Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Time to consider the VP choices and to watch the debate Thursday

I rarely give strong consideration to the vice presidential candidate in my choice of a president. And anyone that knows me has heard my opinion that Joe Biden is a seasoned and knowledgeable foreign policy expert and trusted senator. I've also had my concerns about McCain's choice of Palin.

Fareed Zakaria, who I watch on CNN, wrote an article in Newsweek on McCain's choice of Palin. A summary exists on CNN.COM. I saw the sketch on Saturday Night Live and initially found it humorous. However, her rambling answers near the end of the sketch were not gross exaggerations.

Here are a few text bits of the real interview. The videos of the Katie Couric interviews can be found on YouTube.

When Katie Couric asked how living in the state closest to Russia gave her foreign-policy experience, Palin responded thus: "It's very important when you consider even national-security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the airspace of the United States of America. Where—where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to—to our state."

COURIC: Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries; allow them to spend more and put more money into the economy instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health-care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy, helping the—it's got to be all about job creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health-care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, scary thing. But one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today, we've got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.

If you don't believe the text, watch this interview on Youtube; this interchange starts at 1:45.

Watch the interviews and decide for youself. And then watch the debates on Thursday at 9 PM EDT.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Waves to Wine 2008 MS ride recap

The Waves to Wine ride was last weekend, and it was great. I'd like to give a few statistics and then share some stories.

The ride was a success for the MS Society. They had over 2000 riders, and, as of the evening of September 13, had raised 1.325M towards their 1.5M goal; they are sure that they will reach their goal, especially as they had raised 1.41M as I write this on September 21. I've reached my fundraising goal of $12K, especially once Adobe matching funds come through. Thank you all for your support.

I rode 178.6 miles over the two days. The first day was more challenging than past years, as they added a real century (Pt. Reyes Station to Petaluma, and then back on Marshall Petaluma Road). It was a beautiful day, cool (never over 80) with a light breeze. It was a overcast until around 11:00 each day, which cut down on scenic pictures but made the day easier also. I took the trip easier than I normally do, as I only had pitching my tent awaiting me at the end of the day. I did later learn that there was Fat Tire beer and Dry Creek Zinfandel awaiting me also; If I had known this I would probably have lingered less at the rest stops.

A key metric for the first day is that I reached the second rest stop at 2 hours and 20 minutes - 14 minutes faster than I did last year. I take this as a health metric and was quite happy with this. I felt good for the rest of the ride, although, as people at Adobe can tell you, I was a bit sore for a few days afterwards.

The second day was equally wonderful. It was an easy riding day with no significant hills, cool weather, and a grape harvest in progress to add a perfumed scent to the air.

I've placed a photo album of various shots from both days of the trip up on my website.

I'll send out a printed newsletter when all the results are in a month from now. But I did want to give you an early synopsis of the weekend and to thank you again for your support.