August 8, 2009

Durango costumery.

There was — as far as I could see — exactly one person in town wearing high heels:

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Now, what book do you imagine this individual was reading?

Then there were these characters on roller skates:

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Note the tail.

And yeah, I know: men in shorts. But this is beyond the normal men in shorts problem (which is, to refresh your recollection, that a grown man is making himself look like a boy). This is skating in hot pants. I have always had a sports exception to the "no shorts" rule. And this is the best costume for today.

Serious Texas BBQ.

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It's a restaurant in Durango, Colorado: Serious Texas BBQ.

At the Mountain Retreat Café...

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... sit down and talk about something.

Mountain flowers.

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All these wildflowers were seen in the San Juan Mountains, near Ouray, Colorado.

"If everyone you knew spoke the truth, it would be almost as terrible as if everyone you knew lied."

"Kant, who was searching for some universal moral principle, believed that if everybody lied the world would fall into shambles. Nobody would ever trust another person.... I say, “You wouldn’t want to live in a world where you can’t be conned, because if you were, you would be living in a world with no trust. That’s the price you pay for trust, is being conned."

The relationship between lying/truthtelling and trust.

How fishy is Obama's program to get info on "fishy" things people say about his health care program?

This flag@whitehouse.gov scheme may violate post-Watergate privacy law:
"The White House is in bit of a conundrum because of this privacy statute that prohibits the White House from collecting data and storing it on people who disagree with it," Judge Andrew Napolitano, a FOX News analyst....

Napolitano was referring to the Privacy Act of 1974, which was passed after the Nixon administration used federal agencies to illegally investigate individuals for political purposes. Enacted after Richard Nixon's resignation in the Watergate scandal, the statute generally prohibits any federal agency from maintaining records on individuals exercising their right to free speech.
The ACLU ventures an opinion on the subject:
"While it is unclear at this point what the government is doing with the information it is collecting, critics of the administration's health care proposal should not fear that their names will end up in some government database that could be used to chill their right to free speech."
The White House denies that it is assembling a Nixon-style "enemies list." It purports only to want to find out what misinformation is out there so it can supply corrections. This makes it sound a lot like the "Fight the Smears" website Obama had during the 2008 campaign.

But it's much more than that. From the first-linked article:
"Of course the White House is collecting names," [said Texas Sen. John Cornyn].

"The question is not what the White House is doing, but how and why," he said. "How are they purging names and e-mail addresses from this account to protect privacy? Why do they need the forwarded e-mails, names, and 'casual conversations' sent to them instead of just the arguments that they want to rebut?

"Wise Latina" junk for purchase and ego-boosting.

And condescending admiration from the New York Times.

Did Sarah Palin say Obama's "death panel" might kill her baby?

Eric Kleefeld writes:
In a new posting on her Facebook account, former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) made a dire statement about health care reform -- that it could result in an Obama-created "death panel" killing her infant son with Down Syndrome...
Here's the full text of her Facebook post. Excerpt:
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
She doesn't say that the government will kill disabled (or elderly) persons directly, but that death will occur as a result of the decisions of cost controlling bureaucrats with the power to determine who can receive various treatments. I don't know why "level of productivity in society" is in quotes, nor do I know whether it is the plan to ration care on this basis. Those are actually serious matters, and I'd like to know the answers. What Kleefeld is doing is trying to sweep Palin aside as a big crazy wacko.

Yes, she used a colorful expression "death panel," but it's a good and fair polemical expression if in fact life-saving care will be rationed on this basis. I have found myself saying, in conversation, "I'm afraid Obama is going to kill me." Now, I'm not picturing him or one of his minions coming over to murder me, but I am afraid that as I get older and need expensive care to keep me alive that I will be told I cannot have it, because at my age, in the government's opinion, there's not enough life left in me to be worth the money that I would take from the system that needs to pay for everything.

This isn't a phantom fear. It's a fear stoked by things like this:



(There's a longer version of that clip, plus discussion, here.)

And here's the end of the Palin post, which I think is cool-headed and manifestly sane:
We must step up and engage in this most crucial debate. Nationalizing our health care system is a point of no return for government interference in the lives of its citizens. If we go down this path, there will be no turning back. Ronald Reagan once wrote, “Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” Let’s stop and think and make our voices heard before it’s too late.
Kleefeld and others like him — the Andrew Sullivan post title is "Obama's Gonna Kill My Baby!" — would love to squelch that debate.

