Election Day 2008

 Election, Featured, Politics  Comments Off on Election Day 2008
Nov 042008

Last week with work was a real bear, and I’m traveling for work this week, so expect posting to be lite. Hopefully there won’t be that much news, especially election news, to post about. I did want to make note of a few things that have been going on.

What an incredibly sad note that Obama’s Grandmother died yesterday. Having lost my grandmothers, I know how much that can hurt, but the timing could not have been worse.

I voted by absentee about two weeks ago. I started this in 2004 when the Florida touch screen machines were being used. I thought my paper ballot might have a better chance of being accurately counted. We requested an absentee ballot for Lay’s mother, which came and went without a hitch. Lay’s father didn’t get naturalized until just after the 2004 election, so this was his first time voting, and it was clear this was very important to him.

We went Saturday to early vote, and the line was over two blocks long in downtown St. Pete. I found out that you could go by the election office Monday and pickup an absentee ballot, complete it at home, and then drop it back at the elections office Tuesday, so Lay took him to do that yesterday. The wait was only about 40 minutes. Like Lay, his dad is not a patient guy, but had no problem waiting the 40 minutes.

When I took him Saturday, his 11 year old grandson went along, and asked who he was voting for. When he said McCain, Vincient launched into a rather lengthy discourse talking about taxes and the war trying to convince his granddad to vote for Obama. I was quite surprised.

I had seperate discussions with two friends yesterday about the election outcome. The specter of Court involvement in the election came up in both conversation. My main wish is for Obama to win with large enough margin so as to make court challenges a moot point. But Democrats have a knack for finding the most creative ways to lose elections, and the Republicans have turned election theft into an art. The cynical part of me sees this before the Supreme Court again. The practical part of me prays the court would not be so stupid as to decide another election. I could seriously see armed insurrection if that happened. I can’t imagine how the public might respond to having another election stolen from them, but I put nothing past the Republicans.

Speaking of dirty Republican politics, here in North Carolina, Washington, D.C. resident and North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Doyle is in a hot contest with a Democrat. Seems she got so desperate, she put out an ad trying to tie her opponent to some “godless fundraisers.” At the end of the ad, she had a photo of her challenger, with a female voice similar to her opponent’s scream “There is no God.” It was maybe the most ridiculous ad I think I’ve ever seen. As bad as some of the McCain ads have been, this ad by Liddy Dole took the election down to a whole new level. I hope she’s kicked out.

Polls which opened early this morning reported lines of people waiting at the doors for them to open. North Carolina had more early voteras than the total vote in 04, so it’s going to be a big turnout. Let’s hope that all goes well.

Well, I’m back on the road, so hang on…it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

WTF in North Carolina

 Places, Society, Technology  Comments Off on WTF in North Carolina
Jul 102008

For those who don’t know, “WTF” is the short hand today for “what the fuck.” A lot of people know that, but a lot don’t. And unless it’s in the context of an email of IM message, I’d think nothing of it. However, that’s not the case with every North Carolinian.

It seems a 60 year old technology teacher was clued into what it means by her grandchildren, so she contacted the Department of Motor Vehicles. So now, according to reports, the DMW will spend untold thousands of dollars replacing nearly 10,000 plates with the “offensive” acronym.

To my old home state I say, “WTF?”

Thanksgiving Summary

 Culture, Family, General, Holidays, Kings Mountain, Places  Comments Off on Thanksgiving Summary
Dec 022007

I know it’s a bit late, but I thought I’d write an update from our Thanksgiving trip to North Carolina.

We couldn’t leave until Wednesday morning because of Lay’s work schedule. We did get away at 7 am, but just about an hour north of Tampa, we came to a dead stop for an overturned car. This put us a tad later getting to Atlanta, so traffic was heavy by the time we got to the north side.

Frying the Bird Thursday we had a great dinner. We tried a turducken roll and a fried turkey. We decided the fried turkey was better than baked, and while an interesting taste, we agreed the turducken wasn’t as good as the fried turkey.

Friday we made our annual trip to Boone / Blowing Rock to meet up with my friend Glenda. Mom even felt good enough to go along this year. It was cold, and actually snowed very lightly that morning when we first arrived. This was Lay’s first time actually seeing snow fall. It was so lite it never layed, but it was fun to see.

