naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (skyward)
I was feeling really under the weather this morning, so I rested and then went to vote before coming in to work at lunchtime. There was a line to vote at the Burbank courthouse at 10:30 in the morning. Inkadots rather than punchcards, and no electronic voting machines. Only half a dozen little kiosky things. I'm really glad I didn't try to go early in the morning... I can't imagine how long the wait must have been before the morning rush hour.

I stopped at Broad Cafe for a cup of chicken noodle soup, and everywhere I looked, there were people wearing the little "I voted" stickers, myself included.

May we have an accurate election, without confusion and chaos.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
Lately I've just not been feeling rested, even though I've been (trying to) sleep enough. I've had too many things chasing each other around in my brain, I guess. But things sort of crested last week and I've finally started making headway on the half-started and half-finished things I've been wanting done at home, and I took some time for myself and for fun, and I'm feeling a bit better.

Clearing physical clutter that has been bothering me for a while seems to have the effect of clearing mental clutter in the process.

And a wonderful, refreshing trip to Descanso Gardens didn't hurt, either. :-) Roommate and I had done a quick trip the weekend before last, but we'd gotten a late start that day and the garden was one of the final items on our list, so we only had about twenty minutes before closing. This weekend we went to the gardens in the late morning and early afternoon, and had plenty of time to wander around. It's wonderful to get out into the fresh air, surrounded by growing things, seeing the seasons turning right in front of you, stopping to smell the roses and watch the koi.

After that, we stopped at Min's Kitchen for the best Thai food anywhere. :-)

I had been thinking about going down into LA, but since it was already nearly evening and we were both stuffed full of really, really good Thai food, we decided to finish my errand to the outdoorsy store, and then forage at the local independent grocer instead. We brought home all sorts of goodies, including some wonderful Granny Smith's to make pie of.

On Sunday I wandered over to get my hair trimmed, and ended up getting sidetracked afterwards browsing in Cost Plus and brought home a few bags of goodies. I have to say that their Pumpkin Ale is one of the stranger beers I've tasted, but it's good. After that, we walked over to Market City Caffe for really, really, really good ravioli, and we watched little trick-or-treaters go past on the sidewalk.

The clocks changed this weekend, which is always disorienting for me. I grew up in the middle of Indiana, where the clocks never change, ever. I usually drag my way through the entire week or two after the change feeling like I've got jet lag, without the fun of even going anywhere.

I've been waking just before dawn the past few days, and watching the sky lighten and the sun begin to rise. It's a nice feeling, even if on Saturday I needed to nap midmorning before we could run our errands. I've really made a dent in the decluttering and organizing I've been needing to work on since we moved in April. I lost count of the number of times I scampered out to the living room saying, "Hey, look what I found! I knew it was buried in there somewhere!"

My new mantra is "I do not need to keep decades-old phone bills to prove that I exist." Yay for pitchfits!

Tonight it's a stop at the bookstore, and then to Target for a new muffin pan on the way home, and then some baking if I have the energy, and then last-minute research on local politics and the last of the California Propositions. I'm planning on voting first thing tomorrow morning.

Voter Registration Information
Voter Information
Election and Voter Information
The Official Voter Information Guide (Principal and Supplemental) for the CA November 2, 2004 Election
California propositions

League of Women Voters's site for Election 2004: Candidates and Information lets you type in your zip code for information about your specific candidates and ballot measures.

Democracy For America
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
I seem to be having odd dreams, and waking up unrefreshed. I'm not sure if this is because of the sinus meds I'm taking, or stress, or just sheer randomness. In any case, I'm not feeling rested.

My cat is doing better thanks to the insulin shots I'm giving her morning and night. She's more active, and just perkier, but she's still passing a lot of water through her system, so I suspect we need to increase the dosage. I need to take her back into the vet early tomorrow morning to have her glucose levels tested again.

There's ten tons of political stuff going on, as the election looms. It's stressful.

The deadline to register to vote for the November 2 election in California is October 18, 2004. More information from the CA Secretary of State:
Voter Registration Information
Voter Information
Election and Voter Information
The Official Voter Information Guide (Principal and Supplemental) for the CA November 2, 2004 Election

Cripes, I need to read up on all of those propositions. There's all sorts of important stuff going on.

League of Women Voters
LWV's site for Election 2004: Candidates and Information lets you type in your zip code for information about you specific candidates and ballot measures.

Yes, I'm aware of media spin and megacorps and all sorts of misinformation, propaganda and bullshit. Voting may not make as much difference as it should. But every citizen's voice is important. Voting, for me, is more than a right. It's a civic duty, a responsibility and an honor to cast my ballot now for me, and for those who came before, and for those who will come after.

