OK, I know this is sacrilege, but I just don't get why fireworks are so popular.
OK, I know this is sacrilege, but I just don't get why fireworks are so popular.
I'm a big fan of Jefferson, I enjoy reading the Declaration of Independence every year. It's hard to imagine writing anything that could have such an influence on the world, and still be so easy to read and enjoyable.
I always try to be helpful to reporters. I used to be one, so there's that. There's also the whole dying-industry thing, which I did NOT bring up when they called.
I'm convinced that Drudge is a total hypochondriac. He's got about 20 stories about the swine flu up right now.
Harry Kalas died today, the day after leaving the Mile High City.
Look, I just want to be the first to say it. Don Baylor is the man.
Several quick odds and ends before my next post, which will be a big and very positive review of The Unlikely Disciple...
I am announcing here that I will become the first human being to crowdsource my life.
I grew up just about a mile or so from where I live now, and I actually remember our state representative coming to our door, and chatting with him for a while. He was very nice, very engaging, a bit nerdy.
As a former Rocky reporter and book reviewer, I was brokenhearted about the Rocky closing. I haven't been able to blog about it, so sad is the news.
President Obama made it clear that he has great trust that the recovery money will be spent wisely, and he believes that because he has his vice president watching over the money. "Nobody messes with Joe," he says.
Sometimes you trip over a story, and it just screams out to get a joke written about it.
Sex has been a fact of life for at least 380 million years, longer than previously thought. Internal fertilization was widespread among prehistoric fish living on ancient tropical coral reefs in the Devonian period, research published in the journal Nature on Wednesday showed.
So, if I was Conan O'Lenoman, I think I might use this:
The DPS board waited an eternity to do two things it should have done long, long ago.
Well, the interview is done, and now it is on the air, so you can see this story about me and Mark Cuban here. (Unfortunately I can't embed it here, but click the link. It's short.
Well, today the fantasy business league got to go into the dugout for a visit.
I’ve followed Mark Cuban’s blog for years. This is a guy who is in the big leagues for sure. He started Broadcast.com and sold it to Yahoo back when that was a good thing. He’s gone on to other huge successes, including buying the Dallas Mavericks and appearing as himself on the Simpsons. It doesn’t get much better than that, unless he buys the Cubs, which would be just fine with me.
So today he decided in what is his classic style to get into the whole “stimulus” thing by trying a completely open source method of soliciting business ideas and then giving the criteria to fund them. The ideas were to be submitted right on his blog.
Many people reacted, as so often happens, with fear, saying that they didn’t want their precious idea to be distributed to the public. I’ve been there, but then I learned the reality is that there are plenty of great ideas out there, and unless it involves some kind of hard science, it is exceedingly rare that the idea on it’s own is worth 10 cents. Actually doing the work -- usually called “executing” in today’s parlance -- is the only way to succeed.
So I took an idea that I’ve had for more than a year and posted it. I worked hard to follow the rules that he put out there, something that very few of the others did.
And he responded. In length. Twice. So far.
His response to my idea (Second Saturday Science is what it’s called, more on that in another post) was so genuine, so engaged, and so, well, out there, that a reporter was inspired to do a story.
The stories about the crappy economy have moved way past depressing and are now downright annoying. It is, however, the biggest story going on right now, so this reporter, Craig Civale, to his credit wanted to do a story about a stimulus plan that might actually pay off, you know, this year.
His station, WFAA, is in Cuban’s town of Dallas, so it was a natural for him to do the story. He called me, and I actually answered the phone -- something that doesn’t seem to happen much these days. He asked a few questions, and then called back a few minutes later and asked if I’d go down to the ABC station in Denver to tape an interview.
No problem! If Second Saturday Science is going to take off, it’s going to need some publicity, so I hustled my arse down there and answered some questions. I understand it’s already been on the air in Dallas, and should be on the interwebs soon enough.
So, will this be my new “job”? I don’t know. If Cuban signs on to be a part of it, than for sure yes. He will be able to help me draw attention to it and open doors in ways few others could.
