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.