Wine Day Celebration

The wine box haul Every year for a while now, my father has sent a case of wine to Tiffany at the end of the year/for Christmas. He picks the twelve bottles himself, though sometimes some of them are multiples (if he really likes the wine, I suppose). This year’s case arrived today, and here is the haul:

Year | Wine | Grape | Region, Country

1996 Château Labégorce Lédé – Bordeaux – Margaux, France 1997 La Bastide Dauzac – Bordeaux – Margaux, France 1997 Chateau Langoa Barton – Bordeaux – St. Julien, France 1998 Les Bruliéres de Beychevelle – Bordeaux – Haut-Médoc, France (2 bottles) 2000 Jean-Luc Colombo Les Bartavelles – Rhône – Châteuneuf du Pape, France 2000 Château Gloria St. Julien – Bordeaux – St. Julien, France 2001 Castello Banfi Cum Laude – blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Syrah – Montalcino, Italia 2002 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo – Cabernet Sauvignon – Chile 2002 Navarro Correas Colección Privada – Malbec – Mendoza, Argentina 2003 Trapiche – Cabernet Sauvignon – Mendoza, Argentina 2004 Crios de Susana Balbo – Rose of Malbec – Mendoza, Argentina

I think Tiffany would be happier if I drank wine, because then we could enjoy it together. As it is, she has to take it to parties, or wait until someone visits. I shall have to consider it.

TiVo does not implode with no Scott Bakula

Last week, when I was sick, I came to discover something I had not before had the chance to test, empirically. When you delete the last show off of the Now Playing section of your TiVo, it does not implode.

There was so much I wanted to do while I was home sick for two and a half days, and so little I actually got done. Funny that, about illness. TiVo did spend a lot of time trying to keep up with me by taping Quantum Leap as often as it could. But it could not contend with my Scott Bakula fascination. There’s something very watchable about him (Dean Stockwell has never been a good reason to watch the show).

Just thought I’d share.

Three states with no blue counties [updated]

Yes, according to a county-by-county red-vs-blue map I have seen, there were three states where no single county voted for Kerry. Those states? Utah. Oklahoma. And yes, Nebraska.

Of all the people I voted for on Tuesday, only one actually won the race she was in. My choice for Register of Deeds, Diane Battiato, will be processing paperwork for us here in Douglas County.

Below, links to maps of interest. Updated with a new purple map by county.

See: Map of counties colored red or blue and: Map of states colored by blue-red percentage – the purple map and: Map of counties colored by blue-red percentage and: Canada 2.0 – a Pulp Fiction Reference

This is what you wanted, America

And so it begins. In his comments today, George W. Bush said:

“We’ve worked hard and gained many new friends, and the result is now clear — a record voter turnout and a broad, nationwide victory.”

With 51% of the vote, GWB sees a “broad victory” handing him a mandate to tackle all the planks of the GOP platform. Worse, that sentiment is echoed by his supporters. The rest of us? The other 55 million citizens who voted against him? Well gosh, folks, you lost. With the House of Representatives comfortably held by the GOP, with the Senate headed for a 55/45 split in their favor, with about 30 of the governorships in the country, and with the impending death/retiring of more than one Supreme Court Justice… I don’t know that there is anyone to stop them.

See: White House: Debt Ceiling Must Be Raised

See: Bush declares ‘broad victory’ and: Bill Bennett, moralist and: Adam Yoshida, ultra conservative

Support an Election Day holiday

Here’s something we can all support. One of the barriers to people voting has always been the amount of time it takes to go, wait, vote, and come back to work. While your employer must give you three hours in which to do so, yesterday there were people waiting upwards of five hours in lines across the country. A national–Federal–holiday on Election Day would go a long way towards solving this problem, while increasing the voter turnout, and also increasing the number of polling volunteers needed to keep up.

