Counter(intuitive) Programming

If presidential candidate debates are held for the benefit of the public, why schedule one to coincide with the season premiere of a TV show as popular as Lost?

Yeah, it’s the first Democratic frontrunners’ one-on-one, but Obama and Clinton would have to promise something pretty extraordinary to tear me away from Sawyer.

And even then…

On The Right Track

Patrick Ruffini – who is extremely well-respected in the world of online political communication – is organizing/publicizing an anti-Hillary/Obama one-day fundraiser for Republicans. His description of the campaign on Facebook reads:

F7: One Day to Stop Hillary (and Obama) is a grassroots campaign by Rightroots to mobilize thousands of Republican donors to contribute to our party’s nominee on Thursday, February 7, 2008. Without our support, the Republican nominee could be buried by Clinton and Obama’s cash advantage shortly after winning the nomination. Help the nominee hit the ground running on Day One by taking the pledge and coming back on February 7th to make history.

The mechanics run through Rightroots – the Republican/conservative answer to ActBlue – the online money site for Democratic candidates.

What strikes me about Ruffini’s effort is the emphasis on donating to the Republican cause no matter who the eventual nominee is on either side. The message is one of party unity and solidarity. It’s something conservatives do well.

Progressives have proven much better at online fundraising since the Internet became a player in politics, but from an analytic perspective, it’s good to see a strong push by someone like Ruffini in an effort to get his camp on board. If he can work out how to get it to stick, a cohesive effort to push the party on the right could eventually trump a splintered left.

So while the right’s working hard to catch up online, maybe the left needs to hone in on setting the hairline fractures that often handicap the Democratic party as a whole in the long run.

Knowing what you need to know

is half the battle when it comes to this apartment. A nice man and two realtors just circled through. The nice man asked two questions:

1. How long have you been here?
2. How’s the water pressure?

I would have gone with “Do you have a working toilet?”

I Spoke Too Soon

Apparently, last night’s State of the Apartment address was prematurely optimistic.

My toilet just died.

UPDATE: Grayton Plumbing just showed up, assessed the problem, and claimed it would cost more than $250 to fix a broken fill valve. Do a little Goggling. A fill valve runs about $12. However, somehow this service fell into their “category 4” pricing of $233 plus tax. I called the signif and we made a co-executive decision to decline. I’ve moved on to plan B. It’s not a fully-hatched plan just yet, but I know it’s not going to set me back more than $250.

Btw, this is not the first time a plumbing company has tried to rip me off. Last time I had a broken accessory in a toilet, it was a $9 part and the repair guy wanted to replace the entire toilet claiming it was “just old.” What is with these people? Where do they learn how to try scam the customer so casually? Is there a class? A trade show? It’s just astounding.

Thompson Got 1%

Who are the people that turn out to vote for the candidates no longer running?

Some would say they are rebellious souls “making a statement.” The cynic in me suspects it’s more likely they’re not aware their guy’s actually dropped out.

Especially in Florida.

“Bueller? Bueller?”

Turns out you can make this stuff up, but you don’t always have to.

My signif and I were watching the last Democratic New Hampshire debate thinking Governor Bill Richardson would make an excellent Saturday Night Live parody. He was so excluded from any significant conversation that we suspected he must be zoning out regularly. We joked that his answers hinted at a slight disconnect – that perhaps there was so much time between his shots at weighing in that he wasn’t really hearing the questions. Here’s how we acted it out in my living room:

Charles Gibson: “Governor Richardson, do you agree?”

Governor Richardson: “I’m the ony one who’s run a state. I’ve balanced the budget 5 times. I’ve…

I’m sorry. What was the question?”

