Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Today, as I do every Tuesday and Thursday, I drove into work—a reverse commute that generally takes me about 20-25 minutes. Traffic generally moves well and at speed even though the road is crowded. 

But today, despite the foggy chill in the air, I found myself thinking that I would rather be on my bike. 

I was missing the quietness and openness of the bike and the exposure to the world. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Quintessentially Spectacular Weekend

According to the weather report the sunny days are numbered. 

My Oh My, but what a weekend! (I am channeling my Inner-Bing Crosby)

Saturday morning I decided not to push pumpkins (I ran it last year dressed as a white board complete with pens but nobody understood what I was doing even when I let them write on me) and headed up to the Lake Tradition Plateau on Tiger Mountain for a trot through the woods. 

It was very pretty and I went along exploring trails and things I haven't really seen before. Found a trail (top and right on the map) that became a very over-grown forest path near to which could be found an illegal camp. There were a lot of people out there and I was stopped to help some hikers determine what the "Connector Trail" actually connected to. J, the dog, had a blast poking her nose around and getting pet by little kids on occasion (this was a fun run only). 

Ever hear the sound of a dog starting to puke? That is the sound that I heard about two-minutes from home as we returned from the run. She moved the towel and hit did a number on the back seat. It took me an hour to clean it all out. The smell? Oy! We'll see. Sigh. Thanks J! At least you are cute. 

Home for some grading and then it was time for THE OPERA!

But first dinner at Asian Breeze (nicely presented food with wonderful service but the food was under-spiced (really so) and fairly bland so I am not sure we'll go back). 

Ya gotta Love the old Human Sacrifice theme, eh?

Second time at Elektra for me and wow was it fun. A much different performance than when I took students last Sunday. I appreciated the nuances of the various voices better and enjoyed the performance all the more. Janice Baird is pretty interesting although a number of people I have talked to were a bit put off by her general twitchiness in the role (is this the way she always is OR is she just inhabiting the role of an erratic, revenge crazed young woman)? She can sing. The fastest 100-minutes I have ever gone through, and not  single wasted moment. The orchestra was magnificent and did not sound muddled at any point (even with 99 players in the pit) and did not overwhelm the singers (for the most part, although Orest had a couple of moments which were difficult to hear). Irmgard Vilsmaier's Chrysothemis was a pleasure to hear. 

After an unsuccessful cupcake hunt at Cup Cake Royale (how does a cup cake place run out of cup cakes?) it was time to call it a day. 

Early start on Sunday. 

Met PT at AR for a 37-mile tour of the city in which we saw a sunrise, rode an elevator, saw a very large DNA Helix, and someone's lunch room. It was great ride. Very, very windy and chilly but also a lot of fun. PT is in much better cycling shape than I and I had to work a bit to keep up sometimes (she also has really, really skinny little tires compared to my "knobby" 700 c's and can roll more easily but, frankly, it is the engine that matters here). I came home with a big smile on my face and in an insufferably happy mood. 

Then, into the car to go look at the fall colors on Highway 2 out to Leavenworth (DW has never been there and it was such a spectacular day to drive out there for some fudge). I've usually been going too fast to stop but we did stop in a place just before Leavenworth that has captivated me since the first time I saw it (remember, GVB, that conference in Spokane we drove to? I don't but I sure remember the drive and the tour de Spokane you took me on—gotta love Boo Radley's now don'tcha?). Even better, on the way back we stopped, briefly, at the Iron Goat Trail Interpretive Center so I could see the map. Yep, the 1910 Avalanche disaster took place near this site and I cannot wait to get back there for a run

Here are the pix for the day. 

Then home, then walking the dog and talking to the parental units, then dinner with W&H at Gorditos Healthy (and big) Mexican Food, then cupcakes and conversation, then and exhausted sleep. 

I'll be paying for this weekend at least until Wednesday. :-)

OH, and I found this protocol for mounting a rear rack on my Poprad. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wait, I didn't really mean it . . .

No, really. I wasn't aware that I said it! And now that I hear what I said you gotta know that that is NOT what I meant. No really, you must believe me. Please. It sure is uncomfortable being hoisted by my own petard.