Downsides? Not many, unless you are part of the political machine that tries hard to target specific demographics (e.g., Cuban-Americans living in Miami) and roots against massive voter turnout (though the CW that turnout helps Democrats seems to have been turned on its head this year). Some people argue that a new Federal Holiday would hurt business, but the solution would be to move another Federal Holiday to Election Day… say President’s Day (third Monday in February), or Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11).

As it turns out, there is a bill in the Senate to do this. S.726, sponsored by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and cosponsored by Richard Durbin (D-IL), John Kerry (D-MA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Calr Levin (D-MI).

Please consider writing to your Congressional delegation in support of this bill, which appears to have stalled. (See reason above: political machine) You can find their addresses below.

See: Full text of S.726 and: How to write Letters to Congress and: This link to find and send e-mail to your Congress persons

Keep it! I didn’t want it anyway!

Now, I wouldn’t be an American if I didn’t enjoy another’s misfortune, and in the wake of this election, I need a little enjoyment. Especially at the expense of the President Elect.

Several people have been pointing out that a Kerry administration would have been a largly frustrated and hopeless cause. The war in Iraq isn’t going to get any better. The economy will continue to limp along. Social Security and Medicare will continue to rack up huge debts. The deficit will continue to skyrocket. In four years, a Democratic administration would hardly have made any headway against these legacies of George W. Bush, all the while enduring the vitriolic barbs of the conservatives saying, “We had a better plan, we would be out of Iraq by now!”

Better that Bush deal with his own damn legacy.

Aidan’s world

This morning, as I picked my son up from his crib, and he sleepily cuddled into the crook of my neck, I had a thought. In the wake of the election, I’d been musing about my responsibility to him, my responsibility to give him a decent world to live in. I found myself trying to find comfort in the fact that, despite it all, the world is still spinning. He can still make a living, he can still be relatively safe. But this morning I had a thought, one that I am ashamed to say had not occurred to me before now, not in any serious way.

What if Aidan is gay? What if he grows up to find comfort, happiness, and love with another man? What kind of world will I have given him, in that regard? The world he woke up to this morning is one where gay couples can find love, support, even legal protection… just not in this country. In this country, today, he would find hatred, bigotry, and prejudice. He would find that we have elected officials who actively seek to deny him legal protections available to every other citizen. He would find a country that ignores AIDS, hoping that it will just go away. He would find a country where our elected President ascribes to a set of beliefs that say gay people are sinful aberrations.

I do not think I can live with that. I know I should not be able to.

Am I responsible?

The states where I have family (New York, Pennsylvania, California) all went for Kerry. The states where I have friends (Iowa, Minnesota, Massachussetts, Washington) are mostly good, though Iowa seems like it will ultimately fall for Bush. I’m not sure what kind of influence I could have had though, all my friends there were pretty staunchly for Kerry.

Here in Nebraska it was pretty bad, though I think my choice for Register of Deeds won.

So how do I feel I did? Pretty poorly, frankly, given that my guy didn’t win (or, as of this writing, doesn’t look like he will). I can’t help but think that I did not give enough time, enough money, enough of myself. I like to think that I can express an idea clearly, that I have an ability to show complicated things in a clearer light. I did not use that ability during this election. If that’s what I could have offered, I failed.

Sure, I have a young son, a family, a complex modern life that I sometimes feel I can barely keep up. But there are plenty of people with that who still manage to canvas, speak out, lead.

I can’t take on too much of the burden of guilt–after all, I live in Nebraska–but I certainly believe I should share some of it. How about you?

WTF is wrong with half of you?

I do not understand how Bush could win this election. It is simply incomprehensible to me. Actually, I guess it isn’t. Reading around the web (so much more information on the web than on the networks) it appears that the youth vote did not turn out. It appears that lawsuits and delays are discouraging voters in Ohio (who are still in line to vote as of this moment). And it appears that morons in red states (yes, I’m talking about you) believe what the President says regardless of the facts.

In the end, it appears that the Democrats were just too weak in their determination. They did not stoop to the depths that the Republicans did in order to really secure the election. Will they do it next time? Maybe. But is that a country we want to live in? I certainly don’t want to live there.

Damn it.