Happy Thanksgiving

This remains one of those rare holidays about which I have no cynicism. It’s not been commercialized. It’s a day for reflection, and for family gatherings.

I am thankful for a wonderful wife, three silly cats, and this beautiful old house. I am thankful for the business my father created, a business that provides me a good job in a relaxed and casual environment. I am thankful for my health, for a world filled with wonderful things to discover, for the beauty all around me. I am thankful for books, and music, and computer games. Especially books.

I am thankful for this forum. I am thankful for friends. I am thankful for you.

Happy Thankgsgiving, everybody.

Comments

On 25 November 2004 (10:45 AM),
Tiffany said:

Love you, J.d.

On 25 November 2004 (07:28 PM),
Mom (Sue) said:

Same here.

The Future of Oak Grove

When we moved to Oak Grove, we moved to a unique area in Oregon. The Oak Grove – Jennnings Lodge – North Clackamas community is the largest, most urban non-incorporated area in the state. If we were to form a city, it would contain a population of 36,000, spread over a relatively wide space.

A local citizen committee has been exploring the possibility of incorporating the area, or of annexing one or more sections to existing cities. Last night the committee held a community meeting. Kris and I attended.

I was surprised at the number of people present. When I was on the city of Canby’s budget committee, we rarely had more than five people attend our sessions. Last night, about 150 citizens met to discuss the area’s future. After half an hour of mind-numbing (and pointless) government-speak, we broke into small groups to decide what we want from the future.

In some respects, what we want depends on our age, and on how long we’ve lived here. The older people, especially long-time residents, are opposed to incorporation, and especially to annexation. Younger people, and new residents, are more eager to create a new city. (This delineation isn’t strictly correct; I favor the status quo.)

Among those in my small group were three older men, all long-time residents. To hear them talk, there’s a push to incorporate the Oak Grove – Jennings Lodge area once every twenty years or so. There are also frequent incursions from METRO and other government agencies attempting to exercise greater control over the area. It seems that a large, populous unincorporated area is enticing for some entities; they see it as a potential power base.

These three men — and others at the table — provided a bit of perspective on the entire neighborhood. I asked about a hypothetical bridge from Oak Grove Boulevard to Lake Oswego, and they laughed and shook their heads. It’s a topic that’s been discussed ad nauseam for decades. I asked why the schools in the area are part of the Oregon City school district. They laughed and shook their heads. They explained that River Road used to be 99E before the advent of the Superhighway. They talked about the origin of the area’s redwoods (about which I was already aware, but I humored them by nodding, listening, and asking questions).

Judging from the mood of the room, it seems unlikely that the push to incorporate will succeed. Informal polling indicated that most of the small groups were opposed to creating a new city by about a two-to-one margin. (There were some small groups that broke evenly, however.)

The opposition argument can be summarized thusly: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There is no reason to change, so why do it? If the area is threatened by some outside force — by METRO or by government legislation — then more people would be in favor of incorporation.

I don’t understand why citizens want to sacrifice the uniqueness of the areas in which they live. In Canby, there seemed to be a relentless drive to become more like Wilsonville or Tualatin, to become a bedroom community for Portland, complete with all the strip malls and expanded housing this entails. In the past decade, we watched the town shed its identity as a farming community to become a characterless cookie-cutter suburb.

Oak Grove and the surrounding communities are unique. We already have the strip malls and expanded housing that Canby so desperately desires, but we’re an unincorporated area. This gives us some freedoms that city dwellers do not have. This uniqueness is important, and ought to be celebrated rather than discarded.

(Rumor has it that more on this subject will appear later today at Clackblog. Also: if you’re from the Oak Grove area and looking for some history on this subject, please read The Story of a Neighborhood That Fought METRO. Also, writing this reminds me that I’ve never finished my lengthy “History of Oak Grove” entry. Maybe I’ll post what I’ve got and finish it later…)

Comments


On 23 November 2004 (06:34 AM),
Jeff said:

It’s 4:56 and I’m wade awake.

But apparently not as wide awake as you think you are. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for cleaning up the spam, by the way — I was not looking forward to cleaning up that mess. Although, I did kind of want to try out MT-Blacklist for the first time. Let me see if I’ve got this right — I want to Blacklist words like Hotmail, AOL, Canby, Alan, JD Roth, Tony…

On 23 November 2004 (07:29 AM),
mac said:

J.D. Could you post a little tutorial on how you use MT-Blacklist. I have it installed, and to despam, I click on the link at the bottom of every spam comment that is emailed to me. Is this the most efficient way to do it, or is there a way to despam multiple comments at the same time? That would be really helpful to us over at Minutus.

On 23 November 2004 (07:52 AM),
JC said:

Thanks for the post. [Couldn’t attend the meeting…family in town, etc.] I’ve always wondered about that railroad bridge that crosses from the park on the river at the foot of Courtney. My brother says he saw people walking across it yesterday.

On 23 November 2004 (08:30 AM),
tammy said:

Thnaks Jd. I had 200 and some odd comment spams at Dishpan dribble when I awoke this morning. When I tried to delete them I discovered they wouldn’t load. I assumed you had been hard at work. thanks a bunch. I get so much spam on that weblog it makes me sick. Even using the blacklist thing is annoying. It takes time I seldom have. It seems I spend endless amounts of time just deleting spam.It seems by now that someone could figure out how to get rid of spam forever.

On 23 November 2004 (09:14 AM),
Lisa said:

J.D., I know that Matt mentioned this tutorial about blocking spam a while ago, but I thought I’d give the link again for others who may be interested: http://www.elise.com/mt/archives/000246concerning_spam.php

I recently implemented solution number 10, which is closing comments for old entries. It’s helped immensely, since spammers usually attack older entries. The script that I installed isn’t automatic, though, so I run it from time to time to close entries older than x days. (I know that this may be difficult for you with so many sub-blogs, and your blog requires more comments than mine.)

Between closing comments and using MT-Blacklist, I’ve had few problems. I tried requiring people to preview their comments, but reversed it because it didn’t seem to help enough to merit the annoyance it caused.

On 23 November 2004 (09:23 AM),
Tiffany said:

M&D bought their house in 1986 or 1987 and their street is unincorporated. They were told that it would be incorporated soon. It still has not been. This means that the street is full of potholes that need to be fixed. When the house was robed, there was some discussion about which police force was to respond. I imagine that an ambulance would have the same problem.

