Friday, October 24, 2008

Voting where my vote doesn't "count"

I've lived in South Carolina since 1990. The first election I participated in was in 1992, which began my long history of voting for Democratic presidential candidates. This won't change on November 4th when I will proudly vote for Barack Obama.

I've voted for Republican candidates on the state level, often because there isn't much choice. I voted for Mark Sanford a couple of times for Congress, as well as for Governor. I always admired his true fiscal conservatism -- sleeping in his office during his three terms in Congress, instead of renting an expensive home in Washington or one of its pricey suburbs. He routinely voted against his party's wishes, especially then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Perhaps this is why I continued to vote for him. As a governor, he has done some odd things that have irritated many Republican lawmakers and alienated him from members of both parties.

I voted for Strom Thurmond in 1996, probably because I was flush with good feelings about my fellow Clemson alum.

But I am acutely aware that on a national electoral level, my votes for Clinton (2x), Gore, Kerry and now Obama really don't count here in South Carolina. It's a strange feeling lining up to vote with people who are on the opposite end of the political spectrum than I am. Not that I want to get rid of the electoral college system, it just is odd living where you don't feel adequately represented.

That said, I will be there with bells on November 4th.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Reference Desk LiveBlog

We're going to try something a little different tonight. I'm going to liveblog my reference desk session this evening. Should be interesting.

5:10 - I'm on the desk and Alexa is telling about issues finding Italian textbooks in the catalog. We figure out that she was looking in the wrong place in the OPAC. Disaster averted.

5:15 - From one of the small conference rooms here in the LITC, emerges a group of suits -- the president, VP of Business Affairs, and VP of Student Services. Interesting. I wonder what was going on in there? They were a Provost and one VP short of the full leadership of the college.

5:19 - Computer usage count: 9

5:25 - I swear I'm not going to write in here every five minutes, but apparently I will have a surprise drop-in from an entire English class. Excellent!

6:04 - A reference question: A student needed an article on multiple-murders for a Forensic Psychology class. She is doing a speech in a few weeks on this topic. We found some decent results in Academic Search Premier, and some older articles in Science Direct.

On an unrelated note, Donnie was shocked that I actually have a blog.

6:21 - Computer usage count: 13
It's fairly quiet in here today, but we are coming off of Fall Break and a new evening school session begins tonight.

6:41- The English class hasn't shown up yet. It's been quiet.

6:52 - Just got an e-mail from a student advertising for a campus book club. Anything to get the "kids" to read is important, but I never had time to read for pleasure as an undergrad. Maybe that was because of my major -- Political Science and English, which featured plenty of reading. I just wonder if these kids are being pushed enough.

7:47 - Very lengthy reference question for another Psychology speech. We found a couple of decent articles supporting her argument that one can "think" without the ability to speak. The English class shows up at the same time as the student, which almost always happens. I didn't have anyone at the desk for the hour before (and the time the class was supposed to show up,) but when it rains it pours. The good news is that it's almost time to go home!

8:01 - Back in the office, wrapping up for the evening.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

New baby, new bottles?

Lisa is on her way to the big city to trade in some of our two-year old Avent baby bottles -- which have the toxic plastic BPA in them -- for newer, safer bottles.

I was absolutely shocked that the Babies 'R Us here would be taking them without a receipt in exchange for credit towards the new bottles. It just makes way too much sense for me to comprehend.

A corporation concerned with the well being of its customers? Impossible.

This BPA is a nasty toxin that leaches into water, formula, juice or whatever liquid is in the bottle. I guess this leaching is exacerbated if washed in a dishwasher (which we never did, for this very reason). My sister-in-law mentioned this to us over two years ago when Owen started using a bottle, well before the outcry in the morning news shows over this past summer.

Well, Wyatt is waking up and will be hungry. He likes to eat a lot and often, much like his older brother.