It has come to my attention that I have a blinding headache.

It has also come to my attention that KG, friend of my yoot, is now a Manhattanite, abiding deep in darkest Bleecker Street. Lucky bastidge.

What is it that makes a house a home?

Viv and I have been consumed, eaten alive, devoured by househunting. On Saturday, before enjoying some sprawling dinner and drinks with Greg and Stacey, we saw no less than fifteen houses in an all-day marathon. Some were good, some were bad, none were it.

I particularly liked a 1947 house in near-ish southwest Seattle near a golf course, to my surprise. It was quite suburban, and even on a cul-de-sac-ish loop street, much like places I grew up and basically loathed for their isolation. It’s amazing what a few years of break-ins and bum feces will do to a man. The house is vetoed, however, as it’s under the approach for one of the primary runways at Sea-Tac, and while the constant thrum of jets is essentially music to my ears, Viv has a different opinion. We counted ten 500-foot overflights in one fifteen minute period this weekend, against the suburban quietude of the hushed neighborhood.

We have looked at any number of homes advertised or described as 1000 square feet that strike me as smaller, all in the 250-300k range. Some have not struck me as particularly habitable, no matter what the size. Most common among these have been homes where a prior steward felt the need for self-expression, and consequently created a sort of architectural maze via successive unrelated remodels, mistaking confusion and entrapment for comfort and security.

We have been particularly struck by four of the houses, and I believe we are passing on two of the four for various reasons. Two are under continued consideration. One requires a massive unremodeling. I would move the house off of its’ full basement foundation onto a new full basement. The new location would be at a 45-degree angle to and several dozen feet away from the old location. Oh, and in addition, we’d need to ungraft and move a staircase from it’s prewar remodeled location to the original location within the house. Among other things.

Viv pointed out that these plans were pretty persuasive evidence that I did not really want to live in the house, not as it stands. She’s right.

I toss and turn and grind my teeth about this now, losing sleep, obsessively clicking the various regional sites that provide mapped views into the various MLS databases. They all suck, too.

The ones with the most base data do not share details, often stinting such crucial considerations as street address. My favorite, Redfin, clearly sometimes posts listings that are totally wrong. Today, for example, we wanted to see a home listed for sale in upper west Seattle. Our agent found the listing – but the Redfin listing was an inaccurate reactivation of an old listing that sold in April. This is troubling, and while I love Redfin’s data transparency, inaccurate data transparency only makes it harder for me to apply heat to the soles of my agent (who appears to be doing a pretty good job, but alternative information sources equal greater leverage).

I have realized that some of my tossing and turning at night is my verbally-oriented mind, yammering away at top speed, analyzing this and discussing that about our househunt. I’ve decided to blog the hunt, to an extent. It will help me to burn off that chattering analyst in my head and at the same time provide a record that I can review to develop and sharpen our goals and strategies. It will be a bit tricky, though, I think. I’m uncomfortable posting pictures of most of these houses, for example, and equally uncomfortable mentioning specifics such as addresses or monetary amounts, so I’m afraid the blog may come out as impenetrable as the Regency memoirs of any given Madame X (as penetrable as she may have been).

Oh well, at least Ken is coming out here soon.

Deep Throat, Episode III

NYT: F.B.I. Official Revealed He Was Watergate Source in Interview

WASHINGTON, May 31 — W. Mark Felt, a senior F.B.I. official during the Nixon administration, was the “Deep Throat” of Watergate lore, the secret source who provided information that helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post unravel the scandals of Richard Nixon’s White House, the newspaper said today.

Well, it’s certainly not like this is breaking news at this point. I must, however, for what is presumably the final time, note that this “M. Wark Flannel” character or whateva is most certainly NOT Deep Throat. Deep Throat, as we revealed here some three years ago, is the deceptively youthful Ken Goldstein, late of the blogosphere and Seattle precincts, and missed quite heartily in both districts.

I would nitpick over spelling but that’s burned me recently so a derisive, virtual sniff will have to do.

(For the record, Deep Throat is a great American hero, the preceding is satire, and even though in the current climate of absurdity and repression it’s unlikely he’s gonna get the Congressional Medal of Honor, it’s clear to me that no-one in the entire history of the Republic deserves it more.)


On my way home from work today, I ran into fellow KG-appreciator Murph, who was hurrying home to tend to his ailing spouse. We discussed Ken’s recently-revealed secret career. It was great to see him, and hopefully I’ll run into him again at the bus stop.

The Seated Battle

Personae dramatis

BOB, a meathead sports announcer out of central casting

GOLDIE, a person of ethnicity with a background in sports bookmaking

Setting: The television coverage of a second-rank mid-size purse wrestling match, with a title at stake, sometime in the nineteen-seventies.

