Friday, November 30, 2012

Virtual Postcard of Kansas- The State Capitol

Welcome to those of you who have just finished watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" reruns on TV Land. Tonight, we are going to do something slightly different by pretending that we are writing an actual postcard to Aysegul Akdemirli, a fictional person in Izmir, Turkey.

Interestingly enough, we learned tonight that former U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican, is now the governor of Kansas; this image is of the state capitol in Topeka. Unlike me, Gov. Brownback is pro-choice, but we are both morally opposed to capital punishment. But, I''m not sure this in itself will get me an offer to have lunch with the governor at the Row House Restaurant in Topeka as I am a Democrat.

Here is our postcard........

Merhaba Aysegul,

How are things in Izmir? I really miss Turkish food especially doner kebab. I recently passed through Kansas, and I saw that the gas station I stopped at only had postcards of the Kansas capitol building. This is also the state where Dorothy and Toto went to see the Wizard of Oz. Yes, it's the movie with a song about the yellow brick road. Well, I must get going, I inadvertently parked in a handicap parking space.

Gule Gule........... (Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty) (Kansas Democratic Party)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Virtual Postcard from Missouri-Toy Museum

This image is from The World's Largest Toy Museum in Branson, Missouri, a resort town in the Ozark Mountains which is known as a mecca for country music fans. Russian emigre stand-up comedian Yakov Smirnoff also has a theatre in Branson.

Well, that's all for now.......I just heard Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" playing on the radio...................he will be 'on the road again' himself when plays in Charlotte, NC, on Dec. 5th

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Virtual Postcard from Illinois- The Sears/Willis Tower

I'm not actually in Chicago, but since Illinois is one of the 8 states we've been through on this mammouth roadtrip, we thought we'd send you 'a virtual postcard from there.'

Apparently, the Sears Tower is now called the Willis Tower; I guess I should thank the kids working at Google's regional office in Boulder, Colo. (yes, that place does exist) or Javier the Intern, which is a long-running gag on my two blogs.

Very Cheap Things to Buy for the Holidays

On our other blog "The Daily Vampire" we loved at some very expensive things one could get for the holidays, including a $600,000 ocean-front property in Nags Head, NC, in the Outer Banks.

Here we are looking at considerably more inexpensive things, and we will go from the cheapest item to the most expensive, which happens to be a velvet Jesus painting, like the one below.

1) 1984 Topps baseball card for Billy Sample, who is arguably the most-famous pro athlete from my hometown of Roanoke, Va: $0.84

2) Crayola crayons (8-pack) $0.99

3)"Neil Diamond's Greatest Hits" on vinyl (pictured center) $0.99

4) Candy Land Gingerbread Pawns game $4.50

5) Dashboard Buddhist monk (pictured top) $7.95

6) Velvet Jesus painting $32.99

SIDEBAR: Well, we were going to tell you some exciting women's college volleyball games to look for this Thursday and Friday, but we will go ahead and give you our final four selections: Oregon, Penn State, Stanford and USC. The finals will take place in Louisville, Ky. We are going to project third-ranked Stanford as the women's volleyball champ for this year.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Comics Dialogue_ Bombs Away

Here's a look at today's Sunday comic strip dialogue from "The Denver Post," we were going to give you the weather in Baltimore (45 degrees, partly cloudy) but due to time constriants, we are going to go ahead with some nifty lines from those cartoon balloons. We hope you enjoy:
1) "Louie!!! What are you so excited about?" (from "Overboard*)
2) "There are a lot of apocalypse-themed shows on these days" (from "Prickly City*)
3) "Pizza!! Pizza!!" (from "The Knight Life" by Keith Knight*)
4) "It's just too soon! It's just too soon!" (from "Dilbert")
5) "Boy, they're really stetching out this season's winners" (from "Blondie")
6) "What's the best way to get rid of garlic breath, I recently had a cold," (from "Luann")
7) "What's with the canary?" (from "Mother Goose and Grimm")
8) "We should go back in time to 1970" (from "Adam @ Home")
9) "No Love, he died before you were born" (from "Family Circus")
10) "This is George Washington. You can look him up on the Internet, too." (from "Sherman's Lagoon")
11) "Then I spent an hour in the waiting room" (from "Pearls Before Swine")
12) "I just tend to get really depressed this time of the year" (from "Mallard Fillmore*, yes- we are still a liberal blog...."; it is a right of center strip)
13) "Uhm, sir...what's with all the boxes? Are you moving to an even more prestigious office?" (from "This Modern World"*
14) "Nicole will go on Facebook and tell everyone how sweet and super awesome you are..." (from "Foxtrot*)
*- Not a strip that ran in the Sunday "Denver Post"
#- Strip ran in "The Boulder Weekly"

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Virtual Postcard from Indiana- James Dean is Buried Here

The grave of the iconic American actor James Dean (1931-1955) who died in an automobile accident at a very young age can be found in Fairmount, Indiana. The town of some 3,000 residents is also home to the James Dean Gallery which is located in a reburshised 1890 Victorian house.

