Thursday, September 30, 2004

Liveblogging Debate #1

Well, I'm here in Mike Krempasky's house, having taken up this offer. The debate is coming up in about an hour.

I don't know how much actual live-blogging I'll be doing, but I'll try. I'm not sitting in my apartment screaming at the TV by myself this time around.

CSPAN is carrying the pre-debate feed, where Jim Lehrer is coaching the audience, unaware that he's on live TV.

The candidates come out and shake hands.

CSPAN is breaking the debate rule that disallows split-screen views of the two candidates.

Kerry is long-winded. George Bush has started off very shaky, looks like he keeps losing his train of thought.


Bush still looks like he's grasping for words, leaving long pauses before continuing his sentences.

Seems like Lehrer is going to the thirty seconds every question now.

Pfffh. I'm not doing a good job of liveblogging. I'm paying too much attention to the actual debate, trying to catch everything for myself, to be able to critique every step coherently on here. :( I'll keep posting my thoughts and observations, but I can't vouch for their cogency.

Here's a thought, though -- Kerry is arguing that we shouldn't have brought foreign troops to help us in Afghanistan. Kerry is also arguing that we should have brought foreign troops to help us in Iraq.

Lehrer makes a good point. He points out that Bush is multilateral in the case of Korea, while Kerry is unilateral.

At this point, Krempasky's wi-fi seemed to overload, and I couldn't access the Internet anymore, so I had to stop liveblogging :(.

My final thoughts on the debate: Bush got his points across well, and so did Kerry. But Bush seemed preoccupied with something else; his mind wasn't into the debate, and that concerns me. I was wondering whether there were national security issues weighing on his mind, and my thoughts were (partially) confirmed after the debate: I was informed that Bush was involved in an all-day security briefing earlier in the day, and it was implied that the meeting's purpose was not debate coaching but rather talking about newly-discovered information. This is all hearsay, of course, but it fits in with my reading of the President.

President Bush also seemed, at times, to be expecting a crowd response. He would pause for a second as if waiting for some cheers or claps or something, and then seem to remember that the event is a debate rather than a rally. Bush is an extrovert; he thrives on the goodwill of others, on crowd reaction and participation, and he was uncomfortable with the reception he got from the crowd. Of course, the crowd reception wasn't his fault -- as I think I mentioned earlier in this post, Jim Lehrer coached the crowd beforehand, telling them to remain silent. At one point, he jokingly said "I'll kill you", presumably to someone who was speaking up while he was addressing the crowd. But I believe only CSPAN carried this pre-debate coaching.

Anyways, I think that Bush will do better in the townhall meeting. He'll be able to have more of a rapport with the crowd, so he'll feel more relaxed, more able to make jokes, more able to be himself. I'm looking forward to it.

Blindside, Project 86 Victimized By Thieves

Story here. In two unrelated incidents, both Blindside and Project 86 lost their touring gear and much more. In Dallas, TX, Blindside was robbed of all their gear, their total tour earnings to date, their computers and other gadgets, and their passports. Project 86, in Phoenix, was robbed over over $7000 in gear and merchandise.

Project is asking for donations if possible. I may send a check out this weekend.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


No, not this. Mt St Helens, which geologists think is ready to blow again.

Monday, September 27, 2004

"Violence Never Solves Anything"

I read Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein, something like ten or more years ago (which would have made me twelve at the most). I just read it again this weekend. I didn't realize it at the time, but the book influenced my thoughts on war more than any other except the Bible itself, and maybe The Lord of the Rings. Hmm . . . what does it say when you trace back so much of your thought process to works of fiction? I don't mean the Bible, of course, but Tolkien, Lewis, Heinlein, Roddenberry, Card, Schulz, L'Engle, even Franklin Dixon, who was himself fictional. None of you may ever know the extent to which my adult life has been directed by Bill Watterson.

Anyway, back to the subject. Starship Troopers is a treatise on the ethics of warfare disguised as a science fiction novel, and I encourage everyone to read it. Here's an excerpt:

I thought about it during the last session of our class in History and Moral Philosophy. H. & M. P. was different from other courses in that eveybody had to take it but nobody had to pass it -- and Mr. Dubois never seemed to care whether he got through to us or not. He would just point at you with the stump of his left arm (he never bothered with names) and snap a question. Then the argument would start.

But on the last day he seemed to be trying to find out what we had learned. One girl told him bluntly: "My mother says that violence never settles anything."

"So?" Mr. Dubois looked at her bleakly. "I'm sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that. Why doesn't your mother tell them so? Or why don't you?"

The had tangled before -- since you couldn't flunk the course, it wasn't necessary to keep Mr. Dubois buttered up. She said shrilly, "You're making fun of me! Everybody knows that Carthage was destroyed!"

"You seemed to be unaware of it," he said grimly. "Since you do know it, wouldn't you say that violence had settled their destinies rather thoroughly? However, I was not making fun of you personally; I was heaping scorn on an inexcusably silly idea -- a practice I shall always follow. Anyone who clings to the historically untrue -- and thoroughly immoral -- doctrine that 'violence never settles anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler would referee, and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedom."

Crossposted at RedState.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Realign on FOX?

Just got this from Realign. I'll see if I can make it, but I'm not promising. Anyone else interested at all?


GUESS WHAT!!!!! We need your help. We have a show comeing up Oct. 2nd at Evangelical Free Church in Bloomington IL and we need you to come and show your support. FOX will be their to film our performance for a Central Illinois based TV series called Uncovering the Underground so we want to pack the place from front to back. Also performing will be some friends of ours from Carbondale IL called Skuf, you can learn more about them by visiting This event is looking to be a great evening filled with crazy rockin music and crazy rockin people. So don't miss this event it will be a good one.

