Tuesday, November 30, 2004


My friend Mary Alice called me today all the way from Peru and chewed me out. Not really chewed... she just wanted to see if I was dead or not. No... I'm not really dead... just distracted.

"Well, the last time you dropped off the face of the earth I found out you were in the hospital and so it scares me when I don't hear from you."

"Nope. Healthy as a goat. But I guess that I've been playing ostrich here at the JAC a bit too much in the last month. Sorry."

"Sorry! That won't do it. You're such an asshole!" I could hear exasperated noises through the phone. Now, you've got to realize that this woman is way the hell down in a little crappy Peruvian village about a mile above the frost line near Cusco, playing Doctors Without Borders with a bunch of midgets in multicolored tarps. Actually, she's a very talented pediatric surgeon who is down there doing god knows what... anyhow, why she's concerned about me I don't know.

"Listen... what's going on? Your mom is taking care of your dog. Katie is fine. I'm just being the usual workaholic Bob and I haven't called. I'm sorry." I could hear her snuffling and sniveling over the phone. Fortunately, the video part of the damned phone isn't working. Women have such great guilt weapons. A few tears will do it every time.

"I'm just tired and worried about you. "

"Well, don't be. I worry too. I'll go over to New Smyrna this weekend and get some pictures of the Main Mutt and send them to you via the trusty internet."

"It's broke. My helper dropped the laptop when we moved and nothing works around here."

"Well, I'll send you snail mail pictures. How's that?"

"You're a nice guy when you're not being an asshole."

"You say the nicest things."

Then her battery quit. Cell phone service in South America is usually pretty good. The drug business supports an exotic intrastructure, but charging the metal batteries in the phones with unmodulated power converters destroys the life of the batteries. Well, damn.

I dread spending the day with the unofficial mom in law. She blames me for not stopping her daughter from going to Peru. Everybody seems to find at least one reason to pull the wings off my flies. I miss the dog too. And her mistress.


Saturday, November 27, 2004

Gee, thanks Velocidude

In spite of the fact that the guy has this painful inferiority thing (let's face it... he IS... uh... well, nevermind... he can't help it that he couldn't get into Gainesville and had to settle for one of those northern pig farms).

Anyhow, the guy does like this guy so he can't be all bad.


Friday, November 26, 2004

The Games Begin... Again

My friend Ronit (Israel's contribution to female yummyness) just came by to see if I had a nice Turkey day. She's a veggie and once asked me... "My God! Are you going to put that in your MOUTH?" We were banned from Pizza Hut. Why, yes, I suppose I did. Thanks for asking. A little wierd, but nice. She is about to head out for a serious bout of pre-Xmas shopping. She tells me that this is the official start of the Christmas Rush... that period of time when you are required to spend as much as possible on presents for people that you don't particuarly like so that you will be able to enter into the new year with absolutely no assets. She says that this is traditional. Se says that there was some Indian tribe in New England (was there actually a tribe called the Algonquins?... I often suspect that the lady pulls legs) who used to pile up all of their possessions once a year and burn everything they owned so that they can be "free". My observation is that they weren't free, they were poor. Ronit says "That's the whole point you foolish man! Bob... you poor baby! That's why I feel so sorry for you. You don't sleep with pyjamas!" Then she laughs and tells me that she's going out to the Millenia Mall to shop for PJs with feet in them. Just what every girl needs.

Two or three times a year the Leete family convenes their family cabal and I get invited by Tommy's lovely bride Sandy. She thinks that I need "looking after". I suppose she's right. All of my relatives are dead. My daughter is usually off being a dutiful girlfriend to this week's romantic attachment, and neither of us have ever been the kind of family unit that cooks... so it's Morrisons or Taco Bell or one of those exotic eateries for most celebratory meals. We once went to eat Chinese on Christmas Day and were the only people in the city of Orlando to have glazed duck rather than turkey to ring in the season.

This year's Thanksgiving was the usual batch of foolery at Leete's place. They have a new house out in the bushes in the south end of Osceola County. Beautiful place with an attached grass field to land airplanes. I thought about taking the Velocity down there but I've never tried to land on grass and I'm a coward. Hmmm. It would be fun to just bop down there for a visit any time, but... but... maybe I'll talk to my guy Mel about what it means to put the Velocity down on the yard. He would know. In the meanwhile, I drove down there. Volvo power!

