Friday, October 31, 2008

Soles'n'Bowls

  • Have any of those giggly gossip channels like FOX or CNN gotten in touch with any real Socialists while they're jumping all over the "redistribution of wealth thing? You know, like Gloria La Riva or Brian Moore? At all?
  • Or would that make the guy that they call "Socialist" look like just another "Democrat"?
  • I've bored myself to tears and hypoglycemia with whining about how 'merkin public edumacation and entertainment have given selfish and ignorant scatterbrains the same opportunity for success as anyone who studies hard, has integrity, and thinks about the other guy.
  • Which is why teevee and radio suck and politics is headed in that general direction.
  • And they aren't "24-hour news" stations if they run ads for Girls Gone Wild.
  • And with that said: P. Cameron DeVore died. In memory of his passing, we'll all go back to believing that outright lying is not protected by the Constitution.
  • I'm sorry that I didn't mention this and "huzzah" and "thank," but I can do that now: BitterAndrew (whom I have midcapitalized, possibly incorrectly) has been celebrating all month with his Halloween Countdown at Armagideon Time and I hope you got to its daily sounds of joy, because it's the most magical time of the year. There's also birthdays and wedding anniversaries at the Weiss manse, so mazel tov and fair winds.
  • And a special "Have a Hec of a Happy..." to James at Aces Full of Links, who also can make music happen at his place.
  • I confess that I did try to experiment with musicblogging and decided that I would leave that sort of thing to the people who can actually do it and don't have to rely on Roscoe Lee Browne's Box.net to make every meticulously-reproduced tune sound like listening to a softball through a rotary phone. (I reproduced quite a few songs from vinyl on my new Audio Technica AT-LP2DUSB LP-to-Digital Recording System with USB, using Audacity software and they all sound great on my machinery.)
  • Plus, I can't make the little arrow button thingy that just plays the song on the page. No matter how many "players" and "workarounds" I tried.
  • There: I've firmly established my non-technophile cred. Which I needed to do with the wooden boat crowd, who were beginning to doubt my fir deck footing.
  • But I have added a new feature to the sidebar, now that the North Atlantic Hurricane Season is nearly over. (North Atlantic Hurricane Season ends NOVEMBER 30. I will continue to post NOAA storm watches.)
  • This Month's Handsome Cabin Boy is Carey Mulligan.
  • To everyone who knows what I'm talking about: Happy New Year!
  • Now, here's something reallly scary:BOO! Say the Spirits of Illusion.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bad Politics Makes Dopey Ideas


MoveOn or some associated gang of wild-eyed fanatics actually sent the above to me by e-mail, and although it was addressed to me as "PJ, You're in this video," they identify "me" as "undefined" in what would be a clever prank if it weren't so lowbrow and inconsiderate. As if being called "undefined" weren't insult enough, watch it and you'll see graffiti that calls "undefined" a "loser" and you'll hear an old lady address "undefined" in some remarkably piquant language.

I just wanted to remind these kids and their crank call sensibilities that I would hate to be an undecided voter who receives something this thoughtless and foul. If the Obama campaign has chosen to stay above the fray, why shouldn't the people who support him? Especially the ones who are clever enough to design what might have been a neat gimmick? As it is, I'm a voter who has never missed an election and doesn't plan to miss the one a week from today, even if you think it's funny to accuse me of doing so.

And MoveOn or TrueMajority or USAction or whoever sent this: I reject your wallowing in the "coarser culture" that Karl Rove promised us. I chose to eschew the vulgar and selfish and hypocritical and ugly. If you don't, then they've already won.

I missed by a couple of days, but I love this bit...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Amateurs... a week from Election Day

