Tom Wilson, who played the villainous bully Biff in the Back to the Future movies, gets stopped by fans so often that he hands out a postcard answering the most common questions.
"Nobody had any idea that the movies would become a cultural touchstone, but the themes of friendship and adventure moved the audience so powerfully that I felt the need to create this postcard as a time-saver."
+Will Shetterly says it was wrong for Violentacrez's employers to fire him, and wrong for Gawker to out his identity.
Whenever I discuss free speech with fans of censorship, I have to note that no one ever needs to defend the right to innocuous speech. The price of supporting free speech is supporting the right to speak and assemble of people you despise....
The right to photograph freely what happens in public has to include the right to put those photographs in creepy contexts. If it does not, we're left with a meaningless freedom, the right to record and share public things that no one objects to.
Does it matter that Violentacrez will almost certainly go on to a better job?
The NRA should no longer be taken seriously as a political organization.
They're an organized group of nuts, like the Flat Earth Society and UFO groups, only better funded. And better armed.
I'm not in favor of banning guns. I'm not even sure that an assault rifle ban, and ban on private ownership of military weapons, is a good idea.
But it's just deranged to suggest that that video games and movies are the problem, and the cure is more guns in schools.
I'd like to see vastly reduced gun ownership. 47% of Americans own guns now. That's just insane. But it also means that guns are deeply, deeply entrenched in our culture, and changing that is going to take a generation (just as acceptance of same-sex marriage required a generation).
You can't place or receive Google Voice calls from Hangouts. That's annoying; I use Google Voice.
Google Voice is a great service, and for six years it's been my primary phone number. But it hasn't seen an upgrade in a long time, and text messaging has become unreliable. And now this -- nobody remembered to invite Google Voice to the big Hangouts party.
I fear Voice is going the way of Google Reader. Which is annoying, because my doctor, credit card company, and other key businesses have my Google Voice number as my contact number.
I think he's done a pretty good job so far. Given a second term, with the economy recovering (albeit too slowly and weakly), and the war in Iraq done and Afghanistan winding down, he might turn out great.
On the other hand, if he merely continues on his current course, well, pretty good is pretty good.
My vote for Obama is as much a vote against Romney as it is for Obama. A friend on Facebook wrote an eloquent argument in favor of voting for Romney. He said Obamacare is bad news; as bad as the medical situation is in the US, socialized medicine is worse. He's a European immigrant, so he speaks from personal experience. He says Romney's record in business will help him shrink government and get government running efficiently.
If I believed any of those things were true, I might vote for Romney. But he has, as the Democrats noted, changed every position he holds to its opposite just to get power. He used to be pro-choice, tolerant of same-sex marriage, and instituted a service in Massachusetts similar to Obamacare. Now he's pro-life, anti-same-sex-marriage, and hates Obamacare.
As for his business record: Look, it's an honorable record and he has good reason to be proud. But Bain didn't make anything or do any productive service. It moved money around. That's what drove the economic collapse of 2008: Too much of the economy was tied up in businesses that did nothing but move money around. And his record as a "job creator" is mixed.
(BTW, can we stop saying "job creator"? Nobody created my job. I create it myself every day that I get out of bed when I'd much rather be slumbering, and every night when I return to my desk after dinner. This job I do is not a handout from some billionaire somewhere.)
It's most likely to me that a Romney presidency, with the GOP controlling at least one branch of the legislature, will result in shrinking social services and a vastly expanded military, with billions flowing from the federal coffers into military contractors. We'll see thousands of Americans, and tens or hundreds of thousands of non-Americans, dying in unnecessary foreign wars.
As for Obamacare: I have misgivings about it, but what's the alternative? Stopping Obamacare will cut people with pre-existing conditions off from medical care and deny medical care to the unemployed. Any alternative to Obamacare has to solve those two problems before it's worth considering
Until literally this week, I was going to vote for a third-party candidate while hoping Obama wins. I had that luxury because I live in California, which is going to go for Obama no matter how I vote. But I changed my mind for two reasons: (1) His behavior, and the behavior of the federal government, during Superstorm Sandy. He and the feds have, quite simply, done their job. It's one of the basic reasons we have a federal government; to bring the whole country together when one region is hit by disaster. The federal competence during this disaster reminded me of how incompetent the federal government was under the Bush Administration. The feds just couldn't get basic things done then -- like bringing disaster relief to Katrina victims, protecting America against terrorism, and identifying real threats to America.