We managed to consume four (yes... 4) turkeys. Two cooked the usual way, 1 deep fried in a pot of boiling peanut oil, and 1 cooked on the grill. All this meat for about 20 people. There was enough food there for the UN to take into central Africa and open up a mission. Oink!

Anyhow, a good time was had by all. About half of them got tiddley from the rare excursions into wine drinking among the younger set. Us old folks were still sitting around the outdoor hot tub at midnight when the younger set began to pack up the dogs and the kids and load the SUVs for the trek north. I had a good time. Hope you did too.


Saturday, November 20, 2004


Is it just me, or does it seem as if the whole damned world is getting pregnant? Or getting rides to the emergency room after their water has broken? Or have missed their visit from Aunt Flo? Two of the ladies in my unit at work are out on those birthing cycle sabbaticals. That would be OK if the evil gnomes in stat government would replace them during their post partum (is that a word? hmmm) adjusting period. Gee... should I go back to work? Wht if the bambina is traumatized? Am I a good mothter? Yada Yada Yada. Ladies! We need help here at the office! Your caseload has sloshed over onto my desk and you didn't do my kind of casework! Get back here! Now!

Monday, November 15, 2004

From DAN GILMARTIN:This is pretty good.


The Architects of Defeat
By Arianna Huffington, AlterNet. Posted November
12, 2004.

