"Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades." --- Eddy Merckx
"You drive like shit." ---The Car Whisperer
- People who sing with their hands. Not deaf people (although what would be the point?) - I mean people who actually sing and move their hands so it makes them seem more soulful...and the more needlessly they move their hands the more needless notes there seems to be (i.e. half the American Idol auditions and the aspiring vocalist singing the National Anthem at a high school basketball game.)
- People who leave their bags on the seat next to them on the train. If this is you, I will purposefully sit next to you just to make you move your bag even if there other open seats - which I would then sit in and place MY bag on the floor so as not to be a rude piece of shit.
- People who can't parallel park.
- People who are grossed out by vegetables. Or any healthy food for that matter. I knew a guy in college who ate maybe 80% of his meals at Chili's - and maybe 50% of that was baby back ribs. I don't ever want to see that guy again.
- People who never walk anywhere. But then this is redundant because they are also usually the same people who only eat food out of a brightly colored paper sack, can't parallel park or be bothered to give a shit about anybody else around them, and who listen to Mariah Carey.
Go John go! Not that I would ever vote for the man (have never voted Republican in my life, and I'm not going to start this year - although Ron Paul has tempted me) I am glad to see John McCain's resurgance as the new front-runner. Sure he's an ornery, mean-spirited, old jack-ass...er - elephant, for that matter - and he is incredibly out-of-touch with today's youth, but at heart, this guy guy truly believes in what he's campaigning for. And that he's back now, as the likely nominee for the Republican nomination is a feel-good story for me. After the disgusting race-baiting tactics used by Bush operatives in 2000 (that McCain was traitor for caving during his torture by North Vietnamese prison guards and that he fathered a half-black child) during the South Carolina primary and watching the Straight Talk Express completely derail, it's great to see that he really has stuck with his message and it's finally paying off. However, not that it's a message I really want to hear. I can't understand his slavish support of Bush (nor anyone's for that matter - how can otherwise intelligent human beings think Bush plays any sort of leadership role in this country other than reading his lines on camera?), or The War. And our involvment in the Middle East will not only continue if he is elected President, it will expand. Already the U.S. has further ensconcing itself in permanent bases in Iraq, and this has been the plan all along. Most likely to support future operations against Iran.
Sean Young apparently got wasted at the Director's Guild Awards, and had to be escorted out after heckling during a speech.
38 Days until camp in San Luis Obispo. I had a great workout on the gerbil wheel last night. Last year I was totally unable to do more than 30 minutes on that thing before my brain started oozing out my ears. I not only did a 51 minute single-leg drill; immediately afterwards, I put Robbie Ventura's "Race Day" (thanks, Leonard!) into the DVD player and got my first intensity outside of the weightroom since the 40+ degree weather we had back early in the month.
And Hillsboro will be here before you know it...Allez, Allez!
Every successful debater needs to use a thoughtful understanding of his opposition in order to stake a claim or position.
Perlstein recognizes the ultimate tenet of conservatism (protecting against the Tyranny of the Majority) and empathizes with it's followers, all in the service of debunking entire claim as a governing ideal.
And he makes the point:
Peanut butter’s just the beginning. From airport delays to coal mine safety to collapsing bridges, Perlstein and other bloggers have been making the case that conservatism is a failure—not because of incompetence or cronyism but because it is not and cannot be a governing philosophy.Yet, therein lies Perstein's bias. He is of course citing what has happened during the course of an era in which our country has been ruled unilaterally under Republicanism in both the White House and Capital Hill. Without a counterbalancing force, the strongly conservative government lost focus and pushed things too far. The beneficiary's of the movements red-tape-cutting got greedy and lost sight of the public good.
Yet didn't this same thing happen throughout the 1960's? Johnson's Great Society ended in shambles. The participants of the Age of Aquarius actually lived to see a Democrat end "Welfare as we know it." Government spending on social programs run amok basically amounted to just throwing money at any and all problems. Doing as much to drive up inflation as George Bush has done throwing money into endless war in the Middle East.
Conservatism without the counterbalance of liberalism - or more correctly, socialism - leads to fascism, i.e. cutting inspectors at the FDA due to lobbying efforts by the Beef industry leading to increased outbreaks of E. coli, which is then dealt with by restricting the media's ability to report on the outbreak instead of hiring more inspectors. Or much worse, such as drafting a pliable front-man as a candidate for president, using his brother to manipulate the election results in a key swing-state, then stocking his cabinet with former oil executives and using the entire term to prosecute a war of profit in an oil-rich region.
