Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from October 2004

Red Sox parade, in the fans’ own words

October 31st, 2004 · Comments Off on Red Sox parade, in the fans’ own words

Five million people showed up in Boston for the Red Sox parade–I saw
just a tiny fraction of the whole, but check out the Boston Globe’s message board for a wonderful kaleidoscope effect. Tiny sample:

Suzzle81 from NH:

woke up at 5am and drove from NH to stand in the rain for 4 hours
at the corner of Tremont and Boylston so I could cheer my heart
out for 5 minutes, and I would do it all again tomorrow. 

Rfejstar of Jamaica Plain:

9:30 we got dressed, got on the T and in 20 minutes we were on
Boylston street at Berkley.  The crowd was electric, the Boston
Police were wearing smiles from ear to ear, we didn’t even notice the
drizzle.  At around 11:15 the caravan was in front of us.  It
was spectacular!!  These guys were like superheros.  I have
never loved my wife more than today for insisting we go down to see the
parade.  It truly was a once in a lifetime experience. 
Thanks RED SOX.

I’ll give the last word to RedOctober from Somerville:

crew and I left somerville wicked early and were staking out our spot
on Tremont by 7:45am.  A little dunks and we were set up for the
wait.  And it was completely worth 4 hour wait.  It was so
exciting to see all the players up close.  I went with only one
wish.  To be acknowledge by a player.  I just wanted a wave
or a smile.  Well, Damon rolled by first and gave us a big wave
and like our sign.  Schilling passed and thanked me for my sign
and Luchino did the same over the PA system.  I almost
fainted.  It was the greatest experience every.  These
players did so much for us that I was glad to hear they were happy that
so many people turned out and brought so much excitement. 
The players all deserved it for the hard work.  Here’s to hoping
that I get the same opportunity next year at this time.  But, if
not, at least I saw it in my lifetime.

Tags: Boston · Pilgrimages

If you didn’t like yesterday’s story, Drudge has a new one!

October 29th, 2004 · Comments Off on If you didn’t like yesterday’s story, Drudge has a new one!

Oh, those pesky missing Iraq explosives…

Drudge, October 26
, 3 p.m.  Cache of explosives vanished before US troops arrived
Drudge, October 26, 5:30 p.m. Crew embedded with troops moved in to secure explosives on April 10, 2003.

Drudge, October 27
11 p.m. Official claims Russians may have taken Iraq explosives.

Drudge, October 28, 3:30 a.m. Iraqis may be overstating amount of  missing material.

Drudge, October 29, Major: We removed 250 tons from facility.

So Drudge’s Major says his crews removed 250 tons on April 13 from a
facility that originally contained only 3 tons of material, or maybe
zero tons because it had all been removed by the Russians already, and
yet on  April 18 film crews from Minnesota filmed hundreds of barrels of explosives at the Al-QaQaa site, many with the IAEA seals intact.

I’m so glad Drudge was able to clear this up for me.

Tags: Invisible primary

In another part of the bloggy forest….

October 29th, 2004 · Comments Off on In another part of the bloggy forest….

This November doesn’t match Keats’s autumn triumphalism–“mists and mellow fretfulness” would be more like it.

Here comes winter, and Halley does not want to go there.

Rabble-rousing and vitriol are bad for you, says Lisa, settling down to read some philosophy.

That’s enough foliage, woodsmoke. and nostalgia, says Maciej, kissing his Vermont apple trees good-bye.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, I met “Zamora“, blogging his year off from college, who asks “Is a right-wrong dichotomy strictly wrong?

Also on the plus side–news from BloggerCon 3. In her “core values” session, Mary Hodder (Napsterization) led a far-ranging discussion to some worthwhile conclusions. I also loved Enoch Choi’s blog-report of Julie Leung’s session, “The Emotional Life of Weblogs. Good work by Dave Winer, again.

Tags: Metablogging

The news is all about *us*! I love it, I love it.

October 28th, 2004 · Comments Off on The news is all about *us*! I love it, I love it.

Some of my favorite headlines ever are out there today, because everybody is writing about the Red Sox!

  • Page one of the Christian Science Monitor!
  • A Boston Globe special edition this morning whose front page headline is just the big word “Yes!!!”
  • Today’s Boston Herald gives the Sox three times more ink than
    Kerry and Bush and the Dow Jones all together. (Well, the Herald always
    does that, but this time it’s good news.)

Other headlines of note, via Google News:

Don’t worry, I will stop writing about the Red Sox.


