First fall

Last night brought us quite a bit of wet snow…. 5-6 inches. The PA had to have half an hour of work just to get it out from under the snow (enough time, of course, to warm the cockpit.)

Anyway, the first snowfall to me means a trip to the railroad tracks. I went out to Bismark Grove, in North Lawrence, to catch a couple trains. And I wasn’t alone, either. Bob Olmstead, a fellow railroad enthusiest who has been shooting trains for half a century, happened to pick the same crossing.

In any case, I’m scanning the pictures as I’m writing this blog piece

I’ve got to change that about me page

Besides the fact that I’ve changed the formatting, the “about me” page is out of date. I finished my KU classes 3 years ago.

For the last three years, I’ve been attached to the Golf Course Superindendants Association of America as an intern in the Information Technology department. In reality, I’ve assisted in keeping track of computer hardware and software, installing computer and telephone hardware, planned strategy for rewireing the building, and most recently worked with SBC in cutting over our telephone system and. I’ve also been responsible for keeping the backups in line.

As of November 1, and having been officially notified this week by our HR deparment, I’m finally shed of the “intern” status and have officially become titled “IT Coordinator.” Basically, they gave me a slight raise to compensate for a reduced-hours request (drop from 30 hours to 25) and start accumulating sick and vacation hours, and I should be able to get similar credit for the Holidays….

working out the new PA’s bugs

As of Monday, I have officially held title to a 94 Buick Park Avenue. Howeve, that doesn’t mean I’ve ran into little problems

First off (and this isn’t too bad), the previous owners were smokers. I literally washed the seatbelts and the front seats, and applied generous amounts of a Febreze knock-off to the upholstery.

Today brought rain, and a starteling revelation: The winshield leaks badly. It’s likely due to a bad install. Fortuantely, my family runs a glass shop here, and my dad is in charge of the automotive side. He will re-seat the winshield tommorow. He also has a new one on order in case of a problem.

BTW, the previous owners lived in Wichita, so we didn’t have anything to do with the Winshield’s shoddy installation.

New Ride

I put this under “highways” cause it does have a periphrial over-the-road theme…. it’s also partially why I haven’t updated the highways site recently…..

My current car, a 91 Buick Regal, has had enough problems with it that it has not been deemed worthy of long range travel (my last major road trip was to Des Moines in January 2004) Also, the Regal technically belongs to my parents, even though I have been responsible for acutally paying for Taxes and Insurance.

This week, we found a ’94 Buick Park Avenue with 92,000 miles on it. We called to take a look. It was in good enough shape, and the person selling it accepted our offer. I have all the paperwork to sign the title over, but I wasn’t able to get it done on Friday, which means I’ll be driving the regal for a “swan song” weeked.

I’ve never been the kind to go for anything flashy, nor to I care for the handling and the truck-like mileage of an SUV, so the more traditional Large Sedan like the Park Avenue probably fits me better, and I don’t mind that “granny car” stigma.

In fact, my brother currently drives a 91 Park Ave. that origionally belonged to my grandmother. I’m considering doing a photo shoot with the two cars sometime in the future, possibly along with my mom’s ’98 Town Car (a.k.a “The Limo,” as a local limo service uses similar Town Cars for airport shuttles.)

How I voted

Here’s how I voted. Like I inferred earlier, I went with a straight GOP ticket.

POTUS — Bush/Cheney

John Kerry is a Massachusetts Liberal — in most years, he wouldn’t even be considered electable. He’ll pull Douglas County, though.

I don’t believe there is a conciveable way Bush could have prevented the country from going in the red again, and I believe Kerry’s tax proposal amounts to punishing the rich. Our Income tax system is preety much progressively in line with the amount of wealth the classes control as it is.

As for military action: Somehow, I think Kerry is going to try to use a diplomatic solution that will amount to a surrender.

US Senator: Sam Brownback
His Democratic opponent lost the Primary to a “placeholder. ”

US Representative: Jim Ryun
Boyda may take Lawrence, but will likely give up the rural regions that rest of the district. Ryun had an ad that suggested that Boyda moved from JoCo to Topeka to try to take his seat (the 3rd Distict, which includes JoCo and the eastern part of Lawrence, is covered by Dennis Moore) and is fiercely anti-war in an area which may tend to lean more towards support for Military action.

State Senator: Mark Buhler

I’ve known Mark for some time now, since his days as a county commissioner. I consider him a friend, and he’s had to settle me down once or twice. Certainally, the Democrats don’t care for him because he’s a Realator by trade.

State Representative: Tom Sloan
The Democrats didn’t find anyone to challange Rep. Sloan. However, he does have a Libertarian on his tail.

Board of Education: Robert Meissner
This is one where I went with party lines. Both candidates seem worthy of filling the position.

District Attorney: Christine Kenney
Her opponent charges that the incumbant DA has been less than competnent in the DA office. I don’t see it, but than again, I’m a partisan for the GOP 🙂

County Commission: Jere McElhaney
Like Sen. Buhler, I’ve met with Comm. McElhaneny a few times and I like him. His opponent is a local vet who filed as an independant, as the Democrats have had no chance in this county district. My mom had initially taken my two cats to this vet, but I wound up taking them elsewhere. The vet I go is on 6th Street, and has a rubber-stamp policy for political yard signs: if you come in and ask, he’ll let you put one up.

County Clerk: Marni Penrod
County Tresuarer: Cindy Monshizadeh

Back to party lines for these two. Cindy’s husband is also the manager at a local Sports Bar/Restaraunt that I have been going to on many an occasion..

Register of Deeds: Kay Pesnell (D)
Sheriff: Ken McGovern (R)

Both of these candidates are running unopposed. In the Primary, I put down “Big Jay” for Register of Deeds as a “throwaway” write-in. Four Years ago, I filled in “The LFS Firebird”

Judicial Retention:

4 Supreme Court Judges, 4 Court of Appeals Judges, and three district judges are up for retention, usually, this is a “rubber-stamp” yes, but for Paula Martin, a group has formed because of what some consider to be an extreme deviation in sentacing in a Rape conviction (60 days confinment minimum with 5 years probation, 2 years confiment if probation is broken — minimum presumed sentance is 13 years).

I disagree with the notion that Judges should not be subject to the political wind — appoitment of Judges has been know to be an issue in Presidential races (including this one) and some districts in Kansas continue to elect judges in partizan elecetions. I also believe that the DA did not punt this one, as some suggest. I voted down Martin, and voted to retain Judge Murphy and Malone (who has a son one year older and a daughter one year younger than me) as well as the Supreme court and Appeals judges.