27 November 2008

The Target Has Been Achieved!

Today is Thanksgiving, indeed around these parts as we have hit (minus PayPal service charges of course) the goal of raising the $450 necessary to start our rehabilitation into a working design studio again.

We're almost there. We'll have to figure out how to get the money to the vendor that we are thinking of using and then get the thing in house.

Thank you, all who have contributed, and Kris, who's going to get him some serious logo design work now!

23 November 2008

PowerMac G4 Power Supply: Another $25 Down

Thanks to another donation, I have now notched $25 closer to getting to my goal of acquiring the power supply I need or a system to replace it (thank you, Kris).

If I could get only sixteen more people to lay down $25 in my direction, I'm back in business. Of course, that's not the requirement. As I said before, I will value any amount of money no matter how small.

Also, I reiterate my promises:

  1. Any amount over the $450 target that I've raised will go to charity. I will not keep it. The charity of choice is still EFF.
  2. The person who donates the largest amount when the target is reached will recieve a logo design package at no extra charge, including as many discussions as it takes to get what you want the way you want it and solidly designed. If you don't want a logo, maybe there's a print publication, some brochure pamphlet or magazine, that you want done. This job will commence after the computer is back up and working.

If I can sound a little corny here, just the donations I've recieved so far have done immense good to my psyche, which, it probably goes without saying, has been in better shape.

Thanks, guys. I appreciate this.

22 November 2008

PowerMac G4 Power Supply: The Fundraising Continues

First of, all, if you surfed here from Faith In Honest Doubt, Dale's blog, thanks for stopping by. And thank you Dale for mentioning my plight in your blog. I am flattered and thankful.

I am still trying to raise funds to get my computer, my trustworthy Apple PowerMac G4 (with the mirrored drive doors) off blocks and back to work.

If you've followed my story at all you'll know that I have, for some time now, tried to find work as a designer. My main tool for creating (as well as job hunting) was the PowerMac G4, a beautiful and hardworking machine. I not only tried finding work with it, I used it to keep my skills reasonably current and also create and do some design work (hey, it's volunteer stuff, for the Columbia Group of the Sierra Club and OryCon 30, but if you can't get paid for it at least you get to get out and do it)

About 1 week ago the power supply died. Now, if it were a PC, I could go down to FreeGeek and get back to procducing with an outlay of $15 or $20. But I decided to go Macintosh, and when something fails on a Mac, sometimes it gets expensive.

In this case, a new power supply for the Mac runs upwards of $400. Money we don't really have right now.

So, I'm fundraising. I need your help! If you can throw just a few dollars my way, I'd be very grateful. Moreover, the person who contributes the most after I hit the target is going to have a logo and letterhead designed for them for no extra charge, so I'm putting my skill on the line here too.

I need my computer back, badly.

I'm aiming for $450 because that will also cover the cost of buying a used system with comparable specs at a place like PowerMax, which has a good selection.

There's a donate button at the top of the sidebar, and no donation is really too small. I've already gotten one donation for $25 (thanks again, Dale) and if just seventeen more people donated $25, I'd be there!

Also, any in excess I get over the target will be donated to an organization that does real good in the world (I'm leaning toward EFF, who I've always admired)

Thanks in advance to whoever looks kindly upon me and my dilemma.

21 November 2008

Official Non-Judgmental OryCon 30 Fashion and Print Design Report

Out: Pirates. Sorry. Eh, I mean, saaaaarghry.

In: Gothic Lolita, in a big way, and by big I mean decolletage. Just in the last six hours I've seen my yearly requirement of tiny schoolgirl skirt and cleavage. And by my yearly requirement, I mean 2009. Yes, I'm already over limit for next year.

Program Books: Devinely designed, and I should know.

I haz donation!

Good news today as I was able to score at least one donation, which places me $25 closer to what I need than I was earlier today.

Thank you to the donator. I really appreciate that!

$425 to go!

20 November 2008

Help A Hapless (and Computerless) Designer Out?

UPDATE: I've sweetened the pot a bit. I'm willing to put up design services in return for donations – you could get a logo design package in return for your donation for no extra cost! Read how at the bottom of the post.

It's been a difficult few days hereabouts. I've mentioned why: on Sunday, the trustworthy PowerMac G4 which has helped me get what few triumphs I've so far achieved in design, and helps me compete to the degree I can compete, quit working.

We've narrowed it down to the power supply. No big deal right? They have them by the bushel for $5-$15 at FreeGeek.

Well, my friends, you haven't priced power supplies for a PowerMac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) vintage 2003-2004. I'm still getting over the shock. New ones cost up to (are you sitting down?) $400.

