And anything else I think is worth talking about. That’s right, bullet-points ahead.

Just so nobody thinks I’m slacking, I’ll start by mentioning that it’s been a busy week. Here’s some of the stuff I wish I had more time to write about:

  • The Iowa caucus is less than a week away, and we’re seeing the inevitable tightening as zero hour approaches. I think Dean will hold on for the win with Gephardt a close second, but a big story is that Kerry looks to be finishing strongly. I don’t know that this would give him much boost into New Hampshire (where only Clark is making significant headway against Dean’s once double-digit lead), but it may keep Kerry around longer than anticipated. Mosley-Braun’s withdrawal from the race will help in future debates since, although she had some good things to say, the fewer people on stage, the better. Her endorsement of Dean is fine, but Dean’s supporters plus Braun’s supporters is roughly equivalent to Dean’s supporters plus zero. Should Dean win, I’m sure she’ll get to be Ambassador to New Zealand again or something.
  • Parents of infants take note: A new study out of the St. Louis University School of Medicine says that babies who sleep in adult beds are 40 times more likely to suffocate than babies who sleep in standard cribs. Says study author Dr. James Kemp: “The surfaces adults sleep on are chock-full of places where babies might get trapped. There are well-established standards for cribs, and that’s where babies should be.”
  • I’ve hopped back on the tread mill in training, believe it or not, for the soccer season that starts up in May. I’ve not trained for a soccer season since high school. I hope it makes a difference.
  • President Bush’s support of NASA and moon and Mars exploration is perhaps the best thing to come out of his presidency. He’s made such scientific endeavor utterly unaffordable, but if we’re going to spend money, better that we push the human knowledge forward than illegally invade foreign countries.
  • I don’t talk much about masculinity or the meaning of manhood, but I will say that in the past year I’ve never felt closer to being who I was meant to be than when I held Jonah in my arms and gently rocked him to sleep.
  • United Press International’s Freedom of Information Act request for USDA records finally came through. The results are as appalling as many of us expected. What did UPI find out? (1) The USDA conducted no tests whatsoever during the 2002-2003 timeframe on any federally registered slaughterhouses in Washington State where the Mad Cow turned up. (2) The USDA tested at fewer than 100 of the 700 slaughterhouses nationwide. (3) Some of the biggest meat processing plants weren’t tested at all. To all this I’d add: (4) The USDA is, in my opinion, next to worthless as a guarantor of meat safety. (5) If you’re not convinced that organic meat or vegetarian is the way to go, I have no idea what it might take to convince you.
  • The problem with our Mazda 626 was the distributor not the alternator. So we’ve popped another $220 into the car, hoping it will last about 30 months until we can trade it in for a minivan. It will never leave Salem again so long as we own it unless it’s headed for a demolition derby or a supporting role in a Monster Truck event.
  • Thanks to Dave for stopping by this evening. Great to see ya!
  • My SuperBowl picks: Carolina Panthers v. New England Patriots with the Patriots winning. I’d rather see the Colts or Panthers win, but if it’s not the Steelers I don’t care that much.
  • The US spent $276 billion on the military in 2003 excluding the Iraq misadventure. That roughly five times what China spends on it’s military, and roughly equal to the next top nine countries military expenditures combined. When in 20 years people ask why the US declined as a country, this plus the Bush presidency is your answer.
  • If you’re thinking that getting into web design would be a really interesting and cool thing to do, you’re right. Just make sure the language you learn is XHTML. XHTML is a transitional language between HTML and XML, and while it’s very similar to the older HTML, XHTML is backward and forward compatible whereas HTML is not. (If this doesn’t makes sense yet, don’t worry, it will.)
  • Jonah’s really enjoying walking about. With my help, he takes little tours all over the upstairs and enjoys it immensely. This makes us both happy.