Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My ham sandwich is going to win

Thursday, September 30th, 2004

Earlier this year, when it became clear John Kerry would be the Democratic nominee, someone asked me what I thought our chances were.

My smartass answer was, “I think a ham sandwich could do a better job running this country than George W. Bush, and I’m voting for the ham sandwich.”

Over the summer, my candidate looked a little weaker than I might have liked, and as the debates approached I was concerned he wouldn’t pull it off.

After seeing who won the debate, I am no longer worried.

John Kerry has been excellent tonight, and Bush has nobody—apart from the split-screen—to blame but himself.

The debate is still going on, but I’m making lunch plans tomorrow. Meet me at the Dirty Deli—I’ll be the guy eating a ham sandwich and smiling more than I have in a while.

Sound Bites for Truth

Wednesday, September 8th, 2004

Question of the Day
Question of the Day
From: Mike Carvalho
Date: Wed Sep 8, 2004 07:48:34 US/Eastern
Subject: Question of the Day: Debates matter

The debates force the two candidates to deliver real answers which we don't get from campaign ads and sound bites. I'm afraid that's why George W. Bush is trying to pull out of one of the debates -- he's doing diclofenac just fine with sound bites and swift boat ads. If debates didn't matter, Bush wouldn't be trying so hard to wiggle out of them.

Mike Carvalho
Chester Springs, PA

Pulling Out the Stops

Wednesday, March 10th, 2004

Following up on my post over at the Change for America blog, there have been additional salvos fired from both sides in the fight over anti-Bush ads.

Most significant is the $5.1 million campaign launched today by former Clinton adviser Harold Ickes’ “Media Fund” group — view the ad here. (The script will sound familiar to anyone who’s heard a Dean stump speech: the narrator speaks about “hope, not fear” and says it’s time to “take our country back.”) CNN reports that the Bush-Cheney campaign will file a complaint with the FEC in an attempt to shut down the ads.

The New York Times examines the fight between the GOP and what they call an emerging “shadow” political party, and the Washington Post takes a closer look at the way groups like the Media Fund and will operate parallel to the Democratic Party and the Kerry campaign to help defeat Bush in the fall.

Meanwhile, the Log Cabin Republicans are hitting at their party from within, running an ad campaign of their own denouncing the Bush-backed Hate Amendment by using the words of a familiar GOP spokesperson — Dick Cheney himself.

Change for America

Saturday, February 28th, 2004

As a grassroots leader in the Dean campaign I believe the work we have all done and the community we have all built is too important to fall by the wayside. We are all committed to continuing to work for the things that Governor Howard Dean and his campaign stand for. I believe Change for America will provide us all with the resources and focus we need to continue this work.

Below is the founding document of Change for America. Please join us, and pass it on to every American who believes that changing this country is a cause worth fighting for.


For the last thirteen months, we helped build a community that is changing America.  We came together from every background and from every region—and we’re going to stick together—because we believe in the change that Howard Dean’s campaign represented.  And we believe in the power of the American people.  

Today, by signing this letter, we reaffirm our commitment to bringing change to this country, to building the tools that will grow this community and to fighting for the principles that brought us to Howard Dean’s campaign.

More than 600,000 Americans achieved something extraordinary. Although we lost the Democratic nomination, our campaign still won: we changed Americans politics forever.

We awoke the Democratic Party and showed how to take on George W. Bush—and defeat him.

“Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean, Dean”

Thursday, September 11th, 2003

Mikes for Dean
Gov. Howard Dean in Philadelphia, flanked by the Philly4Dean driving/web team.
One of the very few people who hasn’t yet given up hope that I’ll eventually post something to this site commented the other day that even if I’ve got nothing to write about other than Gov. Howard Dean, the Dean campaign and local campaign activities, the least I can do is put up some sort of fresh content. She was right, of course—there’s almost as much mention of Dean in my day-to-day life as there is in one of Sen. John Kerry’s press conferences (see the clip here).