The second reason: If Obama wins by a narrow popular margin -- or worse, if he loses the popular vote but wins the electoral vote -- the GOP will spend the next four years claiming the White House doesn't have a legitimate mandate. They'll say that anyway, but I'd like to do my microscopic part to undercut that GOP message a much as I can.
The best minds in the world are paid handsomely to make people fat.
The New York Times reports in depth on how the junk food industry works.
Howard Moskowitz, trained in mathematics and with a Harvard Ph.D. in experimental psychology, made his mark in the food industry by making Prego pasta sauce a blockbuster hit. He's optimized soups, pizza, salad dressing, and pickles. He's a self-described food industry game changer. And he got his start working for the Army.
"The military has long been in a peculiar bind when it comes to food: how to get soldiers to eat more rations when they are in the field. They know that over time, soldiers would gradually find their meals-ready-to-eat so boring that they would toss them away, half-eaten, and not get all the calories they needed. But what was causing this M.R.E.-fatigue was a mystery. “So I started asking soldiers how frequently they would like to eat this or that, trying to figure out which products they would find boring,” Moskowitz said. The answers he got were inconsistent. “They liked flavorful foods like turkey tetrazzini, but only at first; they quickly grew tired of them. On the other hand, mundane foods like white bread would never get them too excited, but they could eat lots and lots of it without feeling they’d had enough.”
"This contradiction is known as “sensory-specific satiety.” In lay terms, it is the tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm the brain, which responds by depressing your desire to have more. Sensory-specific satiety also became a guiding principle for the processed-food industry. The biggest hits — be they Coca-Cola or Doritos — owe their success to complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don’t have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating."
Among the junk food industry's tools: a $40,000 machine that simulates a chewing mouth, with which researchers discovered that people like chips that snap with about four pounds pressure per square inch.
The junk food industry's science has deep roots. Frito-Lay hired psychologist Ernest Dichter, who prepared a 24-page report in 1957:
"The company’s chips, he wrote, were not selling as well as they could for one simple reason: “While people like and enjoy potato chips, they feel guilty about liking them. . . . Unconsciously, people expect to be punished for ‘letting themselves go’ and enjoying them.” Dichter listed seven “fears and resistances” to the chips: “You can’t stop eating them; they’re fattening; they’re not good for you; they’re greasy and messy to eat; they’re too expensive; it’s hard to store the leftovers; and they’re bad for children.” He spent the rest of his memo laying out his prescriptions, which in time would become widely used not just by Frito-Lay but also by the entire industry. Dichter suggested that Frito-Lay avoid using the word “fried” in referring to its chips and adopt instead the more healthful-sounding term “toasted.” To counteract the “fear of letting oneself go,” he suggested repacking the chips into smaller bags. “The more-anxious consumers, the ones who have the deepest fears about their capacity to control their appetite, will tend to sense the function of the new pack and select it,” he said.
"Dichter advised Frito-Lay to move its chips out of the realm of between-meals snacking and turn them into an ever-present item in the American diet. “The increased use of potato chips and other Lay’s products as a part of the regular fare served by restaurants and sandwich bars should be encouraged in a concentrated way,” Dichter said, citing a string of examples: “potato chips with soup, with fruit or vegetable juice appetizers; potato chips served as a vegetable on the main dish; potato chips with salad; potato chips with egg dishes for breakfast; potato chips with sandwich orders.”
This is a failure mode built into capitalism. We see it in the junk food industry, as well as the gun, tobacco, alcohol, and casino industries. The human race has hard-wired death drives, and companies can make a lot of money serving those destructive impulses.
We reduced the problem enormously with smoking, but it required a combination of law and public opinion. It's taken 50 years, and and the job isn't done yet.
Well, it looks like my Nexus 7 is broken and useless -- unless you can help me fix it.
When I try to go into Settings, I get an error message that says, "Unfortunately, com.android.settings has stopped."
I was willing to live with that, because I could still change Wi-Fi and other settings through their individual apps. However, I wanted to change the stock keyboard, and I need to get into Settings for that.
So I tried a couple of things and those didn't work, and then I tried a hard factory reset.
And now I'm still getting that "Unfortunately, com.android.settings has stopped" error message. Which means I can't get into my Google account to configure the device. Which means I can't use it.
