RSA Seattle, Part I

Got back from RSA 2008 in Seattle this morning. I’ll review the conference in more detail via a post tomorrow or so; I’m too burned out with jet lag to think straight right now. But it was a very good conference overall, with an apparently record attendance of 903 registrants, and I not only learned a great deal in general, but I met some interesting folks, and clarified my thinking on some of the chapter revisions that I need to do next month.

Indy

Saw a midnight screening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with H.

The verdict is pure popcorn goodness. I was a little iffy about the MacGuffin at first, but I warmed to it, and it did its good-evil sorting task quite competently. Indy already exists in a universe where the Jewish, Hindu, and Christian religions are simultaniously valid – why not throw in that particular B-movie staple?

Gotta love that hat.

math is obviously not a focus in the Clinton educational plan

Clinton’s campaign, desperate at the knowledge that Obama will get enough delegates to declare victory tomorrow, has decided to claim that they have a lead in the popular vote. Well, they don’t. They’re taking advantage of the fact that four states have not yet reported their popular vote totals, and assuming FL and MI will count as is, a reality that only exists in the heads of the converted. As the site I’ve linked to shows, when those four states report, even with FL and MI counted as is, Obama is still ahead.

And, of course, the FL and MI results will not be admitted – at best, there will be a compromise that saves face for the party and the two states, but doesn’t threaten Obama’s nomination.

I really hope Clinton does not try to force herself as VP on the convention floor by bullying the Obama superdelegates for their VP vote. I wish someone would talk her down, now. At this point everything she does besides stand down works for McCain.

upcoming workload

I have quite a bit on my plate over the next few weeks.

The draft for Chapter 5 is due on May 31st, 16 days from now. That’s going well enough so far. I have shifted gears in June, though, setting that month aside to edit chapters 1-5 instead of drafting chapter 6, which is now pushed back to July.
RSA (Rhetoric Society of America) holds their conference a week from now in Seattle, May 23-26, and I’ll be there, presenting on the 25th a more history-oriented and updated version of the prose rhythm paper that I gave at CCCC.

The kicker is that paper needs to be sent out (again) right after the conference, and that threatens the deadline for Chapter 5. So I think I’m going to have to stop working on Chap. 5 around Sunday to prep that paper for submission, and spend Mon-Wed revising, so I can go to Seattle with a polished version in hand instead of just presentation notes. Then all I’ll need to do is incorporate any comments and sent it out when I get back, leaving the last few days of May to finish Chapter 5, and June free to concentrate on revising the 240 pages of sheer nonsense that I have currently.

At least that is the plan.

H and I have tickets for Indy 4, next Wednesday at midnight, so I should be in a good, if tired, mood going to Seattle that morning.

the pundits see the light

After North Carolina and Indiana, it seems the punditry have grown tired of the horserace narrative at last. As the media was the only force keeping her in the race, Clinton is done for. It’s time to move to more interesting questions, such as Obama’s crucial VP pick.

As I think the feud between Obama and Clinton will prevent her from being the VP, he must look somewhere else. It needs to be someone slightly older, with foriegn policy experience, that tempers the “Can we trust him?” question that hangs around Obama.

Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, is the obvious choice, giving Obama a key swing state in the bargain. But he is a diplomat, not a President; he would make a great Secretary of State.

Gov. Sibelius of Kansas is tempting, but she has less foriegn policy cred than Obama, and she can’t guarantee Kansas.

The left-field choice would be Howard Dean, and as much as I like the guy, Obama should steer well away from anyone who looks excessively liberal.

That mostly leaves John Edwards, who I believe would have won the nomination in a Clinton-free election cycle. He would seem to be the best bet for reuniting the party and attracting back any bitter Clinton supporters.

Iron Man

Saw Iron Man last Friday night. I’d say that was the best comic-book adaptation that I’ve seen yet, very faithful to the source material. Robert Downey Jr. makes for a pitch-perfect Tony Stark, Marvel’s character-metaphor for the moral quandaries of the military-industrial complex. There was no alcoholism – I suppose that and War Machine will be the bulk of the sequel – but c’mon. The first shot of Stark in the movie is his hand, holding a drink, and about 15 seconds after that, I forgot there was an actor.