We have also just finished recording some new music and we have decided to place a pre-production version of our new song SUFFOCATE on the website, and we want you to evaluate it for us. We want to know what you think about the direction our music is going, so go to and listen to the new song SUFFOCATE and then fill out the evaluation form. Your opinoin is very important to us so wether you think it is the best or the worst thing you've ever heard we want to know.

Thank you for your support and we will see you Oct 2nd at E-Free in Bloomingtion IL

Friday, September 24, 2004

Good News for Potlucks All Across the State

No longer do Illinois churches have to fear government crackdowns on Sunday afternoons! Story here (registration may be necessary :( ).

Expos Update

Sounds like the Expos are going to move to Washington, DC, after all. The plan is for the team to use RFK Stadium until a new field is built south of the city. Story here.

Cornerstone 2005

Just bought my ticket to Cornerstone 2K5 for $80 -- I think that's the cheapest I've ever paid for it. Prices go up after September 30!

Giving "Electric Boogaloo" A Whole New Meaning

Check out the video here, via Junkyard Blog.

Now all we have to do is take the Borg's "Resistance Is Futile" speech, put it to the tune of Darth Vader's Imperial March, and our doom is assured.

Dancing Robots
Dancing Robots
Dancing Robots
Robots Robots

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Soli Deo Gloria

Track: Soli Deo Gloria
Band: Too Bad Eugene
Record: Moonlighting

tell me, where can i run from You, is anywhere out of view?
been running so long, there's nowhere to hide
here now Your presence is all around, the light never flickers out
it searches my soul and pierces my mind
my world is left behind

and i hear You calling
confess with your mouth, believe in your heart, you shall be saved
and these walls start falling
You tear me down, you lift me up
my will is changed
You fan this flame

then You say to obey Your commands, i finally think i can
but not by my will, it's just by Your grace
so send me out and we'll change the world, every boy and girl
will know that You're king and know that You reign
all others pass away

and i feel Your peace now
greater is He, that is in me, than who's in the way
so i'll seek You first now
i'll take up my cross, consider my loss for Your sake gain
sola fide

and i hear You call out
confess with your mouth, believe in your heart, you shall be saved
so i'll seek You first now
i'll take up my cross, consider my loss for Your sake gain
sola fide

and soli deo gloria
to God alone be all the glory
let God be true and every man a liar
let every knee bow every tongue confess
to God alone be glory, not to men

Want to be a Christian Music Reviewer?

I just posted this as a comment over at my friends' Media group blog, but then I thought it could go just as well here. I'm about to send in an email, and you can too if you're interested.

Hey guys,

Not sure if this is up your alley or not. You may consider yourself competitors rather than possible contributors, but is looking for help. I originally heard the news at CCMBuzz, and the contact info is here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Cubs snap streak

I missed this -- but only by a couple days. With the Cubs' win on Monday, they're guaranteed to have a winning season. Paired up with last year's 88-74 record, it's the first time since 1971 and 1972 that the team has had two consecutive winning seasons!

Cougar Sightings in Lynwood

The Washington Post/UPI has a short blurb here (scroll down). Not much detail, but a police officer claims to be a witness and a biologist says it's possible, so be careful when you go outside.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Ineffective Security at Illinois Capitol Building

I guess they've caught the guy who (allegedly) shot the security guard at the Capitol building in Springfield. I'm glad they did, and I'm saddened by the death of the security guard. But what jumps out at me in the story, what I simply can't believe, is this claim:

The Capitol building doesn't have metal detectors, and the security guards are unarmed.

What?! Last I checked, Illinois is part of the USA, not Happy-Fun-Land-Where-Nobody-Ever-Tries-To-Shoot-An-Elected-Representative. I'm very sorry that it took the death of one of these security guards, but it looks like people are coming to their senses:

"We will not allow cold-blooded killers to keep our people away from their government," the governor said. White, who manages the Capitol, has asked lawmakers to approve the use of metal detectors and said he would push for them again, along with other security upgrades.

Blagojevich said he supports the idea. State Rep. Rich Brauer had known Wozniak for about 30 years.

He said Wozniak had a wife and two teenage children and had moved to the small community of Petersburg decades ago to escape the violence of Detroit. "What can you say? He was just real friendly and outgoing," Brauer said.

"To me it's incredible that we have this guy that is in charge of security at the Capitol, and he's there with no protection at all. And a guy comes in with a gun."

BTW, I noticed that the quote above mentions a "White" without providing a first name. I went back to the article, looking to get the full name and bracket it into the quote, but it is never mentioned. Just another minor example of media incompetence, I guess. Maybe it's Secretary of State Jesse White?

Monday, September 20, 2004

States Update

create your own personalized map of the USA
or write about it on the open travel guide

No, this is not a Bush vs Kerry prediction. For that, go here. This is just an update of this. I'm making progress -- twenty-six now, two states added in four months. I'd been hoping for three, but Cali didn't work out :(. I got to catch a Rockies game in Denver, though, which brings my major league baseball stadiums count up to four -- Comiskey, Wrigley, Camden, and Coors. I have no idea which of these checklists I'm going to finish first -- probably neither.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Travel changes

Well, because of Ivan, my co-workers and I missed our connection in Denver for Santa Ana. We decided just to stay in Denver for the weekend, so at 1 in the morning local time, 3AM Eastern, we're online trying to find something to do in the area. We have quite a few different things -- the Dodgers-Rockies game, a local brewery, hiking -- that most of us want to do, but that one of us (a different one for each) has completely nixed. Guess which one I vetoed . . .