If your area has these questions sorted out, then I can understand want to stay unincorporated.

On 23 November 2004 (10:11 AM),
Lane said:

I was hoping to attend last night’s meeting. Alas, I was not able to. I’m glad you were able to attend. I’ve lived my whole live (33 yrs) in Oak Grove, except for 18 months in Cannon Beach and 18 months on the PSU campus. My gut feeling is the same as the majority “It ain’t broke… “. I like the low density of the area, however that lowers the tax base. I hate the strip clubs, however that increases the tax base. We don’t have any manufacturing or large businesses to bring in money to the community, therefore if we were our own city, the money to run the city would have to come from the small businesses and residents. If we were to change our identity (become a part of Milwaukie or Gladstone, or become the city of Oak Grove) it could be better, but I am so distrustful of Gov’t right now that I could just picture a giant clusterf^$&.

On 24 November 2004 (09:27 PM),
John Bartley K7AAY said:

Monday night’s talk-talk heard our locale referred to as ‘we don’t have a name for it yet’. I’ve read it described as ‘the UnCity’ by the Complete Communities gang.

And, boy, if ‘Complete Communities’ ain’t NewSpeak, I don’t know what is.

I could live with The UnCity, but it really doesn’t portray the area well. Instead, I think we’re living in No Name City. Yep, No Name City, from Paint Your Wagon, another fine Oregon icon.

I mean, strip clubs, miles and miles of car lots, The Abandoned Albertson’s, vacant storefronts in strip malls galore; it’s No Name City, all right! And, nothing the planners could do with even the tax levels of the People’s Republic of Portland could fix it.. the only thing we can do is to stay out of the way of the economy, which means no new city to make new taxes and depress growth further.

Whadda ya say? You want to turn the NewSpeakers on their ear, and fix that image in the minds of the public with The Power of the Blog? No Name City, No Name City… I wonder if we could get Clint Eastwood to sing it for us.

The Man I Want To Be

I understand the principles behind weight loss. I understand the approximate number of calories per pound, the conversion of excess calories to fat storage (and the reverse), the effects of exercise on one’s metabolism. I understand this on an intellectual level, but often have trouble applying this knowledge in any practical fashion. In order for me to lose weight, I usually have to keep a minute record of my calorie intake so that I am forced to see precisely where I’m spending my calories. (And that’s how I look at it: as if I’m budgeting 2000 calories per day that I may spend how I please.)

My brother, Jeff, has tried a somewhat different approach, and it’s worked for him. To achieve his recent weight loss, he’s simply eschewed food during the day and then allowed himself to eat whatever he pleases at night. Yes, this violates traditional weight-loss advice (“eat many small meals rather than a few large meals”), but it’s worked for him.

“Don’t you get hungry during the day?” I asked him yesterday.

“Sure,” he said, “especially when I first started. But now it’s not such a big deal. I don’t even notice it, really. Plus if I get really hungry, I have a small snack, usually some protein.”

I’ll give Jeff’s method a try for a while, just for a change of pace. If that doesn’t work, I can always fall back to recording every little thing I eat.


“I’m not he man I want to be,” I told Nick the other day.

“Who’s the man you want to be?” he asked.

“I’m not sure. But this isn’t it.”

When my friends come to me with the weight of the world upon their shoulders, when life is bringing them down, I always tell them: “The only person who can make you happy is yourself. Happiness comes from within.”

That’s good advice. Sometimes, though, it’s easier to give advice than to take it.

If I had come to myself seeking advice, I would have said: “Happiness comes from within. If you’re not happy with the man you are, then be the man you want to be. If the man you want to be writes when he gets home from work, then write when you get home from work. If the man you want to be is fit, then be fit. If the man you want to be is not a smart-ass, then don’t be a smart-ass. If the man you want to be doesn’t watch TV, then do not watch TV. Read. Listen to classical music. Cook. Keep the house clean. Form deeper relationships with your friends. Be the man you want to be.”

My advice to myself sounds something like an Army recruitment ad.

“What are your goals?” Kris asked me.

“I don’t want to have goals,” I said. “I don’t want to have a destination. But I know the general direction I want to travel, and I’m on an opposite course.” (“I’m crowding the lee shore,” I thought to myself. I’ve been reading too much Patrick O’Brian.)

Dad used to say, “If you don’t change directions, you’ll arrive at where your headed.” I don’t like the place I’m headed.


Driving back from Hillsboro yesterday, I stopped at Voget Meats to pick up some smoked center-cut pork chops. Later, I stopped at the produce stand in Oregon City to buy an onion, a bag of potatoes, and some apples (both Jonathan and Jonagold).

At home, I prepared not one dinner, but two. I cubed the potatoes, boiled them, added salt, butter, seasoning and mashed the hell out of them. I grilled the pork. When Kris got home from work, she had a delicious dinner waiting for her.

The man I want to be cooks for his wife.

While waiting for the potatoes to boil, I set a pot of beans to soak. (When I get home today, I’ll boil the beans, add some onions and garlic, add left-over pork and a glass of wine, yielding a fine bean soup.)

After dinner, I sat in the parlor reading Brideshead Revisited while listening to classical music.

The man I want to be reads in the parlor while listening to classical music.

In the evening, I drove to the gym. I toured the cardio room, the weight room, the pool. I asked questions. (“That pool is pretty small. Oregon City has a lap pool. Can I use both facilities?”) I signed up for six months.

The man I want to be is fit. He exercises regularly.


And wouldn’t you know it, I find myself a happier person today. All it took was a tiny bit of effort to change my direction.

Comments

On 11 November 2004 (08:18 AM),
Lisa said:

Don’t stop being a smart-ass, please.

On 11 November 2004 (08:56 AM),
Jeff said:

Before the critisizm starts, I should probably expand on JD’s description of The Jethro Diet. My basic rules are as follows:

1. I only eat when I am truly hungry.

2. I drink a lot of water. NO SODA POP!

3. If I eat lunch, I make sure it is high in protein and complex carbs. (i.e. a tuna sandwich on whole grain bread with a side of pepperoncini’s, a Lean Ole burrito (chicken & bean) with salsa, etc).

4. No sweets. No candy, cookies, etc. Refined sugars are bad. If I want something sweet, I will eat fruit.

5. Moderation. I Stop eating when I am comfortably full. I take smaller portions to start with so I don’t feel I have to clean the plate.

