only 7 more days to go

I'm still really stoked about Obama's rally yesterday. Mainly just by the fact that that many people came out to see him. It has renewed my faith in this country enough that, even if McCain wins, I'll know that, while the idiots are in charge, there are enough other sane people here to make it worthwhile.

For any of you out there who are still undecided or are considering voting for McCain, you might check out Andrew Sullivan's article on Why Conservatives Should Vote for Obama. It's as concise a list that I've seen as to why he will make an excellent leader of our nation.

I also saw this today on Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
"All too aware that, should he win, these cascading crises will leave Obama with no time to gain his sea legs and terrifyingly little margin for error, he and his people, to a degree few realize, have been planning their transition from campaigning to governing for months with characteristic care and rigor. Like so much about Obama's historic bid for the presidency, the first few days and weeks and months will be like nothing we have seen before -- and all of it grounded in the insight that, mind-boggling as it might sound, winning was the easy part. These are Democrats they'll be dealing with, after all."
For some reason, I highly doubt that beyond measuring the drapes, McCain is already putting into place plans to lead this country. He's the same sort of cocky as George W Bush after all, and I'm sure he believes that all he has to do to run our government is sit his ass down behind the Oval Office desk and everything will be right as rain.


yay amuricka

On a chilly, autumn day in Fort Collins, Colorado, thousands (and I mean thousands) of folks turned out to wait in line to see one Barack Obama speak on the CSU campus. Luckily, friends Doug and Liz, who had already been waiting for an hour, let me join up with them so I ended up a lot closer to the gate than I would've otherwise. They got there at 11.30a and were probably a quarter of a mile away from the beginning of the line. By the time I got there an hour later we got word that the line was at least a mile long.

And just to put it into context, Obama wasn't even supposed to start speaking until 3.30p. So people stood in line for hours just to hear a politician give pretty much the same stump speech he's been giving for the past two weeks. Friend Doug was pretty freaked out about it. For the most part everyone was friendly and considerate. Even though quite a few people cut in line once it started moving, the free cheeseburger I got made up for their bad deeds.

I have to say, his speech was totally awesome. Seriously. I got chills even though I've heard it all a billion times already. It was great to be there with that many people who all believe that this one guy can make a difference.

We were too far back in the crowd for me to get a really good picture, but here's dark, shadowy evidence that Obama and I occupied the same square mile radius on this green Earth at the same time:

And, here's one more shot of the crowd. All of these people were standing back behind us.

Updated to add: I just saw online that 45,000 people showed up. Holy crap! That's nearly half the town.


one i actually like

The Streets, for Daytrotter.


it's done

Early voting began yesterday in 'rado, so I took advantage. Unlike other places I've read about (North Carolina, Florida) there was no line and 90% of the other participants were old people. I was just dropping off my mail-in ballot, so I didn't get the full voting experience and thus, the whole event was really anticlimactic. It feels good to have it over with though and now I can move on to obsessing over polls and what everyone else is doing.

If McCain wins I don't know if I'll be able to go on. I will definitely have to seriously examine whether or not I want to live in a country that is so conservative that the residents don't care if the best man for the job is actually employed to do that job, they just want someone in office who reflects their moral values. Regardless of what damage is done. I say this because so far, no one who supports McCain can give me any solid reasons for doing so, just that he's not Obama and he's a Republican. Not good reasons in my opinion, as so far, during this year's campaign, he's shown himself to be dangerously reckless and woefully ignorant about how to fix our country.

These are going to be the longest two weeks of my life.


the sinking ship (fingers crossed)

I've long had a soft spot in my heart for Colin Powell. It was strengthened when he stood up to Bush and his cronies in 2004 (?) by telling Americans that Bush had lied about the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Today, it was solidified when he stood up to his party yet again by endorsing Obama. Instead of just toeing the party line he stated his opinion of who will be better able to lead this country out of the trouble we're in with his usual understated dignity and eloquence.

