Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Heard at the polls......

..... or who says there shouldn't be a voter intelligence test?

First the stipulations: 1) I didn't hear these first hand, I cannot vote in our primary because I am "unaffiliated". The events were related to me by an individual whose integrity is unassailable; 2) I swear there really were one of each party flavor; 3) the individual who heard these exchanges swears no idiot was harmed in the unfolding of these events, but it was considered (by more than one person apparently).

Scene: Local poll staffed by older retirees. Generally these folk are genial and helpful. Because we have the new electronic voting machines (which can be the subject of another stupidity post), there is a younger fellow, a technician, I presume, to help those who are new, intimidated, etc. My experience of him is that he is unfailingly nice and considerate. (I'd kill myself, he has my undying admiration.) It is a few minutes to 8:00 pm EDT the time the polls close, and they are actually counting down. Not a usual event.

Event 1: There is a line and a woman steps up to the poll attendant.

Attendant: "What is your party affiliation?"
Woman: "What?"
Attendant: "Are you registered Republican or Democrat?"
Woman: "I'm for that Obama guy. What is he?"
Attendant, nonplussed: "Uh, Democrat."
Woman: "Yeah, that's it."

After looking though the Democratic rolls, then the Republican rolls, without success, they find Madam Voter is "unaffiliated".

Attendant: "I'm sorry, but you have an "unaffiliated" registration, and cannot vote in the primary."
Woman:"What? That can't be! I thought I changed it! I'm sure I did! I want to vote for that Obama guy."

Never mind that she didn't even know what party that "OBama guy" is running under..... I'm sure she changed her registration. Probably to Martian......

Event 2.

Yet another woman, this one a Republican, steps up to the voting machine, and the attendant turns the machine on and sets it to the Republican races.

Woman: "So, I can't remember - how do I vote a "straight ticket?"
Long Suffering Attendant: "Mam, this is the primary, you can only vote in the Republican races. You vote for Republicans that you want to run in the general election."
Woman: "What if I make a mistake? You know I want my votes to be counted!"
LS Attendant: "Mam, as long as you vote for the people you want, you really can't make a mistake. Your votes will most definitely be counted."
Woman: "Well you know what happened in Florida! They left all those chads and then their votes weren't counted! I don't want to leave any chads!"
LS Attendant (who is probably wishing for a good stiff drink about now): "Mam, I assure you that if you follow the directions and push the flashing red "VOTE!" button, your vote will be counted. You need not be worried about chads."
Woman: "You'd better be right! Now, how do I vote a straight ticket?"

I wish I were kidding. I am taking a little license with the actual dialog. As I said I heard it second hand. But I attest to you that the substance is true.

Now, do I hear a vote for a test before you can actually vote?

(And that test should be in English. It was pointed out to me yesterday, that there were probably illegal immigrants voting in the primary, and I could not! Where's the justice in that?)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Knitting? What knitting?

As the month from hell rolls on, I have no knitting to show for it. Not only do I have nothing to show for it, I have hardly been knitting. When I've had a few moments I can hardly keep my eyes open. Case in point......

This past weekend DH and I drove to the 'Burgh to see "Alice in Wonderland" performed by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. It was the North American Premier of this particular rendition. The scenery, costumes, choreography, etc. were courtesy of the London Ballet. The production was amazing, but the curtain call was the funniest thing. With all the animals and characters (March Hare, door mouse, white rabbit, duchess and piglet, Mad Hatter etc.) the curtain call looked like a Star Trek convention. I just had to laugh. What does this have to do with knitting? Well, on Saturday afternoon when we drove, I should have had something like 2 hours of uninterrupted knitting time, but I was so exhausted, I didn't even bother to take out my sticks and string. So my Ribby Cardi languished. After dinner, it was all I could do to find a comfortable place to sit, and read before I fell over. I even had to reread the two or so pages that I had been reading the next day.

Same thing happened Monday night. I can't keep my wits about me enough to knit at all, and it sucks. So there is absolutely NO KNITTING going on, and I have three projects on my needles. The good news is that I am not compelled to add any more. And I don't even have any socks started.

Today is the last day, at least in the near term for the political robo calls the name calling, bitching, moaning, pimping and all things associated with the primary. After today we can go back to being a sleepy ol' state. What I find less than charming though is the realization that college students are all of a sudden deciding that they invented primary elections. This morning at a busy intersection there were Obama supporters on all four corners jumping around with signs, like Teletubbies on speed. How I wish they could put that much energy into not getting drunk on weekends.

And for me, the primaries are nothing more than a nuisance. In PA, unless you have an "R" or "D" on your registration, you cannot vote. We are being entertained though by a race for our congressional seat. There are dueling felons (OK accused felons). One got nabbed for DUI about a year ago, and the other just had charges filed for taking nekked photos of a former girlfriend, without her consent.

Who says this isn't Happy Valley?

Monday, April 14, 2008

And so it goes .....

..... when we last left our heroine, she was trying to refrain from thumping herself silly before a major work endeavor.

Well, just as I posted, the inevitable "issue" happened. A colleague, who was scheduled to present not once, but twice(!), fell ill. (And I might add here that the second presentation was a "political" presentation. Not one I would have scheduled if I had not been "requested" to add.) It fell to me to 1) find a suitable presenter substitute (read: victim); 2) make the decision in time to allow the substitute to become familiar with work that was not her own.

Let me clarify. If one produces a professional development presentation, it stands to reason that one is somewhat of an expert in the field. If one is substituting and using someone else's presentation...all bets are off. The person who got the flu, kept insisting she would be well enough to travel. It was Wednesday, the presentation was Friday, she looked terrible, I just couldn't take the risk. So I filled in for one and a friend pulled my bacon out of the fire for the other. Everything went OK, but still. I truly didn't need the stress that this invoked.

Sigh. So now the cleanup. Thank you notes, budget stuff, find my know the usual.

And this morning I dropped my vehicle off for minor (ha!) bodywork. They gave me a loaner. I was expecting the little crappy thing they gave me last time.....instead, I get a 2007 (or 08) Tribecca!! Leather seats, the size of a tank, everything electronic....yoi! Makes me crazy nervous! Go figure. I want my Forester!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Slowly sinking....

Ever coordinate a conference? If you're a conference/event planner you know from whence I speak. I am NOT a conference/event planner, however, I have the dubious honor of coordinating and organizing a conference once a year, among other smaller events as part of my position.

Consequently, with a conference sneaking up on me the end of this week, I will not be in a good "place" to post until next week, if then. I will be sitting cross legged, chanting, and probably banging my head off the nearest solid surface, until this is over. As the last week rolls by, issues "pop up". Issues that no matter how carefully one tries to avoid them happen. Sigh.

Anyway..... my Monkeys are finito!!

And they're green!! These are Mountain Colors Barefoot in Mountain Tango colorway.

Here's a closeup.

These babies have an Eye of Partridge heel, my favorite heel, and fit beautifully. This is another lovely pattern from Cookie A. She must be a much tighter knitter than I am. I usually use the same stitch count, and a size 1 needle, and it fits beautifully.

This is also my lace slog...It is a Sivia Harding Hanging Garden Stole. If I was a good lace knitter I suspect I'd be done with this by now, but I've just passed about the year mark, and still have 4 repeats to go. And yesterday I discovered I made an error, and will need to try and recover, though I doubt that it will be noticeable to anyone but me. And probably not even me, when all is said and done. How do people knit lace, with lace weight yarn, so fast? I can't imagine.

Sigh. This is probably not a good project for me to work on this week. Not if I want to keep what's left of my sanity anyway.