6. Balance. You need a mix of protein and complex carbs. The Atkins diet is a little out of balance.

7. Keep moving. As long as you are moving, you are burning calories. I have a very active 2-year-old to help me with this.

I often refer to my diet as The Starve Yourself During the Day and Eat Whatever You Want For Dinner Diet.

For me, breakfast is just a natural meal to skip; so I just have coffee. If I am starving in the morning, I will eat some toast with strawberry jam. Othewise, I will not eat anything until lunch (if I am burning enough calories to need it) or even until after 3:00, when I will snack on slice of cheese, or a cup of peanuts, or a scoop of peanut butter.

I probably take this part to an extreme, but at this point I have the self-discipline and determination to make it work.

I tried the multiple small meals thing, and it didn’t work for me (without spending 10 hours a week at the gym). I would eat my small meals during the day and not have enough calories left for any unexpected dinner plans (going out to eat — either to a restaurant or to a friend’s house, or even just Steph cooking my favorite meal).

I weighed in at 215 at the end of February, and now weigh at 183. I actually gained a few pounds back at the end of September, but have been able to get back down to 183.

On 11 November 2004 (08:58 AM),
Jennifer Gingerich said:

Jd, I’ve always had a little different view of happiness than you. I really don’t believe happiness comes from within. Happiness comes from your actions and how those actions impact the world and most especially the people you love. The happiest moments of my life are not the moments when I do something for myself. I won’t find happiness on an extravagant vacation. The happiest times are when I make someone else happy. When I work hard at a project that others can enjoy. Happiness is achieved through hard work. Work that requires personal sacrifice usually brings the most satisfaction. Cooking and cleaning for your wife brings satisfaction to her, but in the end I think you will feel happier.

I once heard a guy on NPR tlak about his work with the Red Cross at refugee camps. The conditions were terrible, so much death, destruction, and loss. So little hope for most of the people. The comentator asked him why does he keep volunteering? He said, “The high I gets from helping others cannot be compared to anything else. This work brings more happiness and satisfaction than anything else in life.”

The Mennonite and Christian part of me wants to state it simply, Serve others.

From one smart ass to another. Please don’t stop!

On 11 November 2004 (09:43 AM),
Andrew Parker said:

Does the man you want to be still enjoy a good rant about the election results? Potty-mouthed but entertaining:

http://www.fuckthesouth.com

On 11 November 2004 (10:11 AM),
mac said:

I was going to try and get you to join the metro family YMCA with me. But you beat me to the gym thing. I’ve lost a whopping total of 5 lbs in 5 weeks–and I’ve been working my butt off in the gym for those 5 weeks. It’s been discouraging, I was hoping for 2 lbs a week. I haven’t been limiting my calories very much, but that’s the next step. In fact, it started today…I’m hungry ๐Ÿ™‚

On 11 November 2004 (10:45 AM),
J.D. said:

There’s something to what Jenn says. Happiness can come through making others happy. But I take issue with the following: Work that requires personal sacrifice usually brings the most satisfaction. This simply isn’t true for me.

For myself — and this may make me sound like an ogre — I’ve never found much fulfillment through altruism. I’ve considered volunteering my time at a library, not because it would make others happy but because it’s a political act: I think others should read more, and I want to do what I can to further that end. Volunteer work has never made me happy, and I’ve always thought it was mere propaganda when people claimed it would. (It does make me happy when I’m able to do something for a friend — or to give them a gift — and this causes them genuine delight. Then, I agree, giving to others is a happy thing.)

When am I happy in my life? I’m happy when Kris and I are together with no responsibilities: on a vacation in Victoria, or working together in the yard. I’m happy when I’m alone in the woods, crawling barefoot over rocks and streams and logs and ferns. I’m happy when I’m deep in a good book. I’m happy when I’m learning a new skill — photography, gardening, writing. I’m happy when I’m sorting something: books, alphabetically; computer files, categorically; shop tools, according to function. I’m happy when I’m playing soccer with a team. I’m happy at dinner parties. I’m happy when I’m in a yurt playing games with Mac and Pam, or preparing a nice meal with Jeremy and Jennifer, or spending a week on a lake in northern Minnesota with Dana and Andrew. I’m happy when I’m fit. I’m happy when I’m writing. I’m happy when I’m growing as a person.

Mostly, I think each person is different. When I tell a friend, “Happiness comes from within” or “Only you can make yourself happy”, what I’m really saying is that these people should define their self-worth and derive enjoyment in life from whatever it is that brings them joy, not from the sources others (especially the media) tell them will bring them joy. When I’m unhappy, and when my friends are unhappy, I think it’s often because they’re looking to external sources to define their self-worth and to tell them what should make them happy. This is a mistake. They need to look inside. If volunteering will make you happy, then volunteer. If smoking a cigar will make you happy, then smoke a cigar. Insofar as your happiness does not infringe on the happiness of any other person, pursue it.

Follow your bliss.

On 11 November 2004 (10:51 AM),
J.D. said:

[More on following your bliss from Joseph Campbell:

And I have the firm belief in this now, not only in terms of my own experience but in knowing about the experience of others, that when you follow your bliss, doors will open where you would not have thought there were going to be doors and where there wouldn’t be a door for anybody else.

If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, which has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.

Maybe I should go re-read Campbell…]

On 11 November 2004 (11:16 AM),
Dana said:

If you meet the Monomyth upon the road:

a) Call it to adventure
b) Tempt it with refusal
c) Confront it with a threshold guardian

z) Kill it and take it’s stuff

On 11 November 2004 (11:23 AM),
Dave said:

Andrew- It appears that Mr. Fuckthesouth.com has a bit of a ‘tude. Not undeservedly so, however, except on the bit about thinking it’s not ok to keep assault weapons in your glove box. My libertarian side kept saying, “What’s wrong with that?”

Now if I could just get my hands on some depleted uranium 9mm or .357 ammo…

On 11 November 2004 (12:27 PM),
Nikchick said:

Once again I’m struck by the (dare I say) obsession with weight and how much it seems to color your sense of self and happiness with yourself. The numbers especially seem to trigger these bouts of doubt and dissatisfaction.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want to be fit, or that you shouldn’t try, but it certainly seems that you’re not actually doing what you want to do. You struggle with it, you spend a great deal of time and energy on it, but really, is it making you *happier*? Is it so wrong to come to a comfortable compromise where you recognize that you enjoy food, that sitting down to read or puttering in your yeard brings you more pleasure than biking 15 miles?