Do you feel empowered yet? Feel like standing up and making your voice heard? Or do you need more inspiration?
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (skyward)

Yes, I sent in my first contribution to the Kerry campaign today.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
The Commons is the place to find local events, plan your own events, and get connected with other Dean supporters. It is the new incarnation of DeanLink and Get Local, and it's awesome!

The San Gabriel Valley For Dean site is also awesome; this is the local organization here.

The Dean For California (Californians for Dean) site is cool, too.

Here is information about how to register to vote absentee or early in California:

The California Democratic Party site at has information about to become a district-level delegate to the national Democratic convention. It's kind of a complicated process, and one that I'm only now understanding, so I'll probably type up a whole entry about it soon, but please do read this.
Also has some additional information about it, as well.

You can download flyers and such at

The "post one and pass it on" printable posters, 8.5x11", are at

The posters, yard signs, buttons, shirts, hats... all sorts of goodies, union-made, are available at They also sell the Meet Howard Dean DVD.

There are Howard Dean-related DVDs available in bulk at They come with pretty little mailers; this is the same kind one of the ladies had at Meetup last night that we passed around a bit, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over.

If you're looking for more interest-specific shirts and totes and such, there are about a zillion little CafePress storefronts which are not affiliated in any way with the campaign.

If you're looking to download computer-viewable video or audio of Dean's speeches, appearances, or debates, check out the official site at and an unofficial collections at and

Oh, and the Southwest Victory Express site is at

So, does anyone else have cool helpful links to share?
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (reflective)
This webpage documents third-quarter fundraising by presidential candidates.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has raised $25.3 million so far, and has $12.4 million on hand. Among his top contributors are Time Warner ($61,000), Microsoft ($30,000) and IBM ($25,000). Dean's own campaign staffers have contributed nearly $21,000 to their boss' campaign, making the group of them his sixth biggest donor.

Two of Dean's top five donors -- and 10 of his top 20 -- are groups of university employees. University of California employees attained the highest ranking of any organization, with more than $63,000 in contributions to Dean. Dean has raised money from the professors and staff of at least 450 colleges and universities. Those in the education field have contributed a total of $852,000 to Dean's campaign, behind only the legal profession ($966,000).

One-fourth, or $3.1 million, of Dean's itemized contributions has come from California. Fourteen percent, or $1.8 million, was raised in New York state. Dean has collected nearly $930,000 from Massachusetts and $693,000 from his home state of Vermont.

Check out the link to see where Bush and the rest of the Democratic contenders are getting their money. It's really frankly startling to me.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
So there are elections today for various parts of the United States. I didn't recall getting a sample ballot for today's date, so I went to the following webpages to figure out what's going on. Boy, this stuff is complicated.

What are my districts?

Where do I vote?

That page tells me that I have no election associated with my address, and therefore no polling location. OK. I guess I'm not losing my mind, and the no sample ballot thing means that I don't have an election to vote in today. Sheesh.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
It seems at least possible that Dean will figure out how to turn a campaign -- and maybe even an administration -- into a two-way conversation with its supporters. If so, he will have done something truly remarkable, giving the people the voice they are meant to have in a democracy.
-- from an Orion Magazine article by Bill McKibben

I will be the first to admit that I don't know anything about this apparently very Green publication, but Mr. McKibben seems to understand part of what's got me so motivated about this campaign.

I feel it's important for a candidate to support the voting process itself... and Dean's supporters are registering voters at every opportunity. I found some great info online about how to do that, and when I worked a flyering table last weekend, I personally helped register five voters, which was cool.

Did you know that you can register to vote absentee if you're a US citizen living overseas? I kind of assumed that you could, but had no idea how. Now I know.

"The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76 (SF 76), is a postage-free postcard, printed and distributed by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) for use by absentee voters covered by the UNIFORMED AND OVERSEAS CITIZENS ABSENTEE VOTING ACT (UOCAVA). In order to register, and/or vote absentee, an eligible U.S. citizen must carefully, and accurately, complete an FPCA."

Check out for all sorts of informational links about how to do it. It's kind of impressive!

Also, I've been thinking about putting together some local volunteer efforts by a bunch of people wearing Dean t-shirts and buttons. The DeanCorps idea keeps popping back into my head. So I started researching local efforts that are easy to participate in on short notice... My schedule is usally pretty last-minute, only thinking about a few weeks if not days in advance because I've gotten myself so busy at work, choosing to work insanely long hours trying to launch a big new website.

I looked over at the Caltech Y's website and it looks like they are helping serve dinner every third Saturday of the month at Union Station (if the website is current).

It should be pretty easy to join up with the LA DeanCorps, actually...

There are other possibilities with local volunteer groups in the San Gabriels... seems to do trailbuilding every Saturday.

