Tag: riverdale

Exorcising the franchise

No that’s not a typo, but a clever pun.

I’m just back from voting in my very local mayoral and ward council election. After a brief phone meeting that required my attention at 5 PM, I walked over the municipal center of Riverdale, Maryland to exercise my franchise. I’ve been reading while I walk more and more, as my supply of time becomes more limited. Naturally, I pay 80% of my attention to reading and only about 20% to walking (the “Parade-oh” problem; another terrible pun which only one or two IT people might get). I was therefore startled out of my reverie, when someone approached me vaguely and said, “Hi, Jamie, thanks for coming out.”

It was David Lingua, who is running for re-election as my ward councilman. I was rather taken aback. About a week ago, David came to my door to ask for my vote. Since I agreed with what he was doing, I told him that I would come out and vote for him. I had intended to do this and I did vote for him, as well as our mayor Vernon Archer, who ran unopposed, which is a shame to the democratic process, but whatever. I must say that I was severely impressed by the fact that Mr. Lingua remembered my name from that one meeting. I can’t remember someone’s name after 10 tries!

I am back from voting now and am about to settle down to read more of the outstanding Breakfast in the Ruins just as soon as I have some dinner. Having voted, you can say that I have officially exorcised my franchise!

Lazy day

Slept in until about 9:30 but it was pretty rough from 5 AM on. I woke up at 5 AM feeling a bit queasy and fairly certain that I was going to get sick, but it turns out that I didn’t. I managed to get some fitful sleep until about 9:30 and when I finally got up, I felt much better. In fact, I headed up to IHOP at once and had a big breakfast.

I’ve spent much of the early afternoon reading and I finished up The Winds of Change and Other Stories. I’m about to start reading the first non-fiction of the year (and the first I’ve read in a while now), Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s, Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries.

The mail came a little while ago and in it was the Riverdale Park Town Crier, our monthly, small town newsletter. This lists things like what ordinances were passed, what new things are being planned for the town, etc. I noted that the Mayor and Council members receive raises beginning in July. The Mayor’s stipend goes from $400/month to $900/month. If a 125% raise sounds like a lot to you, you should check out what the council members are getting: from $200/month to $600/month, or a 200% raise!

Those of you who have visited me here know that I live close to railroad tracks, with freight trains rumbling through, blowing their horns at all hours of the day and night. In the 4-1/2 years that I have been here, I have gotten used to this and can tune out these noises, but it would be nice if they could go away all together. I noted this item of interest in the most recent Town Crier:

Railroad crossing improvements: We are working on making this crossing safe enough to be declared a Quiet Zone, in which case, the train horns would be silenced! (Except for emergencies).

This is the one and only reason I voted for the current Mayor. While I haven’t personally seen any progress toward making the intersection in question a Quiet Zone, I suppose it’s encouraging to know that it hasn’t been entirely forgotten.

I’m heading to the gym in a little while for an arm & shoulder workout, my first workout since Tuesday. I’ve got to get back in the saddle and stop the recent slacking.

Meanwhile, I plan on doing some more reading this afternoon, and then getting some more writing done this evening.

Railroad woes

For the last week or so, the railroad gates at the railroad crossing near my house have been acting as though they are possessed. The train stop is in the the Riverdale town center, which is as barren of business as Teli Savalis was of hair. It is also in a direct line home from work for me. Once again, the gates were acting nutty today and it took fifteen minutes to get across the tracks, though a single train was not in sight. When I got home, I was annoyed enough to compose a letter to the Mayor of Riverdale.

Read my missive