Yet, Liberialism/socialism without the counterbalance of conservatism leads to communism, i.e. bringing to life entire bureaucracies designed to help less fortunate that suck the life and power and financial means of the nation as they are simply taken advantage of due to the fact that it's citizens no longer have any competitive incentive.
The nation is at it's healthiest when there exists opposing forces of change in equal strength. That's not to say you should quit protesting the war, or end your pro-life stance. By all means, keep it up. Just know that there will always be someone pushing you back across the line.
This is not meant to contradict myself, but it probably will. I never let myself caught up in certain political debates - most specifically the abortion/life debate. It is simply a divisive issue meant to divert attention from more important issues that will have the power to affect us - such as War, Energy Policy, and Health Care. Simply imagine if the President or Congress really did move to challenge Roe v. Wade, or the Supreme Court really did overturn it. Imagine the power of the backlash that would happen. So far with the political conversations going on at the debates, it seems we're on the right track however.
The point is, if you can’t feel what they feel, then you can’t take them seriously as political opponents. You see only the flimsy intellectual foundations and miss the motivating power of strategically harnessed resentment. From Adlai Stevenson to John Kerry, high-minded liberals have acted as if they were blind to the root feelings that feed the followers of politicians like Nixon and Bush. Instead, they alternate between expecting a fair fight on the issues (and getting swiftboated instead) and imagining that once people realize what a bad person Nixon or Bush is, the people will turn against him.
Conservatism isn’t just a temporary delusion or a wacky distraction. In Perlstein’s view, it’s a deep-seated expression of human nature. He recalls the Gilbert and Sullivan song from Iolanthe about two kinds of babies: “I often think it’s comical / How nature always does contrive / That every boy and every gal / That’s born into the world alive / Is either a little Liberal / Or else a little Conservative.” His point: “We’re not going to eliminate them. The best we can do is to win our 51 percent. What’s fascinating is that we share this country together.”
My buddy Mat, who currently resides in Dee Cee, went to the NPG yesterday and snapped these pictures. Apparently, the issue is resolved. Not to mention drawing lots of traffic.
The Midnight Shows will be live on Saturday, Feburary 9th at Subterranean, in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood. 2011 W. North Avenue, to be exact. 18 and over show, too.
We'll be bringin' our usual all-original Midwest-cum-Motown sound, with a couple other bands we are very excited to be sharing the stage with.
Opening are the Butterfly Assassins (pretty popular with the youngn's I hear...
And another Chicago band, Hot as Hell (my buddy Mat directed these two videos).
This happens every few months or so. When he first hears them, they are cooler than ice...then he completely ignores anything I new for the next 2 months, and once he starts paying attention again, asks, "dude, did you change that line?"
Then we try and rewrite bass lines on 3 or 4 tunes out of a 12 song set. So it's basically the equivalent trying to teach someone English while speaking French the whole time. I don't know of any other way to describe the feeling. But I'll play what I have been playing, he'll say, "no it's too busy/simple" and then "simply/busy it up."
So I do.
He likes it for five minutes. And then changes his mind and says, "like this." And then basically plays it exactly as I had been playing it for the last few months.
I sorta slap my forehead, sigh, and continue trying to work with him for about five minutes until he realizes it's the same. Then I hear how it needs to be funkier, but what I'm playing is to syncopated. What I'm playing is too simple, but now there's too much movement.
"Hmmmmmmm. It's just not 'black' enough." Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and virtually all of the Motown discography are our standard, rightfully so, but sometimes it's not really what he wants. After all, we are just a bunch of white guys.
For example, on Sound Opinions this weekend, NPR's rock n' roll talk show starring Greg Kott and Jim Derogotis, the two Chicago music critics offered up their all-time unsung rock heros. One of which was James Jamerson, the man - influentially, at least - behind virtually all of the Motown bass lines recorded after 1970.
And JJ's lines were as busy as they come. Constant countermelody to the vocals, outlining the chords, as it should, but there is constant movement - understated, easy and lyrical - but always moving.