And ooooooh, Heal the Bay does beach cleanups on the third Saturday of each month. Woo hoo, beach trip!!

Wow. First the ease of following the Get Local link and searching by my zip code leading me to all sorts of Dean-related opportunities to make a difference in politics, now the ease and initiative to get involved in local community improvement efforts... people power really is the best way to describe this feeling.

I've seen t-shirts that say "Howard Dean brings out the best in me" and had thought it was kind of corny, like you're just infatuated with the guy himself or something. Now I'm wondering if they're just earnest statements from people like me.

Strange feeling. Good, but strange.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
Reminder: there are two items related to the recall on the October 7th ballot... "recall yes/no", and "if the recall passes, who do you want as governor" and that's all.

More information is available here:

If the recall gets more than 50% saying Davis should go, then the one candidate of those 135 with the most votes in the second item becomes Governor, even if they don't get 50% of the vote.

For instance, let's say that Davis has 49% voter support in the state, and 51% of the voters want him recalled. Let's then say that the votes on the second item go as follows (note that Davis is not one of the 135 candidates)...

Arnold Schwarzenegger: 1.0%
Gary Coleman: 1.1%
Cruz Bustamante, Tom McClintock, Angelyne, and each of the other remaining candidates: 0.7% each

We'd have Governor Coleman. Which might not be bad, who knows... *sigh* What a circus.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
Whether or not you support Howard Dean, whether or not you're a registered Democrat or Republican or any of the other parties (up 'til now, I've never been a registered member of any of them), I encourage you to check out what's happening over on Howard Dean's website and blog.

I strongly suspect that much of their excited "we're going to change politics forever" rhetoric is actually true; the campaign staff and their supporters are using technology and personal networking trends in ways that other campaigns have not and in record numbers, in ways that are increasing participation in the whole political process as well as individual interest in their candidate. The other candidates have started to use some of the same tools, but their efforts are smaller and it seems obvious they're trying to play catch-up.

It's amazing and hearting to me, seeing so many people getting involved, feeling hope and empowerment and that their single voices will make a difference. Whether or not Dean wins the Democratic nomination, whether or not he wins the presidential election, his campaign and supporters have shown a way of positive politics for our future.

That's big news, even for those of us who are sick and tired of all politicians!

Official campaign sites for the 2004 candidates, for comparison:

Howard Dean:

Wesley Clark:

Dennis Kucinich:

Dick Gephardt:

John Kerry:

John Edwards:

Bob Graham:

Joseph Lieberman:

Carol Moseley Braun:

Al Sharpton:

George W. Bush:

Oh, and if you think this list is long, try figuring out who you want to vote into the Governor's Office in the California Recall Election on October 7th. Seriously, click that link. There are 135 candidates eligible, if the recall of Governor Davis gets enough votes to oust him.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
Please take a look at

Basically, Howard Dean said that John Ashcroft was not a patriot in New Hampshire yesterday. In response, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said that "Howard Dean is a cruel and extremist demagogue," among other comments.

I encourage you to read up on the Patriot Act for yourself. John Ashcroft has spent his summer promoting further extension and expansion of the Patriot Act.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
American Library Association
Electronic Privacy Information Center

And here are a few interesting articles, from July of 2002, July of 2003, and August of 2003:,1367,59863,00.html

Do you feel safer? More secure in your homeland? Or do you just feel like your rights have been ignored or eroded since our politicians started passing laws about our security since September 11th?

The man who trades freedom for security
does not deserve nor will he ever receive either.

-- Benjamin Franklin

There is no victory at bargain basement prices.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

I'm a patriotic American: I vote, I pay my taxes, I try to stay informed about international, national, and local news, and I volunteer in my community. And I speak my mind. Free speech is fundamental to our nation. Ever single piece of the Bill of Rights is necessary.

If you haven't read the Constitution and its Amendments lately, I suggest that you do. There are links to online versions on my patriotism page.

Are you registered to vote? And if you want to vote in the Democratic primary in your state, have you made sure your party affiliation is Democrat?

How to register to vote:
- Online at
- At your local post office
- Via the website or local headquarters of most political parties

You can also find more voter information at
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
I actually learned something from the morning radio show on KROQ this morning as I was flipping stations coming into work... not only is the Gray Davis recall vote in October 7, but you can get themselves onto the ballot to replace him if the recall goes through: you need 65 signatures and $3500 or 10,000 signatures to get onto the ballot, and be eligible (things like over 18, US citizen, CA resident for five years, etc). Huh.

Here's confirmation of that, and more information about dates in pdf format. This election should be interesting.

You have to be registered to vote by September 22nd to vote in the special election on October 7th. And I believe that two other ballot measure questions are on that date, along with the recall.