The collection includes posters of all three of Dean's films, including "Rebel Without a Cause" (dir. Nicholas Ray, 1953), which co-starred Natalie Wood, who also died young (at age 43). The gallery opened in 1968, 13 years after Dean's untimely death on Sept. 30, 1955.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Virtual Postcard from Ohio- World's Oldest Traffic Light

It's now 4:00 p.m. in Denver, midnight in Paris and 3:00 a.m. in Dubai, whereever you may be today thanks for stopping by and tell all your friends and distant relatives about us.

Today, we are sending each of you a Virtual Postcard from Ohio with an image of the world's oldest stoplight which sits in a small museum in Ashville, Ohio, which is relatively close to Cincinnati.

We also learned today that there is a real Alice's Restaurant in Woodside, Calif., even though the Arlo Guthrie Thanksgiving Day epic late 1960s' folk song (it lasts 19 minutes) takes place in New England, which is three time zones away.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Virtual Postcard from Kentucky- Horse Park in Lexington

We continue our eight part series (four entries with a pause for two other entries within the next few days) with a Vitual Postcard from the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, which might make one want to watch "Seabiscuit" again.

It was Thanksgiving Day here in America, and social media made the day interesting for us as we got Happy Thanksgiving tweets from Kevin Spacey, Julian Castro (the Democratic mayor of San Antonio, Texas) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska), all of whom are three people we have never met; Sen. Nelson is retiring at the end of his term this year.

The day was also special for us because our good friend Bruce Piephoff, a folk singer in Greensboro, NC, has a song called "Notes from Knoxville," which I like to listen to around Thanksgiving. I must profess that as much as I admire another folk singe Arlo Guthrie, I'm not sure I have the patience to listen to his Thanksgiving song "Alice's Restaurant Massacre"or "Alice's Restaurant," which lasts close to 19 minutes; Piephoff''s song is some 13 minutes and 30 seconds shorter (we believe).

Piephoff will be playing at Southern Bistro in Greensboro on Thurs., Nov. 29 and Tues., Dec. 4. Greensboro has a vibrant local music scene and on Sunday, at the Green Bean coffe house downtown, there will be a performance by Julian Sizemore followed by Patrick Ferguson starting at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Virtual Postcard from West Virginia- Babcock State Park

Today, we are starting an entry series dedicated to our rather lengthy road trip for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend from Roanoke, Va., to Denver, Colo. For those of you in Europe, this might be as far or farther than a drive from Paris, France, to Van, Turkey, a city in far southeastern Turkey which is near the Iranian border.

The image above is from the lovely Babcock State Park in central eastern West Virginia, in relative close proximity to Beckley. It is an even more amazing when snow is around the structure and the adjoining creek.

More on the road trip in tomorrow's blog where we will share an image of Kentucky.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunday Comics Dialogue_ A Cameo from Big Bird

Greetings to our friends in Baltimore, St. Louis, Denver and San Diego here in the USA, and to those of you in London, Frankfurt, Istanbul and Dubai.........

Today's entry looks at funny pages dialogue from the Sunday, Nov. 18th edition of "The Charleston Gazette-Mail" in Charleston, W.Va., which still carries the wonderful comic strip "Mother Goose and Grimm," which features a cameo from Big Bird, but Mitt Romney was nowhere to be seen (to think 47-percent of our fellow Americans wanted Mitty Rich to be!).

Oh...but, first an update on how former American gold-medal winning gymnast Shawn Johnson is doing on "Dancing with the Stars," drats, someone changed the channel!

Here we go:

1) "Just a turkey hallucination. I get them this time every year" (from "Garfield")

2) "Ok, I'll need to but a turkey," (from "Grand Avenue")

3) "It's not proper for a girl to call a boy on the telephone" (from "Peanuts")

4) "They're trying to kill me out there. They want to cut my head off. I'm going to die!!" (from "Mother Goose and Grimm," a turkey is talking)

5) "What a great cook! I'm the luckiest man in the world!" (from "Hagar the Horrible")

6) "It says here that more Americans are eating something besides turkey for Thanksgiving." (from "Over the Hedge")

7) "Our invitation for tonight is lit up........more than 200 and climbing!" (from "Rex Morgan M.D.")