There's still the big influences of The Replacements, The Stones, Iggy Pop, and even the Stone Roses to contend with, however. We are far, FAR more than just a Motown band. What we are, however, I have no idea. And never will.
Because, in the span of 30 mintues I went from frustration, telling myself to give Rudy what he wants for the recording so he can have something concrete to teach his new bass player, to "eureka!" and finding the exact line I wanted and eager for our next rehearsal, and next show in two weeks at Subterranean on February 9.
It's those moments of discovery and musical release that keep me in this insane schedule of KatyBikeWorkMusicParty repeat. There's really no humanly way possible of balancing a schedule of two bands, a serious bike racing commitment, work, and a personal life beyond a day at a time. Of course, in 2 months, in the studio, Rudy will decide everything we came up with is no good, and I will commit suicide as we burn through dollars trying come up with new bass lines, keyboard lines, new beats to replace perfectly good imperfect ones in the relentless pursuit of perfection.
It will eventually kill me. I'll have to recognize the symptoms before it does and get the hell out. I already know I am taking way to much on to be successful in any of my many endeavors. It's just I enjoy the relationships I have built in all of them. I can't stomach the thought of telling anybody, "I'm out." But, soon there's just gonna have to be a safety valve blow.
In favor of love. For her and the bike.
Until then I'll keep looking for "eureka."
World of Warcraft hit 10 Million Subscribers this week. I thought it seemed a little quiet outside this week. This game just might be the answer to little Earth's population problem...here's a peek it what those of us who actually lead lives away from our computer are missing (there a boring intro until about 1:15...):
Sell your stock in Sanofi-Aventis.
(Photo by Erik Didriksen)
I listened to the whole thing, with chills and in rapt attention. The man's speaking voice was a musical instrument in the hands of a virtuoso. Measured, dynamic, with tempo and fluidity. And masterfully composed.
Its was ahead of it's time then, and inarguably prophetic in today's.
On the other end of the spectrum, how 'bout this fucking ray of sunshine?
P.S. Heath Ledger. He gone!
The key is a good music mix, end of story. Maximize the senses. Have a movie, or game, or race DVD on, of course, and keep it all fresh. Friday was two episodes of Law & Order and a Brit pop mix. Yesterday? The 1999 Tour and lots of Neil Young vs. 80's New Wave, of all things. Today? An old episode of NOVA and the first half of the AFC Championsip. Somebody must've had a sense of humor, down at Chicago Public Broadcasting: the rerun was about the Race for Absolute Zero. Have you ever heard of the Bose-Einstein Condensate? Me neither. But once I did, it made the broken latch on my Pearl Izumi back pack that snapped in last January's cold spell seem pretty minor, actually.
It was kinda funny though, as I visualized the end of races while I zoned out on the bike. I'd imagine myself at third wheel, taking the final turn into the sprint of the Evanston Criterium. Or cranking it out in the big ring up the hill of Spring Prairie, flying past everyone to the line, and I'd look down and catch my heart rate spiking past my base limit.
Even now the adrenaline still gets going. And knowing I'm laying down a quality base this winter is what is really keeping me on the trainer.
The silver rays of morning scattered and broke apart the fresh earth, giving taste and fertility to its loamy home, covered in wet, scentful leaves. Drops from the night before, hanging fat, clinging to the last second, dipping, bending, falling noisily, heavily.
The seed moved.
Their feet came by, day after day. Pressing the earth. Sometimes stopping, sometimes not. Their voices floated down, gently to the ground. And became liquid. Into the earth they drained.
The seed opened. Green blindly searched, instictively grasping up, knowing only light.
The feet came by, day after day. Sometimes they stopped, and pressed the ground much wider. Bodies lay in the grass, on the leaves. Bees buzzed and sparrows chirped. Far away, in the farmhouse, a woman heard a cry, but she ignored it because the cry, full of lust and of love and heavy with salt and dirt smeared on clean, smooth skin, fell quickly. Below the bodies, down in the earth.
The cry stayed secret.
Except to the seed. It reached, strained. Quivered. Stretched, and at last broke the surface.
The seed grew taller, sturdier. Bark, like fledgling feathers appeared, with branches and seed reached ever higher so when the snow the arrived, it was ready.
In the cold and dark the seed waited, stunted and bare and withered. The bodies would come but never stop, the rain was frozen and the sunlight reflected back into the the cloudy sky off the white snow.
