March 01 2022 Republican Primary Election Voter Guide

US Representative District 17

Paulette Carson – By process of elimination. Her website has all good talking points. Bonus intersectionality points during the general for being a woman with a special-needs child

Jason “Stormchaser” Nelson – sounded good until I found out he named his children Danger, Thunder, and Lightning. Seriously. Dude.

Pete Sessions – Time for new blood in congress, not him

Rob Rosenberger – Being my spiritual shipmate in the Navy is a plus. Having worked for the CIA is a disqualifier.

Governor – Greg Abbot it’s not even close. The regular reader will know my lack of desire to change leaders when there’s a good one. That’s Abbott.

Lieutenant Governor

Daniel Miller – his schtick is TEXIT. Pass.

Aaron Sorrells – seems ok also. I could vote for him I think

Dan Patrick – has been a roadblock to good bills. Let’s see someone new.

Trayce Bradford – an 80% candidate I could be ok with

Zach Vance – an 80% candidate for me. I could be ok with him but he’s ok with abortion so let’s see who else is out there

Todd M. Bullis – probably won’t win, but if you want someone who puts his Christian values up front, here’s your boi.

Attorney General

Ken Paxton – He hasn’t been altogether terrible in office. The lawsuit thing doesn’t really bother me. I’ve never really been strongly FOR him nor agin’ him either. He shot himself in the foot resisting (illegally resisting) an open records request as the guy in charge of them. Time to Go, Kenny!

Eva Guzman – She was my pick for Justice on the Supreme Court and has retired. It would be hard to find a better fit for the job, perhaps

Louie Gohmert – Just the right kind of crazy nutter to try to move the Overton window in the right direction in Congress. Not the kind of crazy I’d like to see as Attorney General but I could easily vote for him against literally any Democrat in November.

George P. Bush – No. Hard pass. No more Bushes. Sorry buddy the family ruined it. Also: Way to jump to different offices trying to stay relevant, or maybe to escape a race he would lose for doing a poor (and controversial) job.

Comptroller of Public Accounts

Mark V. Goloby – An accountant in charge of the public books would be okay. I think there are two decent candidates here.

Glenn Hegar – I haven’t heard anything horrid about him yet, give him another term and then send him out to pasture.

Commissioner of the General Land Office

Ben Armenta – seems okay. doesn’t particularly stand out in a field with a bunch of okay candidates

Tim Westley – flavorless background on which one may project his desires in looking for an ideal candidate. Like Obama in this way, but not a radical leftist. Pass

Rufus Lopez – homey you gotta have a website tho

Weston Martinez – would probably be okay too. let him keep being pastor at his church, that’s more important.

Dawn Buckingham – has crazy eyes, which is a reliable indication . . . endorsed by El Trumpo though, which is also a reliable indication. LOTS of solid endorsements, which goes a long way for me this time.

Victor Avila – seems okay. doesn’t particularly stand out in a field with a bunch of okay candidates

Jon Spiers – it may be entirely unjustified, but this guy rubs me the wrong way. A *reservist* doctor for 16 years is honorable but . . . His face also gives me the same creepy vibe I got from the younger version of Al Gore before he turned into a legit demon. Pass. I’m sorry Jon.

Don W. Minton – It is better to be agnostic than to be an outspoken Catholic. Pass. longtime readers will recall I failed to vote for Romney against Obama for similar reasons.

Commissioner of Agriculture

Carey A. Counsil – He cares and his heart seems to be in the right place. I could vote for him in November, but not in March.

James white – if your campaign is “the other guy sucks” you suck do better

Sid Miller – is a firebrand but the Sunset Commission just sayd he’s doing a good job. Let him keep at it. Plus, he’s my kind of firebrand!

Railroad Commissioner

Sarah Stogner – Such a serious person she galavanted naked on camera for funsies. Forever pass on this one.

Dwayne Tipton – by default and because he seems actually qualified, I’m gonna pull the lever for Tipton this time.

Wayne Christian – Made the Texas Worst Legislators list – twice – for being a jerk when he doesnt have to be.  No. Still. I’ve been here a while.

Marvin “Sarge” Summers – R.I.P. brother. The body is dead but the soul flew to Christ!