8) "Very nice?! Are you kidding?! She's world-class!!" (from "Blondie")

9) "I'm still fond of soft-spoken intellectuals" (from "Shoe")

10) "She asked me to put up the holiday lights while she was gone." (from "Dilbert")

11) "When I come back, I'll show you some trout holes you won't believe." (from "Judge Parker")

12) "What are those funny-looking birds?" (from "Hi and Lois")

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Greetings from Mister Lizard

We conclude Reptile Week with a gecko lizard, and no we are not trying to see you car insurance.

Let's take a moment to wish a pleasant Sunday morning to folks in Athens, Greece, where it is now 8:00 a.m. and to folks in Baku, Azerbaijan, where it is now 10:00 a.m.

According to, the gecko is small lizard that are quite radiant; the reptile usually resides in warm climates and the lizards are diligent when it comes to climbing around. They also like to dine on insects and they are known to make a chirping sound.

SIDEBAR: Or should we say side out, as we discuss tonight's vital women's college volleyball game between the host San Diego University Toreros, ranked #18, and the visiting Brigham Young University Cougars from Provo, Utah, , ranked #13.

The Toreros prevailed in the Big West Conference match 3-2 (25-23, 28-26, 13-25, 25-23, 15-13).

For the Cougars, Jennifer Hamson had 23 kills and 15 digs; for the winning Toreros, Katie Hoekman had 20 kills and 2 digs while her teammate Sandra Lozic, a sophomore from Serbia, had 16 kills and 14 digs. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Greetings from Mister Frog

Yes, even though we know frogs are amphibians instead of reptiles, we are stubbornly featuring them as part of Reptile Week because every frog deserves his or her day.

The frog being featured here is the American bullfrog, which is usually green or yellow with a white belly. It can be found quite readily in southern states, such as Louisiana. We would give a shout out to Louisiana's governor Bobby Jindal, but we don't want to be mistaken for a Republican although Jindal did have the guts to criticize Mitt Romney for his sour grapes speech to major campaign contributors regarding his well-deserved loss to President Barack Obama.

Apparently, the difference between amphibians and reptiles are that amphibians are born as soft eggs in water then hatch into eggs whereas reptiles are born in shelled eggs. Zzzzzzzzz.........sorry, thought I was back in my 10th biology class at Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, NC, a suburb of Greensboro.*

Reptiles and amphibians can be seen at the San Diego Zoo though at the moment, it appears that a giant panda cub who was formally named "Little Grit" on Tuesday (the cub was born over the summer) is the latest animal celebrity at the park.

SIDEBAR: In ACC women's college volleyball action tonight, the home team Clemson Tigers won a tough 3-2 game (25-21, 16-25, 25-19, 16-25, 15-12) over the visiting Duke Blue Devils on Senior Night. Serenat Yaz, a Turkish player for the Tigers who wears number one, was among the four seniors who were honored for Senior Night. Yaz had 13 kills and 13 digs for Clemson. Moneisha Simmons, a junior from Bufford, Georgia, contributed with 14 kills and 7 digs in the victory for the home team.

Here are other results from ACC volleyball games from Friday night; the home teams are marked with the # symbol:

#Georgia Tech 3 Wake Forest 0

# UNC 3 Virginia Tech 0 (more details on this are available on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire:" ).

#Maimi (Fla) 3 Boston College 0

#Florida State 3 Maryland 0

#North Carolina State 3 UVa 0

*- We did not go to Ragsdale High School, but we hear that they have a great marching band!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Greetings from Mister Snake

If one travels to a Central American country like Belize, Honduras or Guatemala, one may encounter this breed of reptile: The Mayan Coral Snake.

Though it is supposedly shy in nature, one Belize travel site said this breed of snake bit a local resident in the village of Xabie in 2007. The man did not seek immediate medical attention, and he died the next day.

It should be pointed out, I suppose, that this breed of snake is highly venomous.

Good morning to our friends in Dubai, where it should be approaching 9:00 a.m., which is apparently the top blogging hour, but come that time tomorrow I will probably be picking up laundry from the Spring Center Laundromat in the D.C. suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland*; they even offer wi fi!