So we're going to try to get a consensus in the morning to go canoeing. I think we'll get it together. Well, I hope we get it together.

Did I mention my 'new' computer? My old work PC broke down -- Blue Screen of Death while installing a driver update for the wireless card from Windows Update, and afterward the bottom PCMCIA port seemed to be fried. So I couldn't use my wired network card, which I need for work. I borrowed another computer for the day -- another employee had just gotten a new laptop himself and was sending his old one in, so I borrowed it. I sent an email in to the home office, and everybody agreed that the best solution would be for me to keep the other guy's 'old' computer as my 'new' one. It's alright; definitely a lot better than my old one, which I still have to clean up and then turn in.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Baseball Update

The Cardinals are the first team this year to clinch a playoff spot. The Cubs' magic number is 15. Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee have all been eliminated. For the important race stats, as always, check out RIOT Baseball.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Will Ivan Hover?

One Hand Clapping compares the three-day (Sunday) and five-day (Tuesday) forecasts on Ivan here. I'd heard from Tom Skilling a couple nights ago (yes, we get WGN in Virginny) that this hovering over western North Carolina was a real possibility. Looks like the current models are actually predicting western Virginia. So now I'm wondering whether I'm going to get to work on Monday.

Bush-Kerry Gap only Four in Illinois?

Maybe my vote will matter after all.

UPDATE: Keep forgetting to mention my sources! This is via RedState.

"You Can Do A Lot In One Day."

Barcepundit has the story here.

My attempted translation of the body of the advertisement (from my HS and College Spanish, IANAE):

You can do a lot in one day.

Imagine what can be done in three months.

Now, if you subscribe to EL before October 8th, we will give you three months free.

In EL, you will encounter up-to-the-minute current events, analysis from all perspectives, news from the last hour, more than 1.3 million published articles back to 1976, exclusive multimedia animations and some of the largest companies in our country.

Subscribe now to EL and enjoy three months of news free.

UPDATE: Just thought I should mention this is via Lileks.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Loyola Health System Induces Labor as Means of Abortion

Story here. Since Loyola is a Catholic organization, it is not allowed to perform abortions. But, according to Catholic sanctions, it is acceptable to induce labor once a child is viable -- I'm assuming this is to potentially save the life of the child. Doctors at Loyola, as well as Providence Health System on the West Coast, use this as a loophole: they wait until a child is technically viable (the cutoff is 23 to 26 weeks), and then induce labor, fully expecting the child to die after birth.

CBS 2 Chicago Turning on Network?

CBS 2 Chicago has a report here that seems to support the accusation that the Rathergate memos were forged. No conclusions are drawn, but a clear contrast is made between the number of experts and witnesses that have collectively criticized the memos as forgeries and the monolithic authoritarian response from the network. They present quotes from two document authenticators -- Emily Will and Linda James -- who were hired by CBS to investigate the memos, and who both strongly cautioned CBS that the documents were unauthenticatable (is that a word?). Killian's secretary is also quoted, as well as Matley and California Congressman Chris Cox. The "Forged memos, but true content" angle is suggested at the end of the article.

I don't see any AP mention, so this seems to be CBS 2's own story, taking a position against Rather. Any thoughts?

UPDATE: Just saw the AP mention: "The Associated Press contributed to this report." Not sure what that means. CBS does claim rights to the story: "© 2004 CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed."

UPDATE: Mike from Rathergate got back to me:


Thanks for the link - FYI - it was a national CBS story this morning

I guess I missed that. Does this indicate that the network is moving toward an apology, and an admission that the memos are forgery?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Seven Keys to Baldpate

I am going to make this. The Inner Geek, who comes as close to a high-school nemesis as I ever had, is the lead actress. By God's grace, we've patched up our differences since Doom Jail, so I'm looking forward to meeting her once again!

Relient K Album Release Show

I don't think I'll be able to make this, but maybe you can (whoever you may be).

Relient K is back!

Youth leaders and parents get ready! The number one requested Christian band of youth and teens, Relient K, is coming to Chicago for a special album release party on October 28th at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.

Tickets are available now for the low price of $15. PLUS…included in the admission price is a copy of the brand new full length CD, MmHmm.

Relient K live in concert…plus a CD all in one!

Tickets are general admission and a limited number are available!


Call Christian Happenings 1-800-965-9324

Order online at

Order by mail: send a check payable to Christian Happenings with $8 s/h to:
6155 Huntley Road, Suite F – Columbus, OH 43229


October 1 (In 3 weeks!) – Third Day with TobyMac See Third Day in their first stop in Chicago in 2 years. Friday, 10/1/04 at UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

November 7 – Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns - #1 artist & songwriter, Steven Curtis Chapman, makes a long awaited return to Chicago with worship artist and leader Chris Tomlin plus the fasting selling debut artist, Casting Crowns (“If We Are the Body”). November 7th at UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

November 9 – David Crowder Band, Something Like Silas, Shawn McDonald – Join rising worship band David Crowder Band for an evening of innovative & contemporary praise! November 9th at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: call 1-800-965-9324 or visit

Monday, September 13, 2004

New Stavesacre Song

Check out Stavesacre's newest song "A Handful Of Words" here.


Please pray for Chris Muir and family.

Rathergate Website is up and running.

'Election blow for HK Democrats'??

