Gray Flannel Dwarf


Autumn beers

Been trying to organise certain bits of the house in order to move in a lot of the wife’s stuff, and to figure out where to put all the wedding gifts. This has been actually pretty difficult, because I haven’t much furniture, shelving, or storage in my house, so everything remains cluttered. Literally half my basement is gone.

Clearing and arranging cupboards, I once again encountered the 750mL bottle of Liefmans Kriekbier. I’ve had it for some time now — at least one year, probably more than two, but that’s okay because it’s been sitting in various dark cupboards, and regardless, after deciding to open it, it turns out that it aged pretty well. I already wish I’d sat and savoured it some more, but as it stands, I was trying to get things done, and drank most of it down pretty quickly, letting my roommate try some of it, in exchange for a bit of chocolate, which, albeit milk chocolate and not dark, complemented the beer well.

Fall always makes me want to try new beers, and while this wasn’t a new one to me, it indeed makes me want to hit the beer store tomorrow to find something tasty, perhaps sit out on the back porch and take in the crisp air.

Then again, it’s supposed to be near 80 tomorrow. I guess I’ll just have to buy enough to get me through this warm snap ;).

cswiii @ 4:18 am


Going out on a limb…

Here are my predictions for 2004, with the assumptions that nothing funny takes place. It’s my opinion, though, that the Kerry GOTV team will motivate enough voters that such things won’t be an issue in most places. Call me an optimist.

Kerry: 279 Bush: 259

In the battleground states…
Colorado: Bush. In the Senate race, Salazar is doing well against Coors, but I think it’s the ballot referendum which is my indicator for Bush. That’s divided somewhat along party lines, and the most recent polls on that seem to indicate that support for it is faltering.

Florida: I think Kerry wins, based a lot on this Herald/Zogby poll, but also because I can’t imagine the same thing happening again… and because the fudge factor is going to go Kerry’s way, I think.

Iowa: Kerry, but too close to call. I think the fudge factor may again pull this one out, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go Bush.

Michigan: Bush. I just don’t see Kerry winning MI. It’s a jobs state, and Kerry has been polling well, but something about it rubs me funny… maybe it’s just the 12 visits that Bush has made there, to date.

Minnesota: Bush… Minnesota is still such an independent state, and most recent polling has Nader there at 5%, despite everything, so I think that will hurt Kerry.

New Hampshire: NH is more conservative than the rest of the Northeast, but, I also think they’re a little smarter than a lot of the country, too ;).

New Jersey: It will stay Kerry. I don’t really think this was much of a swing, but I am including it because some have. Kerry is currently up by 7% in the newest poll, but it was as high as 10% a week ago. This is only a “battleground” because at one point it was seen as Bush having a bit of a surprise lead.

Ohio: Kerry, but I don’t have any concrete reasons why I think so, other than the fact that Ohio has, for the most part this year, been pretty strong for Kerry, except for a couple of flips. This is also a jobs state, and I think that may hurt Bush, at least here.

Pennsylvania: Kerry. I don’t think this was ever close, to tell you the truth. People have been saying for months that it will be hard for Bush to win PA, and with all the new registrations going on in the Philly area, I think this will be too much for Bush.

West Virginia: Bush, but that still stymies me. It’s a jobs state, as well as a steel state, so it kind of surprises me that Bush would win there, but he’s doing well. No reason to think he wouldn’t continue this.

Wisconsin: Kerry, but another one too close to call, I think. It could go either way.

For what it’s worth, you can create your own test scenario courtesy the L.A. Times.

cswiii @ 4:55 pm

The haves and the have-nots

From NYT “Sharp Increase in Early Voting Alters Campaign”:

“It’s certainly altered our campaigning,” said Matthew Miller, Florida spokesman for the Kerry campaign, citing special “early voting rallies” both Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards have held. The rallies often end with offers of a free bus ride to the polling site.

William R. Scherer, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer working for the Republicans, said his party had no need for such stunts. “We don’t need to bus,” he said. “Most of our people have cars.”

cswiii @ 11:39 am

Judging a book by its cover

A while back I wrote this off-the-cuff observation based on the appearance of what looked to be old high-school era pictures of Yahiye Adam Gadahn.