And, for those who want to see a live snake show, the Everglades Alligator Farm in Homestead, Fla., has them at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., tell them we sent you, not that it will matter at the gate! The park also offers alligator shows at 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

This is the third of a proposed five consecutive entries in our make-shift 'Reptiles Week' blog series; other entries can be found at our sister blog:

*- We don't really live in Silver Spring, Md.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Reptile Week Cont'd- The Alligator

Person One: Blogging is a complete waste of time

Person Two: Yeah, it's sooooooooo 2009

Person Three: But, I have a blog

Person One: Really

Person Two: What's it about?

Person Three: This week, it's about reptiles.

Person Three is myself.......

For anyone who is in southern Florida, the Everglades Alligator Farm in Homestead, Fla., has live alligator shows daily at 11:00 a.m, 2:00 p.m. and at 5:00 p.m.

We suspect that you will not get a discount if you mention that you read about them on this blog.

Of course, the school nickname at the University of Florida in Gainesville is the Florida Gators; we gather they are pretty good at football.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

How to Say Turtle in Four Different Languages

Yeah, we came up with this idea because we are sort of pressed for time today.

Here is how you say turtle in four different languages, for how you say turtle in four other languages go to our sister blog "The Daily Vampire:"

Here, we go:

1) tortue- French

2) skilpadde- Norwegian

3) Kachua- Hindi (India)

4) tortuga- Spanish

Monday, November 12, 2012

Comic Strip Dialogue_ Raking Those Darn Leaves

Today, we continue our series of quoting lines from comic strips with a look at lines from comics in yesterday's Sunday edition of "The Roanoke Times," a daily newspaper in Roanoke, Va.

We noticed that several strips, including "For Better or For Worse," "Zits," "Hi and Lois" and "Blondie" all dealt with fall foliage, which is very apparent in many American states this time of year, including Virginia, West Virginia and Vermont.

Our image of Lee Marvin from "The Dirty Dozen" is what came to mind when we were thinking of an image of Veterans Day, which was celebrated yesterday here in America.

Here are the lines from the funny pages:

1) "Mmm.....Smell that Clean Air! Look at Those Leaves!" (from "For Better or For Worse")

2) "Happy Veterans Day!" (from "Red and Rover")

3) "Notice Anything?" (from "Agnes")

4) "You're Pretty Good at Driving" (from "Mutts)

5) "Well, that's offenisve" (from "Speed Bump")

6) "An emergency came up at the animal hospital" (from "Garfield")

7) "Well, I know for a fact that's not true! Ha Ha!" (from "Get Fuzzy")

8) "Soooooo, what are you getting mom for Christmas?" (from "Sally Forth")

9) "I'd rather talk about the Bengals or the Steelers!" (from "Jump Start")

10) "I'm not raking until the last leaf falls." (from "Hi and Lois")

11) "It's weird how clouds make you hungry" (from "Blondie")

12) "Cantaloupe!" (from "Pearls Before Swine")

13) "It was a lousy program, anyway!" (from "Peanuts," said by Linus)

14) "Excellence is the only market that isn't crowded" (from "Dilbert")

15) "Now Stop Dawdling and get on with it!" (from "Pickles")

16) "Does this write?! Yes, I guess it does. That's good; I guess," (actually a note to myself when seeing if a pen was working or not).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Election Day #s (4 of 4)_ Ok, Yeah, Perhaps This Was a Bad Idea

Wow~! We are almost done..........eight entries in two blogs dealing with Election Day numbers. It might be time for Anacin, but before we do that, let's take one last look at the numbers:

62.6-Percentage U.S. Senate-elected Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) got in an open seat election

374.-Percentage Linda Lingle, Hirono's Republican opponent got in the election.

60.5- Percentage Cong. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) got in his re-election bid.

39.5- Percentage Cong. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), ironically Sherman's opponent, got.

48.7-Percentage Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) got in his re-election bid

44.8- Percentage Tester's Republican opponent Denny Rehberg got.

50.1- Percentage President Barack Obama got in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire

48.4- Percentage Mitt Romney got in Hillsborough County, NH

49.9- Percentage Romney got in Carroll County, NH

49.1-Percentage Obama got in Caroll County, NH

55.7- Percentage Romney got in Maricopa County, Ariz., which has a highly controversial right-wing sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has also made dubious efforts to prove Obama was not born in America.

79-Percentage of the evangelical vote that went for Romney

68.8- Percentage Obama got in King County (Seattle), Washington

73.5- Percentage Obama got in Denver County, Colo.

55.3-Percentage Obama got in Charlottesville, Va.