This can essentially put me out of business for a while. I don't really want to be out of business for a while. And anyone reading this can imagine what it's like to struggle and hit the mark occasionally only to have your essential tool die on you or disappear just when you need it the most.

So, I'm humbly and sincerely asking for the assistance of the general public. If I've entertained you a little, found a tip that helped you, fired your interest in type, tutorials, or just having fun designing or blogging right now, I really need your help.

At the top of the blog sidebar there's a donation link to PayPal. No amount is really too small, and I'm only looking for enough to fix the PowerMac G4 (which was serving me really well). Any amount I can get will help defray the expense at least. And maybe we can get a little internet-famous doing it? (I'd blog it of course).

Anyway, any help I could get from anyone will be more than appreciated. Right now I have nothing to give in return but my gratitude, but I tell you all this: any boon directed my way will, at the very least, be paid forward. Because when I succeed, people who made it possible will succeed as well.

Moreover, any in excess of what I need to get the computer back on my desktop working will be applied toward a worthy charity, such as EFF or anything that keeps the internet available for all (it will probably be EFF).

Thank you in advance.

Update as stated above: I have just decided that there will be a sort of a prize attached to this. Judging by the costs, it should take, if I can get a new power supply, about $450 to get the job done.

If and when the donation hits or exceeds that target, the person who made the largest donation will receive a logo design package. That means I will design for you a logo and a complete business system (business card, envelope, and letterhead). Want to have a professional finish to whatever activity it is you're doing? Nothing does it like a custom logo design. And my going rate for the basic service is comparable to the target I'm trying to reach ... which means that you'll be getting this valuable service at a discount.

Here's an example of what I can do.

So, what do you all say? Help a fellow out?

Thanks again.

16 November 2008

Lost My Computer Today

Bad day today. My PowerMac G4, the thing that I created with, that I was (so far with futility, but have not given up hope) searching for design work with, has died.

It's probably the power supply, but it's hard to say how those things go. All now know is, the start up that should have happened, didn't. The power switch blinked for a brief second, then nothing.

I've never been one to beg, but I really need a break or some good news right now. And I've been keeping up a good front so as to keep up my own personal hope.

But without the one tool I need to even try to compete, I don't know how that's going to happen.

Tried pressing the PMU button. Nothing.

Ahh, I'm going back to bed.

Jack Bogdanski Can Link This When He Posts About The Tram ...



(If I needs to tell you alls to hit the big red button, turn off the computer and return it to Circuit City please. Yes, before they go out of business).

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15 November 2008

Seattle's KIRO Moves From News/Talk to Sports, Sports a New Logo


Recently Seattle's KIRO radio, one of the biggies and the way-back-when stations, kind of on a par with our own KGW or KEX moved from News/Talk to Sports radio.

KIRO 710 AM's logo, which I've expostulated on before, looked like this:

KIRO 710 Old Logo

And here's the horizontal display:

KIRO 710 Horizontal

I've also gone on at length about the simple briliiant genius of this design (follow the slant on the end of the red stripe to the down stroke of the R on the top version and the W on the bottom. This is pure inspiration.

KIRO news talk format has moved to 97.3 FM (I've also opined on the FM version of the logo, which I'm not crazy about). It was apparently in preparation of 710 AM becoming a branch of the ESPN broadcasting empire. Here's the new logo:

New KIRO Logo 2008

I've enrolled in two schools of thought as far as this logo goes:

  1. Technical Considerations: A logo that works. It's not spectacular though. It won't win any awards. But it does its job well with admirable economy. Most notable is the way the ESPN "font" (If there is such a thing) is translated successfully into the entire logo. The letterforms in the frequency and the city name harmonize very well with the ESPN logo, though there are places (the counter in the A and something I can't quite put my finger on about the S) that make it look like a font that was obliqued by the designer, which strikes a sour chord with me. The choice of the form to depict the 1 in the frequency number is well done, as that allows the 7 to snug in withougt looking forced on. The sound waves work alright, though the logo could do without them.

  2. Emotional considerations: a real let-down. I fell in silly love with the KIRO 710 AM logo the second I saw it. I've explained before why. The internal structure, the artful sketch of the Space Noodle ... simple but clicks. Nails it nicely. This ... well, there's a great deal to be said for chain store signage. I think it looks awful on a broadcast station. At least they got the red and black from the old logo in there.

