Well, anyone who's stopped by the last couple weeks has noted the lengthy dormancy of the World. Being away from the machinery is one reason; the other has begun in earnest. I'm an officer in a new fantasy company, whose name I'll drop once it opens in a couple of days. I'll be providing a fair bit of the weekly content, and the same rankings I was doing for FFToday.com in previous years. Now would be a great time for me to thank Mike publicly for running a valuable site that has seen fit to solicit my opinions for five years. I'm indebted to his collegiality and willingness to largely let me write as I pleased. I made the change on totally amicable terms, and of course wish Mike (and Mike MacGregor as well) all the success for the new season.
Obviously, I'll be a little busy. I am still as plugged in as ever to the political race and the issues that surround it, and I am still adding links (check out Larry Sabato's predictor pages) and reflexively copying URLs of things that look interesting. I don't sense I'll be abandoning the World at all, but the goal of trying to keep something fresh on it every day was met for about 6 months, and with the new work I won't have the time to maintain that pledge. I should be saying plenty about the Edwards nomination; there are a wealth of good articles of all flavors on the choice at RealClearPolitics.com, surprisingly so for that site. Personally I think it was the smartest choice overall, the most politically aware without being specifically pandering, and despite his immediate lack of experience, John Edwards is IMO the best combination of character, ideas and presentation of anyone running for any federal office save Barack Obama. (Notice the Obama '12 murmurs? Can't even get this one in the can and people are talking about 3 terms of Democrats. Jumping the gun a little?) But others have plenty to say, so go read them instead.
I do have a political story to tell, straight from the exurbs of Portland. I've had a Bush/Cheney: You're Fired! bumper sticker slapped on my car for a few months now, and somewhat predictably we've gotten plenty of thumbs-up and supportive yells (at least they sounded and looked supportive). Tonight (disclosure: on the way to the liquor store) I got my first negative reaction. It was a young woman (25 at ABSOLUTE best; more likely 17-19) driving a Honda Odyssey minivan. She passed me on the right, and as I looked over she leaned out the window and flipped me off.
I was in a fairly good mood to that point, listening to some early Velvets, so my first instinct was to behave as if she'd waved the entire hand. I smiled and cheerfully flipped her a return bird. She sped away...
...all the way to the next traffic light, where we pulled even. We avoided eye contact (or perhaps just me), then I passed her by. She came on again several hundred yards later, and this time quadrupled her finger output, clearly chanting "four more years!" I smiled, gave a big thumbs up, and kept Waiting for My Man. Isn't it great when we can all trade our reasoned discourse in a convivial setting?
Thanks to you who have tuned in faithfully to make the effort to write faithfully worthwhile. I'll be in and out; please keep the mail coming.