Goodbye Florida

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This morning, we drove from southern Florida, and arrived mid-afternoon in Savannah, GA, where we are camped for the night, before heading back to VA tomorrow morning.

The weather in Florida was fantastic (84, sunny, and breezy) and our visit with my parents was delightful. Serendipitously, Lois and I interviewed a wonderful person over dinner at PF Changs last night (man, we really love that place). He is based in Miami, and happened to contact us (Zope Corporation) this week, and it all just worked out to meet him in person.

Last year, I forgot my sandals at home, so even though I had shorts with me, I didn’t wear them. I didn’t repeat that mistake this year, and it was great to come from the cold in the North East and just wear shorts for four straight days. I wavered about wearing them today, because I didn’t know what the temperature would be in Savannah.

It worked out perfectly. It was 69 degrees when we got here. Ironically, just two hours later, when we went to dinner, it was down to 60, and felt more like 45-50, and by then, I had put on my pants and a sweatshirt, and everyone was the better for it. 😉

On the recommendation of some friends, we drove downtown to the “Historic District”. We ate dinner at Belfords. Beautiful place, with fantastic food.

Another anomaly on the ride today. Nearly 8 hours in the car today, and we never once turned on the radio, the iPod, the XM satellite, etc. Lois worked for much of the trip (emailing on the Treo, and speaking a fair amount on the phone, including a few interviews), but otherwise, we talked a lot. You’d think that after 26 years together, we’d run out of things to say. You’d think that, but apparently, you’d be wrong. 😉

Last year, for the first time, we used HiltonHHonors points for our stay on the way down, in Florida, and the way back as well. It was a hit last year, so we did it again this year. The only difference is that last year, we only stayed at Hampton Inns. This year, we stayed at the same Hampton Inn near my parents, but we stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn in Daytona Beach, and tonight in Savannah as well. Very nice hotels, and we’ve been treated very nicely by the staff at both HGI’s.

Lois ended up working like a dog on this trip (especially yesterday, where other than joining us for lunch, she was working the laptop at my parent’s apartment non-stop). I just had a great time with my folks and didn’t think about work too much.

One last comment about the temperature. I don’t understand how this works, but most of the time that we drive through Florida, the temperature (according to the thermometer in the car) typically doesn’t vary even one degree, the entire length of I95. It’s a really long stretch, so this simply doesn’t make sense to me. Also, as I noted on my post earlier this week, Savannah was warmer than Daytona was on Monday, and it was a a few degrees warmer again today.

Canada Rocks

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We love a number of Candian artists. They are producing very fresh sounds north of the border. At the top of our list is/are The Wailin’ Jennys. Some others include The Duhks, Celine Dion, Don Ross, Antoine Dufour, Barenaked Ladies, Chantal Kreviazuk, Shania Twain, Sarah McLachlan and many others.

Today, I was alerted to the following short blog post. That post includes the following link to the Candian Broadcasting Corporation’s live concert archives, all available for streaming! It’s a very long list, so there’s lots of music to discover and listen to.

There is a concert by The Duhks, and one by the Jennys there as well, so you can’t go too wrong. 🙂

A Semi-Vacation

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As is now our annual custom, immediately after enjoying a wonderful Superbowl party with our friends in Richmond, we headed out early this morning on the long drive to Florida, to visit my folks.

We drove for 10.25 hours today and are now in Daytona Beach, immediately across the street from the speedway. More driving tomorrow and then the rest of the week with my parents.

For me, this is as close as it gets to a vacation. I only checked email on my Treo once before we hit the road, and once when we stopped for lunch. Not staring at a computer screen the entire day is partially a vacation to me. Of course, now I’ll be on all evening, but that’s fine, because it also includes playing one online poker tourney. 😉

The reason I call it a semi-vacation is that Lois works straight through, even when we’re in the car. She works the Treo like it’s a laptop, and touches base with the office a number of times a day as well. Even when we’re with my folks, one ear is on our conversation, and the other on her email.

We had a fantastic ride down today, with close to zero traffic. It was 36 degrees in VA, 60 in North Carolina, 78 in southern South Carolina, 81 in northern Georgia, and 78 throughout Florida. A very nice change from the northern weather we’ve been living with lately (it was 27 when we left NY last Sunday).

We typically listen to the iPod in the car most of our trips. I don’t know exactly what was different today, perhaps the daunting task of DJ’ing for 10+ hours, but Lois asked me to put on XM Radio instead, early on, and we ended up never turning it off the entire way (we did change the channels as our moods changed).

