Saturday, August 23, 2008

Everything Fiesta Tent Sale

This is my first time at the Everything Fiesta Tent Sale. The crowd was huge. I took us an hour to checkout.

Everything Fiesta Tent Sale
The sock on the right hand is used to wipe away dust to look for imperfections.

Everything Fiesta Tent Sale
The price list.

Everything Fiesta Tent Sale
The crowd was huge, and the sound of clinking china was deafening.

Check out my other photos on my Flickr stream.

Obama made a mistake picking Biden

I usually don't write about politics, but I think Obama pick of Joe Biden as a running mate was a mistake. Obama has the chance to make history by picking someone to take his message of change forward, but instead he goes for the old white guy who has been in the Senate for years. He could have picked a woman, a latino, or a war veteran, but we get more of the same old Washington establishment pick.

Having lived through the 80s I also remember the Biden plagiarism scandal, which caused him to drop out the 1988 race for President. Opponents haven't rolled out the plagiarism scandal yet, but it won't take much a Fox News talking head to do a Google search to dig it up.
In 1987, Joe Biden ran as a Democratic presidential candidate, formally declaring his candidacy at the Wilmington train station on June 9, 1987. In his speech, he challenged Americans to step beyond the materialism of the Reagan years. When the campaign began, Biden was considered a potentially strong candidate because of his moderate image, his supposed appeal to Baby Boomers, his fundraising appeal (Biden's $1.7 million raised in the first quarter of 1987 was more than any other candidate, including the then front-runner, Gary Hart), his high profile position as chair of the Senate Judiciary committee during the Robert Bork confirmation hearings, and, perhaps above all, his soaring oratory. Biden often seemed to try to inspire the same hope and idealism associated with 1960s liberals such as Robert Kennedy, especially as related to civil rights. He received considerable attention in the summer of 1986 when he excoriated Secretary of State George Shultz at a Senate Hearing because of the Reagan administration's support of South Africa, which continued to support a system of Apartheid. By August 1987, however, Biden's campaign had already begun to lag behind those of Michael Dukakis and Richard Gephardt.

Then in September 1987, the campaign ran into serious trouble when he was accused of plagiarizing a speech by Neil Kinnock, then-leader of the British Labour Party. Though Biden had correctly credited the original author in all speeches but one, the one where he failed to make mention of the originator was caught on video. Within days, it was also discovered that, while a first year law student at Syracuse Law School, Biden had plagiarized a law review article in a class paper he wrote. Though the then-dean of the law school, as well as Biden's former professor, played down the incident of plagiarism, they did find that Biden drew "chunks of heavy legal prose directly from" the article in question. Biden said the act was inadvertent due to his not knowing the proper rules of citation, and Biden was permitted to retake the course after receiving a grade of F in the course, which was subsequently dropped from his record when he retook the class. Biden also released at the same time the record of his grades as an undergraduate which were C's and D's with the exception of two A's in physical education, one B in a course on English writers and an F in ROTC during his first three semesters. His grades improved later in his undergraduate career but were not exceptional. Further, when questioned by a New Hampshire resident about his grades in law school Biden had claimed falsely to have graduated in the "top half" of his class, (when he actually graduated 76th in a class of 85) that he had attended on a full scholarship, and had received three degrees. In fact he had received two majors, History and Political Science, and a single B.A., as well as a half scholarship based on financial need.

Faced with these revelations, Biden withdrew from the nomination race on September 23, 1987, saying his candidacy had been overrun by "the exaggerated shadow" of his mistakes. After Biden withdrew from the race it was learned that the Dukakis campaign had secretly made a video showcasing the Biden/Kinnock comparison and distributed it to news outlets. Dukakis fired John Sasso, his campaign manager and long-time Chief of Staff.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Charleston Tweet-up Pictures

Thanks to everyone who came to the Tweet-Up. Paul McNeely told me the gathering was so large that the staff at Capitol Roasters asked us to warn them the next time.

