Jan 302015

Mitt Romney said on a conference call this morning that he would not run for president next year.

Romney is a good man, and I think I would like more about a Romney presidency than I would dislike. But he’s not strong in this field of candidates. I do wish he’d stayed in long enough to tie up Bush a bit. Romney’s departure will likely accelerate the coalescence of “the establishment” around Bush.

Thing is, “the establishment” GOP hasn’t won out of the chute since 2000, and that was by a hair’s width, if you’ll recall. Jeb Bush can’t win even a vaguely competitive general election. His last name alone is at least a 5-point penalty.

The successful Republican candidate will be a small-government conservative with grown-up and sensible ideas on foreign policy. These are the arenas in which Obama has done the gravest damage; consequently, I think little else matters. Right now, of those who could plausibly win, I think that candidate is either Scott Walker or Ted Cruz, with Rick Perry and/or Marco Rubio on the bubble.

 Posted by at 1:25 pm
Jan 292015
 Posted by at 7:00 am
Jan 282015

Remember when our esteemed president released five senior Taliban leaders in exchange for one soldier (who almost certainly deserted) and the promise that the released Taliban would behave themselves? Remember that he did so unilaterally, ignoring a law requiring him to give Congress 30 days’ notice before releasing anyone from Guantanamo?

Remember the released POW’s father actively campaigning for more Guantanamo releases? Remember the released POW’s father praising Allah in Arabic in the Rose Garden, with a nod and a smile from The One?

Remember that at least six American soldiers were killed in battle while looking for Bowe Bergdahl? Did their parents get invited to the White House? Do you think Obama even knows their names?

It sounds very much as if the U.S. Army intends to formally charge Bowe Bergdahl with desertion. And the White House is exerting tremendous pressure to keep that from happening, so that whatever feel-good narrative it has deluded itself into believing is preserved. Anything in this hey-wait-a-minute story sound potentially coerced to you?

Of course, even if closed-door strong-arming fails, the president can still get his way on this by pardoning Bergdahl. I would love to see him forced into having to make that choice.

It is 650 days to Election Day, 2016.

 Posted by at 7:31 am
Jan 262015

In the spring of 1989, at UAH in my Introduction to Philosophy class, there was a girl named Carol whose eyes were the greenest, most lustrous things I’ve ever seen. They were pools of molten emerald.

She sat several rows over and slightly further forward, so we’d have opportunities for eye contact as Dr. Cling would lecture. I let her catch me looking at her a few times over the course of a couple of weeks. I finally got up the nerve to keep looking back when she looked at me, and got a little reaction out of her.

I can remember Carol’s little smile and slight eyebrow raise even today and feel funny inside.

The 43-year-old me understands that a word after class is next. “Hey, want to get some coffee?” Even the 20-year-old me knew and was good with that.

The 18-year-old me quivered with pleasure at the positive reinforcement, and then promptly did nothing with it.


Obviously it all worked out. This is not a lament. I remembered it though because of this morning’s 95.1 banter, as well as a recent Kelly Kazek piece. It seems that today, in these missed-opportunity situations, you’re supposed to write a Craigslist ad describing the interaction and hope she a) reads it; b) recognizes herself in the description; c) finds it more intriguing than creepy; and d) actually follows it up with contact.

That seems like an awfully steep mountain to climb.

Guys, you have to talk to her. If you don’t, someone else will in a similar circumstance. Step with confidence, make eye contact again, smile, and go.

Work on your sense of humor. Making her laugh will get you 20 to 30 seconds of attention from nearly any woman (and almost certainly any woman you’d want to hang with). Self-deprecation, in moderation, is a promising vein of ore here.

Just please don’t walk away and then write a goofy lament to the universe.

Anyone know of one of these ads ever working (in real life, not a movie or book)? If so, let me hear from you.

 Posted by at 10:00 am
Jan 242015

My printer wouldn’t work tonight.

After some unproductive fiddling around, I finally figured out it was because my router had wiped its own brain. Tabula rasa, baybee. Its SSID was linksys again, and wide open. So my printer was trying to get on the network with credentials that no longer existed. (Remarkably, no one had tried to use the wireless network and reported failure in the meantime.)

A cursory Binging reveals that routers sometimes do this with erratic power. My UPS needs a battery, and we’ve had some intermittent outages, so that fits.

I mess with networking just infrequently enough for it to piss me off to have to think about it. It’s pretty reliable day to day, right? So it just fades into the landscape, right? Once in a while you need to kill power to the router and modem for a minute, but when you plug them back in it’s all good, right?

So I managed to get to the router settings, and made Big Mistake #1:  failure to realize that I could simply copy the old security key from one of the connecting devices back into the router, and everything would just work again. No, I generated a new one and then set about putting it into tablets, game consoles, streaming boxes, laptops, phones…sigh.

If you’re at all nerdy, I could ask you to estimate the number of devices hitting your Wi-Fi, and you’d underestimate it by half.

I’d fought with the printer already enough to be frustrated, and some time before I realized it, made Big Mistake #2:  resetting the printer’s network configuration. It occurred to me after I’d already propagated the new key to several devices that I could put the old key back in the router. Hey, the printer would work again. Ha! I’d already mucked with it too much. The printer didn’t know the old key anymore. I’d have loved to have the printer working and have to put the old key back into everything I’d already reconfigured. But, nope.

So, fix it. Perhaps counterintuitively, the printer needs a USB connection to the computer to enable a wireless connection. I need a male-male Type A USB cable for this. My stash contains every USB cable in the universe but that one.

And so I made Big Mistake #3: leaving the house at 11 pm thinking I’d be able to purchase such a cable. I’m embarrassed at how long I was gone so I’m not going to get too far into the narrative, but I’ll admit for your perverse pleasure that I went in two different locations of one of my least favorite places in the world. (Hatred recharged.)

I get uniquely unsettled when my tech isn’t working. I mean, I’m bothered. I can’t turn loose of it as long as I think I can recover. I should have been horizontal two hours ago. But I kept thinking I could get it back before I went to bed.

And then I spent 30 more minutes writing this post. That’s probably Big Mistake #4.

 Posted by at 3:15 am
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