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Showing posts from August, 2004

GOP convention day 2 transcripts

Was jogging but had my Sony Walkman radio on to hear the speeches.

The Arnold's speech really pumped up the crowd. His immigrant story, his explaination of what Republicans are about and his humor was all right on target. Will people start pushing for an amendment to the Constitution? Like the Mayor the night before, he has a stage presence that is impossible to ignore.

The bit with Jenna and Barbara was a little hokey. Their humor at times seems a little forced and they seemed a little antsy. But, afterall, they are twenty-two years old and have hardly been on the national stage so I'm not going to nit-pick them any more. I'm sure after the campaign is over they will return to trying to live out of the spotlight and go onto relatively normal lives. I will say the litany of how they were trying to find a role in the WH and campaign but ran into various people was cute and did underscore a serious point: Bush has assembled an incredible team around him.

The First Lad…

McCain and the Mayor

Caught parts of the two headliner speeches at the GOP Convention in New York.

The transcript for McCain's speech.

Excerpts:

It's a fight between a just regard for human dignity and a malevolent force that defiles an honorable religion by disputing God's love for every soul on earth. It's a fight between right and wrong, good and evil.

And my friends, should our enemies acquire for their arsenal the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons they seek, this war will become a much bigger thing.

So it is, whether we wished it or not, that we have come to the test of our generation, to our rendezvous with destiny. And much is expected of us.
................
My friends in the Democratic Party -- and I'm fortunate to call many of them my friends -- assure us they share the conviction that winning the war against terrorism is our government's most important obligation. I don't doubt their sincerity.

They emphasize that military action alone won't protect us, th…

Do the rich pay their "fair" share of the taxes?

You decide after you take a look at the graphic in this article.

Hat tip to the Instapundit.

A Tale of Two Teams

1-0 was the final score as the Iraqi soccer team came up short in the dream of an Olympic Bronze medal.

89-81 was the final score as the USA "Dream" team lost in the semis in basketball and now will play for bronze tomorrow.

One team had so many obstacles to overcome rose to the occasion and gave us all and especially their nation so much excitement.

One team had everything going for them failed to realize it was a team game and flopped on the world stage and even fans in the USA were either rooting for their defeat or indifferent to the outcome.

When the USA went to the NBA player in 1992, it was no contest but sports analysts were saying it would just be a matter of time before that wouldn't be enough to gain the Gold in basketball. Well, that day arrived a mere 12 years later.

To be honest, if we sent over a college team that played a team game with some heart and lost, I wouldn't feel badly.

It will be interesting what kind of team will be sent in 2008 and f…

the marriage gap in voting

Here is an item on voting patterns. For so long, people spoke of the gender gap in voting, i.e. women vote democrat instead of republican. But here is an article that says the marriage gap dwarfs it, i.e. married women vote republican and single women vote democrat.

Does Military Service Matter in Presidents?

The news seems to have parallel universes though the blogosphere got the jump on the "mainstream" media on the inconsistencies in Kerry's recollections of his military service. Now, the mainstream media is starting to look more closely. Here is an item in of all places, Business Week Online, that takes one of the more balanced looks at Kerry's war time record. The article also discusses the President who led the USA during the Vietnam War, LBJ, and brings some historical perspective I haven't heard before.

Hat tip to Professor Bainbridge.

My take:
(1) Combat military service by itself doesn't tell us much. I'm told FDR didn't see combat yet he is regarded as one of the major presidents of the 20th Century. Democrats love Bill Clinton and he didn't serve at all. People who don't like Clinton may cite his avoidance of military service but usually the complaints are on political matters.
(2) Certainly, Eisenhower benefitted from his mil…

Dodger fans on edge

That is the thing about baseball: one game you think your team can make it to the Series then the next game you wonder if they will collapse again and break the hearts of the fans.

Heard the dramatic 3-2 win over the Braves on the radio on Friday. Saw parts of the win on Saturday on Fox. Went to the game on Sunday when the Braves got 8 runs in the second inning. Me and my friends more or less just chatted the rest of the game and only periodically paid attention to what was happening on the field.

Dodger fans are on the edge. The usually reliabe Alvarez get tagged in the 2nd inning on Sunday. He was hit hard in the first inning but fortunately right to the outfielders. Monday, Perez got tagged by the Expos and the Dodgers were down 7-1. They came back only to walk in the go ahead run in the bottom of the ninth losing 8-7.

Today, Ishii is on the mound and he has been blasted in many of his recent starts. But what can the Dodgers do? Penny still hasn't thrown a pitch and…

Great day for Dodger fans!