How to register to vote:
- Online at
- At your local post office
- Via the website or local headquarters of most political parties

You can also find more voter information at
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (spring dawning)
I did this Presidential Candidate selector. My results:

1. Libertarian Candidate (100%)
2. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (93%)
3. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH - Democrat (86%)
4. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (77%)
5. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (73%)
6. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO - Democrat (66%)
7. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (64%)
8. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL - Democrat (51%)
9. Graham, Senator Bob, FL - Democrat (45%)
10. Lieberman Senator Joe CT - Democrat (45%)
11. Bush, George W. - US President (35%)
12. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (30%)
13. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (-9%)

I'm wondering why that one line doesn't read as follows, though...
11. Bush, George W., US President - Republican (35%)
I mean, he is affiliated with a political party.

What's sad about this is that last election, both Gore and Bush were in the low percentages for me, every selector I did. I'm pretty convinced that the differences between their percentages were in the noise, too. I hate having to choose between the lesser of two evils...

Since I think a Libertarian presidential candidate is absolutely not electable thanks to our two-party system and their own lack of practicality, this is a small nudge of confirmation that I'm on the right track by supporting Dean.

In other news, a really cool new species of butterfly, along with a few other new species, were discovered in Bolivia. Thanks to [ profile] sigje for the link!

Work is eating me alive. I don't want to dwell on that, though. Ick.

I'm looking forward to seeing the new pirate movie sometime in the next week or two. Swashbuckling, ahoy!
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
I attended my first meetup tonight in Pasadena, California. There weren't enough tables and chairs to go around; I think McCormick & Schmick's is a great venue and it was absolutely wonderful, but the group may need to arrange for a bigger room! I think there were 70 or 80 of us at least at various points.

It was interesting doing the letterwriting to our new Iowa pen-pals... I think many of us were more verbose than we'd expected to be, and most of us only got to write one letter! It felt strange writing longhand when I'm so used to typing everything...

It was fun hearing great news about campaign milestones in such an enthusiastic group, and it was interesting to meet other Dean supporters from around the area. There were some opportunities mentioned to help pass out flyers and work July 4th parades in Monrovia and Claremont and a couple other places. I look forward to hearing more opportunities to do events like that and to increase voter registration.

It's amazing to be in a room full of Democratic supporters and not feel like an outcast or an oddball for being an independent who's voted for Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Greens. It feels great to be able to say "Hi, it's nice to meet you. I'm pro-choice, pro-gun, and pro-gay, and I'm thrilled to find a candidate I can be excited to support rather than choosing the lesser of evils," and have people smile and nod happily at you, reply enthusiastically about equal rights and prudent budgeting, and warmly welcome you into their broad-based movement to fix what's wrong with our country.

I'm looking forward to working with the Burbank/Glendale folks as well as the Pasadena group. Thank you, Howard Dean!
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Howard Dean)
Howard Dean doesn't seem to have any icons/banners/avatars for his supporters to use online. Until they make some, I've decided to create some to use in the mean time.

The fundraising milestones today have apparently been beyond amazing. Spread the word, folks!

And if you know of any official icons to use instead, please let me know!
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (path less traveled)
California League of Women Voters
California Voter Foundation
Smart Voter, nonpartisan information by the California League of Women Voters

And apparently, by the election results posted last night and this morning, I didn't need to worry as much as I did trying to research the obscure candidates for Lord High Mayor of Mission Rancho San Fernando Camelot Valley City.

I do wish it was easier to find information about the judicial folks. Finding how they ruled on various key issues I care about is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, even on the helpful sites above.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (path less traveled)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Susan B. Anthony. Lucretia Mott. Carrie Chapman Catt. A whole, whole lot of other women and men. By whose efforts I have the right and privilege of deciphering a sample ballot which is more than 100 pages long to vote in the elections tomorrow... here in California, the land of sunshine, citrus, Propositions and Ballot Measures.

Consider the numbers:

The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified August 26, 1920, though its wording was unchanged from the version of the Woman Suffrage Amendment which was introduced in the United States Congress in 1878.

It took 144 years from the Declaration of Independence for our country to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. US women have only had the right to vote for 82 years.

Most of the women who crusaded actively in the Suffrage Movement in order to reach the Amendment's introduction to Congress in 1878 did not live to see it ratified, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Their life's work was not finished in their lifetime.

I'm going to spend the evening with my sample ballot, my voter information booklet, all of the flyers that have come in the mail, and my connection to the internet for additional research... researching how I feel about the issues about which I have the right and duty to cast my vote.

Thank you, crusaders and gentlewomen and rabble-rousers and quietly determined workers. We wouldn't be here without you.

February 2017

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