Working The Election Polling Center

Today was the third day of working with the Yolo County Election team getting the polling center initially setup and then processing voters through the center.

Friday night, November4th was about a four hour evening getting all the equipment setup, verifying the inventory, and documenting the various components and providing security stickers to ensure no fraudulent activity could be carried-out intentionally or inadvertently.

Saturday was the first full day of actually serving the public enabling them to vote either in person or providing a place for them to simply drop off their ballot that they had filled out at home.

There are various stations that poll workers occupy that perform distinct  functions.

The first station is the Line Management Station. The person at this station  greets the incoming voter and directs them where they need to go depending upon whether they are voting in person or there simply to drop off their completed ballot or to actually vote in a variety of ways.

If the person just wants to drop off a filled out ballot they are directed to the Ballot Drop Off Station.  There are three ballots boxes there.  One for the ballots that for Drop Off Only.  The person assigned to that station will verify that the ballot envelope has been properly signed and dated and instruct them to place the envelope in the Blue receiving ballot box.

If the person wants to fill out a ballot at the polling station then they are directed to the ePollbook Station for further processing.  At tis station they will be asked to provide some means of looking them up in the system.

 

2012 RA Taft 50th Year Reunion For 1962 Graduates

June 10th, 2022

It’s been 10 years since the RA Taft Class of 1962 celebrated their 50th class reunion at the Crown Plaza Convention Center in Blue Ash.  It is now part of the Quality Inn Group.

It was disappointing that a 60th reunion didn’t take place but with fewer participants, Covid, and other extenuating circumstances it is not surprising that there wasn’t a follow-up.

Below are some of the photos I took in 2012.

Dennis Whitehead, Gladys Morton, and Wardell Harper in the rear. I don’t know the one lady standing or the other two sitting but John Carroll is seated at the far right. They are mostly from the Class of 1961.
Eddie Gray and A. King
Hanging out with the fellas the night before the 50th Reunion. Snake, John Posey, and Skip Harrison. Kneeling in front unknown
Sandra “Kitty” Richardson Graham.  Pigskin Preview Queen back in the day
Bennie May Ray and Barbara Arnold
Ruby Davis and Eddie Gray
Ruby Davis and Mary Caitlin
Raymond “Butch” Harrison. Butch is a first cousin of mine. His father and my father were brothers. My dad James was the oldest and his dad Thomas Ray was the second oldest of 9 children.
Walt “The Snake” Williams
Vivian Broach Bobo and Reginald “Reggie” Jenkins
Skip Harrison
Skip Harrison
Martha Moore Bolden
Skip Harrison and Vivian Broach Bobo
Vivian Broach Bobo
Willa Mae Shelby left, Carolyn Gilley(?), and Patricia Canady right.
John Harshaw in background. Ruby Davis to the left.

Bird House

I saw some quick and easy bird cages being built by novice and experienced wood workers.  They were using 6-8 foot cedar planks and I thought I since I had some 6 foot planks left over from the planter that I’d just built for the backyard I would give it a shot making one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go to Woodworking Tab

Kitchen Utensil Holders

I found some extension table leaves of a table that had been long ago given away to a family member or to charity.  The leaves were in the back of a seldom used closet and had been forgotten about.

One side of the wood was already finished in a glossy urethane type substance and I thought this would be an easy and quick opportunity to make some utensil holders for the kitchen.  That was a false assumption to say the least.  Trying to preserve that finish was way more work than it would have been if I had just sanded, planed, re-sawn or used some other method to get the wood ready for glue-up.

The containers ae 10 sided and about 5 inches tall.  The wood appears to be maple with a OSB (oriented strand board) backing.  I added a small layer of sapele on top with a 45 degree chamfer then a trim of white oak separating the two woods.

Go to woodworking category.

 

 

Teak Bench Restoration

My son-in-law retrieved an old broken down teak bench that was being discarded due to some broken parts and just being in general disrepair. He asked if I wanted it for the teak wood that was still in good shape except for years of weathering, split wood. Some missing parts, and broken bolts, braces, and screws.

It sat in my side yard for a few weeks as I finished up a couple other projects and pending the purchase of a block of wood to replace some pieces that worn, broken or missing. The local hardwood stores didn’t have teak wood so I opted for a piece of eight-four Sapele as a substitute. As it turned out it wasn’t too bad of a match and after a teakwood oil it blended in OK.

I decided to try and restore the piece to its original shape and design as much as possible rather than re-purpose the wood for something else. I think either way would have been OK for such a nice selection of hardwood.

The underside of the bench. Some of the support blocks were broken and pieces of the slats were broken off.

Using clamps to hold things together to see what its going to take to put things back together.

Broken wood pieces replaced. Old weathered finish stripped, sanded and new coat of Teak Oil applied.

Finished bench in portrait view. Length is 5 feet, width is 15 inches and the height is 16 inches.