I'll expand a little on the thought in point 2, the "chain-store signage" thought. I've listened to radio an awful long time, and can't help (from growing up listening to local giants like KEX and Salem stations like the late great KSLM and KBZY as well as Corvallis's KFLY, which was an AM station back in the 80s) but identify a call-sign with a locality. It's part of the local personality. A skillfully-done local station identity becomes, to me, like part of the local heart and soul. It doesn't have to have such location-specific features but it does have to be unique.

Your local broadcast outlets are part of the local personality. Divest it of local identification and ... well, meh. No passion. No connection. Just the word "SEATTLE" is kind of pale in comparison with the artfully done Space Noodle sketch that expresses all sorts of Seattle intangibles. It signifies the heart and soul of Seattle.

So the re-branding will no doubt work, but it leaves something behind that's valuable. And that's kind of sad, I think.

(H/T to Ben, the gentleman from Seattle. Thanks Ben!)

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14 November 2008

Stupid Newbie QuarkXPress Tricks (that apply to InDesign too!)


While, through what layout work I've been able to snag, QuarkXPress has had no part (I'm surprised at how little demand there is for QuarkXPress layout-artistry hereabouts) I do have experience in XPress and use it with a certain amount of joy when afforded the chance.

It was the first layout tool I learned deeply, and you always remember your first.

Today I stumbled on an article here (via Ripenews) titled Most Frequent Errors Made By QuarkXPress Users, and it's a good review. The mistakes noted here are easy to make if you don't know the program very deeply, and well worth avoiding. I think that layout files should be built as tightly as possible, with nothing wasted or sloppily done. It's easy to avoid sloppiness in your Quark or InDesign files. It's even easier to let things lay about, so to speak.

A few things really spoke to me as being universal truths.

For example, this gem:

Whenever you create a new project in QuarkXPress, the New document window appears. Beginners will often create a new project and click OK without paying much attention to the settings in the New Project dialogue. Quark keeps the settings from the last project you created. If these are inappropriate for the document you are about to create, change the page size, orientation, margin and column guides as necessary.

Whenever I'm starting a new InDesign document, then the first thing I do is to take a quick look at the New Document window. A few extra moments spent here can save a bit of work down the line. Also, both Quark and InDy have a curious property; settings changed within a document production tend to persist for that document only, whereas settings changed when no document is open tend to persist session to session, as general program settings. This can be used to your benefit, depending on your personal style; the downside of that is that it's easy to forget, meaning that you can find yourself endlessly twiddling settings that you thought were already at a different default.

A little forethought here means a little less frustration later on, and in the pinch, a little less frustration may be all the edge you need to get that document out.

Here's another good one:

Another common error is excessive use of ruler guides. These are created by dragging either the vertical or horizontal ruler onto the page and can be used to align elements using Quark's handy snap-to-guides features. Snapping two elements to the same guide ensures that their edges are aligned. This is a great feature when used in moderation. However, a lot of users create so many guides that it becomes difficult to see which guide relates to which element on the page. In general, guides are quicker to use but measurements are more accurate.

I tend to try to use as many guides as I absolutely need, no more and certainly no less. If you're not careful about creating new guides, then you'll have an absolute rainbow net (I tend to use layers to organize content) and after a point you're putting things on the wrong layer or aligning them to the wrong thing.

The best way to go about this is to establish a grid early on and try to keep to that grid. Having a well-designed grid will automatically give you enough alignment possibilities that you can have a nice, loose, dynamic layout (if you want) or a tight, ordered layout (if you prefer) without breaking the grid very often.

If you really want alignment of objects, the best way is to use the program's alignment tools (in Quark, it's called "Space & Align", in InDy, is't the Align palette (if you use CS2 or before) or Align panel (CS3 and later)). Position your main graphic element where you want it, then use the alignment tool to align dependent elements to it. Your screen layout will be a lot less cluttered and you'll be less cross in crunch situations, and that, again, is what we always want.

The article's advice on text boxes doesn't comlpletely transfer to Indy; this is one of the chief differences (some of us say advantages) over XPress. In Indy, you can create a "frame" which can then be made into a graphics frame (Quarksters say "picture box") or text frame (in Quark, "text box") as you will. You can even insert graphics into text frames as inline graphics. Even though there are text and frame tools ... the Indy analog ... you don't have to go that route if you don't want to – you can style your frame and then convert it to a text or graphic frame.

The article has wise remarks to make about making sure you're using a box tool as opposed to a content tool (the appropriate Indy analogs distribute between the Select tool (black arrow), Direct Select (white arrow), and Text tools. Moreover, you can double-click any unassigned frame and it will become a text frame; double-click any text frame to begin editing content, or double-click any graphic frame to go to the Direct Select tool and scale and resize the graphic content.