Tom Slocum Jr. – I didn’t have to read very long before he disqualified himself. Blockchain is a buzzword and it has nothing to do with public records. Ridiculous. Next.

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 9

Evan Young – is young, and has only been a judge for a few minutes. After he graduated from schools that make my skin crawl and being mostly just a lawyer.

David J. Schenck – actually a judge and and a good one, the kind who you don’t hear anything bad about. This guy.

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 5

Clint Morgan – I’d be happy to vote for him in November. In March I’m for Walker

Scott Walker – Longtime readers will know I don’t like kicking out an incumbent that isn’t doing poor work. Keep him here.

Member, State Board Of Education, District 5

Robert Morrow – a rather bizarre case. A Republican who wants to Impeach trump in 2020 is bad enough to have the local Republican establishment leadership threatening to set itself on fire literally if he got into this position? That’s gonna be a “yikes” form me

Mark Loewe – by default, the better choice. It’s possibly worth getting out to vote ONLY for this race. Because . . . yikes.

County Chair

Matt Mackowiak – probably wins but . . .

Jennifer Fleck – If you want someone to bring Trumpish values and flair to the party, it’s gotta start with the local party leadership. It looks to me like that’s Fleck so I’m gonna go for her this time.

Republican primary ballot propositions: Rah-rah for the Red Team

Proposition 1: do what we’re already doing to reduce illegal immigration since the feds won’t: Yes

Proposition 2: Eliminate property taxes without implementing an income tax
Yes. Consumption tax.

Proposition 3: Texans shouldn’t get fired for not getting the covid clot shot
Yes they should not. The wording of this sucks.

Proposition 4: Teach american nationalism, reject critical race theory:
YES ffs

Proposition 5: Enact a constitutional amendment to defend sanctity of innocent human life from fertilization to death

Proposition 6: Republicans should stop giving committee chairmanships to democrats
Yes. This seems easy and IDeK what’s the backstory

Proposition 7: Texans should have secure elections basically

Proposition 8: Ban chemical castration, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and genital mutilation surgery on all minor children for sex transition purposes
YES this sort of thing is a crime against humanity by the way and they should have said Gender but ok

Proposition 9: Texas parents and guardians should have the right to select their childrens school and have funding follow the student

Proposition 10: Affirm that our freedoms come from God and the government has no control over the conscience of individuals

Things I always think but never tell anyone about my wife

…because it’s none of your business, is why. But she got upset I didn’t praise her here, so try this on for size:

Her eyes are pure brown. When the sun shines through sideways and into them, the beauty of it could take my breath away. When she looks at me, they are full of love. But she can’t look at me for long; I guess I’m hard to look at. She says I’m handsome but she can’t sometimes…and I want to just stare and stare, especially when the light is just-so.

The skin of her face is textured. She has these fine little hairs you can’t see but if you have the immense privilege of touching her, you will feel that it is different to touch than it looks. Sometimes I run my hand over it, savoring that feeling, and that she lets me near.

It’s wonderful to feel her hair no matter what she does, if it’s bedtime in the morning it’s charming. if she pulls it up I like it. If she leaves it down I like it. If her curls are tight or loose or frizzy I like it. It smells like her. Sometimes it smells like her hair products and sometimes it smells like outside, but it always smells like her. When I hold her tight in the night, it goes all up my nose and it’s okay because it’s her. It’s so soft, when I kiss it. She likes me to run my fingers through it when she feels like it’s extra soft. Sometimes I find hairs in my laundry and I like the reminder of her even if it’s an annoying something rubbing me until I figure out what’s loose in my shirt or whatever.

Her face is pretty in profile

Her face is pretty straight on

For a few days more than a year now, my favorite picture has been my computer’s desktop background: her face, grinning at me from the computer screen. She has the cutest little nose, and her cheeks stand proud. When we are in . . . a certain position and she looks down at me, or I look down at her, the beauty of it is so lovely, it almost hurts.

Her lips, when she is not happy to kiss me, they go hard. But when she loves me, they are soft. The little ridge on the front, I play with it. Sometimes I have to remind myself not to bite too hard. Sometimes, she bites my lip too hard also but I don’t mind. The passion behind it more than makes up for a little sore lip for a few minutes (or days)

I think she doesn’t like her eyebrows but they are hers and they look nice actually. They go well with the shape of her face.

