pander without biofeedback
Wednesday, October 15 2008
Today on my greenhouse wall project, I could only manage to install seven concrete blocks because of the aforementioned footing level issues. To deal with this, I mixed up batches of concrete separate from batches of mortar, allowing me to use the former as the connecting tissue between the blocks and the footing and the latter between the blocks themselves. But in some places the void between the blocks and the footing had to be so large that even concrete wanted to slump out of it, and I had to reinforce it with pebbles. Luckily I have a seemingly endless supply of those.
Since my greenhouse will have an experimental thermal mass system utilizing rocks and soil outside the concrete blocks, I'll had to pierce the wall in two places to accommodate four inch PVC pipes (the drainage pipes, on the other hand, all pierce the footings and have already been taken care of). Yesterday and today I made one of these piecings by carefully cold-chiseling pieces from two different concrete blocks and then setting them around the pipe (which was already in place). Some day in the seemingly-distant future there will be a box fan pushing greenhouse air into this pipe on hot sunny days, and that air will emerge much cooler through a pipe in a totally different part of the wall, having first passed through several tons of rocky fill.
Tonight Gretchen and I watched the third and final of the presidential debates between John McCain and Barack Obama.
Again we watched on CNN, where the squiggly-line-moving focus group seemed to be comprised of an Obama-loving contingent of women and an Obama-hating contingent of men. Watching this line, eventually it becomes impossible to separate your own feelings from those of the idiots in the focus group. (I say idiots, because for some reason they still just can't make up their minds). I'd see the line drop and I'd find myself thinking, "Come on, Barack, make the people happy!" And then I'd see him say something half-heartedly supportive of offshore drilling and the line would spike, and for a moment I'd be happy he said it, even though everyone with a brain has already agreed that additional drilling in a country that has used up its oil is absurd. I guess we should count ourselves lucky that, for the time being at least, the candidates themselves aren't shown these squiggly lines. Watching them pander with the aid of biofeedback would be a harrowing experience.
Tonight the split screen seemed particularly unkind to McCain, who doesn't yet seem to grasp the idea that the camera is always on him, even when the negro terrorist is talking. His unchecked facial expressions revealed a small angry man, one who can't fathom how an upstart like Barack Obama came out of nowhere to best him ten points in the tracking polls.
As the debates have gone, this one was definitely best, because it forced the candidates out of their comfort zones. McCain was finally forced to make his moronic Bill Ayers smear to Obama's face. And both were forced to talk about abortion. For McCain, abortion ended up being something of a trap; he actually sneered that "the health of the mother" was a contemptible concern.
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