Tags: Boston · Life, the universe, and everything

New Englanders in (literal?) heaven last night

October 28th, 2004 · 2 Comments

Last night, Fannie Farmer and Isabella Steward Gardner co-hosted the Red Sox game-watching party to die for. Our intrepid correspondent has this report:

Alexander Graham Bell wore his beard in a hairnet as he passed around a tray full of
tiny quiche thingies. “My latest invention,” he said, “I call them
‘Mientkiewicz’.” (Bell is the star chef for Cotton and Increase Mather,
who cater all heaven’s big parties.)

Thoreau and Louisa May Alcott were holding hands–those two have been a hot item since they fell in love watching Fischer/Spassky.
Pressed for a quote for this story, Thoreau said, “It is never too late
to give up your prejudices.” Alcott offered one from her father: “Success is sweet and sweeter if long delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats.”

Then Julia Ward Howe climbed up onto a sofa to conduct a group sing of “Mine eyes have seen
the glory…”, so we slipped out the back to find some other parties.

Politicos were three deep at George Washington’s old favorite Warren Tavern–Squanto
and James Michael Curley were each holding one arm of John Fitzgerald
Kennedy, who had been partying a bit too long. Tears in his eyes, JFK
started shouting “I am a jelly doughnut! I am a jelly doughnut!

His shouting caused your reporter to wake up. Man, those Mientkiewicz
quiche-thingies were delicious–I can’t wait until somebody invents
them down here!

Tags: Boston · Life, the universe, and everything

Dover, NH rally: “As I walked past a live goat wearing a sweater..”

October 26th, 2004 · Comments Off on Dover, NH rally: “As I walked past a live goat wearing a sweater..”

[Citizen-blogging by my cousin Jean Devine.]

This morning I attended a Kerry-in-the-flesh rally in Dover NH,
probably his last NH visit before the election.  I’m embarrassed
to admit that I’m new to this rally stuff, even though I’m a native of
NH and have lived just south of the border of this politically valuable
state for 22 years!

Confessions aside, because of my attendance, my proximity to the real
John Kerry and the empathy I felt with a whole bunch of earnest,
enthusiastic and “believing” supporters, my battery is fully charged
for the volunteering I’ll be doing during the homestretch and I’m
chanting with the rest of ‘em, “eight more days.”

Here are a few impressions:

As I walked past a live goat wearing a sweater saying, “Bush you’re
fired,” I began chatting with Tyler, a Dover High graduate from the
class of 1999.  Once inside, Tyler reminded me that this
auditorium has received a great deal of politicians’ attention over the
years, but the most memorable event for him was when Clinton
intentionally returned here in early 2001 to thank NH and especially
Dover for all the support it had given him over the past eight
years.   The speech ended with  Clinton’s reminder that,
“even though I won’t be President, I’ll always be with you until the
last dog dies.”

(Excuse the digression, but I couldn’t help but think that just
today,  Clinton is prancing around  Philadelphia, waiting for
Kerry to arrive at another rally where Kerry will unlikely get a strong
boost of support from one of the few still-living charismatic leaders
of the free world. I for one am happy that Clinton has put his
recuperation on hold this week!)

So, Tyler and I chatted with folks all around and joined in with chants
and refrains from “Love train” and “No Surrender” as we awaited the
Candidate.  On the bleacher side of the auditorium, the early
birds were flashing “Women for Kerry” signs. Sprinkled among these, a
big “Republicans for Kerry” caught my eye.   I hoped that
sign caught the cameras’ view finder, too.

Kerry arrived at 9:30.   He was accompanied by former
Governor Jean Sheehan and Wendy Thomas, a  Merrimack mom of six
who has been fervently campaigning for Kerry ever since her job was
outsourced.  Wendy commented that despite her many degrees, she’ll
probably need to be retrained, and as soon as she said that, the crowd
chanted “Retrain Bush, Retrain Bush.”

Wendy’s speech focused on the plight of
the “working poor” and her own example of feeling squeezed between
living on one paycheck and barely affording healthcare.  Indeed,
as she described the asthmatic illnesses of four of her children and
the challenges of affording the hospital, medicine, and doctor visit
costs on top of paying $13,000 for insurance, the audience sighed and
nodded when she said “we simply cannot afford to get sick.”