In general, it's good to be aware of the status of the tool you're using. This will come with practice.

One more tip I'd particularly like to share:

QuarkXPress novices also tend to create far more text boxes than they need to. The worst error people will make is to create a separate box for each different style of text. In actual fact, you can put as many different formats as you like in a single Quark text box. You only need separate text boxes for items which have no direct relation to each other within the layout or which require conflicting text box attributes. So if some of your text is spans two columns and another bit spans one column, you will clearly need two boxes.

In the OryCon 30 books I just completed, I used a minimum of textual frames. Each booklet was about 40 pages long (10 or 11 double-sides spreads, saddle-stitched) but, in the "pocket program" I used one box for the general information, one box for the panelist listing, one box for the panel listing. These three boxes contained more than eighty per cent of the content of the book.

They were, of course, not one single big box, but threaded boxes arranged on my grid (remember what I said about grid? Well, setting one up first-off meant that all I had to do was place and style the content. That's one huge step saved). At first, I imagined that threading amongst a long line of frames would be a chore; if you adjust the size of one frame enough, changes ripple through the other frames and you have to do a little tweaking up and down the line.

But really, it's not that much work. If you're intense about your layout (and no layout artist I know if isn't), you'll be tweaking up and down the production anyway. And the fewer stories you have, the less headaches you'll have over the long run.

Once again, the whole article is here. Worthwhile reading.

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13 November 2008

If You Like Urusla K LeGuin, Hayao Miyazaki, And Northwest SF/Fantasy Writers, Do I Have An Auction For You!


The Endeavour Award (http://www.osfci.org/endeavour/) in an annual award given by the PNW SF/Fantasy community to encourage the growth of local writers. It's awarded annually at OryCon, and comes with a $1,000 grant. This year's nominees include:

  • The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari

  • Bright of the Sky: Book One of the Entire and the Rose by Kay Kenyon

  • Not Flesh Nor Feathers by Cherie Priest

  • Powers by Ursula K. LeGuin

  • The Silver Ship and the Sea by Brenda Cooper

Miyazaki Gardener FigurineIn pursuit of fundraising to encourage future writers (NB: This is a Good Thing™) Portland's own Ursula K. LeGuin has donated two Hayao Miyazaki statuettes; one a Gardener from Laputa: Castle In the Sky and the other a castle from Howl's Moving Castle. The figurines (pictured, the Gardener) and notes from LeGuin for provenance's sake (see also picture).

Details on the auction can be found here, so read them!

The auction will begin on eBay on Saturday, 22 November 2008, and the link to the auction will then magically appear on the page linked to just above.

LeGuin NoteSo, if you have a few hot dollars in your pocket and you want to help support PNW writers of cool books, then consider dropping them on the Endeavour award. You get two Miyazaki figureines and notes from Ursula, Endeavour Award gets mo'money. Win-win!

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12 November 2008

This Will Be Interesting To Follow ...


The blog of the transition team for the President-Elect.

It's attached to the transition's website, Change.gov.

Design is nice, airy, and tight.

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How Does Big Fat Brain Follow A Legend? With A New Show ...


With an new series ... Agency Of Record. Here's the trailer.

It will be huuuuuuuuuuuger than YSAP. Seriouslys!

21 Nov 2008, bitchez ... Mark it down! You know what to do! MyDamnChannel.com!

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10 November 2008

Design Post-Partum Relief


The OryCon 30 Program guides (Pocket Program, Souvenir Book) have been uploaded to the printer and I'll be proofing very very soon now. I gave birth to two beautiful babies and sent them upstream to print.

I think I got them in time. My service bureau contact is green-green, so far.

There's one person on OryCon staff at this point that I'd like to thank to the world. Amanda, if you read this blog, I'll say it to the world: you rock lady, and no mistake. This project would be most shambolic if not for you.

Stay tuned for excerpts from my latest opus.

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07 November 2008

Not Quite All In The Family


Jeff Merkley's election as junior US Senator from Oregon (Senator Merkley has such a charming ring to it) averted a strange and interesting sort of record.

Gordon Smith happens to be part of a branch of the legendary Udall family, of whose name the most famous and well known to this generation would be perhaps Mo Udall, the congressman from Arizona's 2nd who Jimmy Carter defeated intraparty to become the Democratic nominee for President in 1976.

Actually you may know that. What you may not know that he's second cousins (to be precise, double-second cousins ... I'd explain it, but my eyes just glazed over) to Mark Udall, Democratic junior-Senator elect from Colorado, and Tom Udall, Democratic junior-Senator elect from New Mexico. Had Gordon been successful in re-election, there would have for the first time been three members from a single family holding Senate seats.

