Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mom is Having a Major Downsizing Sale

For those of living in the Roanoke, Va-area or close enough to it, my mom is having a downsizing sale in Salem, Va., this weekend. Perhaps, one might find the very item that he or she saw on " The Antiques Roadshow" which airs on Blue Ridge Public Television in the Roanoke-area.

The dates for the sale are as follows: Fri., Nov. 2 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sat., Nov. 3 from 8:00 until 5:00 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 4th from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. These are the correct times. There are ads for this same sale in the Friday edition of "The Roanoke Times" which are not correct. We are also promoting the sale on Craigslist with the corrections still pending.

The address of the estate sale is 2265 Mt. Regis Drive Salem, Va. 24153

The sale will feature the following items:

Guns, gun cabinet, Christmas outdoor displays, two wicker chairs, sofa marble top table, Elizabeth Arden pottery (North Carolina), chicken on nest collection, Barbie dolls, crystal glassware, clock and lamps.

There will be lots of selections available at a reasonable price.

The entry numbers for the Friday indoor sale will begin at 6:30 a.m. in the back of the house.

For further details, one may call my cell phone at (540) 293-9284 or email me at

Tweets of the Day_ Politcs, Weather and Halloween Stuff

Earlier today, I overheard the following at a pancake house in the Roanoke, Va., metro area: "I got these great Swedish candies for Halloween, there are called Toberlone." Uhmm...just one problem, that's a Swiss candy! Those, I must profess, I didn't know how to spell the name of the Swiss chocolate candy until I googled it just now.

And, Happy Anniversary to us! This blog was launched four years ago today on Oct. 31st, 2008.

With that, let's look at the afternoon tweets:

1) (@occupywallst) Occupy Wall Street: "#OWS (Occupy Wall Street) rapid response to #Sandy shows importance of building network for mutual support. When government falls short, people stand tall."

2) @WSJ (Wall Street Journal): "Halloween is on hold for many kids in #Sandy's path as municipalities cancel  trick-or-treating."

3) @SheHasWorth (She Has Worth, a women's publication in California): "Happy Halloween! And remember you can still dress up cute without giving away your 'treats.'" (hmmm....yeah, we think there is a double-meaning there too).

4) @LOLGOP (LOL GOP, a liberal satirist): "You notice that for Halloween, I'm dressed up as a sluty elephant."

5) @TeaPartyCat (Top Conservative Cat, another liberal satirist): "The real victims of Hurricane Sandy are the pundits desperate for polling which has been postponed."

6) @Keswick_theatre (Keswick Theatre is a venue in Philadelphia): "Happy Halloween! What are you dressing up as this year? Anything music related?"

7) @RockyMtnMike (Rocky Mountain Mike, a radio personality in Vail, Colo.): "Happy Halloween! Mitt Romney Vampire Hunter."

8) @nprnews (NPR News): "If Dick Cheney's dogs can dress up for Halloween, so can you."

Monday, October 29, 2012

For Republic's Day, a Quote from Nazim Hikmet

One of the many great ironies about Turkey, my late father Mehmet Gokbudak's country and a nation I've visited 15 times, is that the great poet Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963), who was a communist who died in exile in the Soviet Union, is now the official national poet of Turkey!

Today, Hikmet is buried in Moscow (image above).

The Republic of Turkey was established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on this day in 1923, which was 89 years ago.

Here is a quote from Hikmet, who is honored here in America with the Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival which is usually held in April:

"Living is no laughing matter. You must live with great seriousness like a squirrel for example_ I mean without looking for something beyond and above living, I mean living must be your whole occupation."

Saturday, October 27, 2012

PSA- October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

October seems to be the month for a lot of things, and as it turns out the presidential race between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, is that the only debate as some animal groups are jokingly asking Americans which do you prefer: cats or dogs?

Ironically, we are cat people here at "The Daily Vampire," but as it turns out, this is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month across America.

By the way, thanks for those of you in Bahrain, Norway, Panama and Malaysia for checking out our blog today.