Today, I ran across this apologetic via Drudge, written by Gadahn.

In the meantime, I had become obsessed with demonic Heavy Metal music, something the rest of my family (as I now realize, rightfully so) was not happy with. My entire life was focused on expanding my music collection. I eschewed personal cleanliness and let my room reach an unbelievable state of disarray. My relationship with my parents became strained, although only intermittently so. I am sorry even as I write this.

…don’t think I could’ve been more spot-on with that one, eh.

Strangely enough, this sounds little different from the “testamonials” I heard ad nauseum during my stint in Tennessee. Evangelicals, and indeed, fundamentalism, all sound the same, mattering not how they’re packaged.

cswiii @ 10:03 am


Some Honeymoon Pics

Here are a few of the better, or more interesting, pictures we took while in Curaçao. As always, you can click on the images for larger versions.

Actually these two were taken en route from Miami. I am not actually sure what island it is, although I am guessing it is Haiti/Dominican Republic, unless we somehow flew over Cuba.

The view from the room:

More below, after the cut.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 11:14 am


Branch Floridians. “Lake Worth man accused of ‘political attack’ on girlfriend”

WEST PALM BEACH – An 18-year-old Marine recruit remained in jail on Wednesday, charged with threatening to stab his girlfriend over her choice for president, news partner NewsChannel 5 reported in its noon broadcast.

The enlistee, Steven Scott Soper, of Lake Worth, became enraged Tuesday night when his 18-year-old girlfriend said she was leaving him — and voting for John Kerry for president.

Meanwhile, there are apparently over 58,000 absentee ballots are missing in Florida.

Weren’t we all hoping, regardless of political affiliation or persuasion, that Florida wouldn’t be the fuck-up that it was in 2000? Geez.

And just for good measure, one of the funniest photos I’ve yet seen during this political year (originally from here):

cswiii @ 4:22 pm

Will Virginia go Kerry?

The Virginian-Pilot: “Bush maintains 6-point lead in Virginia poll”

Bush led Kerry, 50 percent to 44 percent, in the poll of 625 registered voters who said they are likely to cast ballots Tuesday. The survey was conducted Friday through Monday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc.

Personally, I am not going to place money on Kerry winning, although I will, of course, push for it. If conventional wisdom suggests that the state will vote Republican for the 10th consecutive time, though, I say it will be by less than 75,000 votes — if not fewer — which would be a pretty interesting move for VA.

I’ve gleaned some information from various sites, and while I am not much of a stats wizard, I came up with some numbers, albeit they may well be overly optimistic.

From the Michigan GOP site:

Statistics have shown that 70% of new registrants vote in the next general election.

If the GOP wants to spot me 70%, that’s fine. Next, we have this, from Hampton Roads News Channel 3, 4-Oct-2004:

Election officials say nearly four-and-a-half million Virginians were registered to vote as of September first. That’s up about a half million from the last presidential election.

Ok, so that’s (possibly) half a million new voters — this stat doesn’t indicate whether this count includes new residents of VA, as opposed to new registrations. In any case, if those are new regs, 70% of that is 350,000.

Let’s make some further, rash assumptions.

* I’m supposing that, despite Virginia being a red state, 60% of the new registrants who vote, will do so for Kerry. That’s 210,000.
* Nader got about 59,000 votes in 2000. Another supposition is that 75% of 2000 Nader voters will vote Kerry. That’s 44,250.

In this perhaps best-case scenario, then, one could see Kerry getting a net increase of 254,250 votes in VA this year. Not taking into account any negligible votes for other third party or write-in candidates, the remainder of those votes would then result in a gain of 154,750 for Bush. That comes out, in the end, to an estimated net gain of 99,500 more votes for the Dems this year than last.

Bush won VA in 2000 by 210,560 votes, gaining 52% of the vote, versus 45% for Gore; to reiterate, the most recent poll shows Bush/Kerry at 50/44.

