Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Amazing night

I wish I had pictures! Without naming a single candidate, I want to say that attending a Kansas caucus last night was a wild and wonderful experience. And I haven't even heard from Katiebird, who volunteered in some capacity at her caucus and may not even be home yet.

Imagine this. . .

At the church where my mom and I went to caucus, they expected 500 people. The cops estimated the turn-out was 4-5 thousand! The lines were enormous, snaking around the church in both directions, through the parking lots, down the block, and back to the church again. It was cold, it was windy, it was damp. It took us an hour just to get inside. Once there, there was such chaos because of the turn-out that they had to change the agenda and let us vote just by signing a paper.

Keep in mind, my mom is 91 years old, and she was there for the whole thing.

At another caucus site, they expected 100, and got 2,000! They had to hold it outside, with people voting while standing in the sleet. In the video I saw of it, they looked cheerful and sounded excited to be there.

My mom and I thought it was fun, lol, the cold, the lines, the crowds, the chaos, and all.

Katiebird, what was it like where you were? And how about any of the rest of you in primary or caucus states? Let's try to keep the candidates out of this--to keep the peace--and just share our actual voting experiences.

63 comments:

Nancy P said...

We had a lovely mixed bag of a crowd in terms of age. Many, many youngsters, a lot of them coming together in excited groups, but we had the whole age spread, too. I saw a kid I knew when he was four years old, and people of my age, and also lots of white hair. Couples brought their babies and grade school kids sat on the floor. Of course, being Kansas, the faces were almost all as white as the snow that's falling outside our doors right now, so there was no variety there, at least not in my county. But we voted for variety, as personified by our black candidate and our female candidate, if that counts. :)

olivia said...

Oh my Nancy! The numbers are really inspiring. It's so wonderful to hear that people are taking this so seriously.

Nancy P said...

Hi, O! It really was just impressive as hell. It spoke of determination. I wish you guys could come down here and vote here, too, lol! God knows, you want the administration to change as much as we do.

olivia said...

LOL, that is true! :)

olivia said...

And then you'll have to come up here and help us out w/ our mini-me version ... :)

Nancy P said...

That's a deal, O. :D

katiebird said...

It was inSANE! I just got home (well, 11:50pm)

more later, I'm exhausted.

AndiF said...

That sounds like a great way to participate in the nomination process. But since Indiana just has a primary and you have to register with a party to vote in it, I'll just continue to let everybody else fight over who the nominees are going to be.

paul lamb said...

I was at a caucus held over in Leawood last night. Same scene: thronged with people, hundreds more than expected. Our makeup was quite diverse though. We had every color of the rainbow and all ages. There were unreconstructed hippies as well as suits, flower shildren, and bejeweled Johnson County matrons. Lots of high school (seniors) and college kids. Lots of enthusiasm. There were some volunteers working the crowd who weren't even old enuf to vote. Great time!

Beth said...

Morning everyone! Sounds exhilirating, folks. In spite of the bad weather. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

katiebird said...

(burning sore throat)

Forgive me for whispering.

Here's the description from the KCStar of our caucuses. Mine was the one at the Unitarian Church (mentioned somewhere in there).

(waving HI!!)

Nancy P said...

Hi, Andi! If you were here, you could take beautiful pictures of a LOT of snow.

Beth, send sunshine!

katiebird said...

How much snow did we get Nancy?

Nancy P said...

Paul, your caucus sounds wonderful.

Special note for Paul and any KC-area lurkers: if you have any interest, I'm starting a new chapter of Sisters In Crime. First meeting: this coming Saturday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m., at I Love a Mystery bookstore in Mission. "Brothers" are welcome, too. You don't have to rsvp. Just show up, if you want to.

katiebird said...

I'm going to be there! Unless this sore throat turns into something.

Nancy P said...

Katieb, you're up? I hope your throat feels better. I read about that U-U church caucus and wondered if that was you. Jeez Louise!! At least you don't have to go to work this morning. . .do you?

Snow. . .looks like a few inches here, not sure how much. It's very pretty. Lots more--like up to 10 inches, around us.