There are 100 Senate seats. There are 300,000,000 USAians. I mean, what are the odds here? You guys run the numbers, my brain is doing layout for the OryCon pocket program book.

On the downside, Gordon can't show his cousins around the Capitol. Upside? Probably would have been a little awkward.

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06 November 2008

I'm Actually Doing Print Design Amidst The Roar Of The Crowd


It's still unpaid, but it's some of the best volunteering I've ever done: the program books for OryCon 30.

It's something I've always dreamt of doing.

Me and Indy CS3 know each other much too well right now, but I'm staring down the open barrel of a locked and loaded deadline.

Oh, well ... designing under the gun is just more fun.

Hey ... that's not half bad. Someone make a note of that one.

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President Obama: The Complete Victory Speech


I know quite a few other people are doing this, but I want to chime in too.

Love him or hate him, this is by far the best, smartest, brightest and most positive and hopeful political victory speech yet uttered since the days of ... well, pretty much ever.

Take it away, Mr President-Elect:

Election Night – Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 – Chicago, Illinois

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

obama logoIt’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.
It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

The Star Spangled BannerI know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it’s been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

I feel as though I've exhaled after holding my breath for almost eight years.


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Repeat After Me: Tim Hibbetts Is NEVER Wrong


Been busy the last twelve hours, so I couldn't follow things as close as I'd like to have.

But, catching bits and pieces from the media coverage, after Jeff re-overtook El Gordo in the afternoon, the lead remained small for a while but Jeff's campaign didn't have to look back.

Just down the street, where Jeff actually lives, cars were parked outside his house all day as friends came by to help him watch the results.

And then, last night, the media started calling it; first, KGW, then The Big O.

Some outlets are relcutant to call the election as also is, understandably, the Smith campaign.

But it looks like the Real Democrat is winning.

And Tim Hibbetts remains the way to bet.

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05 November 2008

Merkley's Got The Lead Back


About 1,200 up now, according to KPTV

Merkley, 645711. Smith, 644544.

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Merkley's Closing In


Gap's down to just over 2,000 now.

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Tim Hibbetts and the Case of the Disappearing Checkmark


Last night Tim Hibbetts at KPTV called it for Merkley, and I went with that, knowing that Tim seems never ever to be wrong.

We are on edge here watching the Smith lead, of course. We think Jeff should win! But the interesting thing is how the results on the KPTV web page have been displayed.

Hibbetts, noting that the the majority of the Multnomah County results had not been released (only 72 per cent of the vote has still been counted as of this writing, Smith at approx 623,000 and Merkley at approx 612,000, around a 12,000 vote difference) stood by his prediction as the night wore on and Jeff's lead became Gordon's lead.

Since I'm obsessive about Jeff winning, I stared at that KPTV web page for a lot longer than I should have. Eventually, sometime during the night ... about 3 am or so ... the red check declaring Jeff the winner came off.

In the morning, tho', on GDO, Tim's word was reported: he's standing by his projection, because the Multnomah vote still remains largely uncounted. And there's more than enough Multnomah County votes left over to swing this election the other way.

The checkmark went right back on.

Whoa. Just checked the KPTV page. Jeff's gained about 4,000 while Gordon's only up another 1000. Looks like the lead's shrinking. 625994 to 616745. Smith's lead was as great as 15000 at one point when I looked.

Jack's got a good explanation as to why it's premature to count Jeff out just yet.

We're staying with Jeff too.

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04 November 2008

Election Night Speeches


Two different speeches, two slightly different worlds:

  • Barack Obama: He speaks from the heart. It's nice to have someone like that talk to me and not at me.

  • John McCain: If he'd of run his campaign with the class he delivered that speech with, he might have had more of a chance of winning.

And how about that crowd at the McCain party, huh? One thing about republicans ... they know how to keep it classy.

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The Real Democrat is Winning


On KPTV, Tim Hibbetts has called it for Merkley.

And Hibbetts is never wrong.

Update: The thing about Hibbetts is, even though I can't see what he's thinking, I understand where he's going: All uncounted vote totals are not created equal. So, while KOIN's election analyst was noting that there were still 40 per cent of the vote yet to count and was reluctant to call it, Hibbetts observed that the areas that remained uncounted were primarily from Multnomah County (which we can expect to go hard for the Merk) and in the rural Oregon counties which are Smith's strength and reliably republican, he's not winning by the margins he once did.