I've called Google Tech Support and they're going to ship me out a replacement unit, but that's going to take at least a week. And I don't want to be without the tablet for that long.
Shit, I just remembered, I have a conference Wednesday and Thursday. I really don't want to be dragging my MacBook Pro around for that. Well, maybe I won't have to -- maybe I can make do with a paper notebook and my iPhone.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Do you take your Nexus 7 out and about without a case? I prefer to use it without a case around the house, but I put it in a case (the Moko) when I take it out. I do that for protection. But I'd really rather not use a case at all.
Do you have experience taking the Nexus 7 out in the world without a case?
I have experience with the iPhone on this. Many people think they need cases to protect the device, but I've used iPhones for six years, almost all that time without cases, and I've never broken one. And I am a clumsy fellow, so if anyone was going to break their iPhone, it would be me. The iPhone doesn't need a case for normal, day-to-day wear. How about the Nexus 7?
Introducing the hot gadget of 2013 -- bigger than the iPhone or iPad -- and it's not from Apple.
The Leap device lets you use hand gestures to control a computer and other services (one guy even hacked a prototype to control a quadcopter). The inventors envision it being used in surgeries, fighter jet cockpits, semiconductor clean rooms, fast food kitchens, and more.
The price: $70. -------------------- Basically the engineers at Leap Motion have invented the 3D user interface of the future. You don’t use a keyboard and mouse; you don’t even use a touch screen. You just move your fingers in the air, and, as if by magic, with zero latency and pinpoint accuracy, stuff happens on your screen. Think of Microsoft’s Kinect controller, but way better. Leap Motion claims its device is 200 times more accurate than anything on the market and can track your finger movements down to 1/100th of a millimeter.
I have many criticisms of Obama -- many, many criticisms -- but one of the reasons I admire him is because in the end he seems more interested in doing his job than in accruing power.
We're seeing that today in the White House reaction to Sandy.
He figures that if he does his job, the country will be better off, and therefore people will support him and vote him back into office. That has been his strategy since his inauguration. It's why he often doesn't get in there with fists and kicking when the political donnybrooks start (even when that's exactly what he should do -- his reluctance to brawl politically is sometimes a drawback).
And the Republican criticisms of his actions make no sense. They say he's taking strong, visible action on Sandy to distract from the election. That may be true? So what?
The Republicans are also trying to link Obama's reaction to Sandy and his reaction to Benghazi. Yes, it appears that the White House screwed up badly in Benghazi. Does that mean, therefore, that we should criticize Obama for failing to screw up twice?
And the fact that Michael Brown is stepping forward to criticize Obama underscores one of the reasons why I won't support Romney. The GOP toaday is the same bunch of assclowns who nearly wrecked the country during the Bush administration. The Democratic Party has a long way to go before it descends to the level of the GOP.
P.S. Chris Christie seems to be another mainstream politician with that same quality: Doing his job seems to be his first priority. Although unlike Obama he seems to like the fisticuffs too.
I wasn't going to speak out in favor of Obama's statement on gay marriage, because I didn't think it needed saying.
But then a Facebook friend and self-identified Christian posted an appalling condemnation of Obama's statement and Obama himself, and a couple of her little troll-minded pals jumped right in.
So I'll say it again: The President of the United States just spoke out in favor of gay and lesbian marriage. That makes today a great day.
And I've unfriended that Facebook friend. I didn't really know her very well. She was just someone I went to high school with. She seemed nice enough, and I'm sorry she believes her definition of Christianity requires her to be a hateful nincompoop.
Democracy, no! America has a century of trying and failing to bring democracy to the world at gunpoint, and yet we're still going strong.
American imperialism failed in bringing democracy to Mexico, central America, South America, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, and yet our political leaders and intellectuals keep thinking that somehow we'll get it right this time, that we can go into a country and blow a lot of stuff up and shoot a lot of people and somehow it will all end happily.
America needs to go to war only when there is a direct threat to our national security. Not because that is the moral way to behave -- although it is the moral way -- but because spreading democracy and freedom at gunpoint just doesn't work.
You know that thing about how ACORN was busted for signing up voters illegally?
That thing where a guy dressed up as a pimp and caught ACORN staffers on video cooperating in felonies?
They were complete lies and fabrications.