I put out bird seed a little while ago and they flew in as fast as wee jets. Hungry birdies! Right now, I see junco sparrows, doves, Cardinals. . .

katiebird said...

I'm supposed & in fact, that's why I'm up. But this throat thing is pretty miserable.

I guess, I might go and leave. Or ...

I don't know what to do.

Nancy P said...

Dr. Pickard prescribes that you stay home!

katiebird said...

Is it still snowing? Or just blowing around. I haven't had coffee yet even, so it's not like I'm rushing out the door.

I don't know what to do...

Oh, and My Caucus had significant Black turnout.

Beth said...

I second staying home, kb. That way by tomorrow you'll feel great. Otherwise by tomorrow you'll feel worse, and miss two days of work!

The last day of our heatwave today - mid 80's. Dropping to high 70's tomorrow as the "cold" front comes in. We can use the rain. But there's lots of extra sunshine for my snowbound buddies - throwing it northward in armfuls!

katiebird said...

Except I already missed yesterday because I was up so late with my dad....

Nancy P said...

Kb, it's still snowing, but supposed to stop in an hour, or so, I believe.

It's great to hear that you and Paul had truly diverse cauci. I was surprised at mine--because my particular suburb is very mixed and international--until I realized it was deep in the heart of PV. I would have expected a similar thing at Paul's site in Leawood, so that surprised me. JoCo is changing!

Nancy P said...

Thanks, Beth! I'll set out buckets to catch it. :D

Beth said...

Just checked the Coeur d'Alene paper. 1300 people braved a snowstorm to vote in the Dem. caucus. (In case you didn't know, ID is a VERY Republican state.) Last year there were 40 people. They said they couldn't have handled the crowds if the snow hadn't kept so many at home.

Pretty amazing...

katiebird said...

Wow! Beth... Amazing.

Nancy, do you know how much snow we got?

Nancy P said...

I second that "wow!"

Kb, I just saw on tv that the caucus site at the college in KCK was overwhelmed, but nobody left, and a lot of people waited up to FIVE HOURS to vote. Me thinks that was not so much fun. :(

Snow? I've seen reports of up to 10 inches, but not right here. More like--well, I don't really know--three to five?

katiebird said...

Nancy, we closed the line at 7 and didn't finish our last caucus until nearly midnight -- so we were the same.... 5 hours for some people.

I have a feeling this is the last Kansas Caucus. People were MAD.

Jen said...

Love to hear these turnout stories. However else things go, the fact that people are motivated to be part of the process is a good thing.

Hey Katiebird, I was sorry to hear about your dad, I hope he's feeling better today!

Nancy P said...

Apparently, the Repub. legislature refused to approve the $2 mil needed for us to have a primary instead of caucus. In a way, it's too bad if we go to primaries. Easier, of course, but not nearly as much fun. "Fun" not including standing in line for five hours, of course. Or being a person who had to deal with that!

Oh, man, 48 killed in the South? I had no idea it was so high. Must go check up on far and fam man and our other friends down there.

::Waving at Jen::

katiebird said...

!! I forgot to say, "I'm a Hillary Delegate!" -- well to the District Convention. I'm going to try to go to Denver....

2 sweaters and a shirt -- I'm getting ready to head out.

FARfetched said...

It was a pretty sedate primary here on Planet Georgia or at least in my precinct. We have early voting in town, and a lot of people take advantage of that I think. The weather cooperated; the air was really moist but not raining, and the temps were near 70F.

Our polling place has moved… counting four times since I landed in Sector 706 20-odd years ago. The current location is right on the edge of the county, and serves two precincts. It's wayyyy out of the way for us, compared to the older places, but is convenient for Big Canoe (an upper-class enclave) and this is goplet country. So for the rest of us, I suspect the location encourages early voting and there was like a 5-minute wait.

Caucuses would be more fun than just going in & voting, I think, at least in an area where your side is well-represented.

Beth said...

Kb, I'll be near Denver somewhere, if you need a place to stay!!

FARfetched said...

Storms in the south, Nancy? Not here. It rained a little bit, and had some thunder earlier in the week, but nothing dangerous. Like I said, the weather cooperated quite nicely yesterday.