Posted by Hello

So according to CNN International's Asia front page, Hong Kong's pro-democratic parties have suffered an 'election blow'. Which means, once the MSMspeak is translated into English, that they gained three seats, while their opponents gained none. Full story here. I also like their caption for this picture: "The disappointment is clear on Martin Lee's face as he talks to the media." Well, it's not clear to me, but thanks for editorializing.

Of course, like most other of my rants on here, I could be completely wrong. But characterizing an electoral gain as a loss seems disingenuous at the least. I welcome confirmation or correction.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

60 Minutes Documents forged?

Power Line is reporting here that the Texas Air National Guard memos used by 60 Minutes to cast doubt on President Bush's National Guard service are forgeries. This claim is based on the fact that the memos are not in monospaced font -- that is, fonts in which all characters are of equal width. Instead, the memos are in proportionally spaced fonts, meaning that an i is thinner than a w, for example. Proportionally spaced fonts are currently very common, because the advent of laser printers has removed the necessity for mono spacing. But in 1972, the only way to produce proportionally spaced fonts would be through typesetting equipment -- for an internal memo, never meant for public consumption? I mean, one of them is "SUBJECT:CYA"!

Take a look at the memos (PDF format) here, here, here, and here (main site here), and make your own conclusions. I've been working with computers since 1984 (yes, since I was two years old, no joke), and those look like nothing I've seen printed before c.1995 (compare with this unrelated memo from 1972). Because of the proportional space issue, they are obviously not the product of a typewriter. They look exactly like what you'd expect from a modern desktop computer using MS Word and printing to a Canon, Ricoh or any other modern printer.

UPDATE: a reader to Power Line points out the elevated 'th' in this memo. Can anyone prove this was possible to do in 1972 for an internal memo?

MORE UPDATES: Check out the FReeper factcheck, going on here. You'll find typewriter experts (which I am not) weighing in there.

I'm starting to agree with one of the comments below:

I think something very clever is going on here. I think there are 2 real documents and 2 forgeries. The real documents are the memo ordering GWB to take a physical and the memo revoking his flight status. These are the two docs released by the White House; but they are old news, it has been known for 4 years that GWB missed a physical and lost his flight status.

When I made the statement that "[t]hey look exactly like what you'd expect from a modern desktop computer using MS Word and printing to a Canon, Ricoh or any other modern printer," I had one of the last two in front of me -- I believe the third memo. Looking a little harder at the first two, I can accept the possibility that they were made by a high-quality typewriter, though I still doubt it; but that third one -- if it's not a laserjet-printed document, I'll eat my ink cartridge.

And does anyone have solid evidence that these memos are in fact those released from the White House, as some other commenters have asserted? The CNN report makes a distinction between the documents released by the White House and those that CBS had, which were "personal files from one of Bush's Texas commanders saying Bush discussed with him how to avoid drills during 1972."

LGF, which I should read more often, compares his own version of MS Word with the document here.

THE UPDATES KEEP COMING IN: INDC Journal brings in a Forensic Document Examiner to perform an initial visual analysis. Story here.

EVEN MORE: Kevin Drum, who I'm guessing is a liberal-leaning blogger, reports here that the White House released the memos immediately after receiving them from CBS -- meaning that CBS is the source rather than the WH.

CNSNews has picked up the story here. We'll see if any larger news organizations take the ball and run with it.

Mypetjawa is skeptical.

NEWS SLOWING DOWN: INDC's examiner claims 90% probability of a forgery. Other than that, not much is happening. I get the feeling that everyone is taking a deep breath, crossing their fingers, waiting to see if a major news organization touches the story. INDC's comments section is calling on everyone to get ahold of their local CBS stations, let them know that they'll be taking the fall for the network if they don't start looking into this themselves. And Ron Coleman (of Instapundit sidebar-ad fame) instant messaged me to say:

Hi, Josh. As I have said to a number of bloggers, forget the typeface. The memo is simply not written the way U.S. Army personnel would express themselves in that era. "CYA" in a memo? The use of conjunctions in writing was frowned on in schools during the 1940's and '50's, when these officers were educated. It's just too casual -- "not happy today"?

I touched on that earlier ('I mean, one of them is "SUBJECT:CYA"!'), but didn't really go into detail on that. I've been coming at it from a document analysis point-of-view, because that's the part that sticks out to me. But I have read many others pointing out some of the lingual inconsistencies, both with respect to the casual tone and with respect to typical martial memorandums. The CYA is just the most glaring example. Others include references to 'Bush' without mention of his rank in the second report, usage of the term 'physical examination' rather than the industry standard 'medicals', and reference to 'Ftr Intrcp Grp' rather than the standard abbreviation 'FIG'. I don't have first-hand knowledge of this, so feel free to confirm or correct if you have documentation or some other evidence.

TO THE NEXT LEVEL: The Washington Times picks it up here. Actually, they picked it up off of UPI!

SATIRE ALREADY?: The forgery story is also gaining traction in humor circles.

FURTHER ROUNDUP: Sorry about the lack of updates; I went out to eat. Now I'm back for a little bit, and I'll post what I find.

First, WorldNetDaily has the story here, which mentions LGF, INDC, Drudge Report, Kerry Spot, Power Line, and both the CBS 60 Minutes page and the CNS News story.

Luis at UglyPuppy has a detailed analysis of the visual problems here. Lots of pictures, lots of detail on all of the accusations so far related to the look of the memos.

Powerline has more comprehensive updates, including analysis of the signature, more questions about the availability of proportional type, kerning, and a possible anachronism. BTW: if you're reading this, Dafydd ab Hugh, Balance of Power is a great novel!

