Happy Thanksgiving! Don't be jealous now, but both Megan and I are blogging from our childhood homes! And our parents have similar conservation habits regarding the thermostat. How "green" of them, right? So yeah, it's sort of a glass-90%-empty today in the headlines. More celebrity family members are dying at the hands of negligent doctors, more bags are being lost by airlines, and even globalization's "winners" in Iowa are pessimistic about the future, and Moe went to a Hold Steady show last night and felt really old. On the bright side, whole days will pass without a car bombing in Baghdad. Oh, and there are dogs. Barking to to be let out again...
MOE: What's going on today?
Why is the New York Times still writing about how John Kerry and John Edwards didn't get along so much? Even though they were, you know, RUNNING MATES? Is this news? I would actually bother reading it, but like, it's the day before Thanksgiving.
MEGAN: Right? I guess we ran out of things to talk about when it comes to Edwards? But what shocked me this morning was finding out that Musharraf believes in democracy. I mean, I'm assuming Bush means other than any one in Pakistan.
MOE: Oh, BIDEN: "If the president sees Musharraf as a democrat, he must be wearing the same glasses he had on when he looked in Vladimir Putin's soul." Did George W. Bush actually look inside Putin's SOUL? I wish I remembered that.
MEGAN: Yes, back when they first met. I think Putin is just the new Rasputin or something.
MOE: Oh man, Rasputin makes me think of the Indigo Girls.
And like, that i used to have a CD by the Indigo Girls
MEGAN: I just listened to that song the other day!
MOE: I think I got it through Columbia House.
MEGAN: I, uh, might still have that CD.
MOE: You know what? We are old.
MEGAN: Yes, I know that. Recent birthday and all. But...(how's this for a segue?)
Not as old as the conflict in the Middle East
Also, my absolute favorite article today? Missing bags don't cost airlines enough for them to bother investing in any technology to help them lost fewer bags. They can just clean the print heads on their tag printers and be 90+% accurate.
MOE: US Airways, for a time, was maybe 72% accurate? It was a big scandale. I actually think it behooves them to lose everyone's bags, so they all pack light and the airlines save money on fuel. ESPECIALLY now that they're gonna be paying for that jet fuel in Euros. So really, it's all a scam to save the airlines money. Can you blame them?
Oh wait, also, is the situation actually improving in Iraq? I'm not sure I trust anyone named "Damien."
MEGAN: All I know if that when they save money... I still can't afford to fly home for the holidays.
Maybe everyone got tired of building bombs and shooting at each other? Oh, sorry. Wrong species.
It'll get worse again soon enough.
MOE: Ha ha speaking of the species, my friend Stavros just IM-ed me "happy dead turks day."
Stavros's last naMOE: "Stavropolous"
So do you have dogs in the house?
MEGAN: No, my sister is allergic to everything with fur or feathers. My mom can't even burn scented candles.
MOE: Because we have a dog, and all day she barks because she wants to go outside, then you open the door and she goes outside. And within about three and a half minutes she's barking again, looking forlorn like she's wondering what kind of cruel owner's daughter would leave her out in the cold like this... and then she runs inside and repeats the process within two minutes. There she is, again, right now, at the door. Good grief.
MEGAN: So your dog is like the average American voter? Unable to make up her mind?
MOE: Ha ha ha, there was this Hank Stuever story in 2000 about America kept shifting between Al and W like they were potential boyfriends. It was very funny, though obviously, like, ha ha, how nice we ended up with the wifebeating, warmongering one.
MEGAN: As opposed to the one who would give his life to destroy Manbearpig?
Might have been a toss-up. At least we don't have to watch Bush french Laura all the time.
MOE: Well yeah, I guess I'm just pointing out voters haven't really gotten any less rational since, I guess. Turns out Iowa has been a "winner" in the whole globalization equation because foreign demand for farm equipment has been high and I guess the Chinese haven't figured out how to make that in 10000 years of agrarian society? Anyway, despite all this Iowans are still pretty protectionist. Where were all these guys when Dick Gephardt was pulling out of the race?