Radio is not the best example of The Ascendancy of The Amateur.
Once, there were people who actually wrote for radio. They carefully researched, wrote, recorded and edited stories. Radio stations and networks employed talented and imaginative dramatists, like Harold Pinter, Douglas Adams, and Orson Welles. Of course, that was before teevee and by 1980 radio dramas were anachronistic oddities, but those were the people I aspired to join.
But I ended up writing commercials instead, operating hopelessly out-dated equipments, doing the work of lazy or conniving account execs, producing talk shows while dodging spittle from local pols as they took calls from illiterate constituents.
While working with a dwindling (literally, dying) staff of radio professionals at a radio station, I became the waterboy for a management that wanted to give well-meaning amateurs airtime.
It had been widely surmised by listeners that the rest of the on-air staff enjoyed having clumsy buffoons there to make them sound good. But then again, they never actually sounded "good" to begin with.
Radio was a wasteland when I walked into it, but I worked with professionals who had been part of radio's heyday. So it is an insult to those professionals that part-time egomaniacs take the to the airwaves everyday, giving Americans another reason to be embarrassed by ourselves. Because they're lousy, they do lousy harder, so they can excel at it. When Punky McMushmouth and his "uhuhuh" and ''ummmmmm'' hiccups take to the airwaves, he's there because he "wants it."
And wanting is as good, apparently, as studying and working at one's profession.
In the Cult of the Amateur, wanting is the currency.
For professionals, amateurs are not the kind of challenge that encourages growth and innovation. Amateurs are the reason that professionals start unions. When your peers don't share your toolkit, it's hard to build anything of any worth.
And that's what's happened to a lot of politics.
Time was: Civic-minded people got involved in order to help their communities, our democratic system, and serve all of the people by knowing and respecting and protecting our Constitution. You studied, excelled at knowing and working for your community, and you progressed in the system.
But now we have some misinformed dimwits who believe a candidate can just slide into Congress by convincing the half-interested that he's a "good American." who doesn't like something he mistakenly calls "socialism."
Amateurs rarely comprehend the gravity of a situation, because they have only an imaginary stake in its outcome. I trained amateur volunteers in many "beloved avocations" -- boats, homes, museums, theaters -- and I was always thrilled when one or two of them would cut through the romantic claptrap or technical bravado and exhibit talent along with some sense of ownership. Others couldn't see past the end of the watch.
Democracy is not a board game for idlers who refuse to read the rules or understand and follow them. Although they can be entertaining and sometimes momentarily inspiring, "Rogues" and "Mavericks" have no place in the real world of fathoming the frail, fastidious and obscurely complex human equation, because mavericks are isolated, selfish, aloof, unsocialized, and possibly sociopathic.
And we've seen the Snowbilly Diva work that drift. It takes a lot of friendless years to build that thick a hide. Tracy Flick. But she gets what she wants, doesn't she? You betcha.
What sort of shortsightedness waits until there's a banking crisis, removes the chairman of the house financial services committee, and throws in an ineffectual homophobic twerp who mows lawns and wants to abolish state income tax.
(Much in the same way that some delusionists believe that repealing the income tax will make legislators run the Commonwealth "better." You'd better think that one through again, and then: DON'T.)
Or, with a Democratic majority in the cards for the Senate, who would replace one of the Commonwealth's longtime Democratic Senators with a harebrained rent-a-cop? And sit back to watch the Commonwealth get shoved aside by the actual working part of the Senate and ignored by everyone else on Earth? Don't want earmarks or pork? Don't worry, you'll never see any.
Sure, we could all be elected officials. Says so in the Constitution. But we don't have to be.
Nor should some of us want to be.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Soles'n'Bowls

