H1N1 Clinics Held at Local Schools this Saturday

Durham, Life, North Carolina Comments Off on H1N1 Clinics Held at Local Schools this Saturday

The Durham County Health Department will be holding 3 H1N1 Vaccination Walk-in Clinics at local schools this Saturday, January 9 from 10am to 3pm.  The schools are Hillside High School, Riverside High, and Neal Middle School. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/8jDssD.

If you haven’t already gotten an H1N1 vaccination this is a good opportunity to get one. My wife & I managed to get one at our local pharmacy (Triangle Pharmacy on Hwy 54) a few weeks back and it literally took us more time to fill out the forms than to get the shot.

I would highly recommend getting a shot. My son’s violin teacher has already had H1N1 as well as one of my son’s schoolmate. Getting the vaccine will definitely help your chances of avoiding the virus.

Overflowing Gas Pumps!

Durham, Life, North Carolina Comments Off on Overflowing Gas Pumps!

I filled up my car’s gas tank this morning at the Circle K at Hwy 55 and Cornwallis Road. When I was taking my son to school they had the best gas price at $1.989/gallon but by the time I got there it had gone up to $1.999/gallon, matching the other two gas stations at that corner. While I was filling up, though, I had the pump automatically stop a couple of times at the highest pump level (when the tank was obviously not full) so I put the pump on the lowest pump level. My mistake was then to walk around the car to get my logbook. A UPS driver who was on the opposite side of the pump came out a few minutes ago and got my attention. It was a good thing too since the pump was overflowing out of my gas tank! It looked like I lost about a good 2-4 gallons on the ground!

So, if you’re pumping your gas, it’s probably not a good idea to leave the pump unattended.

A Prairie Home Companion in Durham

Durham, Life, Music, North Carolina Comments Off on A Prairie Home Companion in Durham

If you haven’t been to the DPAC yet, you might want to consider going on May 9th.  It was just announced that in association with WUNC radio, Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion will be coming to the DPAC.    Tickets won’t go on sale until March 2nd but when they do you can get them at the DPAC tickets page.

I had heard rumors of this a few months ago, but had thought they fell through.  It’s nice to see they were correct.  A Prairie Home Companion is my son’s favorite show and he just picked up two books by Garrison Keillor at the Book Exchange in their going out of business sale.

Record Breaking Opening Day for One Stop Early Voting

Durham, Elections, Life, North Carolina Comments Off on Record Breaking Opening Day for One Stop Early Voting

Yesterday was the first day for One Stop Early Voting in North Carolina and it was immediately evident that people really want to vote.  The previous record for number of voters voting in a single day during early voting in Durham was 4,476, set on October 29, 2004.  Yesterday, Durham county had 6,264 people vote.  Durham Board of Elections Director Mike Ashe has been quoted that he thinks this new record will be broken!  You can keep track of each day’s totals at this link (note: pdf file).

Early voting is especially convenient in North Carolina due to the fact that you can register, or update your registration, and vote on the same day.  With that in mind, it’s useful to review who is eligible to register to vote in NC.  Anyone in NC may register to vote provided they sign a voter decleration attesting that:

  • They are a U.S. citizen.
  • They have been a resident of North Carolina and the county they are registering in for 30 days before the election.
  • They will be at least 18 years old by the next general election.
  • They are not registered to vote, nor will they vote in any other county or state.
  • If they have been convicted of a felony, their rights of citizenship have been restored.