61.6-Percentage Obama got in Miami-Dade County, Fla.

50.1- Percentage Sen. elect- Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) got in an open seat election

45.6- Percentage Flake's Democratic opponent Richard Carmona got.

332- Final electoral college tally for Obama

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Election Day by the #s (3 of 4)_ All the Votes are Finally In

Here is a look at Election Day numbers in Virginia as well as other parts of the country. Luray Caverns in Luray, Va., which is in the Shenandoah Valley, is pictured above.

Today, President Barack Obama was declared the official winner in Florida, which propels him to 332 electoral college votes.

Rural Nelson County, Va., near Charlottesville, was perhaps the closest jurisdiction, and it was one of the few rural areas won by the president, but Obama did win substantially in major metro areas.

Here are the numbers:

50.7- Percentage that went to Obama in Nelson County

48- Percentage that went to Romney in Nelson County

51.6- Percentage that Obama got in Loudoun County, which had been a Republican stronghold

47.1- Percentage that Romney got in Loudoun County

4,274- Votes for Romney in Dickenson County, in far southwest Virginia, a coal-mining district

2,472- Votes Obama got in Dickenson County, the president did substantially better here in 2008

51.1- Percentage Romney got in King and Queen County in northeast Virginia

16,685- Votes Romney got in Franklin County

9,082- Votes Obama got in Franklin County

688-Votes that Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode got in Franklin County, his home area

20,036- Votes Romney got in Montgomery County, one of the most politically divided areas in the country

19,903- Votes Obama got in Montgomery County, which includes Blacksburg, the home of Virginia Tech

20,075- Votes that Senate-elect candidate Tim Kaine (D) got in Montgomery County

19,335- Votes that George Allen (R), Kaine's opponent, got in Montgomery County

64.9- Percentage Romney got in Shenandoah County

90.1- Percentage Obama got in Prince George's County, Maryland, a DC-suburban area

9.2- Percentage Romney got in Prince George's County

Friday, November 9, 2012

Election Day by the #s (2 of 4)_ Mitt Romney Wins Yanceyville, NC, but....

One of the great ironies of the election cycle is that two swing states, Colorado and North Carolina, were able to send an openly gay member of the House in Cong. Jared Polis (D-Colo., pictured top) and a member who declared that gay college student Matthew Shepard's murder in Wyoming was a hoax in Cong. Virginia Foxx (R-NC, pictured bottom).

I happen to follow both members of Congress on Twitter, for what that's worth. Polis got 56-percent of the vote over Kevin Lundberg (R). The Colorado congressman has also been an advocate of legalizing marijuana. His state passed a bill to actually legalize pot, but it is expected to meet many legal hurdles since marijuana is still outlawed at the federal level in America.

Foxx, who has been supportive of the Turkish side of the Rashomon Nightmare with the Armenian lobby, which means I may have been the only Turkish-American to have voted for her opponent Elisabeth Motsinger as I consider social issues to be even more important than ethnic politics. But, even though I reside in North Carolina, I was fortunate not to be in Foxx's district.

As it is, my vote may not have mattered too much as Foxx won by a 58-42 percentage margin, which was enough to make "The High County Press," newspaper in Boone, NC, declare that Foxx had 'obliterated' her opponent, as Eric Alterman of "The Nation" has declared 'what liberal media/", though "The Advocate," a gay politics magazine criticized Foxx's reelection as a sing that American tolerance for gays and lesbians still needs to evolve.

Somehow, I don't foresee Polis and Foxx having lunch at Ray's Hell Burger (pictured center) in Arlington, Va., where President Barack Obama has dined with a camera crew following him.

As for the presidential election, Mitt Romney did reclaim tiny Caswell County (Yanceyville), North Carolina, which is not in Fox''s district. Romney won back the Tarheel State, but only by the thinnest of margins.

Here are the numbers:

69.6 %- The percentage of votes Obama got in Boulder County, Colorado,Polis' home district.

23.2%- The percentage Romney got in Boulder County

51.2%- The percentage Obama got in Colorado

50. 6%- The percentage Romney got in North Carolina

254- The number of votes that Romney won by in Caswell County, NC.

91,606- The number of votes that Obama got in Forsyth County (Winston-Salem), NC

79,177- The number of votes that Romney got in Forsyth County

75.9%- The percentage of votes Obama got in Durham County, NC, the state's most progressive jurisdiction.

23.3%- The percentage Romney got in Durham County.

