One of these days Gnat is going to really wonder what it is I do for a living. I type a lot, but for what purpose? Where does it go? Good question, I suppose. Today she had no summer classes or playdates again, so it was the two of us hanging around – or rather it was her, amusing herself, while I blogged here and there. I forbade the TV after 10 AM, so she read, drew, amused herself in the backyard – only children have that skill, or at least you’d hope; I was an only child for nine years, and spent a great deal of the time in my imagination, wondering if I could create that Tintin rocket, deciding if there were pirates in Fargo (possible! They could come down th river), reading Tom Swift books and wishing I was a boy inventor who had a colorful cook and a personal plane with a lab on board, although you could skip the concussion Tom and Bud sustained in every book. I mean, every single book, they took a blow to the head. It’s a wonder they didn’t spent the latter books drooling and wetting themselves. You’d think Tom would have invented the Concussotron Helmet, which fitted snugly over the head and repelled the inevitable hammer with sound waves, or something.

Anyway. We played some UNO after I’d blogged a bit. I love playing UNO. Never tire of it – not just for the pleasure of sitting on the floor and taunting each other, but the memories of all the other times we’ve sat on the floor playing UNO, taunting each other. She wanted to play Pokemon Go Fish, which requires a knowledge of each Pokemon and what they eventually evolve into (Darwinist propaganda, I tells you! The camel’s nose in the tent!) but I keep telling her I have no idea what evolves into what, or what their powers are, or what the hell any of it MEANS. UNO I know, though.

UNO and Slug-bug. She’ll barely remember these things, which is why I write them down. Hell, I play Slug Bug when she’s not around. I’m tempted sometimes to drive by a VW dealership and build up a good score, just to enjoy the argument: I wasn’t there! No fair! Ah, but Slug Bug is played at all times. It is a constant in the universe, especially for Slug Bug Trainers like myself.

Dad there’s no such thing as a Slug Bug Trainer.

Of course, there are Pokemon trainers, who are allowed to leave school for undetermined intervals and wander the woods with other youths enslaving woodland creatures. Sure. Right.

The failure of the immigration bill was a remarkable event, I think – but not the first notch in the belt for the new media as some suggest. It’s interesting how many of the big victories seem to have been large bites out of the President’s hide – Dubai, Harriet Miers, now this. It shows the power of a swarm concentrated on a particular thing – a person, a bill, a specific policy initiative. On the larger issues, the effect is muted – I can’t see the blogs and talk radio forcing the President to take out some Iranian industrial parks, for example. Or, more realistically, doing anything about the Administration’s gobsmackingly pathetic attempts to assist the Iranian resistance. (Unless there’s some supersecret intitiative neither we, nor the Iranian resistance, is aware of.) You could say the new media has the power to affect the menu on the Titanic, but not the direction of the ship.

I think they have more power than that, but we'll see. In any case, it’s good news for the republic, and a standard for the other side should their candidate take the Oval Office: it’s the issues, stupid. Not reflexive defense of Your Guy.

I had fun with the subject on the Hewitt show tonight – Dean Barnett was chowdah-tawkin’ in Hugh’s place, and I found myself describing the Senate as a place where the fizzy effervescent passions of the day are poured into a saucer, where they can go flat and get warm and sticky and attract flies. Good a definition of the Senate as any, I guess. It’s like a bowling alley with no pins, circular lanes, and nerf balls.

Didn’t use that metaphor. Probably just as well.

Artistic child development note: Gnat discovered a site that let her create animations. Fifteen frames. Took her a while to get the hang of it, but I showed her how to carry over the previous frame and add motion: within an hour she’d created a remarkable little sequence. Her inbetweening is choppy, but we’ll work on that. Later in the day she showed me the “Ratatouille” book she’d gotten at the library – she’s very exciting about seeing the movie with me this weekend, as am I. I explained that everything in the movie was drawn with a computer, like she’d done earlier that day. Same idea, kid: draw a picture, make it move. For the first time I think she got the connection between what she’d always done on the machine, and what the Masters did. I mention this in case she ends up as a great animator, and people want to know the roots of her career. June 28, 2007.

I’d be prouder of an animator daughter than a doctor daughter. Heck, anyone can be a doctor.

(Just kidding. But you know what I mean.)

Tomorrow should be interesting: first experience in vidblogging using the mobile studio. I have this nifty little camcorder, a Flip, and despite the advertised Mac integration it gives my machine an aneurism – some peculiar flavor of Divx makes iMovie die the moment it imports a clip. Plus, the camera doesn’t mount in iMovie. So you drag the clips off the camcorder, then – what? Well, run ‘em through VisualHub to Mpeg-4, then import them, fingers crossed. Works so far, but it’s kludgier than I’d like. In any case, I’ll be shooting the Apple Store iPhone mob at Mall of America for a update Friday night. Pressure’s on; this thing will probably get a front page link on the paper’s website, and I don’t want to turn out total undiluted crap. The good part: my laptop is now my mobile studio, with all the production music I need, and I should be able to throw it together quickly and slap it up in a coffeehouse somewhere afterwards.

What fun!

Diner Time. Here's the in-browser version; MP3 is here. Itunes version at the link below. See you at the Mall of America Apple Store - or, if you're not in the neighborhood, at Have a grand weekend - and remember, I'm doing on the weekends as well.






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