Friday, May 30, 2008

Seen at Penland

Good advice. I'll get right on that.

She's sweet when she's in her Honda Civic, but don't mess with her when she's on her bike.

Ah, the mudflap girl's revenge.

The ravages of age

This guy still looks really good, but he used to be a whole lot better at this stuff.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More on cicadas

Well, they are all over the place now, and the humming is fantastic.

Here are the shells under a particularly popular tree.

This is what the ground looks like where they came out. Just think, they are underground for 17 years and then they all surface during the same 3 or 4 days. How is this possible?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

They're ba-ack!

Brood XIV of the 17-year cicadas was emerging this morning at Penland. Their mommies and daddies did this in 1991--remember? If you find the right spot, the noise should be tremendous.

Jeff Goodman is not afraid...

The sports section: The Burnsville Metric

The Burnsville Metric, Yancey's own 100 km bike ride, happened a few weeks ago. If you like bicycles or spandex, you don't want to miss the scene of all these riders on the square at 9 AM. This is Tim Evans on his ultra-cool recumbent, waiting for the ride to start.

See, you just don't see this kind of thing in Burnsville every day.

The event is not a race, but try telling that to these guys.

This is the nicely casual start. No gun, just Randy Raskin on a yellow stepladder waving his arm and saying something like, "OK, let's go."

Around the corner.

Down Main Street. There's Tim, still recumbent.

And here's Jim and Margie Haaga, in tandem.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Report from the polling place

I spent 14 hours at South Toe School on Tuesday in my capacity as chief judge of the precinct polling place. This is Alex Hill--who comes from a family that takes its politics with no ice--about to cast her first ballot.

Here are a few notes from the day:

540 people voted at South Toe. I've only done one other election, so I don't know how that compares. The people at the Board of Elections said it was great turnout for a primary.

If I'm remembering right, we had 214 votes for Clinton and 187 for Obama.

Four registered Republicans asked if they could change their registration to unaffiliated and vote in the Democratic primary. I didn't sense that these were Rush Limbaugh Operation Chaos people. They seemed angry and made comments about not wanting to vote for any of the Republicans.

Three unaffiliated voters were upset that they couldn't cast votes in both primaries--feeling that since they are unaffiliated they should be able to vote for anyone they wanted. One guy said it was "ridiculous."

Many people complained that we didn't have any "I Voted" stickers. We'd better get them for November.

Junior McIntyre brought us a lot of pizza--very thoughtful.

Several people took their children into the booth with them. For some this seemed like a matter of expediency, but some made it clear that their kids were voters-in-training.

A few with Democratic ballots commented that they had to make a "hard decision."

Seven or eight people (including Alex) were voting for the first time--mostly they looked 18 or 19, but one person who was well over 60 claimed never to have voted before.

Everyone (really, everyone) was polite and friendly.

Here's our crew of high-stamina poll workers.

Democracy in action. Elpenor Ohle used to say that when tyrants take over the first thing they get rid of is the secret ballot. We've still got it, but let's not take it for granted.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Obama girls and bikers

This is Burnsville, North Carolina. Take heart.

Asha attempts to tame a lamb

The Chairman would have been proud

Serving you the people since 1918.
Yeah, I would have put commas around "the people," but who am I to quibble with a comrade?

Chillin' at Burnsville McDonald's

After Jeff's scary post from the Marion McDonald's I was relieved to see that Burnsville had cooled down quite a bit. Maybe there's hope.