August 7, 2009

Michelle Obama takes Malia and Sasha out "for a hearty lunch of burgers, fries, onion rings and milkshakes."

They had cheeseburgers and the "President Obama burger" (with "horseradish mayo, red onion marmalade, crumbled blue cheese and bacon"). Among the milkshakes was one with "butterscotch, hot fudge, malt balls, custard and whipped cream."

I hope this means Michelle and Barack will lay off lecturing us about what foods we ought to eat. Or will the next photo op be in the setting of the White House vegetable garden?

What are we to think of all this burger eating? Those little girls are slim, certainly not obese, but what are other little girls supposed to think? They want cheeseburgers and malts too. What's the secret? Maybe the hamburgers are cut in quarters and each girl gets a 200-calorie little sandwich along with a a 100-calorie portion of the malt. Really, how do you do it? (Certainly not by throwing up!) The little girls of America need some health-care info from the family that has undertaken to oversee our health.

Now, one more thing. Why was the female component of the Obama family deployed yesterday? The linked NYT blog says "Someone in the White House obviously had a hankering for an Obama burger." Now, I'm going to throw up. This is political. Here's a clue:

I'm sitting here at the Steam & Steel Café in Silverton, Colorado, drinking latte...

... reading the morning blogging, email, and news and wanting to comment on what has been an unfolding series of stories about the politics and public response to the health care bill. It's hard to jump in at this point, because there have been so many different things and I can't be anything like comprehensive. I haven't even been taking regular potshots, so it's hard just to take a potshot. Well, I might take a potshot soon. I'm not promising to sit this one out. It's way too interesting!

For now, here's Memeorandum's current collection of news items that are getting covered in the blogs. You can have at this in the comments.

I'll just say that I think these poor congresspersons going into town hall meetings are like Sarah Palin, last fall, going into interviews with journalists. The questions will come and either she won't answer them — for which she'll be trashed — or she'll answer and eventually say something that will highlight her limitations — and that will produce a quote/video clip that will be used aggressively and endlessly to destroy her.

The members of Congress can't possibly understand the material they are going to be tested on. The bill and its real-world applications are too complicated and unformed (or unknown) for them to prepare for what they are being asked to do. If they try to manage the events by shutting down speakers or excluding people they think are too antagonistic, they'll catch hell for that. Now, I think they deserve hell. They really don't know what they are doing, and they expect us to shut up and let them do it. That is chaos already.

"John told me about why he left Hollywood just a few years earlier. He was terrified of the impact it was having on his sons..."

"... he was scared it was going to cause them to lose perspective on what was important and what happiness meant. And he told me a sad story about how, a big reason behind his decision to give it all up was that 'they' (Hollywood) had 'killed' his friend, John Candy, by greedily working him too hard."

Alison Byrne Fields was a high school student when she started writing to John Hughes. We were talking about Hughes's death, and Reader_Iam pointed us to Fields's blog post.

Who brings their baby along to a court apppearance?

Only Rielle Hunter.
It was not immediately clear why Hunter brought the little girl to court.
Ha ha. It was clear. Just not immediately.

ADDED: Chip Ahoy says "I sense even the kid knows":

August 6, 2009

Goodbye to John Hughes.

Who hadn't directed a movie since 1991 — though he was only 59 at the time of death. He knew what young people wanted once.

Here's a list of all his movies. Surely, one of these had a big effect on you... back in the 80s. Let's talk about it.

I love this one:

Any Althouse readers up for a Colorado meet-up?

It would be in Durango in the next few days. Email me — using my full name (no spaces) @gmail.com — and let me know. If enough of you are interested, I'll respond with the details of the time and place. And anyone — feel free to suggest places to do blogger-reader meet-ups and anything else in the vicinity of Durango.

A toast to now-Justice Sotomayor.

To the appearance of empathy and experience that caught the President's eye! To all the sober obeisance to the dispassionate, neutral articulation of the law that won confirmation in the Senate!

"It was meant to be funny and insightful and translate the superb journalism Chris and Dana do in print and online into a new format."

"I don't think the series worked as they intended."