Hugh Hewitt touches on the story here, and I hear he had a forensic expert on his show today to talk about the possible forgery.

ABC gets in on it with a story, by an AP writer according to the byline, that Killian's son questions whether his father wrote the memo. It also confirms the CBS-to-White House path.

Weekly Standard has also picked up the story. "[A]ccording to several forensic document experts contacted by THE WEEKLY STANDARD say the Killian memos appear to be forgeries."

And there are reports that the Fox News Channel has picked up the story, although I can't find it on their website yet.

That's it for now. I'll let you know more when I find it.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: Scrappleface unleashes more humor. Command Post has a roundup. The Talent Show strikes back, but is way behind the news curve.

FINAL UPDATE (probably): Here's what we've all been waiting for: the WaPo picks it up here, and will carry it as front-page news.

After doubts about the documents began circulating on the Internet yesterday morning, The Post contacted several independent experts who said they appeared to have been generated by a word processor. An examination of the documents by The Post shows that they are formatted differently from other Texas Air National Guard documents whose authenticity is not questioned.

Other news hits: The Star Ledger and the Gleaner both carry an AP report. And look at the spin:

Still, the documents marked the second time in days the White House had to backtrack from assertions that all of Bush's records had been released. They also raised the specter that Bush sought favors from higher-ups and that the commander of the Texas Air National Guard wanted to "sugar coat" Bush's record after he was suspended from flying.

This is immediately after admitting that experts believe this is a forgery. If it's a forgery, how can this mark either a forced White House backtrack or the implication that Bush sought favors?

I don't see any other media hits yet.

Mypetjawa is convinced.

Power Line has started new posts on the subject here and following. This one is the most important: Drudge is claiming here that CBS is beginning an internal investigation, and that if need be, Dan Rather will personally correct the record on-air.

If that happens . . . I'm in shock. I know that others (well, a couple at least; let me retain my vanity :P) have pointed to me as one of the pushers of this story. Honestly, I just got lucky by catching the Power Line story at just the right time, and then offering my own uneducated opinion and hanging on for the ride. But to think that a loose group of individuals across the country could conceivably force the biggest name in news to offer an on-air correction . . . If Rather does this, if he apologizes or even just reads a correction note on-air at the end of a newscast, this will be a watershed moment in the blogosphere, in the Internet, and in news. There's no going back.

Los Angeles

I'm flying to Santa Ana next weekend with some friends for no real reason. I might catch the Blindside/mewithoutYou/The Kick show in Pomona, but besides that, have nothing planned yet. I think the group is going for a more unstructured schedule than we had in Seattle, where we saw all the major sights in a 24-hour period. So, rather than see everything, what is the one thing in the LA/Santa Ana area that I should hit with my fellow travelers?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

What Am I Listening To?

Okay, I hope this works. If it does, the line below will tell you what I'm listening to:

I want to put this on the site itself rather than just in one of the entries, but I don't know where to put it. Any suggestions?

UPDATE: BTW, this was done through the magic of AudioScrobbler and the coding powers of Darklohr. I had nothing to do with it.

Celestial Static Shows

Latest Celestial Static Update:

Hi there!
This is our basset hound, Lucie.
She wanted to make sure that you knew of some upcoming Celestial Static shows.
So, take notes, you wouldn't want to let her down... would you?
Just look at those eyes!

This Sunday- September 12
Thunder over Streator
in Streator City Park
Streator, IL
FREE show!
also playing: Glenn Kaiser, The Wayside, Fog, Cruise Machine, and more!
Celestial Static will be playing sometime on Sunday
between 12 Noon - 8:30 p.m.

The start of THE THREE DAY CHICAGO (and Chicago-Suburbs)! What a mouthful!

Thursday- September 16
Hard Rock Café
18 + SHOW!!!
with 9-Fifty and The Regels
63 W. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60610
Show starts at 9 p.m
(C.S plays first… come a bit early!)
$5 cover

Friday- September 17
The Abbey Pub
(21 + show)
with The Rosenbergs
and Tristen
3420 W. Grace (corner of Grace and Elston)
Chicago, IL 60618
Doors open at 9 p.m.
Show starts at 10 p.m.
(CS plays 1st… get there early! They have GREAT Irish food!)
$10 advance/ $12 at Door

Saturday- September 18
The Warehouse
with The Violet Burning,
Satellite Picture Show,
and Erin Lee (she’ll be starting the night off…so come early!)
308 E Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60505
Doors open 6:30 p.m.
Show starts 7 p.m.
$10 cover

Go to our SHOWS page on our website for more details!
Hope to see you at some shows!

Celestial Static~ Julie, Jeremy, and Jason

Celestial Static Official Website © 2004 Celestial Static

I wish CS came farther south . . . I only see them about once a year, and that's at Cornerstone.

UPDATE: I just looked up Streator on a map, and I guess I don't wish they'd go further south, since Streator is pretty far south. I just want them to play some shows in the South 'Burbs.

My Turn at the Personality Test

Got the link from Obeythefist:

ISTJ - "Trustee". Decisiveness in practical affairs. Guardian of time- honored institutions. Dependable. 11.6% of total population.
Take Free Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Monday, September 06, 2004

Edan Concerts Schedule

Here's the latest email from Edan Concerts. Anyopne interested in either the Supertones or the Project 86 show?

