I was going to write up my reaction to the debates here, but I noticed I already touched on all the major points in these three posts at MetaFilter.
Overall, I think Kerry did well and won by a nose, though both held up and didn’t make any huge gaffes. I’m happy to see the repetitious talking point tactic that Bush used over and over again to make Kerry into an indecisive candidate backfired for the most part. For me the most enlightening thing was hearing Kerry actually articulate his points. Until now I’ve been firmly in the “not Bush” camp and wasn’t too hot on Kerry as the choice, but this was one of the first times I’ve actually heard him lay out some details and I was happy to hear his stances on issues.
After the debate, as CSPAN swept their cameras through the crowds, I saw John McCain there and it reminded me that even though I disagree with McCain on many issues, I would have probably voted for him over either Kerry or Bush this year. Maybe even back in 2000. He’s always been good natured, has integrity by the truckload, and doesn’t seem to toe his party’s line. God I hope that guy runs in 2008. It just might be my first republican presidental vote.
As we head into the first of three “debates” I realized after seeing a few song titles go by in iTunes that it would make a perfect mix to describe how I feel about the impending
Little White Lies, Baby Watch Your Back, Scared Straight, All The Negatives Have Been Destroyed, Everyone Choose Sides, Hopeless, I Can’t Win, In Harm’s Way, It’s a Long Way to the Top, and finally, Peace of Mind.
iTunes screenshot (note: “peace of mind” added for the sake of irony)
A roundup of the stuff I’ve seen and used in the past few months:
- Riding Giants was fantastic, doing for surfing what Dogtown and Z Boys did for skateboarding: making a sport interesting to regular folks. The big wave stuff at the very end is really incredible, though if I had to find any fault with this movie, it kind of glossed over the 80s revival of big wave surfing, especially all the drama at the Eddie Aikau contests.
- The folks at Bigha sent me a Jasper Laser to play with, and it actually works as described. On dark, clear nights, you can point at stars surprisingly well, and folks next to you can see what you’re pointing at. For complete amateur astronomers, this is often the biggest problem as you point and try to describe stuff to others. The laser worked so well one night that I heard my next door neighbor ask “what in the hell is that?!”
- The “crippy duck” bag from Crumpler is the best laptop/camera bag I’ve ever owned, and might just be the last one I need. The laptop sleeve fits my 12″ powerbook well and I can toss the charger, my digital rebel, an extra lens, and an external flash into the rest of the interior space. Basically I can carry everything I might need in something smaller than most of the messenger bags I’ve used in the past.
- My bag is also filled with ziplinq cables, which work great at connecting and charging my cell phone, my ipod, and my CF card reader, in addition to connecting to ethernet when need be and modem connections as well.
- Joel on Software’s book is a surprisingly good read. It’s basically a book of essays and blog entries but it’s really well written, though skews towards hardcore (C++) software development.
- I mentioned Medium Footwear on this site about a year ago, but finally found a shop with a good selection in San Francisco. I own a pair of these and they’re some of my all-time favorite shoes. Interesting on the outside, and a comfortable skate shoe on the inside. Perfect.
- Jason took me to an all-risotto restaurant called Risotterria that was really good and worth checking out if you’re in Manhattan.
This is interesting: Republicans for Humility.
When I look at the W presidency and closer at the man himself and ask myself why I would not vote for him, humility ranks at the top (the lack of it, actually). I’ve seen time and time again, whenever he is asked a challenging question, or given the opportunity to reflect on past decisions, Bush will respond in ways that approach complete arrogance.
Progress is continuing well in Iraq. I’ve never made a mistake in my presidency. Rumsfeld is doing a terrific job. The economy is strong and turning a corner.
Some write it off as optimism, but when he was asked about any bad decisions he’s made earlier this year and said he’s never made a mistake, he lost all credibility with me. Mistakes aren’t always a bad thing, they’re an opportunity to learn. And great men make thousands of mistakes on their way to greatness. When I heard him state his complete lack of mistakes, one word came to mind: Pride.
For a religious man, he should know about the sin of Pride and even to the non-religious, most folks have a low tolerance for arrogance. The line between “That guy is really optimistic” and “That jerk thinks he’s perfect in every way” is a fine one.
It’s great to see a republican-run site asking for some humility. People aren’t perfect. Even great leaders make mistakes. The greatest leaders we’ve ever had took the time to reflect on them, acknowledge them, and repair any damage caused. When it comes to W, I’m not seeing any of that, just a complete lack of introspection and humility.