LOL. Cringe.
The withering and often personal criticism of Milbank and Cillizza exploded Friday afternoon after the liberal Web site Talking Points Memo posted and criticized the latest video. Both men, who frequently appear on television, became high-profile targets, particularly among left-leaning bloggers but also on such outlets as Twitter.

"It's a brutal world out there in the blogosphere," Milbank said. "I'm often surprised by the ferocity out there, but I probably shouldn't be."
Yeah, and you shouldn't be such a pussy either. You don't have the monopoly on public discourse that you would like, so you whine that it is "brutal" and "feroci[ous]." But you were given a huge mainstream media platform for a comedy routine and you did bad comedy. You wanted to be big professionals and big amateurs at the same time. You deserved a takedown and you got it. Man up. It was you not the bloggers who lacked standards.

"The parole board does not hold my life in its hands. And I don't want to be too critical, but men tend to think they do."

"Charlie never thought he did. He never expressed all this desire for power, this desire for acceptance."

"Charlie" = Charles Manson. The statement is from Squeaky Fromme — Lynette Fromme — who will be released on parole.

"No More Perks: Coffee Shops Pull the Plug on Laptop Users."

Blares the Wall Street Journal.

Buried in paragraph 5 (after talk of the "economic downturn" and "idle workers" cluttering the cafés):
So far, this appears to be largely a New York phenomenon, though San Francisco's Coffee Bar does now put out signs when the shop is crowded asking laptop users to share tables and make space for other customers.
Ha ha ha. It's just New York. And hello? It was always hard to find free WiFi and a place to sit in New York cafés. It drove me nuts when I lived in Brooklyn Heights from September 2007 to May 2008. My favorite local café was Tazza — depicted in the March 10, 2008 blog post called "Lunch at the Loneliness Café." (Ah, now I never go back to the Loneliness Café!)

Click through to enlarge that first photograph, and you'll see that the white sign near the laptop user's head says: "ABSOLUTELY NO COMPUTERS...." (Why did that guy get to flout the policy so close to the sign? He's cute. Right? That's the reason, isn't it?)

In the San Juan Mountains, near Ouray, Colorado.

These pictures do not depict the harrowing 4x4 drive up narrow roads with rocks to one side and a sheer drop on the other. These are just 3 photos from a huge photoset that I've scarcely sorted through.

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Photo by Meade:

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"Women just don't like me."

"There are 30 million desirable women in the US (my estimate) and I cannot find one. Not one of them finds me attractive."

The murderer's weblog.

August 5, 2009

Meade, talking to Texans.

Sitting in the outdoor café of our Ouray, Colorado hotel this morning, my husband Meade — who's very friendly (I call it "Hoosierly") with strangers — got into a conversation with a couple at the next table, and, naturally, one item of information exchanged was where we all are from. They were from Texas.

When we got up to leave, Meade leaned over to the man and said: "When you go back home, say hi to my favorite Texan."

"Who?"

"George W.!"

You should have seen the man's reaction. It was as if someone had suddenly sprayed water in his face.

ADDED: Later in the day, we got into a tour vehicle (a 4x4) for a ride up into the San Juan Mountains, and the lady in the seat in front of us started up a conversation, immediately volunteering that she was from Texas. Meade said, "That's great, but I need to be careful. I'm afraid I offended some Texans earlier this morning when I told them who my favorite Texan is." And she said, "Oh? And who is that?" And Meade, "Well, I like President Bush." "He's my favorite too!" she said, giving him a high five and getting her whole family to turn around and meet him.

4 views of Bachelor Gulch.

The hotel, seen from above:

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Aspens:

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Clouds and aspens:

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Time to debate whether it's time to scurry back down the hill:

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No.

Today's second post answers the question asked in the first post.

What Chip did with the Clinton-in-North-Korea photo.

It's not what I expected. I was hoping he'd make the little birds that you barely notice in the mural start flying around and maybe nipping at Bill Clinton's ears and ultimately pooping on Kim Jong-Il's head. Or maybe those big static waves would suddenly crash all over the solemnly lined-up dignitaries. Or, no. There is something about the way the 2 seated men are posing as such good little boys with their hands in the I'm-behaving-myself position that demands that what I really want to see is Bill Clinton reach over and feel the thigh Kim Jong-Il, who exclaims: "No broh job!"

"In a rare moment of alpha male theatre, I blocked their path, faced down the nearest youth and bellowed a demand for order."