Her neck is exactly the right height for me to kiss on and it has a certain effect on her when I do that. Sometimes, I do it just because it is pure joy to have her feel that way in reaction to my love. When her hair is up, it is like an invitation, beckoning me to

Her bosom is soft unless it is confined. Sometimes when she lets me touch my mind just goes blank. She has such curves, y’all.This is the body of a real woman! To run my hands down her side, they move a LOT to follow the shapely shape!

She somewhat dislikes her belly, but it tells me she loves me. All her peers are fat and/or frumpy, but she keeps herself smaller to keep me happy looking at her. Lying in bed at night, I run my hand along the swell of her hip and thigh (she has such curves!) and then she lets me hold her until we sleep. …or until someone kicks, or has to pee… I love our routine. It is our shared experience we do almost every day.

I even like her bad foot. The good foot is very nice to look at and sometimes I … nevermind what I do. But the bad foot shows me she is still vulnerable. She is so strong and brave, sometimes it’s like she doesn’t need me at all, but . . .

…and when she puts on tight jeans, great God what a view!

All of this, always always I know it. This all is a part of me. It’s so personal I can’t share it easily. But here is this little essay in praise of the most attractive woman in the world* because I think she would like to see it.


*to me. There is nobody else I want to see but her. I’m in love, can you tell?

A simple high power high voltage high current active load using NPN transistors

I built this.  If you are clever with electronics, you can build one for yourself.  If you find this circuit somewhere besides then be careful that the text may have changed and rendered this dangerous or even deadly!

Money shot: the final product

The rear view:

This is not vaporware. I built it and it works and it works well.  If you have any smart questions, feel free to ask them in comments but beware I don’t check the queue very often. I’ll get to you eventually.

This load is effectively a big resistor of variable value, that will sink as much current as you like.  It can be scaled up to as many transistors-and-resistors as you need to increase power handling.  Heat sinks will need to be large for high power inputs.  I have giant fan-cooled heat sinks and the circuit itself limits input current at low voltage.  At 100V I am only getting about 60 Watts, but I have used this to test a few different power supplies and it sucked down 30 amps at lower voltage pretty easily.

My goal was to be able to go up to 100V DC input, with as much current as could be obtained.  In the end I didn’t get as much high voltage current capacity as I would like, but the low voltage current capacity is capacious indeed and I’m pretty happy with the result.

My meters reading 18.7VDC input at 30A, when my supply is giving 19.1V.  Almost half a volt is dropped across my giant 4AWG input cables, which surprised me a little.


My inspiration came from Hamuro on

The final circuit is approximately:

The basic circuit is extremely simple: a DC input is divided by a potentiometer, and the divided voltage is applied to the base of an NPN transistor.  The collector is tied to the DC input voltage, and the emitter is grounded via a resistor. The transistor allows various amounts of current to flow out the emitter, due to its base voltage controlling its collector current.  Here I have several transistors in parallel, which is a trap for new players: If you don’t have a proper resistor on the emitter, you may get one transistor hogging the current, heating up, going into thermal runaway, and exploding.  You will want some resistor there to be a dummy load, and it will vary based on your needs.

I have two sets of emitter resistors, and these two fat toggle switches select between them.

My desire to go to very high voltage forced a couple of changes.  A lower base resistor would allow more current to flow through the transistor at low input voltages, but it made the base voltage setting potentiometer tricky to control with precision at high voltages.  I added a 10k pot in series with the 100k pot for finer control, which in use turns out to have been a great idea.  I also had to insert a high power resistor in the R14 position.  A short-circuited potentiometer would lead to up to 100V/1000Ω=0.1A*100V= 10 watts of power dissipation in R14!  A lower input voltage would allow a smaller resistor here, or none at all, if you like to live dangerously or don’t mind burning the occasional transistor and potentiometer.  I had to use a high value emitter resistor to prevent current hogging at high voltage.  On a darlington transistor, you want even higher values.  I went with 10 ohms which is should be plenty even for low current at high voltage.  For low voltage I used 0.75 ohms.  All of these are high power resistors because they may have to take up to nearly-ALL of your circuit’s power, depending on how you adjust the base potentiometer!  The low value resistors are paralleled for lower resistance, and the high value resistors are a series string.  These are selected by big toggle switches.  For a simpler single voltage range you could of course eliminate the different set of emitter resistors and the switches to select between them.