70.8 %- The percentage Romney got in rural Stokes County, the most conservative county in NC

27.9 %- The percentage Obama got in Stokes County

70.4 %- The percentage of vote Obama got in Orange County (Chapel Hill, Hillsborough), NC

28.2 %- The percentage of vote Romney got in Orange County

60.8 %- The percentage Obama got in Mecklenberg County (Charlotte), NC, where the Democratic National Convention was held

38.3 %- The percentage Romney got in Mecklenberg County.

51.7 %-The percentage Romney got in New Hanover (Wilmington), NC.

47.1 %- The percentage Obama got in New Hanover County

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election Day #s (1 of 4)_Virgil Goode Ironically Helps Obama Win

The Election Day chess game is over and besides President Barack Obama, other winners include Tim Kaine (D, pictured top) over George Allen (R, pictured bottom) for an open U.S. Senate seat, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) over controversial Republican Todd Akin, and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) over Republican challenger Denny Rehberg.

Amazingly enough, no incumbents lost seats in the U.S. Senate and only five seats switched sides, which helps broader the lead for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader in the Senate.

In Congress, only 20 incumbents lost. Among them was Cong. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) to Cong. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) in one of the most surreal house races in a long time. In other races that we've mentioned on this blog, Cong. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) narrowly beat out African-American Mormon Mia Love (R), and Cong. Mogan Grifith (R-Va.) got just over 60 percent of the vote from his Democratic challenger Anthony Flaccavento, who fared well for a first-time Democrat in the very socially conservative southwest Virginia.

One of the great ironies of this election was that far-right Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode from Rocky Mount, Va, who was a Democrat, Republican and independent during his years in Congress, actually helped Obama defeat Mitt Romney and allow the president to gain the vital 13 electoral college votes in Virginia by proclaiming close to one percent.

Here are some Election Day numbers of interest:

34, 220, 984- Number of votes John F. Kennedy got in 1960

34, 108,157- Number of votes Richard Nixon got in 1960

21,427,123- Number of votes Herbert Hoover got in 1928

15, 015,464- Number of votes Al Smith got in 1928

35,726- Number of votes John Adams got in 1796

31,115- Number of votes Thomas Jefferson got in 1796

2,916,811- Number of votes Obama got in his home state Illinois

1,900,575- Number of votes Obama got in Romney's home state Massachusetts.

1,777,379- Number of votes Romney got in Massachusetts.

19,663- Number of votes Green Party candidate Jill Stein got in Massachusetts (also her home state)

37.6%- The percentage of votes Romney got in his home state

1,888,954- The number of votes Obama got in Virginia

1,773,982- Number of votes Romney got in Virginia

13,587- Number of votes Virgil Goode got in Virginia

688-Number of votes Goode got in Franklin County, his home jurisdiction

49%- Percentage of votes Tim Kaine got in his Senate victory.

47%-Percentage of votes George Allen got

671, 747- Number of votes Romney got in Utah

72.8%-Percentage of vote Romney got in Utah

4,725- Number of votes Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson, a former Salt Lake City, Utah, mayor, got in Utah.

2,096- Distance in miles between Boston and Salt Lake City.

49.3%- Percent that Cong. Jim Matheson got in Utah house race

48.1%- Percent that Mia Love got in same Utah house race

30.8 %- Percent that former Washington Redskins Congressional candidate Jimmy Farris (D) got against Cong. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho); Farris was profiled in the "Washington Post Magazine" recently.

303,090- Number of votes Obama got in his birth state of Hawaii

36,975- Number of votes sitcom star Roseanne Barr got as a third party candidate in California (Yes, that is more than Jefferson got in 1796!)

27,337- Number of votes Libertarian Party Gary Anderson got in his home state of New Mexico

697- Number of votes Peta Lindsay of the Socialist Party got in Vermont.

7- Number of Dukakis 8 states won by Obama (both in 2008 and in 2012)

1- Number of Dukakis 8 states won by Romney (West Virginia)

4- Number of states in which Obama won every county (Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Hawaii)

3-Number of states in which Romney won every county (West Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma)

PS: We should point out that the guy playing chess in the middle is Gary Kasparov.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Election Day in America

One of the most interesting U.S. Congressional races is actually between Cong. Howard Berman (D-Calif., top) and Cong. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.). Since the district includes the city of Glendale, Calif., which has the largest Armenian-American population in the country (it should pointed out that I'm a Turkish-American, though also a Democrat, so much for trying to be as objective as Jim Lehrer or Charlie Rose, both of PBS), the Armenian-American actually sponsored a debate between the two candidates. This has lead us to come up with the satirical label "Berman Sherman Armenians," alas, we don't have the monetary funds to copyright the term!

