Blog Bits: Fresh Air at the Voting Place, Etc.
This is adapted from postings on the "Editor's Note" blog at thepilot.com.
Breath of Fresh Air: "It's been brisk," campaign worker Ellen Stewart remarked as I headed in to vote at the Boys and Girls Club at 8 this morning - "not only the weather, but the turnout."
Also like a breath of fresh, clean air was the human atmosphere at the polling place. Lord knows we all had one coming after one of the stinkingest political campaigns in recent memory.
Election worker Eileen Nalan, who happens to be a fellow Rotarian, gave me a welcoming smile as she checked me in. Bill Snelgrove, also a Rotary friend, paused to exchange greetings as he handed me my ballot, telling me I was voter No. 149. After I had finished, neighbors Beth and David Carpenter stopped to chat with me in the parking lot. And so on.
My brief stop at the polling place proved enormously refreshing, bringing me back down to solid ground and reminding me that elections are about real, honest people making our -democracy work - no matter how hard corporations and unions, emboldened by the disastrous Citizens United ruling, may try to manipulate things with big bucks anonymously spend from afar.
Thanks. I needed that.
- Nov. 2
Leaving 'Em Dangling: My wife, Brenda, and I may be the only couple in town who routinely call each other with dangling modifiers and other amusing grammatical boo-boos we hear or read in the media. Yeah, I know - we need to get a life.
But I can't resist sharing the most delightful dangler Brenda has alerted me to lately - one that has been airing endlessly on TV during this campaign season.
It's in an ad for Republican Sen. Richard Burr, and it features an attractive young woman explaining why she thinks voters should send the incumbent senator back to Washington.
"As a father," the woman earnestly declares, "I know Senator Burr cares about children."
She's a father? If so, it's worth more than an ad. That's a news story.
- Oct. 29
Hell Week(s): The only good thing about banging your knee on a table leg, said a lunch companion who did just that the other day, is that it feels so good when it stops hurting.
That's about the best that can be said for the annual two-week Fall Fundraiser inflicted on us devoted listeners each year by WUNC, the Chapel Hill NPR station. The only good thing about these pains is that they finally stop.
Yes, I know that most National Public Radio outfits depend on listener contributions for the bulk of their funding. Yes, it's wonderful to be able to listen to good, intelligent radio for most of the year with no commercial interruptions. And yes, I admit that contributions emanating from the Bouser household have been spotty in some years, making us sometime freeloaders. Still, there has to be a better way to raise money than by annoying your most valued customers to death.
- Oct. 25
MegaDrop, THEN Alligator: Can't believe we went to the State Fair and I rode the MegaDrop, which takes you to the top of a 14-story tower and then lets you experience a heart-stopping free fall.
I also indulged myself in a couple of other white-knuckle rides, devoured alligator-on-a-stick from the Ragin' Cajun booth for lunch, and topped it off with a scrumptious chunk of frozen cheesecake dipped in chocolate. (It would not be wise to eat the alligator and cheesecake BEFORE the MegaDrop.)
You could also milk a cow, see a pumpkin as big as a Volkswagen and even sample this year's most outrageous culinary treat: the Krispy Kreme bacon cheeseburger. You don't have to leave your diet at home, but it helps. What the heck? - It's only once a year.
- Oct. 24
Rough Road: When I first noticed that they were preparing to repave part of Connecticut Avenue, on which I travel to work and back most days, I rejoiced, because Lord knows it needed it.
But now that the stretch between Ridge and Broad is finished, I have to say that I am underwhelmed. Far from the nice, smooth surface I had anticipated, the new blacktop is uneven and wavy and, in spots, rough as a cob. Viewed from the perspective of distance, the newly painted center line, which should be arrow-straight, is anything but.
I don't know who's responsible for this job. But frankly, it looks downright amateurish. Is this really the best we can do?
- Oct. 21
More like this story