Note that untruthful answers on any of these questions on your registration form is considered a felony, so make sure you answer truthfully!  In addition, the person registering to vote must provide proof of residency by showing the elections official an appropriate form of identification with the citizen’s current name and current address. Note that if you are registering at a One Stop Early Voting location you are only allowed to vote at the early voting election and not in the next general election. I’m not sure why you’d want to leave and then come back to vote, but since you can’t, it doesn’t matter. In any case an “appropriate form of identification” is defined to be:

  • A North Carolina driver’s license with current address
  • A utility bill with name and current address
    • A telephone or mobile phone bill
    • An electric or gas bill
    • A cable television bill
    • A water or sewage bill
  • A document with name and current address from a local, state, or U.S. government agency, such as:
    • A passport
    • A government-issued photo ID
    • U.S. military ID
    • A license to hunt, fish, own a gun, etc.
    • A property or other tax bill
    • Automotive or vehicle registration
    • Certified documentation of naturalization
    • A public housing or Social Service Agency document
    • A check, invoice, or letter from a government agency
    • A birth certificate
  • A student photo ID along with a document from the school showing the student’s name and current address
  • A paycheck or paycheck stub from an employer or a W-2 statement
  • A bank statement or bank-issued credit card statement

You can find out much more about registering to vote at the State Board of Elections website.  In addition, you can look up your own voting information and get both your polling location and a sample ballot for your district.  So, if you want to vote but are not yet registered, go register and vote!  Or, if you don’t want to fight the crowds on election day (although, apparently 25% of all voters in the U.S. voted early in the 2006 election and that number will almost certainly grow for this election), go vote early.  But, whatever you do, please go vote!

Duke University String School Concert October 11

Classical Music, Duke, Durham, Life, Music, North Carolina Comments Off on Duke University String School Concert October 11

The Duke University String School will be having the first of their 4 yearly concerts this weekend.  On Saturday, 11 October 2008 in the Baldwin Auditorium in the Biddle Music Building on Duke’s East Campus there will be a concert of the beginner 1 and 2 and intermediate 1 groups at 3pm.  Then, at 4pm there will be a Memorial Concert for Wei-Lee Kuo. Finally at 7pm, there will be a concert of the intermediate 2 group and the DUSS Youth Symphony Orchestra.

My son has been taking violin with the string school this fall and will be performing with the beginner 1 group at 3pm.  In addition, when my son started, I mentioned to his ensemble’s group instructor, Stephanie Swisher, that I played double bass and asked if she needed any help.  While they didn’t need anything with the beginner group, she asked if I’d be willing to help with the intermediate 2 group, so I’ll be playing bass with that group at 7pm.

Anyway, if you’re in Durham tomorrow afternoon and are interested in some classical music, consider stopping by!

Update: When posting late at night, double check all your facts. Baldwin Auditorium, of course, is not in Biddle Music Building.  Oh well, here’s hoping I get it right next time. Their next concert will be December 6.

Voter Registration Deadline This Friday

Durham, Elections, Life, North Carolina Comments Off on Voter Registration Deadline This Friday

If you want to vote in the November presidential (and local, of course) election you need to make sure you are registered to vote before the deadline this Friday.  After Friday, the only way for you to be able to vote in NC will be to go through One Stop Early Voting where you can register & vote at the same time.  However, even if you think you are registered, you should double check to make sure you haven’t accidentally been purged from the voter rolls.  While I definitely think Durham BOE Director Mike Ashe would not knowingly purge valid voters from the rolls, mistakes are possible.  That’s why it is important for everyone to check their voter registration status.  You can check your own registration status at the Durham County Board of Elections website.  Besides that, a group called Project Vote 2008 has lists of voters recently purged from voting rolls around the country including Durham County.  You can check their online Google spreadsheet for a list of voters recently purged from the Durham County voter rolls and if you see yourself you can fix things.  Or, if you see a friend on the list let them know to go check their registration.  This is something you definitely want to do soon since if you show up on election day and are not registered you won’t be able to vote normally.  You can almost certainly vote provisionally, however, if you aren’t registered the chances that vote will be counted are slim.  So, act now before time runs out.

Again, the deadline for registering to vote is this Friday, October 10, 2008.  Information on how to register can be found here.

Update: As my friend Lisa mentions, my voter registration lookup link only works in Durham County.  You can look up your NC voter registration information for any county in North Carolina at the State Board of Elections website.