Salad Servers

The salad servers were made as a Christmas gift to my two daughters. They are a copy, structurally speaking, of the ones I my for my wife Janet about a year ago. That set was made from contrasting wood of soft maple and walnut. The set pictured below are made entirely of white oak. The “bread butter” t protect the wood from continued exposure to water is a combination of mineral oil and beeswax.

The original design was taken from a post by the YouTube maker Steve Ramsey. I modified his design and made these a little slimmer for looks and functionality purposes.

 

These four were made for my daughters as a gift for Christmas 2021.

 

This pair is the original ones I made for my wife for Christmas 2020.

Christmas Keepsake Box For The Wife

I made this keepsake box for my wife for Christmas. I got the inspiration from a YouTube maker channel called Newton Makes. It’s made from wenge and curly maple. I planed the wood thickness down to about 7/16 inch and the shelves to about 1/4 inch.

This is the first time I’ve used wenge and it is the most splintery wood I have ever worked with.  Three times I left the shop with splinters in my bleeding hand, especially under the fingernails.  

Newton’s box didn’t have the shelves but I added those after the wife wanted a little more versatility to store various sizes of jewelry and what not. At some point I will be adding red felt to the shelves and to the very inside bottom of the box.  I tried adding the fancy shaped legs that Newton made but I couldn’t get the twice sawn bandsaw shape to come out as intended.  Wound up just cutting an “L” shape bracket leg and adding a small taper towards the bottom.

I used Minwax Clear Semi-Gloss as a finish and applied about 4 coats in total. Fun project!

Small Box For Vanity

The box was made of 1/2 inch walnut plywood and purple heart scraps left over from a cutting board I made last year. The dimensions are 8″ wide, 6 1/2″ front to back, and 7″ deep.  

The top handle is made from solid walnut and its is finished with clear satin  wipe-on poly.

 

“Trip” Back To The Barracks

In an earlier post I wrote about Cool Breeze. (here)  The brother from LA, the Compton so called bad ass.  In that post I talked about how he had tried for a long time to get me to partake some of his “good shit” and mellow out.  If you read that post you know I did give in.

What I didn’t talk about was my reaction to whatever Cool Breeze had put into that “good shit”.  Truth be told, I was already feeling pretty good from drinking a good amount of bourbon Cool Breeze kept at his pad and combined that with a few hits off his stuff was too much for me to take.  I panicked and headed straight for the door heading back to the compound at full speed.

The small US Army compound was contained within a larger Thai army compound and there were Thai military police at the entrance to the gate.  I showed them my army ID and they opened the gate for me to pass.  During the daylight hours there was a shuttle that ran frequently from the main gate entrance up the the American compound, but at this hour and on weekends it was hit and miss so I decided to walk the mile or so to the barracks.

I started walking and admiring the most beautiful full moon I had ever seen.  I’d never seen such a beautiful moon, why is it so bright?  It lit up the winding dirt road that led up to the compound.  I heard a noise off the side of the dirt road and a dark figure moved slowly beside me.  The eyes followed me and I stared back and finally realized it was a water buffalo that are common all over Thailand.  Even on the army compound they populated a large waterhole that was near by.

What are you looking at fat ass?  Get back in the water.  As I walked further on my solo journey I felt better and better.  I felt so good I began to skip along the dirt road.  To my surprise that dirt road transformed itself into the Yellow Brick Road as in the Wizard of Oz.  I guess I ‘m Dorothy now, or the Scarecrow looking for my brain.

I followed the Yellow Brick Road, singing and skipping all the way up to the second gate which was the entrance to the US compound.  The tune “Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road” was stuck in my mind the whole way.  The American MP on duty knew me and started toward the gate to let me in.  I grabbed the post of the chain link fence and it felt like somebody had put dry ice in my hand.  The gate was freezing cold which was funny because it was still about 90 degrees outside.  Now my hand is stuck and I can’t let go.  A loud “Soldier what’s your fucking problem?” brought me out of it and I was able to let go and head to the barracks not more than 50 feet away.  No more skipping and no more singing.  Fifty feet to the barracks if you walked in a straight line, I couldn’t.

I found my bunk midway down the barracks and got in the rack.  I didn’t take off my clothes but just tucked in the mosquito net around me the best I could and laid on my back looking up.  I could see part of the moon through the louvered screen window opening, still bright and beautiful.  I closed my eyes and the room started spinning so I opened them and things steadied.

I thought to myself ” I have got to get some sleep”,  so I closed my eyes again.  No spinning, good.  My eyes are closed and I still see the moon only its gaining color and looking more and more like a disco ball with flashing lights.  I’m not spinning but it is as the color intensity brightens and its beautiful.  Colorful lights are shooting and flashing off the disco ball straight at me and I drifted off into slumber land until the moon shined so brightly in my eyes I woke up.  Only it wasn’t the moon it was the sun blasting into the barracks at a low angle that the louvers on the screens that substituted for window panes couldn’t block.

Why am I dressed in civilian clothes in bed with my shoes still on, my mosquito net half torn off and countless mosquito bites on my face, neck and arms.  Ahh fuck, I remember, Cool Breeze, the Compton bad ass.

I think I’m gonna be sick.