But finally the melt came, the water, and it's warmth once again worked its way down through the earth, and the sunlight wrapped itself around the seed.
And it grew stronger.
And when the bodies came, and pressed into the grass, with voices that were breath and liquid, the seed reached, and grew.
And so it went, until the sunlight, the rain, the hooves, the snow, the bodies, and the lusty, salty, liquid cry turned the seed into a tree.
There was a night back in college, at the astronomy lab, when it all hit me pretty hard –“all” meaning everything.
I had a roommate who was a lab assistant, and I’d tag along for the nightly lab classes, getting peaks at Betelgeuse or Jupiter – the night Shoemaker-Levy impacted was spectacular. I still remember the night I realized just how big the Andromeda galaxy really is to the naked eye by learning how to view it just out of the center of your vision (it’s faint, but it’s much larger than the moon, actually). Many nights were spent just lying on the grass with dozens of other students catching a meteor shower or viewing the constellations.
It was just such a night when the vast black expanse above overtook me wholly, and I felt as though I was, in fact, suspended above the void, that nothing was holding up against the ground, and that I was imminently poised to fall into eternity. It was only physically experienced as a quick gasp and mild shortness of breath for a moment, but I went home that night shaken, unable to shake the feeling of complete insignificance.
Looking back on it now, it was probably a form of depression – brought on by being a broke-as-shit music student, no doubt. The smallness of my own world – and its then-current meaninglessness - juxtaposed against the realization of how big and vast the universe really was just sorta sent me over the edge. For a few months.
I’m not kidding. I was that obsessed about it. I guess it was probably a pretty constructive form of depression, however. I just spent hours daydreaming about what it all really was. When I saw this picture, called "Pillars of Creation" and described as a “star-factory” it seemed like I lost all productivity for months. I was lost in thought about the scale of millions of light years, about the interrelated functionality of it all – of pulsars, and Supernovae, and galaxies, and black holes, and more specifically – what’s beyond it.
Everything in our universe – up to the point that we can see anyways – is interrelated and part of something bigger or contains something smaller. Is the universe really infinite? What’s beyond its expanding, growing Space? Is there really nothing beyond its outer limits? And what is Nothing? If there’s at least empty – and I mean empty space – beyond, at least that’s still something. How can there be nothing at all?
Are there other universes beyond – other Big Bangs – going on right now? In a sense then, is our Universe really universal? Wouldn’t all of it be the Universe? Many millions of universes – universi? - (and even our own so big we cannot fathom the size of it any sort of term relative to our own existence) popping in and out of existence with Big Bangs like bubbles in a can of soda?
Imagine that. Taking the time scale of our – “our”…ha – Big Bang and reducing to the length of bubble of gas.
Time is very relative. With a scope as large as the one I just described, time stretches to the point, from our point of view it isn’t even moving. Billions and billions of “years” reduced to scale of a couple seconds in relation to what could be going in context all around it. In that scale, it all becomes clear, the functionality is revealed, much like view a time-lapse film of, say, the Earth’s magnetic field interacting with the Solar Wind, looking very much like a wind sock.
Yeah, I was smoking a lot of pot back then.
So? It’s doesn’t make what I was pondering any less relevant to my own existence. And that was the ultimate point. Why I got so lost within it in the first place. And I why I was finally able find my way out of the weeds eventually.
It’s all just so beautifully mysterious. And my life, and everyone’s, does have a place in it. No matter how small and insignificant our own existence and achievements may seem in comparison. It’s all out there for us to look at, wonder at, tremble, cry, investigate, learn, and solve, and then start all over again when we get to the next mystery. A friend of mine (thanks Tim) found this that I feel illustrates the concept wonderfully.
Anyways, I’ve been watching this new show on the History Channel lately, “The Universe,” and I highly recommend it. It’s a high concept science show, yet speaking in the vernacular, in the great tradition of “Nova” and Carl Sagan’s immortal “Cosmos.”
The talking heads on it are dynamic personalities who explain the theoretical concepts in terms we all can understand, get excited about, and get a headache together while thinking about it. So far they’ve covered topics ranging from the very specific, such as Jupiter’s moon’s or the Sun, to vast, mind blowing subjects such as The Big Bang, Super-Giant Black Holes, and this week’s new topic, Dark Energy.