Even if you water down those percentages a fair amount, it still looks to be interesting stuff going on here indeed, even if Bush wins the state as expected. Personally, I think that things will edge up slightly better for Kerry than I have suggested, if only slightly so.

cswiii @ 3:06 am


fun with premillennial dispensationalism

I came up with a good bumpersticker today.


Your car and all your toys belong to me.

Alternately, here’s an image you can use.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 2:28 pm

Letter to the Editor (Loudoun Easterner): Frank Wolf’s questionable push-poll campaign

Last night, I received an automated phone call on my land line, indicating that its purpose was a political poll, and that it would be followed by a short political ad. Having never been contacted by a polling agency before, and seeing as it’s turning out to be one of the most important elections in recent history, I decided to give it a shot.

The system first asked me if I was planning to vote in the upcoming election. I responded with a “Yes”. The next question was, “In the upcoming election, do you plan to vote Republican Frank Wolf for Congress?”

I waited expectantly for a second… but nothing else was said! No mention of James Socas, no mention of an opposing political party – no mention of anyone else whatsoever! With suspicions firmly entrenched, I responded to the question with a resolute “No.”

It is here, however, where the story gets stranger. Upon my response, I was asked whether or not I was aware that my vote could affect Virginia’s efforts to curb terrorism, along with all the other catchphrases that any fear-based campaign might be expected to employ. Neatly phrased, the question didn’t outright state that my apparent vote against Wolf would mean there would be more terror attacks, it wasn’t too far off the mark, suggesting that a vote for anyone else would be an enormous setback.

Perhaps needless to say, I hung up, and did not complete the “poll”.

Since when does rhetoric have any place in a poll? More importantly, however, since when has it been considered ethical or even legal for a campaign to employ such sorts of tactics. There have already been noted incidents around the nation in recent years past, and this year particularly, concerning supposedly unbiased polling groups using “push polling” to implicate candidates in this supposedly unbiased forum. Push polling is illegal in many states, and while it may not yet be outlawed in Virginia, it is certainly anything but ethical. When one further considers Wolf’s lead coming into the 2004 election, it raises questions as to why his campaign felt the need to resort to such scare tactics in the first place.

Until recently, I was fairly ambivalent to Frank Wolf, but responses I have received from Wolf and/or his office over the past few years concerning issues that affect Loudoun and Northern Virginia residents indicate just how out-of-touch he is with the issues here. This most recent event, however, is just another indication of how a career politician stays in a position of power due to the apathy of his or her constituency.

The push poll operated by the Wolf campaign might have tried to sway my vote, and I can state for a certainty that, after hearing of my experience, it has indeed swayed mine, and several others… but not in a direction that Frank Wolf would like.

Corey Welton

cswiii @ 12:37 pm


I heard the new Howard Dean Yahoo! Local radio spot on WTOP this afternoon, and about lost it; it’s pretty funny, and really kind of catches you by surprise. Brilliant job on the part of Yahoo!… Although I am kind of sad that the scream wasn’t directly used in association with the signature yodel. I have a sneaking suspicion based the other Y!L ad I heard, that it was probably written into the script that way originally, but Dean was likely opposed to it.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 1:47 am


Tales from the Class^W Honeymoon: Ole Crooner

I won a t-shirt during a karaoke session on our trip to Curaçao. I won “best act”, but it’s a bit diluted when you consider that only six acts performed, and every person or group got a prize — even if there was a tie for “worst performance”, no kidding.

Anyway, I started the night off with the only Dylan song on the list, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, and I sang it true to form. Reflecting upon this, however, I don’t think the DJ dude had heard the real version, because he kept ad-libbing the GnR-esque “yeah yeah yeah” parts in. Meanwhile, I finished the song, and got off stage, not taking that reflection into much consideration.

Well, I decided I wanted to get up there again, but there wasn’t really much in there that interested me. I decided on doing Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”. I gave someone the book, who took it over to enter the CD code, but came back a few minutes later.

“They say the Bob Marley cd isn’t working right now.”
“Uh… ok, let me find something else”.