The power transistors I chose are MJ11016 NPN darlingtons: Choose your power devices to have suitable voltage and current ratings for your intended input, or things may well explode on you.  These are high power, high voltage TO-3 devices, which suits my application just fine.  They are mounted to heat sinks with about a combined 2.2ºC/W junction-to-ambient combined interface resistance, and when I did the maths it worked out to about 90 Watts maximum from each transistor with the heatsinks still cool enough to be able to touch.  I can get a hundred-ish watts each with things getting toasty, but the fans cool them down again pretty fast after they stop sinking power.

A final note: Depending on what you do with it, this circuit will have lethal potentials floating around.  If you don’t know how to make this safe, please please PLEASE study what you are considering doing.  Ask for help at the EEVBlog community forum or somewhere else full of knowledgeable people, when you start to understand and can ask good questions.


Travis County Joint General and Special Elections Voter Guide for November 6, 2018

As usual, this is me publishing the notes I make for myself, to make my life easier in the future and help out anyone else who might trip over this little blog by accident looking for some help making their decisions.

These are only the races where I live.  In other places there are other races, so check to see what will be on your own ballot.

Straight party: this is stupid. You won’t be able to do this any more, but this time you
still can. Consider your candidates as individuals.

United States Senator
Please vote for Ted Cruz. This isn’t even a question. He has been doing outstanding work and should be kept in place. Especially when the next-closest challenger is an anti-gun leftist.

District 17, US Representative
Bill Flores REP – Please re-elect Congressman Flores. He is a solid conservative, so worth a vote over the other two right there. Plus he is in the R party, which means not being categorically against Don Trump. That’s enough to put him over the top.
Rick Kennedy DEM – wants to crush us financially (with the best of intentions) by giving away free pennies from heaven in the form of single-payer health care. That is enough to disqualify him. Also he is a global warmenist, is against our Southern Border Wall, and is otherwise a Democrat. If you like Trump’s agenda, and I do, then a Democrat is exactly the opposite of what we need in Congress today.
Peter Churchman LIB – I applaud him for trying to “be the change” he wanted to see in our government. I don’t like him being against President Trump, and I don’t like him trying to take power away from POTUS to mobilize our military. Otherwise he seems like a fairly solid conservative-leaning Libertarian, which means he is better than any Democrat. But he will lose and most of his votes will be “spoilers” from the Republican side. Vote for who you want, but I’m not voting for Churchman.

Greg Abbott REP – Please re-elect Governor Abbott! He’s been killing it so far and shows no signs of turning wobbly/squishy on us.
Lupe Valdez DEM – literally an insane person. No thank you.
Mark Jay Tippetts LIB – Small government: good. Current immigration situation is
heartbreaking and we need to be more compassionate: bad. The pure libertarian solution to immigration sounds an awful lot like open borders at a time when we should be building the Southern Border Wall and making people turn around and go be *compassionate* wherever they came from.

Liutenant Governor
Dan Patrick REP – To be clear, this is not my favorite Republican ever. But he *is* a solid conservative, and pretty effective at ramming a legislative agenda I like down the throats of his opponents, which is basically what a Lt. Governor does here. So keep him for now. No, the politically-motivated indictments don’t bother me at all.
Mike Collier DEM – approximately a typical Democrat. He wants to ruin us financially (with the best of intentions!). He wants to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to be armed, and he wants to make it easier to take away your guns (but again, with the best of intentions!). Wants to reduce corruption in government by . . . setting up a committee
Kerry Douglas Mckennon LIB – if we had sensible people in government, the Libertarian Party ticket would get my vote. We don’t. We have libtards on the other side of the aisle, and we need people who will be *nationalistic* in the face of Democrats having minds “so open their brains fell out”. I like most of McKennon’s stances on the Issues with just a few exceptions that would not prevent me voting for him happily if there were not a better candidate: He is in favor of recreational drug use, against the death penalty, and against police enforcing traffic laws. He is soft on immigration which (again) wouldn’t be a problem in a different political climate than we have today.