We never turned the iPod on, and that was highly unusual.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to the decompression, and I hope that Lois finds at least a drop of respite. More importantly, if she doesn’t, I really hope I can avoid being sucked into any of it. 😉

Super Superbowl

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What a great game last night. We had a bunch of people over (or rather, we were two of the bunch of people at our friends’ house in Richmond, VA), and it was a great party all around (food, conversation, game, etc.).

As I noted in this post, I didn’t bet on this year’s Superbowl (at least, I didn’t intend to). 😉

Before the game started, a friend egged me on to bet him, and he wanted me to take the Giants. Even though I was pulling 51-49% for the Pats, I really didn’t they’d cover the spread even if they won. Plus, I knew I’d enjoy an outright Giants win as well.

So, I reluctantly agreed to break my non-betting rule, and risked an entire $1 on the Giants! As you all know by now, I am $1 richer (in real cash money!). 🙂

Online Music Services

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I’ve threatened for a few months now to write a Pandora vs Last.fm post. Every week, I decide to finally write it, and then procrastinate again, for numerous reasons. Recently, I decided to boil it down to a very few points, just to get it out (finally).

But, before doing so, I decided to do a little research, since a number of things have changed recently (some dramatically, like Last.fm’s recent announcement about being able to stream songs for free, up to three times).

In doing the research, I found this blog post which summarizes and categorizes 38 different online music services (including the ones I intended to cover). While he doesn’t go into depth on any one of them, it’s a fantastic resource to decide what sites you might wish to explore.

I wouldn’t have, and couldn’t have done as good and exhaustive a job putting that list together. Therefore, I can now (happily) concentrate on the few things that I specifically wanted to get off my chest.

In January 2007 I signed up for an account on Last.fm. At the time, I was mostly listening to XMRadio (I posted about my XM Radio experience here). At the time, we hadn’t had our explosion of discovering new music. Last.fm sounded like a good idea, a way to discover new music by typing in an artist that you already liked.

It amused me for about a month, then I got tired of it and stopped using it completely. The main reasons were that at the time, they never included any songs by the artist you entered to begin with, and they often ran out of similar artists (quickly sometimes) if you didn’t start with a mega-star.

Some things have changed, some things even dramatically (recently), as you can now pick specific songs by specific artists to hear, up to three times each, for free. Still, the biggest value (to me) in Last.fm, is one that I think is interesting, but doesn’t grab me personally all that much. That’s the ability to have friends, and see what they’re listening to, in real-time, in graphs of the past, etc. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool, and I check out my own listening habits on my profile on occasion, but I only have three friends at the moment, and I’m not desperate to increase that list. 😉

Months later, I finally started using an alternate service that I had been aware of for a while, Pandora. I am dramatically happier with Pandora than with Last.fm. If you start with an artist, in addition to hearing similar artists, you also hear a ton of music from the artist you started with mixed in as well.

Their selection of similar artists is fantastic. I can listen for hours on end and it’s extremely rare for me to hear something that I feel the need to rate poorly, or skip, etc. I’ve discovered a number of new artists via Pandora (and yes, I’ve bought their music, so Pandora helped promote them!).

I have a number of stations, and I most often play a quick mix of four of my stations. The only complaint I have about Pandora (and it’s extremely minor) is that they repeat the same songs a little more frequently than I’d like (it could be hours before a repetition, but sometimes, I listen an entire day while working at Zope). To be sure, they are repeating songs that I love, and that I’ve thumbed up, so it’s not terribly annoying. 😉

They too have some kind of friend stuff, but I have zero friends on Pandora (and I’m not looking for any), so I don’t really know how it works. I’ve added the Pandora App to my Facebook account, so when I’m listening to Pandora, friends of mine on Facebook can see what stations I’m listening to on Pandora.

I have over 7000 songs in iTunes, so I really don’t need an online service to find something to listen to. That said, I still listen a bunch, for three reasons:

  1. Convenience. I don’t need to think about what I want to listen to, just what type of music I’m in the mood for. I then don’t have to operate anything, the music just continues to come at me. I can pause a song, and come back to it hours later, and it picks up exactly from that point.
  2. Discover new music. I have tons, but every once in a while, it’s nice to wander into new territory.
  3. Surprise! Even if Pandora were to serve me songs that I already own, the order comes as a surprise, so it’s often like a little gift. Sure, I could turn on shuffle in iTunes, but I’d still have to pick at a minimum a genre, in order to get a similar experience, and Pandora keeps it even narrower than that, in a very nice way.