Here are some useful links to help you find a good dog that suits your needs, as well as a list (with links) of animal shelters in my home state of Virginia including Arlington, Salem, Richmond and Lynchburg. Virginia  also happens to be a swing state with a competitive U.S. Senate race between two former governors: Tim Kaine (D) and George Allen (R).

In case you are wondering, the dog in this image is a shih tzu; don't leave out the 'h!.

Here are the links:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Break from Politics-Top 10 Things Under My Kitchen Sink

There seem to few things as annoying as product commercials, but campaign ads seem to take the cake and if you are in a swing state and have to watch WSOC-TV (Channel 9, Charlotte, NC), WDBJ-TV
(Channel 7 Roanoke, Va.) or WHOV-TV (Channel 13, Des Moines, Iowa), you will stuck with them for the next 11 days, so we thought we'd offer a break with a random top ten list of things in under my kitchen sink.

Here they are:

1) Draino toliet cleaner

2) Garfield cat bowls

3) Comet Bathroom Cleaner

4) recyclable shopping bags

5) old silverware

6) Mop N Glo

7) plates

8) Armor All car cleaner

9) tissue boxes

10) garbage bags

Tweet of the Day_ From Larry King???

We have decided to just post one tweet from today instead of the usual 6-to-12 that we normally post, so we can get some pancakes at Denny's or something....and, the tweet of the day comes from former CNN talk show host Larry King, 78, who recently moderated a third party candidate debate between the likes of Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and Virgil Goode, who is highly unlikely to become Virginia's ninth president, in Chicago.

We should also point out that the man in the middle is Toledo, Ohio, mayor Michael Bell, and the bottom image is of a very young Reese Whitherspoon in the film "Election" (1999).

Here is the tweet: "The way #election2012 is going, it could be one person in Toledo that will decide the race."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sports Desk- ACC Volleyball, Miami (Fl) Is on a Role

We had difficulties finding a good image of Emani Sims, a sophomore for Miami (Fl.), was named ACC Player of the Week and National Player of Week as she scored a collective total of 27 kills and 23.0 blocks in the two road wins over the weekend for the Hurricanes, according to, so we are going with an image of the school's mascot Sebastian the Ibis.

The toughest challenge for the Hurricanes came on Friday when they went to a full five sets against Clemson winning 3-2 (25-13, 21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11); the 'Canes then won over Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Sunday by a score of 3-0 (25-22, 28-26, 25-15).

Another major story in ACC volleyball is one that is happening off the court as Wake Forest women's volleyball coach Heather Kahl Holmes is battling breast cancer; she was diagnosed in May. She was honored by the Virginia Tech team before a road game in Blacksburg, Va. The Demon Deacons next face a talented North Carolina State Wolfpack team at home in Winston-Salem, NC, on Friday, as part of the school's Dig for the Cure campaign.

Here is a look at Saturday and Sunday results; the scores for games on Friday night, which involved all 12 teams, will be on our other blog as well as a profile of Paige Nueuenfeldt for the University of North Carolina Tarheels who was named ACC Freshman of the Week:

Saturday, Oct. 20th games:

*_denotes home team

#-denotes game that was broadcast on regional tv

*UNC 3 Boston College 0

*North Carolina St. 3 Maryland O

* Virginia Tech 3 Duke O (this game marked only the third the Hokies prevailed over the Blue Devils in women's volleyball in 27 tries).

*UVA 3 Wake Forest 1 (the win was the first conference victory for the Cavs this season)

Sunday, Oct. 21th

Florida State 3 *Clemson 0

#Miami (Fla)  3 *Georgia Tech 0

12 of the 24 Countries Mentioned in Last Night's Debate

Last night, 24 countries were mentioned in the last debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. David Brooks, a center right columnist for "The New York Times" and commentator for PBS said the debate was a tie that will probably not swing polls much in either direction. Mark Shields, also of PBS, said that he was surprised that India and Japan, two global economic powers, were not mentioned at all.