So I’m flipping through the book, when it hits me:

* I just sang a Dylan song, in true Dylan form, at karaoke
* These employees have probably not heard the Dylan version
* I requested a Bob Marley song
* I am currently sitting on a small island in the middle of the Caribbean.

Why do I get the feeling that they didn’t want to hear a busted-up tune by the revered Marley?

Anyway, I sat there and flipped through the book several times before finally deciding on “Back in the USSR“. Rest assured it wasn’t performed as Dylan would’ve done it.

Good thing they weren’t having any technical difficulties with that disc, though. My next choice was going to be “Baby Got Back”.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 3:01 pm

More lamentations.

From a comment I posted in another weblog.

For about two years after college, I continued to read up on the meat and potatoes; I pored over Bonhoeffer’s Ethics, dabbled in some Merton, scribbling notes across the inside cover of the book (as taking a Dick Ray class taught me) and on coffee-stained napkins. Haven’t read much of that sort of thing in the past few years, however. Been too interested in pop political magazines and public affairs, and while that kind of stuff is okay, it’s not nourishing.

Reading this entry really makes me kind of ashamed at how intellectually lazy I have become. It’s funny that I should come across your entry at this time, however… when my now-wife and I were cleaning out the last vestiges of bachelorhood from my bedroom, I ran across a box, filled mostly with old seminary catalogues from when I was halfheartedly considering it, but which also included a few other theological books that somehow hadn’t made it onto the shelf with the others.

Out from an old yellowed copy of Rauschenbusch’s The Social Gospel fluttered one of those napkins. My wife looked at me kind of quizzically — and probably with good reason, as I tend to have scraps of paper all over the place — wondering why I’d kept some crummy old napkin in a box somewhere.

I explained afterward what it was, and she was understanding, but seeing it was kind of a kick in the pants, spiritually, but not in that gruff-grandfather sort of way… more like a bully-at-the-beach sort of way.

In terms of philosophical heft, my head is resembling something more along the lines of Fat Albert than, say, Jack Lalanne.

cswiii @ 11:15 am


old married man

In a little over thirteen hours, I will be an old married man.

I am not sure how I feel. I am not nervous, particularly, nor stressed — at least not about getting married, though the wedding process itself has the tendency to stress me out simply because I am not a totally organised, scheduled person.

The rehearsal dinner tonight seemed like a dream. Not a dream as in, it was absolutely perfect; rather, as in, it is hard to fathom that this whole scenario has occurred and is occurring. It was fun, it was good food, I really enjoyed it, and I had moments where I truly realised how important she is, and how grateful I am. Perhaps I am not an over-excitable person.

Except that I know I get over-excited at some things. Maybe I am manic-depressive. Maybe not. I am rambling.

Anyway, I don’t have fears, I don’t have doubts. I am exceedingly happy that this is occuring. Perhaps it’s just the fact that we’ve spent so long leading up to this point, and there has been so much involved, that a sense of closure — a good one, mind you — is more a relief than anything.

I am glad Robin could come up, and I am glad that many relatives, and soon-to-be relatives could make it. This will be a good event. Overall, I guess it’s safe to say that I truly am looking forward to it, beyond any mere surface desires.

That’s an understatement, I guess, but I suppose I’ve always kept my emotions pretty muted.

cswiii @ 3:14 am


What the….

So I’m here looking at this Wedding Music site, and can’t help but be amused that, apparently, three people have chosen The Donnas’ “Take it Off” as the Mother-Son dance.


Tags: , , — cswiii @ 8:45 pm

Hot air

It’s a chilly day in DC today, and that’s strange. One would think that between Paul Bremer’s “there weren’t enough troops — I mean, we had plenty of troops” and Rumsfeld’s “there’s no Al Qaeda-Iraq connection — I mean, there is a definite connection” that there’d be enough hot air and spinning going on to heat us all up.

cswiii @ 1:52 pm



I have my browser set to automatically open to a random Wikipedia page, upon load. So, I was reading the massive NY Times article concerning the flawed intelligence behind using the aluminum tubes found in Iraq as evidence, when I acidentally closed my browser.

You might imagine my surprise when Wikipedia returned this, upon load.

cswiii @ 9:30 am