Greetings from the Florida, the Hurricane State!

No power expected chez moi until as late as next Tuesday. I am writing this at the office on Word, then will cut and paste as E2 is quirky, much as it was last November when we had the big glitch and downtime. I suspect it is my local server, however, and not E2.

As Servo5678 said in yesterday’s Day Log, Hurricane Frances is behind us and we are waiting for Hurricane Ivan, although it looks as if it will pass well to the south of most of Florida.

Statistics for Frances? See your local paper; I’m sure you are being bombarded with post-hurricane news.

Bronco and I did not ride out the storm sitting in the Honda in the garage, as I threatened to do. We walked up the street to spend the time with some friends. Unfortunately, which I had forgotten, said friends are heavy smokers. It was not-too-bad as long as the power was on and the AC running, but once the you-know-what hit the fan, it got very, very fuggy for me in their house.

My dog and I spent the night on sofa cushions laid out on the floor of the spare bedroom. Power went out around 3:30 Sunday morning. The winds were very, very strong. Reminded me of the mistral  in France, except that is a steady wind and blows in one direction. Bronco seemed to feel at home in the wind; every time I took him outside to do what dogs have to do he wanted to stay outdoors.

We saw one screened porch go sailing. The wind got under it and lifted it off its foundations several times, then the porch literally folded in half and blew right over the main roof of the house, landing on the driveway of the house next door. That was the most exciting thing I saw happen.

The couple I was staying with started fighting between themselves; no matter what she said it was the wrong thing. Finally, on one of Bronco’s outings, I walked back to our house. It was still there, still intact, but I had forgotten the keys. So we walked back to our friends’ house, picked up the keys and my carryall bag, politely said our goodbyes, and went home.

We’ve been there ever since. No power, but that’s okay. We have candles and flashlights. I went out and found some more ice yesterday, so I am keeping stuff cold in an ice chest. My neighbor fires up his propane grill once a day and I throw on a chop or a steak, whatever is the most thawed. When all that is gone, I’m going to order in Chinese.

Still no volunteers showing up at the office. I've kept the hotline going on my land or cell phone since Wednesday afternoon. Now I’m checking to see if the phone volunteers can at least take it from me at night. Until I get power back at home, I’m signing off.

I guess I’m sort of old school when it comes to matters of technology. I don’t own a cell phone or have a computer at home. I don’t have a DVD player, a camcorder, a digital camera or anything else that remotely puts me anywhere into the 1990’s. My kid doesn’t own any video games or the like to provide her with entertainment. Christ, I don’t even have cable television and yes, when I barbecue, which is quite often by the way, I prefer coals over a gas grill. As a matter fact, the only tools that I can use with any degree of confidence are a knife, a fork and the occasional pen.

I guess that’s why words are so important to me. I could show you thousands of pictures but they don’t hold tones, the inflections, the timing or the body language that go so far in the telling of a decent tale. Don’t get me wrong, all of those devices that I mentioned previously have their place in this world and for many of you I’m sure they’ve become quite the necessity. I just don’t think that they can tell the whole story the way words do, some of the magic is somehow lost.

I’ve often wished I could put a frame around certain little things that occur and make my life what is. This way, I could remember them the way they should be remembered. I think that’s why I spend a lot of time daylogging. Maybe someday, somebody else will read these words and realize that every moment we’ve had, whether written down for posterity’s sake or not, is precious and I would encourage others to do the same.

Anyway, I think it was this Wednesday last when borgette made a somewhat unexpected visit to casa borgo. I had gotten a call the night before about an impromptu little birthday party that was being held on behalf of one of the other neighborhood kids and that she would be more than welcome to attend. Arrangements were made and schedules were altered so that she could attend this most vital function. I picked her up from school around four and we made our way home. Since the festivities weren’t due to start until around seven,, we decided to have a little dinner and relax with some conversation. As the time approached, we wrapped up her present, put together a quick and dirty little birthday card and headed off down the block. I left her at my neighbors doorstep and made my way home.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a self-described political junkie .I like the action and the debate (especially in this coming election year) that they inspire. Even without the benefit of all of the technological marvels that I described earlier, I still try and consider myself well informed and am usually always open to a well reasoned exchange of ideas.

As it so happens, the Republican National Convention was underway and I settled unto my porch with the television on in the back round, a beer by my side and nothing but the sound of the politicians and commentators around to take my thoughts away. After a little while, my next door neighbor came out and we began discussing the upcoming elections. I guess it went on for awhile because before I knew it, my little one had returned and parked herself onto one of the chairs on the porch. She seemed content enough to just sit back and listen, a trait that I wish I would hold myself to more often.

Anyway, it was getting late and Vice President Dick Cheney was getting ready to give his acceptance speech. Not being a fan of the present administration, I said some along the lines of “This guy gives me nightmares”, gathered up my daughter and went inside.

Bedtime at my house is one of rituals. There’s the ritual of a snack, the ritual of pleading to stay up a little longer, the ritual of getting into an oversized t-shirt and the ritual of tucking her in. Then the ritual words are exchanged where we both offer up some comforting thoughts to each other in the hopes of both of us getting good nights sleep.

