Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kurt Schrader drops by

Kurt Schrader, Democrat for congress came by the Obama campaign today in Oregon City to talk about the Get Out The Vote campaign. 

Although the man is known as a numbers and budget guy, he is a farmer and in casual mode. We were all Obama volunteers, so he talked campaigning. 

"I got some great news from our latesting polling," he said. "I'm up 9 points."

People whooped.

"And some not so great news. 30% of the voters are undecided." 

I had read he was 13 points up in another poll. His opponent, Mike Erikson, claims to be anti-abortion, but the anti-abortion groups haven't liked him since Erikson arranged for his mistresses abortion. The state Republican party and Gordon Smith, the state's Republican senator, refused to endorse him. So what's with the undecided voters?

"Only about twenty percent of the people in this district read the papers," said Schrader. He asked us, when we were on someone's doorstep or on the phone, to speak up for him.

OK Kurt. It's a deal.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Book Review: Duma Key

Duma Key Duma Key by Stephen King

My review

  rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have a friend who pines for the good old days when Steven King "had an editor that edited." By which she means his older books were tighter paced and more disciplined.

Well, there are very few editors that edit any more. Editing, as it used to be, was dropped long ago as a cost cutting measure.

And this is not a fast paced book. Yet, I do not think it's undisciplined. I get the feeling that King knows how to keep readers of big books happy. It doesn't rush, it doesn't want to. It keeps you interested with whacky characters and relentless foreshadowing.

It's a spooky book. Probably best read on the beach in a storm. The horror element sneaks in slowly as you watch Edgar Freemantle try to reinvent himself as a painter after a terrible construction accident and the breakup of his marriage. He finds a place on the Beach, at Duma Key. A place where *bad things* happened before.

But the real fun is in how Edgar makes new friends. Wireman, the ex-lawyer and Elizabeth, the semi-lucid heiress whose past is entwined with the *bad things* that have gone before.

It's a matter of taste, but I think most readers will find the horror element mild. Not a lot of gross-out scenes, and some of the worst violence occurs "off screen." So spooky, not horrific. At least to my jaded tastes.

Here's a description of Edgar's psychologist:

"He was a very tall, very black black man, with features carved so large they seemed unreal. His great staring eyeballs, ship's figurehead of a nose, and totemic lips were awe-inspiring. Xander Kaman looked like a minor god in a suit from the Men's Warehouse. He also looked like a prime candidate for a fatal heart attack or stroke before his fiftieth birthday."

My major complaint was that in the last quarter of the book, where all hell breaks loose, while it has a few surprises, has been so well foreshadowed, it unrolls pretty much as you expect. But by then, you are so caught up in the characters, you can't put the book down.

View all my reviews.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I Am So, So Sorry....

I saw something powerful while working at the Obama campaing office in Oregon City today.

A woman came in with her grandson and asked how to change her party affliiation. She was a regisgtered Republican and wanted to change that. Independant or Democrat, I don't know. I gave her the form and explained how to fill it out. She looked a little shakey.

One of my coworkers told her "We see a lot of people like you, people that voted for both Bushes, they come in here."

The women looked down at her grandson and her eyes misted up. Her voice cracked as she spoke just above a whisper "I am so, so sorry.

Like it was all her fault. What Bush and the Republicans have done to our country.

We told her it was OK, and that Obama would set things right. 

She then vollunteered to join the campaign. I love working for this man.