Saturday, October 22, 2016

I heard it through the CPAP . . .

(This is probably THE most bizarre blog entry I have ever written.  Maybe it will serve as a distraction in these days leading up to the election.)

I just turned 53.  Those of you that are of my generation probably remember the Partridge Family, a series about the comedic adventures of a singing family.  In one episode, Laurie, the second-oldest child and oldest daughter, gets braces . . . and during rehearsals, the metal in her mouth starts picking up signals from her boyfriend's transistor radio.

I'm having the same experience with my CPAP.

I have sleep apnea, and for the past several years, I've been sleeping with a CPAP mask.  In fact, I'm so used to it that when I recently tried to sleep without it for a night, I couldn't do it.

But also, for the past several years, I've been hearing noises through my CPAP that I'm convinced are from a radio station.  I just can't figure out which one.

It started when I was hearing, "It's the radio show / WAYB / WAYB / it's the radio show," sung to the tune of the song, "Turn the Radio On".  It sounded like a jingle for a broadcast segment.

Before you ask, yes, I have searched on the Internet, and yes, I did find a WAYB, 95.7 FM, in Graysville, TN.  I live in Atlanta, about 150 miles away.  It's possible that my CPAP could be picking up the signals from this station.  However, this WAYB doesn't broadcast on the Internet, so I can't compare what I'm hearing on my CPAP with the radio station.

But more recently, I haven't been hearing the jingle.  Instead, I've been hearing letters and odd sentences coming through my CPAP.

I hear someone saying the letters, "W-A-Y-A, W-A-Y-C, W-A-Y-D, W-A-Y-E . . ." and on. Sometimes they start at the end of the alphabet, "W-A-Y-Z, W-A-Y-Y, W-A-Y-X, W-A-Y-V . . ." and so on.

Within the last couple of weeks, I've started to hear, "W-A-Y-B, W-C-K-G." Or, possibly, W-Z-K-G, or W-C-K-Z, or something similar sounding . . .  and then, W-O-I-See, W-O-I-Hear, W-O-I-Smell, W-O-I-Taste.

I don't know what I am hearing.  I don't know if it's a station identification, or someone just playing games, or what.

So tell me, am I legitimately hearing something through my CPAP?

Or am I, like Marvin Gaye sang in the song, just about to lose my mind, honey, honey?

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Barbecued in the name of democracy . . .

Yesterday, I was barbecued in the name of democracy.

Yesterday was the very first day of early voting in my county.  There is only one place where people can go to vote (until more satellite stations open up in about a week or so), and it's at the Department of Elections in the county seat.

I am tired of this election, and a while back, I decided that I would go on the first day of early voting and get it over with.

Time of arrival:  about 11 a.m.

Time of departure:  about 3:45 p.m.

Yep.  I spent FOUR AND A HALF HOURS in line waiting to vote.  And as a result, I have a sunburn on my face.

During those four and a half hours, I stood outside in a line reminiscent of that you would find at Disney.  Complete with movable portable separators.

I had no hat, no sunscreen, one bottle of water, and two electronic devices unable to be charged.

I did have a small notebook, so I took a few notes about what was going on around me.

I also had a nice chat with the women waiting with me.

The weather was unseasonably warm for this time of the year.  Two people had to be treated by the EMTs for heat exhaustion.  Several left the line to go sit down.

But despite the heat, people didn't get angry with each other.  They grew impatient, but no riots or fights broke out.

Once we FINALLY got inside, I showed my ID, got my voting card, was shown to where the voting machines were, and pulled up my ballot.

First, I voted down ballot.  There was a US Senate race and a US Representative race I voted for; four amendments, several local races, and a SPLOST initiative (special local sales tax.)

Then, I moved back up to the top of the ballot and touched "write-in", trying to figure out what the procedure was.

I was confronted with a QWERTY keyboard.

So I took my index finger, and very slowly, and very deliberately, I pecked out the letters S-N-O-O-P-Y.

Then I hit "cast ballot".

My duty was done.

Yes.  I voted for Snoopy for president.  THAT is how disgusted I am with the slate we are being offered this year.  We had three candidates on the ballot, and I picked none of them.

Because, you see, for me it all came down to this:

I don't trust one candidate, I don't think one candidate is qualified, and I don't think one candidate knows what they are talking about.  Therefore, my conscience won't let me vote for either of them.

Why, you may ask, did I cast a protest vote for Snoopy instead of just leaving it blank?

And why not vote for any of the above?

I cast a protest vote to make a statement.

And I didn't vote for any of the above because . . . ?

In this election, it was not that I wouldn't vote for any of them.

It was that I couldn't vote for any of them.

I hope it was worth getting barbecued for the sake of democracy.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.