I was telling a friend that if things don't change, people are going to have to talk Dodger fans "off the ledge."

And last night, at the top of the 9th, fans were edging closer when Gagne surrendered the lead for the third night in row.

With a 2-1 lead, the Braves went to Smoltz and I thought, one of two things is going to happen, he is going to strike out the side or one of the Dodgers is going to tag one to the bleachers. That is the drama of baseball, the hard throwing closer versus the big bat. Strike out or home run. Beltre hit one to the right field bleachers on a 3-2 count and I was going bananas. I must have been a sight to other drivers as I was inside my car hearing the call on the radio.

In the bottom of the eleventh, Beltre hit a 2-2 pitch to the right field pavillion and the Dodgers won 3-2. AMAZING!!!

To read the recap.

Meanwhile, the Angels beat the Yankees 5-0. So all was good in Southern California sports fandom!

I am a Dodger fan first but I am ke…

Afghan Female Runner in Olympics

Gotta love this story.

Excerpts:
ATHENS, Greece – The greatest 100-meter dash of these Olympics took 14.14 seconds and a 108 years to complete.

As Robina Muqimyar crossed the finish line in her preliminary heat on Friday, she threw her hands toward the heavens. Her hair flapped in the breeze in a way that still isn't allowed on the streets of her native Afghanistan.

There was the crowd, cheering for her not because of her performance – Muqimyar finished a distant seventh – but because she performed at all; Muqimyar is one of two groundbreaking Afghani women who are representing their country and gender for the first time ever here in Athens. The modern Olympic Games resumed in 1896.


Read the full story to see what she had to overcome and still must overcome in the post-Taliban Afghanistan.

Getting nervous in Dodgertown

Penny winds up on the DL. Dreifort is done for the season. Gagne loses two games.

The last few seasons, Dodgers fans would hope only to see the team flounder as the season nears the end.

Is it happening again?

The starting rotation right now is Perez, Weaver, Lima, Alvarez and Ishii.

Perez has been hard luck all season with lots of good outings but little run support.

Weaver, after initially struggling, has settled into a pretty reliable starter.

Lima and Alvarez aren't power pitchers but they are hitting their spots and have done way better than expected.

Ishii has been going downhill for a few months now. Fans are clamoring for a change in the #5 spot. It might be time to bring in the middle relievers to tag team a start and have one of them go for 3-5 innings. Perhaps Carrara or Sanchez or Dessens.

Offensively, the Dodger bats are doing much more than last year. Finley has been a plus. But Penny remains to be seen as he is on the DL and Mota's departure has left the…

Public speaking engagment

Do you like public speaking?

As an introvert, public speaking isn't something I naturally gravitate to. Yet, I enjoy teaching and thus, public speaking. But just as I have learned to be a "functional extrovert" for short periods of time, I find public speaking to be terrifying but fun at the same time.

Anyway, blogging will be non-existant for a handful of days as I prep for the talk.

The presentation is titled, "Explaining the Origins of Life: Evolution and Intelligent Design, Prospects and Problems."

UPDATE: Well, I think the talk went reasonably well. I managed to cover all the material in a little over one hour followed by about half an hour of questions and discussion.

At times, I felt I was talking like an auctioneer on too much caffeine! People liked the video and DVD clips I interspersed into the talk and I liked the break they gave me from talking! I recommend Snap Pro for obtaining clips from DVDs for usage in presentations. I used Keyn…

Dodgers 8 Cubs 1

Good to see that Dreifort was able to bounce back and pitch an uneventful eighth inning in the victory today. It was an important outing as he was, at that time, protecting a 2-1 lead. The Dodgers pounded six runs against the hapless Cub bullpen in the top of the ninth. As such, Gagne gets to rest today so Brazoban got the call for the bottom of the ninth to mop up.

LA Blogs: LA insight

LA Blogs has this survey item.

1. How long have you lived in Los Angeles?

36 out of 41 years. I was at UC Irvine for graduate school. Sorry OC, I still think of that as part of my LA life.

2. Were you born here?

Yes, in 1963.

3. How long did you plan on staying here originally?

Growing up, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I did live in DC from 1993-1997 and SF 1997-1998. I really enjoyed those town. They are soooooo different from LA. I could imagine someday not living in LA.

4. How long do you plan on staying here now?

Don't know. For now, I have no plans to move.

5. What keeps you here?

I have a decent job and my immediate family is here.