Perhaps I’m wrong and you do get more enjoyment and satisfaction with life when you’re biking or following a strict diet and regimen of denial, but it certainly hasn’t sounded like it for all the public musing you’ve done on the subject (before, during, and after). The question then seems to be “Why, if that’s what makes you happy, do you not do it?”

My inner skeptic answers, “Because it doesn’t really make us happy,” but maybe I’m just missing something.

On 11 November 2004 (02:23 PM),
Tony said:

THE MAN YOU WANT TO BE IS ME!!!!

SUCK IT UP, STOP CRYING, AND CHANGE WHAT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU.

On 11 November 2004 (02:23 PM),
Tony said:

THE MAN YOU WANT TO BE IS ME!!!!

SUCK IT UP, STOP CRYING, AND CHANGE WHAT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU.

On 11 November 2004 (06:11 PM),
Kristin said:

JD,

1. How is Voget’s “on the way back” from Hillsboro??? Does Custom Box really want you making “sales calls”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

2. Romans 7:18-25

On 17 November 2004 (04:04 PM),
Sambar said:

The person that wrote and operates “Fuckthesouth” appears to be Nick Jehlen according to Rick Bradley. Curiously, the info about Nick is no longer on Rick’s site but it can’t escape the long arm of Google’s cache.
Nick used a pseudonym on his whois.com registration.

Registrar: DOTSTER
Domain Name: FUCKTHESOUTH.COM
Created on: 04-NOV-04
Expires on: 04-NOV-05
Last Updated on: 10-NOV-04

Administrative, Technical Contact:
Swift, Jonathan [email protected]
1 Main St
Madison, WI 53703
US
608-257-4131 (Now disconnected, I wonder why…?)

Ironically, Nick lives in Wisconsin which Kerry won by the slimmest of margins at just 11,813 votes (1,488,935 to 1,477,122).

It also appears that many of Nick’s fellow state citizens don’t share his ideology in Dane County where he rents an apartment in the Madison Technical College District. He undoubtedly voted for Kerry who won handily by 181,032 to 90,356 which may have led to his misguided and “misunderestimation” of the nation’s shift to conservatism.

Worthy of note is that in 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state to be accepted into the Union, well *after* the majority of southern states entrance.

On 16 August 2005 (09:00 PM),
Me said:

Semantics asshole, WHERE the author lives has very little to do with the message. This is about the fifth post I’ve read attempting to remove some credit for the blog under the term of him not living in a northern state. I’ve yet to read even one of you fuckers state that you have NO idea if Mr. Jehlen has lived in Wisconsin all his life, for a couple of years, or maybe he just moved there from NY a month ago. Stupid fuckers only illustrating his point more clearly. Oh, he’s from Wisconsin, ha ha! Maybe he just moved there ya assholes, grow a brain morans.

Story Problems

Pop quiz today, boys and girls.

1. You install a new 92% efficient gas furnace. You preset the thermostat to come on only in the morning and in the late afternoons. Your house has limited insulation, many large windows, and two doors without proper weather sealing. How cold will the house be when you arrive home from work? How long will it take to reach room temperature?

2. You buy a house without a bathtub. How many baths do you get to take during your first six months in the house? How much does a bathroom remodel cost? How soon can you start the project?

3a. It is Wednesday. Book group is on Saturday. Brideshead Revisited is 351 pages long, of which you have read seventeen. How many pages remain to be read? Will you finish?

3b. You read approximately 50 pages per hour, regardless of the subject matter. How many hours should you schedule to finish Brideshead Revisited? Will you finish?

3c. You plan to watch two hours of televlision tonight, and tomorrow your sister-in-law flies in for a visit. On Saturday, your brother-in-law flies in. Now will you finish?

4. The World of Warcraft beta goes live. To play, you must download a 2.42gb install file from the internet. You download 81.5mb during the first hour, but have to surrender your ethernet cable so that actual work can get done. During the second hour, you download 64.9mb over your wireless connection. How long will it take to finish the download? What if you switch from wireless to ethernet when you go home at night?

5a. You read (audited?) Master and Commander in 13 days. You read Post Captain in 16 days. You read H.M.S. Suprise in 8 days. You read The Mauritius Command in 12 days. How long will it take you to read all twenty books in the series?

5b. You’re borrowing the O’Brian books from the public library. The library allows you to borrow them for 28 days. (You’re allowed to renew an item if there are no holds on it, but there are always holds on the O’Brian books.) How far in advance must you place a hold so that the next book is ready for you when you finish with the current book?

6. You decide to install two horseshoe pitches in your back yard. A regulation horseshoe pitch is 40 feet from stake to stake. A regulation pitch for women is 27 feet from stake to stake. The only space in which your wife will allow you to place the pitches has an irregular shape, about 28 feet long in one spot and about 34 feet long in the other. How many trees and bushes must you hack in order to create your horseshoe pitches?

7. You weigh 200 pounds. Six months ago you weighed 180 pounds. How many calories did you consume during those six months? How many Hostess Sno-Balls is that? How many hours of bicycling would it take to drop to 180 pounds again? How many Patrick O’Brian novels could you listen to during that time?

I’m in one of my periodic blue moods, an epoch of low self-esteem and self-loathing. Fortunately, Kris is there to lend support. And I’ve got my Simon and Garfunkel to listen to. I’m playing “Old Friends” and “America” over and over again. Simon and Garfunkel carried me through many days and nights of teenage angst. Now I find they’re able to carry me through the days and nights of middle-age angst.

I’ll be my normal cheery self again soon. I promise.

Comments

On 10 November 2004 (09:17 AM),
Pam said:

Enthralled by horseshoe data, I was quite disappointed to see your horseshoe link actually goes to some crappy wargame page (please, never speak of this game to Mac) – seems like a bait and switch to me!

On 10 November 2004 (09:22 AM),
J.D. said:

Oops. I was busy chatting with Nick when I constructed the links. The error is fixed now. And Pam: you should be proud of Mac. He already decline my invitation to join the game… ๐Ÿ™‚

On 10 November 2004 (09:27 AM),
Tiffany said:

Do you ever get the bookclub book read with lots of time to spare?

On 10 November 2004 (10:32 AM),
sennoma said:

Hang in there, JD.

On 10 November 2004 (10:42 AM),
Scott said:

Ok, I’ll tackle number 7.

