When the going gets tough…

…the crazies come out. Don’t blink, you might miss the dirty tricks machine, as well as some true faces that don’t pop up unless they think they can energize their base without ticking off undecided voters or the opposition.

Exhibit 1: State and national Republican officials are trying to get 63 Philadelphia polling places moved at the last minute. About 53 of the 63 are less than 10% white. I get confused every year about the time and place I have to go to vote, and I have a master’s degree. Can’t imagine why someone would want to wait until the last minute to do this.

Exhibit 2: Instapundit comes out in favor of George Bush. (His position is, I think, obvious, but his explicitly stating it is news.) Good on Tony for calling him out, and for staying on his back.

Exhibit 3: Anti-gay forces in Ohio are gathering reasoned support from all over, including the intellectual spawn of the Inquisition: “The proof for the Christian ethic which condemns homosexual marriage is the impossibility of the contrary. Reject the Christian ethic and you have no basis for making moral judgments.“ Quote from Dr. Patrick Johnston, vice chairman of the Ohio branch of an organization bearing the Orwellian name of the Constitution Party. (See page 3 of the Salon article.)

Weekend in purgatory

No, not the trip: our wommitin’ dog didn’t up any chuck on the way back home. I’m talking about sports.

First I should mention that we were in Hazleton, PA, up in the coal mountains, until about 7:30 and were on more or less rural parts of I-80 until about 8:30, so I wasn’t able to check the score of the Virginia–Florida State game until about 5 minutes from the end of the first half. At which point, ESPN’s mobile channel informed me on my phone, the score was 19 to 0. I refreshed the game page until my battery ran out on my phone (I hadn’t charged the phone the previous night), so I saw Marques Hagans’ last minute goal-line stand turn into a field goal when he couldn’t complete a pass from the five-yard line. That field goal would be the Cavaliers’ only score of the game. 36–3 smarts. But at least we weren’t the only top-10 ranked college football team to get pantsed this weekend.

And the Yankees vs. the Sox? Less said about Saturday the better. We caught the game on the radio in the bottom of the second, a few minutes before the Sox got on the scoreboard to tie it up with a homer and go into the lead with another run. Another hour later and at the bottom of the fourth the Yanks had retaken the lead, 11–6, after some of the worst pitching I’ve ever had the privilege to hear. As the one announcer put it, “Okay, folks, bottom of the fourth, we’re entering the third hour of play, and there’s no end to this inning in sight. Like the Snickers folks say, ‘when you know you’re not going anywhere for a long time’…” At least we’re still in contention, by our fingernails, after last night’s win.

More fun than a barrel of monkeys

We’re really starting off the week with a bang. The electricians we needed to come and do about six jobs for us arrived at 7:45 on the dot and got to work. Right now one of them is fishing a snake up from my shop, where he punched a small hole in the finished corner (plaster, naturally; why is nothing in old houses easy?), came up through the firebreak, and is working on getting wire run up to where we’ll be installing some wall sconces for light.

One other project is already finished: a utility outlet under the sink for the garbage disposal we want to install. The previous owner had run wire under there, but we didn’t know from where. As it turns out, mercifully it was run from the breaker box!

The electrician has poked a hole in the living room wall for the first sconce and run back downstairs to snake the wire for the second one. This of course gives me the opportunity to poke around. Surprise: the back wall of the living room is actually plaster over backing board, not plaster over lathe (though the back side is still lathe and plaster). Second surprise: the stud spacing, at least near the outside wall, is about 14 inches. Third: the wall near the arch (which connects the living room to the small hall that accesses the first-floor bedroom, back bathroom, and kitchen) is plaster over board on both sides; no lathe in sight when the electrician opens the wall to install a new switch.

And that’s just the first two projects. Can’t wait to see what happens with the bathroom and garage outlets and the phone wire.