I had a few other things I wanted to cover, specifically, but I’m going to punt on them for now. With one exception, and I welcome any thoughts on this particular topic.

A number of bloggers have some sort of streaming widget on their site. Some even have more than one. Others have links to mp3 songs that can be downloaded (whether they mean you to or not).

While I applaud the desire to share music as widely as possible, and understand that it can easily end up creating a much larger audience for the artists in question, in the end, something feels wrong about it. I can’t imagine that the majority of bloggers are getting specific permission from the artists or the label.

If it’s only available via streaming, it’s a little easier for me to swallow. While some technical types will be able to capture the stream if they want, the overwhelming majority of people won’t bother, even if there are software downloads that they can use to do it for them.

But, when the link can be right-clicked, and saved, it amounts to mass distribution of copyrighted works. Am I missing something here?

I have promoted many artists in these posts, often with links included. That said, I’ve never once considered offering up a link to something that I own of theirs. I link to their site, to their MySpace site, to YouTube videos, etc. I’d love to attach particular songs to my posts, but again, I just feel that without explicit permission, I’m taking a liberty that isn’t mine to take.

So, any contrary opinions out there? Some of the people who are freely sharing music on their blogs are people I respect enormously, so I’m not saying that they are doing anything wrong, just that I don’t understand all the ins and outs yet. If I don’t get satisfactory answers here, I might post a comment on some their sites, but I don’t want to appear to be pointing a finger, which is the last thing I want to do!

Nice Surprise From FestivaLink Today

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Who knew this blogging thing would pay off so big? 😉

Seriously though, today I got an unsolicited email from the good folks at FestivaLink.net. That should immediately redirect you to a specific subdomain on LiveDownloads.com. I was one of (who knows how) many people that were all bcc’ed on the email. It started “Dear Blogger:”.

Anyway, they do high-quality records of live Festival concerts (of which there are tons around the country, every year). I know I blog a lot about music, and even about a number of groups who play a lot of festivals, but I didn’t realize I was on their (or anyone else’s!) radar. 🙂

They wanted to thank the blogging community for covering them (I presume), so they were offering a sampler download for free (not available to the general public), and the link was to expire today! (I likely missed any previous notes they sent, as this too was marked as possible spam, but I spotted it, thankfully!)

Even though it was free, it could still have cluttered my disk and iPod, so it was a nice touch that each of the seven songs had a 30-second clip available to listen to on the website, before downloading the full version. I liked them all, so I downloaded the the full stuff.

The package consisted of seven songs, from seven different artists, from seven different festivals in different venues. I just listened to all seven, and I like them all, but not equally. First, in order to provide a tiny payback to FestivaLink, let me at least promote the individual artists:

  1. Bob Schneider
  2. Diana Jones
  3. Jimmy Ibbotson
  4. Leftover Salmon
  5. Robinella
  6. William Topley
  7. 3 Fox Drive

To repeat, I enjoyed all of the above. That said, I was instantly hooked by Leftover Salmon. I can’t imagine I won’t be buying some of their stuff (quite possibly the live stuff from FestivaLink, but possibly some studio stuff as well). They are a great Bluegrass (Jamgrass?) group. Superb banjo playing, among other wonderful sounds.

FestivaLink also has two shows by The Mammals, a group I’m not familiar with, but really want to see live (badly). I’ve written in the past that I had tickets to their show at Tarrytown Music Hall, which got canceled at the last minute. 🙁

Anyway, a new find for me (thanks FestivaLink folks!), and hopefully, covering their good deed will be a more proper thanks than just saying the word.

Finally, A Superbowl Fan Again

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I’ve loved football (playing and watching) since I’m six years old. Independent of that love, I have loved gambling (on a variety of things) since I’m 16 years old.

In my early 20’s, I briefly combined the two, and made my first series of football bets. It was a disaster, as I won early, raised my bets beyond my means, and crashed and burned.

I learned my lesson at that time (at least temporarily) and gave up football betting for roughly 10 years.