We drove home Saturday, and it was a disaster. We were making very good time with only one of the usual delays south of Atlanta, but there we kept moving. Then at Forsyth, GA, a tire blew out. It took nearly an hour for AAA to get someone there. Then we got to Gainesville just as the Florida-Florida State game was letting out. That combined with an accident really set us back. We took nearly two hours to go 1 1/2 miles. We had left about 9am, but didn’t get home until 1:3o Sunday morning.

N.C. Baptist State Convention Boots Myers Park Baptist

 Culture, Gay Issues, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society, Southern  Comments Off on N.C. Baptist State Convention Boots Myers Park Baptist
Nov 142007

The North Carolina State Baptist Convention claims that it allows for autonomy for their local churches, and has only a few requirements for membership in state convetion…mainly that you send money and hate homosexuals. Well, the members of Myers Park Baptist Church had decided to be Christian rather than Southern Baptist in their thinking, so today the Executive Committee found this church is not “in friendly cooperation with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina” and today the membership as a whole gave Myers Park Baptist the boot.

Myers Park Baptist Church, a Charlotte church with membership of about 2,000, decided that their 65 year association should not be let go without comment. Their pastor, Rev. Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker, wrote the following eloquent appeal, which I am including in full:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I appeal to you by the mercies of God to refrain from removing churches like ours from your fellowship. Christian fellowship is too divided as it is and is a scandal to Christ who prayed that we might be one.

I appeal to you as Baptists who treasure soul freedom, soul competency and the autonomy of the local church. These great Baptist principles argue on behalf of including those of minority witness and minority interpretation of scripture in its fellowship.

Our church studied the Bible, sought the Spirit of God and talked earnestly with each other for over 20 years to get to the place where we said we were “open to all and closed to none,” and fully welcomed gay and lesbian persons who wished to follow Jesus with us. We do not claim to have the whole mind of God, and we respect those whose interpretations of scripture differ. It is the spiritual freedom we offer one another.

I appeal to you as Biblical people led by the Living Spirit of God whose life is centered in Christ.

Jesus welcomed those considered outcasts and sinners by His culture and religion into the Kingdom of God drawing near. We seek – we hope – to live in His Spirit.

And we, like Peter in the Book of Acts, have overcome our original resistance to the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons as Peter overcame his resistance to accepting Gentiles into the people of God. He saw the Holy Spirit fall upon the Gentiles, he saw God working in their lives and said: Continue reading »

AC On A Plane

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Aug 272007

I am on my way to North Carolina this morning for a weeks work at a client site. The temperature was already warming up, and my seat was on the sunny side of the plane. It occurred to me that these commercial jet liners must cost in the hundreds of millions, but the manufacturers have yet to figure out how to include an air conditioning system that can keep up on a hot Florida day. .

Durham DA-May Have Announced Resignation

 Crime, Election, Politics, Society  Comments Off on Durham DA-May Have Announced Resignation
Jun 152007

I only caught the tail end of the report, but it appears, based on what I was hearing on WRAL that, in a statement in his State Bar hearing, Durham DA Mike Nifong announced that he was going to step down as DA. According to the WRAL reporter, he was “nearly in tears.”

Boo f’ing Hoo. I am certain his motivation is totally disingenuous. As late as last week, he was saying he wasn’t going to step down. I’m guessing he did this right before his cross-examination to throw that off. If the cross-examining gets too tough, he’ll now be seen as a sympathetic figure. He’s sitting there on the live feed admitting to things he said, and saying he knows they were inappropriate…so why did he say them? He never answers that.

They just went over his calendar, and he had about eight appointments over two days with news outlets, “about the case.” Also, they entered a statement he had made about how the news media had never heard of him before this case came around. As always expected, this was all based on that political campaign. I think right now, he’s about to hang himself talking about the conventional political wisdom about how to win an election.

I believe he made this statement for the sole purpose of getting everyone to be sympathetic to him, and give him a slap on the wrist. He ruined the lives of three people for his own political ends…so he needs to have his law license permanently revoked.

