March 14, 2004

Meet the new jefe

So just a few days after the shocking bombings in Madrid, the ruling right-wing party, notorious for its support of the war, has gone down to defeat in Spain’s elections.

Although the government initially blamed ETA, the Basque separatists, it looks more and more like it was Islamic militants behind the attack. If nothing else, the fact that the date fell exactly two and a half years–or 911 days–after 9/11 seems too symbolic to overlook.

I ask myself how American voters would swing if this country suffered another attack right before our elections in November. Something tells me a large number of people would rally behind the president. Some swing voters would probably vote against him in disgust, and perhaps even a few solid Republicans would as well, but I feel there’s something fundamentally conservative in the collective American unconscious right now that would get people out to the polls to support the commander in chief.

The war with Iraq was much less popular in Spain (indeed, everywhere) than it was in the USA, and that might explain the difference, but I wonder if that’s all there is to it. I hope we don’t have a chance to find out.

Perils of porting

Friday night, I got together with some of my blogger friends for dinner at the Mongolian BBQ downtown. Don had just ported from Sprint to T-mobile and gotten the same phone as me, partly at least on my recommendation.

While we’re sitting there, I get a call from someone claiming that someone else had just called him from my number. It was a bad connection, so I didn’t hear everything he said, but it was very odd. Then it happens again. And again. Five times in about twenty minutes. Don is wondering if I’ve given him a bum steer.

About an hour later, I get another call. The caller ID shows as “unknown.” It turns out to be a Sprint operator, who asks for me (for a change). She explains that Sprint had just given out my old number (which was, and is, still my number) to a new subscriber, and that she was taking care of the problem.

Clearly, another bump on the road to seamless number portability.

Gillian Welch at Stubbs

Saw Gillian Welch the other night. Never saw her act live before, but it was pretty much what I would have expected from her albums. Good show. Old Crow Medicine Show opened, and at the end of the night they all came back on-stage for a lengthy encore with Welch (which, we were informed, they hadn’t done before).