I suppose it is best for me not to make an endorsement in this race, and as it is, it is very easy to get the candidates mixed. In fact, we almost misidentified Berman for Sherman. 

Another interesting Congressional race, in an election being overshadowed by the close presidential election, is between Cong. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), perhaps the most conservative Democrat on The Hill and his challenger Mia Love, an African-American Republican Mormom who is the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. Local newspapers in Utah said that Love actually has a slight polling lead in the race.

There is also the high-profile race between Cong. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and his challenger, Tammy Duckworth, 44, a Democrat, who is a double amputee from serving a combat mission she was serving in the Iraq War in November of 2004, just days after George W. Bush edged John Kerry, another war veteran, for the presidency. Duckworth was recently profiled in "Mother Jones," a left of center publication.

Lastly, we want to commend the Langley High School  12th grade government class in McLean, Va., a suburb of Washington, DC. They project that President Barack Obama will win over Mitt Romney by a tally 290-248 electoral college votes. The school, which is nicknamed the Vikings, the same nickname as Northside High School in my hometown of Roanoke, Va. (not my alma mater) and their political forecast was published in the Sunday edition of "The Washington Post."

There is no report, to our knowledge, on whom the Northside Vikings think will win the race, but the school is in Roanoke County, which is considered a swing jurisdiction that slightly favors Republicans. (a conservative/libertarian publication)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pre-Election Day Tweets_Should Election Day Be a Holiday?

Before we begin, let's congratulate Marsha Line, the 2012 Cave Spring High School (Roanoke, Va.) homecoming queen; we presume that even though my home state is a swing state which reportedly the closest one in the country, along with perhaps Colorado, that neither President Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney has sought out her endorsement.

The 9th district of southwest Virginia has a fairly interesting Congressional race between Cong. Morgan Griffith (R), who is from Salem, Va., and his opponent Anthony Flaccavento, a successful organic farmer from Abingdon, Va., which is 2.5 hours from Salem and 7 hours from Washington, DC.

Coal has been one of the hot topics in the race in which Griffith is favored as coal miners, normally reliable Democratic voters, have been voting more Republican because of cultural issues and fears of environmental regulations, though climate change/global warming was the issue which made New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the most recognized political independent endorse Obama.

We have tweets from both candidates in this final round-up of Pre-Election Day tweets, taken from last night:

1) @Slate ( "Latest polls show President Obama ahead of Mitt Romney in Ohio and Florida."

2) @CNNPolitics (CNN Politics): "Washington Redskins lose, San Francisco Giants win, election still unclear."

3) @lmcnelly (Lucas McNelly, a liberal activist): "I'm spending way too much time cursing at Republican attack ads."

4) @afor9th (Anthony Flaccavento, pictured bottom): "Thought telling truth and standing up for working people would rally folks. And it has. #Flaccavento in Wise County."

5) @MorganGriffith (Morgan Griffith, pictured top): "At the Dickenson County GOP Dinner. We've made over 40 stops and traveled more than 3,000 miles. Two days to go." (John McCain narrowly won the far southwestern Virginia county over Obama in 2008 according to "The Roanoke Times").

6) @CrowleyTime (Michael Crowley, a reporter for "Time" who previously worked for "The New Republic"): "Even weirder if Mark Warner hadn't bailed out in '08, Obama would likely be in the Senate or making first WH bid now." (Comment is in reference to Virginia's Democratic Senator Mark Warner).

7) @DavidFrum (David Frum, a center-right pundit and former George W. Bush speech writer): "Why isn't election day a national holiday?/Aka The Nightmare Before Christmas." (This is why we have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree image)

8) @NeilDiamond (Neil Diamond, the one and only iconic singer): "Working the phones for Obama. If I call you, don't hang up, it's me and I need you."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

For Our International Audience-Let's Get Our Times Right

The novelist Michael Chabon recently told "Mother Jones," more known for its liberal politics that the problem with the Internet was that it has evolved into a deliberate force for wasting time, and a similar point is apparently being made with Sunday's lead story in the business section of "The Washington Post," about wasted time in the office.

With that in mind, we thought we would keep everyone updated on the current time differences with the east coast of America (Philadelphia, Orlando) and the rest of the world. We should have had this posted an hour ago, but we had to check Twitter and Facebook 'just one more time.'

12:00 a.m.