The debate last night also proved history repeats itself as Romney said Obama should have done more to help Iran, a charge that then-president Ronald Reagan laid out against the Jimmy Carter administration when he debated Walter Mondale, Carter's veep, in a 1984 presidential debate.

In case you are wondering, the flags above are for: 1) Greece (Prime Minister Antonis Samaras), 2) Turkey (Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan), 3) Israel (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu). There is sort of an in-joke here as Turkey, my late father's country, has a long-standing rivalry with Greece and there is currently diplomatic turmoil with Israel.

Here are 12 of the countries in alphabetical order:

Afghanistan, Cuba, France, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey, Yemen

For the 12 other countries, go to our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Night Post-Debate Tweets: Triumph the Comic Insult Dog Wins Debate

Tomorrow morning, we are hoping to post an entry dedicated to the 24 countries mentioned in the foregin policy debate from Boca Raton, Fla., tonight (12 countries on each of our two blogs). But, for right now, we have lots and lots of tweets to get to.

Before we do that, the first image is of far right political figure Sarah Palin; the former Alaskan governor was John McCain's running mate in 2008. The Second figure is a game of chess. And, the third is of Conan O'Brien's Triumph the Comic Insult Blog. The BBC says some 10 million tweets have been tweeted. They further report that folks in Colombia were disappointed that Latin America wasn't discussed more. Of course, how this debate will impact voters in swing towns like Akron (Ohio), High Point (North Carolina) and Reno (Nevada) remains to be seen.

Here are the tweets:

1) @JoshuaGreen (Joshua Green is a columnist for "The Boston Globe"): "Haha, Palin's trashing both candidates on Fox News in hapless, tongue-tied signature style."

2) @CrowleyTime (Michael Crowley, a reporter for "Time" who has also written for "The New Republic and "Rolling Stone"): "The Iraq exchange was confusing but I think Obama got away with pretending he's glad we're fully out when that really wasn't actually his policy."

3) @GregMitch (Greg Mitchell is a blogger for "The Nation," a liberal journal): "Disgusting how so many pundits ignore national security and only care how worker in Ohio reacts on economy."

4) @Chris_Moody (Chris Moody is a reporter for Yahoo News): "Not joking; both Pauly Shore and Triumph the Insult Dog are in debate spin room tonight."

5) @AlexMacGillis (Alex MacGillis a contributor to "The New Republic"): "Actually think it's a bit unfair to judge challenger against POTUS on foreign policy stuff. But, Romney was more anxious than previously."

6) @LailaLalami (Laila Lalami is a contributor to "The Nation"): "If Romney loses the election, he can always become a 'Hair for Men' model! Wait no. He'll buy the company and ship the jobs overseas."

7) @ariannahuff (Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post): "Wouldn't have predicted that North Mall would get more mentions than Europe."

8) @citizencohn (Jonathan Cohn is a columnist for "The New Republic"): "GOP post-debate spin: Sure Obama won on points. But his aggressive posture proves that he was losing."

Monday Night Pre-Debate Tweets: Can Dogs Decide the Election?

Hmmm.....there are no images here which actually match tonight's presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla., which will focus on foreign policy...oh well!

The reasons why we are featuring images of a Scottish terrier, the cast of "Freaks and Guns," reruns of which are still on The Sundance Channel and a Cayman blue iguana will soon be revealed....just scroll down....

Here are tonight's tweets:

1) @Albertbrooks (Albert Brooks, a comedian/actor/film director/novelist): "Going to watch the debate tonight with 12 undecided voters, well actually they're dogs." (Yes, that's the reason for the Scottish terrier, which was the breed of George W. Bush's White House dog).

2) @WSJ ("Wall Street Journal"): "Bad news for nerds. Popular kids in high school earn 10% more 40 years after graduation." (Yes, that's the reason for the image of the "Freaks and Geeks" cast).

3) @HuffingtonPost (Huffington Post): "Grand Cayman's blue iguanas no longer listed as critically endangered" (yes, that's the reason for the blue iguana).