A 20 lb. gain is roughly 70,000 additional calories beyond what you normally ate. At your age, (presumed) activity level, and weight, you need 2403 calories to maintain your current weight. Doing the math, you ate an additional 384 calories per day in those six months for a total of 2787 calories per day.

A Hostess&trade Sno-Ball is 180 calories. Therefore you ate 389 Snow-Balls.

Again, at your current weight, bicycling 12-13.9 mph burns 768 calories per hour. Therefore, you need to cycle for 91.145 hours.

The four Patrick O’Brian audio books you listed on average are about 11 CDs long each. (I am presuming you listen to the unabridged versions because if you aren’t, I am not sure I want to know you Mr. Roth.) At approximately 70 minutes per CD, you would need to listen to 7.1 novels at 12.83 hours each to reach 91.145 hours.

Hope that helps.

On 10 November 2004 (11:17 AM),
Drew said:

You install a new 92% efficient gas furnace. You preset the thermostat to come on only in the morning and in the late afternoons. Your house has limited insulation, many large windows, and two doors without proper weather sealing.
1. How cold will the house be when you arrive home from work?


Ambient temperature – around 50 degrees


How long will it take to reach room temperature?


23 hours. However, it would have been 24 if you had not added insulation.


2. You buy a house without a bathtub. How many baths do you get to take during your first six months in the house?


Not enough. None of your friends were brave enough to bring it to your attention.


How much does a bathroom remodel cost?


Calculate the amount you can reasonably expect from a second mortgage. Double that number. Add 1.


How soon can you start the project?


6 months + 1 month for each Patrick O’Brian novel read during this time + 1 month for each Book Club meeting + 1 month for each Computer Resource job that you refuse to take, but do anyway – 1 month for each Mr. Bill’s Trivia night at Mickey Finn’s.


3a. It is Wednesday. Book group is on Saturday. Brideshead Revisited is 351 pages long, of which you have read seventeen. How many pages remain to be read?


702. You have already forgotten what you read in the first 17 pages and the Brideshead Revisited is such a convoluted novel that each page will have to be read twice.


Will you finish?


Yes. Except for the last 335 pages. However, noone will notice.


3b. You read approximately 50 pages per hour, regardless of the subject matter. How many hours should you schedule to finish Brideshead Revisited?


Calculate number of hours until Book Club. Subtract 3.5 hours for Mr. Bill’s Trivia at Mickey Finn’s Thursday night. (Includes travel time.)


Will you finish?


See above. (You’re repeating yourself. That’s not a good sign.)


3c. You plan to watch two hours of televlision tonight, and tomorrow your sister-in-law flies in for a visit. On Saturday, your brother-in-law flies in. Now will you finish?


Hope springs eternal.

4. The World of Warcraft beta goes live. To play, you must download a 2.42gb install file from the internet. You download 81.5mb during the first hour, but have to surrender your ethernet cable so that actual work can get done. During the second hour, you download 64.9mb over your wireless connection. How long will it take to finish the download?


Bathroom. Book Club. Relatives. Mr. Bill’s Trivia Night. Wife…Unplug the cable and back away slowly. Get yourself into a support group.


What if you switch from wireless to ethernet when you go home at night?


It will make no difference. Kris will know.


5a. You read (audited?) Master and Commander in 13 days. You read Post Captain in 16 days. You read H.M.S. Suprise in 8 days. You read The Mauritius Command in 12 days. How long will it take you to read all twenty books in the series?


16 hours, playing the books at 6x normal audio.


5b. You’re borrowing the O’Brian books from the public library. The library allows you to borrow them for 28 days. (You’re allowed to renew an item if there are no holds on it, but there are always holds on the O’Brian books.) How far in advance must you place a hold so that the next book is ready for you when you finish with the current book?


Your natural life span (assuming that it is shorter than mine). I have all the O’Brian books on reserve and will hold them hostage until either the bathroom is remodeled or you come to Mr. Bill’s Trivia Night, this Thursday 7-10 at Mickey Finn’s.


6. You decide to install two horseshoe pitches in your back yard. A regulation horseshoe pitch is 40 feet from stake to stake. A regulation pitch for women is 27 feet from stake to stake. The only space in which your wife will allow you to place the pitches has an irregular shape, about 28 feet long in one spot and about 34 feet long in the other. How many trees and bushes must you hack in order to create your horseshoe pitches?


None. You will invent a new game that involves a trapezoidal sandbox, horse shoes, and a gerbil. It will sweep the Internet and then go the way of pet rocks.

7. You weigh 200 pounds. Six months ago you weighed 180 pounds. How many calories did you consume during those six months?


I’m taking the 5th.


How many Hostess Sno-Balls is that?


Google: Buffalo Blizzard of ’77


How many hours of bicycling would it take to drop to 180 pounds again?


Google: Lance Armstrong – France


How many Patrick O’Brian novels could you listen to during that time?


All of them. Twice. Then you could dictate the entire series with lively inflection.

On 10 November 2004 (11:23 AM),
Betsy said:

I hate math.

However, I know the answer to the first one, as I also had a big old house with several uninsulated areas. Notice the past tense in the previous sentence…

Depending on the outside temperature (a statistic you cleverly left out), it will take between 1-4 hours for the house to approach room temperature.

If I were you, I’d program the thermostat for a minimum degree for specific times of the day instead…my old thermostat let me specify a temperature for 4 times of the day – I picked 5 am, 8 am (when we’d all be out of the house), 4 pm and 9 pm, and programmed in temperatures accordingly.

On 10 November 2004 (12:04 PM),
al said:

I must insist that you stop referring to yourself as middle-aged. Boo. Hiss.

On 10 November 2004 (12:14 PM),
Amy Jo said:

I concur. We are defintely not midde-aged. We have at least 10 years to go before we hit middle age.

On 10 November 2004 (02:12 PM),
Tiffany said:

The average life span of a white, male living in the US is 73 years old. The average life span of a while female is 79 years old. So, J.d. is not quite mid-age, but pretty dam close.

On 10 November 2004 (03:16 PM),
Mom (Sue) said:

Regarding what you say about being in a period of low self-esteem and self-loathing, maybe it’s an inevitable “mom” reaction, but I feel I have to tell you that you are one of the finest human beings I know. I’m proud to have given birth to you. I feel this way about all three of you boys. As to mid-life, I watched your dad go through it, and we both survived. ๐Ÿ™‚

On 11 November 2004 (07:08 AM),
Joel said:

Excellent arithmetic, Drew. And delivered with such clarity that none of it needed further explanation, at least to me.