Nancy P said...

Congratulations, kb! That'll be fun. (I can't believe you're going to work!)

Far, is any of that storm damage in your area?

Beth said...

It's eerie - I flipped past the Weather Channel yesterday to see if they were reporting on the snow out west, and saw the tornado warnings...sad that people died soon afterwards...

Nancy P said...

Glad to hear it, far!

Beth said...

Okay, if you don't already have enough Internet addictions, here's another one my sis just sent me:

http://www.gwearn.com/id13.html

(I still don't know how to post live links...anyone want to help me?)

It's called Live Puppycam...you can guess the "aw" factor!

Jen said...

Beth, if you replace the brackets in the below string with the symbols for greater than and lesser than, this:

[a href="http://www.google.com"]google[/a]

will get you this:

google

Also, if you're running Firefox, you can highlight the hotlink for google above, then right click on it, and a little menu will pop up. Choose "view selection source" and then another window will open up and in it you will be able to see the proper code.

Beth said...

{{{jen!}}}

I've been trying to figure that out for months. Thank you!!!

Conda said...

It's very cool that so many are participating. It was insane here in Boise: people started lining up at 10:30 am in the sleet! Doors didn't open until 5! Thousands more than expected. Unfortunately, my s.o. and I missed the cutoff for the line for ballots (no parking, we had to walk 10 blocks) by 3 minutes. AARGH! Oh, well, I'm not sure I could have stood outside in the ice storm for 2 hours waiting for kinkos to print up 5000 more ballots (I'm not exaggerating the number).

Beth said...

Okay, this is completely too weird. A friend back home just pointed out that my blog is featured on the Spokesman-Review's website (the S-R is the Spokane, WA newspaper) today - my post on the snow.

Now I know a blog is public and all that, and I know that lots of folks read mine, but to see it in black and white on a NEWSPAPER'S site has me reeling. I start worrying that I said something awful, wondering if I've insulted anyone...maybe it's just getting used to seeing my name somewhere besides on my own personal page.

I guess if I ever hope to be a published author, I'd better get used to seeing my words out there, but right now I'm really surprised!

Nancy P said...

Conda, that's incredible. They started lining up at 10:30 AM?? I'm so sorry that you and your SO didn't get to vote.

Experimenting with links, at which I have always failed here in the comments:

Beth's Link to Live Puppy Cam.

Nancy P said...

Failed again. Twice. I'm a link idiot. The hell with it.

Grumps off scene.

Nancy P said...

Beth, do you know where on the newspaper's site we should go? I'd love to see that. And, yeah, a compliment, but unnerving, for sure!

Beth said...

Thanks, Nancy! It's just one of many...

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/hbo/

or maybe (trying Jen's lesson):

SR

Beth said...

It worked! And only took 1/2 hour and 45 tries...

Nancy: Remember you have to change the [ ] to < >. I cut and pasted Jen's lesson, and then replaced those symbols, and then pasted my link over her Google one between the " " marks. But it took me a while to get it right!!!

Nancy P said...

Beth, that's so cool! But what a shock to see it just appear there out of the blue.

I have devoted LIFETIMES to trying to master those blankety-blank links, grrr. When you come to town, I'll bring my laptop and you and katiebird can show me, verrry verrry slowly. :)

Beth said...

Well, that's a relief that you understand how floored I was. I just thought I was being weird. My friend mentioned it like it was nothing, "Oh gee, what a surprise to see your blog on the Spokesman's blog page, I read it all the time," yadda yadda.

HUH????? :-)

I almost dove for the tequila and chocolate...

Kb can show both of us - I just copied what Jen did - I still am clueless about html.

FARfetched said...

Heh... the comments under the paper's linkage to Beth aren't exactly the most sympathetic!

Nancy, HTML isn't too hard to get a handle on. It's like the front door: if you open it, you have to close it.