Dear Edan Concertgoers,
Even though fall is coming and the leaves will soon be dropping, we here at Edan decided we're going to hold on to summer as long as we can! Edan is proud to announce Eight (That's right, EIGHT!) Hot concerts for the fall that will be sure to keep you warm. Kicking off the month of Rocktober is the Supertour with the Supertones and Superchik followed shortly by an amazing line up featuring Pillar and Project 86. We also have incredible contemporary artists like Bebo Norman, Caedmon's Call, Avalon, Mark Schultz, and Matthew West scheduled for late October and November. Make sure you check out our website at for a full list of these great upcoming shows. See you there!


Sunday, October 3rd, 2004
Supertones - Superchik - Skyharbor
The Wedding - Flatfoot 56 - Neophyte Standing
Cornerstone Church
855 W. 5000N. Road
Bourbonnais, IL 60914
6:00 pm show
$15 Advance

Friday, October 15th, 2004
The Awakening - Leper - Dead to Sin
Heart & Soul Caf"r> 253 E. Rand Road
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
7:00 pm show
$15 Advance

Saturday, October 23rd, 2004
Pillar - Project 86 - Falling up - Subseven
Wonderland Ballroom
310 E. Chicago St.
Elgin, IL 60120
6:00 pm show
$18 Advance

Sunday, October 24th, 2004
Roper - Elementary - The Felix Culpa - Hook, Line & Sinker
Heart & Soul Caf"r> 253 E. Rand Road
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
7:00 pm show
$10 Advance

Saturday, October 30th, 2004
Bebo Norman - Bethany Dillon - Jason Morant
Edman Memorial Chapel
501 College Ave.
Wheaton, IL 60187
7:00 pm show
$12 College / $12 Group / $15 Advance / $20 Gold Circle

Sunday, October 31st, 2004
Bebo Norman - Bethany Dillon - Jason Morant
Cornerstone Church
855 W. 5000N. Road
Bourbonnais, IL 60914
7:00 pm show
$15 Advance / $20 Gold Circle

Friday, November 5th, 2004
Caedmon's Call
w/ Compassion International Artists
Judson College
1151 N. State St.
Elgin, IL 60123
7:30 pm show
$12 College / $14 Group / $17 Advance / $20 Gold Circle

Saturday, November 20th, 2004
Avalon - Mark Schultz - Matthew West
Concordia University
7400 Augusta Blvd.
River Forest, IL 60305
7:00 pm show
$15 Group / $18 Advance / $22 Gold Circle

Attention college students: Edan Concerts and Ministries is recruiting campus representatives to help promote Edan Concerts around Chicagoland. Please contact the Edan office via our website at

We hope we see you soon,
The Edan Concerts and Ministries Staff

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Blame it on TekieCid

This is all TekieCid's fault. He'd just bought some tacos there, and literally five minutes later the place was going up in flames. I heard something about the cashier refusing to give him sour cream.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Hey Guys!

Anyone out there want a GMail account? I have five to give away. The first five people (hopefully friends and/or avid readers) who somehow get their current email addresses to me will be invited to receive an account. I'll post an update here once I've sent all five out.

Pillar is the Next Big Thing

The latest Flicker Records newsletter:

1.Pillar is the Next Big Thing
2.Monk and Neagle tours with Ginny Owens this fall!
3.subseven rocks the studio
4.Rise of the Robots Tour
5.Mark & Will of Audio A. and Flicker Records announce benefit concert.

1. Pillar is the Next Big Thing
Flicker is happy to announce that Pillar has been named Fuse's Next Big Thing
for the month of August. Previous winners include: Modest Mouse,The
Killers,Coheed and Cambria,Lost Prophets,Story of the Year and Switchfoot.

In other Pillar news...the band has some big things coming up in September. The
band will be hosting MTV2's Head Banger's Ball on September 18th. Pillar's song
"Rewind" will be played on the season premiere of the CBS drama Joan of Arcadia
on September 24th.

2. Monk and Neagle tours with Ginny Owens this fall!
Now that the self-titled CD has hit the streets, the guys are supporting the
album on tour with Ginny Owens. Keep checking back for updated shows on their
new official homepage or

3.subseven rocks the studio
The boys have been working hard on their follow up album due out in March '05.
Everyday they post a new pic or video clip from the studio, so check out their
news on They head out this fall on the Pillar "Where Do We
Go From Here" tour, so catch a show and grab their EP which is available now!

4.Rise of the Robots Tour
The Rise of the Robots tour featuring Flicker's Staple and Mortal Treason will
headline shows Oct.12-Nov.18th. Both Chasing Victory(mono v/s stereo) and The
Showdown (mono v/s stereo) will also be on the road with them, so keep checking for showdates.

5. Mark & Will of Audio A. and Flicker Records announce benefit concert
Audio Adrenaline and special guests get set to ROCK on October 28th, a benefit
concert for the Hands & Feet Project and Rocketown Skatepark. Event takes place
at Rocketown in Nashville, TN at 7PM Central.If you or anyone you know can
travel to Nashville for this event, HELP us spread the word! Visit AudioA.COM
for details and maps. Tickets are only $12 in advance, call (615) 843-4006.
Hope to see you there!

Your church and youth group can team up with Audio Adrenaline and be responsible
for building homes for orphans in Haiti. The land has been cleared off and blue
prints have been drawn. After the charity auction, AudioA will be organizing
teams to travel to Haiti and START BUILDING. Tell everyone you know and your
church pastors to sign-up for information about building a team at

Rocketown (or, more accurately, RCKTWN) is a great venue. I went there a few weeks ago, during my trip to Nashville, to see Stretch Arm Strong, Haste the Day, Martyr AD, and a few more local bands (including jakelevinsrideshisbike). It's a renovated warehouse, with a cafe-style area, a small-venue style area, and a huge stage area.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Liveblogging the Bush Nomination

Alright, here's the other side of the coin. I did the Kerry nomination here, and now it's time for Bush.

