I just checked my favorite polling aggregator site, http://www.electoral-vote.com/, and I'm pleased to see that the weekend polls show Kerry coming on strong in a few states that were on the line before the convention. Minnesota went from dead-even to 52% Kerry, and the John-John team is even leading by 3 points in Florida! Nader's support is dropping everywhere as people seem to be getting more serious about the election. However, the news isn't all good. Bush is getting a solid lead in Ohio, and Kerry's lead in New Mexico has vanished. I really am liking the votes-versus-time graph that Electoral Vote has put online; it shows just how dynamic this election is, but it also shows that the trend for Kerry has been good since late Spring.
I returned home after lunch and a visit to Costco, and as I was pulling into my garage, I found myself with a surprise. The door was rising, and I happened to pass under it just as a little lizard fell off the door, landing in the middle of my windscreen. It was stunned for a moment, then scurried over to the side. I quickly pulled out my cameraphone and snapped a blurry picture of the reptilian friend, then tapped on the window to get him to scurry off.
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So, the open secret in my life is that I like playing "play-by-email-games". I'm not into any other form of online gaming, but the whole casual gaming experience of making a few moves a day in a mind-to-mind battle appeals to me. A few months ago, I wrote about my addiction to Button Men Online, the game where you fight dice-based characters against each other in a very complex and rule-laden variant of Nim. I still love that game, but I'm only keeping five or six active games going there right now. My new love is Bug Cafe, an online game that's almost exactly like Scrabble but with a different name. I just finished my first game (the winning word was 'guv'), and now I'm looking for more friends to compete against. If you're interested, you can sign up and start a two-player game against "Unwired_Ben" using my standard email address (see user info). The interface is pretty nice for a web game, but it has a very powerful dictionary interface, including anagram solvers that let you try to find words that will fit with a given set of letters. Most players are limited to 15 moves a day, but if you donate, they'll remove the cap on turns.