During that 10 year hiatus, I continued to gamble (small amounts) on both horse racing and casinos (mainly craps). I still watched football and still enjoyed it thoroughly. At the time, I was working on Wall Street, and my job consumed me. I was on call 24/7/365, and it wasn”t just a theoretical on call, as I was often woken in the middle of the night, and I worked most weekends (by choice, as much as by necessity).

So, in 1990, when my income was rising reasonably, and I felt that I needed a real hard break from work (at least on occasion), I wandered back into betting on football. I bet on both college and pros, so I was in action every Saturday and Sunday (and many Thursdays and every Monday night, etc.) during the 20+ week season.

There were years when I lost stupid amounts of money. Yes, I could afford it, but it was stupid nonetheless. In 18 years of betting on football, I only made a profit in two of those years. Probably another 10 years, I beat the vig, which is emotionally satisfying, but still an economic problem, sometimes a very large one!

In 2003, Lois and I voluntarily decided to stop charging management fees to the LP’s in our fund. That meant that we had zero income going forward. We have been living off of savings and interest and dividend income since. We continue to work full time, mostly due to our commitment to our investors, but also because we too are large investors in our fund, and if we can continue to sell companies successfully, we’ll at least get a return on our original investment.

What does all of this mean? In 2003, I dramatically cut back on the size of my bets. I found that I enjoyed the thrill or winning and losing just as much. In fact, possibly more, because the losses didn’t really sting, and wins were gratifying on an emotional level. That made me want to cut my bets even further, but I had been betting with the same bookie for all of those years, and they don’t really want teeny tiny action.

So, both for reasons of wanting to cut my bets further, and, to want the ultra-convenience of being able to bet whenever I wanted, in 2005, I switched my betting to the Internet. I loved it! I cut my bets dramatically, and increased my enjoyment and flexibility at the same time. I even turned a profit that year, which added to the enjoyment. I didn’t delude myself that I should now raise the size of my bets, just because I won.

The next year (2006), I lost, but a small amount. However, that was also the year that Congress passed the knucklehead banking laws which made it difficult to move money into these types of sites (including Poker sites, which are not illegal under Federal law!). Right before the 2007 Superbowl, the site I was using (which I really liked, a ton), decided to stop accepting bets from US citizens.

I scrambled to move the remaining balance into another online site. I did, and was able to bet the Superbowl. I lost, but had lots of chances to pull it out until the last drive, so it was exciting.

At the beginning of this season, I decided not to add any money into my account (it was pretty low to begin with). I bet for the first seven weeks. At one point, I doubled the value of my account. Then I hit a bad streak, and lost it all. I never put in any more money, so I haven’t made a single bet on football since October 2007.

Remarkably, I’ve been pretty happy about it. Looking back, I really needed the release from my Wall Street job. If I had money (in particular big money) on a game on the weekend, unless there was a work emergency, I really didn’t care what else was happening in the world, I was glued to the TV (DirecTV that is, where I got every single game, every single weekend!).

While I take my VC responsibilities very seriously, the truth is that at this point in our lives, Lois works much harder than I do (it’s not even close), and I don’t need any artificial distractions to pull me away from work.

I haven’t been to a casino in years. I would enjoy it, but I don’t feel the pull at all. I still play Poker (quite a bit), but I’m actively participating, and I also consistently make money at it, so it doesn’t feel like gambling at all. It’s more like getting paid to play a game you really enjoy.

So, bringing us back full circle to the title of this post, this is the first time in 18 years that I will be watching and enjoying the Superbowl purely as a fan! I won’t be worrying about the point spread, or who won this particular quarter. I won’t worry about the over under (which often made me root against the team that I was betting on, because I didn’t want the score to keep going up).

Who will I be rooting for? 51% of me wants the Patriots to win, for historic reasons as well as that I like their style (in many ways they are one of the few true teams in the NFL, as opposed to a collection of individual stars). 49% of me wants the Giants to win, since they’re a home team, a true underdog with a beleaguered coach, etc.

In other words, I promise to enjoy the game no matter who wins, and even to be happy about it, no matter who wins, though secretly, I’m marginally pulling for the Pats. 😉

Audio Video Cable Prices

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In this post, I linked to a great cable that solved my PC -> TV problem. That cable was purchased from svideo.com. The link in that article was to the exact cable I purchased, which cost me $24.95, including free parcel post shipping. It works perfectly. Here is another link on their site to a different model number, which otherwise appears to be identical to me, and it’s $2 cheaper at $22.95 (also includes free shipping).

