Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The blog is dead. Long live the blog.

Effective immediately, I'll no longer be using this site anymore.

But before you toss that confetti in the air, I am now conducting my bloggy business at a new address: http://daddydemocrat.com/. Please update your bookmarks and feed subscriptions forthwith. See you around.

(The content will remain live on this site so as to make sure that permalinks don't break for others. I'm too lazy to test all the possible scenarious with referrals. Most of the content here, however, has also been imported into the new blog home, and with enhancements.)

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Lentz Lunch

One of the nice things about working on a college campus is that you never know who you'll get to talk to or what you'll get to talk about before the day is over. Today I went to the grill for a quick sandwich and found Bryan Lentz there talking to a colleague. Bryan is our top-notch candidate for State Rep. in the PA-161, and I enjoyed the chance to sit with him and hear about how the campaign is going.

Bryan always impresses me whenever I run into him. He's a natural for politics, and I mean that in all the best possible ways. He first got my attention in November, when he contacted our Township Dems a few weeks before the local-only election. With nothing asked in return, he mobilized his volunteers to help us staff the polls. They didn't wear Lentz swag. They just showed up and worked their tails off for our candidates. "Right now, the most important thing we have to do is get Democrats elected," he told me. Bingo. Candidates need to ask for help, and I'm more willing than most to work for them. But you have to be impressed with a candidate who, in the big-money era of politics, scratches your back first.

Lentz has a lot of the good-guy charisma that reminds me of Ed Rendell, but without all the bluster. He's campaigning hard, wearing out shoes as he goes door-to-door across the district. While he's shown fund-raising prowess, the organization is running on the fuel of people power. I'm a grass-roots guy at heart.

It's a great moment to be an uppity blue in this area. Not only are things naturally trending in our favor with the slow dismantling of the famous Delco machine, but the candidates we're attracting are amazing. Having both Lentz and Joe Sestak, who is running for Congress in PA-07 against wacko Curt Weldon, makes our full slate into a dream team. Almost an embarrassment of riches. I've never been so excited about the ticket as I'm going to be this November.

If you're a Dem and you live in Southeastern PA, your time is now. There are great candidates practically growing on trees—men and women who you can be proud to be associated with. If you have a shred of hope that government can be better than the mess that the the so-called Republican revolution has created, get yourself to a candidate's web site or local headquarters and get to work. Do not sit this one on the sidelines.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

The son and the heir

Mom: You know, I'll still be your mom when you're 10, and when you're 15. I'll still be your mom when you're 40 years old and have your own family and your own house.
Lad: Will you live with me then?
Mom: Sure. I can live with you if you want.
Lad: Okay! But I'm going to need your furniture. And your hall light fixture.

A.B.C. Always be closing.

I hate to ask—for fear that I don't want to hear the answer—where I am in this plan?

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Sunday, April 30, 2006

A new generation of Beats

When we leave the room, we often are often able to listen in on free-form poetry performances by our son. Check out this, transcribed (in secret) from yesterday's orations:

the good fairy came
& she didn't like
the holy water spirit
of the United States of America

holy liberty sauce
with cheese
& God made it
& he came back one more time
& he want to heaven.

& peace for all
& a police officer for all
& Jesus for all

& liberty
& liberty for all
& liberty for all
& liberty for all
but not justice
just liberty

I promise, he's never heard a beat poem in his life!

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Somebody wanna confess to teaching this to him?

Me: I'm trying to get you to relax and calm down a little bit.
Lad: I don't want to relax. I need to wock and woll.

What next?

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Gotta Make the Donuts

Early in the morning tomorrow, a troop of groggy web-heads are going to show up on the campus. Normally, the members of the team I'm heading up call this sort of function "making the donuts," referring to the old Dunkin' Donuts ads.

Except this time it's no ordinary batch. We're showing up early to perform the cutover of the College's brand new web site. (If it's April 26th, you can visit www.swarthmore.edu to see it.)

The launch day is the culmination of two years of work. Two years of committee meetings, sketches on whiteboards, wireframe drawings, contract negotiations, software demonstrations, load tests, usability tests, story drafts, war rooms, and massive quantities of pixel-pushing. We designed. We redesigned. We refined the redesign. We redesigned the refined redesign.

Five consulting firms. Thousands of emails. On the eve of the launch, I can say that the project has been exhausting/heady/crazy/thrilling/cool. Possibly insane. Fun.

The resulting site is a labor of abiding love. And for those who don't quite love the project, it is a labor of great pride. Although I have had the honor and responsibility of leading the project across the finish line, I've never worked on a project that coordinated the good efforts of so many good people. It's astonishing what it takes to make a modern college web site.

It takes a village.

I could try to name everyone who helped. It would be pages long, and still manage to miss an important contribution. Sometimes, you just have to credit the village.

Tomorrow is just the first step in a comprehensive plan to make the site better from top to bottom. We call that Phase II. Phase II awaits. But first, the donuts.

That reminds me: I'd better pick up donuts for everybody on my way into work tomorrow.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

The thought that counts

At this very moment, the lad is shouting "God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food, with liberty and justice for all... And many more!"

(Can you tell he was at both a birthday party and a church service today?)

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Stupid Moments in Advertising

The copy for a current Mercedes-Benz magazine advertisement reads "YOU'RE NOT BUYING A CAR. YOU'RE BUYING A BELIEF." (Yes, they used all caps.)

I know that marketers love to ponder the sophisticated courtship between brands and customers' identities. Still, I'm convinced that with a MSRP over $85,000, a Benz customer will probably want his new belief to come with a car. A very nice car.

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