At Morg's Diner in downtown Waterloo (pop. 68,747), Deere & Co. worker Tim McBride, 51 years old, knows he is one of trade's winners. Thanks to record commodity prices and large overseas demand for crops, Deere has been adding 25 workers a week. Mr. McBride expects to earn about $85,000 this year as a member of a team that improves productivity and quality at the company's drive-train plant.
But a year-long layoff in 1984, when a strong dollar was crimping U.S. exports, seared him. More than two decades later, Mr. McBride worries that foreign competition could again put him out of a job. Tucking into a butter-drenched pancake, he laments the ease with which a global economy enables companies to shift jobs to lower-cost countries.
Oh I know what you're thinking....PANCAKES
MEGAN: Mmm. Why else come home? But, did you know I used to work in the heavy equipment sector? Trade is a huge part of what they spend. Also, China didn't have collectivized farms like, say, Russia but (small) individual (unowned) plots which made it difficult to afford big equipment until the regs were relaxed to allow farmers to buy one another out.
Sorry, nerd moment.
MOE: Ah, right. Some of those rice paddies are, like, truly the size of a postage stamp.
In other news my China hating father is blaming the failure of the Boeing 787 on some parts made in China. Do you know anything about this? How hilarious that I am too lazy to bother looking this up now, but I will so definitely be Googling it before Thanksgiving dinner so I can win whatever argument I choose to advance. Annoyingly, he went to France last summer and was all, "Oh wow, it really is better out here" and ever since then I can't really rely on him to praise unfettered free markets, etc. the way he used to.
All it took was a shitty economy I guess!
MEGAN: Well, how to companies not know by now that you have to put actual effort into securing a supply chain? Like, you can't just accept a low big on some part from a company you don't know and then expect that everything will be hunky-dory anymore. Even if the part sucked, Boeing bought it and didn't do the appropriate oversight on it.
Um, or a low bid. Did I mention my parents leave the heat off when they're at work?
MOE: OMG I'M SO COLD IN THIS HOUSE.
MEGAN: I know, and you went the reverse direction of me!
MOE: They seem to leave the heat off at night. I woke up wearing my wool coat. Of course, I did get sorta drunk last night. We saw the Hold Steady and I was surrounded by nerds fondly remembering their emo high school days.
Everyone was like, thirtysomething. And singing along to every song. And every song is about that girl who dumps the cerebral sweet guy for the guy with the coke and the skinny jeans. As near as I could figure anyway.
That is, obviously, a non sequitur.
9:43 AM MEGAN: Luckily, we're very anti-emo up here in the Cold White North that isn't white or all that cold today
It's more hair bands and metal and shit. And more pot and meth and way less coke.
MOE: And I noticed afterward that they'd changed the jukebox at DC9. Where once a carefully cultivated assortment of CDs including The Replacements' "Tim" was, there is now a computer thingy. And the interface — damn, the interface is just so ugly! But yeah anyway so I'm old. Oh, there's the dog again.
Um, and I can't believe we haven't discussed the topic du jour among our family dinners: Donda West's surgeon. He walked off Larry King Live last night —- and it was live! WTF.
MEGAN: Nuh-uh! We don't have cable here (not that I was home by then). But, the real question is does he get to remain a plastic surgery apologist on the Discovery Health Channel?
MOE: No, the real question is which candidate will be the first to advocate for better celebrity health care standards. Dennis Quaid's newborn twins are just the latest casualties. Oh god, this story will give you the shivers. Um, I hope he gets something to be thankful for tomorrow. Man. You got anything uplifting?
MEGAN: Um, one turkey that wouldn't''ve been eaten this year anyway didn't get slaughtered? I got nothing. It's a cold, grey day up here and my mom didn't leave me any coffee.
MOE: Oh man, that's CRUELTY. Well there's something to be thankful for. My parents have an espresso machine that cost more than any of their cars. Priorities, you know. By dinner time we all have the shakes. And then we get drunk.