4) @ABC11_WTVD (WTVD is Raleigh, NC's ABC affilaite): "Obama camp says battle for NC is not over. Romney's team telling us the president's campaign yanking ads from the state."

5) @JenGanholm (Jennifer Granholm is a former Democratic Michigan governor and a tv show host on Current TV): "John Kerry: Mitt Romney has 'Rosetta Stone' foreign policy."

6) @Dailykos (Daily Kos, a liberal blog): "Open thread: Lesley gore tells Romney: 'You Don't Own Me," this is in reference to pop singer Lesley Gore from yesterday who had hit song "You Don't Own Me," at first we thought she was one of Al Gore's daughters....good thing we googled Lesley Gore!

7) @MarketPlaceAPM ("Market Place" is a daily radio show airing on most NPR stations): "Yes, it's true. Some voters are still undecided. Lynn @Vavreck on why some voters haven't picked a pony yet." (The segment said that women voters were more undecided than male voters due to household pressures).

8) @thenation ("The Nation" is a liberal magazine): "Romney campaign, media collude in unprecedented politicization of Benghazi, Libya, affair." (Scottish Terrier Association of America)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Night Tweets_ Remembering George

Here are some tweets from the 20:00/8:00 p.m. New York time hour; we should point out that the figure in the middle is Cam the Ram, the mascot of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., and the judge beneath him is far-right Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. You will understand the reasons for these images as you read our tweet log. We also want to mention the passing of the great George McGovern (1922-2012) and we hope to have a full tribute to the man who lost the 1972 presidential election to Richard Nixon later in the week.

Gunaydin to those of you in Istanbul, Turkey, where it is not 9:30 a.m., and good morning to those of you in Dubai  where it is now 10:30 a.m., Monday morning.

Here are the tweets:

1) @PeterBeinart (Peter Beinart, a columnist for "The Daily Beast"): "George McGovern was a lousy pres candidate but not only was he right to oppose Vietnam, he was right to oppose to global containment itself.

2) @MarkKnoller (Mark Knoller is the CBS News, White House correspondent): "Moving statement from Nixon daughters, Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower on the death of George."

3) @denverpost ("The Denver Post"): "Presidential campaigns hit Colorado hard this week" (yes, that is our reason for Cam the Ram).

4) @HuffPostPol (Huffington Post Politics): "Michael Bloomberg invokes 'socialism' in criticism of Elizabeth Warren," in reference to the progressive Democrat running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.

5) @thenation ("The Nation," a liberal magazine): "More than 1 in 3 Americans live on less than $46,042 for a family of four."

6) @CatalinaByrd (Catalina Byrd, a blogger in Baltimore): "I'm so sick of Black GOPs acting like they are victims, they things that are racist and insulting to Blacks supporting Obama" (yes, that is our reason for the image of Clarence Thomas).

7) @SarahkSilverman (Sarah Silverman, a provocative comedian/actress): "I could die of a broken heart from worrying if someone I pass on the street  is lonely."

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday Morning Tweets_ Picking Up Those Pesky Pennies

It's been a long time since we talked about Turkish soccer, but we learned today that our beloved Bursaspor, a team nicknamed the crocodiles even though Gustave the notorious man-eating croc' lives a long way from Turkey in the central African country of Burundi, tied Istanbul powerhouse Fenerbahce 1-1.

Here is a look at some tweets we have digested (yes, that is a nudge to Gustave) from the 11:00 a.m. hour (New York time, which seven hours behind Bursa and Istanbul):

1. @TheMuslimGuy (Arsalan Iftikhar, a progressive Muslim-American): "DC Friends: Sunday night check out my friend comedian Dean Obeidallah @DeanofComedy shows in Wash. DC, will be fun!" (Obeidallah is a Palestinian-American comic, he is pictured top).

2. @current (Current TV): "In Colorado, a ballot initiative to legalize pot is more popular than either Romney or Obama."