So, why am I writing again? We’re on another of our trips, and I forgot the cable at home (I know, what a dodo). Now that I know what I need/want, and I’m not taking a risk on whether it will work or not, I figured I’d check out the local electronics stores to see what they carried.

While the cable linked above is perfect (in terms of length, that the audio and video is bonded into one cable, value priced, etc.), I figured I could also buy separate (and if necessary shorter) cables to accomplish the same thing for this trip.

I visited the following stores on the same day, in the following order: Walmart, Circuit City, Best Buy, Radio Shack.

Surprise, surprise, the best prices were at Walmart. I could buy a six foot audio only cable, 3.5mm on one end to two RCA jacks on the other, for $3.94. The same cable at Radio Shack was a not-unreasonable $7.95. The same cable, but in a fancier package, from a known consumer electronics company, with touted higher-quality connectors, was between $14.99 and $21.99 at Circuit City and Best Buy, depending on the brand.

Similar disparity for the S-Video cable (both S-Video -> S-Video and S-Video -> RCA). Here, a six foot cable was close to $12 at Walmart (if I recall correctly), and well over $20 at CC and BB.

In the end, I bought nothing, because I didn’t really have an immediate need. But, it made me search the net again when I got back. I was curious to see if I paid up for expedited shipping, would I still be able to save money while getting longer cables (which are much more convenient for my particular needs).

It turns out that svideo.com’s shipping wasn’t that attractive, given that I didn’t really need the cables. Then I found separate cables at mcmcables.com. I bought a 25 foot (yes, four times longer than the Walmart cable!) audio cable for $4.95! In fact, I bought two, just because. Then I bought two 25 foot S-Video -> RCA cables for $8.99 each!

I could have saved $1 each for S-Video -> S-Video, which would work for 95% of the TVs I might connect to, but the RCA jack is a tad more universal, so I went for that instead. Shipping (not expedited) was an additional $7.99.

So, one set of 25 foot cables cost me $14 (I’m rounding up), plus a few bucks for shipping. That’s cheaper than the cable I previously bought from svideo.com, which I have no complaints about either (pricing or quality).

It boggles the mind the markups that these stores have. I realize that they have to stock it on the shelves, but still, even the disparity between Walmart and CC and BB is ridiculous. They make money on this because most people need the cable that day, and have to pay up or wait longer than they want.

This brings me to another outrageous cable pricing issue, and in fact, more than a pricing issue, a change in design.

I’ve reported before that I have both a new generation iPod Nano, and a new iPod Classic (what a horrible name). I also reported here, that I have some video podcasts loaded on them.

So, I thought I’d see whether hooking them up to the TV in the hotel gave a satisfactory viewing experience. Rob Page (CEO of Zope Corporation) loaned me his cable that connects the headphone jack to three RCA composite jacks for precisely this purpose.

I did a quick search and found this article describing how to do the hookup, and recommending that you don’t pay extra for Apple’s branded cable. Rob had a retractable off-brand cable that he paid $5 for. Apple sells branded cables for $49!

Before I left for the hotel, I found an EBay auction that was selling a bundle: Five foot video cable, car charger for iPod and wall socket charger for iPod, all together, for $0.99 (yes, less than a dollar!). Of course, they make it up on the shipping, which was $6.99! So, for $7.98 delivered, I would get the video cable, the car charger, and an extra wall charger (which I don’t really need). I ordered it.

When I got to the hotel, I couldn’t get the Nano or the Classic to display the video. I was able to get the audio to work.

A search this morning yielded an article on Apple’s site, where they claim that the new Nanos and Classics no longer support video out of the headphone jack. What? This is progress? Of course, they’ll sell you a $49 cable to connect the edge connector to either Composite or Component jacks. They’ll also happily sell you a dock for an additional $49.

A quick EBay search shows that you can pick up a knock-off cable for $0.01 plus $4.95 shipping.

The world is full of rip-offs, and bargains. A little careful shopping, coupled with the patience needed to wait for them to arrive, and you can maintain your sanity a little longer.

I can’t fathom (other than wanting to force upgraders to buy new cables!) why Apple would stop supporting video out of the headphone jack on newer models. Oh well…

Finally, for completeness sake, I’ll add my HDMI cable shopping experience here. I mentioned in the past that it’s amusing (to be kind) that when you buy an HDTV, it’s rare to have any cables included, let alone an HDMI one.