I start watching right before the Bush daughter piece. Seems like basically fluff, giving a little more insight into the Bush family, making him seem a little more human. Do we really need that, though? I mean, I think most criticisms that are leveled against Bush as a person are that he's too much of an Average Joe, and not presidential enough, whatever that means.

Now it's Michael Williams, Assistant Convention Secretary. He's talking, but it's hard to understand what he's saying, because they're showing the Bush cavalcade coming in and they're also airing external audio.

Williams, an African-American is stressing how his success story is based on the fact that Bush believed in him.

Hmm . . . Looking at the schedule, Nicole Mullen already sang and Michael W Smith is up ahead. I already posted on Third Day playing yesterday. I don't know if anyone else has been in a position to notice this, but there's a demographic that is definitely being courted this week, and I haven't seen anyone else mention this. Jaci Velasquez, Third Day, Nicole Mullen, and Michael W Smith are all Contemporary Christian Musicians. Giving all of them a national stage such as this is a huge step for the bands, and also helps to reach to the evangelical Christian community. It's a very subtle and smart move, IMO -- bringing in modern evangelicals, especially younger segments, who might usually feel no need to vote. Add in some of the benedictions I'm seeing right now -- some of the huge heavyweights in the Christian speaking circuit, such as Joni Eareckson Tada and Max Lucado. I've never heard of Donnie McClurkin before, but it sounds like he fits the bill also. And this won't hurt much, since those outside of this segment probably don't recognize these names.

In between, CSPAN gets in a shot of one of Comedy Central's The Daily Show reporters.

BTW -- sorry to Third Day for calling them CCM here. They're only CCM in the broad sense of the word, and I don't mean to disrespect them, just trying to generalize a little to make a point. Third Day, you guys are rock to me. ;)

Mel Martinez now, Republican Senate candidate from Florida and former HUD Secretary. He's been hyped up very recently on Red State (post here) as possibly the candidate that can bring Florida to Bush again. Focusing on Bush as a good friend, as a compassionate conservative, as an enabler.

He seems to be reading from the teleprompter a bit much. Staring at one place too much, uncomfortable with the words.

Looks like Michael W Smith is coming up next. Still looks pretty young, although I think he's in his forties now. Singing "There She Stands", which he claims was written at the request of President Bush.

And now, George E. Pataki (Georgie Pataki? ;). Sounds like his focus will be on national unity, starting with an anecdote about some Oregoners (Oregonians? Oreganos?), some Iowans, some Pennsylvanians, other states helping out New York. Sounds a little too scripted or acted or something, though. Was he a stroke victim or something at some time in the past? He's only smiling with half of his mouth, and his voice seems to be a little slurred. I haven't really seen him speack in public before.

Now the emphasis is on Bush doing what he say he does. "He said he'd do it - AND HE DID!" About Kerry: "This is a candidate who has to Google his own name to find out where he stands!"

And someone had to do it. "This fall, we're going to win one for the Gipper!" But he finishes nicely -- "Our opponents will lose one for the Flipper!" Not the best humor, but a lot better than just leaving the Reagan reference standing by itself.

Next he's making the case for preemptive strikes. He's quoting Kerry's nomination speech and throwing it back in his face, emphasizing Kerry's defensive stance on terrorism.

AND NOW, PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH. But first, a montage of Bush's life. People will be complaining that the RNC is exploiting September 11th for political gain -- looking at people that Bush met in New York immediately after the WTC attacks.

Bush comes out like a rock star.

Call me paranoid, but for some reason, as the President stands out there all by himself, I remember the urban legends about the '0 presidents . . . Hopefully, security is really good at Madison Square Garden.

"I accept your nomination for President of the United States." My roommate says something like, "Phew. Didn't know whether that was going to happen."

Haha. He say "We will build a safer world and a more hopeful America, and nothing will hold us back." CSPAN switches cameras, to one where two delegate-held signs are visible in the crowd: "A Safer World" and "A More Hopeful America". I think we see what the mottos are going to be for the rest of the campaign.

"America's schools are getting better and nothing will hold us back." I sense another theme in the works. Yep -- ". . . beter prescription coverage, and nothing will hold us back."

People have been complaining that the RNC has not been addressing the economy. Looks like they left it all to the President, because that has been his greatest focus so far.

He's promising to "reform and simplify the tax code." He's going to expand the job training program and funding for community colleges. Creation of "Economic Opportunity Zones" -- areas of high unemployment and a faltering economy will be helped by tax breaks and other assistance to encourage businesses to move. Tax credit to encourage small businesses to set up health savings accounts. Moving into healtcare now.

Promising that every small community and town will have a rural health center. Emphasizing the need for medical liability reform now. "Our laws should never stand in the way of a more family-friendly workplace." So he's moving to family issues -- home ownership.

He's now talking about the personal account, nest egg idea re: Social Security, which IIRC he also talked about in the Bush-Gore debates.

"Tonight I remind every parent and every teacher, I say to every child, no matter what your circumstance, no matter where you live, your school will be a path to promise in America." Hitting on education again, quite a bit. "The soft bigotry of low expectations" -- a favorite educational talking-phrase.

AAARRRGHGHGHGH! Lost my internet connection. I'll keep liveblogging, but it won't be live for you guys for now. As if anyone is reading this.

