I've been directly and indirectly endorsing candidates here for the last bit...and I realized that I left out the most important one!
My dad is running for office! (My aunt Martha is jumping for joy.) Here's his official campaign photo (taken by yours truly). I figured I'd post it here, since the N&O didn't even put this race into its voters' guide.
He's running for the Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. Check it out...his name is on the ballot!
So everyone please vote for Fred Burt. I mean, who knows about soil and water conservation better than a farmer?
In other news, I voted early on Saturday. I was afraid that I wouldn't have time on election day. It was fast and easy, although the fact that you just walk up and give a name and address and they don't even ask for a photo ID makes me terribly nervous. I made the lady look at mine anyway. That whole process is conducive to voter fraud.
In summary, do your civic duty! Vote early through this week, or vote on election day. Every election cycle, we hear that this is the most important election of our time. The difference is that this time, it's true. We have a choice to make between socialism and limited government. It will radically change America as we know it if we choose the former.
And take some time to talk to the pollsters when they call. That's just good clean fun...
My boss' mom is here from Miami. They're Cuban...but my boss grew up in Miami and has lived here for about a year and a half. She wanted to show her mom around and give her some real North Carolina experiences. Yesterday they hit the science museum and downtown. Today they're headed to the fair. I think they're going to eat some Eastern NC BBQ sometime before she leaves.
They just came by the office to say hello, and asked if there was anything else in Raleigh that shouldn't be missed. I suggested that they go down the street to Pullen Park to ride the train and the carousel and to get their picture made with the Andy Griffith statue.
My suggestion was met with a blank stare.
"Who?" My boss asked.
My coworkers and I were stunned into silence. When we had regained our composure, the barrage of questions started:
"You've never heard of The Andy Griffith Show?" "The opening shot of the dad and his son going fishing?" "Ron Howard - the director and star of 'Happy Days'?" "Barney Fife with the bullet in his pocket?" "Aunt Bea and Goober and Earnest T. Bass?" "Mayberry?"
We even sang the song. Nothing.
I'm compiling a list of links to online episodes for my boss right now.
Lydia and I had our annual binge last night. She picked me up at work and we headed to the fair grounds. Armed with wet-naps and plenty of cash, we decide on a savory/sweet approach and begin to scope out the eats:
First stop: Chicken pita. They jacked the price up $2 from last year, but hey...you only live once! I was so excited about eating mine that I forgot to take a picture of Lydia eating hers. Let's just say that she finished hers, and I had to leave 2 bites. This is really about pacing yourself, so between food stops we took in some exhibits. In the Ark, we stopped to see the giant pumpkins:
And we ran into someone who has more kids than Lydia! (I think she had 7 or 8 - the pig...not Lydia)
After checking out a pottery display, we were hungry again. Time for a sweet treat...fried Milky Ways! Mmmm...
After we made sure that the powdered sugar was off our clothes and the caramel was out of our teeth, it was off to the exhibition building for a stop at the Republican booth. They were out of McCain/Palin stickers (that's a good thing), so I got a Steve Troxler (Commissioner of Agriculture) sticker instead. He's awesome. We had to go by and get a free Lions' Club peanut, then went to see Martha's picture on display with the art. On the way out, we stopped for samples of kettle corn. Not too sweet, not too salty.
Miss Savory was ready for some french fries, so we made our way over to Al's. These are the best fries at the fair. All they need is a mist of vinegar:
And a drizzle of ketchup. Yummy!
We walked down the midway...and even though I'd hit the petting zoo with Meredith on Friday night, I had to go again. Check Lydia's blog for the pictures...
At this point, we start to think about heading back to the car. Lydia stopped for an elephant ear for Rich:
And then, the moment we'd waited for all night...NC STATE ICE CREAM!!! After much debate, Lydia goes for the vanilla milkshake (I know...that was anti-climactic...). We were sure to pick up some I Heart NC State Ice Cream stickers for Kimberly, Lauren, Brandon, and Connor. We strolled through the arts and crafts building for a bite of free fudge to go with our ice cream.
So that was our night at the fair. I think we managed to come home with a dollar or so in our pockets. Is it possible to have a fair hangover? Because I think I have a fair hangover...
So Meredith invited me down to her alma mater to see the Campbell University Fightin' Camels take on the Butler Bulldogs. Let's just say that we were glad to see the team score a touchdown. It's no Wolfpack game, but we were off this week...so it was OK.
The Camels take the field. Check out the super high-tech fire extinguisher smoke...
I wish I had taken a picture of the press box. And by press box, I mean "trailer on a tall platform." Only in Harnett county...
Shortly after this play we heard Campbell's coach yell out "Come on boys! You're not in high school any more!"
Now, you know that Mr. & Mrs. Wuf and I are best friends and all...but I will say that Gaylord the Camel is much more accessable to the fans. He didn't even spit on me for wearing a Wolfpack shirt! I do think they should have a real camel at the games, like how Georgia has UGA and USC has the chicken on the sidelines (that's right...I said chicken). I mean, how cool would it be to get to see a REAL camel?!?