If not, well... stay tuned!
I consider myself a data-driven person. If something is working, do more of that. If not, then stop.
I was not having luck finding a job, and I was blogging a lot.
I had an inkling that my blog posts were a part of me not finding a job. I knew the economy had a lot more to do with it, but I couldn't control the economy. I could control my blog, so I basically just stopped.
And then, well, I STILL didn't get a job.
So I was going to, this month, switch over to a different blogging platform, Wordpress, which I used in my volunteer fight against the expansion of gambling in Colorado. I liked it a lot, so I thought I would switch before I started blogging again.
But as Rick says, destiny has taken a hand.
Later today I'll be blogging about me and Mark Cuban. Yes, that Mark Cuban.
The whole story of the Drudge Report is such a great American story. Here's a guy who was a night manager at a convenience store, and in his spare time he starts a site that is crude even by the standards of the 1990s.
Pulling on their last World Series breath, watching their brilliant season circle the dugout drain with expectorated sunflower shells and Skoal drool, and falling obediently to postseason force Cole Hamels, the Tampa Bay Rays had a single hope:Ahhhhh. Love it.
Skies had to open. Gods had to roar. Pitching staffs had to be blown into confusion. Third base had to become lake-front property.
The Philadelphia Phillies had to be knocked off what had been a downhill run since the series moved north. And not just the Phillies. The whole series.
Something, you know, apocalyptic.
Then Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena got hits in the same inning.
And that wasn’t even it.
It rolled in on winds cold and sure. It rose up over Citizens Bank Park, over the neon Liberty Bell, over giddy, expectant fans covered in red hoodies and trash bags.
Dressed in swirling curtains of rain, cloaked in a howling northwest breeze, it stopped the World Series at 80 minutes before midnight, the middle of the sixth inning, Game 5.
Many people have their equivalent of Paris in the '20s. I actually have two: New York in the '80s and Durango in the '90s.
I've been writing about and telling friends about the Obamacons for months, those conservatives who support Senator Obama.
I haven't written about it lately because, well, it's not even interesting any more there are so many. It was shameful that Christopher Buckley got fired from the magazine his dad started.
But when I saw this story, "Bush Not an Obamacon!" I had to pause.
I've been having a lot of lunches and coffees lately, trying to figure out the next adventure in my professional life. Typically at some point the person on the other side of the coffee cup will say, "So, what is it that you do?"
I hate that question, and generally mumble something about having started as a writer/reporter/editor and that morphed into an entrepreneur/consultant/strategist and then the person looks for a waiter and begs for more coffee. Who can blame them?
Well today I'm sitting there over a bowl of cereal and I read in black and white what it is that I do!
"But the most active opponents of (Colorado Amendment) 50 may be Denver lawyer Jon Anderson and entrepreneur-blogger-activist Scott Yates."
Even though I used to write for the papers, seeing myself described in that way was a little jarring, but it grew on me pretty quickly.
Maybe I'll have business cards made up: Scott Yates, EBA.
Maybe I'll start an EBA club on a social network. I mean, there's one of those for everything else, right?
Or maybe I'll just clip Blake's column and send it to a certain third-grade teacher who once told me that my unchecked narcissism and smug self-righteousness would never get me anywhere. IN YOUR FACE, SISTER MARGARET!
Anyway, thanks to Peter Blake I now know who I am. All the people I'm having coffee with will appreciate this very much.
OK, now that the election is essentially over we can get back to using the Internet for worthwhile stuff, like trying to cure cancer.
The first time Drudge let me down, I figured he just had a bad source. He announced to the world that Evan Bayh would be Obama's Veep.
"We're up for it. I'm excited to have my first kid. It's going to be a lot of hard work but we can handle it."...
What about Johnston's politics?
The young man said he wasn't an expert on politics by any stretch. Asked about Barack Obama, he replied: "I don't know anything about him. He seems like a good guy. I like him."
