Somewhere, over the rainbow, a blog is born. A blog for Kansas. A blog for America. A blog by a reporter with a difficult-to-pronounce last name. But most importantly, a blog that is AMERICA'S ONLY PLACE dedicated to the vital intersection of politics and Sunflowers. The Heartland gods nod in wise approval.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Marshmallows, beer and Canada

So I've received several e-mails this week asking, what does a glamorous Washington journalist do on vacation after a summer of hot scoops and inside revelations? Although I likely will never know the answer to that, I have spent much of my past several days holed in my luxurious Alexandria getaway, also known as "my condo." I've been discovering exotic new places in my neighborhood, such as the dry cleaners; taking day trips to Baltimore, temporary home to the Minnesota Twins; barbecuing food still left over from my July housewarming party; and above all,I've been stuggling with this #^%@%$ home computer.

I have literally been struggling with this monster for the past 10 hours. I've let viruses and adware slip into my system for months, and I vowed that this week my computer would become updated, cleaned and ready for a couple more years of service. Last weekend I downloaded Norton 2004 from Symantec, which in theory should have devirused this thing -- except that viruses had infected the innermost parts of the system software, rendering Symantec helpless. So today I erased my hard drive and started from scratch -- but even that had issues, leading to a full day on the phone with ... Canada.

Canada, for those who may not be aware, is a large nation immediately north of the 48 contiguous states. The world's largest manufacturer of paper and newsprint, Canada also exports folk singers and Playboy Playmates, the most famous of which is Pamela Anderson, author of the best-selling novel "Star." Canada also is the home of manufacturing and high-technology. Many of its companies are subsidiaries of U.S. firms -- including Microsoft's technical support division, which I learned today is headquartered in Nova Scotia.

I've spent literally hours on the phone with the 'Scotians today, receiving helpful tech advice and new product codes in soothing northern accents. After I realized during the second call that ALL tech calls went to Canada, I started having fun with it -- I learned about the history of the "twonie" and a bit about how Nova Scotians see themselves differently from other Canadians (they're friendlier). And I am now typing on my better-than-ever computer, and I am content. I barbecued some turkey sausage -- I'm down to that, soy nuggets, and some corn dogs I just discovered at the bottom of my freezer (origin unknown). And I roasted marshmallows.

I hope my neighbors don't worry about the lonely guy who stays at home all day, then grills at night before he roasts marshmallows and drinks Heineken on his front porch, alone. But they don't understand -- I have Canada behind me, and I am accomplishing great things. This blog shall return, reinvigorated for the campaign stretch, on Monday.