Their explanation of how they found the Super-Giant Black Hole at the center of our own galaxy made me laugh out loud. It’s existence was finally confirmed by the flashes of light coming at regular intervals from the area (in the constellation Sagittarius) they suspected it to be. Turns out the flashes were vast amounts of light being sucked in to the black hole, and being expelled, much as when too much water is poured in to a funnel at once. The Black Hole was literally getting clogged and shooting light back out.
“The Universe” is currently on The History Channel on Tuesday nights. It is definitely my new favorite show.
(P.S. – I import this blog into facebook, and am going to tag my smart, scientist-type friends. Y’all better have some comments.)
The ride Wednesday was actually incident free, for me, anyways. The only scary moment came at the Golf intersection at Milwaukee. As I went through the light was a solid yellow, quickly headed to red. Up ahead I saw a pot hole, and I checked behind me before dodging. My sixth sense told me to do so, but it was probably just the assumption that someone would of course run the light, or maybe it was just the revving engine. So I hit the pothole and let the car pass, its driver on a cell phone, unaware of the shiny, blunt instrument of death that caged her and insulated her.
I said the day was incident free for me. But not for someone else. I don't know who that someone was, because by time I saw him - or her - the cops were zipping up the body bag. That unlucky soul had, not too smartly, been jaywalking across Milwaukee, just south of Oakton, and had been hit. Had the life knocked out of him by the quintessential American right to drive fast, to drive alone, and drive whenever and where ever we want.
I am not advocating taking cars away. Or taking our choice or free will. I am not a communist. I drive on occasion. Alone, and where ever I want. But cars are probably the ultimate act of selfishness in our society. We casually burn away 400 years of sunshine each with each mile we drive. The slaughter of kids, mothers, dads, and friends continues every day, taking more lives a year than any war in history ever had. And mostly because of self-entitlement and impatience.
And I am not blaming the driver for that person's death Wednesday. That person was jaywalking, patently unsafe for the conditions on Milwaukee at any time of the day. Yet we are a culture that laughs at alternative choices of transportation and marginalizes those who chose those alternatives. Rarely am I physically threatened on purpose while biking. Far more often I am not even noticed, and that is far more unnerving. So many people think it's OK to simply honk, and pass me with only inches to spare with 2 tons of steel because getting to Wendy's is far more important than having to wait 13 seconds for space to open up to pass me safely.
The point is that these people in their cars would not behave this way were we both on foot. The car insulates, deadens, and gives us a false sense of size and power. But remember. Your body isn't made of a V-6 engine. It's flesh and bone. That bleeds. And dies.
Just like my body.
Lastly, the article I reference above is ironic went presented in terms of our own struggles here in Chicago. After all, Daley is trying mightily to secure his place in mayoral history by making Chicago the greenest city in the world. Yet his own greed and corruption, nay the City's itself has made the CTA into a money-devouring monster with a broken backbone that can only shit out delays and disillusioned customers. Customers who want to be better citizens, who want to do their part to make the city a better place to live in, but will now say "fuck it. I guess I'm driving instead."
Sure there is the rest of the state also holding us hostage with massive highway subsidization demands. But if we'd given the CTA it's due - for that matter, public transportation as a whole, nationally - we'd not be in the situation we are in now. The rest of the world is leaving us behind to choke on the exhaust fumes and high gas prices.
There was still snow in my hair when I got the news,
yet, you warmed my world from the very first day.
I actually had a Little Sister. Another piece of me. Of Us.
It was on tape when I first saw you, but you weren't far away.
Just a little bit of pink skin under your fuzzy hat.
But it was you. It has always been YOU.
It was you who gurbled, who spit up your milk.
And crawled on Dad's hairy chest and gummed his nose.
It was you who first showed me how to feed the baby ducks.
It was you gave me hugs goodnight, and woke me up at 5am.
I buried Duff in the sand, but it was you who peed on him.
I was the one who took you to the park, but you taught me how to play.
As you grew, you looked different, talked different, acted different.
But it was always you. My Little Sister.
It was you who gave me patience, and showed me how
To get the things I wanted had to come with love.
And it was you who let me learn from all the mistakes I made
And didn't judge, and showed me how to be a brother again.
For once I wasn't fighting, bickering or bitching.
I was guiding you, but you knew the way.
Of all the gifts to give someone, yours is the best.
