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Ridiculous Amendments: #351, #361, #393

As you read these posts, keep in mind that each of these amendments required either unanimous vote of the state legislature or a majority in a state-wide popular vote.

The legislature may authorize the levy and collection of a one mill ad valorem tax in Mobile county on real and tangible personal property that is subject to such tax under the laws of this state for the purpose of controlling mosquitoes, rodents and other vectors of public health and welfare significance...

That was amendment 351. Amendment 361 revised amendment 351 to remove a single word ("tangible"). Amendment 393 extended 351 to include "other general health purposes", but only if those "other general health purposes" didn't comprise more than 50% of the tax collected under this amendment.

Should this truly require the state's attention?

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A long-overdue picture

Just over 2 years ago, I posted here about an old friend I had gotten back in touch with after many years. This last week while I was on vacation Amy helped me get a picture that's about 18 years in the making:

Catherine and Jeff

The long chat outside the Ferry Building was so worth the sunburn. :)

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Ridiculous Amendments: #482

I really want to be writing about my recent trip to San Francisco, but that requires more brain cycles and time than I have available right now. In the meantime, here's the first post in what I hope to make a series here.

For my non-Alabama readers, the current Alabama state constitution was written in 1901 and is currently by a wide margin the longest still-operative constitution anywhere in the world. Most of the length comes in the form of its almost 800 amendments. These amendments are necessary because the constitution reserves so much power for the state government that localities can do almost nothing without explicit constitutional consent.

I have very little hope that this document will ever be re-written, but if it does happen, it will only be because Alabamians realize just how ridiculous it is. To that end (but mostly just so I can poke fun and amuse my friends), I give you amendment 482:

The Limestone county commission is hereby authorized with or without charge to provide for the disposal of dead farm animals, and the excavating of human graves.

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another random questions meme

Must Do/Share Sunday 4:55 PM (PDT! pppbbbbt!)

Rule #1: If you open this you take it.

Rule #2: You are NOT ALLOWED to explain ANYTHING unless someone messages you and asks.

Rule #3: Tag 15 people, including the person you got this from.


Answer True or False

Q: Kissed someone on your friends list? yes

Q: Been arrested? no

Q: Held a snake? yes

Q: Been suspended from school? no

Q: Sang karaoke? no

Q: Done something you told yourself you wouldn't do? yes Read more »

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A butt that won't sit still

My favorite singer-songwriter, the "chick with a piano" that I come back to again and again, Vienna Teng, has a new album. It's called Inland Territory, and I already adore it.

I've been waiting and worrying about this one for a long time. I love her first two albums. Over a period of years, I kept finding little parallels between my life and her songs. Maybe a better way of putting it is that I kept finding ways to map her music onto my life. I think I've heard it said before that people finding their own meaning in art is something that artists strive for. That almost never happens with me. I'm much too literal. I either can't get past what I know or assume to be the artist's literal meaning, or the poetry/imagery/etc. is abstract enough that I can't make head or tail of it. Many of Vienna Teng's songs fall somewhere in between for me. I mentioned my found meaning behind her song "Harbor" in another post here. I actually got to speak with her very briefly at a concert in Birmingham. During the show, she had described the song very differently than my interpretation, and I ended up telling her about mine. When she autographed my copy of Warm Strangers, she signed it, "Hi Jeff - the real 'Harbor' :)" (complete with smiley face).

Naturally I was excited about her third album, Dreaming Through the Noise, but I just didn't feel the connection with it that I felt with the first two. It's full of music that I objectively know to be beautiful, but it just didn't grab me. I actually did map one of the songs onto some times from my past, but most of the songs just kinda went over my head (especially musically). I felt she had quite appropriately moved on, but I hadn't kept up.

So, I was anxious when my pre-ordered copy of Inland Territory arrived. I needn't have been. I'll say right now that I haven't quite digested the lyrics fully enough to know whether there is any personal meaning to be extracted (that takes a while), but I at least understand where the music is coming from. Better than that, she has totally hooked me musically with several of the songs. I won't talk about them all right now, but my runaway favorite so far is named "Stray Italian Greyhound," and now we finally get to the reason behind this post's title.

The song has a groove. Teng always had a knack for using syncopation, and the "bridge" (or maybe "break") sections in this song are full of it. The lyric she sings during that section condenses to "What do I do with a love that won't sit still?" I love that lyric anyway (especially in the context of the song's full meaning), but I almost can't help myself from grooving to the syncopation. Thus, my mind ended up morphing the line into, "What do I do with a butt that won't sit still?" :D

That and many other moments in the album just put a smile on my face. Either I caught up with her on this album, or she slowed down and let me catch up. I'm not sure which, but either way I love it. I'd hug her for it if I could. :)

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My new "friend" Jessica

New spam below which somehow managed to bypass the big G's normally awesome spam filtering. "Jessica" says she'll do anything I would like to see live on cam. Poll for the readers: what should we ask "Jessica" to do on cam? :)

hi, I found your mail in my contact list
i thought we might make a good match
Do you want to see me live on cam?
I will do anything you would like to see
Do you have a messanger? if so you can add me with yahoo or msn messenger

--obvious spam collection email address removed--

P.s look forward to catching up soon ;)

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Facebook memory meme

A friend tagged me with this one on Facebook. I know I've done ones similar to this before, but it's been a long time. We'll see what this scares out of the woodwork.

I decided to paste it here, because I think that will make it show up on my notes in Facebook as well. Since I can't tag people on my blog, just respond if you want to. :)


By Whitney Mooney
Leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! Don't send a message, leave a comment on here. Next, re-post this in your notes (or blog, LJ, etc.) and see how many people leave a memory about you.

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A gradual victory

I'll begin this with the short story about a really good start. From last October to this past Thursday, I've lost a total of 23 pounds. That marked the completion of my first intermediate goal: losing 10% of my starting weight. The picture really says it:

weight progress

As I said, that's the short story. One of my friends asked me what my "secret" was. As I thought about how to answer that, I realized that while there isn't a secret, there also isn't a simple answer. Read more »

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while watching The Big Lebowski, which Amy and I have never seen before...


Wow. He's gonna unpimp her auto.

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