I feel like a wee hypocrite when I talk about the Bioneers' conferences.
First off: I'm not a trustafarian college kid helping out at an empowering spoken word throwdown for extra credit in my "Community Outreach" elective. Nor am I one of their parents propitiating a sense of Class Guilt by listening, glazedly, to lectures about green-collar urban initiatives and Code Pink empassioneering.
I am thrilled to see that community organizations like Third Eye and the Coalition for Buzzards Bay can get involved, collaborate, and make their presence and work in New Bedford's new economy real and relevant. Every year, I hope that the wearisome naysayers -- the ones who call Bioneers "The Smores 'n Kumbaya Crowd"-- will see that the work these people do is important, that our environment is important, that innovative ideas are important.
And then somebody starts a SpiritBall Toss or Gaia Consciousness Relationship Roundtable and the waverers fall to the other side.
To bring this all to concrete terms, allow me to share my ethical dilemma.
There are about 2 million diabetes blogs. I really don't ever discuss my diabetes here in The Journal. Of course, I don't talk much about boats either. My reasons are complex, mostly along the lines of "it's nobody's business and nobody cares." Plus, I find many diabetes bloggers either disturbingly techno-dependent and presumptuous (that is, even when they're not actually pharm shills), or there's a certain vulgar and condescending quality to them. And I have trouble with insipid nicknames for spouses, children, and insulin pumps. Plus, I have only received resentful and high-handed e-mails from Type-2 diabetics who claim that I am "a bad diabetic" since I talk about rum and that my kidneys failed. (I know, I blame the Lyme disease, but we all know it was that sip of rhum agricole Clement Cuvee Homere. Oh, and while we're at it, never mind the particulars about pumps and diabetes management. It's "diabeetees," not "die-a-beat-us." For obvious reasons.)
As a juvenile diabetic, I have always been aware of my utter non-Green-ness and, due to my vestigial Catholic guilt, I spend a lot of energy making sure that I do not leave too egregious a footprint on our orb. (Hell, just not having kids must be worth something.)
I take Navy showers. I use little water while doing the dishes. I've devised elaborate systems of window and shade opening and closing to enhance the manse's passive solar heating. I divide the trash and recyclables, and I plan to repair our composting process before the Winter. I sometimes don't even turn on the computer or television machine. I keep trips in the auto to a necessary minimum.
No matter how little electricity it uses.
But I have attached a machine to my person which uses resources in ways I cannot even begin to express guilt over: An Insulin Pump.
You would think that a tiny device, smaller than a cellphone, would solve a lot of ecological crises. I'm not using four or five syringes everyday, producing medical waste and dangerous sharps. I'm not using test tubes and harmful chemicals to test my urine or blood anymore either. Of course the little test strips and their containers (which are plastic but don't have the little recycling triangle on them), and the batteries for the pump and glucometer add up.
But this is the amount of the waste I produce every month:
Of course, you can discount the recyclable paper products, like the boxes that the test strips, reservoirs, and infusion sets come in, along with their 30-page instruction and legal disclaimer manuals. And the prescription bottles made of #2 or #5 plastic. And the weekly eight-page, 42-cent itemized reminders from my insurance company that they're saving me money. (Oops, I forgot the product mailing cartons I receive every month from Wilford "Die-a-beat-us" Brimley.)Recyclable And then there's the stuff that gets stuck in me and stuck in the little machine (a tiny -- I mean tiny -- little cannula makes this seem like "medical waste" but it's not. For some reason.). Only one at a time Anyway, nobody can tell me how I can recycle these tubes and cylinders. If at all. Seriously. I've asked around. It has, however, been suggested that I could give them to one of my artist friends. But the equipment smells like insulin, which has a vaguely potato-y pong.
So that means that about this much stuff ends up in the landfill, because of me, every year: Though, not necessarily on the Belgian block street



And that's why I wasn't at the Zeiterion last night as the Bioneers opened their eco-conference in New Bedford. The End.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What'd YOU Do Last Night?

While San Francisco decides whether it will decriminalize prostitution and students at UMass-Dartmouth choose between being part of the Green Jobs Future by joining Van Jones at the opening of Bioneers By The Bay-NEW BEDFORD or whether they'll provide blank stares and half-hearted encouragement to former alum Jimmy Tingle this Thursday, The Town I Live In™ sat around the barn and did some good.

This one time.
Town Moderator (and gifted Cat Herder) Steve Sharek only had to rap his mallet a couple of times to rein in the attention- and courtesy-deficient, and off they went -- as though money grew straight out of the ground at the old Schofield Fahm. (Which also got approved.) Road improvements, pay raises for Town Hall employees, the police, money for textbooks and giving the developers of the shambling suburban atrocity at the old amusement park site the go-ahead to do all sorts of work and have other people pay for it.
But the most important and satisfying vote came as Town Meeting agreed to do the right thing by the Community Preservation Act and spare our Akin House the embarrassment of sliding off of its foundation, eventually turning into a Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru after having stood through every historical event since 1762.
So: Congratulations to The Dartmouth Heritage Preservation Trust.
Also: Thanks to the guy with the McCain cap who gave the rousing speech in favor. Because Irony, thy name is Town Meeting.
(And special thanks to Peggi. For everything!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You've Made ...erm... News!

When I was very young back last century, a local bank president -- one of my neighbors -- would go through the local paper and clip articles about young people in the community who have done some good thing. Little league team makes the playoffs, win the science fair, appear in a school play, he would send the clipping to you attached to the bank's letterhead with a big headline that read, "You've Made Good News!"
By recognizing positive accomplishments, he was adding to the town's sense of pride in itself and its youngsters, simply by stroking the egos of brats like me who excelled at stuff that kids are supposed to do, like learn teamwork or study hard.
I don't know if anybody does that sort of thing now, but if you're a bank president, it might behoove you to do some clipping and glue-sticking. Oh, and send a few grand to the local art museum while you're at it.
And then you can pretend that you're involved in your community, just like real members of the community used to do back in the old days.

