August 28th, 2008

ozarque figure

Personal note; watching the Democratic Convention...

Yesterday afternoon I had the privilege of watching the proceedings at the Democratic Convention from about four o'clock on. I got to watch the roll call vote, and the nominating-and-seconding speeches, and the drama when Hillary Clinton called for the delegates to make Barack Obama the Democratic nominee by acclamation. I got to watch Bill Clinton's speech, and Beau Biden's speech, and Joe Biden's speech; I got to watch Barack Obama's riff when he turned up at the end of Joe Biden's speech. I got to watch the pre-speech videos.

Instead of switching the television to our usual Sirius bluegrass music channel during dinner, I left it on -- loud -- at the convention coverage, because I was afraid something important would happen and I'd miss it. A good time was had by me. I thought it was wonderful. All of it. Even the silly mini-speeches that the states' spokepersons resorted to one after another when they announced their votes. George complained about those; I pointed out to him, with my linguist hat on, that those mini-speeches are folk rhetoric, and that if he'd been one of those spokepersons he would have been standing there doing exactly the same thing, at great length, and enjoying the ceremonial power that went with it, and he allowed as how I was right.

And I was well aware how lucky I was to be able to do all that watching. People working full-time jobs, or combinations of full-time and part-time jobs -- or today's all too frequent combinations of only part-time jobs -- didn't have that luxury. I was able to do it because I have the blessed good fortune to be able to work from home, and because by four p.m. [when the festivities started] I've reached a stage of exhaustion where all I'm able to do at the computer is create one stupid mistake after another, making it a stupid megamistake to go on sitting there. When I was sixty, I could still do actual at-the-computer work from seven a.m. till six p.m. without breaking a sweat; those days are gone, and I'm very pleased now when I don't fall apart before two p.m. Usually I find that limitation infuriating; yesterday I was shamelessly happy about it, because it made such an acceptable excuse for not working.

Now I'm looking forward to Barack Obama's acceptance speech tonight, and praying that it won't rain. And hoping that if a whopping thunderstorm turns up along with it, two things will happen: (1) people will pull their raincoats up over their heads and stay for the speech all the same; and (2) Obama will provide a splendiferous condensed version of the speech in Gettysburg Address Mode and get them safely out of there in a hurry.

It was such a pleasure to hear and see and feel people making political speeches who were able to make political speeches. Bliss. Way good vibes.
ozarque figure

Recommended link; mini-cattle...

Thanks to Cindy Brown for alerting me to an interesting August 17, 2008 London Times article by Chris Gourlay titled "Just right for the garden: a mini-cow" and subtitled "Miniature cattle farming is catching on with families trying to stay ahead of rising food prices." It's at
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4547604.ece .

This terrified-of-cattle person would be so pleased if all of them were miniature...