Twelve days before the election, James Carville
stood in a Beverly Hills living room surrounded
by two generations of Hollywood stars. After
being introduced by Sen. John Kerry's daughter,
Alexandra, he told the room - confidently, almost
cockily - that the election was in the bag.
"If we can't win this damn election," the advisor
to the Kerry campaign said, "with a Democratic
Party more unified than ever before, with us
having raised as much money as the Republicans,
with 55 percent of the country believing we're
heading in the wrong direction, with our
candidate having won all three debates, and with
our side being more passionate about the outcome
than theirs - if we can't win this one, then we
can't win shit! And we need to completely rethink
the Democratic Party."
Well, as it turns out, that's exactly what should
be done. But instead, Carville and his fellow
architects of the Democratic defeat have spent
the last week defending their campaign strategy,
culminating on Monday morning with a breakfast
for an elite core of Washington reporters.
At the breakfast, Carville, together with chief
campaign strategist Bob Shrum and pollster Stan
Greenberg, seemed intent on one thing - salvaging
their reputations.
They blamed the public for not responding to John
Kerry's message on the economy, and they blamed
the news media for distracting voters from this
critical message with headlines from that pesky
war in Iraq. "News events were driving this,"
said Shrum. "The economy was not driving the
news coverage."
But shouldn't it have been obvious that Iraq and
the war on terror were the real story of this
campaign? Only these Washington insiders, stuck
in an anachronistic 1990s mind-set and
re-fighting the 1992 election, could think that
the economy would be the driving factor in a
post-9/11 world with Iraq in flames. That the
campaign's leadership failed to recognize that it
was no longer "the economy, stupid," was the
tragic flaw of the race.
In conversations with Kerry insiders over the
last nine months, I've heard a recurring theme:
that it was Shrum and the Clintonistas (including
Greenberg, Carville and senior advisor Joe
Lockhart) who dominated the campaign in the last
two months and who were convinced that this
election was going to be won on domestic issues,
like jobs and healthcare, and not on national
As Tom Vallely, the Vietnam War veteran whom
Kerry tapped to lead the response to the Swift
Boat attacks, told me: "I kept telling Shrum that
before you walk through the economy door, you're
going to have to walk through the terrorism/Iraq
door. But, unfortunately, the Clinton team,
though technically skillful, could not see
reality - they could only see their version of
reality. And that was always about pivoting to
domestic issues. As for Shrum, he would grab on
to anyone's strategy; he had none of his own."
Vallely, together with Kerry's brother, Cam, and
David Thorne, the senator's closest friend and
former brother-in-law, created the "Truth and
Trust Team." This informal group within the
campaign pushed at every turn to aggressively
take on President Bush's greatest claim: his
leadership on the war on terror.
"When Carville and Greenberg tell reporters that
the campaign was missing a defining narrative,"
Thorne told me this week, "they forget that they
were the ones insisting we had to keep beating
the domestic-issues drum. So we never defended
John's character and focused on his leadership
with the same singularity of purpose that the
Republicans put on George Bush's leadership. A
fallout of this was that the campaign had no
memorable ads. In a post-election survey, the
only three ads remembered by voters were all
Republican ads - and that was after we spent over
$100 million on advertising."
Cam Kerry agrees. "There is a very strong John
Kerry narrative that is about leadership,
character and trust. But it was never made
central to the campaign," he said. "Yet, at the
end of the day, a presidential campaign - and
this post-9/11 campaign in particular - is about
these underlying attributes rather than about a
laundry list of issues."
It was the "Truth and Trust Team" that fought to
have Kerry give a major speech clarifying his
position on Iraq, which he finally did, to great
effect, at New York University on Sept. 20. "That
was the turning point," Thorne, who was
responsible for the campaign's wildly successful
online operation, told me. "John broke through
and found his voice again. But even after the
speech the campaign kept returning to domestic
issues, and in the end I was only able to get
just over a million dollars for ads making our
Despite a lot of talk about "moral values," exit
polls proved that Iraq and the war on terror
together were the issues uppermost in people's
minds. And therefore as Thorne and Vallely, among
others, kept arguing, if the president continued
to hold a double-digit advantage on his
leadership on the war on terror, he would win.
But those in charge of the Kerry campaign ignored
this giant, blood-red elephant standing in the
middle of the room and allowed themselves to be
mesmerized by polling and focus group data that
convinced them the economy was the way to go.
"We kept coming back from the road," said James
Boyce, a Kerry family friend who traveled across
the country with Cam Kerry, "and telling the
Washington team that the questions we kept
getting were more about safety and Iraq than
healthcare. But they just didn't want to hear it.
Their minds were made up."
Boyce, along with Cam Kerry, were instrumental in
bringing to the campaign four of the more
outspoken 9/11 widows, including Kristin
Breitweiser, who had provided critical leadership
in stopping the Bush administration from
undermining the 9/11 Commission. "We told the
campaign," Breitweiser told me, "that we would
not come out and endorse Kerry unless he spoke
out against the war in Iraq. It was quite a
battle. In fact, I got into a fight with Mary
Beth Cahill on the phone. I actually said to her:
'You're not getting it. This election is about
national security.' I told her this in August.
She didn't want to hear it."
The campaign's regular foreign policy conference
calls were another arena where this battle was
fought, with Kerry foreign policy advisor Richard
Holbrooke taking the lead against the candidate
coming out with a decisive position on Iraq that
diverged too far from the president's. Former
Colorado Sen. Gary Hart consistently argued
against Holbrooke, and Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden
expressed his disagreement with this
ruffle-no-feathers approach directly to Kerry.
But until the Sept. 20 speech in New York, it was
Holbrooke who prevailed - in no small part
because his position dovetailed with the
strategic direction embraced by Shrum and
campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill.
Jamie Rubin, the Clinton State Department
spokesman, had also argued that Kerry should
stick close to the Bush position, and even told
the Washington Post that Kerry, too, would
probably have invaded Iraq. Kerry was reportedly
apoplectic but did not ask for Rubin's
resignation, thereby letting the damage linger
for two weeks before Rubin told Ron Brownstein of
The Los Angeles Times that he was not speaking
for the candidate.
Just how misguided the campaign's leadership was
can be seen in the battle that took place between
Vernon Jordan, the campaign's debate negotiator,
and Cahill and Shrum. "They were so opposed,"
someone close to the negotiations told me, "to
Jordan's accepting the first debate being all
about foreign policy, in exchange for a third
debate, that Jordan and Cahill had a knock down,
drag out argument. It was so bad that Jordan had
to send her flowers before they could make up."
It was a familiar strategic battle with Jordan
siding with those who believed that unless Kerry
could win on national security, he would not win
Behind the scenes, former President Clinton also
kept up the drumbeat, telling Kerry in private
conversations right to the end that he should
focus on the economy rather than Iraq or the war
on terror, and that he should come out in favor
of all 11 state constitutional amendments banning
gay marriage - a move that would have been a
political disaster for a candidate who had
already been painted as an unprincipled
flip-flopper. Sure, Kerry spoke about Iraq here
and there until the end of the race (how could he
not?), but the vast majority of what came out of
the campaign, including Kerry's radio address 10
days before the election, was on domestic issues.
Another good illustration of how the clash played
out was the flu vaccine shortage, which ended up
being framed not as a national security issue
("How can you trust this man to keep you safe
against biological warfare when he can't even
handle getting you the flu vaccine?"), but as a
healthcare issue with the Bush campaign turning
it into an attack on trial lawyers.
"This election was about security," Gary Hart
told me. But when he suggested that Kerry should
talk about jobs and energy and other issues in
the context of security, Hart said, he was
"constantly confronted with focus group data,
according to which the people wanted to hear a
different message focused on the economy."
The last few days of the campaign, in which
national security dominated the headlines - with
the 380 tons of missing explosives in Iraq,
multiple deaths of U.S. soldiers, insurgents
gaining ground and the reappearance of Osama bin
Laden - show how Kerry could have pulled away
from Bush if, early on, his campaign had built
the frame into which all these events would have
How the campaign handled the reappearance of bin
Laden the Friday before the election says it all.
"Stan Greenberg was adamant," a senior campaign
strategist told me, "that Kerry should not even
mention Osama. He insisted that because his
polling showed Kerry had already won the
election, he should not do anything that would
endanger his position. We argued that since Osama
dominated the news, it would be hard for us to
get any other message through. So a compromise
was reached, according to which Kerry issued a
bland statesman-like statement about Osama
(followed by stumping on the economy), and we
dispatched Holbrooke to argue on TV that the
reappearance of bin Laden proved that the
president had not made us safer."
As at almost every other turn, the campaign had
chosen caution over boldness. Why did these
highly paid professionals make such amateurish
mistakes? In the end, it was the old obsession
with pleasing undecided voters (who, Greenberg
argued right up until the election, would break
for the challenger) and an addiction to polls and
focus groups, which they invariably interpreted
through their Clinton-era filters. It appears
that you couldn't teach these old Beltway dogs
new tricks. It's time for some fresh political
A version of this story was published this week
in the Los Angeles Times.
Find more Arianna at Ariannaonline.com.