Attorney General
Ken Paxton REP – I’ve picked Paxton both by default and because he is a decent guy for the job.
Justin Nelson DEM – the top of his campaign is attacking the other guy for being *accused* of wrongdoing, and the bottom is typical Democrat talking points. No thanks.
Michael Ray Harris LIB – if I don’t find your campaign on an internet search, you don’t get my vote. In 2018 this counts as not even trying to win a race.

Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar REP – I am going to push the button for Hegar this year. I said in 2014 that he seemed to be trying to run for *any* office as a Conservative. I haven’t heard anything bad that I can remember about him since then . . . but I was leaning toward Ben Sanders then and I think I still might be. But Hegar has been there doing it.
Joi Chevalier DEM – a Bernie Sanders supporter and member of various racist groups . . . two strikes and she’s out.
Ben Sanders LIB – possibly a good candidate for Congress in a different, less-polarized
political climate.

Commissioner of the General Land Office
Once again, I am going to abstain from voting in this race due to lack of a candidate I can support.
George P. Bush REP – No more Bushes.  For any office.  The family is banned.
Miguel Suazo DEM – hey he’s running because he doesn’t like what Bush did in a couple of cases. . . sounds good so far! . . . against school choice for parents…going to try to save us from *climate change*…and he’s gonna improve us with (handwaving) BLOCKCHAIN technology!  oookay thanks for playing.
Matt Pina LIB – appears to have no relevant experience

Commissioner of Agriculture
Sid Miller REP – I think I will hold my nose a bit and Keep him in this position. He sometimes comes out with slightly whacky statements, but it seems like the main campaigning point against him is that he is an embarrassment to people who don’t like his style…which rhymes with the main complaint against Don Trump.
Kim Olson DEM – maybe I’m too tired to process it, maybe her campaign material all reads like a robot spent too much time on wikipedia.  Either way it’s oddly bizarre for a political campaign.  She seems to have her heart in the right place (in a big-government sort of way) though and I won’t pitch a fit if she beats out Miller.  Unless she goes completely off the rails. Oh, and this seems like a strange reason to be running for office: – and the same “here’s two of three” or “here’s 4 of 3” kind of responses are seen elsewhere online. It’s strange to me.
Richard Carpenter LIB – wants to tap aquifers as a solution to water shortage, vs. making more reservoirs?! and that’s all I learned in my internet research.  Several pages with the same article basically.

Railroad Commissioner
Christi Craddick REP – As in previous years, this is not a solid *for* Craddick . . . but then- attorney General Abbot said she was a great choice, a few years back.  Her issues statements sound good to me.  The principal argument against her seems to be that she is involved with the oil/gas industry, which seems like not a demerit to me.
Roman McAllen DEM – I don’t think I need to go much further than an article I read that endorsed him over his primary election opponent, which described him as “an intellectual” (which is fine) who does not “have a professional history in the energy industry” which is less fine.  And then they followed it with “neither of these Democrats seems deeply involved in the issues facing the railroad commission.” ok thanks for playing.
Mike Wright LIB – once again, a thin campaign from a Libertarian who will lose.  If you want to see more third party action and don’t like either of the other candidates, this is a race where you could vote for the L party, on general principle.

Place 2, Justice, Supreme Court
Jimmy Blacklock REP – I’ll vote for Justice Blacklock.  Ok so he’s new to judgin’, but he’s the incumbent and I don’t like to remove an incumbent judge. And look who he’s up against.
Steven Kirkland DEM – an unabashed homosexual.  Someone whose brain is so far gone as to think this is okay, on the supreme Court?  Yeah, nah.

Place 4, Justice, Supreme Court
I don’t like my judges to be making ideological statements about their own convictions, and here is a race where we have two of them doing it.  One is the incumbent, and my philosophy is to keep incumbent judges in place unless they go nuts, which I don’t see that Devine has done.
John Devine REP – I will be voting for Devine but I expect he may lose a close race. We’ll see.  The main campaign point against him is that he took a politically-incorrect stand on a ruling, and made a technical point that would have granted review to a lawsuit.  Not a huge problem for me.
R.K. Sandill DEM – if he were coming in to replace a retiring judge, that would be ok with me, but here we have a decent incumbent, so let’s keep the incumbent. I also won’t be upset if he wins, unless he goes nuts.

