Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

One of the best Halloween specials not take that back the BEST Halloween special: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is on tonight.

The Post has a great story on it in today's paper. The title is: ‘IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN’: 7 Things You Don’t Know About the ‘Peanuts’ Halloween Special tonight. There are some very interesting things in the article.

Points two and three I think are my favorite because my brother and I used "I got a rock" for years in fact we still do:
2. Schulz filled Charlie Brown’s Halloween bag with rocks to “spite” his colleagues.

“Sparky said that maybe we ought to have Charlie Brown get a rock,” Mendelson recounts to Comic Riffs. “I said, ‘Oh, come on, that’s a little too harsh and cruel.’ But the more I protested, the more he wanted it. And after I protested more, Sparky said: ‘Okay, he’ll get three rocks!’ “

3. For years, sympathetic viewers kept sending candy to Schulz’s studio.

Many viewers might know that in 1966, after “Great Pumpkin” first aired, fans felt sorry for Charlie Brown and his bag of Halloween rocks — so sorry that they sent sweet treats to Schulz’s Northern California studio, in care of the beloved character. What they may not know, according to Mendelson, is that this viewer reaction continued for many years.

Here are a couple of strips about the Great Pumpkin. They pretty much follow the story. Enjoy and Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dodged It

That's what you have to say about Sandy. The DC area dodged it. Not to say there aren't people without power. Or there haven't been problems. A sewage treatment plant was dumping raw sewage into the Potomac River because it lost power.

Around 200,000 people were without power at the start of the day. The number has been going down all day. That's a lot of people but no where near the 1.2 million that lost power in the derecho in June. So I guess you have to say DC was lucky.

I went out this afternoon and this was the only damage that I found in walking around Brookland for about 30 minutes or so.

Here's hoping New York, New Jersey and points further north can quickly recover  from this devastating storm.

Monday, October 29, 2012

2Political Episode 77



2Political Podcast Episode 77 is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

We started to record this episode before Episode 76 was edited and posted. However, our recording was interrupted when Arthur's Internet connection failed. This recording is as far as we got, and we'll record a new one this week.

We again begin by talking about baseball, though probably for the last time—well, for this year, anyway. But it does lead to a little talk about sports in Washington, DC.

Jason has a special day—provided by Trump. From crazy to liars, the Republicans just keep on giving. We’re not impressed with the supposed "surprises". We then talked about the final debate, and that's when we were interrupted.

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Link for this episode:
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Saturday, October 27, 2012

There's a Storm a Brewing

From the Post:

The two big weather models that track storms came to a consensus Friday that the storm would turn inland somewhere to the east of the Chesapeake Bay and drench at least eight states as it drives across the Great Lakes into Canada. It is expected to turn into a blizzard before it gets there, dropping up to a foot of snow.

I went out and did grocery shopping this morning. I picked up some spaghetti and sauce, mac and cheese, soup and some bananas. I also got some batteries. Picked up some AA but could not find and D batteries at all. I went to the Home Depot and all the D batteries were gone there as well. They were selling generators. They were flying off the shelves. They were also $800 each. There was a sign that said if you returned a generator it had to be unopened with a receipt. The problem with that is for most people to get the generator into their car they had to take it out of the box.

The early tracks of the storm had it hitting along the Maryland/Delaware shore which would have a huge impact in DC. But now the models are showing it moving further up the coast. Landfall is now seen as mid-New Jersey up towards New York City. If that's the case we'll probably get some of the wind and the rain but obviously not as bad.

Even taking that bit of good news into account, I'm still on a quest for D batteries.

Friday, October 26, 2012

2Political Episode 76



2Political Podcast Episode 76 is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

We recorded this episode a a little over two weeks ago, but Arthur was too busy to edit and post it. We might have just left it as another "lost episode", but then we decided to post it anyway. Turns out it was a good decision: Our next recording was interrupted when Arthur's Internet connection failed.

We again begin by talking about baseball—yes, really, and still. Jason is still excited. But he has an odd story about time in Lebanon.

When we turn to politics, we start with the first presidential candidate debate, before moving on to the election generally. Among other things, we talk about where the Republican Party is and how it’s a failing proposition. How can it be saved—is it even possible? This ultimately brings us back to the debate.

We conclude with our passionate reasons why voting is ALWAYS necessary. Then, we move on to the comment for this episode.

