The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Obama making friends, and non-majorities spreading around

Monday 20 October 2008 at 6:23 am
  • I find it a little surprising to see Colin Powell endorse Barack Obama — although not that surprising, because the man demonstrated long ago that he has sense. For that reason I think I’d have preferred to see him run as a candidate …
  • Less seriously, I sometimes wish McCain would lay off appending “my friend” to everything! And let’s not start about “Joe the Plumber”.
  • I’ve spent the weekend learning a bit of the history behind this political system in Boston — and hanging out in the grounds of Harvard, which really don’t belie that it’s the richest university in the world. The flight over was scenic! (small recompense after this mob put me through the worst check-in I’ve ever experienced)
  • Meanwhile, it’s good to see the WA Government promising to review mental health services — this is a long way short of the change that’s needed, but maybe just maybe it’ll lead to something worthwhile.
  • And if the hung parliament and minority government in WA seemed overly odd, it shouldn’t; the ACT has one of their own now!
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Strongly Democrat-leaning

Sunday 19 October 2008 at 9:46 pm

Four Barack Obama signs in Palo Alto, California

In the American election cycle, it is customary for politically active people to put a sign on their house’s front lawn (or their apartment’s front window). But I was a little surprised when, not long ago, my housemates decided that one wasn’t enough …

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A little catch-up post

Wednesday 15 October 2008 at 11:38 pm
  • Blog, woe! I honestly didn’t mean so much neglect, although in my defence the Real World has been throwing me a fair few curve-balls lately.
  • As a result of said curve-balls, I have a chance to travel! Thus I’m in Washington DC and just left the neighbourhood bar where I was watching the last presidential debate (oh, and pretending to be an American). This was particularly entertaining for the jeers that spread through the room when the candidates spoke about the school system here! Both candidates did a decent job, although Obama didn’t really address the terribly unbalanced federal budget and McCain struck me as more than a tad hypocritical. My favourite quote from the locals: “I don’t care about the parties, I’m voting for DC statehood!”
  • A few weeks ago, I jumped on the tram to Santa Clara for the PHP developers’ event ZendCon, which was awesome! I scored a book because no one else knew about JAWS (tsk, tsk), and spent too much time at Yahoo’s party writing a solver for their Sudoku puzzle with Shaddy of! (Here’s a few thousand solutions). My favourite sessions were Jay Pipes on databases (“never assume anything about the MySQL optimiser“) and Terry Chay’s uncon session with its gratuitous excrement references :-)
  • The economic crisis that started in America and suddenly gripped the world had me quite startled! I mean, it was obvious that it was coming, but I’d have never predicted when or how bad (and the red arrows on my meagre NYSE portfolio demonstrate as much!). I am surprised by the measures that have been taken by governments (particularly the Americans!) in the hope of prompting a recovery — and yet John McCain still speaks of small-government conservatism! So much for laissez-faire.
  • Last week, Victoria formally decriminalised abortion! This is pretty cool.
  • And finally, the Western Australian government has held together, hooray! although I’m yet to see them actually do anything, other than make threats like cutting the budget a la John Howard’s first term.
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Something you didn’t know about the presidential candidate

Wednesday 15 October 2008 at 8:42 pm

Barack Obama book, categorised in the Gay/Lesbian/Transgender section!

Spotted inside Borders at Union Square in San Francisco.

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