For example: Hibbetts (I'm working on memory here) said that while Deschutes County was voting Smith, the margin was much, much smaller than in 2002 ... I think he said that it was right now something around only 2000 votes. And with the Multnomah vote still not completely counted, even though 40 per cent of the vote remains to be tallied, what's left over will more than likely go for Smith.

This is why when Tim talks, you should listen.

Repeat after me: Tim Hibbetts is never wrong.

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Yes, We Did.


 It's Obama. And the West Coast put him over the top.

And most of the Sizemore/Mannix dross is being defeated; thank you, my fellow Oregonians.

Merkley numbers looking gooooood!

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A Tower Of Type: That Was The Election That Was


Screaming a primal, cathartic scream with letterforms, and proving once again that type talks, here is a literal tour de force of every meme, from aspirational to gutter.

Warning, there are some frank adult words.

This is the first of it.

This Fucking Election, Panel 1

The rest it is here, at http://thisf@ckingelection.com.

Wish I'd thought of that. Damn, that's stylish!

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Hart's Location, New Hampshire, Goes For Obama


One of the first votes in the nation, done at 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time, 4 Nov 2008 in a place called Hart's Location, New Hampshire (who disputes the first balloting honors with Dixville Notch, has gone to Obama:

Harts Location Votes Obama

for those who don't wish to clicky to embiggen, here's the tally:

Obama/Biden 17
McCain/Palin 10

... and two knuckleheads who wrote in Ron Paul.

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03 November 2008

Why I Think People Should Vote No On Measure 64


Because if you do, it's the same as going to the home of a public employee, sitting down, and telling them that you have more of a right to tell them where their political dollars go than they do.

Would you take that from some stranger (are you goofy enough to answer that one yes)? Anyone who tried that with me would get a swift kick out the door.

The ten-dollar-word-of-the-day from these mobsters who are running the slick ads telling you to vote for it is "co-mingling". And, in typical Frank Luntz-inspired cynicism, they hang thier hat on that like you wouldn't believe.

But it's the wrong word, of course. The concept you should be fixating on is "payroll deduction". As in "I choose to support something, so, please, take something out of my paycheck ... my own money I got paid for work I did for someone else, and it's my money to do with as I please, thank you very much".

There's already mechanisms in place, I'm told, that allow state employees who don't like the employee unions' politics, to to contribute to those political causes. So state employees can already opt out.

And thats why you see those commercials saying how you'll silence the political voices of nurses, firefighters, and police. Because that's what you'll be doing. And political voices are something all of us deserve to have – whether you like it or not. And the money they're doing it with is thier pay. Certainly they get paid with "our tax dollars" – another concept that gets beat to a bloody pulp in the service of cynical people. But once that money gets paid to them, that's their pay, and if they want to support thier union with it, to be blunt – that's none of our say.

How about if I came to your house and told you you don't get to donate to a Democrat or a republican just because I didn't like them?

Now imagine you're going up to a policeman, firefighter, or nurse and telling them the same thing.

Good luck with that.

Measure 64 is an insult. Don't vote for it.

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Why I Think People Should Vote For Jeff Merkley


Life is a lopsided thing. In some ways, I have a great deal. In other important ways, I desperately need a great deal.

One of the lucky things in my life is that me and mine is that, in a literal way, I am almost a neighbor of Jeff Merkley. He and his live in a house very near to me and mine. I live in Oregon's 47th State House district, which, if you wonder, is on the east side of Portland, east of I-205, in the area that Willamette Week thinks is Gresham. It looks like this:

Oregon State House District 47

Just a big ol' tract of suburban folks of all sorts of incomes (but none of us are especially wealthy), lots of ethnicities, and about as many different levels of success as there are people who live here. I don't think we're all necessarily liberal or conservative at our hearts regardless of our world view – we're just good neighbors­–the kind who live and let live, and who won't hassle you but will ask how you're doing or pitch in a little if you need help.

And Glendoveer Golf Course ... a public course, not a private one ... is right near the middle of the district. And we have two Target stores. And 122nd Avenue, where you can pretty much find anything you need.

Anyway, as I was saying, I live very close to Jeff Merkley. I found this out only very recently. Me and The Wife™ met his wife as she was doing her daily run with thier dog down my street. Very sweet and friendly lady, who took a moment as we were leaving on our own little errand to stop and chat with us for a few minutes and thank us just for putting up a lawn sign for Jeff.

She didn't have to do that. She did do that.

Since I live in the same neighborhood Oregon's next junior Senator lives in, I have some idea of how he and his family lives. Those commercials where he's being just folks and meeting people where they are aren't just image. They're him. And I've only met him once in person, but just knowing he lives in a house about the same size as me tells me a few things: he probably has a mortgage, he and his wife come from a place where they have had to work in regular old jobs like myself.