And JD, let me assert that I also think you are a fine human being, and I never regret my decision to carry you to term.

On 11 November 2004 (07:43 AM),
Dana said:

You would be an even better person than you already are if you stopped smoking…

On 11 November 2004 (08:03 AM),
J.D. said:

Here’s a rant re: smoking.

I am an adult. I am an intelligent adult. I was raised in a non-smoking household. When I was a kid, I didn’t know anybody who smoked. For thirty-five years, I’ve been taught about the dangers of smoking. I understand the risks. Any educated person my age knows the risks.

Many people who smoke do so because they made foolish choices as teenagers, choices that led to an addiction. They’re hooked. They try to quit but can’t. This is a problem.

I am not one of these people.

Might I become addicted? Sure. It’s possible. But at present I smoke my pipe — and I never smoke anything but my pipe — maybe one day a week. I like the taste, I enjoy the process, and I especially revel in the camaraderie when I share a smoke with a friend.

I like to smoke my pipe.

It’s a conscious choice, one that I make knowing the inherent risks.

I do not need anyone haranguing me to stop smoking. These admonitions are arrogant and condescending. They presuppose I’m some sort of idiot.

Kris, my loving wife, hasn’t said anything, though I’m sure she disapproves. I believe she recognizes that to scold me would be futile. (Though she’s not afraid to berate me for smoking in the house.)

I appreciate your concern, but please cease your pleas to get me to stop smoking.

You’re wasting your time and annoying the pig.

On 11 November 2004 (08:16 AM),
Lisa said:

All good questions. I often get caught in similar loops, because there really are answers for most of them.

If it’s any help, Brideshead Revisited is faster once you get out of the prologue. That just about killed it for me.

Also, perhaps you should start requiring the use of someone’s bathtub when you visit for dinner.

Robbed!

Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me. This morning, I seem to be in the depths of mental illness, as evidenced by this interview with myself.

J: Good morning, J.D. How are you today?
D: Not so good. I think I was robbed last night.
J: Robbed!?! That’s not good.
D: No, it’s not. When I got in my car this morning, things were missing.
J: I’m sorry, man. How’d the crook get into your car. Wasn’t it locked?
D: I think so.
J: You think so?
D: Well, I park it on the side of the street, right? And I lock it every night after I get the mail. I don’t recall doing anything different last night, though maybe I did.
J: Maybe?
D: Yeah. It was trash day, so I had to drag the containers back behind the outbuildings. When I came back to get the stuff out of the car, I got the mail first. And then when I’d gathered everything, my hands were full with a footstool, my backpack, and a pack of Hostess Sno-Balls.
J: Mmm. I love Sno-Balls.
D: Me too. Anyhow, I’m pretty sure I locked the car, but maybe I didn’t.
J: Was it locked this morning?
D: I think so.
J: You think so?
D: Well, yeah. I don’t know for sure. In the morning, I walk down the sidewalk and as I come down the steps to the street, I unlock the car with the remote. The car made the same unlocking noise as usual today, so I think it had been locked.
J: Then how did the crook get in.
D: I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t lock it.
J: What’d the bastard take?
D: My brown Pendleton hat, my CD-visor, my Patrick O’Brian CDs.
J: Which O’Brian book were you reading. Er, auditing.
D: The Mauritius Command. And it was just getting good! Stupid old Clonfert’s eye was dangling out.
J: Gross. How many CDs were in the CD-visor?
D: Maybe a dozen. And they were good ones, too!
J: Wow. What did you have? U2? Jet? The Decemberists?
D: No, no. I don’t carry pre-recorded CDs with me in the car. I only carry mixes I’ve made. So the visor had all three of my vintage mixes (which include pop songs from the 1950s), my Mexican mix, my funk mix, my ambient mix, my two “clinging to vinyl” mixes, and so on. Lots of great stuff.
J: Er, this is great stuff?
D: It is to me. I worked hard on those CDs, and now they’re gone. Which bums me out because I don’t have those playlists recorded anywhere. I had the visor upstairs so that I could re-create the playlists in iTunes, but I hadn’t gotten around to it yet.
J: So where’s the visor?
D: Upstairs. In the media room.
J: But I thought you just said it was stolen.
D: Hm. I guess I’m not sure where it is. Maybe it wasn’t stolen.
J: Uh-huh.
D: Well, it’s hard to keep track sometimes. The media room’s a mess right now because I’m still in the midst of my ironing project.
J: Ironing project?
D: Yes. I’m ironing nearly every piece of clothing I own. It makes it difficult to find a place to put anything. Or to know what’s there. Last night Kris and I watched a Netflix movie, and I had to scrunch around a pile of clothes. And I couldn’t put my feet up because my hat was in the way.
J: Which hat?
D: My brown one. The Pendleton one.
J: The one that was stolen?
D: Er…I’m not sure. Maybe it wasn’t my hat on the coffee table. Maybe it was something else.
J:
D: I mean I looked for my brown hat when I left this morning, but I didn’t see it.
J: Where did you look?
D: Just downstairs in the mudroom.
J:
D: sigh
J: Do me a favor, will you? Go out to the CBS sales car and tell me what’s on the front seat.

…time passes…

D: Look! Look! It’s my Patrick O’Brian CDs!
J:
D: Hm. I guess I should call Kris and tell her not to worry. Maybe my car wasn’t robbed after all.
J: Right. And after that, why not call a shrink. Your memory problems seem to be morphing into something a little bit stranger. I mean, you’re writing a weblog entry in which you talk to yourself.

In other news: I saw a dead skunk on the road this morning, about a half mile from the office. This filled me with excitement. Might it be possible that this was my skunk? Might it be possible that my office wouldn’t smell of musk and decay this morning.

No, it would not be possible. That would be hoping too much.

Comments

On 09 November 2004 (10:07 AM),
Joel said:

Clonfort, the ultimate foil for Jack.
Hey, remember that one time we went to play Bingo?! You do? See, you remember the important things.

On 09 November 2004 (10:25 AM),
Dana said:

At this rate you’re going to be as addled as I am, JD. =)

On 09 November 2004 (10:43 AM),
Drew said:

Just back away slowly everyone…

On 09 November 2004 (04:45 PM),
Kris said:

I wonder if anyone noticed that this is the same ironing project you first mentioned on October 19th! Yes, attentive readers, Jd’s clothes have been in piles on the floor, futon, & ironing board for three entire weeks now. Maybe I’ll steal them!

