I’m writing this with my head at a 45 degree angle, because I called tech support an hour ago and I’m still on. The helpful over-caffinated Apple guy reached the limits of his know-how, and he’s checking with someone who has special rarified info that’s handed out on a need-to-know basis, I guess. We reset my router so many times the poor thing must have felt like a condemned man being electrocuted in a chair hooked up to a pole in a thunderstorm. One of these ought to do it. The amusing part, in a sort of not-at-all amusing way? This network issue appeared unrelated to any others. My fear was that we’d settle the small problem without even touching the edge of the vast, acre-wide quilt of interconnected contrusions affecting the home network. My initial suspicion, when this began, was that the Apple Extreme Base Station had llived up to its craptacular reputation, but I’ve been building up to that, isolating from simple to complex.

Ah! And we’re done. I have the most precious case number now, and even though I only have four days of free phone support left, the case number ensures my case can grin on forever like Jarndyce and Jarndyce. It may even survive me. I may bequeath it to my heirs.

After the convention was over I slept, woke, and ironed a shirt while the nation was introduced to Ms. Sarah Palin. I was pleased. The accent was the first clue she was different – she sounded like someone who had avoided the soul-draining process of party politics, at least as practiced in DC. Compared to the Invesco rally of the previous evening, which only decided against projecting the candidate’s face on the moon for the entire planet because it might alarm superstitious peoples and force them to rewrite their creation myths, she seemed normal.

Went to the airport; was almost knocked over Karl Rove as he ran for a plane (smaller than expected, and nimble); did Austin Bay’s show in a phone booth with Insta- and Vodkapundit and Jennifer Rubin. Interesting detail of modern life: you never have to wait for a phone booth in an airport anymore. They’re always open.

Slept on the flight home, felt exhausted when I got back, but perked up.

A mistake, this was.

The perking may have been a false second wind. Woke the next morning with dizziness. Couldn’t shake it for quite a while; felt awful – and this was the day I was supposed to dig eight fargin’ holes in the ground for some bushes. See, my wife started trimming a tree a month ago, and when she was done there was only a stump. Which meant it had to go. Which meant its neighbors had to go. Which meant they had to remove a part of the fence, bring up a Bobcat, and pull them out. Which meant we had to hire Bachman’s to design a nice new tree-flower area, to use the technical term. They couldn’t put the stuff in before the party – but no problem, no problem! I’ll do it! Eight holes? Pshaw.

I got through one hole before I came over all clammy and strange; it was like driving railroad spikes at the bottom of the ocean. We made some calls and got two teenaged boys to come over. They dug the holes and planted the bushes for $30 each and pizza. By then I had a sore throat and a scratchy nose, and knew I had come down with Denver Fungoo, or something caught on the plane. 

Well, only one more convention to cover.

The RNC was more fun, in a way, because it was here and I knew more people. The videos are here, here, and here.

Side notes: I did a lot of yakking for PJTV, which was a great joy. They had a space on the media tier along with all the other broadcast outfits, and I got to sit in the chair and blab about events. The most amusing example of impromptu punditry happened the last night – I was supposed to discuss McCain’s speech, which meant I was supposed to listen to it; the Code Pink idiots caused a ruckus on the floor, and I grabbed my camera and shot footage of them being dragged by their hair up the stairs CONK CONK CONK, thrown against a wall, then kicked down the hallway spitting teeth into the black van, bound for Gitmo. Well, no. But as I was running to the Strib booth with the footage I was picking up twitterage about their rough treatment, and thought oh ho, not so – and I have the proof! Got the film into the system, ran back to the Xcel center, and heard the last minute of John McCain’s speech, which consisted mostly of people screaming approval while he rolled through a series of exhortatory lines. Then I had to go on and talk about it.

Of course, I had opinions; I had credentials, and they don’t hand those out to anyone.

Code Pink people aside.

When it was done I left the convention in time to see a bobble-head vendor bump chests with Vermin Supreme, and I do not expect to write that sentence again, ever.

The Party. We had a bash at Jasperwood Tuesday night, and it was a remarkable assembly of bloggers and journos and other sorts. You know how your party is just getting going, and there are just a few people there, and Dick Armey shows up, and you know it’s too early? Like that. Luckily, Dave Barry was there, and he knew Dick Armey from the time they were on a panel in 1987 or something, so they talked. (Dave has been on a panel with everyone at some point; you could play Four Degrees of Dave Barry and get from Jessica Simpson to Benazir Bhutto in three.) It was like living in some odd Lawnmower-Man Cyberworld, dude – all these names from the internets showed up in human form. PJTV was a co-sponsor, so there’s video of it all somewhere, including the rather stunning musical performance by John Ondrasick.

Yes, a tend, a sound system, lights, a stage, a big monitor: Jasperwood will never see that level of party again. Here’s the unembeddable YouTube vid; here’s a Today show appearance.

Also playing was Jude, who was also pretty flippin’ amazing, and as nice and smart as a fellow you’ll ever meet.   The entire party was a blur, frankly, and when it was over – at 3 AM – we just laughed and went to bed.

It was bitter laughter, though: Dennis Prager stood us up. Oh, Hugh Hewitt came. Michael Medved came. Prager? No show. The next morning I was standing outside the Xcel yakking with Hugh when Prager showed up to apologize; he had been tapped to give a speech at the Coleman campaign. Later in the day we did a bit on the Hewitt show in which the apology was repeated, and rejected, in the hopes we can gin up some fake Benny-Allen feud thing here. And yes, I know, aren’t I special. A gnat buzzing around the ankles of giants, in actual Importance Terms, but it’s fun to play pretend.

So that was it. There’s more, and I’ll eventually put it all in a video set to music that will bring back memories for the six or seven people who care about it. Already it feels like ancient history.

Off to do the weekly PJ-XM commentary about the protests (impact: zero) and write buzz.mn and watch “Mad Men,” and that’s it. Except for the weekly Comic update, of course.

PS Dave Barry knew Vermin Supreme from way back. Seriously.