Category Archives: Rants

Amazing!

A politician making sense when talking about the bail out! It’s astounding! And even better he’s from my state!

I HAS PLANZ

While watching the debate, I heard McCain smugly say “I have plans” and you know he’s right. He does have plans which this image (with a bit of paraphrasing) more accurately depicts.

Original image source

I Stood For My Candidate, Did You Stand For Yours?

For the first time since I became a registered voter, I attended my local caucus. I was registered as an independent prior to going out tonight, so when I arrived I got in line and changed my registration to the Democratic party. That was about 6 PM and for the next 2 hours I was standing around in a school gym chatting with some neighbors and some strangers. It was loud, hot and crowded.

I think the official count of registered voters attending the caucus for our district was 355, which according to the caucus chairman that’s a new record. Around the walls of the gym were posters for several of the candidates: Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards and Obama. Once things got a bit more organized, they caucus workers had us all line up in groups for them to count the number of supporters for each candidate. The first count determined which candidates were viable, to do this each candidate needed to have at least 50 supporters. Biden and Dodd were both eliminated at this stage. It looked like those supporters both switched over to Edwards but with all the people crowded into the gym, I can’t be sure about that. There were multiple, repeated recounts and at the end Obama had 206 supporters from our district. Most people (including us) left at this point, as we were told all that was left to do at the caucus was to fill out some official paperwork and to elect the delegates to go to the county convention. We didn’t have any interested in going to the county convention, so we headed home at that point.

It was an interesting experience but not what I was expecting. I had thought each candidate would have a representative who’d have an opportunity to speak to try convincing people to switch to their candidate. That didn’t happen. In fact, the closest thing we had to that were supporters for the various candidates starting to chant for their candidate, e.g. I say “O”, you say “Bama”. “O”! “Bama”! “O”! “Bama”!

Having been home for a while now, I see Obama won the Iowa Democractic Caucus. I wish him good luck in the other states and hope he wins.

Did you vote? I did (maybe).

I moved to a new house not that long ago. A couple of weeks back, my wife and I went to the DMV and updated our driver’s licenses. While we were there, we both requested that the DMV update our voter registrations. Approximately one week ago, my wife got a card in the mail confirming her voter registration had been updated. I got… nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. I got busy fighting with HR and the insurance company trying to get my health insurance cards1.

Then today rolls around. On a break at work, I start checking the Internet to find out where I’m supposed to go and vote tonight. While I’m doing that I run across a link allowing Iowa voters to check their voter registration. I try it out and find that my voter registration did NOT get updated. Grrrr. Tonight after dinner (roughly 6:15PM), Ariesna and I head over to the polling place to vote. I tell the person inside the door that I need the provisional ballot. She tells me to tell somebody else after I’ve signed in. I sign in, get in line and then tell the pollworker who has the book of names. She looks confused and refers me over to my 3rd pollworker of the evening.

Again, I get to wait around for my chance to talk to her. I explain my situation, including the bit about already talking the county auditor’s office. Her eyes look a bit glazed over and she seemed pretty confused. She mumbles something and then brings me some paperwork to fill out. Then she goes to try help 3-4 other people, disappears for a while and eventually comes back to take my paperwork. I hand it over and she disappears again. I hear somebody mention that the phone in the polling place doesn’t work, so apparently she’s running around the building to another room to call the county auditor’s office. Of course, if she could have kept track of what I’d said she wouldn’t have had to do that…. Eventually she comes back, gives me one of the provisional ballots and lets me vote. Wheee!

Next year, I’m so totally going to sign up for the absentee ballot. It’s just so much easier than dealing with understaffed (one of the other pollworkers mentioned they’d all been there since 6AM) & undertrained people at the polls.

1 So far, I’m still waiting. *sigh*

People need to learn to drive!

I don’t know if it’s because I was extra-tired & cranky this morning but it seemed like everybody forgot the basic safety rules of the road today. Let’s start with the bicyclist who cut me off. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sharing the road and I know cycling myself, but I also know it’s suicidal to cut off a car with my bike. But that’s exactly what this lady did. Without even looking she rode right out into the street, cut right in front of me (forcing me to slam on the breaks to avoid running her over. Then instead of getting over to the side road like a cyclist should; she just kept going right in front of me just slowly enough so we both got to the stop light as it turned red.

After getting past Ms. BikingWithADeathWish, I headed down towards to the interstate and into heavier & heavier rain. I got about halfway down the highway when I got stuck behind some giant, red Ford pickup. I don’t know what was going through this driver’s mind but I do know it had nothing to do with his driving this morning. Slow to stop at reds, slower to start at greens and an almost total lack of acceleration on the ramp leading up to the interstate. Then after finally getting on the interstate, I was able to get past Mr. ImDrunkAtSevenAm and on with motoring up the interstate to get to work.

Most of the way up wasn’t too bad, though the rain did get pretty unpleasant at one point. On the other hand the rain was also nice & soothing; unfortunately, I was tired and did not need any soothing this morning. *sigh* Anyway, I finally made it into town and was working my way past downtown through three-lane traffic with the rain pounding down. And what do I see before me as the traffic hits the 55 MPH zone? Why wouldn’t you know it, it’s another giant, red Ford pickup! This one had a few more of the extras installed and was an even worse driver. I first noticed him tailgating a vehicle in the lane to my right, but then I got my own taste of his brand of “driving”. When I was only about 2 maybe 3 feet back from this idiot; he suddenly decides to cut over into my lane (without signally) and go on to cut over to the far lane where he could pound down the gas pedal as he headed into the slower section of the interstate.

That pretty much covers the worst offenders on this morning’s commute. Now I just have to look forward to the insanity of driving home tonight. Wheeeee!

Update: Actually, it turns out I got to witness some extra fun insanity driving over lunch. I realized at lunch time 3 things:

  1. I was totally out of the trail mix emergency rations I keep at my desk.
  2. I’d packed a small lunch today.
  3. I was really hungry.

So I made a quick trip down over to a nearby Target to pick up one of their containers of trail mix1. Then I drove back to the office but I didn’t even make it out of the parking lot before I had encountered both idiots.

Idiot #1 decided to start walking in front of me on wet pavement after I’d started moving forward from the stop sign. If I’d been driving our old car, that pedestrian would have been road pizza.

I had just about made it out of the parking lot when idiot #2 showed up. Oddly enough, it was another red pickup truck; though I’m not sure if it was a ford. In any case, I was heading for the back/side road access as it leads to a stoplight making it much easier to get back to my office. That’s when this idiot came tearing into the parking lot without slowing down at all and tried to turn to follow the curve of the “road” in the Target lot leading to the parking area. The main problem with this “plan” of theirs is we’ve been getting rain all day today and the pavement was wet slick. The idiot lost control of his pickup and went into a slide/skid/spin/whatever that missed hitting me by mere inches. He didn’t quite pull off a full 360° and he did pull away shortly so I figured besides being terminally stupid; he’d be ok.

But I really have to wonder, what the frak is up with people who drive red pickups? I mean that’s 3 of them in 1 day that all were driving recklessly!

1 They’ve got several flavors sold under their house brand, “Archer Farms”. And every one I’ve tried is good stuff.

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