However, my guess is they will now suspend his law license for about a year, and that’ll be it.

Wingnuts in North Carolina Just Won't Give Up

 Gay Issues, Kings Mountain, Legislature, Places, Politics, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on Wingnuts in North Carolina Just Won't Give Up
May 192007

From Pam’s House Blend 

The North Carolina wingnuts here will not quit. House Bill 493 is back and the Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly are trying to bring it to a floor vote next week by using a procedural end-run to recall the anti-gay amendment  from the Rules Committee.  (N&O):

House Republicans say they will attempt a procedural maneuver to bring up a proposed constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage. The bill, which has more than 60 co-sponsors, has been sitting in the House Rules Committee for months. House rules say 72 of the 120 members would have to agree to take up the measure to pull the bill out of the committee and onto the floor. A similar three-fifths majority of the members in the House and the Senate would be required to put the amendment on the ballot for the November election.

This, friends, is how much these GOP bigots are tired of having their amendments die because the Dems in charge have bottled up and killed bills like this multiple times, leaving NC as one of the last states in the South without a discriminatory amendment on its books.  Look at the level of insanity of these people — screeching the old aactivist judges line. Unfortunately, I see the representative for the district for my home town is one of the culprets. If you live there, click on the link and give him a call Monday.

Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) and Linda Johnson (R-Cabarrus) gave notice today they will move to recall the state Marriage Protection Amendment, House Bill 493, from the House Rules Committee, which has not acted upon it since its introduction, to the House Floor for a vote on May 23. The following day is “Crossover Deadline” at the General Assembly, when many bills must pass the House or Senate to be eligible for consideration in the other Chamber. House Bill 493 was assigned to the Rules Committee on March 6.”There are several reasons this bill is necessary,” according to House Republican Leader Paul Stam (R-Wake). “Under the Full Faith and Credit clause of the U.S. Constitution, whether or not North Carolina is required to give credit to the acts of other states, like Massachusetts, depends to some degree in the form in which our public policy is expressed. A constitutional amendment adopted by the people is a stronger argument to make to a federal judge. And under the rules of comity it would strengthen our hand with regard to foreign same sex marriages.

“Liberal groups have relied on state constitutions to demand, and in some cases receive, rulings favoring same sex marriage,” Stam said. “The framers of our state’s 1868 constitution obviously did not intend to legalize same sex marriage or polygamy. But words can be twisted if this amendment is not adopted. It is not enough to say that our Supreme Court would never interpret our constitution that way. Who knows what it would do in future years? More importantly, who knows what a single Superior Court judge or a single District Court judge (resident in a liberal district) might do to disrupt our marriage statutes until those rulings could be corrected by our Supreme Court.     Continue reading »

Nov 272006

We had a pretty typical Thanksgiving. As I’ve already reported, I drove to North Carolina last Monday, and then met friends up in Boone/Blowing Rock on Tuesday. Wednesday I stuck close to home and spent the day with Mom, and had dinner with her and some of her friends. It was overcast and rainy most of the day Wednesday.

Lay flew up Thursday morning, and my sister Robin and her husband came over Thursday night for dinner. We had all the usual Thanksgiving fare with Turkey, cornbread stuffing and some sausage stuffing. Mom made Lay a sweet potato casserole, and we had the classic pumpkin and pecan pie. Robin had some sort of pumpkin roll. This was a sheet caked rolled with an icing in it. It was great.

My other sister and her family had gone out of town, as they did last year. I must admit to being a bit perturbed about that, as Lay’s never even seen the new baby, and I’ve only seen her once a couple of months ago. And then my sister acted aggravated that we even came by. I’m not sure what’s up with her, but she’s certainly gotten uppity lately.

Thursday was a nice day weather-wise and the temperatures got warmer as the week wore on. We did a little shopping Friday, and put flowers on my Dad’s grave up in Boiling Springs. Friday night, Lay and I went to see the movie Bobby. I’ll post my review of that later. Suffice it to say, we were disappointed.