Please leave a comment (anyone's welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

Normally, we’d provide links to some of the stories we mention, but, hey: This episode is late being posted. If you want to know the source, just ask, and we’ll find it for you.

Jason’s Blog
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More Thoughts on the Election

Monday Night Viewing Choices

What a night to be watching TV. The debate, game 7 of championship series and the Bears vs. the Lions. I went back and forth between all three. The debate seemed rather tame in comparison to the last one. Romney agreed with about everything Obama said then added but I’d do it better. Didn’t say how he’d do it better just I’d do it better. America will be more repsected when I’m president. How will that happen because I say so was essentially Romney’s response.

Sort of like I’ll create 12 millions jobs with my plans when there’s just as much reason to believe that won’t happen. Or that in all likelihood it will happen under present policies because the economy is slowing recovery.

I loved Obama’s comment:

“When it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s,”

He won the debate. The question is was it enough. See below.

Slipping Away for Obama?

Seems that’s the way things are going. Slowly but surely Romney is moving ahead. The national popular vote polls show a dead heat. But then again the national popular vote doesn’t matter. But the media loves to trout these polls out (see next topic for my thoughts on that). But it cannot be denied that the race changed dramatically after the first debate. Obama just didn’t do what he needed to do then. He recovered in the next two.

But Romney was able to come across as reasonable and moderate. The latest recreation of this guy. The problem I have with Romney is he’s soulless. He seems to stand for nothing. He’s a real conservative on all sorts of issues and then well he’s really a moderate. Which won will be get if he’s elected president. Here’s my analogy for Romney. He’s like the chocolate bunnies that are around at Easter. They’re great to bite into but there’s only a shell nothing on the inside.

Back to Obama. He is still ahead in the electoral college which is what matters but slowly but surely Romney is catching up. I’m not counting Obama out but he really needs to step up his game in these last 10 days.

The Media

The more I watch their coverage the more angry I get. All their stories start off with what the latest national poll says. Do national polls matter? Yes but it’s where the candidates stand in the electoral college that matters. That’s usually mentioned but later in the story. It is just so much simpler to show poll numbers then try to make sense for viewers the electoral college map. It is as I’ve said on many occasions the laziness of the media.

The next problem I have with them is illustrated by these two interviews I saw on CNN. The day after the debate CNN had John Kerry (D) on in the morning. Later one 360 they had on the governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell (R). You get one guess and only one as to who you think they thought did well in the debate in the their respective interviews. As far as I’m concerned these interviews bring nothing new or insight to analyzing what’s going on. You know the perspective these politicians by their politician affiliation. Does anyone ever think that say Kerry would say Oh my goodness Romney just wiped the floor with Obama. No I can’t see that either. Getting their opinions is a waste of time.

I feel a little better when the pundits are on. Well that is most of the pundits. It seems to me there could be more middle of the road views expressed in these groups. There need to be more David Gergens and fewer Bay Buchanans. Fewer people from either side who just spew the party line.

Finally on the media rant, in general, they need to aggressive in challenging politicians, campaigns, and parties in the statements they make. They need to be more ready to go after obvious falsehoods and truth bending/stretching (see this post). Things don’t always need to be balanced. Lies and half truths need to be called out. To me they just don’t do enough of that.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peanuts and the Great Pumpkin

Yes, it is that time of the year again Halloween is fast approaching. What better way to celebrate it but with Peanuts and the Great Pumpkin!

Monday, October 22, 2012

George McGovern Passes

My most vivid memory of McGovern is staying up to watch his 1972 acceptance speech. It was very very late. I thought it was maybe at 1 am but from reading about it in a couple of papers it was closer to 2 am where I was north of Chicago. For sure I remember watching it with my brother and I think my mother. I guess you could call it the high water mark of my liberalism. Or at least liberalism without asking any questions. I was after all only 13 at the time and kids are often very idealistic about what can and cannot be done.

His career and the people he interacted with remind me that slowly but surely we are seeing the passing of an era. Politicians who could work together. Politicians who at the end of the day could be friends if they were from different parties. Politicians with differing views that at the end of the day believed each loved this country and was trying to do what was best for it. Politicians who work out compromises that would help the American people. Something I think one can say no longer exists.

