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Musings and Meanderings

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Mega Update Blog..

Personal first, politics second.

Personal odds and ends.

The Car

I got a good offer today (yea Sunday go figure) from Progressive Insurance Co today on the Nissan. They are indeed totaling the vehicle, and they offered right around what I could have sold the vehicle for on the open market, this is more than the dealer trade - in and less than what a dealer would sell it for. The big decision is whether to give them the car, or to go pick up the car. If I give them the car then I get the rental till Friday, and they get to keep 150 of the write off. If I go get my car back (it is drivable) then I get the whole amount. So is the trade in worth more than 150 in it's wrecked state? Can my car guy find me a vehicle I want by next Friday? These are the questions I have to research on Monday.


Is home in NH and resting fine. The ankle surgery went longer than expected and she is laid up for quite a while. I keep missing her; she is usually asleep when I call. But Dad said they rented one of those hospital type beds and she is downstairs. Alex and I didn't go out this weekend due to the weather. It didn't stop sleeting and freezing rain till Saturday afternoon and by then it was too late to get a move on. Due to the accident they may be there longer than they expected so we may go out in a few weekends.

Liza's trip to the Office

..... took a plane ride to Cincinnati lol. Her company's headquarters is in OH and they held their kick off the year meeting there this year. This was her first visit to the Home Office because usually they do the Road Map meetings regionally. After such a tough year for the company they wanted to start the New Year right.

Liza received the top award for her district, which isn't a trip to Cancun mind you :-) but it was a great recognition as to her achievements in a lousy economic environment. Its called the Leadership Award and is one of those translucent Lucite jobbies that has the letters etched into them. VERY classy company as usual. She had a great time and now two of the home offices Gnomes have the hots for her as well. Poor girl always seems to have these silly older men getting obsessed with her. Now what any late 30's ego needs is some young hottie to obsess on her. lol. No I don't get jealous over these things.

How I spent my Single Dad weekend.

Movies: Alex and I rented three movies this weekend. Pirates of the Caribbean; Charlies Angels II; and Underworld.

Pirates was really great, and Jonny Depp rocked in this one. The female lead was bugging me all movie, as I couldn’t place her, but knew her voice and eyebrows. The IMDB told me the answer: she was the co-star in Bend it Like Beckham. Anyway the movie was very fun and a great ghost story. There were many "scenes" from the ride too so that was fun as well. Overall I would give it a 4 out of 5 for entertainment value alone.

Charlies Angels: Full Throttle however gets one star. Its really quite bad. The support cast is atrocious. The "special Effects" are so bad as to make you wonder if that was the intent. Maybe it was. My problem is that I really like Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu. So we rented it. Demi Moore plays the baddie and at the very beginning of the move Bruce Willis has a cameo and gets killed by an unknown assailant, we can only assume later that it was Demi's character. Very funny 'in joke'. There were quite a few nods to the series and 70's era inside jokes so it was not a complete waste of time.

Underworld was very interesting. It's about a hypothetical war between the Vampire Race and the Lycan Race. There is some very hoopy Matrix type fight scenes, and lots of tight leather. I love Vampire stories so I was set for a good run here and it was worth the wait (I was going to see it in the theatre). What I love is a good back-story and this movie had a great one. For those who are seeing it I won't spoil it, but it was well conceived as a plot and back-story. The whole movie is shot at night needless to say, in some unknown metropolis (US or UK). A good rent if you don't mind a bit of blood and gore.

Cleaning up my act Spent the rest of the weekend when not watching movies doing a major ream job on my office. It really needed it, so bad it was getting hard to move around in it. I ended up with two black trash bags full of flotsam and jetsam that had been floating around in boxes and piles of junk in the office for at least a year. Amazing what you can find if you actually go through everything though. This took the better part of Friday evening and Saturday am and afternoon.

(told you this would be long)

Political Odds and Ends

Ladies and Gentlemen the President of the United States

Taped from the Oval Office, as many have/will see, the President did a full hour interview with Tim Russert on Face the Nation. I was amused watching Tim bite his toungue when going after answers, where if it weren’t the President, he would have done his usual terrier impression to get the answers. Overall it was a good interview though I am openly concerned that the White House vetted the questions before the show.

Don't fall over, but I thought that President Bush did a fine job in the interview. Here is what I came away with; The President truly believes and has unbelievable faith that everything he is doing is good for the world and the country. He is not part of some Right Wing Conspiracy as some of my left wing patriotic friends intimate.

As far as I am concerned this makes him even more dangerous than if he was just taking us all for a ride. He truly believes that his whole Voodoo Economics stimulus package is good for the country in the long run. He truly believes that he should have gone into Iraq WHEN he did, even in the face of the evidence that there was no immediate threat. He actually believes that the Intelligence Panel should take longer than till next November and its' not a political move. Finally he truly believes that he is the best man in the White House for the times.

Now if I was impressed with President Bush's belief that what he is doing is right, though I disagree, what chance does any opponent have against this in November?

Ask the right questions

In my arguments with the Albany Times Union Forums alluded to earlier this week, one of the points I made was that what the Democrats need to do is clearly differentiate between the Ends and the Means in foreign affairs, and the Short Term and the Long term in domestic affairs.

Ends and Means. Obviously I'm talking about the Iraq situation. Of course Mr. Dean the world is a better place with Saddam Hussein gone (he is still disagreeing with that). What was so wrong was the unilateral attack, the preemptive attack, when there was no overwhelming proof of WMD's. What was so wrong with this war is the after math. Rumsfeld's insistence that there was no way to know what would happen after the war, stated time and time again, was disingenuous. A recent Atlantic Monthly article by James Fallows clearly shows that there were tons of Government and NGO created documents that predicted the costs and exactly what would happen when Hussein fell.

The Dems need to concentrate on how this Admin could have done it better, and less on whether it was good to do at all. Mainstream American is never going to buy that taking out Saddam was bad. That's because it wasn't. He was a madman and a menace. Its just the means to that end that need to be examined.

Short and Long Term. I loved Thomas Friedman's article on the BMD's. Bush's "Budget of Mass Deception". I could not have put it better, so I won't. He said basically that with all the fiscal stimuli that Bush has jammed into the economy there HAD BETTER be a recovery. The Tax Cut and Spend Republican’s Fiscal actions will pump up the economy. But he said the Democrat's mantra should not be "are you better off than you were four years ago" but "Is your FUTURE better off than it was four years ago". The Jobless Recovery is due in part to this stimulus. What jobs there are low paying service sector jobs, and the stimulus goes to the rich and powerful. Economists have proven that "trickle down" does not work.

Democrat's Fuax Pas.

I cant leave without two comments from the primaries. The first is that Edwards stated AGAIN he doesn't want to be VP. Not too smart, and not what is best for his party. He needs to tone down the "never" rhetoric and get on with it. Two Gov Dean is still insisting the world is NOT better off with Saddam behind bars. Dr. Dean you make the Dems look like wholly radicals who are out of touch with the world. Please get your act together.

I was very impressed however with Dr. Dean's firm commitment to getting ABB (anyone but bush) elected. Senator Edwards needs to take a page from that book.

Wow. My fingers are tired.

posted by Mike 2:58 PM


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The musings and meanderings of an overworked and underemployed mind