And, of course, the right wing nutjobs are calling him unpatriotic and unAmerican and every other 'un' you can think of. General Colin Powell unpatriotic? Whatever. This is why politics make me crazy.


it's really happening

I met with Gallery Owner Lady yesterday. Get this. She's 23 years old. Which makes me feel really...old. But despite that she seems to know what she's doing. At least from my side of the fence.

1) Breckenridge seems like a pretty good place to sell art—there are a lot of rich people there.
2) She has eight other artists lined up so far.
3) She went to high school in England.
4) She has an art degree and an international business degree.
5) While in college, she worked at various galleries in Denver.
6) Eventually she wants to open up galleries on all of the sundry continents.
7) Most importantly, she seems really, really excited about making it work.

Regardless, if I decide I want out, I just have to give her two weeks notice and then we're done, so it really seems like I can't lose.

She's planning on holding opening night festivities on Dec 5. If anyone wants to come, let me know and I'll put you on the list.*

*I've always wanted to be able to say that. It's so rock star.


my rant for the day

When did liberal + progressive = unpatriotic + unAmerican?

Most of the liberal minded folk I know actually believe more strongly in the tenets of the Constitution (i.e. freedom and equality for all) than the conservative folk I've come across.

Just sayin'.


i may actually, finally live in a blue state

For the most part, the current Electoral College Map put out by FiveThirtyEight.com makes me extremely happy—especially to see states like Virginia and Missouri leaning towards Obama—part of me is still dismayed to see that many states who still think McPalin is going to put this country on the right track. I realize that quite a few of those people are voting against Obama, rather than for McCain, but still.

I read the other day that Betsey Markey, who is running against the Marilyn Musgrave, is about to run out of money and may not be able to place any more advertising, so if you care at all about getting one of the worst Congresspeople out of power, maybe consider giving Markey some of your scarce dollars, or volunteer for her phone bank or canvassing efforts. You can do so here.

I cannot believe that we still have three more weeks of this. I need a break, so tonight, instead of watching the final debate—mostly because I know it will make me very, very angry, I am going to see Fleet Foxes live in Denver. It think that's a better use of my time, right?


am i a dork?

I'm just not really sure.

In high school, I most definitely was. Skinny, gawky, braces and glasses at the same time (until my parents took pity on me and got me contact lenses), not good at sports, in drama and band, on the National Honors Society, eighth in my class. The list goes on.

Sometime after I graduated from high school though, some sort of transformation occurred somewhere along the line unnoticed by me, and now I'm not so sure that I fit the definition any longer.

1) I'm a lot more stupid than I was in high school.
2) I'm fairly athletic now and most of my hobbies include some sort of outdoor activity.
3) I still read fairly obsessively, but mostly fiction.
4) My obsessions include politics, college basketball, rock climbing, art, music and movies.
5) I don't consider myself a hipster, but I do know more about the indie music scene than I care to admit.
6) I make my living in what I think is a pretty solidly non-dorky industry: graphic design. I can be kind of a typography dork—often naming which typefaces are used on things like menus and such and then telling the folks I'm with why they chose either correctly or incorrectly, but I'm not sure that qualifies.

Why am I wondering about this you might ask? Well, it's time for the second annual Dorkfest hosted by Michael5000, and today's assignment is to tell everyone why you're a dork.

And, I'm just not sure that I am. Dangit.


the face series

Camouflage, 40 x 30

I've decided that I'm going to do a Face Series. So, counting the cowboy, this would be number 2. I like the monochromatic-ness of this one, but not too sure about the purple.


stop freaking out

'Hello. This is [my financial planner].'
'Sell it. Sell it all. I'm freaking out. Sell it.'
'Ok. We can do that. Do you want me to tell you why you shouldn't?'
Long pause.
'Yes, please.'

Thankfully, she talked me down off the ledge.

