Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Just Vote Damn It!

When the election comes, there's the big issue of actual voting.
126 million people voted for president in 2004.
That's 64% of the eligible voting age citizens in America. 196,875,000
72% of eligible voters are actually registered. 141,750,000
So that means that 8% of registered voters did NOT vote in 2004- 55,125,000
Why didn't they vote? Well, they're either dead, dying, alone, hassled because they have some sort of discrepancy in their registration, or just plain cynical and lazy. I'd say that 80% of that 55
million falls into that last category- and that's just a guess.

What does 40 million votes get you (80% of 55M)?
Consider this (source- Wikipedia)
  • Bush beat Kerry in 2004 by 3 million popular votes.
  • Gore beat Bush in 2000 by less than 500,000 popular votes.
  • Clinton beat Dole in 1996 by 8 million popular votes.
  • Forget Ross Perot in 1992, Clinton beat Bush by 6 million votes.
  • HW Bush beat Dukakis by 7 million votes in 1988.
Yes, I know that more people have voted in subsequent elections as our population has grown, but the point is that each of these elections could have swung the other way if enough people actually got off their registered voter duffs and pulled the lever. Isn't it a travesty that Bush actually won in 2000? Yes. But if even 500,000 more registered democrats would have gone out to cast their vote, then Gore would have been put in office. In fact the most recent election where it wouldn't have mattered was 1984 when Reagan beat Mondale by almost 18 million votes.

Will Obama get part of that cynical 40 million to actually vote this time? Will McCain? Apparently Obama has reignited political interest in the 18-25 demographic, but will they actually vote? If they do and they are all for Obama as is predicted, then it's a no brainer.

The Presidential Polls and the Fickle American

I'm no political pundit, but I have to laugh a little at the recent presidential candidate polls. As of today, McCain is suddenly the front-runner. Per the latest Reuters/Zogby poll, McCain now has a 7 point lead over Obama. This is quite a turn of events as the golden child is supposedly showing signs of weakness.

Now Obama is the "sexier" choice- hands down. I watched the Saddleback Church forum and although I'm not voting for him, I now see why Obama is so popular. But I'm still voting for McCain and he came off very well also during the same forum.

Obama has a huge youth movement behind him, along with most of our high profile members of society (Hollywood). He has "radical" yet basic ideals of how to bring our country back together again, and a history of actually doing that sort of thing. But while that might be great on a social front, I still don't believe that's enough for a president. McCain has him beat hands down on international issues as well as economic issues. But between you, me and the internet lamppost of a random blog, Obama will win regardless of this last poll.

But that's not even the point of this post. Each candidate has a huge fatal flaw that they need to rectify in order to become the clear front runner. Obama- has little credibility in the international/military front, and McCain is too old. So what does each one need to do to rectify that situation? Pick an appropriate veep.

The ideal choice for Obama is a slightly older gentleman with international clout and preferably a military background. And even if he doesn't pick someone with these credentials, he'll be ok.

The ideal choice for McCain is a younger and very dynamic black male or female. McCain is in more of a pickle. If he picks a white guy like Romney, then he'll most likely compound the image of the white male leadership of America- which is a bad thing considering his dynamic youthful minority opponent.

So while we all speculate on the meaning of the aforementioned poll, we all know that this will change- most likely after this weekend when supposedly both candidates will choose their candidates. I don't need to speculate- and I really can't. But we'll obviously see another swing or enforcement of current statistics.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tea Tree Oil

So my son Cole is 3. He had this crazy rash that looked like water blisters- all down his back to his ass crack. Perhaps 10 of them. It didn't bother him. He didn't scratch at them. But whenever we saw them, we worried about how we'd get rid of them. On a visit to our pediatrician, his doctor took a glance from across the room and declared that they were warts or more specifically: Molluscum Contagiosum. He said that the best course of action was no course of action.

A few months later, he now had about 50 of them- same general region. We took him back and the doctor once again said that the best course of action was no action. But if we wanted to take action, we could try an over the counter medicine like Compound W. He said to use it on just a few warts. This would then aggravate those warts and cause the body to react and thus start fighting all the other ones.

