February 2010 Archives

Geez, karma will get you every time.

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Gigi's Medal Standings

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Event   Medal   Photo
Bovine Hide Furniture Freestyle IMG_2241.JPG
Squeak Toy Half Pipe Shred IMG_2242.JPG
50mm Electric Blanket Chew IMG_2243.JPG

He's right, but there's some value in having people self-identify in a clip, so that in a decade or two when someone digs out one clip out of millions, they don't look up the wrong name. *shrug*

Having watched the live Olympics coverage last night, I'm stomping the shit out work, and hoping that the NBC continues to have the cojones to carry live feeds, but my hopes aren't high. Gawker lauds it as well, and the comments thread contains some good wins.

All politics are local

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As I write, I'm in Austin's City Hall at the request of our Neighborhood Association to discusss Zoning and Platting (ZAP) issue #5 on the agenda.
Consent agenda, approvals, disapprovals, public discussion, motions, approval of minutes, and a number of arcane discussion points lie ahead before I get a few minutes to speak in front of the commission in our effort to piss in the wind a bit. There's not much reason for the commission not to approve the staff recommendation for the new zoning, but our neighborhood board thinks we need to have a show of resistance. I was here two weeks ago to show our resistance, but on procedural grounds, our item was postponed. Zoning battles are wars of patience and attrition, with our side having an uphill battle getting people down to council; the developer has some real money on the line with it, not us. Adding to the frustration from our side, only the chair of the commission has been here more than a year; the rest are all newcomers that do not know our neighborhood. We're going to have to 'train' them on our issues. Watching the meeting, the chair is teaching the commission as well in how to make motions: Roberts' Rules of Order 101.

While the neighborhood's goals and issues are pretty staid, the Austin Lesbian and Gay Political Caucus is going through an identity crisis. Could it be that ALGPC has done all it can in Austin? Our endorsement meeting was a joint meeting with the Austin Stonewall Democrats, letting all the candidates have 4+ minutes apiece to fish for two endorsements at once. It is and was a gruelling meeting to sit through, and generally only happens once every other year on a large scale when there are primaries. The current chairs of ALGPC have been in place a number of years, and there haven't been new faces in the caucus either, and therein lies the problem. The chairpersons are worn out, the candidates have better direct access to individual voters than ever before, and maybe here in Austin at least, the ALGPC seems to have served its mission. For a number of years we served as a non-partisan caucus, but at some point after years of not getting any response from any candidates other than the Democrats, it's pretty clear that interest in having the endorsement simply doesn't exist on the other side of the aisle. There aren't any specifically local issues of interest to ALGPC's community, as our region is pretty touchey-feeley diverse, and the big issues are at the state and national level. Hell, at our endorsement meeting, most of the questions from the caucus to the candidates touched on property taxes, rather than issues of rights or visibility. It probably means there won't be a group to make an endorsement in our non-partisan city and county elections going forward, and that's a loss. It's crossed my mind to step up and keep it running, maybe as a 'virtual' caucus with candidate videos and online caucusing, but my heart wouldn't be in it.

Now my duties at ZAP for the evening are done - my 120 seconds at the podium and on public access cable were a success along with the rest of the neighbors. The developer is asking for zoning for 'auto rental' to cover limousine service, but we made the connection that unlike 9-5 rental places, limos and drivers come back at 3am on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The commission heard that, along with the fact that they've illegally paved the entire lot, and decided to do a 'site visit' before accepting the more intense zoning. It's not a victory yet, but I think we can get a few more neighbors on board for the next round.
Press release below, but I didn't agree with the dual endorsements in the meeting. My choice from the endorsement meeting is in bold italics.
ALGPC held its Candidate forum on Monday, February 1 and is proud to announce the endorsement of the following candidates in the March 2nd Primary Elections:

US House of Representatives CD10 - Ted Ankrum
US House of Representatives CD21 - Lainey Melnick
US House of Representatives CD25 - Lloyd Doggett

Governor - Bill White
Lt. Gov - Ronnie Earle
Attorney General - Barbara Ann Radnofsky
Agriculture Commissioner - Hank Gilbert
Land Commissioner - Hector Uribe
Railroad Commissioner - Jeff Weems
SBOE District 5 - Rebecca Bell-Metereau
SBOE District 10 - Judy Jennings
State Rep District 48 - Donna Howard
State Rep Distict 49 - Elliott Naishtat

Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals - Kurt Kuhn
Judge, 147th District - Cliff Brown
Judge, 201st District - Amy Clark Meachum
Judge, 299th District (dual) - Karen Sage, Mindy Montford
Judge, 331st District - David Crain
Judge, 353rd District - Tim Sulak

Travis County District Clerk - Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza
Travis County Clerk - Dana Debeauvoir
Travis County Treasurer - Dolores Ortega Carter
Commissioner Precinct 2 - Sarah Eckhardt
Commissioner Precinct 4 (dual) - Raul Alvarez, Margaret Gomez
County Court at Law 3 - John Lipscombe
County Court at Law 6 - Brandy Mueller
JP, Precinct 1 - Daniel Bradford
JP, Precinct 2 - Karin Crump
JP, Precinct 3 - Susan Steeg
JP, Precinct 5 - Herb Evans

Deadlines for Voting in the March 2 Primary Elections

Early Voting Begins: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Early Voting Ends: Friday, February 26, 2010

To find your Early Voting location:

To find your E-Day voting location:


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Gigi had her first day at puppy class today. Most Gigi-centric stuff will be over here

In other news, work's had me happily working away on a project for a German pharma company, and I have a big deliverable for them this week. It's actually pretty cool stuff.

Austin is Kept Weird.

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Travis County judge granted a same-sex divorce. Texas' AG of course names it a "voidance". Never boring around here. http://news8austin.com/content/top_stories/default.asp?ArID=266781

Might be scary to some..

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The text is about the costume store across from my local pub in Munich, saying "There's not ONLY scary things there: also the beaming smile of Hillary isn't nearly as scary as.." Yeah.. well.. that's still plenty scary to some out there. Munich has Fasching, or Carnival in full swing. I'm sure they're having fun.

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