Tag Archives: rant

Virginia is for free speech haters

Why are we having issues with free speech again? And in Charlottesville again no less!

A friend of mine sent me this. Basically, the Daily Progress, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., reported that “Voters at polling places who refuse to remove buttons, T-shirts or other apparel with political messages will face possible misdemeanor charges,” per the Virginia Code.

What sort of charges? Try up to a year in prison or a $2,500 fine! But hey, that’s OK, because at least you still get to vote before they haul you away!

Virginia ยง 24.2-604 states:

A. During the times the polls are open and ballots are being counted, it shall be unlawful for any person (i) to loiter or congregate within 40 feet of any entrance of any polling place; (ii) within such distance to give, tender, or exhibit any ballot, ticket, or other campaign material to any person or to solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any person in casting his vote; or (iii) to hinder or delay a qualified voter in entering or leaving a polling place.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

D. It shall be unlawful for any authorized representative, voter, or any other person in the room to (i) hinder or delay a qualified voter; (ii) give, tender, or exhibit any ballot, ticket, or other campaign material to any person; (iii) solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any person in casting his vote; (iv) hinder or delay any officer of election; or (v) otherwise impede the orderly conduct of the election.

E. The officers of election may require any person who is found by a majority of the officers present to be in violation of this section to remain outside of the prohibited area. Any person violating subsection A or D of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

from http://cvillain.com/2008/10/30/if-you-wear-political-paraphernalia-to-election-day-in-virginia-you-face-misdemeanor-charges/

Needless to say (and rightfully so), the Virginia ACLU and a couple of Charlottesville-area groups are stepping in and voicing their disgust for this blatant infringement of free speech.

Didn’t we just (finally) turn over the sign ban at UVA sporting events? Why is this issue resurfacing again?

And aren’t those eligible to vote (18+) mature enough to not be swayed by someone else’s innocuous campaign button or t-shirt while in line? C’mon now, we aren’t that stupid, are we?

I’m curious to see how many people press the issue at the polls this Tuesday…


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It’s here, it’s here! The (Summer) Olympics are here! I’ve only waited 4 exhausting years for this! (You’d think I was a world-class athlete with that proclamation.)

Too bad it’s the most insanely busy week of my life (OK — that’s a little dramatic — but it is extremely hectic right now). I just hope I don’t miss all the action.

Go Team USA! I had a snowcone named after you last week in your honor.

My mini Olympic week consists of an agency-wide intern presentation at work, hour-long presentation for my class, and two papers, one being 18 pages. While much less exciting and exhilarating than platform diving or performing the iron cross on rings, it will be intense in its own “special” way.

I will definitely be squeezing in mini-watching sessions for swimming at the very least, and very likely gymnastics, diving, and track & field as well. Here’s to hoping Michael Phelps gets mostly silvers (except relays) & that the other US Olympians take golds in all his individual events.

I’m such a jerk. But how can you not despise him when you see this picture? Ugggh.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the free Olympic Preview Sports Illustrated delivered to my house (under someone else’s name) had him “gracing” the cover. Fine, fine, he’s a big story, again. And he’s great for the sport. I get it. But did a full 9 (I got tired of counting after that) pages have to be dedicated to this guy? I guess it’s only prep for all the “feel good” producers’ storylines that will be raised again and again. But did we really need to know how many Facebook friends he has? The answer is 4,621 if you were wondering.*

Anyway, here’s hoping that Team USA destroys the Land Down Under in all swimming relays (just a little friendly competition of course)! Though I’ll admit, I’m still pretty sad that we won’t see Gary Hall, Jr. in these Games.

In the back of my mind I’m on the semi-lookout for ambush marketing attempts too, but with recent IOC sanctions, I have a feeling I won’t be seeing much of that.

OK, back to the insanity.

*This number has probably grown since I wrote this.

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Annoying phrases and other meaningless drivel

It’s been a whole week since a rant post, but frankly, it’s time…

“Burning the midnight oil, eh?”

That has got to be one of the most annoying phrases ever vocalized. I can just see an old guy you barely know but thinks he knows you well saying it about you reading something at midnight, or pulling an all-nighter to write a paper. Or in reference to your retelling of such an incident.

Why does everyone who says this phrase think they are saying something insightful or funny?

I’m pretty convinced that saying something as “phony” as that, to quote Holden Caulfield, you either have to be 40+ or just a huge jackass.

While we’re on this subject, here are some other annoying phrases and questions posed to me regularly (thanks SW, I’m sure you know which one I’m crediting you with):

  • It is what it is… (Really? You don’t say.)

  • Hey, did you know you’re sunburnt? (Um, do you think I’m hard of feeling sunburn?)

  • Do you know how many calories are in that? (I’m eating chicken fried steak, and yeah I’m aware of the consequences you bumbling idiot. Isn’t it evident that I don’t care?)

  • You knew what you were getting yourself into. (Yeah true, but how is this “incisive” comment helpful?)

  • Fair enough. (What does that even mean?)

That’s all for now because I actually do have to go B the m-n O now. Translation: stay up really late to perform an arduous reading task I should have hours/days ago. Gross.

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Musings from a Cold Shower-Taker

Part of writing a blog is the seemingly inherent title to whine and complain. Often it’s what I’ve done best, but with my recent and blooming love affair with the city of Austin, I’ve sorta been oblivious to one of my daily nuisances.

I absolutely love the neighborhood I live in. I live in North Campus, just south of even better Hyde Park. I love being walking distance from so many places… the Drag, UT, Hyde Park of course, and several bars and restaurants I like. I don’t like that there is a lot of graffiti around, everywhere, including my apartment’s washer & dryer room (!), but the free parking and amazing location more than quell that annoyance.

I do, however, pay sooooo little compared to the rest of my neighborhood, and often even less than my friends who commute great distances to get to the city’s downtown or UT. The thing that has annoyed me most has not been the graffiti however, but the lack of hot water in my apartment.

I had always been able to get at least 3 minutes of hot water for my shower on a bad day, 5-8 minutes on an average day, and 8+ minutes if I showered sometime during the magic 4:00 pm hour. Don’t ask me why this is the case; I have no idea.

However, as of Friday, they started working on our natural gas. I stressed started as it is now Sunday, and the work hasn’t been finished yet. They kept interrupting when a friend was over and we were trying to watch TV, and later, when I tried to take a nap (however I ignored their knocking and slept anyway, and my roommate dealt with it). They took apart our oven, so now I can’t cook, and the shower now produces no heat whatsoever. It has been a total nightmare.

I am assuming that the 100% lack of heat in the shower is somehow related to the “fixing the gas.” This being the case, I now have to work up my guts for a full 15 minutes in order to brave my very shortened, 5-8 minute, polar bear plunge shower. Yes, we are now down to 0 minutes of warmth in the shower. The worst has been the hairwashing. At least when you wash everything else you can mostly get out of the way of the frosty downpour, but washing your hair commits you fully to the freezing shower concept, and your whole body will face borderline hypothermia once you’ve made this decision.

I have had to face this struggle for 3 straight days and my bitterness shows no sign of subsiding. My roommate says that they’re coming in either Monday or Tuesday to fix the gas and I pray, pray, pray that that alleviates our shower dilemmas once and for all.

In the meantime, it’s time to head out and remember what it’s like to be warm again… and then immediately regret that desire 5 minutes later in the 95-105 degree Texas heat.

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