Thanks Dan. Good read.


Saturday, November 13, 2004


There is a certain quaintness to the boating lifestyle that has always attracted me. I don't know, something about being transient yet solvent. There's plenty of people on the streets who are down and out... who don't exactly have a permanent address... but those folks are people without any assets, and as a consequence are without any leverage in a world where money is power. But boat people... well, they're different. Ramblers with some cash. Wanderers who have at least a little bit of a say in what happens, at least in their own lives.

At least, that's the myth. But one thing's for sure... the suckers keep moving. None of us want to be an easy target I suppose.

Last night I once again came to the conclusion that if I sit in the bar at Otters long enough that everyone that I have ever met in my life will eventually wander in and ask for a cold one. Then act pleased to see me sitting there while the Redhead holds court. I believe that Hemingway once said that about Paris, and it may have been true in the 20s, but now days nobody goes to Paris. But I do believe that just about everybody goes to Florida, and particularly the middle part of Florida where Mickey lives. As do I. On a boat.

My old friend John has wandered back into Otters from the river after beng missing for about five years. John lives on a nice 40 foot trawler and is affectionately known as Hippy John because he has longish hair and a beard that makes him look a little like a Catholic Jesus. You know the kind I mean... not a Jesus from the Levant like he probably looked in real life, but a Jesus like he was drawn in the Catholic Children's Bible that you tiredly thumbed through while in church who looked for all the world like Ted Nugent... only without the doobie stains on his fingertips that comes from holding pencil joints.

When I first met John he owned a small fuel oil company and he was constantly preparing for the winter season when he would drive his tanker truck around coolish Central Florida doling out fuel oil to elderly women who still had the old style house heaters in their basement. Most homes these days have central heat and air and are warmed by electricity and don't have oil burning heaters, but lots of the older homes do. Thus John had a niche. Plus he's the kind of "nice young man" that elderly women just go gaga over. Why... he's such a NICE young man!

Anyhow, John fell in love about five years ago and took his brittle looking young bride traveling with him to the Bahamas and elsewhere. I remember her as one of those women who never seems to sweat. She was a ferocious gal who was afraid that her captured boyfriend might change his mind if she allowed anyone within speaking distance of her prize. She hated me. I gave them a 6 pack of liquor (Mextaxa, Vermouth, Boodles, Crown Royal, Chevas, Bushmill) for a wedding present. A consumable gift for a disposable marriage. Needless to say, the woman hated and feared me. And I wasn't alone on that dock. Now he's back sans wife but with a different attitude about women than he used to have. I'm not sure he's the same nice young man he used to be. He's still a good guy, but I doubt if he'll remarry any time soon. Once burned, twice shy... if you follow me.