You gave me you. And you have made me.
1. Why was Education barely discussed? Only Richardson brought it up - and in answers to questions on the War.
2. I thought it was interesting though, that the Republicans did discuss immigration and the Dems didn't even touch it, at least that I saw. Please correct me if I'm wrong. But even then, only Ron Paul brushed on even remotely a proactive solution. It's correctly, an economic issue he said. And our trade practices are problem, on both sides of the border. Why are so many Mexicans coming here in the first place?
3. Giulianni and Fred Thompson have absolutely nothing to say. Giulianni couldn't answer a single question and Thompson couldn't even finish a sentence. He looked bored. I think he'd rather have been drinking a martini and watching the NFL playoffs. Which are GREAT by the way. This AFC game is really good. Sorry Fred. Sucker.
4. John McCain, while I am impressed with his track record in the senate he is simply a GIANT prick with terrible delivery, and personally incredibly awkward. I think he's also a genuinely mean guy. But his constant bickering with Romney was hilarious. And Romney, he looked like a man who knew his ship was sinking. He's this year's Howard Dean.
5. Every time Ron Paul spoke he was an Einstein among 3rd graders (except Huckabee), although I was actually impressed that Romney could speak to his own states Health Insurance Plan. Which wasn't very much. If Mitt and John would just SHUT UP for one minute...I really wish I could vote for this guy. His policies on Immigration and the war, drugs, and public heath care are right on with my views. That is to say, he takes PROACTIVE stances. For example, deal with reasons why so many immigrants are coming here in the first place. That it's not just about the war in Iraq it's our entire national stance on defense and the amount of graft and corruption and outright fascist corporate greed involved, and this extends to our war on Drugs. Sadly I just can't agree with his stance on a woman's right to have an abortion, or his stance on dismantling public eduction or leaving environmental protection up to free-market economics. Isn't that why we're in this Global Warming mess in the first place?
6. I can't believe I am saying this, but Huckabee is a very likable guy. He's personable, intelligent, and has a firm grasp on at least the broad issues - especially with what's at stake in the election and why he and Obama won Iowa so convincingly. His stance on the health care crisis was especially interesting in that he, too, advocated a proactive stance, envisioning a completely rearranged system, based on prevention. But how a Republican can take this stance and turn around and allow Drug Companies to pursue business as usual research and development, and more importantly, marketing, is beyond me. And finally, if he wasn't such a batshit-loonballs wackjob he'd actually be electable. How can you possibly mandate teaching Creationism in freaking science classes when it isn't based on the scientific method? I do realize that evolution can't be proven by the same method - well, it can sorta, retroactively - but only because it can't be tested in a lab experiment. That's why it's still called the Theory of Evolution. If you don't agree with it on scientific principal, that's one thing. But to bash it - as a preconceived notion, no less - and then try to replace it in the classroom with a notion that is ALL preconceived and not based on any scientific principals at all is mind-blowingly stupid.
7. I don't think the Democrats as a whole, did much to differentiate themselves from one another, which the exception Clinton. And for this reason, I feel she "won" tonight's debate. I really liked how she took the offensive in her answers to the questions, and really had Obama on his heels all night. Not that he didn't answer back competently, however. But most of their answers were very alike (and I LOVED the way they all threw Gibson's surge question right back in his face). I won't say too much alike, but alike. And this, in the end, will benefit Hillary Clinton. She's got experience, and a very firm grasp on the foreign policy issues. Which is what's going to count in a national election. The problem is she is such a polarizing figure on the national scene, we'll practically have a civil war to deal with if she's elected. I can think of at least a couple family members who would both have simultaneous heart attacks. While watching Fox News, of course.
8. On the Republican side, it was probably Huckabee who came out on top, but only because Ron Paul was so marginalized. He is simply too civil and issue oriented to win an election. But thank God he is running, because at least now his message on the Truth behind the War in Iraq is getting national exposure.
9. So on a personal note, I am, still at this moment, on Edward's side. I think he is the best answer to the problem of creeping fascism in this country. Corporate Interests have GOT to get out of Government. We can't begin to address any other issues until this is tackled head on.
10. But know this: Edwards, Obama, Clinton, or even Huckabee or Giulliani. They'd ALL be better than Bush. So with this election year, I am going to be positive no matter what - we have nowhere to go but up.