And he actually lives here. I don't imagine his opponent actually finds himself in Oregon all that much, except when he has to campaign. I understand he recently spent one day knocking on doors in Oregon. Just one day. It made news. But when Jeff comes home from the campaign trail? It's just to a normal old house, on the east side of Portland.

Now, it may seem naïve to look at the world so. But I came from a working class world. I'm still in that world. And I can't help but think that someone who is almost literally my neighbor and lives closer to my level will probably do more for me than a man who's looking at life from Senator Gordon "I'm not a Democrat, but I play one on TV" Smith's POV, who might not ever see me as the kind of person who could ever be his neighbor.

I don't think Senator Smith really cares all that much about Oregon unless you're someone like him. I'm sure Jeff Merkley cares about Oregon and all Oregonians, even if you don't see eye-to-eye with him.

Because that's the way Democrats roll, regardless of what you've heard about him.

And, like most of us, Jeff and his wife know what it's like to earn a paycheck. As do I. And people like us never forget where we came from.

I'm voting for my neighbor, Jeff Merkley. And I think everyone should too.

Because, in an election between a Democrat and a pretend Democrat, you should always vote for the Democrat.

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02 November 2008

I Am All Oregon, Baby, The List Explained: Nos. 1-10


In the master I Am All Oregon, Baby list, reprised here, I listed a fish-ladder's worth of trivia and personal observations on a life lived as an Oregonian. It's not a quiz, but I think it would be fair this time to post my commentary on my remarks (which Stan did the yeoman's job in taking on in the comments to that listing).

We'll do it in sections. Here, comments on the items 1-10.

You could really be an Oregonian if:

1. You know who Gene Brendler is: Gene Brendler, who passed away a few years back, was one of the stalwart faces of KPTV Channel 12 ... Yesterday's KPTV, anyway. If you follow the link previous, you'll see his young face in the upper right hand corner of the fabulous YKPTV front page. Perhaps not the most classically-handsome face ever on TV, but warm and affable and a definite sign you were watching Oregon's 12. He hosted more than a dozen programs over the course of over 30 years with KPTV and was, as much as Rod Anders or any one of those pesonalities, part of the heart and soul of the legendary 12.

2. You watched Ramblin' Rod: Speaking of whom, Rod Anders was KPTV to the kids. For about as long as Gene Brendler was employed, Rod helmed the morning kiddie show, which was for years known as Popeye's Pier 12 and lastly The Ramblin' Rod Show. Smile contests, the button-replete sweater, the never-ending smile and the commercials for Pop Shoppe pop ... there won't be another like Rod coming this way, we fear. He was one of the last of a breed of purely Portland entertainers, including such names as Rusty Nailes the clown and Bob Adkins ... or as the kids knew him, Addie Bobkins.

3. You or some family member appeared on Ramblin' Rod, no matter what age you are: while the on-stage audience for RR was chiefly kids from elementary school, sometimes the adveturious group of teenagers would be on as a lark. Rod cheerfully welcomed all.

4. You inveigled your parent(s) to buy Pop Shoppe pop because you saw it on Rambin' Rod. Yes, The Pop Shoppe, pioneers in recycling and amazing flavors. You bought the little bottles, gulped them down,and took them back to Pop Shoppe for more. And RR was the place most of us heard of them first. And me and my brothers begged until we got 'em.

5. You know what Ramblin' Rod and Lars Larson have in common. This one is for real heavy locals. Both Rod and Lars came from Tillamook. Wikipedia on Rod has it that he started at KTIL radio in Tillamook, as did Lars. KTIL today is known as KMBD-AM 1590, though the KTIL brand still exists on the FM side. Fittingly, Teh_Lars's show is still carried on KMBD ... how's that for closing the circle?

6. You can name which TV stations the following personalities anchored for: Richard Ross, Pete Schulberg, Ivan Smith, Kathy Smith (no apparent relation), Bill Lagatutta, Bill O'Reilly (yes, that Bill O'Reilly), Robin Chapman, Tom McCall, Fred Jenkins, Rod Luck, Jim Bosley, Rick Meyers: Stan did a great job at answering this one, so here, for the edification of all (and ups to Stan) is the answers to the above (I'm way sketch on the dates, so if anyone can offer them up, I will edit):

  • Richard Ross (d. 2007, age 86): Started at KGW, finished with KATU.

  • Pete Schulberg: KGW, later had a great column at The Big O, which I miss still. Ames Carlin has followed his act well, but there's only one Pete Schulberg.