"A moment of total stillness followed. Caught unprepared, the mass of teenagers quickly backed off, silent and non-plussed. Evidently this was something for which no clever riposte had been rehearsed. The unexpected interlude allowed the elderly ladies to make appreciative noises and climb onboard without further harassment."

Do you have what it takes to be the adult in a world of teenagers?

August 4, 2009

Hooray!

I'm in Ouray.

ADDED: From the letters of Ayn Rand:
Speaking of Atlas Shrugged, I was amused (benevolently) to hear that you chose Ouray as your favorite spot in Colorado. That is the little town I had picked for Galt's Gulch. To be exact, I marked it on a map as the right location long before I saw it. Then, when I went to Colorado for research purposes and discovered Ouray, I fell in love with it. It is the most beautifully dramatic spot in the whole state, and it's even surrounded by a ring of mountains....

About that poster of Obama as the Joker.

A lot of folks are outraged and there's the predictable crying of racism.

But — as Drudge points out — Vanity Fair did exactly the same thing to the image of George Bush a year ago.

When a man, marrying, takes his wife's last name.

Why does he do it?
I did it because I love Mona - because I wanted her to know that I didn't expect her to become anyone other than herself. It mattered to me that we shared a name, so I reasoned I should be the one to offer mine up. And a combination name like Neufeld-Thiessen would only solve the dilemma temporarily. Eventually a child of ours would bring this unwieldy last name to his or her own marriage - most likely to another hyphenee.
Some hilarious comments over there, like:
One question - when she divorces you in 5 years because she wants to be with a guy who actually HAS a pair, will you take your old name back?
(Link via Kerry Howley.)

What did Meade and I do, you may wonder? Well, we're not making any more children — unless we're given a miracle — so the "family name" issue was absent. I didn't change my name the first time I married, back in 1973, and I've already gone through all the struggles of not having the same name as my sons. I had to sit silently while the judge who granted my divorce lectured me about the problem of women not changing their names. He presumed to opine — based on zero evidence — that my failure to change my name was a causal factor in the divorce.

I kept my name a second time. Why? #1: My sons have the middle name Althouse, and I care about that identification. I'm also damned used to my name after all these years, and I've made it slightly famous. Of course, I could keep using Althouse professionally and still have Meade as my legal last name, but I can also do the reverse and use Meade in practice for any purpose aside from signing various documents. And, as that last point reveals, Meade didn't change his name to mine either.

"It is understood Andrew had finished dinner and gone to take pictures of the sunset at a beauty spot called Collado Jermoso."

A 17-year-old boy falls 3,000 feet to his death.

In the Pacific Ocean, there is an island of trash the size of Texas.

"The vortex of currents which pushes the debris together is known as the North Pacific Gyre."

Enough photos of me and Meade. Let's look at this picture of Bill Clinton and Kim Jong-Il.



Thanks to Bill Clinton for saving the journalists and submitting to this surreal photograph.

I just wish I could see the "Team America" song Kim Jong-Il sang when he heard that Bill Clinton was coming. Lyrics anyone?

"I'm imagining Meade/Althouse Colorado mountain wedding as witnessed by the woodland creatures."

Says Chip Ahoy:

Me and Meade in Bachelor Gulch with Bachelor (the dog).

Caption contest:

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(I swear I did not retouch the expression on the dog's face.)

I have many other pictures of Meade and the dog — whose name is Bachelor — but this one came up with a hilarious expression that had me thinking of the famous Obama ass-gawk photo. A camera can catch a single instant that gives an impression that something happened that no one actually present and viewing the whole scene in real time would have perceived.

The dog and Meade actually got along tremendously well. The dog liked me too, see:

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Now, how did we get a dog? The hotel has a dog that you can borrow for walks — it's a "Loan-a-Lab program." Here's the hotel, nestled in Bachelor Gulch:

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So, what's the story with the name "Bachelor Gulch"?
The lush mountain valley known as Bachelor Gulch rises out of the Eagle River Valley, home to the Rocky Mountain towns of Vail, Avon and Edwards. From the Ute Indians who originally settled in the “Shining Mountains” and western valleys of Colorado to a group of spry old bachelors in the early 1900s whose namesake remains, “Bachelor Gulch” as it became known has always been home to many memorable residents. The legends and lore of these bachelors became the inspiration for the secluded mountain resort and the surrounding community on Beaver Creek Mountain.