Puzzled? Read

As an aside, I am so happy that I can finally come out of the closet as a real, live "Fake American." This means I no longer have to say I enjoy Lee Greenwood and venerate the Mid-West as the exemplar of goodness (like any "place" it has its finer points and those that one could easily live without). I can finally admit that something like 81.4% (see page 72) of the people in the US reside in urban areas and that they are no better or worse and moral or immoral than those small town and rural folks. I can celebrate Constitutional Patriotism rather than Flag Patriotism and think that speech, thought, and belief ought not be determined by the exigencies of electoral politics. I can acknowledge that rational political discourse ought be a goal to which all citizens aspire and recognize the weakness of emotionalism in politics. Moreover, I can honor the notion that citizens ought really to know something rather than relying on folk-wisdom without sounding like an elitist. 

Gosh, I feel so very free. 

Free enough to donate to Tinklenberg and Kissell?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Allegory of the Cave and . . .

Interesting conversation with my students today. We were discussing Plato's Allegory of the Cave and the notion of essence. They weren't gettin it (at least they didn't seem to be). So I asked:
"Who is more Sarah Palin? Sarah Palin herself or Tina Fey?"
That got things going, fer sure, you betchya!

The Undecided

Ah, the undecided. Who are they, how can they be undecided at this point in the campaign, and why are we so concerned about them? 

The Daily Show's Samantha Bee and Jason Jones pranged the undecided the other day: 

I don't generally meet the Undecided and, frankly, have a hard time understanding how someone could be truly uncommitted at this point in the campaign. There really are clear differences between McCain and Obama from which to choose. I do, however, get the sense that the Undecided are not all that undecided in the first instance, just unable to articulate what they want or, rather, what they want to hear about. 

A case in point is a recent exchange I overheard while visiting my favorite local donut establishment:

Hipster Doofus Donut Slinger (HDDS): Yeah, I really don't know who I am going to vote for yet. I would have voted for McCain in 2000 but I just don't know what happened to that guy. 
Hipster Doofus + Baby Makes Three in a Running Stroller (HD+BM3): I know what you mean. I am not happy with either candidate. 
HDDS: Are you going to vote for the Nader and Gonzalez
HD+BM3: No, are you kidding me!? I hate those guys! I am kind of libertarian.
NDDS: Oh, how about Bob Barr then? I would vote for Ron Paul because he is the only one who is talking about "real" issues. Too bad he is not running anymore. 
HD+BM3: I thought about McCain but Sarah Palin is really frightening to me. All that "God's Will" stuff bothers me and there is no way she is ready to be president. 
HDDS: Yeah, I know. God's Will but what, Palin, are YOU going to do? 
HD+BM3: I think I am going to vote for Obama and simply hope for the best. There is not much else I can do but I still don't know . . .
HDDS: I'll probably do the same thing.
At this point my hot chocolate was ready and I left this interesting conversation to its own course. What struck me clearly is that neither of these two actually knew what they wanted beyond a kind of abstract libertarianism and certainly were not sure they could find what they did not know they wanted in one person or party. It was plainly obvious that they were also frustrated by our wonderful two-party dominant system that marginalizes third parties. Neither of them wanted to waste their vote, both seemed to want what was best for the country (what that may be is open to interpretation), and both were getting ready to hold their noses and "hope for the best". 

I walked away thinking that Americans have no problem choosing what to buy (what flavor donut for example). Why, then, are they so very, very unpracticed in the art of choosing leaders? Perhaps Shenkman is correct in his critique of the Consumer's Republic as it undermines the notion of the Citizen's Republic. 

Come on 8% of the Electorate. Account for yourselves!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Powell Endorses Obama

This is interesting and exciting news but one wonders if Powell, once described as the "most respected man in the nation," will matter all that much to those currently on the fence. If the recent experiences of Parker and Buckley are any indication, I also wonder how many hate emails and death threats he will receive from the Joe Six Packs out there.

Personally, I have to respect the man.  His cautious realism was eventually bested in the knife fight that made up the decision to invade Iraq and his Security Council presentation is a "blot" (as Powell describes it) on his service. But is apparently the case that he did his best to slow things down and he has had the courage to own up to the role he played in taking the country to a war which, if Stiglitz is to be believed, will have severe consequences for the nation going forward. 

His call this morning for unity, fairness, inclusion, and (yes) fair play? Wonderfully and powerfully said. 