The ACORN employee caught on tape doing the dirty deed actually called the cops on the fake-pimp, James O'Keefe, right after O'Keefe left the office. The employee got fired from ACORN anyway. Now, O'Keefe has agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement.
"O’Keefe’s other videos have been exposed as either complete lies or deceptively edited. ThinkProgress reported last year that O’Keefe’s attempt to expose voter fraud by non-citizens actually featured US citizens. The conservative activist has also been arrested for trying to bug a Senator’s phone."
Also, he wasn't actually wearing a pimp costume when he went to the ACORN office. He was wearing a suit and tie. He deceptively edited himself wearing the pimp-costume into the video later.
"O’Keefe’s settlement is the latest blow to the credibility of conservative media. Breitbart.com made a stir by accusing now-confirmed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel of taking money from a shadowy organization with the outlandish name “Friends of Hamas” — a group that turned out to be fictional. Soon after, allegations by the Daily Caller that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) had hired a prostitute turned out to be entirely fabricated. The fake scandal had also been shopped around to the New York Post and the Star-Ledger Time, but neither could find any evidence to publish the story. Larger conservative media outlets like the Drudge Report, however, enthusiastically amplified these stories with little or no scrutiny."
I don't usually pass along these conservative-liberal pissing-contest stories, or even read them. But I know a few intelligent people who actually believe the bullshit about ACORN, Menendez, and read Breitbart.
The artist formerly known as Fake Steve Jobs says the iPhone -- and Apple -- have gotten boring.
"To use a car analogy, six years ago the iPhone was like a sexy new flagship model from BMW or Porsche. Today it's a Toyota Camry. Safe, reliable, boring. The car your mom drives. The car that's so popular that its maker doesn't dare mess with the formula."
I don't know if I agree with this. I just feel like pissing people off.
Certainly, the work I'm hearing about from Google sounds a million times more interesting than Apple. Self-driving cars! Virtual reality glasses! And what's Apple got? A new TV? Yeah, I suppose that's nice but you know I'm pretty happy with the TV I have. 7-inch tablet? I already have one, thanks -- love it.
Next week it'll be back to my usual routine of listening to the podcast while walking in the park, hearing something I want to respond to, speaking up to respond, and remembeingr after people start looking at me funny that I'm not actually a guest on the show and none of the people on the show can hear me.
Movie posters reimagined as if the films were made in past decades
Peter Sellers and Mary Tyler Moore star in Groundhog Day.
Charlton Heston and Harry Belafonte in Pulp Fiction, with Kim Novak, Laurence Olivier, Yul Brynner, and Burt Lancaster.
I guess Heston and Belafonte get the Travolta and Jackson roles, Kim Novak subs for Uma Thurman, and either Yul Brynner or Burt Lancaster plays the boxer who was played by Bruce Willis in the real movie.
But who does Olivier play? I'm thinking the Wolf, played by Harvey Keitel in real life.
And who plays Marsellus Wallace? Belafonte is the only African-American actor I recognize on that list, although there are a couple of names I don't recognize.
I want to see all these movies. Frank Zappa as The Big Lebowski! Richard Kiel as The Terminator, with Faye Dunaway as Sarah Conner! And check out who plays John Connor in The Terminator II: Judgment Day.
Why Your Supermarket Only Sells 5 Kinds of Apples: And one man's quest to bring hundreds more back.
John Bunker is Maine's Apple Whisper, traveling the state to find legacy apples:
"In the mid-1800s, there were thousands of unique varieties of apples in the United States, some of the most astounding diversity ever developed in a food crop. Then industrial agriculture crushed that world. The apple industry settled on a handful of varieties to promote worldwide, and the rest were forgotten. They became commercially extinct—but not quite biologically extinct.
"Even when abandoned, an apple tree can live more than 200 years, and, like the Giving Tree in Shel Silverstein's book, it will wait patiently for the boy to return. There is a bent old Black Oxford tree in Hallowell, Maine, that is approximately two centuries old and still gives a crop of midnight-purple apples each fall. In places like northern New England, the Appalachian Mountains, and Johnny Appleseed's beloved Ohio River Valley—agricultural byways that have escaped the bulldozer—these centenarians hang on, flickering on the edge of existence, their identity often a mystery to the present homeowners. And John Bunker is determined to save as many as he can before they, and he, are gone.