Washington, DC

Charlotte, NC

2:00 a.m.

Santiago (Chile)

3:00 a.m.

Sao Paulo (Brazil)

5:00 a.m.

Reykjavik (Iceland)

Dublin (pictured, James Joyce statue)

6:00 a.m.



7:00 a.m.

Bursa (Turkey)

Rhodes (Greece, pictured)

Sofia (Bulgaria)

Amman (Jordan)

8:00 a.m.

Jeddah (Saudi Arabia, map pictured)


Sannaa (Yemen)

Nairobi (Kenya)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

This is NOT an Endorsement_ 3 Third Party Candiates

There is one presidential candidate who has previously lost to Mitt Romney; she is Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate from Boston who was arrested in Texas this week for trespassing while protesting the development of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.

Stein only got four percent of the vote when she ran with the Greens for the governor of Massachusetts in the 2002 race won by Romney, but it was only a five percent differential which allowed him to eek out a victory over Shannon O'Brien, the Democratic candidate who had been the state's treasurer.

Stein is on the ballot in 47 states; the three states where she is not are Oklahoma, Nebraska and Nevada_ the Silver State is the only one of those three which is considered a swing state. In fact, political experts say the city of Elko, Nev., was the jurisdiction which was most helpful towards George W. Bush's victory over John Kerry in 2004.

Cheri Honkak, a Native American activist is Stein's running mate, and she was also arrested during the protest.

Rocky Anderson, who is ironically the only Utah native in the race (Romney is a Mormon, which is the main religion in Utah), the Justice Party candidate, is openly agnostic and he is known for his progressive stances on immigration, climate change, gay rights and military defense. Anderson served as the mayor of Salt Lake City from 2000 to 2008. His vocal opposition to the Iraq War made him known nationally.

In 2011, Anderson left the Democratic Party for the newly formed Justice Party. Anderson's running mate is novelist Luis J. Rodriguez.

At 28, Peta Lindsay is far and away the youngest person running for president in this election cycle. Ironically, she and far right Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode were both born in Virginia. Lindsay is the candidate for the Socialist Party, which is actually the oldest third party. Lindsay, who is also an alumnus of Howard University in Washington, DC, is a feminist and African-American rights activist. Her running mate is Yasi Osorio; neither candidate has previous political experience.

For information on three other third party candidates, go to our other blog "The Daily Vampire:"

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Funny Pages Dialogue_ That's No Problem, Helga

Keith Knight is a brilliant cartoonist and journalist, and someone I greatly admire. That is made especially true because I can't even draw stick people! His comic strip "Knight Life" runs in the Sunday Washington Post. We did not get a chance to use a line from his comic strip this time, but we do have lines from many of the other strips that were in the most recent edition of the Sunday Post.

We have noticed that comic strips tend to use a lot of exclamation points!!!!

By the way, we must give credit to Javier the Intern for compiling this (a running in-joke on this blog, Javier is a fictional character); the aim here is to compile in a way that makes for one silly conversation.

Here we go:

"You're not getting any better at this are you" (from "Sherman's Lagoon")

"What kind of animal did you draw?" (from "Frazz")

"That's the problem, Helga!" (from "Hagar the Horrible")

"Hey, I told you to go with the "Dcotor Who" scripts." (from "Foxtrot," an image of Dr. Who is in the center).

"Honey, are you ok? What's going on?!" (from Blondie, we thought Dagwood was the one who likes to sit on the couch, but that distinction belongs to another old-time comic strip "Andy Capp")

"You did not just write that to me in an email." (from "Reply All," one of Javier's favorite comic strips)

"All I have to do is make a few phone calls!" (from "Judge Parker")

"I can afford to lost one crummy quarter!" (from "The Amazing Spiderman")

"I'll go scare that kid dressed as a space skunk!" (from "Brewster Rockit")

""Excuse me, but wasn't the Halloween section over there?" (from "Dennis the Menace, a comic strip character that is known in Turkish as "Bacaksiz"_ the kid without legs)

SIDEBAR: You wanna impress your hot girlfriend who looks as gorgeous as Kim Kardashian? Well, then you should go the web site for Mr. Porter where you can find unicorn-stamped sweater (pictured) which retails for $725. It must be true because we read it the Sunday Post.

And, for those of you who are into fashion (I'm just a novice myself), then you should check out "All on the Line," with Joey Zee; new episodes air on the Sundance Channel every Monday night at 9:00 p.m. Reruns of the series will be airing this evening (east coast time).

Comic strip links:

Fashion links: