Texas Primaries

Rowan voted!
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Rollman.
So the whole family got their vote on last week. Ms. A took G-man and I took Lil Miss Austin to the polling spot and cast our ballots.

The Texas Primary, for those that don't know, is a complex animal; more so than most states. Texas has a hybrid caucus/primary which up until now hasn't really mattered because by this point there's usually a front runner and the process has gone largely unnoticed.

Here it is in nutshell.

* Texas has a two step process that is open to all registered voters.

* When you cast your vote in the Texas primary, in essence it’s only 75% of a full vote.

* 126 of Texas’ 168 votes will be allocated to candidates based on the ballots cast.

* 15 minutes after the polls close (7:00 p.m.) those who voted must return to their precinct.

* This “precinct convention” is how Texas will decide how to divide the remaining 42 delegates.

* The rules were originally put in place to insure that the Democratic hierarchy would have more say.


There's also a bit about the weighted precincts. If turn out in a previous election was improved, the weight of the delegates is more than in one that had a lower turn out. So, you could win precinct but its value may not be as high as another. Technically a candidate could win a majority of the precincts but not the overall delegate count.

Weird, n'est ce pas?

The other cool thing is, after voting in the primary, you're allowed to vote in the caucus as well. I've never done that so it may be interesting. I believe all you have to do is show up and sign your name and you're done.

I won't go into our choices, though LMA wanted to vote for "the lady." I think it's important they go with us to vote. Especially since the electronic voting makes it seem like a little game.

That's all for now. Carry on.



My friend Scott just wrote a blog entry about attention versus content giving Obama as an example of a highly motivational speaker with perhaps not a lot under the hood. Politics aside, I wanted to comment with the snopes worth phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner" uttered by JFK while in Germany. The legend goes he wanted to say, "I am a Berliner" as in a person from Berlin, but Berliner is/was the name of a pastry, so he in effect said, "I am a jelly donut."

And as Eddie Izzard said, "And the crowd when wild."

The German people got that he was trying to say that he was a citizen of Berlin, that in this day and age, he was of the people that wanted democracy. I'm sure they didn't titter away thinking that this impassioned speech would culminate in his proclamation that he was a breakfast treat.

So to get the spelling right, I went and looked the phrase up and as happens more often than not, I end up on Wikipedia. Now, for a while I eschewed the hive minded knowledge base for personal reasons. A lot of what I contributed was deleted, notable creative friends were removed because their contributions were not laudable enough. I did my best to stay away from it, but I can't find a better resource, honestly. Just like Google Search. I tried Snap but it just isn't the same.

However, here's the bit of the entry that got me.

Although it has no basis in fact, the legend has since been repeated by reputable media, such as the BBC, The Guardian, MSNBC, CNN, Time magazine, and in several books about Germany written by English-speaking authors, including Norman Davies.
It just struck me funny that these reputable agencies weren't drug store rags or the rantings of a public radio nutjob, but what I would consider - at least on the surface - places you'd go to find facts. The BBC for Pete's sake, which is run and populated with people who study for at least a little while in journalism and fact checking, is being trumped by an online resource edited by guys like me.

It doesn't mean the BBC is right and Wikipedia is wrong, but it's like the teenager school news editor telling Tom Brokaw that he should check his facts before going on the air. Is it a dichotomy shift? I know people have been down on main stream media lately, but are we letting the new kids run the data store now?

Nothing to get worked up over, just a curiosity to end your week.

Carry on.


Pretty Cool

I was just telling a coworker how cool it would be to see video of the satellite shoot-down.

Wishes sometimes come true.


100AP Auction has sold!

A last minute bidder has won the auction for the 100 Artists Project's 1st collection of work. I had honestly assumed the auction would lapse and I was going to relist it at a later time, probably for less, much to my chagrin. I'm really glad it sold and really happy I'll be able to turn $250 over to the two charities.

What this means is now I really have to get the print version done so everyone can see what great work was submitted and be able to support the causes themselves.

Good news today, good news for the causes.

Carry on!


80's Freak

I got 136 with no Google help. I'm sure someone can beat me.

If I get a shirt, does that make me cool?


Year of the Rat

Dragon Head
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
By the way, the kids and I went to the Chinese New Year festival over in China Town. Yes, Austin has a China Town.

More pictures here.


Bad Day

It was about 11pm and I was really excited to be done with the auction listing for the 100AP. I got the art put in the portfolio. I got photos of the book. I wrote up the listing. The next day I listed it on Fark Classifieds. I took some advice and put all the images on Flickr and linked the auction to that set. I told all the message boards I could and I sent emails to everyone who had expressed interest in the project.

It's been almost 24 hours and here's what's happened.

3 snarky comments on Fark.
My gmail account shut down because I sent 500 emails.
Folks who didn't contribute art suggesting a better way to run the project.
No more than three people writing about it or apparently giving a moment's notice.

I'm a bit down on myself right now. I spent a lot of time on this and was really thinking that the actual auction listing would be a big event. It wasn't. It wasn't even close.

Not even the two charity organizations said anything.

So I'm going to predict what will happen. The auction will run for 10 days. At the end of the 10 days there will be no bids. I'll relist and lower the price and it'll run for a few days and 1 person will bid on it. They will receive 100 pieces of artwork for $200. I will live securely in the knowledge that I spent 10 months wasting my time devaluing artists' work and in the end I could have just written a check for the lowered amount and called it a day.

A friend said that it's not the amount it gets, but the fact that we all made the effort.

If the project died a month later, maybe. But I'm a bit bummed now. It'll wear off and I'll push on like always. I've nothing against anyone in particular, just the anticlimactic way this all went down.

And then I got home tonight.

Readers of my little corner of the world should by this time understand the relationship Ms. A and I have. All our families know, all our friends, most of my coworkers and various anonymous people online know. It's not a shocker. It's been 18 months in the making and it shouldn't be a point of contention for anyone anymore.

Ms. A's friend recently received several hateful comments direted at Ms. A on her Flickr page. Any photo that had one of our kids or Ms. A had some slimy monologue or comment about how, basically, Ms. A is a bad person.

I tried to console Ms. A but this is really hurting her. Our lives are hard enough without the, again, anonymous assholes who love to do nothing more than waste time making other people feel bad. We have no idea who did it. We can't even guess as to who it was. I don't know anyone who has anything but respect for our situation and would at least have the tact not to say anything even if they thought otherwise.

But in the end, I'm glad whoever it was lost sleep over it. They did it at 4am and my guess is they were drunk and alone and probably just got done playing with themselves and thought it'd be a good idea to stoop to the level of primate and fling some shit at someone behind the secure cover of the internet.

Why do people do this? This isn't a plea, this is genuine curiosity. I don't understand. Are your lives so empty that you have to cause emotional havoc in other people without making yourself known? Ms. A and I are having this problem, not you, Mr. or Mrs. Whoever. If for some reason you feel you need to be invovled (ie we owe you money or property) then by all means call us. You obviously know us well enough to have our phone number. Give us a call, we'll chat.

If you're just a random douchebag, and would LIKE to be involved, shoot me an email. I'll find someone your lady or man will dump you for and then we can be miserable together.

I hate the internet. No one can be nice on it. They have to voice their opinion. They have to be smarter. They have to be heard last. They have to look cool. It's like a locker room for the cognitively threatened. I'm in fact getting pretty tired of it. If it weren't for the fact that my parents like seeing pictures of their grandkids and reading about the family, I'd pull the whole operation down tonight.

You people make me sad for the human race.


100 Artists Project Auction is UP!!

Hey folks, the official auction is up. Please help spread the word.

If the link doesn't work, it's item #320217069221.

Thanks for help bringing this to a reality. :D


Wall * E

This I am excited about.

Initially removed from the site, replaced with this YouTube video.


New Glasses

100/365 New Glasses
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
For real this time.

So the stats.

Vision copay - $25
Lens cost - $12
Frame cost $13.99
Order and shipping total time - 10 days.

Awesomesauce Quotient - 5,000 Scovilles, which means I'd have to get another tattoo and start dating an Asian burlesque girl to be as cool as my glasses.

Purchased at Goggles4u.com

So a couple things will happen over the next couple days. First, I'm going to get a raging headache. I haven't had a new Rx for my eyes in five years. Plus my old glasses were scratched to shit and most of the coating was coming off. It was like looking through wax paper half the time. Second thing is I will be smudging these up pretty bad. Your hands get used to glasses, believe it or not you unspectacled lovelies. It's like any habitual experience, your body knows where things are. So I'll be reaching for my specs to adjust them and I'll drag my greasy thumb along the lens; probably a lot.

But it's nice to see more distant now. I haven't noticed a change in being at the PC. It'll be fun driving tomorrow.

So, there you go. Very good experience. Time will tell if I got the prescription right, but the cost and delivery was top notch. I'm going to get some shades next.


Eight Things

95/365Scott K. has called me out and with nothing better to write, I'll shall accept the challenge. With that in mind, however, it's unlikely that anyone reading this journal over the past six years has any lingering questions about what makes up the biological organism that is me.

But let's give it a shot.

1) I've been on TV four times. Once, I won a contest on the Denver FOX affiliate when FOX was relatively new. It was when Godzilla 1985 was coming out and there was a "Guess who's coming to FOX" contest. The "hints" they gave were trailers from the movie, trailers my friend and I had seen on the new movie trailer channel on cable. I couldn't understand why it was so hard, so I entered and won. I got to accept a giant inflatable Godzilla in a commercial. The other time was me protesting the Gulf War and a news crew caught up with some of us as we were putting yellow ribbons on trees downtown. The third time was when I was with an acting touring company in college that went to area schools and promoted some message of courage. We were only a local morning newscast. Fourth time was when I was working as a news reader in Houston and a local news crew came to interview the owners during the .com boom. I was shown for just a second sounding important.

2) I was in an A Capella group in college called "Travel By Train." It was 8 guys from the choral music group. We practiced in stairwells when the choir room was booked. We had a few gigs around town, but nothing major. At one point we recorded a song in the school music lab. We sounded pretty good. The name came from the sign over the Market Street Station downtown.

3) When I finally stopped going to college, I had 96 credit hours; more than enough to graduate with most degress. But because I had switched majors three times and my current major was Illustration, I didn't have enough to graduate.

4) There is apparently no other person named Ben Rollman that exists on the internet. If you put in "ben rollman" into google, it should come up with 16 pages. Every link has to do with a site I've run, a message I've written or a comment about a project in which I've been involved. The only one I can't figure out is this one that from what I can tell has nothing to do with me.

5) I do not have contacts because I can't stand things touching my eyes. When I need eye drops - and they'd have to be medically mandated - someone usually has to hold my arms down and pry my eyes open. Either that or drop it in my tear duct and just let it roll around.

6) The only bone I've ever broken is my jaw and I have a metal plate in there now. It doesn't set off alarms, thought.

7) Though I wanted to go into the Air Force when I was a kid, I was the only one out of my group of buddies at the end of high school who didn't go into the service. Two went into the Navy, one to the Army and one to the Air force.

8) I worked at McDonald's for the length of the orientation video. I was there because my friend Lewis was trying to get a job, so I applied too. It was on the other side of town and when they called me the next morning at 6am to see if I could come in and cover for someone I quit. I made $6.13.

I personally don't know any other active online writers, but if you read this, consider yourself called out. Just shoot me a link to it so I can become a new fan of whatever journal or blog you're writing.

Carry on.


New Yorker

Slideshow of the winners is up.

Yay, baby! Whose art is on the New Yorker's site? Mine, that's whose. (I'm sure that was grammatically correct.)

Props to Adam and Len who got into the magazine too, well done boys!