Posts from November, 2008

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travel: seattle, washington

Saturday, 29 November 2008

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[Underground Seattle Tour, Seattle, Washington]
[Underground Seattle Tour, Seattle, Washington]
oddity. after a 19th century fire destroyed some 25 blocks of old seattle downtown, the city took the opportunity to (literally) raise the city out of the puget sound by passing an ordinance mandating the streets raised eight feet (or higher) during the reconstruction.

unfortunately, it seems like certain business owners downtown didn’t take the law too seriously. they opted to rebuilt at the old (lower) street level only to have the city come through in the next couple of years and turn their first floors into basements.

oops.

See Slideshow of the Photos on Flickr:
underground tour, seattle, washington state

hike: mirror lake, oregon

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

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[Photo]
IMG_7035, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
Explore the Photo Set:
hike: mirror lake, oregon

pregnant:

-9w

pregnant:

-136w

wall photos: oregon

Saturday, 22 November 2008

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[Sunset over Henningson Lane, Jefferson, Oregon]

in mt. pleasant, dc:

1y, 4m, 5d

hike: enchanted rock state park, texas

Thursday, 20 November 2008

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[Photo]
IMG_6080, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
after three days in austin for a non-profit technology conference, i headed for the hills today for a hike around enchanted rock state park near oxford, texas. it’s a giant monolith in the middle of the texas hill country, and completely unlike anything else around.

of course, when you are on a rock with no identifiable markings (you know, like a trail or something) one tends to get lost. but fortunately, one also tends to have a brand-spanking new iphone with gps integrated google maps to bail oneself out. again.

but i still added about two hours to my hike by unexpectedly coming down the backside of the mountain, but the sky was blue and the weather was freexzing cold (by texas standards) so no harm, no foul.

happy beginnings

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

[Photo]
IMG_5705, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
some of you may have been following the saga of foster mom adventures, an absolutely courageos friend (and m.o.h.) of ours who ignored her own sanity and has given over her life for two children in need of sanctuary.

we were their neck of the woods this weekend, and got to spend some time quality with our maid-of-honor-emeritus and her charges. and by “quality time” i mean “lots of piggy back rides.”

it’s really a beautiful thing how a person can give over her life to children in need, and even more beautiful to see how resilient and wonderful children can be in even the most adverse of circumstances.

it sounds like it’s going to be a long week for the girls, so keep the whole fostermom clan in your thoughts and prayers.

update: turns out there is a happy ending (er, beginning?) to the whole situation. if you haven’t been following, now is the time to start.

Explore the Photo Set (Flickr, friends only):
foster mom’s adventures

the furnace man only knocks twice

Thursday, 13 November 2008

so, the lady sparkler went away on tuesday … and all of a sudden, i start having problem sleeping.

is it because i miss her loving presence? because i can’t sleep without someone kicking me the bejeesus out of me throughout the night? or maybe because the moment she left the furnace started knocking like a nuclear powered jiffy pop machine?

we had been getting some light pinging from the new family furnace ever since it was installed last month, but nothing particularly noticable. being a slacker, i was giving it a couple of weeks to see if it fixed itself … because inanimate objects often do that sort of thing.

then, all of a sudden, yesterday the noise became loud enough to wake the dead — seriously, if sparkler would have been here, even *she* would have woken up.

the very nice people from the local furnace conglomerate came by this morning, tweaked a few screws, and — poof! — didn’t make another sound. until five minutes after he left when it started shaking it’s milkshake again.

turns out it was something in the exhaust pipe. the very nice people came back again, replaced the whoe thing, and now it is as silent as the lambs … and not just the ones with the fava beans. now, sparkler can come home and continue to sleep through absolutely any noise — hurricanes, tornadoes, motley crue concerts — uninterupted.

all is well with the world.

in mt. pleasant, dc:

1y, 3m, 26d

three reasons why it sucks to be a Republican right now

Saturday, 8 November 2008

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for me, this election cycle has highlighted three glaring reasons why the Republican party should be more than a little worried about 2012:

first problem: party unity

the party illuminati are already deconstructing the election, and half the party is saying they lost because they pushed away minorities and the intellectuals by pandering to the conservative base. of course, the other half says they lost when they left the party’s traditional base and moved towards the center (where the minorities and intellectuals seem to be hanging out).

this argument is going to resonate well beyond 2012, but the next nomination cycle is going to be an ugly battle for the Repubs … between a candidate who energizes the party’s base, and a candidate who energizes the party’s intellectual / policy / more progressive center.

that bruiser of a process is going to disenfranchise half the party, and make it very hard the nominee to win out. for those who weren’t paying attention, sarah palin brought about party discord, not party unity. her presence in 2012 is only going to make the situation worse.

second problem: policy not security

we are starting to see the signs that simply changing the subject isn’t going to work anymore. Republican candidates are going to have to retrench to a time when they had holistic policies (contract with america, anyone?) and didn’t just rely on national security to win the day.

sure, it’s great to have two wars going on, and to be under attack by the terrorists, but eventually the repubs are going to have to get comfortable on a new set of issues and not just keep changing the subject to national security.

(oh, and taxes… dems are starting to figure out how govern without raising taxes, so the “all dems raise taxes” line ain’t going to work forever.)

third problem: the “other” conservatives

the republican party seems to be defining itself only through religious and social conservatives. under Reagan, there was room for every flavor of conservative under the big tent (fiscal, pragmatic, progressive, military, intellectual).

today, people who don’t meet the strict social/religious litmus-test are either tossed out of the party (for not being “right” enough) or are forced to assimilate in order to stay. the world is becoming way to diverse (ethnic, religious, cultural) for the Repubs to rely on owning the white, conservative, and evangelical votes.

here is the problem: 89% of mccain votes were from white voters, but they represent only 74% of the electorate. 58% of mccain votes were from conservatives, but they are only 34% of the electorate. 42% of mccain votes were evangelicals, but they are only 26% of the electorate.

this isn’t a knock on any of the above demographics, just a recognition that winning these demographics isn’t likely to be enough moving torward. it’s also a classic sign of “engaging the base,” and not competing on the field of ideas and policies.


well, good luck, my republican friends — it’s going to be an interesting time in the wilderness for you. may you come back in less time (and maybe a little more progressive?) than the dems last time around.