3. @FSU_Volleyball (Florida State Seminoles Women's Volleyball, featuring two Turkish student athletes Fatma Yildirim and Duygu Duzceler, this tweet is in reference to their very close win over Georgia Tech last night): "@FSUVolleyball is on the road and headed to Clemson. Thanks everyone for their Twitter love last night! We love our fans."

4. @HuffingtonPost (Huffington Post): "Burger King unleashes pumpkin burger" (pictured, middle).

5. @LOLGOP (LOL GOP): "The other freedom ObamaCare offers is the chance to create your business w/out fear of losing or not being able to afford health care."

6. @neilhimself (Neil Gaiman, a famed fiction writer): "Wife is jogging somewhere."

7. @wamu885news (WAMU 88.5-FM, a new station based in Washington, DC): "The Baltimore National  Aquarium is asking the public to help name its baby sloth."

8. @TheOnion (The Onion is a faux news journal): "Area Man Spends Absurd Amount of Time Trying to Pick Up a Penny." (web site for the National Aquarium)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Night Tweets- Abortion and Billboards in Ohio

Today, we are posting tweets from the 6:00 p.m. hour, most of which are politically focused as we edge closer to Election Day here in the United States. One of the most interesting races is between far-right Tea Party favorite Cong. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War combat veteran who lost both of her legs in 2004. Duckworth ran for Congress in 2010, and she is profiled by Adam Weinstein in the current issue of the liberal magazine "Mother Jones."

Here are some tweets from the night:

1) @SunDC (The Sun in DC): Sunrise 6:22 a.m.; Sunset tomorrow 6:24 p.m.

2) @tnr ("The New Republic"): "It's getting ugly. check out those Ohio billboards trying to scare minority neighborhoods."

3) @Chuck Todd (MSNBC news analyst Chuck Todd): "Mitt Romney just added Boston to his New Hampshire TV buy. Had avoided it for weeks. First sign that they are more serious about NH."

4) @TeaPartyCat (Top Conservative Cat, actually a hilarious liberal satirist): "Obama ad says Romney will ban abortion. Mitt says no: I'll appoint judges who will. But, I will not ban it myself."

5) @HuffPostPol (Huffington Post politics): "John Kerry's daughter launches swift boat-inspired pro-Obama super PAC."

6)  @capitalweather (Capital Weather Gang): "Nasty storms continue around Baltimore vicinity. Intensity of storms diminishing around DC, but rain to last inside beltway, up to another 30 minutes."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cuneyt Arkin vs. Chuck Norris (6 of 6)_ The Hero and the Terror

We conclude our six-part series which examines who actually won Best Actor Oscars in the years that Turkish cinema icon Cuneyt Arkin and American action movie star Chuck Norris made films which stand out in their filmography.

Of course, the joke here is that Arkin and Norris are not exactly method actors.

Today, we conclude with the Norris vehicle "The Hero and the Terror" (1988); and which actor won that year?

A) Dustin Hoffman

B) Robert Redford

C) Peter Sellers

D) Paul Newman

E) Gene Hackman

The answer to yesterday's question was B) Jon Voight

UPDATE: The answer to this question is A) Dustin Hoffman

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chuck Norris vs. Cuneyt Arkin (5 of 6)_ The Wild Bride

We continue our series of looking at films by American action movie star of yesteryear Chuck Norris, 72, and his Turkish counterpart Cuneyt Arkin, 75, with a look at one of Arkin's 'romantic films.' "Vahsi Gelin/The Wild Bride" (1978) teamed Arkin with Turkish actress Gulsen Bubikoglu, who was just 24 years old at the time. The image above is a still from the movie which we saw on the TRT (Turkish Radio Television) while in Istanbul several years ago.

So, today, we are asking which of the following actors actually won the Best Actor Oscar for 1978. Is the answer?

A) Dustin Hoffman

B) Jon Voight

C) James Earl Jones

D) Jack Nicholson

E) Christopher Reeve

The answer to last week's quiz is A) Robert DeNiro.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Tweets of the Night_ Politics, Sports and Religion

AAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! This just in: The Washington Nationals have lost in the deciding Game 5 to the St. Louis Cardinals by a 9-7 score.