We kept waiting for a field goal to go out into Highway 421...but the net caught them all. Oh well...
On our way to Buies Creek, we stopped at Piney Grove for a few minutes for an Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party. There is a couple there that buys shoebox stuff in bulk throughout the year. On Saturday, they hauled it all to the basement and people came for a packing party. They packed 863 shoeboxes. If you've never heard of Operation Christmas Child, check it out here. Take 5 minutes to watch the video. It makes me cry every time I see it. I think this is one of the most important mission projects that takes place in America. If you've never packed a shoebox, take a few mintues to put one together. It will change a child's life and you'll get an amazing blessing!
So Katie and I headed down 264 to Pirate country last night to see Sarah Palin. I'd never been to a political rally like this before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. All I knew was that this was an incredible opportunity, and that I'd kick myself for years to come if she came this close and I didn't go see her.
We arrived in Greenville and got ourselves into the longest line I'd ever seen. It curled and bent and wrapped around itself several times. It took us about half an hour to go from the end of the line to the door. While in line, we got to see some dirty hippies protesting. I mean, come on, if you're trying to sway someone's opinion, you might want to bathe and not look like a homeless person so that people won't think you're raving lunatic. Seriously.
Oooohhh...sniper on the roof...
We finally made it inside...only to find seats behind the stage. I figured there would some local politicians speaking before Governor Palin. What I didn't expect was for every big name Republican in the state to be there! That being said, I apologize for the following pictures of the backs of people's heads...
First up...Charlotte mayor and gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory. He really let Bev Purdue have it about all the wasteful spending and politics as usual going on in NC. He promised that as governor, he'd get the ball rolling on offshore drilling. This elicited the now famous "Drill, Baby, Drill" chant from the crowd.
Next up...your favorite senator and mine, Elizabeth Dole. She spoke on her warnings in 2003-4 about Fannie and Freddie, and how democrats did everything in their power to block her reform legislation in committee. She called out Chuck Schumer especially, whose name drew boos and hisses from the crowd.
Senator Richard Burr and his wife came out to introduce Governor Palin. He's not up for reelection this year, so he kept it brief. It was still great to see him, though!
Finally, the moment we'd all been waiting for! Governor Sarah Palin takes the stage. She's amazing.
She pretty much gave her usual stump speech, but this was what made the biggest impression on me: as she was praising the military, she asked for anyone who had served to raise their hands. She stopped speaking long enough to look around the room, make eye contact with everyone who had raised their hand, and thank them for their service. Incredible.
She finished her speech, hitting all the main campaign points.
Katie got a pretty good closeup of the governor when whe turned around. I'll have to get that from her and post it so you can see. She is just as beautiful in real life as she is on TV! I took the opportunity to pick up some souvenir campaign buttons. I will be wearing them (with my Sarah Palin t-shirt) on election day!
Here's WRAL's video if you'd like to see the speech:
Post Script...we headed out of the arena and started towards the car. The lot we parked in was empty. Turns out there was a no parking sign behind a bush that we (and the 50 other people who had parked there) didn't see. Fortunately, it was only a 2 block walk to the towing place, and it wasn't raining or miserable. $100 later, Katie gets her car back.
At this point, all we want is a burger and to get out of this God-forsaken town. We stopped to get something to eat and to use the restroom. The womens' room is out of order. Of course. Katie commandeers the mens' room.
We finally get our food and get back on 264 headed to Raleigh. Though I had an awesome time at the rally, there is no reason to ever go back to Greenville. As Katie so eloquently stated: Greenville totally sucks.
I had a great day Saturday. My oldest and dearest friend Jennifer was able to come to the State/BC game with me. That's not the red glare of our t-shirts making our faces red. We got burnt. Note to self...when sitting on the east side of Carter-Finley...wear sunblock! We had a great time, even if my Wolfpack didn't win. They played well and had a chance to win it at the end. Let's just say that the Pack had a moral victory and move on.
After the game, my boss and I met at out office to decorate the cube of one of our co-workers. She was on vacation the last half of the week...so we wanted to get her good! We started by tin-foiling most of the stuff in her cube...
Then we made a saran-wrap fence and filled it halfway full of balloons.
We all got to work early to be here when Roxie arrived. Around 8:15, she called to say that her daughter was sick. We've bagged the balloons up in giant black trash bags to save them until tomorrow. There are 3 bags full. It looks like we have body bags in our office.
This was fun, but I think next time we'll just do the stapler in jello. It's not quite so complicated.
Ronald Reagan is smiling down from Heaven tonight.
She came out and called Obama's Iraq plan surrender! She clearly stated the benefits of cutting taxes and getting the government to butt out of our lives. She reminded us of the intentions of the Founding Fathers. She corrected Biden on the "Drill, Baby, Drill" chant. She actually used the phrase "city on a hill"! She was particularly Reagan-esque when she started a rebuff with "there you go again..."
I haven't been this excited about a candidate since...well...ever.
I'm fighting the urge to wear my Palin t-shirt to work tomorrow.