Many of these original bachelors were miners who first came to Colorado in search of silver and other precious ore. They settled in Bachelor Gulch in search of a better way of life and because they were able to purchase land, which was made possible by the Homestead Act of 1862. Seven of these most colorful men who settled The Gulch were John Anderson, Gunder “Gundy” Berg, Ed Howard, Charley Mays, John Mertz, Ferdinand Smith and Carrothers – a man whom so little is known about that he’s only recognized by his last name in historical references.

John Anderson’s original cabin can still be found around the corner from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Daybreak Ridge. Berg’s and Mertz’s homesteads no longer stand, but the stories of these bachelors holding court at the general store while children raced their horses down the street for their entertainment are legendary. Howard was deaf and it was said that a crowing Rooster perched atop his bedpost couldn’t wake him from his sleep. Smith was actually nicknamed Crippled Smith as Smith was lame – so that people would not confuse him with another Smith who lived up the Valley. Charley Mays was the favorite of the local children, making them lunch pails from his tobacco cans. The area’s most elusive bachelor Carrothers, local lore recounts only as having poor eyesight and making bad decisions as a result.

The bachelors stayed in the area until the 1920s when high altitude lettuce farming or “green gold” took root in Bachelor Gulch. The next generation of homesteaders found an easier way of life in the mountains, making a good living by growing lettuce. The climate was ideal and the soil was very rich with nutrients. However, the Great Depression of the 1930s affected the farmers who sold their land to two local ranchers who used the area for herding cattle and grazing sheep. The land remained privately owned for nearly 40 years until the vision for Bachelor Gulch as a vacation resort began to form.
So what do you think: an early gay community? "Spry" ≈ gay. And, of course, "bachelor" ≈ gay.

***

Hotel footnote: The Ritz Carlton is a pretty cool place to stay. We enjoyed toasting marshmallows in the firepit and eating our way through the tasting menu at Spago — among many other things.

What happened on Bellyache Ridge.

Here we are just married, on the rock where moments before, we exchanged rings — solemnizing our own marriage, pursuant to Colorado's wonderful statutory law.

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You can see that my toenails are fortuitously painted the same color as the mountain asters that surround the wedding rock that we found atop Bellyache Ridge. (Enlarge photo.) (The color is actually called "Done Out in Deco," not "Mountain Aster.")

I'm standing, in order to take this picture, and Meade is still sitting, using his iPhone, talking to his mother, the only one of our parents who is still living. I've already finished my iPhone calls to my sons and my comment to this blog, but I sat there alongside my new husband for a good while after our private wedding vows and the putting on of the rings.

Now, you may ask: How come there was cell phone service way up there? It was funny, but we drove up Bellyache Ridge Road, which went way up a mountain, including a long section at the top that was a narrow dirt road, and after we found a place to ditch the car and hiked farther up, we encountered a big old cell phone tower:

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We had to wonder if this was a pretty enough place, now, but next to the tower, we saw a wild garden of what I had called "living Koosh Balls" in a blog post earlier in the day. (They're really called musk thistle.)

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Look closely — or enlarge the photo — and you'll see that there is a yellow swallowtail butterfly on one of the Koosh balls. The flowers and the butterfly and everything else seemed to say that this was the place, and we found our big flat rock to sit on and performed our wedding. And only later did we realize how useful and apt it was that we could use our iPhones there — apt because Meade and I had met through this blog, and blogging, emailing, texting, and telephoning had been a big part of our relationship. So that ugly tower really did belong on our wedding mountain, Bellyache Ridge.

The mountaintop had been deserted when we climbed up and while we took our vows, but then suddenly a lone runner came over the ridge, like some kind of angel sent to witness. After she passed by, we talked about her and how she was our witness and how strange it was that she'd had no idea that she was our witness and that we weren't merely a couple sitting on a rock, but we were newlywed within that minute. Then, when we finally climbed back down the path, she was looping back, so we saw our angel again. We called out to her and told her everything. She took our picture for us:

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Thanks, Millie!

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"Out of curiousity, checking to see where Althouse was blogwise last August 3rd."