In case you are wondering, the third image is of an Armenian Orthodox priest. Since I am a Turkish-American, I thought of no greater irony, my favorite word in the English language, than to use an image of him for this entry. Above him is the American vice president Joe Biden and a kid playing little league baseball.

Here are 12 tweets from about 2.5 hours ago:

1) @MLBJesus (Major League Baseball Jesus): Thou shall pitch Strasburg in Game 5.

2) @JournalNow (Winston-Salem Journal): High Point University poll shows post-deabte bump for Romney among North Carolina voters.

3) @cnni (CNN International): Report says Turkey to avoid Syrian airspace.

4) @_faris (Faris): Saturday morning, the life version of "The Walking Dead."

5) @timesland (Roanoke Times Sports): Halifax County comes back from 20-0 and defeats Franklin county 37-36 in double over-time.

6) @seattletimes (Seattle Times): "Arrest in Seattle Tour de Banks robberies."

7) @katrinanation (Katrina vanden Heuvel, managing editor of the liberal journal "The Nation"): "Joe Biden may have bracing set of old teeth but Paul Ryan lying through his young teeth."

8) @sesameworkshop (Sesame Workshop): "We are a non-partisan, non-profit organization. We do not comment on campaigns, but we're happy we can agree that everyone likes Big Bird!"

9) @thekinghtshift (Chris Knight, blogger from Reidsville, NC): "Big Bird is a monument to all your sins #obama #romney."

10) @mtaibbi (Matt Taibbi, liberal reporter for "Rolling Stone"): "Apparently, Obama needs to rush the passer more."

11) @BigBird (a liberal blogger who is not related to "Sesame Street"): "GOPer sent me an email why Obama's out of touch with times, using an AOL account"

12) @BaltSunSports ("Baltimore Sun" sports, alas the Baltimore Orioles also lost tonight): "Memorable season will have #Orioles aiming even higher in 2013."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ten People Who Will Decide the Election (10 of 10)- Ohio

It is 5:00 a.m. in Liverpool, England; 7:00 a.m. in Eskisehir, Turkey; and 8:00 a.m. in Yerevan, Armenia. On a personal note, we are hoping the Armenian-American news and opinion web site publishes my comments regarding the very interesting, heated inner party political race between Cong. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Cong. Howard Berman (D-Calif.); it should be pointed that the 'executive editor of this blog' is a Turkish-American named Tilly Gokbudak, who happens to be me. They have apparently been reluctant to do so, and even though my statements were not hostile towards the Armenian community, we are concerned that the reason maybe because of ethnic politics.

But, for right now, we are focusing on Ohio, and the city of Akron, Ohio, which is home to Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer of The Pretenders, and here is our fictional voter, who will be making a big decision in 26 days:

Name: Thanh Nguyen

Residency: Akron, Ohio

Occupation: Bartender

Will Likely Vote for: Barack Obama

There are no exact numbers of how Vietnamese-Americans are voting in the 2012 election, at least to our knowledge, but Barack Obama did win Ohio by a 4.6 % margin over John McCain in 2008. Currently, "Politico" shows Obama with a slight .8% lead over Mitt Romney.

Summit County where Akron is located went to Obama by a 58 to 42 % margin in 2008. And, the local newspaper "The Akron Beacon-Journal" reported that Romney gave a stump speech in nearby Mount Vernon where he promised to lower taxes.

To our knowledge, Big Bird did not come up, but Romney's mention of the beloved "Sesame Street" character and a hint of the possibility that he would guy public broadcasting in the United States if elected has many educators and parents concerned.

According to a column in today's online version of "The Washington Post," the controversial Obama campaign video with Big Bird, which the producers of "Sesame Street" have asked to be removed, has 1.6 million views on Youtube. (a bar in Akron, Ohio)

10 People Who will Decide Election (9 of 10) _Iowa

Today, we are continuing our series of how a given person in each swing state could potentially play a pivotal role in the American presidential election, which will be watched from Dover, Delaware, to Dubai.