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

Cycling, Durham, Life Comments Off on Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day

October 4 is this year’s IMBA International Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.  We had a lot of fun at this last year (my attempting to learn how to “pedal surge” to make it over large logs and instead flipping my bike over and landing on my back notwithstanding) when the local event was held down at Harris Lake park.  This year the local event will be held at Lake Crabtree County Park in conjuction with the Triangle Fat Tire Festival.  It is being put on by TORC and Trips For Kids Triangle.  I’m not sure yet if I’ll be helping out as a member of the mountain bike patrol but at the very least my son and I plan to be there for the event and if you have kids too I’d recommend you bring them out!

Here’s pictures from last year’s festival:



Durham, Life Comments Off on I.O.U.S.A.

For those of you who think the United States has a huge problem with the size of the federal debt (and I do) there is a movie tonight being shown in select theaters around the country called I.O.U.S.A. From the trailer, it looks good.  I’d love to go see it but I’ve unfortunately already got plans tonight.  It’s at the North Hills Stadium 14 in Raleigh, NC at 8pm and after the movie there will apparently be a live panel discussion with Warren Buffett and other financial leaders.  The movie in the theaters is apparently a one night only thing (update: apparently it has a limited 12 city run starting Friday, but the premiere tonight will be in 358 theaters, so your best chance to see it in the theaters is tonight) but the movie will hopefully be on regular TV in a few months.

See the trailer below:

Busy times and sick days

Durham, Life, North Carolina Comments Off on Busy times and sick days

It always seems like there’s way too much stuff happening. The big thing, though, is that Big-B started back to school last week. He’s in 2nd grade this year and likes it so far, so hopefully he’ll have a really good year. The first couple of weeks, though, are a bit rough as my wife is still in West Virginia at the summer camp where she works each summer. So, Big-B and I have been on our own. He’s been going to the afterschool program and seems ok with that. However, I’m not able to pick him up until 5:30pm at the earliest and his bedtime is normally 7:30 which leaves almost no time at all to eat supper, get ready for bed, and do anything else we might want to do (library, grocery store, Tour de France, etc…). But, things seem to be working ok. Thankfully, my wife gets back Thursday evening. I really have a newfound respect, though, for single parents.

Today has been fairly challenging as I managed to catch some sort of bug that has me keeping fairly close to the porcelin throne.  I haven’t eaten hardly anything since lunch yesterday and don’t really have any desire to.  I’m really hoping that things will feel much better tomorrow and this will just have been a 24 hour virus or something like that.

Week recap and upcoming Startup Weekend

Life Comments Off on Week recap and upcoming Startup Weekend

I finally got my car back yesterday morning and it’s running very well.  Thanks much to Wasp Automotive for the good work, even if it did take a bit longer than expected.  Unfortunately, because I had to return the rental car Wednesday morning, I was left Wednesday night with no car and no cable or Internet.  The cable technicians finally came out on Wednesday.  They were supposed to be there between 3 and 5pm.  They arrived at 6:15pm and promptly found that the line had problems and that I needed line maintenance to come out.  They said they’d try to be out that evening, but of course that didn’t happen.  Then, to top things off, just after the cable techs left, a storm blew through and my power went out.  So, there I was with no car, no cable, no internet, and no power.  I’m very thankful that we have a gas stove so I could cook my supper.

Anyway, I got the car back the next morning and then when I came home Thursday evening the cable and Internet were working.  My DVR box, though, seems to still have a few problems.  There are several channels that won’t tune at all, or tune but with a messed up picture.  I need to get through all the stuff saved on the box, though, before taking it in to get a new one.

This weekend, I’m going to be at the RTP Startup Weekend.  The goal there is to basically get a bunch of people together for one weekend and start a company together.  I went to the previous one about 8 months ago and had a good time, even though our company didn’t get past the weekend.  This weekend, I think, that we’ll actually be starting multiple companies, so we’ll see how that goes.  If you’re at all morbidly curious, they will apparently be streaming live video all weekend and you can see it here:http://www.ustream.tv/channel/rtp-startup-weekend

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