Place 6, Justice, Supreme Court
Jeff Brown REP – I have endorsed him before and do it again now.  But this time I post a different article with a ringing endorsement of him than the last one: . . . previously, I said of him, “not only is he currently on this job, with no notable complaints, he’s also the only candidate with any Supreme Court judgin’ experience at all.  (This guy.”
Kathy Cheng DEM – the front page of her website is a list of endorsements by racist groups.  And she’s not a Texan.  No thanks.

Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Sharon Keller REP – As usual, I give heavy weight to incumbency.  I think I could be okay with Judge Jackson taking this race and I almost expect her to do.  Keller got a lot of bad press for one of the thousands of cases over which she presided, and did her finances wrong and paid a fine for it.  And she’s the incumbent and should probably be kept in place.
Maria T. (Terri) Jackson DEM – Seems like a reasonable sort and a qualified candidate.  If you can’t stand the idea of Keller, go for Jackson.  I don’t like a few of the groups that have endorsed her, but oh well.
William Bryan Strange III LIB – I remain unconvinced from his online presence and amount of campaign material I found, that this person actually exists.  Once again, Libertarian party, with feeling! You have to do more than get on the ballot, in order to be elected!

Place 7, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Barbara Parker Hervey REP  – I quote myself: “Please vote for Judge Hervey” I mean, you could vote against Franklin if you like but Hervey has earned a “for” vote.  TMW even the Houston Chronicle endorses a Republican judge
Ramona Franklin DEM – she’s got a touch of the crazyeyes, which has been a reliable indicator for me so far.  Also belongs to a racist organization (but with the best of intentions, surely)

Place 8, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Michelle Slaughter REP – Please vote for Judge Slaughter. She is very highly qualified and it’s hard to find any marks against her.
Mark Ash LIB -previously ran twice with basically no campagin?  He’s not a judge, and she is apparently a good one.

District 14, State Senator
George W. Hindman REP – with a genuine Republican on the ballot, this is a no-brainer.
Kirk Watson DEM  – last election, I abstained from voting for lack of a good candidate.  At the time, I said : “As I said last time: “not the worst Democrat out there, but still somewhat typical. I’m not a Democrat” He is a moderate-left with typical Democrat policy positions with which I disagree.”
Micah M. Verlander LIB – oh look a Libertarian who isn’t running an active campaign. This is my surprised face.  No campaign, no vote. Next.

District 46, State Representative
Gabriel Nila REP –  He gets a not-the-other-guy vote, very gently holding my nose.  I’m not sure he is actually a Republican but he’s sheets better in the slim amount of information available online than Cole.
Sheryl Cole DEM – She was on the Austin on the City Council when the Austin City Council was a disaster for Austin, so look for her to win on name recognition and be a disaster for Austin in the Congress.  If you like what the D party is about this year, vote for her because she’s one that touts the party line
Kevin Ludlow LIB – his website with his name on it has recent blog postings, and calls him a *FORMER* candidate for Congress.  If he’s not running, he can’t get my vote.  In addition, he doesn’t like the idea of a Child Protective Services program OR corporal punishment.  Has supported “homosexual marriage” and is pro-abortion. That, and the traditional Libertarian desire for open borders and to legalize drugs, will hopefully sink his campaign…well, what little chance he had in this district, anyway.

Place 2, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Cindy Olson Bourland REP – Vote for Bourland. She is not only a qualified candidate but the incumbent. Keep incumbent judges in place unless they go off the rails.
Edward Smith DEM  – not a judge, strike 1, a methodist, strike 2, and on the D party ballot strike 3.  He seems nice enough and I could maybe go for him

Place 3, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Scott Field REP – I endorsed him in 2012 and I endorse him in 2018. Please re-elect Justice Field
Chari Kelly DEM – a non-judge vs. an incumbent who’s not messing it all up? Once again: no thank you.

