I just got my certificate acknowledging that I’m an Adobe Certified Instructor in Director 11.

I haven’t even got any reason to upgrade to Director 11. I doubt anyone’s going to be asking me to teach it.

Oh, and it’s dated August 11, 2006. Talk about slipping release dates.

Sometimes a Baton Is Just a Baton

A 74-year-old nude sunbather from Vancouver attacks a guy and his dogs rafting down the Columbia with his kids.

A navigation error by a Southeast Portland man on a rafting trip with four children and two dogs led to an altercation at a Columbia River nudist beach, police said.

The 45-year-old man thought he was several hundred feet from the clothing-optional area of Sand Island at Rooster Rock State Park when he brought his inflatable raft ashore Thursday.

A startled man sunbathing in the buff let him know otherwise, allegedly attacking the man and his Chihuahuas with a police baton, said Lt. Gregg Hastings, an Oregon State Police spokesman.

The man told police he realized his mistake when his dogs ran toward the sunbather, who hit them. The sunbather then walked up to the man and the children, holding up a can of pepper spray and striking the man.

Friday, state police returned to the park and arrested the sunbather, identified as Donald Joseph Kenney, 74, of Vancouver.

He faces accusations of menacing and assault, which can carry a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

You sort of have to wonder why the guy had the baton.


“On the Media” had The New Republic‘s Lee Siegel on this week, talking about how awful the hoi polloi are. My letter to them:

Perhaps it might have been a good idea to have someone other than Lee Siegel commenting on himself, although that is certainly his favorite subject.

Siegel’s “Sprezzatura” was hardly bolstering his argument with witty, erudite lines. As TimesOnline columnist Ben MacIntyre wrote about the episode:

Last year, a commentator calling himself “Sprezzatura” on the discussion board of The New Republic lavished suspicious praise on the magazine’s culture critic, Lee Siegel. “Siegel is brave, brilliant…Siegel is my hero,” wrote Sprezzatura who turned out, inevitably, to be Siegel.

Rather than argue his point honestly, with judgment and wit, Siegel used his pseudonym to create the illusion of a sycophantic booster. It was that aspect of Sprezzatura that made people suspect it was Siegel, something that was finally confirmed not by people in basements poring over his text but by an internal investigation at The New Republic.

What’s truly sad is that here is a man with a regular column at what at least used to be a nationally-respected magazine, who’s well-connected enough even after being exposed as a fraud to get a book deal (and to be considered as an expert on OTM) who felt the need to further extend his ability to voice his opinions by assuming (at least one) fictitious, fawning character. Yet he still has to lie about what actually happened during his moment in the black light.

Here’s another fine comment from Sprezzatura, as chronicled by Ezra Klein at The American Prospect:

I’m a huge fan of Siegel, been reading him since he started writing for TNR almost ten years ago. (Full disclosure: I’m an editor at a magazine in NYC and he’s written for me too.) I watch the goings-on and have to scratch my head. The people who hate him the most are all in their twenties and early thirties. There’s this awful suck-up named Ezra Klein–his “writing” is sweaty with panting obsequious ambition–who keeps distorting everything Siegel writes–the only way this no-talent can get him. And I ask myself: why is it the young guys who go after Siegel? Must be because he writes the way young guys should be writing: angry, independent, not afraid of offending powerful people. They on the other hand write like aging careerists: timid, ingratiating, careful not to offend people who are powerful. They hate him because they want to write like him but can’t. Maybe if they’d let themselves go and write truthfully, they’d get Leon Wieseltier to notice them too.

I’m sooo glad OTM gave the writer of such delicate, precise insights the opportunity to spread his story without any kind of perspective.

A little rundown of the event as it took place…

The DSCC Comes Calling

Former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA), writing to raise funds for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee’s campaign to fight back against Republican smear campaigns:

The DSCC is ready to stop the slander once again. They know how much it will take to deflect the coming attacks. Let’s all do our part to form a great wave of grassroots activism and to give the DSCC the $1,133,768 they need before midnight July 31.

Wow. The DSCC spent something like half that amount just beating another Democrat in the Oregon primary by a whopping 3%. Maybe they should have held onto it.

