Slow, modern Heptameron story seven (VII)

With a new tablet (that has some sweet features) I wanted to try my accidental find Bluetooth speaker again. On the old tablet, enabling Bluetooth once made Windows so obnoxious that I use it as an excuse to make a fresh installation.

Of course, when I first got the speaker I used my favorite sound test, but this time I wanted some musique. This lead me to a memory of earlier:

In younger says, before I could have legally driven, my mother usually drove me where I needed to be. At the time, it was school (far too far for a bus to drive). On the way, I would often listen to the radio. There was a station out of a nearby cittie that played “oldies” (ca. 1950s to 1980s). This was the first time I remember hearing Smokey Robinson and the Miracles‘ song “Going to a Go Go“.

I have always known parsing sung words are hard, and would do the best I could. More than a decade later, I am still undoing this. Sometimes, the originals are hard to forget. (One has ruined a classical piece for me and has proven the hardest to get rid of.)

Anyway, I had never heard of a “go go” and the term wouldn’t have made sense to me, so my mind “go” into “vote”. (If you think that’s so far fetched, listen to the song yourself.) The lyrics that I could pick out didn’t contradict this interpretation:

  • “Goin’ to a go go” / “Going to a-vote vote”
  • “…and don’t be shocked if you find your baby there.”
  • “Don’t you want to go?” / “Don’t you want to vote?”

The only one that would have been confusing was “There’s a brand new place I found-a, where people come from miles around-a.”, but I knew this was from the 50s/60s, that the singers were Black, and the civil rights laws were being enforced for the first time in likely living memory, so assumed it was a reference to the polling place being “brand new” to the singers.

(That “featured image” icon took me about 3+ hours to make, and is derived from this [Public Domain] and this [CC-BY: Wikimedia Commons users “G ambrus” and “Junaidpv”] ALL BY HAND. It better not be more interesting than my story… ):<…)

Slow, modern Heptameron story four (IIII)

When I was in 6th grade, because it was an election year, we had subjects and teaching about the federal (United States) election, which included an “election” that I think the entire enrollment of the school voted in. I was irritated because we had to form a line and go to vote, like it was a mandatory vote. I think this was irritating because I knew the real polls weren’t enforced, and also this exercise was a dead end ballot, that the results would not do anything.

The conference room had ugly bright pea green angular utilitarian chairs, I think ugly drapes on the windows, a fireplace that might have been real, and an incongruous clock. They had PTA meetings in there I know, and it was part of a 2 story … carbuncle? … attached to a late 1800s brick thing that was outrageously badly retrofit. I need to tell the story of the buildings at this school some time, they were a hoot and not.

Fortunately it was really a secret ballot, and I confirmed that I could vote for “whoever I wanted” by asking my teacher, so I wrote on my paper the name of someone who was running for president, but was a total loser and probably didn’t even have ballot access in my State. I didn’t know there were such things as protest votes, but that is what it was. When our teacher reported the results at lunch the next day, I cast one of two 3rd party votes. I don’t know who the other was, and I told one staff at the place, since retired and maybe died, that I voted for this other person.

Watching the returns roll in…

I am currently staying up late for my favorite activity: watching election returns in well documented races. Right now, it is in Alabama, in the contest for the Senator to replace Sessions.

Anyone else do this at all? I know plenty do, I’m just fishing for your recollections of memorable past counts. I’ll start with mine:

There is a song, “Sitting on the Dock” that has the line about “watching the ships roll in”. I always think of that when watching the returns “roll in”.

Nice party to be in

While looking up old YA literature on HathiTrust, I ran across this, which is the voter roll for the Bronx in 1903.

It is what it is at first glance really, a tedious enumeration of voters, addresses and parties, useful only for genealogy. And noting that the United States did once have parties like “Social Democrat” and “Socialist Labor” (and the occasional “Prohibition”).

Then you turn up:


I have no idea what Charles H. Douglas’s party registration is. There wasn’t, that I’m aware of, a “defective” party. If his registration was bad, wouldn’t they just reject it? Was this the 1903 version of “show ID at polling place”? Persons with mental limitations (“mental defectives”) were forbidden to vote, so I doubt it is that.

If anyone knows anything about this, please post a comment here.

Interviewing at the Civil Service 3×

As mentioned in my post Interviewing for the CS, I had some interviews to participate in Thursday and Friday of last week. Without spilling any confidencial beans I will summarize the high points:

Interview #1

The first interview was with the state’s general construction office. The generic “physical plant” of the state if you will. Getting there was an adventure and a half. I took a long long trip on a winding state route to within maybe 25 miles of the place, and then promptly got lost because the villainous county government refuses to put up road signs at intersections, or anywhere else for that matter.

Finally I got to the right place and found out that it was… a prison! I went to one building and was met by a prison guard/corrections officer who told me I was at the wrong building. I went to the other one and went to the front desk. They were completely confused as to why I was there (although they did like to see my drivers license which was a new type) but eventually found out that I wanted the STATE office, not the prison. I was directed to a dippy little trailer nearby where I met my interviewers, about 20 minutes after I was supposed to be there. LAME.

The interview went well despite my lateness. I had some experience that they liked and went through the position and the usual “HR questions”.

Interview #2

After leaving the prison I took about a 2 hour drive to the state capital where I then checked in to my hotel and went out to dinner. The diner (A Denny’s) was a nice place and I liked the food. I was in a booth right next to the path to the restrooms, so I got to see people come and go as I ate. There was a ton of ice cream.

Back at the hotel it took a while but I went to sleep finally. I woke up wayy too early, but instead of being able to sleep again, I went out and ate breakfast (free). Returning to my room I dressed for the interview at 9 AM and checked out. The hotel was literally right next to where I was interviewing; they shared a parking lot!

I went into the office building and checked in with Security. They were nice. I couple of lawyers from the Attorney General showed up for a conference and started to gossip so I walked away and started to examine a display on guardrails (It was the DOT’s office building). Eventually a few minutes later my interviewer met me and we went up to the conference room. He had those weird eyeglasses that separate in the middle.

Interview went well, they seemed to like what they heard and I was interested in the position. After that we had a little chase around to find the person from HR who had to administer a post-interview interview. Finally we met, had the meeting and then I left.

Interview #3

Now I had to take a very tiresome drive back the exact way I came to go to the third interview, which was also in the Transportation Department. The office building was obviously built in the 60s or 70s because of the look of it. It had a low, looming mass, dingy gray walls and dark brown bricks. Anyway I got there about an hour and a half early and got advice from the [insulting adjective removed June 17, 2020] security person on duty about a nearby diner. I went there (After going around the block a couple of times because of the strange traffic pattern) and ate a huge sandwich that I barely finished. Next time hold the fries, because I didn’t have room for them. There were two political partisans behind me getting angry at the news, specifically one of the presidential candidates.

Returned to the office building and met with a person (Nettie I think) from HR who took my paperwork and took copies of my instruments of qualification. She had to replace a huge black toner cartridge in the copy machine but then left it for another one that already worked. The hallways were narrow and dark.

After that run around I met my three interviewers who then talked about their divisions and what they did, and what I would be doing in them. Also I had to answer some more HR questions.

Finally I left at the end of the interview and turned my visitor card in. I took the back roads through town to get homeward and went through a Jewish section. I have not seen so much Hebrew writing before. It was mostly deserted, but the writing was there.

Anyway, I eventually got back home after maybe 4 or 5 hours of driving. Highly tiresome, so I slept most of the next day (yesterday). I am hoping for a position closer to home, but if I am offered one of those, I won’t say no most likely.