"THE KEY THING TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT apple varieties is that apples do not come true from seed. An apple fruit is a disposable womb of the mother tree, but the seeds it encloses are new individuals, each containing a unique combination of genes from the mother tree and the mystery dad, whose contribution arrived in a pollen packet inadvertently carried by a springtime bee. If that seed grows into a tree, its apples will not resemble its parents'. Often they will be sour little green things, because qualities like bigness, redness, and sweetness require very unusual alignments of genes that may not recur by chance. Such seedling trees line the dirt roads and cellar holes of rural America.
"If you like the apples made by a particular tree, and you want to make more trees just like it, you have to clone it: Snip off a shoot from the original tree, graft it onto a living rootstock, and let it grow. This is how apple varieties come into existence. Every McIntosh is a graft of the original tree that John McIntosh discovered on his Ontario farm in 1811, or a graft of a graft. Every Granny Smith stems from the chance seedling spotted by Maria Ann Smith in her Australian compost pile in the mid-1800s."
Democrat-boycotting Libertarian Eric Dondero on whether he would let a Democrat drown.
Eric Dondero, a former Ron Paul aide, is possibly the angriest man in the world over the Obama election. He's vowed to cut all Democrats out of his life -- friends, family, everybody. Won't go to Thanksgiving if Democrats are also invited, and so on. He wants all decent people to do the same:
Do you work for someone who voted for Obama? Quit your job. Co-workers who voted for Obama. Simply don't talk to them in the workplace, unless your boss instructs you too for work-related only purposes. Have clients who voted Democrat? Call them up this morning and tell them to take their business elsewhere.
Have a neighbor who votes for Obama? You could take a crap on their lawn. Then again, probably not a good idea since it would be technically illegal to do this. But you could have your dog take care of business. Not your fault if he just happens to choose that particular spot.
New York Magazine contacted Dondero to ask a series of hypothetical questions.
So we e-mailed Dondero to see if he'd explain how he'd handle certain hypothetical situations. At first, he told us to "fuck off. And shove your silly little communist rag up your ass." This seemed fair — after all, talking to the writer of a communist rag is probably a violation of the boycott. A short time later, however, Dondero wrote again, telling us that, on the advice of his co-editor, he would grudgingly answer our questions. His answers are reprinted below, verbatim, as promised.
Let's say you lose your dog, and a neighbor, who is a Democrat, finds it and brings it back to you. Do you thank him or spit on the ground in front of him?
Tell him to give me my dog, and to get off of my property. And the next time he sees my dog to just let her be. As he's walking away I might yell out "Obama sucks" a couple times.
Emanuel is wrong here. Government shouldn't punish people for expressing political views, no matter how odious.
And the letter from the Mayor of Boston could be read as a veiled threat.
Government should let Chick-fil-A continue to do business as is its lawful right, providing the same services and within the same laws as any other business. And individuals should refuse to do business with Chick-fil-A until the company is forced to either change its bigoted ways or liquidate.
John Maynard Keynes dreamed of a world where leisure was available to anyone. Now that world seems further away than ever.
Keynes's vision of leisure wasn't idleness. Rather, his vision was that you wouldn't be required to work at a single job your whole life. You'd be able to spend most of your time turning your hand to whatever interested you most.
The predicament is familiar to many people today. Say you're an accountant who dreams of operating a B&B. But that dream takes time, and you need to work at what the market will pay to keep from starving. You never have time to do the work that interests you because you need to spend all your time doing uninteresting work.
Keynes dreamed in the 1930s of a world where technological advances made it possible for people to work just 15 hours a week, and spend the rest of the time at leisure. Which for many would be more work, but work of their own choosing.
By the early 70s, Keynes's vision seemed within reach. Now it seems further away than ever.
The dominant vision in the West today seems to be that everyone works every available minute to consume ever more consumer goods. And that society benefits most when wealth is concentrated in the hands of few, and trickles down to everyone else. The wealth concentration message seemed to at the core of the Republican talk about "job creators."
But maybe this is the world people want. Given choice, maybe people just want to work harder and harder to get more stuff.
Google Glass is "a natural extension of your phone. It’s like headphones for your eyes."
That's my sense of it too, and I can see the value.
On the other hand, I already have trouble resisting the tug of the Internet. I'm concerned about putting the Internet an inch from my brain. Maybe it would be like an alcoholic moving next door to a bar.
There is no asterisk next to mine and Julie's marriage. And that's why I support same-sex marriage.