So here it is: since the Philadelphia rally a month ago, we’ve continued to build a local/regional organization and I’ve participated in all sorts of activities. Some of the highlights include taking a bus trip to the Sleepless Summer Tour rally in NYC, packing Sec. 505 of Veterans Stadium with Dean supporters to watch the Phillies beat the Mets, and seeing attendance at area Meetups skyrocket as we continue to add new venues. We’ve got bright red Philly4Dean t-shirts now so people can see us coming, and we’re sildenafil preparing more high-profile events like the Sept. 20 Cheesesteaks For America.

I’ve been busy behind the scenes too, and not just on web pages and e-newsletters. On Monday night, local organizers were contacted by campaign headquarters because Gov. Dean was coming to Philadelphia to speak at a fundraising event and would need transportation to and from 30th Street Station. Being underemployed has its perks: along with Mike P., Philly4Dean web designer and creative director, my name was picked out of the hat and we had the opportunity to meet the governor and shuttle him and his staff around town. I tried my best not to gawk, but when Gov. Dean graciously agreed to have his picture taken with us, I unfortunately put on the goofiest face I could.

At least I didn’t get lost—the doctor made it to Maryland for the debate later that night and turned in a performance William Saletan called a “touchdown.” Not a bad day.

What a day

Thursday, August 14th, 2003

This is the best picture I got from my spot in the middle of the crowd
A shot from the middle of the crowd: Gov. Howard Dean, Councilman Angel Ortiz and Philly4Dean’s Jennifer Powers.
Close to 4,000 people came to the rally we held in Philadelphia for Gov. Howard Dean on Monday, more than at any previous event so far nationwide. Dean was stuck in Washington, D.C. due to bad weather, but the crowd continued to grow while we waited for his flight to land. The forecasts had called for rain, but the worst we got were some ominous clouds that trapped the hot, muggy air. When the Governor arrived, he delivered a rousing speech and then was followed by thousands of supporters up 5th St. where the candidates’ forum was being held. As the crowd outside the Constitution Center cheered, chanted and waved signs, they were clearly visible—and audible—to the media, the attendees and the other candidates inside the glass-walled building.

The event got decent coverage in the Daily News and again in the Philadelphia Weekly, but the Philadelphia Inquirer missed the point—as well as the Governor—because the reporter left early, possibly due to indigestion after trying to eat cheesesteaks with Sen. John Kerry.

Dean and the Phillies jersey
Dean puts on the Phillies jersey and shows it to the crowd.
A collection of photos is available on the official Dean for America website, including a shot of Dean wearing the Phillies jersey we presented him during the rally. What you can’t see in that shot is that “Dean 04” was embroidered on the back by my (supposedly undecided) roommate. Update: Philly4Dean database guru and videographer extraordinaire Christoph grabbed some video caps of the Governor putting on the Phillies jersey.

I’ve been peripherally involved in campaigns before, but nothing on this scale—I even deejayed the rally with Elvis’s “A Little Less Conversation,” the theme song from Rocky, and everything in between. It was an amazing day, and I’m working with an incredible group of people here in Philadelphia. We’re all energized to keep working and building momentum.

Dean comes to Philly

Tuesday, August 5th, 2003

Media darling Howard Dean
King of all media.
Gov. Howard Dean is coming to Philadelphia next Monday at a time when there seems to be a convergence of media coverage and interest in this insurgent, Internet-powered grassroots campaign. This week the doctor is on the covers of all the major newsweeklies, was featured in a high-profile story on the front page of the Sunday Washington Post and has made appearances all over the national news, including last night’s Larry King Live. So far, this has been the summer of Dean, as his candidacy has evolved from that of a quirky outsider to one with a legitimate chance of taking the Democratic nomination and fundamentally changing national politics.

For me, this campaign is about shaking things up in Washington and undoing the damage done by the second Bush administration, both at home and abroad. There is no question that Dean is already making waves in national politics through his principled positions, straight talk and unprecedented use of the Internet. And I believe his fiscally conservative, socially progressive positions are very much in line with the views of a majority of Americans who are not easily labeled by pundits and talking heads.

