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Peter Hentges

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December 4th, 2004


01:13 am - I rock
I stayed home sick Thursday night. Fever. Congested throat feeling. The regimen of fluids and rest for Wednesday did not keep it all at bay. Thanks to Zicam, a quart and a half of lemon/ginger/echinacea juice, and lots of rest/Civ III, though, it only had a hold on me for a day. I'm much better now and at work again. Apparently, five or six other people were out sick on Thursday as well so things were kind of hectic 'round here. Excellent time to be away from work, methinks; particularly when one isn't feeling 100%.

Back at work tonight, I hop right into a job that's due at midnight. Pretty easy edits, so the files just zip along. One of them involves drawing a vertical rule to separate columns of numbers in a table. Trick is, the rule needs to skip a line where a sub-head runs across it. No problem for a DTP program, but our proprietary typesetting system makes me jump a couple of hoops to make it happen: Define where the rule will be drawn. Turn it on. Turn if off. Turn it on again. Turn it off at the end of the table. Get it down on the second pass. Rock.

Next comes an HTML proxy card. Quick, easy. One complication. An address next to two signature lines. Again, no problem for the DTP folks, but a bit of a run-around for me. It gets set in a table. Rules separated by end-lines and, here's the trick, null characters to fake out the HTML generator. Again, I rock.

Then an ASAP job comes in. Split it up for our job board and my fellows and I rip through it. Quick QC and it's sent off to the customer service folks in just under two hours. I, and my co-workers, rock.

I may rock mostly because, before coming to work, I watched This Is Spinal Tap from when I TiVod it from IFC. I can take this night to 11, if necessary.
Current Mood: mischievousrocky

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01:50 am - Weekend plans and life examination
Oh, it's the standard thing all my friends are doing: Riverfolk/Keelaghan and BiL. I tried to pick up BiL tickets today, as I was out and about at about 9:00 a.m. The Cedar's box office, of course, isn't open at that time, and the back-up (Global Village, just up the street) didn't open until 10:00 a.m. Drat. So I'll try to pick up those tickets tomorrow.

Had a look at the Cedar, though, and it looks remarkably accessible. Ericka would enjoy being able to go to the show so I'll probably pick up two tickets in case she feels up to it. Anyone have any detailed information about the women's restrooms at the Cedar?

On my way in to work today, I got to thinking about what I want to do with my life. I keep doing this and I keep coming back around to wanting to write. Some days it's novels, some days it's short stories, some days it's screenplays. Some times I think I want to take the writing of others and make films out of it, but I don't know the first thing about that.

(If anyone is looking to get me a big-ticket Solstice-season gift, I'm in the market for a digital camcorder to try my film-making chops out on.)

I look at my life, though, and think back to the Barbara Sher book that I was working through earlier this year. If I'm going to take on a big project like this, I need to clear the decks; to make space for it in my life so that I don't overload myself and it turns into a other wishing fantasy. That means finding time.

I work 40 hours a week (when I'm feeling well). I am Ericka's primary care-giver so that's at least another four hours per day. Tack on eight hours of sleep, and I'm up to 20 hours a day that are already committed. And that's not counting cleaning the cat box, walking the dog (which, actually, Ericka's morning helper has been doing on the days she's there, which is a big help), being social with friends, going to concerts and, you know, life.

I had hoped that the shift of my schedule to four 10-hour days would leave me a time to do some of the things I'd like. What happens, however, is that I end up sleeping most of my off night; a sign I'm just too strung out.

I'm not sure where to find the time.

One thing I need to work on is getting better sleep. Currently, my rest gets interrupted when Ericka's helper need to get into the room where I'm sleeping for any of a number of reasons. I'm normally a sound sleeper once I get asleep, but, of late, this has not been the case. I find myself getting annoyed at the interruptions even when they are for good reasons. I find myself wanting to ban intrusion except for cases of fire, smoke, flood, blood or lack of breathing. That, of course, would not work, as tempting as it sounds.

One thing that would help, I think, is moving our copier/fax/printer (which is mostly used as a copier/fax these days) out of that room. Ericka needs it for communicating with the various government agencies and health-care providers, and that has to happen on a regular business day kind of schedule. So having it in the room where I'm sleeping is counter-productive. That's something I can do this weekend, I bet.
Current Mood: relievedresolved

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03:47 am - What say we don't fight?
Bunch of folks on my friends list are linking to an essay on dailykos. One theme of the essay is that in order to progress the Democratic party needs to fight misconceptions of the opposition. Prime example of this is the "morality" issue. The author forwards the idea that, "During the 20th century, the Right took Christianity away from us." Where "us" is the liberal portion of the political spectrum. In order to regain what was lost, he suggests fighting on the same ground and moving Christianity back to the left.

The question of my subject approaches this subject in a different fashion. It is a tactic that the Republicans, actually, used to good effect in this last campaign. How about we simply ignore the main point of the opposition's attack?

When, for example, Dick Cheney's position on same-sex marriages and his lesbian daughter were brought up, they were dismissed quickly by Cheney himself. In the Vice-Presidential debate, with the opportunity to rebut John Edwards who had just brought up his daughter, the Vice President simply said thank you for the kind words about my family.

He didn't engage in a fight that would not benefit him.

So what if we don't fight?

Or, more specifically, what if we don't let them decide which fights to fight? The problem I see with the list that dailykos has come up with is that most of them are still reactionary. They propose fighting the fights that the Republicans chose. Worse yet, they propose preparing to fight in 2008 the fights that the Republicans chose in 2004!

Rather, I think the Democrats need to come up with two, maybe three issues on which to focus their campaign in 2008. Prepare those issues. Put them to the best intellectual and emotional challenges they can devise in order to hone their presentation. Then lead with those issues at every stage of the campaign.

I'm not saying totally ignore the opposition. Some of the points from kos's essay are good here; know the opposition's strengths as well or better than they do and be sure to have a message showing your own strength on that issue when confronted with them. When given an opportunity (especially when making opportunities) to speak, however, the opposition's issues should not be mentioned. What they think is important is not important. What we think is important are the issues that need discussion.

Most importantly, the Democratic party needs to be acting, not reacting. They can't wait for the Republicans to define the issues and their issues should not be ones that are primarily negating Republican views.

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09:00 pm - Set Break
At the James Keelaghan concert. It's the intermission between sets. Riverfolk opened and did wonderfully. The MC, who is a woman with delusions of humorousness, commented that they'll have to have them back for a CD release party. We agree.

Our little section, and minnehahaK in particular, have been identified as the "Henny Youngman of Minneapolis," for our frequent outbursts of one-liners during James' patter. It's been fun so far and more to come!
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Why James Keelaghan, of course.

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