Wasn't it Hemingway who once said that the only thing a young man needs to learn is how to not get married? Come to think of it, I learned that lesson about the same time of life that John. Both of us are still looking for company, but neither of us are looking for a tax deduction. A couple of old guys looking for the sweet spot.

He's been down to Cuba on his trawler since I saw him last. I was there a decade ago. We talked about the new rules that make it tougher to get permission to go to evil Commie Cuba. He has the same opinion that I do, that things will probably be normalized once the old man Castro does an Arafat and leaves this mortal coil. Once that happens then our pin head government will probably allow the Cubans to rejoin the community of nations. In the meanwhile, the Cuban people will continue to be punished for loving an old timey Commie. No one ever mentions Castro's brother Raul who runs the secret police of the Cuban government... That guy really is a murdering bad guy and is probably the real fist in the Cuban velvet glove of benevolent socialism. Castro's Ashcroft, if you will.

What ever. All either of us know for sure is that we are probably not gonna be able to go get any of the really good Cohibas any time soon. Shame too. What it actually does is make guys like John and I into scofflaws and neither of us particularly want to do anything illegal. Neither of us want to smuggle dope or refugees or Colombian emeralds or any crap like that. Both of us know that all you really have to do is clear for the Bahamas and get a 30 day visa to "cruise without destination" in the Islands and then just go on to Havana. The Cubans don't care. The Bahamians don't care. Only the US Customs gooners give a damn. They want to punish Cuba for not groveling like the rest of the world and Castro was just the guy to make the Kennedys eat the little shitballs on his hairy ass back in the 60s and thumbed his nose at the US. Horrors. Of course, these days the politicians are so afraid of the Cuban/American vote in south Florida that they would starve their own grandmothers rather than have anyone think that they are "soft of Communism". Sigh. All they're really doing is hurting the little people in Cuba and that means all the old relatives of the people who escaped Castro back in the days when his brother Raul was flexing his Fascisto muscle and making sure that the Cuban revolution was "pure". More loonies.

But John and I both know that the Cuban women are the most beautiful creatures in this hemisphere and they will laugh that low and sensual laugh that comes from way down there somewheres and then hitch their skirts up and hop sidesaddle onto the back seat of the little Bulgarian mopeds that the Cubans rent to the American tourists in downtown Havana and laugh and throw their hair back and hold on tight and carefully write down your US address and phone number so that they can "pen pal" you to death because you might be their ticket to the golden promised land to the north. And take you home to their parents house and introduce you to their twelve older brothers who will slap you on the back then want to talk about imported car parts and their mothers will want you to give them rides on your rented scooter to the big church in downtown Havana and feed you fried plantains in the morning sunlight while the children, all cousins and all in secret non-governmental Catholic school just like their mamas used to... swirl around your feet in the doorways of old Havana while Edesio Alejandro songs pour out of the painted stairwells into the city streets.

And John agrees that Castro can't die soon enough for either of us. I think that both of us have unfinished business on the Island. Besides... the Bahamas channel hasn't been really fished since Hemingway actually lived there. Just think... a chance at an old Black Marlin just like the ones that the Old Man himself once hunted. Mmmmm. Just think.


Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Happy 229

As the Corps celebrates its Birthday (looks good for a 229 year old, eh?) they are fighting door to door in Fallujah and have taken about half of the city.

God Speed, Gentlemen.

You're in all our thoughts and prayers.

Semper Fi.


Saturday, November 06, 2004

Post Mort

You guys done good. Of course, now we have to wade through all the post election explanations as to why things went the way they did... written by people who didn't have access to the time warp machine so they were guessing like the rest of us. For me... well, all the pollsters seemed to call it a tie for so long that when things finally came to a point and folks had to make the lever choice, suddenly it was over... and I mean, really by God over... then Kerry didn't seem to have a ghost of a chance. Snowballs in hell comes to mind. Well, anyhow... now we get to fight the peace.

I'll say this for the Kerry people: their Orlando office, which was right across Mills Ave. from my bail bond office here in the Thornton Park area of Colonialtown in Orlando, was emptied and cleaned up nicely the day after the election. They may be Donks but they didn't leave any trash behind for someone else to clean up. Good for them. I figured since they were hustling the young people so hard that they would be typical college students and be bad spirited pigs, but not so.

