 1990 USSR as we know it was gone. Does this mean we should skip China's Olympics so that the real change can happen or will the country change because we participate? I am not sure the answer, but I will err on the side of the athletes who work hard to compete and the wonderful Olympic spirit that tends to bring the world together every four years. I love the Olympics almost as much as I love the Tour, so I can not wait to cheer on my fellow Americans!

More resources:
Article on barring "threatening" entertainers.
Air pollution/time changes/humidity could hurt traveling athletes.
The algae is ok to swim in, according to Chinese authorities.
Thank goodness for lack of free speech rights in China, because if you are a sponsor you will have preference for ad space in the Country.

CvilleDems Announcements

Here are some Upcoming Charlottesville and Area Democratic Events:

1.Coordinated Campaign is canvassing and making phone calls every night. If you have time, please come and help out. 380 Rio Road East (the corner of Rio E & Hillsdale) Charlottesville, VA 22901 Main Phone Number (434) 326-1850; OFFICE Hours Monday-Thursday 9AM-10PM Saturday 10AM-6PM Sunday 12PM-10PM Volunteer Opportunities- call to schedule a time:
Phone Banking Monday-Thursday & Sunday Canvassing Monday-Thursday, Saturday & Sunday.The Chville Dems will be coordinating all of our efforts with the current campaigns, therefore we urge you to get in touch with the campaign of your choice and volunteer!

2. Obama Office Grand Opening 7-9PM 7/19 at the old A&N building on the downtown mall! We are also looking for matching donations to send Charlottesville's Delegate to Denver. Kristen Szakos was supported by the 5th District to be a representative for Barack Obama. We are proud to have one of our own attend, she is receiving private donations in order to attend, the Exec. Committee has a willingness to match $200 - help send Kristen to Denver by contributing today (contact me jlm2z@yahoo.com for additional details) and your money will be worth twice as much, because the exec committee will match up to $200. Thank you in advance!

3. Tom Perriello will be throwing a BBQ & Bluegrass Picnic at the Tri-County Riding Club in Albemarle County. Come out and listen to the Perriello Pickers All-Star Bluegrass Band!
1619 Riding Club Road Keene, just south of Cville Minimum Donation: $15/person. Children under 12 free.

4.The executive committee of the Charlottesville Democratic Party has voted to donate $250 to the African American Cultural Heritage Festival (7/26 at Washington Park).

This festival is in its 20th year and annually turns out excellent programs that delight and educate hundreds of people. The Exec Committee is committed to increasing the total amount of the donation. We currently have $475 in donations including the original $250.

5. Saturday, August 2 Westhaven Community Day
The JFK CLub will again help out at Westhaven's annual Community Day. Volunteers are needed from 11-2. Please contact Russ Linden at russlinden@earthlink.net for more information.

6. Annual Outreach and Awards Picnic 8/16/2008 from 4-7:00, location The Park at UVA law school. We will honor the Scholarship Recipients, Drewary Brown Award Winner, Celebrate volunteers and have a grand time. Donations gratefully accepted, free food, entertainment.

7. We need some Charlottesville representatives to attend the Virginia Victory 2008 with special guests Governor Tim Kaine and Candidate for the U.S. Senate Governor Mark R. Warner Thursday, August 14, 2008 Science Museum of Virginia 2500 West Broad Street Richmond, Virginia 23220
Events
Private Reception held in The Atrium from 5:30 pm until 6:30 pm
General Reception held in The Rotunda from 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm
Private Dinner held in RF&P Forum from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm
Contact David Riordan at 703.636.7265 or dave@vavictory08.org
$5,000 Host Couple (invited to attend all Receptions and Dinner);
$2,500 Host Individual (invited to attend all Receptions and Dinner);
$1,000 Friend (invited to attend all Receptions); $100 Supporter (invited to attend General Reception).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

3rd positive test of the Tour

I just knew Ricardo Ricco was too good to be true. Sanuier Duval is too good to be true- of course they are doping. I feel as though I want to puke and cry all at the same time.

I know its my own fault. I shouldnt love something so much that hurts me so much. Please let the real race favorites remain clean...especially the Americans/Australians.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

This is the War we have to Win

9 American soldiers died in Afghanistan last week. The Coalition is abandoning the post where those men/women died. I am not concerned with strategy, I have to assume this is the right thing to do. But I am concerned about the message it sends. Are we committed to making Afghanistan part of the modern world? The answer must be yes- the Taliban harbored the terrorists, facilitated the training of people who have killed civilians all over the world and otherwise tortured its own people.