On the other hand, it might also be helpful to recognize how members of your community may be complete and utter jackholes.
Like radio hosts.
I was trying to explain to a friend that the rancor and ugliness attributed to the Republicans and the McCain campaign is nothing new at all.
I worked at talk radio stations, and had the brief horrible assignment of sitting in a studio while Rush Limbaugh's consistently unfunny smugnorance came satellited into the studio while vapors of sulfur wafted from the Eighth Circle of the Inferno and out of the monitors.
The station I was board-opping at stopped playing the audio turd and replaced it with Christian programming. Which wasn't much better, but at least professed to have something to do with "The Good News."
A few months ago, since I had some free time and a radio (always a bad combination), I thought that I would help out the Obama campaign by calling and calmly explaining that the Senator from Illinois is an avowed Christian not a Muslim, that he did not blow things up when he was eight, and that Hawaii was one of the United States when he was born there in 1961. The two hosts that I contacted at various times appropriately returned my polite demeanor with either a "Okay, thank you" or "Call back again." And then go back to denying the veracity of my "claims" about Hawaiian statehood and happily letting the "Obama is an Socialist AY-rab" crowd dominate the lines for the rest of the "show."
Which brings me to a familiar name and a familiar sentiment found in the comments on a trashy news site after a story about Obama's ailing grandmother.
Or maybe I'm just unfairly attributing a cheap and stupid remark to a local Massachusetts radio character named Evan.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Soles'n'Bowls

  • No matter how many times I inform my e-mail provider that some political e-mails are not spam, I have to go into the spam or junk file to retrieve them, and re-add them as a contact. Really, my senator is neither a threat to world peace nor an annoying advertisement for something I don't need or want.
  • Oh, wait...
  • Try It At Home! You go ahead and blink as much as John McCain. If you don't have a seizure, you'll see the world as an acid trip scene from a Seventies cop show.
  • Which explains a lot.
  • This whole "Joe The Plumber" thing proves to me that you can do anything to get a piece of the American Dream. As long as you completely misunderstand what it means.
  • Am I the only one who remembers that oil was $40 a barrel? And it came from whales?
  • Warren Buffett: "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful." Now, if you can make them fearful, you've figured out what Milton Friedman's Randian economists did to wreck America. Hey Warren: New world, pal. Get with the program.
  • Town Meeting is coming up here in Dartmouth, The McCain lawnsign stronghold of Massachusetts. So I'm sure that Town Meeting will approve funding for a town treasure: The house that John McCain was born in, in 1783.
    The Dartmouth Heritage Preservation Trust [DHPT] is pleased to announce a Fall 2008 Akin House Tour and cordially invites Dartmouth residents and visitors to tour this historic property at 762 Dartmouth Street, in Dartmouth during the weekend of October 18 and 19. The DHPT board will be on hand to conduct tours of the house and property on Saturday, October 18 from 9 a.m. to noon and on Sunday, October 19 from noon to 3 p.m. DHPT extends a special invitation to town meeting members to visit the house and the site, which for the past two summers has been the center of activity during which archaeological field work yielded thousands of artifacts and objects. The Akin House story continues to unfold as fragments from the digs are unearthed, processed, and catalogued. The 1762 Akin House was saved from demolition by Town Meeting when in 2003 it funded WHALE’s purchase of the property through CPA funds. After completing phase one of a multi-phased conservation plan, WHALE transferred the property to the town’s Historical Commission in March 2008. In May, DHPT signed a lease agreement with the town becoming stewards of the Akin House. This responsibility entails the management and care of the property, and the oversight of the house’s ongoing restoration and preservation work.
  • So get down on it, Town Meeting Crew.
  • Even Tommy was amazed at last night's seven blooms of the Night-Blooming Cereus. Maybelline is still under the weather, but she was here for the "10 Bloom of 2004." So take that, noob.
Yeah. I know: You can only see one. And he doesn't appear to be looking at it, either. You can't pose cats, even photogenic ones.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Is everybody dumb?"