Now he's pointing us to his website --

Now he's getting into Kerry. Not for long, though. He gets back to what he supports -- "Welfare reform that strengthens family and requires work." And now, he is emphasizing pro-life: "We must make a place for the unborn child." That's what I want to hear!

Going through the planks of the platform -- Sanctity of marriage. Federal judges who "understand the difference between personal opinion and strict interpretation of the law."

Back to Kerry. Is the quote about Reagan true -- "eight years of moral darkness"? That could hurt with Reagan Dems.

Ah - we're back.

Bush has been all over domestic policy, in response to those who have criticized his campaign as having a lack of focus on such things. Now he's getting into national security -- his strength, IMO.

A protestor tries to make a disturbance -- I could tell because "Four More Years!" started up while the Pres was still talking, in order to drown out the protests. Boy, she looks angry.

A checklist of successes -- Libya, Saudi Arabia, al Qaeda, Iraq.

"In Saddam Hussein we saw a threat. Members of both political parties, including . . ." "FOUR MORE YEARS! FOUR MORE YEARS!" Must have been another protestor, not wanting to hear Bush make the case for the Iraq invasion. He continues his argument, spelling out, once again, why Operatioin Iraqi Freedom was necessary, and why it will be a success. Now he's explaining how free democratic countries in the Mid-East will destabilize the terrorists' power structure.

"Our men and women in uniform are doing a superb job for America."

So far, he seems to be doing well. Very rational and clear, not yelling or screaming, not mangling words. Hopefully, that's what he needs to be doing -- not taking any chances on being overly charismatic; he'll leave that for the more informal campaign trail stump speeches. Now, he needs to be 'presidential'.

Hitting on Kerry's worst quotes -- "I voted for the $87 million before I voted against it." "The coalition of the coerced and bribed."

Moving to freedom on the march. "As freedom advances, heart by heart and nation by nation, America will be more secure and the world more peaceful."

He mentions Nicaragua in passing. People will be hitting on that tomorrow, I'll bet. "BUSH DEFENDS IRAN-CONTRA!"

He's bringing it home now, closing it out with self-deprecating humor about his English, his Texas swagger, his stubbornness.

On to patriotism, looking to the future. Great quote: "Here buildings fell; here a nation rose."

Speech is finished. He walks around the stage waving to the crowd. His wife comes out and they share a quick kiss. They continue to wave as the Cheneys come out. The balloons drop on time.

Let's switch from CSPAN to CNN and see what the talking heads say . . . Nah, I'll leave that to others. I'm checking out The Daily Show.

See you guys later!

Most incoherent news report . . .

Check out this news report by ABC 7 Chicago, and then based on the article, try to answer the following questions for me. I honestly want to know what this new check law is all about, but the story provides no information at all. BTW, the video is almost word-for-word the same as the written piece.

  • What legislature is passing this law: the US Congress? The Illinois State Congress? The Chicago aldermen? The World Bank?

  • What changes will this law put into place? Will it force people to switch to paying checks online? Will it force people to simply use another type of paper check? Will everyone need chips implanted in their hand and forehead with '666' encoded?

  • When exactly is this law going into effect?

  • What does technology have to do with it? Is there a specific new technology that has enabled this change?

  • Is the technology driving the law, or is the law driving the technology? Are we being forced to draft this law because of changes in the way that banks have been doing business, or is the law forcing the banks to change their methods?

No answers to any of these. But we do now know what 'floating a check' means:

If you have ever written a check knowing you don't have exactly enough to cover the check, but you figure by the time the check clears, you will have money in the bank. That's called floating.

Thank you, Leah Hope!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

THIRD DAY?!?!?!?

WHAT?! WHY DID I NOT HEAR ABOUT THIS? I'm sitting watching the RNC, and the stage raises to show MAC POWELL AND THIRD DAY! Now I'm not the biggest Third Day fan, but I like a lot of their stuff. To see Powell chanting "Four more years!" is just blowing my mind. They're opening for Michael Reagan and the Cheneys!

P.S.: Michael Reagan and the Cheneys would be a great name for a rock band.

P.P.S.: For those of you who have no idea who Third Day is, they're a Christian band out of Georgia, and generally play Southern rock, which I can respect, unlike CCM and Country. I've listened to them since their first, eponymous, CD, which came out in '96 and contained great songs such as Take My Life, Praise Song, Forever, Love Song, and Consuming Fire.

Kerry sisters VMA metanode

Elementblue has asked me, in a reply to my link-filled post from a couple days ago, why I reported that the Kerry sisters were booed at the VMA's, when CNN reported that the Kerrys were introduced at the same time as the Bushes, and that it was unclear who was being booed. Well, the reports that I read were inconclusive as to whether the Bush sisters were being booed, but conclusive on the Kerrys being booed. Check out these reports, some of which I did not find before I posted. Also, all of the reports I have read (with exception of CNN) have indicated that the two pairs of sisters did not appear simultaneously:

Drudge Report
Above Top Secret (more reaction of viewers than a report)
The Washington Dispatch
Michelle Malkin
World Net Daily

I did read this analysis before I posted, which suggests that CNN is misleading when stating that the boos were intended for both.

Here's video of the incident. No Bush sisters in view at the time, and the boo's are clearly directed at the Kerrys. Thus, CNN's reporting that the intended recipient of the boos was unclear is false.

So, in conclusion: the Kerry sisters were definitely booed. The Bush sisters were also booed, although many online news outlets did not mention it. The two pairs did not appear at the same time.

UPDATE: Oops -- I meant to link the CNN report. Here it is.