We drove home Saturday, and made pretty good time. At first Lay wanted to drive as straight through as possible, just eating drive thru’s. But then he wanted for a bigger late lunch. So, it took us about 11 hours, but we really didn’t hit any major traffic backups. Often we’ve run into problems on the return trip south of Atlanta, but I think I found a way around most of that.

Sunday, our friends Mike and Jeff called to go with them for lunch at Hurricane’s in St. Pete Beach. We went over there and it was a gorgeous day over on the beach. We also drove to Treasure Island beach. It’s still considered something of the gay beach. I was wearing an Appalachian State Univ. t-shirt, and a guy at the beach came up asking if I was from North Carolina. As it turns out, he lived in Greensboro, not too far from where I lived. He now lives in Temple Terrace (north Tampa).

I took a few pictures with the camera in the phone while over at the beach. You can click on the photo here to see them all. That is probably the only thing I have a real problem with on this phone. The camera sucks…but then again, it’s a phone…not a camera.

Speaking of cameras. The battery in my digital would run down after eight or ten shots, so we did stop Friday for a replacement. That was $40. I hope it is just the battery.

Anyway, we’re home, and back that the usual grind.

Nov 222006

I drove up to North Carolina Monday to spend time with the folks over Thanksgiving. Lay is flying in Thursday morning, and we’ll drive back together either Friday or Saturday (definitely not Sunday).

I went to the mountains yesterday to meet my friend Glenda and her husband and sister. We’ve developed a bit of a tradition of meeting up in the Boone Blowing Rock area each year around Thanksgiving. At first we went up on Friday. Due to scheduling, one year we went up on a Tuesday, and discovered we really liked that. While a few of the shops downtown in Blowing aren’t open that day, we basically have the place to ourselves. That Friday, as you might imagine, downtown Boone, downtown Blowing Rock at the Shops on The Parkway are just packed, and you forget about eating at our favorite restaurant in Boone, Pepper’s.

The weather was very cool and clear, and they’d had a dusting of snow the day before. The sky was a beautiful sharp blue with high wispy clouds, and the wind was calm making to cool temperatures very tolerable. It did get very cool once the sun went down.

One of the places we visited was the Cone Mansion up on the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Blowing Rock. The Cone family bequeathed the manor and a 3600 acre tract of land to the public. It’s now part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As we were leaving, we were walking across the very large front porch. I asked everyone to stop and just think a minute about the days when the Cone family used the house. I could picture them sitting out on the porch in the old wooden rocking chairs on a summer’s evening with their maid bringing out lemonade, while they soaked on the cool mountain air and looked down across the valley and lake. I could picture the carriages coming and going with their guests coming in to visit for a week or so. The Cone Mansion is certainly no Biltmore House, but it still must have really been something.

I found Christmas presents for my sister and for our Friends Mike and Jeff. (Can’t discuss those, as they might read the blog.) Glenda and her sister found several things, and I bought Lay and I ASU T Shirts while in downtown Boone.

Boy the campus sure has changed a lot. It’s really grown, and they’ve replaced a lot of buildings with newer facilities. They have even taken over the Methodist Church that was right on the edge of the campus downtown. I would still so love to have a place up there, and time to spend there.

Remember The Late Night College Bull Sessions?

 Friends, Fun Stuff  Comments Off on Remember The Late Night College Bull Sessions?
Oct 282006

You’d be sitting around with some of your friends on the hall, and maybe have your inhibitions lowered a little having had a couple of beers…and you’d talk about the most deep topics. I think we often loose that when we get older. Maybe part of it is a fear of opening yourself up; part probably comes from becoming cynical and maybe a little less trusting of others. Maybe it becomes too important that we be seen as strong and independant…rather than exposed and thoughtful.

In Eggers dorm at ASU, because I was a Resident Assistant, I’d often find myself hanging out in the Resident Director’s apartment with friends chewing over the great questions of life. (At least when Larry “Rainbow” Johnson was the RD.) Anyway, I want to try to get back to just a little of that. While sitting around in the same room isn’t so practical in this forum, at least this opens the discussion to a lot of people.

So here’s the challenge. I want you all to use the comments section and tell us all about the 10 minutes of your life that you would like to live over again. A span of 600 seconds that was so meaningful, you’d love to do it one more time.

Let the discussion begin….