6. What makes you want to leave?

Smog and traffic. Growing up in LA, I didn't think it was so bad. But having lived elsewhere (SF and DC has its share of traffic but nothing like LA) and as for smog though LA has improved considerably, it is still quite a bit worse than SF or DC.

7. What is your biggest suprise about li…

Dodgers miss Mota

Dodgers lose 6-5.

Reason: Dreifort had a bad outing in the 8th. He came in with the Dodgers up 5-3 and gave up a walk and a tying homer. Brazoban gave up the hit that allowed the go ahead run to score.

Box score with the dismal details.

Dreifort might simply not have enough good stuff or his body is wearing down. Brazoban throws hard enough but he doesn't have the experience. Don't know if Tracy will go with Sanchez as his 8th inning set-up guy. It might be set-up man by committee now that Mota is gone.

We are just sheep: in the mood for shopping

Don't use my hotmail account for too much. It is over-run with junk mail.

But I check in now and then.

And in the left features tab there was this article about the sneaky things stores do to get us to buy stuff.

Being a typical guy, shopping isn't nearly the social and sensual pleasure it is for some of my women friends.

When I shop alone, I go in there and get what I need and go. When I have shopped with women friends, I find it fascinating to watch them "go to work." It is delightful to watch their eyes light up as they find something they like and amusing to hear the running commentary they give as they browse. For those who think men and women are just the same except for plumbing haven't been shopping with someone of the opposite sex!

Nonetheless, it was informative to read the list of things that are at work in the stores. Here is the list:
1. Music makes you buy more
2. The sweet smell of success
3. The color of money
4. Location, location, locat…

This enemy has no honor

I remember the first few stories of the terrorists beheading their captives. Eventually, it became "white noise" that I didn't pay attention to.

TGOM over at Drink this... has posted this item to remind us all of just how many people and from how many nations have faced the news of beheadings and kidnappings.

Phillies 4 Dodgers 1

Dodgers lose on top of the bad news that Brad Penny left the game after 2/3rd an inning with a strained muscle.

Carrara and Alvarez stepped in to keep the game close allowing only 1 run between them. Sanchez gave up 2 runs in the top of the ninth in 2 innings of work.

Dodgers finally broke through for one run in the bottom of the ninth but they were clearly dominated by superior pitching.

Fans are worried. If Penny is out then the pitching rotation is in a shambles. Also, CF Finley has been injured and hasn't seen much playing time. So far only Mayne and Choi have seen any regular playing time after giving up Roberts, Encarnacion, LoDuca, Mota and Martin.

The dog days of August are here. Will the Dodgers swoon or somehow hold it together?

Maddux gets 300

The Story of the day. Period.

A class act. An amazing feat. Might not ever happen again. Can't say enough about the guy.

Dodgers Holding Firm So Far

After the big moves, the Dodgers swept the Pirates but you are supposed to do that. They dropped the first game against the Phillies but considering they were down 5-0 getting the game into overtime was quite an accomplishment.

Gagne got hit hard in his 2nd inning of work. You have to wonder if he was out of gas. He had 3 innings on Sunday then more work on Tuesday and Wednesday then Friday night they trotted him out there for an inning and then asked for another. On the other hand, if there wasn't a throwing error, the whole situation would have been different.

Tonight, the Dodgers took it to the Phillies *but* Brazoban gave up a run and then Dreifort gave up two and the call came for Gagne to get the last out. Without Mota, the bullpen *is* weaker and its showing already with an earlier in the week loss late in the game and Gagne running out of gas Friday night and tonight's 3 runs in 2 innings of work by the pen.

Meanwhile, what of Ishii? He has has several bad outings…

Go Dodgers!

Well, you can't say that DePodesta played it safe. He has swung for the fences.

From a quick read of the ESPN.com comments they say the Dodgers were losers in the trade deadline shuffle.

Bringing in a starter was key. The question was how much would they give up to get one. He brought in hard throwing Penny but the price was pretty steep with LoDuca and Mota. However, in defense of DePodesta, LoDuca does tend to wear out in the 2nd half though he does provide the "intangibles" in terms of hustle and a good clubhouse presence and a calming influence on the pitchers. Mota as a set-up guy is tough to give up but to get someone you got to give up someone.

Losing Encarnacion is probably okay as the Dodgers have a solid outfield and Encarnacion has been hurt on and off so wasn't a key piece to the Dodger success so far.

Bringing in Finley was an interesting move which I suppose makes sense since the Dodgers also gave up OF Roberts so we needed at least one replaceme…