Things I'm currently, actively trying not to think/freak out about before my brain explodes: voter registration fraud, Obama being assassinated by some right wing nutjob, not being able to afford food in a couple of weeks, the scab on my foot from my bike accident a week and half ago maybe not healing correctly, McPalin being elected despite what the polls say, the Bradley Effect, the fact that they still don't know what to do with the $700b bailout money and, first and foremost, obviously, the stock market and the next Great Depression.


this is heartening

Fort Collins has had the misfortune (and bad judgment) to put one of the worst Congresspeople in office for not just one, but two terms and she's currently trying for her third. This year, though, it seems like we might finally be able to get rid of Satan's wife, Marilyn Musgrave:

If you live in FtC, get out there and vote for Markey—put an end to Musgrave's reign of terror. Also, there's a debate between the two Thursday night which is being aired on C-Span.

On the national side of things, I've been reading a lot about The Bradley Effect, which is named after some dude who tried to run for governor (?) in California sometime in the 80's. Basically it says that people will say they're comfortable voting for a black candidate when talking face-to-face with a pollster, but then when in the voting booth do the opposite. My dad, who's pretty cynical about politics, thinks this will hold true in this year's Presidential election and that ultimately the polls are false. I want to believe that as a country we've moved beyond discriminating against someone based solely on the color of their skin, but in my heart of hearts I'm not sure we have.

I want this to be over!


i'm not sure how i feel about this one

Vaquero, 30 x 40

But I'll put it aside for now and work on some others. Maybe when it's not so fresh I'll feel differently. Or I may just erase it and start over.


Friend Nikki dropped off some home grown tomatoes today. They're delicious.

it's funny 'cause it's true


two down

I was a painting machine this weekend, finally finishing this one that I started last week, and getting a whole 'nother one completed this afternoon.

Geek Love, Part 1, 24 x 36

Geek Love, Part 2, 24 x 36

These two are based on a couple of digital illustrations that I did which were inspired by the novel, 'Geek Love' by Katherine Dunn.

Feedback is welcome.

oh yeah

I didn't get a chance to watch the game today, but h-o-l-y c-r-a-p!

The come from behind victory tied the third biggest comeback in school history behind only a 26-point deficit at Iowa State in 1992 and a 21-point deficit vs. Colorado in 1950.

Kansas improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Big 12, while Iowa State fell to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the league.

So, maybe last year wasn't a fluke after all. This was only Iowa State, but still, to come back from that far behind? Amazing.


let the rationalizing begin

I like how this is the new standard for doing well in a vice presidential debate:

Yes, she wins high marks for emerging from the debate still standing and still smiling.

- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
I chose this quote because it was the latest one I'd read today, but I've seen it several other places. So, Sarah Palin deserves credit for 'still standing'? If it were anyone else, everyone would be saying, today, that she lost hands down. They would be talking about how she didn't directly answer any of the questions and how ill prepared and uninformed she was. Instead, they talk about her flag pin and how 'real' she seemed.


When did our standards get so low? Is it because she's a woman? Is it because everyone feels sorry for her?

She cannot do the job, people. She is incapable. She is inexperienced. She is the worst choice for a vice presidential candidate since America became a country 3 million years ago. Why should we lower our standards just to make the choice seem not like the slap in the face that it is?


well, at least it's over

Biden knocked it out of the park, I thought. He didn't patronize and he obviously knows what the hell he's talking about. I'm really glad he didn't say anything stupid.

Palin didn't totally blow it, but she didn't answer any of the questions. She stuck to the talking points and didn't inject any of her own ideas or thoughts. Probably because she doesn't have any. I'm already tired of the folksy schtick.

So, overall I don't think this debate is gonna change anything poll wise, but Palin definitely saved her own skin.

a summation

I am generally not an optimistic person, especially when it comes to what passes for politics in this country. Therefore, I have been a nervous wreck all day today. I'm anxious. I want Biden to do really well, because I think (probably erroneously) that this will cement the election in Obama's favor. What I don't want is for Palin to do well, because then we will have to deal with her for two more weeks. If she tanks tonight, I suspect that McLiar will replace her on the ticket.