But again, will it matter?

Is the process of American politics, that toxic mix of hate, rumor and innuendo, likely to change any time soon such that notions of unity, inclusion, and fairness become central? Powell seems to think so and, this morning, I share his hope. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Well here is a story a female student just told me:
"My brother and I are both in college and my parents have decided that his education is more important than mine. They are giving him most of the money so he can go to a 'good' school and I have to work and go 'here'".
A story I hear way too often. Pisses me off to no end. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Staring at . . .

I went to the dentist which meant that I spent an hour looking towards the light. :-P

Seriously, did anyone out there in the Seattle area see the moon this morning?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alaska Independence Party

Hmm, we are hearing so very, very much about Ayers. How about something about some associates of the Palins? 

Blumenthal and Neiwert. "Meet Sarah Palin’s radical right-wing pals." Salon.com 13 October, 2008. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Runnin with the Dawgs

Raced the 23rd Dawg Dash this morning!

The Bottom Line:
Distance: 10K
Garmin Time: 54:22
Chip Time: 54:2 [Official]
Overall Pace: 8:46/mile
This may be a PR for me (but I am not sure I have run a 10K before so . . .)

The Story:

I don't have 10 things to say about this race (not that creative) or a sore butt (wasn't sitting down much) but I do have a full tummy and a very tired body after a long day of trying to meld being a weekend warrior with being a working professional. 

Two months ago I wasn't even thinking of running this race. GVB asked me then if I'd be interested in forming a team and running it. I demurred based on the problems with my hip. I didn't know what was wrong or how long it would take to work itself out. That injury is in the past now and I am slowly building mileage. Last week I decided to run it and registered. 

"So, are you going to just run this or race this?"

This question always comes up and I always answer "Nah, this will be a training run. I just ran an 8-miler in the woods yesterday and so I'll just be running easy" and then run like hell because there is just something about being in a race environment that gets me all fired up. 

So predictable. :-P

GVB and The Colleague were loudly heralded by J the Dog as they came up the walkway just after 8 this morning. I grabbed my kit and we headed down to Husky Stadium via the Union Bay Natural Area. It was cool out with clear and sunny skies, a perfect day for a run. Ran into one of the new AR clients and we chatted for a bit about yesterday's running in circles out at Saint Edwards and Big Finn. Checking in was easy and I was surprised that there were not more people doing the run. There were lots of yellow numbers (5K) and a lot fewer purple numbers (10K).  We went down onto the field and saw Mel, also from AR, who was running the 5K and then intended on running home to get more miles in. Nice chat too. Here we are waiting. 

Things were a little slow getting going because there were so many people checking in and also doing race day signups. We had to wait for the 5K runners to go out and, after a mangled rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" on a trumpet they did. Then it was our turn. 

I lined up with the 9:00/mile area because I was just intending on running (not racing) and my confidence about speed has not been so high these days. Saw BareFootRunnerMan lining up there too, the ugliest feet I have ever seen. Soon enough it was our turn, the horn blew, and off we went. 

I was passing a tall guy on Walla Walla Drive when I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard "Hey!" Turns out it was my neighbor, S, and his running partner, also S. They are training for the Seattle Half and this was part of that. I ran with them for a few minutes but then they just disappeared behind me in the crowd. 

It was taking a little bit for the pack to thin and for me to warm up but that was done by the time we got to the big parking lot to the North of Husky Stadium. Not the most inspirational part of the run but necessary if the organizers were going to get us through 6 miles in the confined space of the UW Campus. 

The Burke Gilman was empty save for runners—no bikes, casual walkers or runners to be seen. Ragged breathing, pounding footsteps, the occasional grunt of effort. Running in such a pack is a decidedly odd experience one that used to be quite thrilling but whose luster has faded the more time I spent out running in the woods. 

The UW Campus is hilly. Did you know that? Up some sustained but not-so-steep hills onto North Campus and around Denny Hall before the long-ish drop down towards the stadium. The Fountain was running as we went past on Rainier Vista and the UW Alumni Marching Band-let was playing as we went past (this must be what I was looking at in this picture). 

Then, I picked up someone I am going to call "The Horse Fly". THF was a woman about 5'9" wearing black tights and a long-sleeved shirt with glaringly white iPod earbuds sticking out of her ears. I know this because, frankly, she kept on buzzing around me and I do mean "buzzing". 