Well, that's one of the reasons. And it's not a big reason, because I don't really think the government is seriously going to try to come after me and Julie and declare us less married than other people.
The real reason I support same-sex marriage is fairness and principle.
No, actually, that's not true either. I'm no better than most people when it comes to fairness and principle. When injustice is being done to total strangers far away, well, I think it sucks, but I'm a busy guy. I get distracted from actually doing anything about it.
The real reason I support same sex marriage is because I, personally, can think of at least three friends who are gay or lesbian, in committed long-term relationships. I can't think of any good reason to deny them the benefit of marriage. It certainly doesn't cost me anything -- not a nickel, not a moment of care or work. So why not?
Wait, I just thought of a fourth gay friend. Wait, a fifth. But I think she self-identifies as bisexual. Wait, a sixth. She's trans. I'm not sure how that fits into the categories of gay vs. hetero.
So that's four gay friends -- or six, depending on how you count.
And Julie and I don't lead particularly bohemian or alternative lifestyles. We're monogamous. We live in the suburbs. She's retired, I work as a middle-manager for a midsized multinational corporation. I wear loafers and we drive a Subaru Forester. We have many channels of cable television.
Also, I don't actually have a lot of friends -- I'm a bit of an introvert.
And yet despite these limitations on my social pool, I can still can count four gay friends. Or six. Without even trying very hard.
And I think they should all have a right to marry.
Wait. I just thought of a seventh.
So that's the main reason why I support same-sex marriage: My friends should enjoy the same rights I do.
But today's Supreme Court arguments bring up another reason for me to support same-sex marriage, one even more personal to me. It's this crazy notion that marriage is primarily for the purpose of procreating and having children. That if we let people who can't have children marry, why, society is somehow jeopardized by it.
There is no evidence for this. Sure, that is one of marriage's primary purposes. But marriage has other purposes as well, and the main one is for two people to look out for one another.
Julie and I don't have kids. We are childless by choice. We decided that before we got married 20 years ago.
And I take it personally when people suggest that our marriage is somehow less real than the marriage of people who do have children.
And that's one of the reasons I support same-sex marriage: To stop those religious nutters well before they come after me and Julie.
+John Gruber asks on Twitter whether anybody else reads this as Romney admitting he's screwed. (John Gruber used a different word, which I am far too gentlemanly to utter. :)
I replied that I thought the race was a toss-up, depending on the state of the economy in three months.
Then I read the article.
If Romney did say these things, he basically just cried "uncle" and conceded the election.
Does anybody really think Romney laid off Obama's religion and citizenship because Romney is so high-minded? No, of course not. Romney laid off these things because he -- rightly -- saw that they didn't work in 2008.
When a Presidential candidate runs against personal scandal and wins, it's a losing battle to bring up those scandals again. The American public decided that Clinton was a horndog in 1992 and elected him anyway, twice, and that's why Monicagate failed to drive him from office. More evidence that he was a horndog was never going to cost Clinton any support.
Likewise, in 2000, the American people heard the accusations that Bush was a princeling whose Daddy got him out of Vietnam service, and those accusations weren't going to work again in 2004.
Also: What is in Romney's damn tax returns that is so explosive he refuses to release them? I simply don't believe he's sitting on them out of principle.
It's Romney's fault -- he wasn't conservative enough.
Obama is a lying liar and Americans fell for his lies.
America is a nation of freeloaders.
The final point is the one that really pisses me off. I voted for Obama enthusiastically twice, and I've spent the last part of my life trying to figure out how to not be such a damn workaholic.
Protip: When you're having trouble getting people to agree with you, calling them freeloaders is not a good start. It's not even a good idea to do it when you think the people who disagree with you aren't listening.
As to the point about my voting for Obama enthusiastically twice: Careful readers might recall my saying that I didn't really support Obama so much as oppose Romney. I meant it when I said those things, and I'm sure I'll mean it again. I don't agree with everything Obama does. But in the past couple of weeks, he sold me. And, yeah, Sandy had a lot lot to do with it; I saw that Obama is a man who takes his job seriously. He understands that there's an ideological component to the Presidency and a part of the Presidency that involves just plain logistics and management. The Republicans have not demonstrated they understand that. They are a party that is obsessed with ideological purity over practical work. Not all Republicans are that way, but the party as a whole presents that face.