So here's an example:
<a href="http://farmanor.blogspot.com/">Some random cRaZy</a>

A tag is anything between the < and > characters. It's easy to tell the difference between an opening tag and a closing tag — the closing tag has a slash inside. Like I said, for every opening tag you need a closing tag (I know, KB, not strictly true, but just for now). When you start a tag with < you have to end it with > - no exception there!

The "a" means "anchor" — the source or destination for a link. Think of a rope bridge; the rope is "anchored" to each side of the canyon.

The href="xxx" part is an attribute. Those can appear only inside the opening tag. The "href" tells the browser that what's inside the quotes (remember, open and close!) is the URL of the link.

The text in between the opening and closing tags is what gets highlighted or massaged in some other way. Using "click here" in a link is a pet peeve of mine, but let's not go there right now.

Other useful tags (in comments) include:

<b>bold text</b>
<i>italic text</i>

Don't forget you can use the "Preview" button in the comments to check your handiwork before sending it on to the wide world. Good luck!

Jen said...

Nancy, I looked at your code and a few things seem to have gone weird with your hotlink, but I can't explain any of them, sorry! Perhaps KB or FAR can.

(What is "nofollow" and where did that come from? Why does Nancy's link have a paragraph break at the end of it [p] instead of a regular line break [br]? How did she wind up with that extra backslash at the end of her url? Mysterious!)

Great job, Beth!

Beth said...

Thanks for the html lessons, Jen and Far. I'm going to keep them, and practice by my lonesome....

Beth said...

And thanks, Jen!

Beth said...

True, far - I guess they think I'm a snowbird. Which I guess I am, I just refuse to think of myself that way. I'm too tall for a start, and my hair's not blue, and I can drive. I prefer to think of myself as a snow refugee...

katiebird said...

Since I'm an idiot, this is how I ALWAYS do links:

1) COPY the URL (address) that I want to link to.

2) TYPE:
<a href=""></a>

3) THEN I type the part I want people to read:
<a href="">Go to This Page</a>

4) FINALLY I paste the URL/address between the quotes:
<a href="http://www.eat4today.com">Go to This Page</a>

Otherwise (especially in small comment windows) I lose track of where the cursor is and where I'm supposed to put each piece.

FARfetched said...

Or just a winter refugee in general, hey?

Michigan was like your description of CdA — the sun doesn't come out much from late December to late February. At least there is (used to be) snow to play in, and they light up the ski slopes so the short days don't limit the fun.

FARfetched said...

I'll be forgetting my own head next.

Have a look at htmlhelp.com — I use it as a reference, but they have tutorials and such if you need more info. Just remember, Blogger takes care of paragraphs and higher-level goop; you'll mostly be concerned with highlighting.

Jen said...

Katiebird, that's exactly how I learned it, and fwiw I second your approach.

Great link, FAR, bookmarked for future reference.

katiebird said...

Jen, that's cool that we've got the same system!

fwiw?

maryb said...

Your experience sounds great! There was a thread at dKos last night about the caucuses in the area outside KC and the crowds sounded enormous.

I just voted as usual. Steady stream but no long lines since the ballot was so short. The biggest issue yesterday was the terrible weather. I'm glad I voted in the morning in the light rain because by later afternoon there were raging thunderstorms.

I'm tired because I stayed up until the end to see Missouri called. Someday we are going to have an election that doesn't come down to the last precinct counted. lol!

Jen said...

For Whatever It's Worth

:)

Kelly McCullough said...

Ooh, I use the same system as KB and Jen for links. Yay. Hi all, crazed this week. Ending up doing a couple of media things I hadn't known about until now. Radio today, cable access TV tomorrow, and I've got to write a library talk in there too. That one's a little intimidating since I've never done one before and I'm not sure how to set the balance between reading, writing specifics talk, and how I got here talk.

boran2 said...

Wow, it sounds like an amazing turnout, Nancy. It must have been at once frustating and exciting.

As to my own experience, I simply walked into the polling place a couple of hours before it close and voted. No lines or any bother at all. Maybe you should move here to quiet old New York. ;-)

Nancy P said...

Thanks for the linking tips, guys! I'll give that system a try.

Hi, Kelly, Maryb, and boran2. I hope I haven't missed anybody today.