I made my way downstairs, intent on catching Mr. Cheney’s speech. I settled in when all of a sudden the voice from upstairs called out…

“Dad, come up here quick!”

This doesn’t happen very often. My kid is a sound sleeper and has no fear whatsoever of the night. With that thought locked in the back of my head, I rushed upstairs and asked, maybe a little frantically, what was wrong.

“Dick Cheney is under my pillow!!!”

I’m guessing she recalled my earlier comment to my neighbor, I’m guessing she might have wanted to stay up a little longer, I’m guessing she was just trying to either impress me or to just get a laugh out of me. I’m guessing all of those things but I’m hoping that one day she might read this and recall the smile her little words brought to both of our faces

Slashdot has opened a special, experimental section for politics, which they'll keep up through the U.S. presidential election. In addition to Slate, Plastic, Fark, CNN, and assorted blogs, I now have even more political news sources. If this is this a good thing, or a bad thing, I cannot say.

Since Wednesday, I've seen quite a bit of coverage of Zell Miller's keynote address for the Republican National Convention. Even here on E2, it's wound its way through the Page of Cool a few times over the long weekend. Miller's behavior has been so extreme (telling Chris Matthews of Hardball that he wished he could challenge Matthews to a duel, etc.), I had a hard time figuring out why something so scripted as a national political convention would have used him for the keynote address. It wasn't until I saw coverage on Comedy Central's The Daily Show that a rather sinister notion came into my mind.

After a short riff based on clips of Dick Cheney's wife talking about her husband, Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart says, "Now, normally we would have spent time analyzing the vice president's speech, but," transitioning into clips of Zell Miller's speech. Indeed, the remaining 3+ minutes of the Headlines segment of the show devotes itself to Miller's red-faced vitriol.

So, is it possible that Miller was designed to be a distraction? While it's hardly anything new to use politicians removed from the actual candidates to give the fire and brimstone speeches so the candidates can keep their sunny faces, Miller takes it one further. By being almost cartoonishly callous, Miller is inviting attacks, and time spent attacking and refuting him is time not spent analyzing statements made by people who actually have anything to do with the presidential campaign.

This is a task for which Miller seems suspiciously suitable. He is, famously, a (wayward) member of the Democratic party, which is about as far as you can get from a Republican presidential candidate. I have also read that he was not planning on running for office again after his current term is over, meaning that he had no need to preserve any sort of reputation. Republican political strategists are not, as a rule, stupid. Indeed, political strategists are paid rather large sums of money for their ability to orchestrate public images for their employers. Every word of Miller's speech would have been scrubbed over by these people. Why put a speech that is so angry, so cartoonish, and so easily rebutted in such a central location? The current administration has shown remarkable ability to wrangle the media, and here in the aftermath are people talking more about how Bush's plans for the next four years are the same ones he failed to accomplish during the current four, or are they talking more about what a clown Zell Miller is?

In pursuasive speech, it is of critical importance to know what your biggest flaws are. It is of such importance that my instructers have actually encouraged the practice of slipping the occasional glaring flaw into a presentation or argument. When the flaw is pointed out, you suggest the real solution you want, which sounds so much better, that it is usually just taken at face value, and your audience now has the (false) impression that they provided critical input into the solution. It's like judo, only without all that honor stuff.

So now I'm stuck trying to figure out if this is too convoluted to be media wrangling, graduating into the realm of conspiracy theory. Perhaps it's somewhere in the middle. Perhaps it was a gambit. If the Republican campaign managers were making Miller their fall guy anyway, how hard would it have been for them to utterly disown him if his speech backfired? I don't know. What has become readily apparent, though, is that I know more about what Zell Miller said in response to people questioning him about his speech than I know about what George W. Bush actually said.

This does not seem right.

For all of you that have been following my constant whining...


Right now it's only part-time (20 hours a week) but it'll go to fulltime once they can afford it. (And if I do my job well, they'll be able to!) They're estimating about 6 weeks before they can afford that, but still!

I get to do layout, writing, and photography for a community newspaper that focuses on arts, concerts, community, events, and things around the county.

This is EXACTLY the kind of job I'd been hoping to get when I moved to California; I NEVER thought I'd have a chance to have it here in Lafayette.

It's a BRAND new publication, they've only put out 2 issues so far, so I'm getting in on the ground floor.

I'm gonna go collapse in a gooey pile of giggly, giddy relief now if that's OK with y'all.

I had forgotten that desks could be so little
and that kids could be so excited
and that teachers can actually smile kindly and mean it
and that first day jitters apply to parents, too

I had forgotten that new school smell
and that array of hooks and shelves to proudly hold your things
and the hollows in the desk to place your newly-sharpened pencils
and the way everything is just so on that first day

I had not forgotten how beautiful your smile can be
and how proud you make me, every day.

First day of first grade, darling girl of mine. Oh, how the years have started to fly...

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