Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Case of the Missing Yard Sign

I noticed yesterday that one of the two Obama/Biden yard signs we had on our front lawn was missing. In fact, almost all of our neighbors' yard signs were also gone. So I'm thinking that either they all took theirs down now that the election is over, or else someone else removed them for our neighborhood. I know that Obama's campaign has called for increased participation in civic service, so maybe someone wanted to help us clean-up.

Whoever took my sign, I hope you'll put it up in your yard in four years. My other sign will be up in four years as well, so if you need another one, please come back then.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day is finally here

I think everyone would agree that this is a historical election. Here's a CNet blog post about where to get election results on the web, including streaming video updates.

In anticipation of long lines at the polling location, we got up extra early while it was still dark outside. I walked Phoebe and we walked to our polling location about three blocks away. Polls open at 6:30 here, and that's when we arrived. However, there was already a line that had wrapped around from the back entrance to the front entrance of the neighborhood library where the voting was being held. I guess we should have gotten up even earlier. Along the way, a nice lady was handing out breakfast cereal bars, and we each grabbed one as neither of us had ate. It was a good thing she had those, because we were getting hungry half way through waiting in the lines. Thank you, whoever you were! We waited in line for about 45 minutes before going into the polling station in the basement of the library. People waited very patiently in the line.

Inside, the voters and poll workers were bustling with their activities, but everything was going very smoothly, even for people who had to vote in provisional ballots. We took out our handy dandy voting guide that we prepared for ourselves based on research on candidates and issues and quickly cast our votes. I liked sliding the optical scan ballots we used into the scanners directly and watching the display update the vote count - not who voted for whom, but just the tally of ballots cast. It made it seem like our vote was already being counted. Kudos to the County Board of Elections and the Secretary of State for fixing the issues in previous elections and making this crucial election run smoothly.

I look forward to the excitement as the results come in tonight.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama in Cleveland

Fellow rally-goers waiting at the rapid station
We went to the Obama rally yesterday afternoon. We took the rapid on Van Aken and waited for about 45 minutes for a train to come. Some people at the station had been waiting for over an hour. I guess RTA didn't quite anticipate the crowds. Pretty much everyone on the train was going to the rally, and we couldn't get on the first train that came by because it was already full. Apparently, the people who actually got inside the barricaded part of the mall waited in line starting early this morning, and the line wound all the way to Public Square. I think we were standing about half a mile from the stage. We were standing with other latecomers near the green giant reaching toward the sky statue. We finally got to the mall at around 3:30. News reports estimated the crowd at about 80,000.

First, there were several speakers. While we waited, the Browns game let out (the Browns lost to the Ravens 37-27) and many more people filed onto the mall. There was also a wedding party that was going into the Marriott Hotel and they paused to take some photos with the crowd. Then we all waited quite a while until nearly 5pm and Bruce Springsteen came on. He played a few songs, and then introduced the Obamas. Their entire family was there. Barack Obama thanked a few people and did a stump speech, which I'd say was similar to his infomercial message on Wednesday and covered many of the major issues. There was a funny moment when he mentioned Dick Cheney's recent endorsement of McCain, and it started to rain a little. Of course, the crowd was very responsive to the message.