We are in a mess, two Wars- one completely unnecessary in the beginning, but obviously one we have to win now. But Afghanistan is fundamental, the War on Terrorism, is the war in Afghanistan, we must win and we must devote resources now.

Tour News/Opinion

So, the second positive test in the Tour de France war against doping, I wonder how many there will be? I am thinking three, one for each week.

The Tour has been thrilling thus far and we are only at stage 11 (which is today, no spoilers, I will be watching it this evening). I am lovin' it. I am still naive enough to believe that Cadel Evans is clean and that he has a real opportunity to win since all the cheaters are being weeded out. I like Evans, Van De Velde, Shleck, and Sastre (although in my mind Sastre has not displayed the tenacity of some other riders). Chris likes Menchov, and I must admit he has talent, not failed a blood test (yet) and got caught out last year in the Rasmussen disaster unfairly.

I cant wait till tonight.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

ttransportation/immunity busy day in capitals.

I absolutely disagree with NLS's assessment of Kaine's term as Governor. I stopped reading that blog a long time ago- hyperbole is not my cup of tea. I do think the post presents an opportunity to think about Gov. Kaine's term, but today is not that day.

Today is the day to rail on House Republicans of course. I am not saying Gov. Kaine's solution is the only and best solution, but given the alternative (nada) who can argue he wasnt doing the best he could in this environment? While I mostly have disdain for the Dillon Rule, since we in Virginia have it and apparently hold it near and dear to our heart, perhaps regional transportation authorities for a statewide issue isnt the best idea? I havent heard any good ideas, and I fear ultimately the climate is wrong for a compromise solution, but think of the glory someone could get if they actually came up with a mediated solution, anyone...anyone,

This also is an unhappy day because of the US Senate's passage of the Surveillance Telecom Immunity Bill. It propurts to tighten restrictions of surveillance, but I dont trust the unintended consequences aspect, including telecom immunity.

How are we supposed to exercise our rights when corporations so freely and routinely give up our information. We rely a lot on private corporations to be respectful of our private information, and they rely on our money to keep them in business. Its usually a good relationship, but then the government gets involved and all heck blows up. I dont mind a cap on damages, but immunity from lawsuits- its a slippery slope to prevent lawyers from protecting their clients with lawsuits, its happening more and more, and as it does so to go our rights.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Scottsville Parade thoughts

David and Andrew were in the Scottsville Parade, on STVFD newest Engine- 81. Since Chris and the boys were in the parade, KT and I hung out at the corner, watched the parade, gathered candy, took pictures and got swag. The best thing given away during the parade was a delicious freeze pop- sadly the sweet, cool treat came with an ugly pamphlet detailing how we are all going to hell. I didnt notice it until the boys and I gathered after the parade and they had them in their hands. I had to take the violent images/words away from them, I would argue this is not really a good way to endeare oneself to a parade going crowd IMO.

The Republicans were out in full-force, not the Albemarle County Republicans though, the Fluvanna Republicans, it was very curious. There were at least three floats of Republicans including Rob Bell, Chip Harding, Virgil Goode and the Flucos.

Tom Perriello was present and accounted for, I worried when I saw the young volunteers appear that Perriello wouldnt be in the parade. But when the tractor turned the corner there he was atop the hay, handing out candy, smiling and waving to everyone.

I love a parade- most politicians do. It is a great opportunity to shake hands and connect with a lot of people in a very happy setting. All the politicians of the day were on and the crowd clearly appreciated their participation.

We ran into Kristen Szakos and her mom, Obama volunteers in our area. She gave me a button and a sticker (to cover my coffee stained shirt- dont ask, I am such a clutz) and a clipboard to register voters. I didnt register anyone, didnt really even ask anyone. It is a great thing that Kristen and the Obama Volunteers are doing, and as co-Chair of the party I will support their efforts, but sometimes a girl just wants to watch a parade- especially when my family was in it.