Funky Cars

smart passion cabrio and Pontiac Fiero

Back before The FutureĀ™ (and a certain amount of cocaine) car designer John DeLorean came up with the idea for the Pontiac Fiero, an inexpensive two-seater that got the green light despite initial misgivings by executives because a market opened up for a car with good fuel economy during the late ’70s fuel crisis.

My father admired them at the time, and he got a silver one from mom as a silver anniversary present a few years after they hit the market. I think it’s the only new car they’ve ever bought. I guess I come by my taste for oddball cars naturally; about the time he got the Fiero, I got Dad’s AMC Pacer. (Despite what it may look like from the photo, the Fiero’s five feet longer than the smart, with 20 more inches in the wheelbase, although it’s about 15 inches shorter, vertically.)

Here are a couple of other small vehicles Dad and I spotted in Congledon, Cheshire, England last fall. The Ford StreetKa (no longer in production):

Ford StreetKa in Congledon, England

And a Daihatsu Copen. Oooh! 87hp!

Daihatsu Copen in Congledon, England

Why the hell aren’t people bringing these things into the States?

Three Fortunes

From today’s cookie; a triple prediction:

You will be singled out for a special promotion within the month.

That seems unlikely. Not the “singled out” thing so much (I do work for myself) but unless I’m promoting myself…well, we’ll see.

An enjoyable vacation is awaiting you very soon.

Hmmm. Not if we’re going to get the kitchen remodel finished. And, not unless one of my clients pays me the money they’ve owed me for four months.

Remember three months from this date, Good things are in store for you.

OK. October 28. Too early for Adobe MAX.

The cookie itself was a little hard. A tough cookie.

Mission Accomplished

International Herald Tribune

In Kabul, Obama calls Afghan front ‘central’ to war on terror

KABUL: Afghanistan must become “the central front” in the war on terror, Barack Obama said Sunday in the Afghan capital, sharpening his policy clash with John McCain over whether the war in Iraq has been a distraction from that effort.

No doubt the Afghans will be enormously pleased, since as long as it’s been a non-“central” front we’ve been enormously capable of interdicting wedding celebrations.

Obama on Don Rumsfeld and the “Far Left”

Discussing his opposition to Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft, Obama praised newly-elected President Bush’s new nominee for Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

“The proof in the pudding is looking at the treatment of the other Bush nominees,” Obama said. “I mean for the most part, I for example do not agree with a missile defense system, but I dont think that soon-to-be-Secretary Rumsfeld is in any way out of the mainstream of American political life. And I would argue that the same would be true for the vast majority of the Bush nominees, and I give him credit for that.

“So I don’t want to be pegged as being far left simply because I find certain aspects in John Ashcroft’s record to be divisive or offensive,” Obama continued.

Because, of course, you know that being “pegged as far left” is a lot worse than anything that Don Rumsfeld could be accused of.

That Bigger Military Ain’t Just Going to Sit Around Doing Nothing

Expand to Meet Military Needs on the Ground: A major stress on our troops comes from insufficient ground forces. Barack Obama supports plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 troops and the Marines by 27,000 troops. Increasing our end strength will help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families.

So Long As The New Yorker‘s Doing It

A Pretty Decent Night All-Around

Barbara got home from work an hour early on Friday, then we headed out to dinner at six. The restaurant wasn’t high on our list of preferred dining spots, but since they’d sent us a card good for $15 off, we figured we could get away fairly inexpensively. I had fish, shrimp, and chips; Barbara had calimari and chips, and we each had a nice G&T. Plus, the weather was perfect for eating outside on the patio.

Then it was off to the Crystal Ballroom for the Ray Davies acoustical set. Our seats were in the fifth row; Davies was thirty-odd feet away, and we were right next to the divider he walked behind on his way to the stage. A great mix of old Kinks tunes and material off his “Working Man’s Cafe” album, with lots of encouraged sing-along.

There was an added bonus, too. When I shouted out “Cowboys in Vietnam” mid-show, Davies launched smoothly into the intro to “Vietnam Cowboys” from “Working Man’s Cafe.” So apparently, I can control his mind, at least in close proximity.