Charleston Tweet-Up
Blair and David

Charleston Tweet-Up
Nick and Heather

Charleston Tweet-Up
Heather, Mona, Dan, and Mark

Charleston Tweet-Up
Jason, Robin, Mike, Paul, and Rachelle

Charleston Tweet-Up
Mike, Robin, Rick, Rachelle, David, Nick, Mark, and Dave

Charleston Tweet-Up
Paul and Mike

Charleston Tweet-Up
Mark and Dave

Charleston Tweet-Up
Paul and Blair

Charleston Tweet-Up
Jason and Rick

Thanks to everyone who came. We hope to do another one soon.

The new 304blogs

We rolled out a new version of 304blogs this morning. If you have any question or suggestions, please put them in the comments.

304blogs in today's Charleston Gazette

I did this interview with a couple of weeks ago Five questions: Bloggers in search of bloggers

The print version includes pictures of David and myself.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Charleston Twitter Meet-up this Tuesday

Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: Capitol Roasters
Street: 160 Summers Street
City/Town: Charleston, WV

Monday, August 04, 2008

304blogs welcomes 17 new blogs

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A guide to biking in a safe and civil manner

With more people using bikes to save gas, I have been thinking a lot about bicycling lately. Not just cycling, but cycling safely.

This morning I followed a guy, not wearing a helmet, weaving down Capitol Street. Over the past few weeks I have almost been hit by bicycling citizens on Capitol Street. Almost all of them are not wearing helmets and are riding ill fitting bikes showing they care as much about their safety as they do yours.

Before everyone thinks I'm a cycling hater, I'm a avid mountain biker who has many miles under his belt. I advocate biking in a safe, civil manner.

In the interest of educating riders, I point to the State of West Virgina Bicycling Safety page which includes sections on helmets, bike size, hand signals, and first aid.

First there is the helmet. It's for the riders safety, and it should fit correctly. If you decide not to wear a helmet, that's fine. It's your head. On one occasion a helmet probably saved my life. I know it saved my head. I kept the cracked helmet around for a number of years as a reminder to always wear one.

Second there is the bike size. A bike like a suit should be sized correctly. A good bike is like a good suit. Getting it sized correctly, while you might have to make a few adjustments, it will serve you for many years.

Third there is hand signals. Without signal lights and brake lights you really need to let cars, walkers, and other bikers know what you are doing.

Last there is first aid. If you ever take a header, you needed to know how to patch up yourself or your friends. Hopefully you will never need to use it, but you should learn it.

As well as endangering themselves, some riders might be breaking the law. The WV Code sections on bicycling addresses who must wear a helmet and the duties of the person riding a bicycle on public roadways.

§17C-11-2. Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles. Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this chapter, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

§17C-11-5. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths.(a) Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable, exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction. (b) Persons riding bicycles upon a roadway shall not ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles. (c) Whenever a usable path for bicycles has been provided adjacent to a roadway, bicycle riders shall use such path and shall not use the roadway.

§17C-11-7. Lamps and other equipment on bicycles. (a) Every bicycle when in use at nighttime shall be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with a red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the department which shall be visible from all distances from fifty feet to three hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector. (b) No person shall operate a bicycle unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle. (c) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.

§17C-11A-4. Requirements for helmet use. (a) It is unlawful for any person under fifteen years of age to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle or any attachment to a bicycle used on a public roadway, public bicycle path or other public right-of-way unless at all times when the person is so engaged he or she wears a protective bicycle helmet of good fit, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet. (b) It is unlawful for any parent or legal guardian of a person under fifteen years of age to knowingly permit such person to operate or be a passenger on a bicycle or on any attachment to a bicycle used on a public roadway, public bicycle path or other public right-of-way unless at all times when the person is so engaged he or she wears a protective bicycle helmet of good fit, fastened securely upon the head with the straps of the helmet.

I can't find any City of Charleston regulations for bicycles. Can anyone share a link?