Candy and parades are not one in the same in my mind. When I went to parades as a child, there was no candy. In Germany I remember a parade with candy during Octoberfest- I thought I had gone to Heaven. I didnt attend a candy throwing parade until several years ago, in Buchanan, VA. I am not a big advocate of the candy- its messy and the small fastidious part of me feels like I need to pick up the candy from the street. Thankfully we had a woman with a picnic cooler near us collecting candy from everyone so we didnt need a bag or bring any candy home.

I will post photos to Flickr when I have a moment.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Rescue mission

UPDATE: So US military did not rescue these hostages-oops, Columbian military folks infiltrated the group holding them captive and rescued them. Lets face it, it is great news for those hostages and their families. I will leave the original post below to remind myself to read things thoroughly. Oh and I still am proud of our troops even if they had nothing to do with this rescue.

I am so proud of our troops.
Today- hostages are rescued in Columbia.
Did you even know there were hostages in Columbia? Turns out they have been held hostage for the past 6 years.

Impressive- those men and women who leave their families, train and prepare for all sorts of danger, execute a mission as planned and return home anonymously. Amazing. Thank you.

Twitter/WF and Sonic Drive In

Because of Twitter and Jim Duncan I now follow Whole Foods tweets which led me to their blog and now I must go shopping. It is impressive how this store is using social networking to maximize their branding. I am really looking forward to earning more money so I can afford to go to WF when the store opens in the city (fingers crossed), for now I will stick with the items that are in fact cheaper at WF than at other stores (milk for one).

One of the latest things I want in Charlottesville is Sonic Drive IN. I discovered it in Waynesboro a few months ago, and found it again in Virginia Beach and Hampton. Honestly I know very little about their food, I enjoyed the breakfast sandwich I bought there in May. But in my mind, the place is all about drinks and desserts, whatever type of you can possibly think of.

Look at this fun map of where Sonic's core and developing markets are. If you are interested in a franchise check out that part of the website too. Perhaps if they were on twitter I could be the first to know when the next one is built near us.

I know - why would I want to promote drive in places when less vehicle will help our energy crisis NOW? It is a good question, but I dont want to have to drive over the mountain for my blackberry sprite fix (j/k I prefer the malteds and coffee drinks).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More grieving- I am at anger with the media.

"Coalition Troop Deaths in Afghanistan surpass Iraq."

Comparisons of death tolls? This is what we have come to? The article is about numbers, not people or war, just numbers.

Why am I so irritated by this?
1. Progress or lack of progress is not measured by numbers of dead.
2. Behind the numbers are PEOPLE- with families who prefer not to be regarded as a number to compare to another war.
3. I want to know WHY, ANALYZE the information, dont just be spoon fed the information and spoon feed it back. I dont go to CNN for in depth analysis, I do however expect some context to be provided. The article is all the same talking points regurgitated- including the particularly egregious "resiliant Taliban" as if we didnt know that already- it is Afghanistan- resiliant is the foundation of being Afghan(i).
4. CNN perpetuates the notion that the only thing newsworthy in these two wars we are involved in is the death of troops- I am sure the troops who are protecting each other, us and the countrymen of Iraq/Afghanistan believe newsworthy things are happening all the time. Even if blood and guts sells, wounded people be mentioned and perhaps even the heroics of those who died. Context being KEY.


I will now try to find acceptance and/or something less frustrating to blog about.

I have an idea- dont kill police officers

Don't kill cops, then the jailers will not have the opportunity to kill you. For the record, I prefer a system where the court system handles the criminals, not those who espouse vigilante justice since our system relies on innocence till proven guilty. At the same time, I do not have any sympathy for accused cop-killers who are found dead in their jail cell.

I am sorry for the accused's grieving family, clearly the person who killed the accused should be tried/convicted/punished for the crime. But seriously, this never would have happened, if that thug didnt kill a person who was doing his job to protect the community from thugs like him.

I grieve the loss of that police officer-whose partner died several years ago while on duty, who started a fund to support his deceased partner's family, whose children will never have daddy come home again, whose wife will now struggle to keep her family together without his income and meager insurance. Dont kill police officers and you probably wont end up dead in a holding cell.

Mini-lecture- it completely undermines the trust we have in the police/sheriff's department if accused people end up dead. Prince Georges county, MD will likely not recover from these murders any time soon. If you are an officer in that County, how will you ever get witnesses to cooperate with you? how will juries trust what you are saying when it could just be expedience? how can you go out and do your job when this guys' cohorts put a target on your back? Understatement- nothing good will come from this.