The image above is a campaign button for George McGovern (D) who is the oldest living man who has run for the president. The former South Dakota senator who is now 90 lost to Richard Nixon in 1972.

Here is a look at our fictional voter of the day:

Name: David Harrison

Occupation: Community College Teacher

Residency: Davenport, Iowa

Age: 35

Political Leanings: Democrat, will vote for President Barack Obama

It is no secret that like Big Bird on "Sesame Street" whom Republican presidential candidate turned into a social sensation when he said he would cut federal spending for PBS during the debate last week that teachers generally vote Democratic because the party has traditionally been more supportive of education and teachers' needs as well as school funding.

The Big Bird comment was the topic of a recent "Washington Post" column by Glenn Kessler which asked: "Does Mitt Romney want to kill Big Bird?;" the same newspaper also published a stunning column by college professor Frank Portnoy who argues that America's long marathon presidential race is good for the country. One can assume that both Democrats and Republicans may actually unite in opposition to Portnoy's theory, even intellectually it was fairly well laid out.

Among the stories in the most current issue of "The Quad City Times," which serves Davenport, Iowa, and surrounding areas, the local police department is seeking a three-year contract and a three-percent pay raise.

In the comments section, a reader who attended a Paul Ryan rally in Clinton, Iowa, said that the Obama campaign had taken her comments in which she asked the vice presidential candidate about his plan to fix the economy out of context.

According to "Politico," Obama has a 48-6 to 45.5 percent lead over Romney.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

10 People Who Will Decide the Election (8 of 10) _ New Hampshire

Name: Mary Murphy (a fictional person)

Age: 68

Occupation: Antiques Dealer

Residency: Dover, New Hampshire 03820

Political Affiliation: Independent leaning Republican

Will Likely Vote for: Mitt Romney (but her state will likely vote for Barack Obama)

Today, we continue to look at how an individual in a given swing state can impact the election. Older people tend to vote Republican, so much so that the faux news publication "The Onion" wrote an article stating that GOP operatives were working diligently to keep older voters alive on Election Day, which is four weeks from today. But, women voters are favoring President Barack Obama.

In New Hampshire, Obama holds a relatively comfortable lead over Mitt Romney by a 50-44 margin according to the "Politico" swing state map. Obama is faring even better in Massachusetts, a state that Romney governed. The margin there is 59-34.

It thus appears highly likely that Romney will be the first presidential candidate to lose his home state in an election since Al Gore lost Tennessee to George W. Bush, in the highly controversial/dubious election of 2000. 

The last person elected president to lose their home state was Richard M. Nixon in 1968.

And, in case you were wondering, Barry Goldwater's running mate in 1964 was William E. Miller.

That's all we have time for today; there will be another installment in this series tomorrow. (An antique store in Durham, NH)

Monday, October 8, 2012

10 People Who Will Decide the Election (7 of 10) Donna Scott of Portland, Maine

Yikes! "Politico," on the last objective sources for news in the United States, along with "The Washington Post," has stated Mitt Romney has made tremendous gains on President Barack Obama following last week's debate in Denver, Colo., in which Romney interrupted moderator Jim Lehrer at least 17 times (more or less). NPR, which the likes of Bill O'Reilly seem to proclaim as being as radical left-wing as Radio Havana, Cuba, said that the race is now a 'virtual dead heat.'

But, 'Politco' also shows Obama winning the race 303-235 though the president is only winning Colorado 47.4 to 47.2 percent. Conversely, the numbers are also close in a very politically divided Virginia, my home state, in which one congressional district represents the rural hamlet Boones Mill, where one can see signs for far-right third party candidate Virgil Goode (from nearby Rocky Mount) and the collegetown of Charlottesville, by a margin of 47.8-47.5 percent.

Today, we are turning our attention to Maine, which seemed like a possible swing state when we planned this project over the summer, where Obama is winning 53.3-38.0 percent.

