Friday, October 01, 2004

Odds and Ends

Hmm.. this is going to be weird. Truth be told I got nothin' in terms of a single topic to blog about. I have bits and pieces all over the place. And a really cool idea for weekend blogging (if Amazon ever shows up with my recent order of Hugh Hewitt and John Fund's books). So let's just let the words fly and see where they go. That's what Nick Coleman says we do anyway. And he has Real Journalist Credentials, so he can't be wrong, can he?

Tomato season ended tonight. I went to work this morning, and it was 50 degrees. I came home this evening and it was 40. Tonight will drop below 30.

So I went out and filled a huge bucket with green tomatoes. Fried green tomatoes for dinner tonight. Yum.

Froze a lot of ripe tomatoes tonight. Those will make awesome sauce over the winter. Harvest numbers were still way down this year. Bitch-goddess frigid August has earned my lasting contempt. You call that summer? Ha! September was more Augusty than you!

Let it go.

***

The aftermath of the debate is interesting. My impressions:

Anyone trying to focus in on Bush "sneering" is simply trying to channel the last election where Gore shot himself in the foot with sighing and generally acting like an ass. Bush's facial expressions were not the story last night. Amuse the already converted by talking about how silly Bush looked all you'd like. You'll get some laughs. But it's not relevant to moving the polls.

"Bush sneered" is a poor substitute for what Limbaugh and Hewitt drew from Kerry's responses in any case. They both leapt right into the substance of Kerry's replies and both found plenty to bludgeon Kerry with to his detriment. Hugh had the most succinct summation of Kerry's 3 fatal blunders, so I will paraphrase him:

1. Global test for using U. S. force
2. No U. S. Nuke research
3. War on Terror is all about bin Laden.

That's substantive stuff. And Kerry specifically chose to stand behind those points. And those comprise a losing position in my opinion.

Look, I admired Kerry's performance in the debate last night in itself. I did think the positions he backed were weaker than Bush's, but was uncertain of the general public's assessment about it. But with Hugh spelling it out in detail, I think I underestimated the importance.

For example, Bush hit the campaign trail today hammering Kerry on these points. And it sounded darned effective. Those issues sound like winners, and Kerry has no time to flip-flop away from them without increasing the damage.

So color me cautiously optimistic. I stand by my judgement that Kerry won on style points. But what the debate means to the race matters far more than what it means in debating points. And I'm beginning to suspect Bush did better here than even his allies realized last night.

***

We go to the fire station tomorrow. An open house for kids to visit real fire men and see real fire trucks.

As a parent of three kids 4 and under, I'm mildly terrified. They'll likely all enjoy it... but how? And more importantly, how destructively will they express their enjoyment?

***

For the record I did go out and buy that "Rome: Total War" game. It's geekilishus. The sort of game I would have played non-stop over several over-nighters in a row in the old days. But not these days. I'm not even out of the tutorials yet after several days of ownership. Good game though. Historically accurate pre-Imperial Roman units are (eyes-tearing-up) something I've always wanted. Killing equally accurately rendered Carthegenians, Gauls, and Macedonians means a lot to me.

***

By the way... I probably haven't mentioned so far, but I'm a HUGE Nebraska Cornhusker fan. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, by the way. Uncle Bill holds the season tickets; from which he kindly lets me borrow one of every so often.

Nebraska football is a kind of social glue for the men in my very large extended family on my dad's side. On the occasion of my youngest daughter's baptism, I made sure we had a radio at the reception to broadcast the Husker game. I'm fairly sure listening to the Husker game was the more important ritual that day.

Some day I will photoblog a visit to Lincoln, NE on game day. It is literally the most ideal football setting you can imagine. Sportsmanship is HUGE in Lincoln. They have a longstanding tradition of standing and applauding the visiting team when they leave the field at the end of the game - win or lose. And it's sincere. This is a stadium where booing the opposing team will get you scolded by Nebraska fans sitting around you. "We're not like that here," you're told.

In any case, Nebraska has a new coach and is rebuilding this year. They're still good, but not Nebraska-level good. It's going to be rough. Which only makes us Nebraska fans pay even more attention.

The Huskers kick-off tomorrow night at 6 p.m. against Kansas. Kansas hasn't beaten Nebraska in 35 years, the longest streak among teams who play every year in college football. This year Kansas has a decent shot. I'm on pins and needles from 6 until whenever tomorrow.

Go Huskers!

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