I do have one revelation --

I've been curious about the disconnect from my values and point of view and that mysterious collection of "everybody else" that still lingers out in the nuggusphere as to the "war" that we are fighting.

I was sitting in Otter's last night getting fed by the Redhead and one of the guys from the marina came over and wanted to talk politics. Why he thought I could contribute any insight I don't know. Anyhow, Mike said that he had NOT voted but was curious because he had read about the Republican win on page 1 of the Sentinel and then had seen a story on page 2 about a combat death in Iraq and he wanted to know why people were willing to fight in a shithole like Iraq anyhow and why so many people were supporting the President anyhow.

What can you say? The guy didn't take sides in the debate. Now he's asking me what's going on. Hmmm.

"Mike.... there are two kinds of men. There are guys who will fight and there are guys who won't. I know it's a schoolyard thing but it really is that simple. Which are you?"

" Well, I'm no coward, if that's what you mean. But I wouldn't want to fight in the desert. Screw those guys."

"Those Iraqui guys kind of threw down on us. The Al Quida guys were the ones who flew those planes into the buildings in New York back on 9/11 you know. Didn't that piss you off?"

"Well, yeah. That's what this is all about?"


" Well, fuck. Why didn't somebody say so? I'd a voted for that Bush guy if I knew that. The other guy was talking about getting some Europeans to help out."

"Well, we've got some folks helping us. The Brits are helping. Aussies too."

"Good." And the guy got up from the bar stool and wandered off, beer in hand. An informed citizen.

The point of the lancet is that the guy didn't really understand that 9/11 was the same kind of thing that Pearl Harbor was. Some foreign assholes threw down on us so we had to fight. Had to fight. And I mean fight to the death. This isn't something that we went looking for. They found us and wanted to fight, so we're taking it to them. Of course, we have to be choosey. We have the power to turn the desert around Baghdad into a layer of hot glass a foot thick if we want to kill all of them, but few of us have the stomach to kill all those women and children. Few of us want another Hiroshima. But as a card carring American male I can tell you that I wouldn't mind cleaning out a whole mosque full of Jihad fundamentalists. Like the old line goes -- let God sort them out.

Mike and I are in general agreement about the pecker things. Man stuff. The school yard. The general message is... don't screw with me or I'll burn down your hooch. I think that we are doing fine in that department. That Osama guy hasn't managed to knock down any more office buildings... and we've rained death down on him and his asshole buddies with unrelenting force since 9/11... and seem to have every intention of keeping it up until the rag heads cry uncle.

That was the choice. The trouble is that my friend Mike didn't see the culture war that has been going on. He can understand a direct threat. If someone were to hit HIM, or threaten his old lady or one of his kids, then they would have a fight on their hands. But he has to have someone explain why he should be pissed at Al Quida.

And that continues to be a problem. OK... Bush won one. But where do we stand in the bigger struggle of fighting the war on terror?

I think that most people get the bulk of their general information through mass media. Mike watches the news occasionally but Dan Rather is not a major actor in his intellectual inventory. And when he does tune in he has to sort out the facts from the crap that is shoved towards him by the media. He has absolutely no connection with the Eastern elite or the informed intelligencia. This is not a guy who has ever even heard of Noam Chomsky. He's just a guy in a bar in Cracker Florida who didn't vote (probably a good thing) but wanted to know what the fuss was all about.

We should do a better job of educating the Mikes of this world. And I ain't talking about nuances here. That bullshit is one of the problems. I'm thinking that somehow as a culture we've become disconnected from our own cultural values. The blow felt at the World Trade Center should resonate through our culture to the quiet eddies of Orlando Florida. Mike should still be pissed and willing to bring it to the cretins who want to hurt his country. And if he is not fully connected to that simple fact then we are all at risk of losing the war on terror.


Monday, November 01, 2004

~ WELL...

It's just about showdown time. I went to lunch with my lovely daughter today and I will go in and cast my secret ballot tomorrow morning for George W. Bush. She has already voted via early balloting here in Orlando. She said she voted for Mr. Kerry. So... I guess that the score is zero at this point. My vote has cancelled out hers. Or perhaps..... her's cancelled out mine. Something like that.

Anyhow, it's up to the rest of you guys. Go do it.