On 09 November 2004 (05:10 PM),
Dave said:

It may be, Kris, that he wouldn’t notice. After all, doesn’t he have an entire closet full of brand new, never before worn, Costco clothing that’s just waiting to be brought out and ironed?

On 10 November 2004 (08:16 AM),
the skunk under your office said:

It takes real talent to make DSL run like NetZero dial-up.

On 10 November 2004 (08:45 AM),
Tiffany said:

When I was in college, our house got broken into and things (guitar, video camera, cordless phone, etc) were stolen. Then I walked in the house, I noticed that the phone was moved (or gone) but I did not think much of it because Rich was doing renovations and I figured that he has just moved the phone out of his way. I got some food and set down, finally noticing that Richโ€™s guitar was missing. Again, I did not think much of it; he had taken the guitar to work before or it could be upstairs. It was not until I noticed the muddy, dog-footprints up the stairs that I figured out something was wrong. I never let the dogs in the house with muddy paws. I started looking around any noticed more things missing. After being home for about an hour, I finally figured out that someone had been in our house (and let the dogs run around while they were stealing things).

unWired

We went to an election party last night. The group oozed Liberalism: we were teachers and government employees, we were well-educated, we were non-religious.

Our hostess had planned several anti-Bush activities (to go along with the ubiquitous unplanned Bush bashing). We took a Bushisms quiz, attempting to pick out Bush quotes from quotes of former U.S. Presidents. (Not difficult.) We whacked a Bush piñata. And for our final act of blatant disrespect (civil disobedience?) we doused a Bush effigy with gasoline and set it aflame in the street.

(Some of this made me uncomfortable. I’m not sure why. I dislike Bush, too, but I felt like we crossed a line somewhere, going beyond rational anger to irrational hatred. And this is coming from the guy who actually lit the effigy; Kris couldn’t get a match to light.)

When our anti-Bush activities were over, we gathered around the television to watch the election returns.

It was painful. And not because of the results (though those were painful, too.)

At home, before we left, I’d been glued to my computer for two hours, following Yahoo! and CNN as they tallied the early returns. Over and over and over again, I relaoded the pages, mostly to no change, occasionally to a few more electoral votes for Bush, a few more for Kerry. I felt connected. I was receiving instantaneous feedback. I had access to the information I wanted when I wanted it. How were returns in Florida breaking by county? A click of the mouse, and I had those numbers.

I took my iBook to the party, hoping to access an internet connection, either via landline or by leeching off a nearby wireless node. No such luck.

I was at the mercy of the television.

Reception was poor (no cable), and mostly we watched PBS, which seemed obsessed with ten minute segments on the historical context of this election rather than showing the election returns themselves!

The local news channels were worse: “Let’s show ten minutes of Tom Potter claiming victory in the Portland mayoral race. Who cares about that Presidential race, anyhow?”

I cared! And the fact that I was sitting there, on the couch, watching punditry without any hard data drove me crazy!

“And let’s only show the results for a half dozen races at the bottom of the screen.” Argh!

“Do you want to leave?” Kris asked, sensing my frustration. I did.

At home I lay in bed, laptop on my chest, reloading the same pages again and again and again. I watched Kerry inch closer in Ohio — “He’s within 100,000 votes now, down from 180,000!” — I watched his lead in Iowa disappear.

I was in control of the information, I determined which data was most important to follow.

Television is no longer relevant to me.


Earlier in the day, I heard an interesting piece on NPR: a commentator was discussing the most divisive elections in United States history.

He claimed that the election that most divided us was held in 1896, between William McKinley (and Vice Presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt) and William Jennings Bryan (of Scopes monkey trial fame (or infamy)). The U.S. was coming out of a severe economic depression. Also, there was a great debate regarding the country’s growing prominence on the world stage — what role should we play?

The Presidential election of 1968 was also especially divisive, the commentator said. Race, economics, Vietnam — these ripped the nation in two. He then explained how 1932 was a contentious election year, primarily because we were in the midst of the Great Depression.

As this man spoke, I realized that these elections were spaced exactly 36 years apart. I further realized that the election of 1860 — 36 years before 1896 — was also divisive (how had it not made this commentators list?). What’s more, this current election was coming 36 years after the last instance he’d cited.

So now I’m dying to know: is this 36 year cycle a regular thing? It’s held true for 150 years, but will it continue to hold true? Will 2040 produce another election in which the country is sharply divided? And what about 1824? And 1788? Were these years of great polarization with the United States?

The older I get, the more interesting history becomes…

Comments


On 03 November 2004 (08:55 AM),
Denise said:

Ok, this is probably not going to be a popular comment…but I have to say it. Regardless of whether you support the current President or not, I feel you should respect the office. I don’t think a Bush piรฑata displays that respect. I find it sort of offensive, almost as much as burning our nation’s flag. It also seems very juvenile.

Mocking his Bush-isms is one thing…but hitting his likeness with a stick?

On 03 November 2004 (09:02 AM),
Kris said:

I agree, Denise, it is somewhat childish, but I feel it truly gets at the actual RAGE many of us feel for this “president”. He has done a greater disservice for the dignity of the office than anything I’ve seen in my short lifetime. Lied to Congress, lied to the U.N., lied to the American people. I love this country, and I feel extremely patriotic, but I cannot and will not hide my contempt for such a religious fanatic as George W. Bush. Here’s to four more years of the same bullshit.

On 03 November 2004 (09:03 AM),
George W. Bush said:

Once again, they misunderestimated me.

On 03 November 2004 (09:08 AM),
J.D. said:

No, I think it’s a good comment, Denise.

I mean, I really dislike Bush. A lot. More than I’ve ever disliked any other President. (I haven’t really actively disliked any other President, actually.) And I do take delight in the stupid things he says and does. And I do think he’s an idiot.

But I felt uncomfortable last night because I knew we had crossed some undefined line in my moral world. I felt what we were doing was wrong, if only to a small degree.

The fact remains that Bush has brought a lot of this emnity upon himself, however, in his casual disregard of existing policy (re: environment, etc.), his casual disregard of the world community (re: Iraq, etc.), his casual disregard of anything but his own beliefs. He’s so certain that he’s the mouthpiece of his god that I sometimes worry we’re headed for a theocracy.