Writes XWL in yesterday's comments:
Gender issues
Dowd on Obama
Pics from the SM Pier (and discussion of men in shorts)
A heartfelt plee to judiciously apply some strict originalism to the constitution of sandwiches
Melrose Ave pics (which reminds me, I guess I should take some snaps there myself)
Fred Segals, Fish-Eyed, and not Fish-Eyed

Althouse managed six posts this August 3rd as well as in 2008, even while getting hitched, impressive consistency, that.

Interesting set of posts, though, the Dowd thing is a reminder of how ridiculous the press was with regards to Obama before the election, and the sandwich manifesto is probably something that deserves revisiting.

Again, congratulations to you both, it's a wonderful and daring thing both of you have done.
Thanks for noticing. I was on vacation then too. It was especially funny to me to see that on August 3, 2008, I switched to the fisheye lens: "I realized I had the fisheye in my bag, and this is the first fisheye shot... L.A. crystalized for me in extravagantly bent form at that moment. It was all fisheye from there."

And yesterday, August 3, 2009, our wedding day, I got the old fisheye out after a long while. It was great for arm's-length shots of the 2 of us, including lots of scenery along with the full view of our heads, because the angle is so wide. Unfortunately, most of these shots are too intimate for blog use. You'll have to imagine those. You do have the hands with rings shot below, and I have another I'm going to put up in a separate post, coming soon.

I like looking back to a year ago too. If someone had told me at the time that I would get married a year later, I would have been astounded. I really did not think of myself as the marrying kind. I was very post-married then, very much into being on my own and not being judged or beholden to anybody. My motto — referring quite specifically to marriage — was "I will not serve."

A year passes. Who knows what will happen?

"Naomi was the first. She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke down all the social barriers."

Naomi Sims, the model, dead at the age of 61.
Two images of Ms. Sims — one from the 1967 Times fashion magazine cover and the other from a 1969 issue of Life — are in the current Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition “The Model as Muse.” In a catalog, the curators Harold Koda and Kohle Yohannan wrote, “The beautifully contoured symmetry of Sims’s face and the lithe suppleness of her body presented on the once-exclusionary pages of high-fashion journals were evidence of the wider societal movement of Black Pride and the full expression of ‘Black is Beautiful.’ ”...

In 1972, the producers of the movie “Cleopatra Jones” sought to cast Ms. Sims in the title role, but she turned it down because, she said, she was offended by its racist portrayal of black people....

In 1973, Ms. Sims decided to start her own business. As a model, she often did her own hair and makeup, since many studio assistants were unfamiliar with working with darker skin. And she noticed that most commercially available wigs were designed for Caucasian hair, so she began experimenting with her own designs, baking synthetic hairs in her oven at home to create the right texture to look like straightened black hair. Within five years, her designs, produced by the Metropa Company, had annual sales of $5 million.

August 3, 2009

Where we were. What we were doing.

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"Commenting from a mountaintop: we are still sitting on the rock where we exchanged rings, and now we are married."

My comment, at 3:59 today, Central Time (though we are on Mountain Time), in the post "We're here in Colorado not just for the scenery, but for the law," which read: "What is the law we love so much — this beautiful example of the benefits of federalism? I will tell you soon!"

The first commenter there, reader_Iam, instantly got the answer:
Are you wanting to solemnize your own marriage, as opposed to having an officiant required?
Yes, in Colorado:
Couples themselves may solemnize their own marriage (perform one's own marriage ceremony). According to Colorado Revised Statute 14-2-109, a marriage may be solemnized by a judge of a court; by a court magistrate; by a retired judge of the court; by a public official whose powers include solemnization of marriages; by Indian tribe officials; by clergy; by the parties to the marriage. If you wish to solemnize your own marriage, you will be responsible for acquiring, completing and returning the license to marry to the appropriate county Office of the Clerk and Recorder.
And that's just what we did. This afternoon, we drove from our hotel in Bachelor Gulch to the Office of the Clerk and Recorder in Eagle County, where we showed our driver's licenses, answered a few questions, paid $30 cash, and got a license that empowered us to marry each other. We drove up Bellyache Ridge — just the 2 of us — where we did things our way and solemnized the marriage on our own. Then, we did the additional red tape — filling out the bottom of the Certificate of Marriage and handing it back to the county official who'd asked us the questions earlier. And now, we're here at Yeti's Grind on Broadway, in Eagle, eating our first food (sandwiches) and drinking our first drink (mango smoothies) as husband and wife. And we're both on the WiFi.