Then today – just now – my signif forwards me this from a Washington Post write about Richardson’s trying to figure out whom to endorse:

“I had just been asked a question — I don’t remember which one — and Obama was sitting right next to me. Then the moderator went across the room, I think to Chris Dodd, so I thought I was home free for a while. I wasn’t going to listen to the next question. I was about to say something to Obama when the moderator turned to me and said, ‘So, Gov. Richardson, what do you think of that?’ But I wasn’t paying any attention! I was about to say, ‘Could you repeat the question? I wasn’t listening.’ But I wasn’t about to say I wasn’t listening. I looked at Obama. I was just horrified. And Obama whispered, ‘Katrina. Katrina.’ The question was on Katrina! So I said, ‘On Katrina, my policy . . .’ Obama could have just thrown me under the bus. So I said, ‘Obama, that was good of you to do that.”‘

Dodd dropped out before New Hampshire so this probably wasn’t the same debate.

But it’s just too perfect nonetheless.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

I just rediscovered the mass email I sent around last time I was looking for work.

See, a few years ago, the video game company I was with downsized and laid off almost everyone right before Christmas. So after a night of well-deserved indulgence on New Years Eve and a couple of recuperation days afterwards, I took a friend’s sage advice and fired off a general email to everyone I knew. It may seem silly, but it worked. It’s how I landed at CNN.

Here’s what it looked like. I’ve made some simple changes just to update it. Turns out it’s almost 100% recyclable:

Hi all,

I hope the holiday season start of the new year finds you well and in good spirits.

Unfortunately, my run at Kuma Reality Game CNN has come to a close Another start-up has stalled, and I am going to be unemployed come the first of the year February.

That said, I’m actively job hunting and just ask that you keep me in mind if you hear of anything applicable. Most of my experience is in television and Internet production, but I’m open to suggestions if something else you think might be of interest comes up.

Email me if you’d like a resume. I’m not going to mass email that around – although I do suspect it could make for excellent holiday Valentine’s Day wrapping paper in a pinch.



All Sales Are Final

Did you know you can buy caskets at Costco?

I’ve been invited to hit the wholesale club with a friend this week (It’s what women of leisure do, I hear) so I started snooping online just to see what’s in stock these days. I noticed the heading Funeral tucked in next to Furniture and thought, “Funeral? Really?”

You can get caskets and urns and other assorted keepsakes.

I’m guessing these are some of the rare items at Costco they don’t sell in bulk. How depressing would that be?!?

image courtesy

State of the Apartment

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to sit stand before you this evening and type pronounce that the state of the apartment is … strong.


The kitchen sink no longer leaks. The shower sprays down. And the heat…is…on.


As we look ahead, we can only speculate what the coming months may bring. We can only process the information we know to be true. It is true that we shall face a new unknown. But it is a future we embrace with optimism and…with…hope.


Hope that as the apartment comes under great scrutiny, potential buyers don’t mind the splintered floor, some outdated wiring, a leaky tub, or cracked tile. Hope that gaps between the ceiling and wall are seen as openings of opportunity and not widening rifts of danger. Hope that with new guidance and new cash leadership, this once impressive townhouse will be restored to its former glory and stand proud again.

It is with this of message of great faith and expectation that I say thank you… and goodnight.


Missing the Mark

Target, for sure. Look who’s just asking for it.

Have we learned nothing? Limit yourself to traditional media, and you might as well superglue an “I’m out of touch” sticker to your forehead.

Target should fire its PR co stat and revamp its corporate policy, like, yesterday.

p.s. For the record, I think the “bullseye” complaint’s absurd. Someone’s got too much time on her hands and is dealing with some residual sexual repression. But for G-d’s sake, what company today publicizes its ignorance about the shifting communications landscape? And good for Amy (and/or her readers) for forwarding Target’s communique to the NYT.

One more thing: There seems to be some convo in Amy’s comments about how the stir over this one ad is muddling the message of objectification and sexualization of women in advertising and whatnot. Amy’s lesson in all this is the importance of picking your battles wisely. The Target ad was probably not the best *um* target seeing as how making a big deal out of a fully-clothed woman making snow angels makes the complaining party appear out of touch too.

flickr photo by Bennett 4 Senate