I bought mine (I’m up to four at this point) at MyCableMart.com. My more recent purchase was for two HMDI 1.3 cables, six foot in length. $6.62 each, plus shipping. At Walmart, these cables were in the $25-40 range, and at CC and BB they were in the $49-99 range (though to be fair, I think the $99 ones were HDMI 1.4 spec, which was the first I’d heard of the higher version). Still, the differences are crazy.

Buyer beware, caveat emptor, etc. 🙂

The New York Times Makes Me Laugh

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I wanted to write about this immediately when I saw this last Friday. But, I really don’t write about politics per se, and my comments here have nothing to do with politics anyway.

But, since I just wrote a few minutes ago regarding Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama, I had little trouble convincing myself that this was in that same vein. 😉

So, last Friday, The NY Times endorsed Hillary Clinton in this op-ed. I don’t begrudge them their opinion (they even label it that 😉 ), but I do find some of their phrases amusing (to say the least). This is, after all, supposedly the paper of record. What a joke.

Tell me if you think the following sentence doesn’t make the editors of The New York Times sound like schoolgirls:

“The idea of the first African-American nominee of a major party also is exhilarating, and so is the prospect of the first woman nominee.”

Exhilarating? Really? No, wait, sorry, they too realized what an extremely silly thing to say that was, since they followed it up immediately with the next two sentences:

“‘Firstness’ is not a reason to choose. The times that false choice has been raised, more often by Mrs. Clinton, have tarnished the campaign.”

Ah, so, it tarnished her campaign to bring it up, yet you (the vaunted editors of The NY Times) couldn’t resist coloring it even further with the word exhilarating.

When I read that, I had an immediately exhilarating thought as well, some might even call it ironic. What if Condoleezza Rice were running for president. Would The NY Times editors be exhilarated at the thought of the first African-American Woman nominee? Let’s not waste too much time on that imponderable. 😉

Barack Obama Kennedy

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This past Sunday, Caroline Kennedy penned this editorial in The NY Times, endorsing Barack Obama for President. A day later, her uncle, Senator Edward/Ted Kennedy also endorsed Obama, and both appeared with the candidate.

This is not a blog about politics, nor is it likely to ever become that. This is a blog about things that interest me on a personal level, that I wish to document or comment on, mostly for my own amusement.

Comedy, irony, satire, etc., are very important aspects of my life, and that’s the only reason that I choose to comment on this particular endorsement.

For the most part, Caroline Kennedy waxes eloquently. I have little doubt that it is heart-felt. But, both she and her famous uncle felt the overwhelming need to add either code words or code phrases to their respective endorsements, to ensure that people would understand that they were going out of their way to differentiate between Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Ted’s was less complicated, when he told the crowd at American University: “I know that he’s ready to be President on day one.” This was specifically targeted at no one other than Hillary Clinton, who continues to claim that Obama simply isn’t ready, but she (of course) is.

Back to Caroline. Her endorsement is very historic, and I don’t discount that. Why then, in choosing her anti-Hillary code phrase, did she have to muck it up so badly with the following?

“And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning.”

True or not (meaning, Obama’s position on Iraq, versus Hillary’s), it actually separates Obama from her father, rather than making him the second coming of JFK. I found it quite ironic.

There is little doubt that JFK inspired the masses. If his life hadn’t been tragically cut short, who knows what else he might have accomplished. That said, there is also little doubt that he was instrumental in plunging us into the Vietnam war. A war that so many are so quick to equate with the current Iraq war. Here is one take on JFK’s role in Vietnam (typos and all).

He also came desperately close to plunging us all into World War III, with his handling of the Bay of Pigs.

History is a harsh mistress. We are all (myself included) geniuses at this moment in time looking back at President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, and second guess it. Most Americans feel the same way about our involvement in Vietnam. That said, while many blame and deride Bush with ulterior motives, few would hold JFK’s motives up to that same harsh light. He simply acted in good faith, and things didn’t work out as planned.

So, in my opinion, Caroline should have avoided that specific line of thought…

I should stop now, I know that (deeply). That said, since this is about irony, I simply can’t help myself. I can’t help recalling, now that we’re remembering past presidents and comparing them to current candidates (and their spouses perhaps?), that JFK also shared some very strong traits with Bill Clinton. In particular, their well-known dalliances. JFK was lucky enough to live in a time when it was unseemly even to report such matters, let alone investigate them…

Now back to our more regularly scheduled musings. 😉