We tried this and it was like bloody murder- very traumatic to Cole and Nadine. We did it one time and that was that.

So about 6 months later, there's no improvement but it's still bugging the crap out of us. Now we've had this little jar of Tea Tree Oil sitting in the medicine cabinet for years. I'm not into this herbal or alternative medicine, so I've never tried using it, but Nadine decided to give it a shot. She puts it on his warts- all of them. No physical pain at all, but I just see a bunch of oil on my boy's backside and figure it's all voodoo.

Well she put it on the next day and perhaps one more day- so like 3-5 total applications- just spreading it on with a cotton ball- real lightly.

You can guess the rest. Within 2 weeks, every single wart was gone. Just gone. Cured. Boom. Done.

So now I'm thinking that we've got some sort of elixir of life. The golden scarab that will get us into the cave of wonders. The book of secrets. I'm excited. I've got fungus toe. I'm folically challenged. Get me some!

We're all out. Turns out that the bottle fell over and drained onto the counter top. This was 6 months ago. I'm too lazy to go buy some more. So much for the holy grail. I'll just suffer in peace and write a blog entry about it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Being a Tiger Fan

So I've always been an underdog sort of fan. Here's my favorites going back to childhood:

Montreal Expos- 1981 to present
California Angels- 1982 to 1986
Buffalo Bills- 1988 to 1997
Jimmy Carter- 1980

Alright, so they aren't all sports teams, but my point is that I HATE rooting for the favorite. I'm not sure why, but it's just not part of my genetic makeup. I HATE the Yankees. I HATE the Cowboys. I HATE Obama. I HATE the Patriots. I HATE the Lakers.

When my current favorite baseball player (Vladimir Guerrero) signed with the Angels, I was pretty excited. I lived 20 minutes from Angel Stadium. I grew up an Angels fan. But under current ownership, the Angels simply became the west coast Yankees. Sure it was nice to see them win, but I just wasn't excited about them. When my Expos were blown into oblivion by that prick Bud Selig and his cohorts (Loria, Sampson, I figured I'd adopt a new team. But I haven't- not with the same passion as I had for my Expos.

I didn't give up on the Bills just because they lost a Super Bowl or two, or three, or four. Anyway, I've always been a sucker for the lame bird- and maybe I'm glad that my new teams aren't the Royals and the Texans and the Grizzlies.

But for the first time in my life, I have been rooting for a favorite- Tiger Woods. Yeah I'm sure there are a billion blogs of people who might have a similar attitude as me, but Tiger Woods is just so perfect. A model citizen. Disciplined. No controversy. Oh yeah, and he's pretty good at golf. I got to see Tiger close up in Carlsbad, California about 10 years ago. My wife got free tickets to the match play tournament down the street from my office so me and my fellow dotcom sports geeks ditched work and walked around in the Tiger Woods hive. We camped out at a par 3 green and Tiger up close with his college roommate fill-in caddy. I don't know his name, but the caddy was actually best friends with one of my spectator buddies. But the tickets my wife got had some extra event on the Monday after the tourney- and it said that it was a Tiger clinic. We were a little confused, but we decided to show up to see what was up. And if you know Tiger, you know that it was an actual golf clinic hosted by Amex, Mike Turico, Tiger and about 70 fans at the driving range of the course. He was giving some basic driving tips on how to hit it low and then they opened it up to questions. A little kid asked if Tiger could hit it over the back fence of the range. Tiger said "over the back fence?... with my driver?..." The kid sheepishly answers yes and Tiger quietly says "how about with my 3?" He then proceeded to launch that badboy to Encinitas to thunderous applause. It was pretty cool.

So I've never met Tiger and I probably never will,but like so many others in the world, I'm excited to watch Tiger. And I want him to win. And I want him to dominate. Sure I was rooting for Rocco when we all knew he had no chance against Sergio earlier this year, so I think I'll always root for the underdog, but Tiger wasn't in that tournament so it's ok. The bandwagon has lots of room. And perhaps I'll buy myself a Tiger headcover so I can profess my love for the favorite.