And, we are choosing a fictitious person named Donna Scott, whom we will say works at an independent bookstore in Portland (Maine). We will say she is 37, white, pro-choice and would likely vote for Obama.

Lastly, welcome to our Armenian-American blog readers. This afternoon, I posted a comment on the web site for "USA Armenian Life," (I am a Turkish-American, there are some differences between the two groups- to put it mildly) where I endorsed Cong. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) over his arch rival Cong. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) or was it the other way around?

For those of who reside in Provo, Utah, or Tashkent, Uzbekistan, who might be oblivious to American national politics, Berman and Sherman, who both represent the suburban area around Los Angeles, which has a large Armenian-American population, are entangled in a congressional race with each other due to gerrymandering, even though both are Democrats. (ATAA is the leading Turkish-American group in the United States and Canada)

Portland, Maine, independent bookstores, hopefully, none of their employees has the name of Donna Scott:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chuck vs. Cuneyt (4 of 6)_ The Octagon

Today, we continue our quiz series with trivia questions regarding American action movie star of yesteryear Chuck Norris, 72 and his Turkish counterpart matinee idol Cuneyt Arkin, 75. For obvious reasons, neither men are kicking butt on screen these days.

For this week's question, we ask which actor won the Best Oscar in 1980 when the Norris vehicle "The Octagon," which I remember was being shown at the Towers Theatre in my hometown of Roanoke, Va., which is alas a shoe store today.

Was the winner?"

A) Robert Deniro

B) Dustin Hoffman

C) John Hurt

D) Jack Nicholson

E) Donald Sutherland

The answer to last week's question was C) George C. Scott

And, good morning to those of you in Dubai where we believe it's now 10:00 a.m., Monday morning.

SIDEBAR: Here are the correct answers to our "Dexter" series:

1) D

2) A

3) C

4) B

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dexter Trivia (4 of 4)_ How Far Is Omaha from Miami?

For the first time in a long while, we are posting an entry at a peak time (between 9:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.), but we are going with trending topics, such as Katie Holmes and Big Bird, though we hope arbitrarily mentioning both of them inflates our numbers. Of course, we are amazed how Mitt Romney who acted as obnoxious as Bill O'Reilly is the perceived winner of last night's debate in Denver.

Alas, we were unable to find a cool Dexter lunchbox image, but this one will do just as well, we hope.

In episode 67 from the 6th season, Dexter embarks on a road trip to Nebraska. So, we are asking how far is Omaha, Neb., from Miami, where the show is set. Obviously Miami, Okl., a small town near Kansas, would be a quicker driver than one to Miami, Fla., from the Cornhusker State.

So, is the answer?:

A) 1,641 miles

B) 1,651 miles

C) 1,661 miles

D) 1, 671 miles

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dexter Trivia (3 of 4)_ Which Movie Star Loves Dexter?

We continue our look at the 'slightly demented' Showtime series about a serial killer; "Dexter" has just started its seventh season as of Sunday. Note: the pictured image is of a person dressed Jack the Ripper for Halloween.

According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), at least one major Hollywood star watches the show on a regular basis, but this one in particular is an Academy-Award winner (we are not just including actors who have won Oscars for acting); is the answer?

A) Matt Damon

B) George Clooney

C) Sylvester Stallone

D) Warren Beatty

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dexter Trivia (2 of 4)_ How Many People Has Dexter Killed?*

Yeah, we couldn't resist: This is an image of a cereal killer. We can't tell if Trix Cereal is one of the cereals or not.

At any rate, we are NOT including any people who may or may not have been whacked in the season premiere of "Dexter," the reason for the star* in the header, which Javier the Intern (a running gag) says is re-airing tonight on Showtime, but today's question is "How many people has Dexter killed?"

A) 117

B) 119

C) 121

D) 123

The answer for the last question was A) Raleigh, NC, is the city where Michael C. Hall was born in 1971.

PS_ Yeah, this entry was supposed to be posted like six days ago....