Place 5, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
David Puryear REP – Please keep Puryear on the court for six muryear. Pun intended. Again.
Thomas J. Baker DEm – seems like a nice enough guy, but choosing a not-a-judge vs an experienced incumbent? Nah.

Place 6, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Michael “Mike” Toth REP – He’s the incumbent – barely. For a couple of months. Vs. a
lifetime of judgin’ from Triana.
Gisela D. Triana DEM – I am going to push the button for Triana this time. She seems pretty qualified TBH and if she loses it’s only because of the D by her name. Judges shouldn’t have to register as party-affiliated, I think.

There’s a whole lot of judge and clerk positions with Democrats running unopposed. Come on, Libertarians, you can’t even get on the ballot?

County Clerk
Dana DeBeauvoir DEM – In light of the alternative, it’s yet another vote in favor of
DeBeauvoir. Again.
Erica Lockwood LIB – Oh look, a Libertarian who is apparently not campaigning! What a

Precinct No.2, Justice of the Peace
Chris Soileau REP – campaigning so hard, you would think he’s a Libertarian – which is to say, apparently not campaigning at all. You gotta try harder than this, Chris.
Randall Slagle DEM – I think I’ll be voting for Slagle this time. He is currently doing the
job. My philosophy with judges is to let them be unless they are crazy.
Christopher David LIB – campaigning only slightly harder than Soileau.

Austin Community College District Annexation Election
Proposition A, Austin Community College District
Approving the annexation by the Austin Community College District of the following territory: the territory in Pflugerville Independent School District that is no tcurrently included in the boundaries of the Austin Community College District, and authorizing the imposition of an ad valorem tax for junior college purposes, which is currently set at a rate of $0.1048 per $100 valuation of taxable property

Please vote AGAINST this proposition!
Why? Am I against education?
People, my own Darling Wife is a current student at ACC. I went to ACC. All of the
anklebiters are likely going to at least start off going to ACC. I am very much in favor of
Austin Community College! But allow me to quote from a press release from Pflugerville
Residents for Responsible Taxation:

“The tax, pushed as a “savings” for the fewer than 250 Pflugerville residents who attend ACC, would cost city taxpayers up to an estimated $13 million per year based on current property values and ACC tax rate. Even at $10 million per year, it will cost Pflugerville $40,000 per student to reduce their tuition from $361 to $85 per credit hour. It would be far cheaper for PfISD to just directly pay for those students living in Pflugerville…”

So the choice is: pay ten-thousands of dollars per student more than it costs for them to pay out of pocket, and subject Pflugerville ratepayers to the whims of a taxing district in
another city, mostly for the benefit of the citizens of that other city; and the rate has
doubled through the years…or have the students pay their own few-thousand-dollars more per student worth of tuition fees. Hmmm…

If this annexation does not go through, it will cost me, personally, more in tuition fees in
the next 15 years, than it would cost me in property taxes, if the annexation is approved.
And I’m against the annexation because it is a stupid misuse of the tax dollars of my fellow citizens.

City of Pflugerville Bond Election
Prop. A, City of Pflugerville
The issuance of $21,100,000 tax bonds for street improvements to Colorado Sand Drive, Kelly Lane, Old Austin Hutto Road, and East Pflugerville Parkway
Please vote FOR this bond issuance. This is exactly the sort of bond that makes sense: building things that will last many decades, and are an infrastructure improvement that we can afford without really paying more in taxes than we are already paying

Pflugerville Independent School District Bond Election
Proposition A, Pflugerville ISD
The issuance of $322,000,000 bonds for school buildings, school sites, school buses, and the levying of the tax in payment thereof
It’s a big number but I am going FOR this bond as well. Shockingly this is supposed to not  raise our taxes…

Proposition B, Pflugerville ISD
Approving the ad valorem tax rate of $1.52 per $100 valuation in the Pflugerville Independent School District for the current year, a rate that is $0.02 higher per $100 valuation than the school district rollback tax rate, for the purpose of maintenance and operations, (including a maintenance and operations component of the ad valorem tax rate equal to $1.06 per $100 valuation, a rate that is $0.02 higher than the current maintenance and operations tax rate)
Vote FOR this as well. This is worded strangely, but it is a *reduction* in the current tax
rate. Due to rising property values, people are still going to pay more in taxes, but at
least it won’t be as much as it would be otherwise.