This is from a piece by Bob Dole that appeared in the Post today:
I am sure there are some who were surprised by the long friendship that George and I shared. After all, before his death this weekend at age 90, he was a proud and unapologetic liberal Democrat and I am a lifelong Republican. As chairman of the Republican Party, I did what I could to ensure the defeat of his 1972 run for the White House. When the election was over, however, George and I knew that we couldn’t keep on campaigning forever. We also knew that what we had in common was far more important than our different political philosophies.

From the Post editorial:
Mr. McGovern, who died Sunday at age 90, did not reinvent himself after his crushing defeat by President Richard M. Nixon in 1972. Just last year he published a book (“What It Means to Be a Democrat”) that restated some of the old McGovern themes but that was also surprisingly timely in the election season of 2012. “We Democrats believe people should be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their hard labor,” he wrote, “but we know that a two-tiered economy, where CEOs rake in billions for laying off their fellow citizens, is neither fair nor sustainable.”

I have to agree with the Post how timely his comments are. And how very true they are.

You’ll be missed George.

The Keebler House Goes Up For Sale

I called it the Keebler house because it originally was yellow and it is round. It reminded me of the house on Keebler cookies. The house had fallen into disrepair after the death of its last owner. Someone bought it and renovated the house. There was an open house on Sunday. This is the results. Nothing short of spectacular.

Here's a picture from the brochure they handed out and the floor plan of the house.

Finally here are a few pictures that I took. I showed up about 15 minutes before the end of the open house. There were many people there. I think most of them curious about what had been done to the house. I have to think they had many people in the house over the three hours of the open house.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Charlie and Linus Take a Nap

Before they get down to their nap, Linus does a little clean up on Charlie before settling down for their nap.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thoughts on the Election

Obama Shows Up for This One

Nice to see that the president showed up for this debate. I have to say I watched only the first 40 minutes of it. I’ve been tired lately and wanted to get to bed early. I knew if I stayed up and watched the whole debate I would stay up even later to watch the instant analysis on the networks and then turn to cable and stay up even later. Also I just can’t stand to watch Romney talk. He is just so disingenuous in what he says. The way he pitches his programs when the reality is they won’t work out any way near the way he says they will.

Like I said nice of Obama to show up in contrast to the last debate. I think he did very well. He started off a little too hot in the beginning but settled down. It was good he pointed out Romney’s well how shall I put it not exactly truthful statements.

I thought Obama gave an excellent close. He said the Romney’s plan will be forward to the past.

The Romney Non-partisan Study

The great non-partisan tax study which supports Romney’s plan comes from the American Enterprise institute. Wow what alternate universe do they live in when that organization is called non-partisan without producing laughter. Ed Gillespie of the Romney campaign was called on this by none other than Chris Wallace from Fox News. Here’s the exchange:

Gillespie: These are very credible sources, and, you know...
Wallace: One of them is from a guy who is – is a blog from a guy who was a top advisor to George W. Bush. So these are hardly nonpartisan studies.

Gillespie: Look, Chris I think if you look at Harvard and AEI [American Enterprise Institute] and other studies are very credible sources for economic analysis

Wallace: You wouldn’t say that AEI is a conservative think tank?

Gillespie: I would say it is a right-leaning think tank. That doesn’t make it not credible.

Wallace: It doesn’t make it nonpartisan.

Gillespie: It does make it nonpartisan. It’s not a partisan organization, I can tell you, there are many instances where there have been things AEI came out with and said, I didn’t find it to be necessarily to be helpful to the Republican Party.

Wallace: Would you say Brookings Institution is nonpartisan?

Gillespie: I would say the Brookings Institution is left leaning and nonpartisan.

Well Ed, I think you are the only Republican that would say that Brookings in non-partisan.

Sick of the Damn Ads
I was sick of them over a month ago. Now I have to refrain from yelling or throwing something at the TV when they come on.

There is a gambling referendum going on in Maryland. If passed it will allow a casino to be built at National Harbor the place I went earlier this year. It is a bit of a convoluted proposition. Not only must the majority of Maryland voters pass the initiative but a majority in the county where the casino will be built. The people against it are out of town liars from West Virigina who don;’t want to loose business. The people for it are telling the truth about all the promised money really won’t go to help out schools. So sick of seeing these ads.

But in the next few weeks they will really intensify. You can tell that when ads for positions in West Virginia starting running in DC.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

An Out Away

The Nationals were one out away from advancing to the NCLS. One out away and ahead by two runs. St. Louis scored 4 runs and won the game.

So very very close and yet so very far. Glad I spent the money. Glad I went to the game. It was an amazing experience.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting my Natitude On!!!