One thing I love about American federalism is that — subject to the limitations of national law — individual states can do things their own way, and we can move around finding the law we like. We decided against marrying in Madison, because under Wisconsin law, not only do you need to pay $125 or so for the license and then go get a minister or a judge to perform the wedding — you have to wait 6 days between getting the license and doing the wedding. What's that all about? It's insulting, not to mention avaricious. We went west, out of the grip of a paternalistic state, for greater freedom and individuality.

And, yes, we think same-sex couples should also have the right to marry. You'll have to travel somewhere other than Colorado if that's the freedom you want. We traveled and got what we wanted, and obviously, we have the additional benefit of getting a marriage that will be recognized everywhere. I hope the day will come when the Coloradan attitude that favored us will smile on gay people too. But for now, I'm just really happy to be married in Colorado, on Bellyache Ridge, with just me and Meade on the scene. Aptly, it turned out that there was a big old cell phone tower on top of the ridge, so we texted and emailed and telephoned.

And I made a blog comment — a comment, not a post, because that's where I found my dear husband, in the comments.

At the Living Koosh Ball Cafe...

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... you can toss things about while I and my mysterious companion are tossing caution to the winds.

We're here in Colorado not just for the scenery, but for the law.

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What is the law we love so much — this beautiful example of the benefits of federalism? I will tell you soon!

Why was Biden at the beer summit? For racial balancing?

That's what Tunku Varadarajan thinks. (Link via Instapundit.)
I venture that in Obama's careful calibration of his post-racial America there is always a fear of white fear. He is exquisitely sensitive to white — particularly non-elite white — impressions of his occupancy of the White House. He is eager not to disconcert Middle America, and had blundered only days before in his intervention in the Gates-Crowley affair. This ruffled many whites: They were taken aback, disquieted and were reminded, perhaps, of Obama's remarks about bitter and intolerant small-town voters who cling to their faith and guns, made before the Pennsylvania primary....

I was not privy to the reasoning behind the decision to draw Biden into the meeting. But I do know that his presence altered the racial chemistry in a crucial way. And in doing so, it allowed President Obama to ensure that he didn't compound those racial fears — incipient, unsettling —that he'd stoked days before when he "acted stupidly."
What bothered me about Biden's presence — as I hinted here — is that it underscored the fact that the President was on Gates's side with respect to the disputed facts of the incident. It reminded us that it wouldn't have worked to have Obama bringing the 2 men together, because Obama had thrown away his potential as a mediator even as he now wants to pose as a mediator. That was all very incoherent, as was the silly remedy of bringing in Biden.

Well, Biden is next in line for the Presidency, and Obama had (stupidly) vacated the presidential seat for an issue that supposedly demanded presidential attention. (It didn't, but if it did, Obama had disqualified himself to act upon it.) Biden was needed so it wouldn't be 2 men who thought one thing happened against 1 man who thought something else, and then it seemed — Varadarajan saw it this way — that the 2 against 1 problem was 2 black men against 1 white man — that they require (or think we require) racial balancing.

Racial profiling in NYC: "We looked for *white* people."

"That's all you really had to do. Cruise Broadway or Amsterdam Ave. or Riverside Drive in an unmarked car, spot the white guy driving the vehicle with the Jersey plate slow and deliberate, watch him park and shuffle to the sale location, watch him walk back to the vehicle with the pep in his step shortly thereafter and bingo. Most times you had a collar. That's what you were paying us for, wasn't it? The good people of Washington Heights have a right to live in a neighborhood free of cretins driving over the George Washington Bridge to Manhattan for the sole purpose of buying drugs, don't they? Is that not good police work? Of course it is."

August 2, 2009

Lunch at the Butterhorn Bakery & Cafe in Frisco.

Frisco, Colorado. Where I was seated under a picture of a fox and back-to-back with a tattooed lady.

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We overheard the waitress talking about her birthday, and my not-quite-yet-husband subsequently wished her a happy birthday and said other Hoosierly things to her, leading her to advise me "He's a keeper." Indeed!

ADDED: Chip Ahoy animates not the tattoo, nor the batik of my shirt but...



... the fox.

"'Do you have my beet juice? Do you have my beet juice? Do you have my organic green apple lemon ginger for energy?"

You know, maybe a steak?

At the Colorado Café...

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... I'm pretty distracted. You'll have to carry on without me today.