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It's been coming on for the last few weeks, but yes, finally Barack Obama has the delegates required to clinch the Democratic nomination for President.  I'm glad; he was the candidate I voted for (in no small part due to encouragement from [personal profile] orichalcum and [profile] cerebralpaladin).  And Hilary Clinton kept going for longer than she ought to have; I have found some of her recent actions and stances irritating at best.

That said, I do now honestly think that the best thing for the party would be a realization of the so-called 'dream ticket', with Obama in the Presidential slot and Clinton as Veep.  From what I heard on the news in the last day or so (particularly regarding the protests outside the decisionmaking regarding the Michigan and Florida delegates), there are portions of the Democratic party that have become kind of frighteningly polarized over this issue.  I believe that having both candidates on the ticket would be the fastest, surest way to excite and energize those who were/are strong Clinton supporters who may feel disappointed - or even robbed - by the Michigan-Florida delegate decision. 

That's my hope, anyway.  I think Obama is both smart enough as a gameplayer (re [personal profile] orichalcum's post) and gracious enough as a human being to extend her the offer.  We'll see what the next few weeks bring!
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I've been listening on and off to Joy Chan's Librivox recording of The Pilgrim's Progress.  It's one of those classics that I never had to read in high school or college, and I'd heard lots of comments about how good her reading is.  I am largely enjoying it, though I have to take breaks every now and then; Bunyan apparently never heard of subtlety, and his lack thereof eventually becomes tiresome.

I listened to Part 1 Eighth Stage on Sunday on my drive home from church.  Every so often, Christian (the main character) does something sort of stupid, but this particular episode took the cake.  He and his companion Hopeful got captured by the Giant Despair and were cast into the dungeon of Castle Doubtful.  This happened because Christian saw a nice, easy-looking path parallel to the currently-rocky Way to the Celestial City, and after failing a Wisdom check and winning a Contest of Skill (Fast-Talk versus Hopeful's Intelligence), convinced his buddy that it would be just fine if they walked on the nice easy-looking path instead.  It turned out to be not such a hot idea.  You also see what I mean about a certain lack of subtlety in Bunyan's writing.

Anyway.  They get stuck in the dungeon on Wednesday, and are left there without food, water, or light till Saturday, at which point the giant starts beating them and exhorting them to commit suicide rather than live on.  Oh, and of course not giving them any food or water.  It's a little unclear how many days this treatment goes on, but eventually Hopeful and Christian spend a long time in prayer.... immediately afterwards, Christian realizes that, d'oh! he's got a key (called Promise) in his breast (pocket? shirt?) that should open up all the doors in the castle.  Using this handy tool, the two make their escape, after some four or five days of imprisonment.

Dude, when you're lost or puzzled, check your inventory! 
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Still no pics up from the wedding/weekend, sorry. 

While taking photos, both with our camera and with the now-ubiquitous disposable "Here, take pictures of anything that looks interesting!" cameras present at weddings, there was something kind of remarkable and very neat that I noticed about a particular group of people. 

Many of the guests were friends and college classmates of The Groom.  I knew this group of people somewhat - [personal profile] woodwindy's time in college managed to overlap with both their graduating class and with mine, and I'd met a number of them a couple of times before when various friends-in-common had gotten married.  And while I don't know for certain, I'm guessing that most of these folks hadn't seen each other since the last time someone in their group got married, probably seven or eight years ago.

What became wonderfully clear to me as I watched this group of people was the deep and abiding affection that flowed between them.  From quiet conversations to knowing looks passed and uproarious laughter, one could see that the years apart had done absolutely no damage to the kin-close friendships these people had forged so long ago.  That affection was there, in their eyes: I know you.  I care about you.  You are the sibling of my heart.

May all good friendships last so well!


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