Sure, he says he will be voting for the Republicans. I would be to, if I was him; having the Palins several thousand miles away probably sounds like a good idea!
Most of them have been in some form of denial about this, and a few still are.
I knew back during the crazy days of the summer that it was over for one reason: Anyone who can beat the Clinton's is unstoppable. The way that he won that race will be studied for decades. The way that Obama will beat McCain is unremarkable, and will go down in history as a repeating of what's happened several times in the past: throwing out a war-time president's party.
A true conservative might have had a chance. Someone who didn't start off a debate, as McCain did last night, by promising a new program so immense and liberal that even solidly conservative journalists called it "insane."
So, McCain is not a conservative, and is really just not that good of a guy. This bit of reporting for me seems to ring awfully true. This is part of a story about McCain quoting one of McCain's fellow POWs, and recounts a story from after the war:
On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.For me, the final nail in the coffin about McCain was this exchange of letters between Obama and McCain from before either of them announced for president.
"I'm going to the Middle East," Dramesi says. "Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran."
"Why are you going to the Middle East?" McCain asks, dismissively.
"It's a place we're probably going to have some problems," Dramesi says.
"Why? Where are you going to, John?"
"Oh, I'm going to Rio."
"What the hell are you going to Rio for?"
McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.
"I got a better chance of getting laid."
Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. "McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man," Dramesi says today. "But he's still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in."
I won't even try to quote from them, you have to read the three of them to get the idea. I've gotten some similarly bizarre, mean and counter-productive letters in my life, and I wish I'd had the grace that Obama had in responding.
So, now in my mind the presidential race is boring. It's over. The best analysis of polls is actually now wondering if it's possible for Obama to get any higher in the polls. So, now there are two questions, one big and one smaller but still important. The first big question is starting to get talked about more loudly, for instance here: What will conservatism do now.
This is something Sullivan has been exploring a lot out loud, and the rest of the pundits on the right will be catching up soon enough.
The second question for me is less well known. Will Colorado Amendment 50 die the horrible death it deserves?
I don't have answers for either, but I'll enjoy agitating against Amendment 50 for the next couple of weeks, and for true conservatism in the months and years to come. Can't wait!
Somehow I really thought the Cubs would pull off the once-a-century championship only because I live in Denver.
Watching this clip, that question comes to mind:
In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.
"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number." - Forbes.com
For those of you who just can't get enough sco.tt goodness on this blog, there are now some ways to catch up on the Tee-Vee.
I don't know if it makes me happy or sad that the Road to the White House is through David Letterman.
But it clearly is.
I can never tell if these are legitimate. This one seems like it might be real.
Dear American:I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with atransfer of funds of great magnitude.I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has hadcrisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billiondollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be mostprofitable to you.I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be myreplacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you mayknow him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the fundsas quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the namesof our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My familylawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy personwho will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund accountnumbers and those of your children and grandchildren email@example.com so that we may transfer your commission forthis transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond withdetailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect thefunds.Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson
Like any political junky, I've been watching the polls. My new favorite poll watching site is put together by a couple of baseball stat freaks who have turned into political stat freaks. (They are liberal, and want Obama to be elected but they treat politics like baseball in that they have favorite teams, but they really just love the game and the stats.)
I love the start of fall, and the start of spring, for plenty of reasons, but one fun astronomical reason especially.
As a fan of humor and politics, I had high hopes for a McCain-Obama matchup. Both seem naturally funny, even if McCain had a bit of a hard edge to his humor, like the time he told a high school student who asked about McCain's age: "Thanks for the question, you little jerk. You’re drafted."But it hasn't really worked out to be a funny race, as evidenced by these totally humor-free clips:
Drudge did me wrong. So many times I've learned things first from Drudge, and I know why he went with the story he went with, but anyway it turned out to be wrong, and that's OK with me. That guy's hair really is weird, and I'd never be able to get the IM handle BayhCurious out of my head.
Biden is a slightly better pick than Bayh, but he's so tone-deaf on racial issues. Remember, Biden came closer than any of the other candidates to calling him "boy." He didn't, but it felt awfully close to me.
And then there was this:
All of which makes me wonder if that's part of why Obama picked him. Obama wanted someone who is still essentially in the old patrician model of race relations to help assuage voters who are still stuck in the old ways of thinking about race. He brought the guy along that -- of the real contenders -- probably needs the most work on entering a post-racial world. Obama wants to use him first to get elected, and then to help bring him, and so many of those in his generation, into the new world.
I'm reading Dreams from my Father now. Obama's personal story really is remarkable, and does give me hope that we are moving into a really post-racial society, but the pick of Biden essentially to me means that election of Obama would be a big -- but not huge -- step forward.
My first startup -- the late, great MyTrafficNews, (now part of the NavTeq/Nokia/Traffic.com empire) -- had to do with, you guessed it, traffic.
One of the worst parts about the loss of Tim Russert is that I just couldn't imagine someone else taking over the seat on Sunday mornings.
A long time ago Bob Costas had a show on after Letterman when Letterman was after Johnny Carson, and then after Conan O'Brien. The show was SO good. He sat down and talked to one person for a half hour. It was late night, so there weren't a lot of politicians, but Costas' preparation was amazing. The people interviewed seemed just delighted by questions that they really had never heard before.
What was great about Russert, and does Costas have those traits?
Does great research? Check.
The right combination of gravitas and lack of self-seriousness? Check.
I like the idea, so it probably won't happen. Maybe Costas couldn't take the pay cut, or maybe Sports wouldn't let him go, but he could still take the time off to work the Olympics.
Look, a guy can dream...
Over on the right of this page there is a link to my contributions to James Taranto's "Best of the Web Today" column from the Wall St. Journal.
Way back when the Clintons were still technically in the race, they tried to turn Hillary's lack of big crowds into some kind of positive. She openly mocked Obama for giving great speeches and having lots of people show up to hear them.
Even those that like McCain describe ads like this as "Childish."
I wrote about the new effort by Google to create a Wikipedia killer when I first heard about it late last year.
There have been a bunch of stories about turmoil in the McCain camp. I think McCain should fire all his top-level operatives and put in charge whomever it was that created something funny We Can Believe In.
To me what's important to remember there is that there are still 30 percent who support him. That is, if you go into a restaurant, just look around; if there are 100 people in the restaurant, 30 of them would tell you that they support George W. Bush.
However, if you asked those 30 people if they think he should be able to have a third term, I think then the numbers go way down.
In fact, if George W. Bush was one of those people, he himself would say that he's really ready for some time off. He'd probably like to go back to Texas, where he can wipe his nose with his hand and say, "Yo, Harper, you ever meet..." without the "Harper" being the leader of a country, and without video of that gesture making it on the news around the world.
Can't say as I blame him.
It's easy, here in the summer, to make mountains out of dung heaps. There's just not enough news in the land, so when one general makes a boneheaded remark about John McCain, it can seem like a really big deal.
Looking at the presidential race as of today, it's clearly Obama's to lose.
I found an excellent article about how the 'net is changing the way we think, and devoured every word of it while sitting in my library chair.
As the media theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed out in the 1960s, media are not just passive channels of information. They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.
I pretty much grokked his point after that nut graf and stopped reading, which either proves his point or makes a different one that I don't know if the writer wants to admit: In this environment there is a brutal Darwinism of ideas going on. If an idea isn't significantly new and also compelling, you are going to lose people after a few paragraphs.
The reason I went back and read the whole story was to make sure he didn't make that point. Indeed, he writes about Nietzsche, Turing, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Plato, Gutenberg, and even "Italian humanist Hieronimo Squarciafico" but no Darwin to be found.
Best recent book, by the way: The Principled Politician: The Ralph Carr Story.
So, we were talking to a Realtor® about a house, and we asked if the owners would consider selling with a contingent contract, that is, we wouldn't buy that house unless our house sold.