All the Democratic candidates for President will be in Philadelphia next Monday, August 11th for a forum at the new National Constitution Center. Because of the amount of support for the Dean campaign in this area, the Governor is coming in early for a rally outside the Independence Visitor Center. The event will start at around 4pm, and Howard Dean will be speaking to supporters with the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall as his backdrop while the focus of the national media rests squarely on Philadelphia. We are hoping for a massive turnout—if you are anywhere in the megalopolis from Boston down to D.C., please consider making the trip. If you’ve got questions or need more information, feel free to contact me or visit the Philly4Dean website.

UMass logos unveiled

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2003

New Minuteman
New Minuteman mascot
My reaction to the release of the new University of Massachusetts mascot and logos today is relief more than anything else. For a while it looked like the symbol was going to become another victim of political correctness, but after a lot of back and forth the school decided to keep the Minuteman rather than switch to something awful like gray wolves.

When I saw this prototype for a Sixers logo on the Phoenix Design Works website, I assumed we’d be seeing something very similar when the new UMass logos were unveiled. What’s been delivered, though, is true to the image of a Minuteman—I think Phoenix and UMass got it just about right. It’s great to see that awful logo script go away as well.

One more thing: I’m more than a little surprised to see a musket on his shoulder. Maybe the administration has finally accepted the idea that the Revolutionary War was a war—with guns—and criticism directed at that part of this symbol is a little misdirected. In a strange way, I guess I find that gun comforting.

Morbid curiosity

Monday, July 7th, 2003

Stiff by Mary Roach
As part of the inaugural Virtual Book Tour, I’ve had the opportunity to review a copy of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. I’m about as squeamish as they come—just looking at the organ donor sticker on my license makes me a little uncomfortable—but I’ve always wondered what happens to people when their rent-controlled apartments come available.

Mary satisfies my curiosity with a sense of humor balanced with a reverence for her subject matter. Here’s an example from Chapter 4, “Dead Man Driving”:

By and large, the dead aren’t very talented. They can’t play water polo, or lace up their boots, or maximize market share. They can’t tell a joke, and they can’t dance for beans. There is one thing dead people excel at. They’re very good at handling pain.

For instance, UM 006. UM 006 is a cadaver who recently journeyed across Detroit from the University of Michigan to the bioengineering lab at Wayne State University. His job, which he will undertake at approximately 7 p.m. tonight, is to be hit in the shoulder with a linear impactor.

Cadaver UM 006’s job is a significant one—he and his fellow human crash test dummies provide data about car crashes which simply can’t be matched by mechanical dummies. While the use of cadavers in these types of tests is much less common today than it was in the 1960s, it is estimated that for every cadaver used to test restraints and airbags, 147 lives have been saved.

Mary explores the myriad ways a human body can serve a purpose after its owner has moved on, from forensic science to military research, medical training to the study of airplane crashes. The result is a surprisingly enjoyable read which belies its title.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach, published by W.W. Norton, is available for purchase online, and more information is available at

Tomorrow, the Virtual Book Tour travels across the country to

Independence from wires

Friday, July 4th, 2003

What better day than July 4th to get rid of your dependence on ethernet cables and finally go wireless? I’ve had a wireless setup at home since I got back from SXSW in 2002—that conference showed me once and for all what I was missing out on. But my Linksys router was been less-than-reliable lately, and when some deals came up for cheap routers, I jumped on them.

First, I picked up the SMC Barricade wireless router—after rebates, it comes to just . And even though I’ve already got my wireless Airport cards, here’s another deal that should be of interest to PC users: an SMC wireless PC card for only $10 after rebates. These are both real basic, 802.11b products, but so far the router is working great for me after a few days and I highly recommend it. (And if you’re not checking dealnews and its sister sites before making online purchases, try using it from now on.)
% Total % Received % Xferd Average Speed Time Time Time Current Dload Upload Total Spent Left Speed 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 0 100 68 100 68 0 0 586 0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 586