Needless to say, I've been obsessively reading all of the political stuff I can get my hands on today, to see if there's any consolation anywhere in the world.

There's not really, but Christopher Orr from The Plank offers probably the most coherent prediction of what needs to happen in tonight's debate of everything I've read today:

Now, I think it's still true that Palin's performance tonight is likely to be the more crucial--if she craters, she's done; if she does even marginally okay, she'll stop the bleeding. But there may again be a difference between elite and voter expectations similar to the one that prevailed last week. Among other factors, I suspect many undecided voters feel they know more about Sarah Palin at this point than they do about Joe Biden.

Could Biden screw the debate up badly with a series of gaffes or a bout of senatorial bloviating? Sure. But if he's as funny and approachable and casually hyperfluent on policy as he's been at his best, it's possible he could win this thing regardless of what Palin does.

--Christopher Orr
I think he's pretty spot on. Obama, who was the new guy last week, won the debate in the minds of independents and undecideds because they really had no idea who he was and he convinced them that he was ready and able to be President.

This week, weirdly, Biden is the new guy. The press haven't talked about him that much, everyone's been too focused on Palin, and in much of the country, he has not been much of a Congressional Superstar like, say, Hilary Clinton or Ted Kennedy.

Tonight will be very interesting to say the least. I will be on the edge of my seat, ripping out my hair and chewing on my fingernails until it's over.

are you registered?

Are you absolutely 100% positive that your registration to vote is solid and good to go? Go here to see if your registration info is up to date.* 'Rado's deadline is October 6th. Get it in there.

*Thanks LSL for the link


fingers crossed, praying to that god i'm not sure exists

As we near the night of the Vice Presidential debate, I'd like to take a look at what we know about Sarah Palin.

1) She's a Young Earth Creationist. Meaning, she honestly believes that the Earth is only 7,000 years old and that dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time.
2) During her term as Mayor of Wasilia, Ak she tried to get books about homosexuality banned from the local library. When the librarian refused, she had her fired and then rehired her when the town protested. Can you say abuse of power, anyone? Reminds me of another moron who's in charge.
3) Her husband, Todd is a member of the Alaskan Secessionist Movement. Which means that he feels, strongly enough, that the values of America don't match his values and therefore, the state he lives in should secede and become its own country. Yet, his wife wants to be the Vice President of the entire country he hates so much.
4) When asked what newspapers she reads on a regular basis, her reply was, 'All of them. Whichever ones have been in front of me this whole time.' Supposedly she has a journalism degree and was a tv news anchor yet she can't name any newspapers?
5) She thinks that because Russia is visible from the western-most point of Alaska (an island she's never visited by the way), this gives her foreign policy experience.
6) She also said that Putin has invaded American air space, a statement disproved by the United States Air Force.
7) Troopergate and the Bridge to Nowhere—two more lies in her arsenal.

Do we really want this person in charge of the country? Honestly? McCain is 7 billion years old and it is probable that he could die in office, which means that Palin is literally a heartbeat away from the Presidency. All crazy beliefs aside, I used to think that she was a fairly intelligent woman who got thrust too early on the national stage, but now, I'm just not so sure. An intelligent person would be able to think of The New York Times for Pete's sake. Or The Wall Street Journal since she's a Republican. C'mon. And an intelligent person would've said no to McCain's invitation knowing that she wasn't ready for it yet. If her ticket is not nominated on Nov 4, she's pretty much committed political suicide. She'll never have another job in politics in this country after she is done being Governor of Alaska.

Biden, please, please don't say anything stupid tomorrow night. Please?

happy birthday nasa

Today celebrates 50 years of America's number one space agency. They've posted a retrospective. And, you can download any of the images you want. For free.