I thought for sure Wendy was presenting the crowd with the topic of the
day.  But then I realized with only seven days of airtime left for
Kerry and Bush, several topics will get attention daily.  And sure
enough, Kerry launched his speech with the current news, the New York
Times coverage on the IAEA report on the recent discovery that 350
metric tons of explosives have gone a-missing in  IRAQ. 
Kerry cited this as just another example of the President’s great
blunders with the  Iraq war, another example of how Bush failed to
do the basics when going to war with  Iraq.  He also reminded
us of how Rumsfeld downplayed looting back in April 2003.

Kerry took the opportunity to express that much to the contrary of what
Bush is saying about Kerry’s stance on  Iraq, “I’m not going to
run from this area.  But I will act responsibly.  We owe it
to the troops to be responsible and accountable.” (I’m quoting loosely
here as I did not have pen and paper in the auditorium.) And as Kerry
has said before, “We cannot do this alone.  We must bring to the
table those who have a strong concern in the outcome of  Iraq (and
I don’t mean Halliburton). We must bring in Middle Eastern countries
and  Europe.”

I was glad when Kerry shifted to domestic issues giving equal airtime
to jobs and innovation, healthcare and scientific research, taxes and
fiscal responsibility all areas that he promised would help the middle
class rise above being the working poor.

We still haven’t heard much about his environmental plans but hopefully
he’ll give time to those most pressing once he is elected.  Kerry
looked out to the audience with a grin and said, “I will be a president
who can do more than one thing at a time. We can fight the
war in Iraq, while bringing help to the middle class at home
and balancing the budget.  We can be fiscally responsible while
returning America to the times when under Clinton the U.S.
created 23 million jobs.”

As he concluded, Kerry told us about a supporter in Wisconsin who
assured the candidate that supporters had his back covered. Humbly he
thanked that supporter and our crowd while reminding us that this
election is about us…we’re in it to change the world back to something
that we all can believe in again, a land of hope, dreams and a strong
future. As he turned to leave, he promised to cover our backs and
lead us through this change. I hope he gets the chance.

Thanks for this story, Jeannie, and for what you said in other email about “healing the blue-red divide.”

Tags: New Hampshire!

Lovely lunar preview of Wednesday night show

October 24th, 2004 · Comments Off on Lovely lunar preview of Wednesday night show

A total lunar eclipse–spooky and beautiful–can be seen this Wednesday
night from Maine to Alaska.  For a preview of what it will
look  like from your state, check out the beautiful animations online.

East-coasters like me will see the moon high in the sky and late at
night. I sampled some states farther west and watched their moon rise from a
simulated horizon, then go through its changes not far above (or past)

Thanks to Larry Koehn (does that rhyme with “moon”?) for the art, and to Tara Calishain of ResearchBuzz for the lunar link.

Tags: Life, the universe, and everything

Top-secret leak from Bush camp: the next ad

October 24th, 2004 · Comments Off on Top-secret leak from Bush camp: the next ad

NextBushAd: Parody scary Bush ad with wolves and ghouls

“This is so much more fun than those old debates. And Carl says we’ve got folks believing that I’d make them safer than that big Kerry guy–well, the point is to scare ’em enough so they don’t think straight.”

Wondering about those hundreds of Republican challengers? They’ll be standing outside your voting booth going “How-oooooooooo–lllll”

Tags: Invisible primary

October 23rd, 2004 · Comments Off on

I’d call this is a howl, in a kind of sad ha-ha way.

In other news, Bush is keeping us safe from Kerry–oops, I mean from terrorists and wolf packs–just as his ads promise.

The federal government just started running background checks on all foreigners
who apply to our flight schools. Way to go, guys, that took you only 37
months. We do understand that those tax cuts were much more urgent.

Tags: Feedster

Another unexpected Nobel downside

October 22nd, 2004 · Comments Off on Another unexpected Nobel downside

One thousand thank-you letters! Even my optimistic husband Frank was
taken aback by the job of replying to all the old friends and others
who congratulated him on his Nobel Prize.

Frank–who doesn’t like to do a not-very-good job on anything–solved the problem of
replying-quickly versus replying-personally in a characteristically
outside-the-box-Frank way.

He wrote a sonnet he could send everyone fast.

Then he organized his in-box so he could write real replies one day at a
time–first to all the As–then to all the Bs–then, on Thursday night, his
hard disk crashed. It’s off at Disk Doctors being (hopefully) salvaged.

But if you wrote to Frank and your first name begins with C, you’re top on his list when he gets his computer back.

Tags: Nobel