That ain't a vernacular... I've been taking care of Maybelline, the last of the original litter here at stately Goon Manor. Hepatic lipidosis, which is a nice way of saying that "your cat will turn yellow and die."
At least according to the eleven-year-old upseller-of-the-month veterinarian we were unlucky enough to pull from the shallow end of the socially-awkward pool,
Maybelline had lost a tooth at some point in the past month, so we hadn't been surprised by her weight loss. She seemed fine.
But we were scheduled to fly to California, so we brought her in for bloodwork just to be sure; we were given a dire prognosis. An astronomical bilirubin count and elevated neutrophils, which meant that she had been fighting an infection which must have damaged her liver. We hadn't suspected any kind of infection, but that news gave me some hope. Treat the infection and the liver problem will go away. And her ears won't look yellow any more. So, I've been feeding her everything that she'll eat (to get her weight back) and giving her antibitotics.
I couldn't leave the cat for the kids who'd graciously offered to watch them before we found her ill, and I certainly wasn't going to leave her to expire at my Mom's.
So, every day at around 2 in the afternoon, I drive my fifteen-year-old cat to the vet for subcutaneous liquids.
The veterinary hospital is located in another town. A town where I lived when I was doing some work on a boat. A town that -- for all of its sweetly-suburban tree-lined streets, fascinating boating history, and waterfront eateries -- I do not like.
It's one of those meth havens that you're not supposed to hear about. It's a town with one of the highest rates of high school heroin use in the Commonwealth.
And it's a pure indicator of what happens when society stumbles down Selfish Street. I have to laugh when its residents complain about how "illegals" or "gays" or "liberals" are ruining our amerkin way of life, when it's obvious who actually is ruining it.
The children are spoiled, poorly-instructed, and allowed -- even encouraged -- to lash out violently. The adults, when not feigning complete ignorance, are impotent and angry about a life wasted at the disappointment of savage acquisition.

Stop signs and speed limits are mere suggestions with no record of enforcement, so are best ignored, lest you look weak or gullible. I was actually verbally assaulted while waiting for a red light to turn green.
The operator behind me thought that I should "just go."
And said so loudly and with a wide array of hand gestures and invectives.
Except for friends and drunks, I have never seen one person smile.
Preparing to leave the hospital yesterday, I was seated and arranging my cat carrier's seatbelt and noticed that a huge backward-baseball-capped homonculous in a K-car was gesturing wildly, apparently for me to get out of its parking space. I saw no indication that this, among the thirty other parking spaces, belonged to it specifically, but I pulled tightly around the Humvee to my left while the creature revved its little motor and shouted, "thank YOU!" in a tone of petulant and unconvincing half-menace.
I gave the only response I felt would adequately express my feelings. No, I didn't flip the bird. No, I didn't shout vulgarities. No, I didn't lean on my horn.

I frowned.

We are better than this...

health
CBS News

"I was reading my copy of the New York Times the other day," she said.
"Booooo!" replied the crowd.
"I knew you guys would react that way, okay," she continued. "So I was reading the New York Times and I was really interested to read about Barack's friends from Chicago."
It was time to revive the allegation, made over the weekend, that Obama "pals around" with terrorists, in this case Bill Ayers, late of the Weather Underground. Many independent observers say Palin's allegations are a stretch; Obama served on a Chicago charitable board with Ayers, now an education professor, and has condemned his past activities.
"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.
"Boooo!" said the crowd.
"And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.
"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.
"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.

- Dana Millbank, Washington Post, October 6, 2008



NEWBERG -- Students and campus leaders at George Fox University denounced the hanging of a life-size cardboard cutout of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama on campus, vowing to work together to fight racism and intolerance.
A custodial crew at the 3,355-student Christian university found the Obama likeness hanging by fishing wire from a tree at 7 a.m. Tuesday and tore it down before students arrived for classes.
A sign taped to the cutout said, "Act Six reject," referring to a scholarship program for Portland students, many of whom are minorities.


- Suzanne Pardington, The Oregonian, September 24, 2008


On Tuesday, White posted on his Overthrow.com website a request for money to pay for a special issue of his National Socialist magazine. The mocked-up cover, with a huge “Kill This NIGGER?” headline, shows Obama speaking to a crowd with a rifle’s crosshairs superimposed on his head. White said that the accompanying article would explain the Democratic presidential nominee’s “radical Communist politics and Jewish backers … and how he plans genocide against white working people.”