OK, I have rabbits in races too. People I use to speed up and push harder. In this race it was the guy in the Husky Purple basketball shorts and Gold Lame' Husky shirt (I beat him). Hell, I don't mind being a rabbit either. Aren't there rules for this sort of thing? Like you can get close, but not potential collision close, and you should pass with enough room and maybe a bit of warning. At least this is what I do. But THF, she was bordering on dangerous. Her approach was to orbit me—pulling up on my left, pulling just a little ahead, and then cutting in front and to the right to end up on my right. She did this four times, each time cutting closer and closer, and would have crashed had she gotten tangled in my boots. Twice I felt the wind of her passing and had to divert to avoid a collision. Finally, we hit the final stretch on the Burke Gilman and I had had enough. She orbited again and with about a mile to go I just kicked it into sub-8:00 gear and held it. I have no idea where THF went after and I did not see her again. I was too polite to say anything and doubt she would have heard me given the volume of her music. 

Started tiring by the time we got to Hec Ed but kept going and swung into the stadium going like mad. Almost had a Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang Moment when a little kid ran in front of me as I entered into the stadium running at something like 11.5 mph. I could swear I heard someone yelling my name as I came into the finish (was it Mel? GVB? The Colleague?) and I crossed the line running a 6:50 covered in sweat and feeling really happy and bouncy. 

Happy and bouncy for the rest of the day too (ask GVB and The Colleague about the walk home). Lots of fun. 

The pancakes, eggs, and bacon I had for brunch was just the ticket. :-)

It felt so good to move and to move fast again as I'd forgotten how that felt. 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Refrigerator

Welcome back refrigerator! 

Today was that first real day when it felt like winter:
a record low temperature of 43 degrees was set at Seattle WA WFO today. This breaks the old record of 45 set in 1991. [wunderground, 10/9/08]
86% humidity with a dew point of 42 and cloudy.

A chill that settles in the bones. Shocking at first but I suppose I'll get used to it, pining all the while for the summer when my bones finally dry out.

Makes me miss the desert and causes me to want to eat more dessert. :-P

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How to spend a Wednesday Afternoon

An interesting afternoon, not the way that I expected it to turn out but, hey, I can't complain (OK, maybe a little). What happened?

I've now done three commute rides on the Poprad and have been enjoying the bike very much. But there have been some irritating things:
  • the brakes really scream, especially when wet
  • can't shift into the big ring anymore (this happened on my first ride)
  • riding on the hoods is really, really uncomfortable. It feels as if they get further and further out the longer I ride
None of this feels right and so after I finished teaching for the day I called Montlake Cycles to ask questions and to find out if they had time to take a look at things and to make adjustments. "Sure, come on down!" So, I rode straight down and rolled into the shop. 

Me: "I've got some problems here, can someone look at them for me?"
Mech: "Sure. This will take about 40 minutes. Is that OK?"
Me: "Whatever it takes."
Mech: Pulls out a bottle of Rubbing Alcohol to clean off the brake rotors, spins the wheels, and discovers that the pads are not properly aligned. Apparently I have been riding with the brakes ON! Has me holding brake levers closed as he backs the pads off, explains how they work, and then resets them. Cleans the rotors with the alcohol and says "They may make some noise at first but then should be quieter. Did anyone tell you about what to do with these?"
Me: "No.  Cool, and thanks for the explainer. There is a problem shifting into the big ring as well."
Mech: "Are you aware of cable stretch and that you probably have to lube the chain?"
Me: "Yeah, but I bought this bike on Friday and I have only ridden it about 90 miles."
Mech: "Oh!" Starts looking at the front derailleur and readjusts the set screw. Spins the crank and shifts smoothly onto the big ring. 
Mech: Look at bike, very hard. "You want your handle bars at that angle?"
Me: (surprised) "No, it is pretty uncomfortable. I ride on the hoods and the longer I ride the further out things feel. There is a lot of creaking when I torque on the bars when climbing too."
Mech: "It looks like these bolts have not been tightened all the way." Unscrews them, rotates the bars up a little, tightens them down again, and asks me to sit on the bike to feel the new position. 
Me: "That is much better! Can you adjust the interrupter brake levers too?"
Mech: "Sure thing." Adjusts and tightens the bolts. 

This takes about 1.5 hours and one Clif Bar mostly because the Mech is really thorough, it taking his time, and seems genuinely interested in making sure I know what is happening. While all of this is going on Mr. Two Bicycles comes in with two bikes to have some work done on them. One is an all carbon road bike (pretty cool and light) and the other is a 2007 Poprad. He has had it for a year and loves it—it has become his main bike these days. No real problems although he has had a new set of wheels from Bontrager because the originals kept on coming out of true. Two Bicycles suggests that I put road slicks on to improve traction. Mech agrees with this recommendation. 

Rode home in the sun and the bike felt better already. Not a lot of time to walk the dog before heading out for the AR Wednesday group run—Bryant School Loop. Fun stuff.

Word to the wise. Make sure that your bike goes through a thorough final inspection BEFORE you accept it. Though I am really happy with the bike and also the fact that I had access to these necessary adjustments it is also the case that the bike should not have left the shop with these problems in the first instance and I should not have had to bring it back so soon. 

Addendum 10/13/08: Commuted today, my first ride since last Wednesday. The bike flew. :-)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Question: Do boiled eggs mix well with beach sand?
Answer: Not really as I found out this morning when I unpacked my breakfast from the plastic bag I randomly picked up in the kitchen. Turns out it once held rocks from Tofino. Yum. Crunchy.
Question: Are rainbows beautiful?
Answer: Yes, especially when the sun is smacking right into a very dark cloud band.
Question: Is Juan García Esquivel's "Cabaret Mañana" the most perfect way to start a morning (aside from a rainbow)?
Answer: Yes! [Insert very large and whimsical grin here]
Question: Did yours truly forget to bring his copy of Quest for the Holy Grail to use in class today?
Answer: Yes, he did and hoping that YouTube can come to the rescue.
Question: Who is going to "win" the debate tonight?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Commuting: Swim, Bike, Run

Today I commuted by bike for the first time. A very busy and active day. 

Got up at 5:45 to go run an easy three miler in the neighborhood. I don't really like getting up this early and often have a hard time getting moving but that wasn't a problem as I was so excited for the day. The run went well and felt good. The pre-dawn calm was eerily quiet and the air felt soft. J had a blast. This was slow but at least my HR was lower than it has been.  http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/6921508

Then at 7:30 I headed out on the bike for the Learning Factory. I had a pretty heavy backpack which slowed me down a bit. Dropped the hill from my house and then headed up a very windy Ravenna Blvd to get down to Green Lake. Around the south of the lake and then more climbing. The traffic as not as bad as I had imagined it would be, a pleasant surprise. It did start to mist on the trip up but not too badly either. The bike felt comfortable although I was still not able to shift into the big ring and the hoods began to feel very far out the longer that I rode (can this be adjusted easily?). Riding through Shoreline and into Lynnwood was also no problem and I rolled onto campus just before 9 after 1:18 riding. A little slower than a test ride I did on Sunday but not too bad. I fully expect this to improve as I get stronger or, as Puddlethumper puts it, as I get into "biking shape". 

Got to show my bike off a bit too—took some guff about the bike not being yellow (you know who you are Mr. Post-It Note)—and then had to figure out how to get cleaned up. Baby wipes work although I had to put my riding clothes outside on a balcony otherwise my office, indeed the entire area around my office, would become rather pungent. :-P

I had so much energy and was annoyingly bouncy. So bouncy that one of the staff told me to calm down. That Americano I had before class might have made things worse. Taught (had a great conversation with my students about basic concepts in Political Science), had a meeting, got changed (putting on damp riding clothes is such a joy), and around 2 headed out for home. It was dry and a little windy as I went. At Puddlethumper's suggestion I was decided to modify the return route to head around the north of Green Lake rather than the south, a decision that would cut at least a mile off the route. 

Here is where the swimming part comes into my day. 

It was dry as I took off from the campus. Within a few minutes of riding it started raining and by the time I got to Mountlake Terrace my supposed waterproof running jacket was letting water in. It was warm and windy though and I did not mind too much although I began thinking how nice it would be to have some foul weather gear. Too bad I already spent my birthday and Christmas and mad money. :-P

The rain and the wind got much heavier the closer I got to Seattle, seeping through my helmet and running down my scalp. I REALLY started thinking about foul weather gear and worrying about all the stuff in my pack that might be getting wet because I forgot to put them in the plastic bag. Some sort of waterproof carrying device is needed, yes? 