I want to respect Bush, but I can’t. Not even just because he’s the President. However, I believe I oughtn’t be so openly disrespectful, you know?

On 03 November 2004 (09:08 AM),
Denise said:

And I agree with you, Kris. I think it is also offensive that Bush took us from 100% world support to almost none in less than two years. And I understand that part of the reason I am proud to be a US citizen is because people are free to express themselves.

For some reason that just left a bad feeling in my gut. And you know, I don’t think it is so much the actual act, I think it makes my heart sink because it shows just how divided our country is – as J.D. discusses later in the post. The one thing I always want is that the US stands as a united front to the world. We obviously aren’t that right now, and it saddens me. Plus, we are more susceptible when we are divided.

To rethink, that is what really makes my gut uneasy.

On 03 November 2004 (09:10 AM),
al said:

If Bush were smarter than a piรฑata, then I would say it’s wrong.

On 03 November 2004 (10:08 AM),
J.D. said:

Some poetry to mark the occasion…

From “The Second Coming” by W. B. Yeats:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Fits my mood precisely.

On 03 November 2004 (03:26 PM),
mart said:

are you surprised that this nation is a bunch of crazed jesus-worshipping facist dipshits? proud to be american? hah. this whole country stinks worse and worse everyday. and unfortunately there’s no coming back from this trend. PNAC has had this dialled in for some time, this latest election merely proves that their PR has been taking hold. we’ve just told the rest of the world “fuck you, we’ll do whatever we want to…”. burning bush in effigy? man i’d burn the real guy given the chance… and i’d damn sure have a zippo as backup for the matches.

On 03 November 2004 (04:14 PM),
mac said:

Mart, why do you live in America again?

On 03 November 2004 (06:33 PM),
Joel said:

Speaking for mart (always a dangerous thing) I’d guess that it’s merest happenstance. His parents are Americans, but, having spent some formative years abroad, he identifies more with the Old and Third Worlds than with we the New.

Part of me wishes we’d planned ahead and made an effigy last night, I felt so helpless and at a loss. Man, our guy got killed. It’s funny to feel that way after such a close race, but my expectations (modest as they were) were clearly too high.

The thing about the pinata and the effigy for me, (and this may be so obvious that it’s going unsaid [and listen to me stammer and mutter, I’ve clearly lost some confidence waking up in this new america]) is that they suggest and symbolize a willingness to perpetrate physical violence for one’s cause. What would have happened if some smug neo-cons had motored by and hooted at your demonstration? Would you have shouted curses at them? Thrown a flaming bit o’ Bush? Grabbed the conveniently placed single-bit axe and…?
Of course not. We’re liberals. We may not be holier-than-though, but we certainly are wussier than.

On 03 November 2004 (07:06 PM),
Hayduke said:

Hell, burn him for real I say. You’re all just a bunch of wussy liberals anyway. Why I don’t remember y’all being so uppity 4 years ago when the fucker stole the presidency in the first place. 4 YEARS AGO was our legitimate time to take to the streets and cause some unrest. Shit, he’s had 4 years now to be the president and this time he won the ‘lectoral college and the pop’lar vote outright. Its’ too late now–he’s “entrenched”.

Liberals are a bunch of pussies, playin’ fair 4 years ago and now…TOO GODDAMN LATE!

We’re befuckered.

4 More Wars!

On 03 November 2004 (09:04 PM),
dowingba said:

This entire thread, comments and all, offends me. And I’m Canadian. Get over yourselves. The man won the election, fair and square, just as he did in 2000. If you didn’t vote for him, damn. If you did, yippee. There’s no need for a black background, as if this day is a black stain on the history of the United States. Slavery? Sure. But a man being democratically elected to the seat of President of the United States? Grow up, people. There are real issues in the world to focus on — irrational hatred of someone just because he’s a member of a different political party just isn’t responsible anymore.

On 03 November 2004 (11:00 PM),
J.D. said:

Dowingba, you make some fine points, as usual, but you’re too quick to dismiss other people’s beliefs as “irrational hatred of someone just because he’s a member of a different political party”. I don’t think anyone here hates President Bush just because he’s a Republican. If he were a Democrat and making the same decisions, we’d hate him just as much. What we object to are his decisions. Many of us object to his messianic belief system, a well-documented and scary aspect of his Presidency. You’re right that many of us are acting like poor sports, but can you blame us? Had the Kerry won the election, Republican weblogs would be filled with the same stuff.

On 04 November 2004 (05:20 AM),
dowingba said:

I certainly can’t predict what would happen in alternate realities; but I can tell you that almost every conservative weblog I read publicly took a pledge to support whomever wins the election, whether it be Bush, Kerry, Nader, or Dracula. Also, while I never took any sort of pledge, I did state publicly that I didn’t care who wins, as long as it’s a clear and decisive victory, in hopes of quelling the bitterness generated by the 2000 election.

The only campaign promise (from 2000) that Bush hasn’t kept was his promise to run a “modest” foreign policy. Obviously that promise had to be broken in the wake of 9/11. Any President acting differently would simply be failing the country they took an oath to serve. That being said, Kerry’s foreign policy is almost identical to Bush’s, so I don’t understand where the incredible amount of bitterness is coming from.

We get it, you don’t like Bush — he mispronounces words and has big ears. Damn. Fix your Democratic Party and maybe you’ll win next time. Until then, support your president because doing so is good for America. It’s what America needs right now.

On 04 November 2004 (06:02 AM),
Joel said:

dowingba said: “Until then, support your president because doing so is good for America. It’s what America needs right now.”

Um, nah.

So, I’m excited by this 36-year cycle thingy. In 1824 there was another election that was too close to call as neither Andrew Jackson and John Q. Adams won a clear plurality of votes. So the decision went to the House who selected Adams, who was actually 10 points behind Jackson in the voting. The campaign was also particularly nasty, with charges of drunkenness, criminality, and poor fashion-taste being exchanged.

On 04 November 2004 (07:53 PM),
Mom (Sue) said:

It’s interesting that the entries here are mostly on the liberal end of things (other than dowingba, who is a Canadian). It may be that conservatives are a bit afraid of expressing their thoughts here. I would say I’m on the conservative side, and I’m a bit afraid of expressing my thoughts here. ๐Ÿ™‚ To boil it down to what influenced my voting, the two main things were the history John Kerry had of flip-flopping on the issues, and that I felt it was better to go with the devil I knew (Bush)than the devil I didn’t know.