It Figures

My washing machine broke yesterday. It’s been noisy for months. Then it started to shake. Finally, the inner basket spun itself right off the frame. It’s allegedly under warranty, but Sears can’t come service it until the 12th. That’s 2 weeks without laundry.

I was all set to suck it up and just make do. Then I spilled a full mug of coffee on myself and my couch.

It figures.

Sleeper Cells

The AP reports graveyard shifts may cause cancer. The article explains that overnight work will soon be listed as a “probable carcinogen,” meaning it doesn’t absolutely give you cancer, but it’s likely to.

I’m no scientist, but having worked ridiculous (ridiculous!) hours on two separate occasions in my TV career, I have no doubt screwing with the whole day/night thing can do some serious damage.

Back in the day, I was the morning sports anchor for the NBC station in Hagerstown, MD. I got up at 2am and was at the station from 3am until noon. After a long week of abnormal, spotty sleep, I’d rarely manage to stay up past 7pm on a Friday night. My hair started to fall out. My body broke down. I was always exhausted. Not just “Oh, I could use a nap” tired. Think “I’m at the point of sheer exhaustion and yet there’s no sleep in sight” tired. Then double it. For more than a year.

I went to a doctor to see if there was anything I could do to counteract my body’s rebellion. His expert advice: Get a new job.

True story.

Turns out he was right.

cartoon courtesy onebean

Check Mate?

My signif told me this great story tonight about two girls he knew in grad school. They were fun friends, but he was neither attracted to nor interested in dating either. Let’s call them Veronica and Betty for the sake of flow.

One day, Veronica hands signif a note. It reads, “Do you like Betty? Check yes/no.” (He can’t remember if there was a maybe, and the story is SO much better when we assume there wasn’t.) He notices Betty noticing his response to the note, and being the good guy he is (he is), he checks yes so as not to offend his friend.

Next thing he knows, he gets word Betty expects to go out.

“The check note’s not binding! It’s not binding! Not after like second grade!”

But as he retold the story tonight, he started to give it more thought. Election checkboxes are binding. Disclosure form checkboxes are binding. So at what age do we officially outgrow the checkbox? Maybe in some weird way, elementary school prepares us for adulthood. You’ve got to put some thought into that checkbox lest you get strapped with someone you don’t particularly like in that way.

Think we’re onto something here?

Candidates, Party of 8

I missed last night’s debate. I was out meeting a friend’s firstborn for the first time. Gorgeous child.

Anyway, I’ve been reading up on the debate this morning, and via Glenn found Stephen’s take on the night. His closing paragraph:

For the future, I’d like to propose what I call the Algonquin Round Table Debate. No moderator, no stopwatches, no buzzers or red lights, no YouTube, and, please, no Anderson Cooper or Chris Matthews. Instead, put all the candidates around a big table, ply them with first-rate food and liquor, and just let them talk and argue with one another until—or beyond—last call. Now that, for Democrats or Republicans, would be an event worth watching.


C’mon Admit It

Conventional wisdom in journalism is that you’re best off staying politically neutral. With good reason. Obviously, your reporting’s read/seen with a skeptical eye if you’ve affiliated with or endorsed a party or candidate. I’d like to think I’ve done a respectable job so far in this vein and have always been careful to treat my sources and friends in the blog world – left, right, or otherwise – with an equal balance of respect and skepticism. So it is with this foundation that I post the following. It is by no means a declaration of anything more than a casual observation.

I’ve noticed an interesting trend lately in political cocktail party conversation. People kinda like Biden. My sense is his arguably strong yet seemingly unrehearsed debate performances are generating some quiet consideration. Since he’s not a frontrunner (heck, he’s barely a walker at this point), he’s not registering as a viable option. But let’s just say for argument’s sake that he was a media favorite or that somehow the word got out that he had a shot at the nomination. Would even more Biden backers come out of the woodwork?

I mention this because now would be a good time for his camp to launch a “campy” online push.

“C’mon Admit It. You Kinda Like Joe.”

If it’s done right, at the very least, it would generate some press attention for being quirky (not that I would know what grabs the MSM eye or anything). And it may just tap into the undercurrent of potential momentum that keeps bubbling up at social gatherings.

The Internet and Web politics are supposed to be about circumventing big media. Wouldn’t it just be something if the meme shifted because someone actually successfully worked around it? I give the Ron Paul supporters huge kudos for trying hard. They’ve just got to figure out now how to get their man covered as a real candidate and not just the topic of a story about freak fundraising. The fact that he HAS support at all has become more of a story than what he stands for. And that’s unfortunate.

My signif just pointed me to this Rasmussen survey that puts Biden two points behind Guiliani and even with Romney in polling 1200 likely voters. I usually don’t trust polls as far as I can throw them, but my two cents is that Biden’s staff would be wise to take a gander.

Just Curious

I’m always baffled by a lone item of clothing abandoned by the side of the road, particularly when the one is clearly half of a pair.

Today, I saw a girl’s mitten in the leaves alongside my running route. Did it fly from a car window? Fall out of a bag? Get ripped off and thrown to the ground in the midst of a tantrum? Is it missed?

Without fail, one shoe raises the most curiosity. Who loses a shoe and doesn’t notice?

Broken Jet Set

Back in DC. We flew JetBlue to and from, and they seem to be going out of their way to compensate for all the lousy press last holiday season. Both flights were seamless and on time.

One interesting note. The row behind us had broken TVs. We overheard the flight attendant telling the customers that the flight was full so they couldn’t switch seats, but they were welcome to go to the JetBlue counter upon arrival and get a $5 voucher.

Doesn’t that seem a little cheap on behalf of the airline? They make a big deal about DirecTV at each seat. If you’re denied that service by no fault of your own, shouldn’t it be worth more than $5 and the inconvenience of having to go out of your way to collect the $5?