So Photobucket is Cancer Now. Great.

I uploaded almost all the pictures for this blog to Photobucket.  Aaaaand they decided to break hotlinks on all not-Photobucket websites, so all the images here now show up as broken.

Do you want to drive me off your website entirely? Because this is how you drive me off your website entirely.  FML now I gotta go change a zillion links.  Hopefully someone knows how to convert it all with a quick button-press in a program.

Thanks for nothing Photobucket, you suck now.

edit to add: I am now trying to download my album of images, and it appears to be a broken process.  Trying to make it go more smoothly I enable java scripts . . . [deleted] that website is terrible with ads enabled.  No wonder they have resorted to forcing people to pay up or go elsewhere.  Here’s one more going elsewhere.

(SOLVED) Spark Instant Messenger Main Program Window Disappears Offscreen

My company uses Spark for intra-office instant messenging for most communications.  I added another monitor to my workstation and the contact list (a.k.a. the Main Window) was invisible.  This happened with Pidgin too sometimes* but the fix was different.  This is *the* way to get your Spark window to show back up again.

In the System Tray area, right click the Spark icon and select Hide to see if it pops up.  If it doesn’t, select Hide again to un-hide it.  Still missing? Log out of Spark. Close the Spark program altogether.  The next steps may need help from an authorized systems administrator if your permissions are set for highest security.  Note that this is for Windows 7, and the exact steps will vary on different operating systems.

  • Press the Start button.
  • In the search field, type %appdata% and hit the Enter key.  This will bring up a Windows Explorer window with your user profiles AppData folder.  N.B.: you can seriously mess up your computer in possibly un-fixable ways by dickering around in AppData so be careful!
  • If that doesn’t work, you *may* be out of luck because AppData is a special, hidden folder.  If you don’t know how to get there otherwise please do yourself a favor and contact someone who does!
  • Navigate to \Users\[user]\AppData\Roaming\Spark
  • Open layout.settings in Notepad
  • look at the mainWindowY and mainWindowX values and adjust them if they are out of bounds.
  • Setting both values to 0 will reset the position to a position that’s hopefully somewhere onscreen.
  • Reset and log in to Spark
  • IF this worked, you can see the Main Window again.

Good luck!  I had to search for what seemed to me an unreasonable amount of time before I found this piece of advice here: so I decided to post it somewhere else in hopes you might find it a little easier.


*Pidgin was the program we used to use, and which I liked better because you can send inline images with Pidgin but not Spark 😡 but they changed it so oh well

Dear Jerk,

If you are going to have a loudass barking dog, could you do me a favor and not cage it right next to the fence on our side, so its barking doesn’t stand in lieu of an alarm clock? Thanks.
-apparently the only people who give a F about our neighbors not being kept awake

I’m not sure which is worse:
*the beagle that booooooowoooooowooooo’d constantly
*the pit bulls that kept breaking through the fence to come visit
*this thing with a piercing bark that waits juuuuust long enough to nod off, between starting up again while the master is on the other side of the house watching the foosball.

First world problems.

Car Jokes

The devil drives . . . a minivan?

This one has a bonus joke for those who are in the printing industry: The plate and colors match perfectly!DSC_6417
hint for the uninitiated: (Cyan in the roundel, Magenta in the lights (okay but…) and blacK everywhere else.  No Yellow.

Still Alive!

Navelgazing post follows:

Holy cow what a few weeks this has been.  I know I haven’t been blogging once or more a day for a long time now, but this place has been a ghost town recently for good reason.

DW felt bad and tired for a couple of weeks, which meant tag-teaming me when I got home and disappearing to her bed for the rest of the day.  Then she spent nearly a week in hospital, recovered, and is back to at least 85% of normal, having mostly kicked her infected guts in the guts and got over it.

Then #3 came out of his room as normal one morning doing a very strange peepee dance, went into the head and vomited.  Four days later he was back in school.  Now he’s his regular self again like nothing happened.

All this time I’ve been either tending to the children or trying to get some work done on the side. And when I’ve been at work I’ve been telling the guys there how to solve all the world’s problems so I don’t have to tell you, here.