BOB: Goldie, who’s your pick here tonite at the big Veep Smackdown? We’ve seen that “Big Dick” can wield some pretty menacing vocabulary over the past four years. But he’s thought to have developed a short fuse – and don’t forget that ticker!

GOLDIE: Well, Bob, I heard that the Dick line of thought has been, “If I’m sitting, I might look less frightening and more grandfatherly.”

BOB: “Big Dick”’s challenger, “The Kid,” is a huge favorite with the ladies!

And before he stepped in to the ring, he had an unbroken string of victories

against some real heavyweights!

(Shuffles papers, taps pen)

Goldie, you’re the man we turn to here on Political Wrestling when it comes to matters of the book. You can let us in, buddy – what are the oddsmakers saying in Vegas?

GOLDIE: Well, Bob, the conventional wisdom says that Edwards should just keep trying to scare Cheney. We’re all hoping to hear him be, like, “Well, my esteemed opponent has many years of serv–*BOO!!!*”

BOB (starts, nearly falls out of chair): OHMigod.

(Grasps chest) Oh, I see, the Angina Gambit!

GOLDIE (Rolls eyes, looks skeptical): Yeah.

BOB: What can you tell us about “Big Dick”’s weigh-in stats, Goldie? Did you get a chance to take a look in the locker room and eyeball the guy in his towel?

GOLDIE: He should lay off the fried foods.

BOB: Better him than me!

(Both sportscasters share a manly chuckle)

GOLDIE (clearly directed at BOB): *BOO!*

BOB: AUUGH! Will you stop it! What, are you trying to kill me?

(Grasps GOLDIE by the collar, hisses sotto voce): Lissen, ya yutz, if you do me in, you can’t collect, see?

BOB (using normal, hearty voice): Was he looking fit and ready for battle, or peak-ed and doughy? Was he smoking fat cigars?

(“Big Dick” steps into the ring, unexpectedly)

GOLDIE: He’s clutching his chest, Bob!

BOB (Standing up, chair clatters off camera): Oh my god!

GOLDIE: He was banging cocktail waitresses two at a time! Look at the size of that man! And Edwards comes out wearing only a towel and a smile!

BOB: What’s his wind like, these days? Can he go the distance? Edwards is looking pretty polished there, Goldie. He defintely has his moves down! LOOK AT THAT SMILE!!!

GOLDIE: He’s smiling like a man possessed!

GOLDIE: There are definitely Two Americas in this room tonight, Bob.

BOB: “Big Dick” doesn’t seem very impressed, Goldie. He seems sort of… snarly. Still, he’s taking his time. OH! Edwards has “Big Dick” in in a Halliburton lock! Look at those bulging subpoenas! Oh, what a move!

GOLDIE: Oh, who wouldn’t want some Johnnie Walker Black faced with paperwork like that!

BOB: OH! Big Dick used the National Security Reversal – And he’s got his hands firmly locked over Edward’s most formidable weapon, his gleaming teeth!

The part of BOB was played by Mike Whybark. The part of GOLDIE was played (unwittingly, to an extent) by Ken Goldstein.

What's with the muttonchops?

danelope strikes back, taking vengeance for both Danelope Week and Ken Goldstein of the Week Week.

Dan also notes that he hopes to instantiate a weekly beering of the pale and nerdly, a goal I can heartily get behind. I especially endorse the goal as a means to develop further diabolical plots and nefarious schemes devoted to the appreciation and appropriation of online identity.

It should be noted that while we waited anxiously for it, Dan made no embarassing social gaffes whatsoever. His drinking skills are clearly much improved, or perhaps it’s the more-precious nature of beer.


Meet "Ben"

Online Poker: Hold ‘Em and Hide ‘Em [NYT]

Excerpts from the opening (Quoted bold italics mine):

“Ben” sleeps five hours a night; the rest of the time he sits at his desk in his “Brooklyn” apartment playing online poker. He won $5…

“Ben” quit his “teaching” job five months ago and now makes around $100 an hour. Five days a week, he clocks 10-hour shifts of Texas Hold ‘Em on his Dell laptop computer. With reggae in the background and coffee mug in hand, he studies his competitors who sit in London, Copenhagen, Los Angeles and elsewhere, while the dealer in Costa Rica tosses cards.

Sure, thing, Ben. We know where “Brooklyn” is too, and it’s in the garden state, with a majestic view of the Pulaski Skyway. Such a transparent pseudonym.

More promo items

In a former life, I designed promotional items that were quite similiar to the promo materials a political campaign might employ.

Therefore, please take and reproduce these KG ’04 items.

Site badge:


(You should link to Ken’s website when you run this, I think.)

Site Banner (I may revise this):

(links to a 468 x 60 banner.)

Bumper strip (this image links to a huge PNG which is suitable for reproduction via CafePress, hint hint):