Getting ready for tonight's game. It will be fantastic.

Naitonals Force Game 5

The Nationals win to force a game 5.

As the Post put it:

The ball tore a hole in the cold October air, headed out toward the Capitol dome, gleaming white in the starless sky. Jayson Werth tossed his bat and pointed to the home dugout at Nationals Park. Red fireworks exploded behind home plate. Werth’s teammates charged out of their dugout and the raucous fans exulted, all of them warmed by the knowledge the baseball season still lived in Washington.

They all got another day. They have another game. In the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday night, Werth ended a 13-pitch at-bat with a walk-off home run to lift the Nationals to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals to even the National League Division Series at two games each. Werth came to Washington two years ago vowing he could win in this city. Thursday night, he gave them the chance to play again.

I was volunteering at Food and Friends and we were listening to it on the radio. Just amazing. I decided if there was a game 5 I would go down to the park and hang out and watch the game on some big screen TV that would be some where.

I came home from volunteering and texted a friend I was going to go down. He said would I look on Stub Hub for a ticket. I said I might look. I didn't until late. There were pretty good seats that weren't too much above asking value. Like only 3 times above. Some places people wanted ridiculous amounts of money for noise bleed seats. It's late now of course so I really can't contact anyone to see if they used Stub Hub. I selected some seats and it said they weren't available.

I thought well maybe I'll wait until morning. Then again by morning there won't be much left and probably by then only really expensive seats. I thought about it some more. I created an account just in case I decided to get a ticket. Looked at some more possible seats and what the prices were. One of the problems was finding one seat. Many wanted to sell you two or more. More seats disappeared.

Well I finally thought how many times is this going to happen. So I decided what the hell. I'm getting money back from my health insurance premiums under Obamacare because my insurance company didn't spend enough on premiums on something. I potentially have tickets to the next series but if they don't win tomorrow well those tickets don't matter.

So I have a ticket to tomorrow's game (if everything is as Stub Hub says it is). I'm in section 130 and will be yelling like crazy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pictures from the Game

What an incredible atmosphere. So many people. So much fun. And then the game happened. Ugh as Charlie Brown would say. But I am so glad I was there. It was an electric environment. Everyone was so up and so into the game, well at least for awhile. Every strike there was a roar from the crowd. It sent chills up my spine. It was just a fantastic day!

From the Post:
It started as a carnival for a city long-deprived of October Madness.

In the hours before the first postseason Major League Baseball game in Washington since the Great Depression, before hype turned to humiliation, a workaholic fan base known for a sometimes muted, late-arriving brand of cheering showed up early. They’d finessed small lies to bosses and teachers, postponed meetings, scoured cable guides for the elusive MLB Network.

They dressed in red and waved Natitude rally towels. Some even brandished the goofy hallmarks of fans gone wild, including Jayson Werth clip-on beards, red-and-white painted faces and a custom Nats superhero suit that one boy wore.

Add caption

George dancing

The entrance to the park

Everyone got their towels out!

Bryce Harper being introduced.

The game took over. And well it just didn't go very well. From the Post:

The red-clad fans flowed into Nationals Park from Half Street early Wednesday afternoon, basking in bright sun and crisp, fall air. Four F-16s screeched overhead. Frank Robinson, the Washington Nationals’ first manager, threw out the first pitch and waved to an adoring, roaring crowd. The firsts unrolled one by one, pulsing through the stadium like an electric current, until the game unfolded and the home team still had not scored the first postseason run on Washington soil since Game 5 of the 1933 World Series.

Over nine emphatic innings, the stadium’s rabid, towel-waving joy devolved into cold, stark dread. The Nationals gave this city seven months of giddy thrills and spent 145 days in first place. After the St. Louis Cardinals throttled them, 8-0, in Game 3 of this National League Division Series before a record crowd, the Nationals who made Washington love baseball again may have only one game left.

The Nationals gave their crowd rallies to cheer, and then turned them into desperate deflation. They pushed runners to either second or third base in five of the first six innings. They went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 men on base. If not for shortstop Ian Desmond’s 3-for-4 performance, the series would seem even more lopsided than it already is.

Pictures from the Game II

One of the few time the Nationals were on base.

Me and the towel.

The Nats are really going to need Natitude.

A Couple Pictures Shot Panorama

I'm still getting the hang of this but here are a couple of pictures from the game shot in panorama.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012