  • Ivan Smith: KGW. Started there with Richard Ross.

  • Kathy Smith: KGW as well as KATU and KPTV when the "Oregon's 12" brand was rolled out. Either she or Tracy Barry (still working at KGW) was famous for changing hair color every so often.

  • Bill Lagatutta: Kathy Smith's co-anchor during part of her service at KGW (early-mid 80's, if memory serves)

  • Bill O'Reilly: The Factored One (yes, Mr. WE'LL DO IT LIVE!)was famously on KATU for a brief time in the mid-80's, which I (thankfully) missed). Legend has it that he was soon moved on after he neglected to remove his check stub from the copier. This is complete hearsay and I can't remember where I first heard it to say it. I respectfully request you put the appropriate amount of stock in it.

  • Robin Chapman: KGW. I remember her from the Evening local magazine show. I had a crush on her. Loved her hair. This was mid 70s.

  • Tom McCall: The Best Governor Ever™began as a news anchor on KGW with Richard Ross and Ivan Smith. left KGW in 1964 to become Governor of Oregon.

  • Fred Jenkins: Science editor on KATU. I learned to identify and home in on his voice because science was, in my kid vernacular at the time, "neat".

  • Rod Luck: Sports anchor at KATU toward the end of the Eyewitness News years. I remember something about his tenure being stormy, but I can't now say why.

  • Jim Bosley (d. 2008, age 73): The Greatest Weatherman Ever™, his bald, smiling, avuncular countenance would be one of the defining voices on Oregon's unpredictable weather. His Rating The Day annoyed me a bit, though, because the rate depended on how nice the day was. A dry day in the 70s is great ... but not when you're in a drought. But I quibble, shame upon me thereon.

  • Rick Meyers: The face of KATU during the Eyewitness News days. I liked this fellow. Something about his basic good looks and measured delivery just seemed to say that the man dripped intelligence. For some years after retiring from the anchor desk he gave occasional commentary, and I watched for those to. I was a Rick Meyers fan.

7. You know what Fred G. Meyer's middle initial stood for. Fred Meyer was the man when it came to shopping in Oregon. Credited as one of the originators of the One Stop Shopping concept, he started in downtown Portland at SW 5th and Yamhill and conquered the Northwest. But what did the G. in his name stand for? We surmise the following, because nowhere is it explained, but it is common-enough knowledge that his birth name was Frederick Grubmeyer. If there's one thing Fred understood, it's marketing, and Fred G. Meyer is a lot easier on the eye and the tongue than Fred Grubmeyer (and makes for more compact signs too).

So, strictly speaking, the G. either stands for nothing (if he was given no middle name at birth) or represents the part of Fred's name that was lopped off. It is entirely possible, of course, that he did have an actual middle name starting with G, but there's no record we can find of what that might have been.

We see nothing amiss in altering one's name to be more marketable, for what that's worth.

8. You knew that Freddy's was where you found things were "My-te-Fine". "My-te-Fine" was Fred Meyer's house brand until about late 70s/early 80's. The logo were three distintive crossing stripes (of primaryish colors of which I curiously forget) with the MY-TE-FINE on the one running from upper left to lower right. Succeeded by President's Choice, succeeded by whatever they're doing now. (NB: due to its ownership by the Kroeger chain, we sometimes call FM "Freddy Kroeger's". And calling it "Freddy's" just gets on The Wife™'s nerves)

9. You remember than Fred Meyer once had a store on SW Morrison St in Downtown Portland. There was one. It was a small thing, on the southeast corner of SW 5th and Morrison, and was about the size of a large 5-and-Dime/Drug Store. It really was a strange and wonderful little place. After the building (The Corbett Building) it was in was levelled, it moved to SW 6th and Alder, then became a PayLess Drugs. I think it's a Rite-Aid now.

10. You understand why all Fred Meyer ads that aired during that time seemed to indicated that virtually nothing Fred Meyer advertised was sold at that Morrison Street Store. It was intriguing to someone like me, familiar with Freddy's and reared in the hinterlands, to see how, as the avuncular voice of the FM commercials peppily stated, "Available at all stores except Morrison". It became an article of faith. Well, see the last answer: you could take the Morrison store and fit it into the Gateway store maybe ten times over and still have room left over for a 7-Eleven or two. It was tiny, strange, and wonderful. I must have spent an hour and a half browsing the Morrison store when I finally got to see it just because I couldn't believe there was a Freddy's this small.

Next time, the answers for numbers 11 to 20. Bis naechestn Mal!

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