- Mark Potok, Southern Poverty Law Center, September 12, 2008



Roxbury resident Elizabeth Corsetto said she and her husband came home from doing errands Saturday and found the flier at the end of their driveway. She picked it up, expecting a mailer from a retailer but instead found a one-page, black and white sheet featuring unflattering photos of Obama, including a doctored one portraying him with a long beard and turban.
"Why should we seal our fate by allowing a black ruler to destroy us?" asked the flier, which also detailed what it contended to be a series of facts on black unemployment, poverty, HIV and crime rates, while pointing out the woes of a couple of predominantly black-populated countries.

- Lawrence Ragonese, Star-Ledger (NJ), September 23, 2008



"If Obama is President... Will we still call it The White House?"


- button


Aren't we?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Today, History IS Better

I can still remember the times last century when the Dow was creeping toward 7000, flirting coyly but never coming close to satisfying our economic hopes of a 10,000 day. So when I see a "plummet" or "collapse" like we've been seeing recently, I employ a certain disposition of perspective.
I was doing pretty well in those days, and if someone requested a disagreeable task accomplished quickly, the joke was, "Sure, I'll get back to you on that. When the Dow reaches 10,000!"
Many hahas around the copy machine those days.
So in reading recent publications filled with people whose ancestors leapt from buildings in the past during another "market correction," I wondered if anyone could provide further perspective.
In 1825, the industries around here were agriculture and the fisheries. We weren't, however sending our scallops and cod to eager multinational ports. We were killing whales, trying them out, producing oil and candles, and addicting the entire world. The support industries thrived, and important skillsets, like shipbuilding, banking, and employing immigrants for slave wages also flourished. Success was insured for the long haul, certainly well into the next century. Well, yes, but not for the reasons assumed.
So, there's your perspective.
And I thank sportsfisherman and pipe smoker Mike Dwyer for bringing a bit of that perspective to us today, when some people might need it most. The Standard-Times reports : "This is the economic history of New Bedford.. Maybe there is something we can learn from this about the banking crisis we're in today."
And this is one of my favorite museum gigs:

Earlier bound volumes are easier to handle, their high-quality paper still white after a century and a half, the ink still bold on the page.Sez Steve Urbon Vacuuming ledgers. Another great name for a band. I'm givin' 'em away.

And if you want to see more of Peter Perreira's photos, many even more evocative than this, go to NBAM and see Home Grown.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

Soles'n'Bowls

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My goal: To normalize "elitism"

The New York Times has an article about San Francisco's diverse political scene. Since I'll be out there for a spell for the quasiannual polite hug for the Beloved's sister, I thought I'd peruse.
I came to a grinding halt. Without even hearing The Cure (One of these days, Alice: pow musciblog)
In the usual overlong opening "three paragraphs of clever!™ wordplay and pop culture references" that seems to be required in journalism today (instead of that old-timey WhoWhatWhenWhere stuff), Jennifer Steinhauer correctly -- and cleverly!™ -- points out:

Campaign consultants often reduce the country’s electoral map to Big Mac eaters versus arugula lovers, “Two and a Half Men” viewers versus “30 Rock” watchers, hockey fans versus the sort of people who visit enotecas, but those conventions generally fail to hold up after conversations with voters, even those who identify strongly with one political party.
The brief snapshot seems to say that there is at least one guy who's thinking of voting for the McCain one. And everybody else is "wacky." ( I would also remind Jennifer of Winston Churchill's admonition about five minutes with the average voter: "The best argument against democracy.")
Of course, the last guy I went to a hockey game with is playing with his several bands at the Obama fundraiser tomorrow night at The Sky Room, Howland Place, New Bedford. And Pumpkin Head Ted. (The band, not the Senator.)
Oh, and an enoteca is a tapas bar for wine.
You can sample little glasses of (usually) local vintages (except when the owners want to appear "international" or the local wines suck, invalidating the need for an enoteca). Also on the menu might be outrageously-priced cheeses.
Actually, I'm inviting Dancing Dogs percussionist and Thunk drummer to a Bruins game and then we'll hop the T to Beacon Hill and Bin 26. Look and see if your favorite hockey town doesn't have a swell enoteca near the rink.
That'll show that clever!™ Jennifer Steinhauer.