Then I hit the hills. That is, I started descending the hills. Wow! Those brakes, they work. But OH DO THEY SCREAM. These things were so loud that small animals and babies fled at my coming. Grown construction worker people cringed but at least held their ground. Drivers startled. It was bad (and embarrassing). Something must be done! But what?

I also started noticing this white soap-sudsy stuff on the streets (anybody know what this is) and more and more standing water around Green Lake that I had no choice but to ride through, soaking my feet even more. My legs were covered in road dirt which was going to require some real scrubbing (did I mention that I need fenders yet?).  The final climb up to my house is quite steep and it took a bit of doing on the slippery pavement but I did it and rolled into my garage after an 1:12 of riding. http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/6927837

Showered, went back out in the rain to walk the dog (I just wanted to be warm), went to the store for dinner stuff, and then to my stretchy bendy class. 

Though tiring, this was a lot of fun and I can't wait until Wednesday where there is only a 20% chance of rain.
Quite an adventure swimming, biking and running but nothing like what Les is going to be doing this weekend

Me? I'll be trail running in Saint Edwards Park on Saturday and running the Dawg Dash on Sunday (runner #2570 on the Dash page only marginally looks like GVB. :-P )

The adventure continues. 

Friday, October 3, 2008

Poprad's First Ride

It is here! In my garage. Sitting there, looking pretty cool! 

It was a pretty busy afternoon. Division meeting day at the Learning Factory and this time we got to see a DVD about how to survive a workplace shooting. These meetings are not particularly joyful (something tedious to get through on a Friday afternoon) but this brought things down quite a bit and I don't mind telling you that it was quite upsetting. No one likes to think about such things but I suppose these things must be considered and prepared for. Mental preparation actually seems to be the key. 

Meeting over I headed off bound for REI to get some biking shorts (now that I have a bike I suppose having more than one pair would be helpful). Got a mounting bracket for my Garmin too.  

Heard from Greg at Montlake Cycles who said that it was ready except that they didn't have the fenders I wanted and the rack is no longer made. He did have something else I could use though and I should come down to pick them out. Driving down there would be a problem. Taking a bus would take too long. So, I put on my boots, got a pack, and ran the three miles down there with my riding shoes and helmet. 

Got to the shop only to find that the mechanic that I had been working with was not there (he was off at the warehouse) and they could not put the right stuff on. SO, I have to call tomorrow and figure out the rack and the fender situation. Everything else is good. I bought a spare tube and a rear light (which they mounted) and headed out into the rain. Discovered a few things along the way:
  • I need fenders. Oh boy do I need fenders. The spray of the tires was not as bad as my Gecko but still
  • The stem might be a little too long for me and I might need to come up a bit (I can talk about this with the mechanic tomorrow)
  • Wet new disc brakes make a hell of a squeal until they dry off. I wonder if this is a setting issue? A newness issue? 
  • This bike climbs really well and with a triple it is very nice, although the easiest gear is still not as easy as mtb gearing
  • Running clothes are great for running but even a short ride in the rain, well . . .

So far I am pretty happy. Wiped it off when I got home. :-) 

Tomorrow? I'll mount my cages and stuff. Sunday I'll take it for a real spin. 

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Biden v. Palin

OK folks, who "won"? (You know that is being asked)

Were the questions answered? (Weeellll, sort of. Wished I had counted the platitudes.)

Was this a debate? (Meh)

Will there be a bounce? (Who knows.)

Umm. What is a Vice-President supposed to do? (There are formal roles, president of the Senate and to certify the Electoral College count) and informal roles as an agent of president. And then there is the Cheney Vice-Presidency which is something other than else.)

What was the most stunning and awkward moment? (The discussion of equal rights for same sex couples was surprising and also very awkward. Wonder how Palin's support for equal rights will play with her base AND how Biden's opposition to gay marriage will play with the base.)

Did the candidates meet the low expectations expected of them? (Probably.)

And then there is this:

she's a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do. (Andrew Halco)

Gawd! I wish it 11/5/08 already! The tension is killing me . . .