Dec 14, 2008

12 years later, I am not surprised

I voted for a Republican for any legislative office, or for any federal or state office, exactly once. And it was because I couldn't pinch my nose with a big enough clothespin to be able to vote for his opponent. The Democrat really looked that sleazy.

It was in 1996, when I lived in Chicago. My district was heavily Democratic, but my US Representative was a Republican, Michael Patrick Flanagan. The only reason he had been elected 2 years earlier was that he had run against Dan Rostenkowski, who was indicted (and soon to be convicted) for mail fraud. I had no reason to vote for him other than that he seemed a lesser evil than his opponent.

The opponent's name? Rod Blagojevich.

Of course, Blagojevich won, with something like 2/3 of the vote, which is why I should file this under "I-told-you-so".

Dec 2, 2008

There is a God, and He is a pot-smoking Canadian

I was browsing Amazon's MP3 store while my docked iPod was playing in the background, set on Shuffle, as usual. Among Amazon's new MP3 releases, I noticed this Neil Young album and, just as I clicked on it, a new song started on the iPod - Neil Young's "Helpless".

Now, I have almost 7,000 songs on my iPod, and some 30-40 of those are Neil Young's; that makes the probability of a randomly chosen song being his about half a percent. But I am not talking about a song that just happened to be playing at the time; the song started within a second - or maybe two, to be generous - of my clicking on the album link. If an average song is a little over 3 minutes long, a 2 seconds window is just 1% of that time, making the odds of this event about 20,000 to 1.

In the tradition as old as mankind, that can only be explained as a supernatural intervention.