Voting in the Time of COVID

On a muddy, stormy, and gray day I drove to the county election commission to cast my early ballot. The paved parking lots were fully occupied with the unparked voters patrolling the isles, shark mobile and ready to pounce on any vacancy. Uninterested in retracing indefinitely ending loops, I made for the overflow lot.

Hurricane Zeta rained on Chattanooga heavily for days. A mountainous area, the waters run down to the Tennessee River one way or another. In certain areas, say where the county election commission building rests, the man-made flat terrain makes the man-made overflow lot a mud pit.

Undeterred and with a voting zest I pushed my mid-aughts Japanese automobile over the curb for the overflow lot and into a spot sporting at least some actual grass. My wise choice in footwear, a pair of water-proof hiking boots, made short work of transiting the mud pit overflow parking lot. Excelsior! How I would eventually extricate said vehicle from the mud pit overflow parking lot was, at best, murky. First, vote!

The line I joined snaked around the paved parking lot. Behind me another nine voting soles joined the queue. That was the longest I saw the line that day because the polling place found its stride.

Yet the dude behind me didn’t wear a mask. Everyone in eyeshot, even the stereotypical anti-COVID voters, wore a mask. He kept his distance from me. I assumed he forgot to put his mask on, but after a spell it was clear he wanted to “make a statement”. Before I beseeched him to mend his ways he slapped his mask on. Confrontation avoided!

There’s not much more to tell about my voting journey: the line moved well; the parking lots, both paved and muddy, emptied; the county called in tow trucks to release cars from the mud lot; the voter line shortened; and I voted.

Then I, like so many before me, tried to remove my car from the overflow lot.

One key aspect to removing a vehicle from such a situation is that, once you get some momentum, one should not stop it for any reason. The cars towed out of the lot and the shortness of the voter line meant I had a fairly clear field of view behind me. One woman stood text to a vehicle off to my left, but otherwise I was free to move.

As I threw my car into reverse and carefully depressed the accelerator, the woman from stage left was considerably closer than she was moments before — not so close there was danger but close enough I had to account for her unexpected presence and would probably coat her with mud. I did all that and drove my car from the overflow lot.

All this to say, GO VOTEI Vote Biden/Harris!

Fuck Off, Automattic/WordPress!

I opened my WordPress app to dash off a comment that probably was better left unsent. Guess what appeared to me – an invitation to use WordPress’s God-fucking-awful block editor, Gutenberg. And it let me know they conveniently enabled it for me by default to be the default. Fuck!

This just in — Gutenberg is hot, hot garbage. It followed a boom in sites like Medium, sites that have since fallen on hard times and changed their business model two or three times since. Writers didn’t care enough about the block editor to stay with Medium. Block editing was all the rage, and the rage has passed.

Worse is WordPress injecting their garbage editor into my WordPress experience EVEN THOUGH I HAVE AN ADD-ON THAT EXPLICITLY INDICATES I DON’T WANT THIS!

Automattic and WordPress can fuck the hell off and go fuck themselves in the process. I literally decided three hours ago to stay with WordPress for my site and they pull this jack-wagon nonsense.


BTW, I’m also displeased with DreamHost, my hosting provider, for letting Automattic and WordPress pull this bullshit on their customers. They, too, can go fuck themselves,

/me backs up site to move elsewhere


“Truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.”

via The New England Journal of Medicine

Watching the VP Debate

I cannot believe I am typing these words:

I will watch the VP debate.

There are two key reasons why I will watch this one and actively avoided the Presidential debate:

⒈ Both Trump and Biden are old; Pence or Harris might end up being president in the next 4 years, and

⒉ This one will presumably have two adults debating instead of a mental toddler throwing a tantrum and Biden.

Maybe I’m setting myself up for disappointment. Maybe there will not be a TV event with an occasional tidbit of useful insight.

Good times!

p.s. – also testing my Mastodon posting

Monty Python and the Holy Grail: My Most Impactful Film

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is an odd choice for my most impactful movie. Let me explain.

I discovered the movie thanks to my older brothers’ love of all things Monty Python. When we lived in Grand Rapids our local PBS station played Monty Python’s Flying Circus in the wee hours Saturday night/Sunday morning. I became hooked and wanted to devour all of their stuff as I could. Thus my brothers introduced me to the movies starting with Holy Grail.

At family get togethers we still quote the Pythons but no source more than the Holy Grail. It’s a short hand that closes the time gap since our last visit.

Holy Grail also is a great go-to when I need to laugh. Everyone gets overwhelmed by life from time to time even when working hard to not let the world weigh heavily on our shoulders. This film, from its title cards to low production value to bizarre closing, sweeps me away to a medieval fantasy world where the French taunt and horses are really just empty halves of coconuts banged together.

The Holy Grail and the other Python content taught me how to find the humor, mostly absurd, in life. In trying times it is a valuable skill to help maintain one’s sanity.