March 18, 2008

Today will be a crucial day   {Comments: 0}

Andrew Sullivan writes about the test Obama faces today. Sullivan writes a lot of broad-perspective posts on Obama, but the speech that's coming this morning -- a speech that Obama's apparently written himself -- has the potential to completely change the game I think. Anyway, I have high expectations.

MORE: And here is the speech.

March 17, 2008

Land of plenty   {Comments: 0}

I've been meaning to pick up Fuschia Dunlop's szechuan cookbook for a while now, but now I think I'll give this a try first.

10 fantasticos consejos   {Comments: 0}

Yesterday I discovered (thanks to the relatively new flickr stats feature) that four pictures of my daughter Miriam appear on a Spanish photography site offering ten tips for photographing babies. I've actually had photos appear in other articles on the same site, but never so many at once. Anyway, for those who don't read Spanish, here's my gloss of their tips:

1. Always have the camera at hand
2. Take many, many photos
3. Change your point of view
4. Get even closer
5. Focus on the eyes
6. Or center on some detail of baby's body
7. Use your camera's burst mode
8. Use the flash... or not?
9. Use indirect light
10. Try black and white
March 13, 2008

Blogmap alive and well!   {Comments: 0}

Well we're headed out of town for the weekend and I doubt I'll be doing any blogging, but I wanted to mention that the Chicago Blogmap has has finally cracked 500 blogs. A number of folks said they wanted to be added after reading about it in Chicago Magazine, which is pretty cool -- although I wasn't able to find the mention they were referring to. One of these days I'll get around to updating the map so that the Pink Line and some recent more stops appear, but in the meantime it's still reasonably funcational!

March 10, 2008

The last top-down campaign   {Comments: 3}

From Joe Trippi in -- appropriately enough -- an IM interview:

Well, the Clinton campaign is the last top-down campaign on our side -- and it is the best top-down campaign of all time. The Obama campaign is only the second bottom-up campaign in history -- and it is stronger than the Clinton campaign both in money and organization. It is the reason Obama destroys Clinton in caucus states. The Dean campaign, when I think of it now, it seems to me we were the Wright brothers proving you could design something no one had seen before and that you could actually fly in politics coming from the bottom up and using new ways to communicate. Four years later, win or lose, the Obama campaign is landing a man on the moon.
March 9, 2008

Fifty-state strategy   {Comments: 0}

Speaking of power to the people, I've also been meaning to link to this Kos piece (and the fascinating Ari Berman piece it references) praising Howard Dean's DNC strategy and labeling Barack Obama "Dean 2.0" with his respect to his inclusive campaign and 50-state strategy. Setting aside anecdotal observations of the Obama campaign (on the one hand, I've known a couple folks in Illinois who have hosted Obama fundraisers at their homes, but on the other I've complained in the past that emails to the campaign asking how to get involved went unanswered) I don't have a lot of insight into how things are organized, so I don't really have any comment on the "Dean 2.0" characterization, but I think viewing the DNC strategy as an outgrowth of Dean's 2004 organization seems right on the money, and it looks like Dean was perfectly positioned to expand on his considerable demonstrated organizational strengths. I was not a Dean supporter myself, but here's a long post I wrote in 2004 about his campaign organization.

It's interesting that Daniel Biss's fundraising strategy seems to echo (albeit even more explicitly) the Dean and Obama approaches.

And I also want to link to this piece on Joe Trippi's proposal in his unsuccessful interview with the Clinton campaign.

Power belongs in the hands of the people   {Comments: 0}

Before I forget, I had been meaning some months ago to post a link to Daniel Biss's campaign for the Illinois House. I became aware of his campaign about the time that I wrote this post about my friend Seth, who like Daniel was one of the math genius crowd in Bloomington. Anyway this interview is worth a read, especially if you're in his district.

March 8, 2008

Oligarchy at the top   {Comments: 0}

I'm a couple days late on this, but this WaPo piece on the inner workings of the Clinton campaign was just fascinating. There are numerous juicy bits in there, but maybe the most disturbing section deals with the campaign's inability to manage Bill Clinton. It makes the oft-repeated criticism that there will be two separate staffs walking around another Clinton White House sound very plausible.

A couple of weeks ago I watched the documentary The War Room, made in 1992 about the first Clinton presidential campaign. I wasn't all that impressed with it as a film -- I felt that it wasn't nearly as informative or revealing as it could have been with a little more context -- but it did give me a sense of how the people at the top worked with each other, and the contrast with the above article is pretty striking.

March 7, 2008

Shunting jam   {Comments: 2}

This post by suttonhoo (who's pretty much the master of infectious nostalgia) will probably have me ordering gooseberry jam from halfway across the country, and don't get me started on how insane that is. But I know already that it won't be entirely satisfying, because this gooseberry jam is is green, and the jam in my memory is red.

When I was a kid, we had numerous gooseberry bushes in the backyard, and my sister and I spent half the summer picking gooseberries, bearding them, and convincing mom to make gooseberry pie (at dad's behest, usually). Then at the end of the summer, we'd turn the last ripening gooseberries into gooseberry jam, which we'd eat all year long. But since the last gooseberries are sweeter and red, the jam would have those same characteristics, and of course that's what I remember.

I'm really looking forward to the spring -- moreso I think than any other year in my life, probably owing to the fact that we have a toddler now. She and I will put up some berry bushes in the yard, and maybe at the end of the summer we'll make jam.

March 6, 2008

Still-life photography made delicious   {Comments: 0}

Ryan Brenizer isn't a food photographer, but he has some good tips on taking food shots at home or in restaurants over at his Amazon blog. We don't get out to nearly as many restaurants as we used to, what with having a toddler around, but I still get to take some food shots at home.

On an ordinary evening   {Comments: 665}

So yes, this blog has been either missing in action or completely uninspired for a long while, but for several reasons I need to get back in the act. Soon I'll be back with more political discussion, more frequent short link posts, and possibly more photography discussion. I'll also be working on a bit of a redesign for the site as well, so look out for that.