ama-dablam

Ugh. Seriously, we're not done with this yet?

So the Democratic nomination is going to go to Pennsylvania and beyond. Great. Seven weeks before the next major contest, and that will probably be another close call. We sure are an indecisive bunch.

People, really: HILLARY? We really want to hear all about Vince Foster (you know a lot of right-wingers actually believe she was involved in murdering him, right?), Whitewater, Bill's sex life, etc. all over again? The right-wing attack script basically writes itself.

The one good thing is that because the Republicans want her to be the nominee so badly, until she's actually officially is the nominee, it's in their interest to hold back. So if she's going to end up at the top of the ticket, it might actually be good if things drag out until the convention in August... narrowing the window during which she'll face the worst attacks. And in general it's probably a good thing if the media attention remains focused on the Democrats. The only newsworthy thing McCain can do while the Democrats are in limbo is announce his VP choice. He wants to run against Hillary, but weirdly, having him attack either Democrat always helps Obama, I think: attacking Obama helps confer front-runner status to him; attacking Hillary doesn't do that as much as it reminds Democratic voters how much ammo Republicans have against her.

If I were convinced that Hillary is electable in the fall, I'd say screw it, put her at the top of the ticket and Obama as VP. We'd do just fine with 8 years of Clinton 2.0, and then Obama is a shoo-in in 2016 (this time with some "real" experience that his detractors criticize him so much for lacking, and still relatively spry at 55). But geez.
ama-dablam

Resolution resolved

Thank you to those who commented on my previous post. But sitting on the bus after 8pm on the way home tonight, I realized what my March resolution will be: "make it home by 7pm every workday except Wednesdays." I find it really hard to stop what I'm doing at work, so I stay there too late, which compresses my after-work home time and often causes me to skip working out and/or stay up too late. Therefore working on this nicely supports sustaining the goals from January and February.

(the Wednesday exception is because we have a board game night at work that day)

And now I better be off to bed - I'm already 45 minutes behind schedule!
pbaer

Resolutions

Inspired by adickers's monthly resolution plan, I've started to do the same. Except I haven't tried planning out the whole year in advance, I'm just taking it a month at a time. The idea is that I want to develop some better "life habits" by forcing myself to stick with something for a month and developing it into a permanent habit.

January was "go to bed at a decent time every night and get enough sleep" month. This was a result of coming back from Europe jet lagged and discovering how much I enjoyed actually being able to wake up refreshed at 6am and getting stuff done that early in the day. Result: mixed, but for a while at least I was able to sustain a consistent 11pm bedtime (originally 10pm, actually, but that just made book_fairy cranky about having me disappear so early). It formed enough of a habit that going to bed after midnight now does feel really late, whereas before it was standard procedure.

February was "work out for an hour every day" month. While also not completely successful according to the strict definition of the resolution, I did manage to work out 17 out of the 29 days of the month. I've gotten into the routine of playing squash at the PRO Club once a week with coworkers, went for some long and scenic runs along the waterfront and Discovery Park, and, here at the Met Tower gym, mostly stuck to a cardio and strength training program I came up with at the beginning of the month. Most importantly I actually do feel in much better shape.

I'm still trying to decide what to do for March. Any suggestions?
metro

Debate

I've been enjoying watching the Democratic debates lately. Obama is quite solid in them - he'll hold his own against McCain.

What was the deal with Hillary whining about "always" having to answer first at these debates, and making a lame reference to that SNL skit about the debates this weekend? That was weird.

(speaking of which, Fred Armisen seriously needs to work on his Obama impression)
pbaer

Valentine's Day

I made truffles today:
- White chocolate filling, topped with either coconut flakes, walnuts or chocolate drizzle
- Chocolate orange and amaretto filling, chocolate coating, some topped with walnuts or coconut flakes



Yum!
soyuz

Caucus

I participated in my first caucus today! It turns out that a caucus is way more fun than a primary, because you get to try to convince other people to change their vote.

Our caucus location was at the Seattle Public Library - although the Washington Democrats' website first sent me to the wrong location, in Capitol Hill. Great job, guys. So having been turned away there, I hoofed it to the library just in time, and was one of the last people allowed to sign in before the 1:30pm cutoff. There were about 500 people, and we sat in a large lecture hall while we waited for the sign-in sheets (containing our votes) to be tallied, and listened to the Precinct Committee Officers read out the rules and procedures for the caucus. The whole process was a little chaotic. A lot of people were caucusing for the first time and so had a bunch of questions to which the PCOs often had confusing or contradictory answers. I think they are used to only party activists (who would know what's going on) showing up for these things and weren't really prepared to deal with a big clueless horde.

Anyway, our precinct (go fightin' 43-3320th!) had its tally called out first: 74 Obama (one of which was me), 21 Clinton, 9 undecided. This resulted in a delegate allocation of 6, 1 and 1, respectively - meaning that the undecideds had the power to grant a delegate to either side. Our PCO led us to a separate conference room upstairs where we grouped ourselves by our candidate preference - Obama on one side of the room, Clinton on the other, undecided in the middle. The PCO (now acting as our Precinct Caucus Chair, i.e. the person running this meeting) invited the undecideds to talk about why they hadn't made up their minds yet, and then gave each of the Obama and Clinton sides one minute at a time to respond, taking turns. That went back and forth for about an hour. I was impressed by the quality of some of the arguments made on both sides; there were a lot of regular people (not just the few die-hard Democratic activists in the room) who made thoughtful and eloquent points. This being downtown Seattle, it was a real Benetton-ad kind of crowd with many different viewpoints.

In the end, more undecideds went over to the Clinton camp than to Obama, so the final delegate split was 6-2. We in the Obama camp then had to elect those six delegates from amongst ourselves, as well as six alternates. We were pretty much all on our own to figure out how to accomplish that. But things got organized quickly, and many of the folks who had spoken up during the "debate" part got themselves elected as delegates. I'm not really quite sure why I didn't actually volunteer myself - it might have been fun to go to the next stage of the process (the legislative district caucus).

From what I'm seeing so far, the result from our little precinct group is consistent with the rest of the Seattle area (and the state)... it's pretty much an Obama landslide here.

By the way, here's a (hopeful) prediction: Democrats, who would be equally happy with either an Obama or Clinton presidency, abandon Clinton as it becomes clearer that the Republicans just have way too much ammo to use in smear campaigns against her. Meanwhile, McCain gets the Republican nomination but conservatives sit out the election in protest, preferring to gather their strength for 2012 and retreating to full opposition-party mode in the meantime. Obama wins big-time.