or: My Afternoon at the Dump
Today I went to the dump and I encountered the very epitome of two kinds of people in this world.
I pulled up at the trash hopper behind a guy with a trunk full of stuff. He was 30-40 years old and the first thing he pulled out and tossed in the garbage compactor was a toddler sized rocking horse with a slightly worn looking pink lamb instead of a horse. I was surprised he didn’t take it to the swap shed because it looked usable, but I figured it must be broken. Then he proceeded to pull everything else out of his trunk — plastic pails and tubs, plants in big planters, an entire high chair — and he stuffed every single thing into the garbage, topping it off with a very large bag of returnable cans. I was shocked that the transfer site attendant didn’t stop him, because this took several minutes. All of those plastic containers were recyclable and those cans! What the hell!?
Feeling very disheartened, I took my big bins of recycling over to the recycling hopper one by one. My second one was full of newspapers, and quite heavy. An older man got there at the same time with a couple of bags of recycling. He told me to go ahead. When I hoisted my bin up, I couldn’t get the lid to open and I put it back down on the ground to flip the lid back. The man asked if he could help me with it, and he took one end and we lifted it back up to the opening. I gave it a shake and as everything slid out, the lid came completely off and fell into the hopper! The man said “Oh, your lid!” and he hopped up into the opening, balancing on his chest and reached in there and pulled out the lid to my bin! I was so astonished, I laughed and asked him if he was all right. He said “Sure” and smiled, handing me the lid. So I smiled and thanked him and we went on our way. He really made my day.
I was so struck by the contrast between these two people that I had to write about it. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
I learned something very interesting last week when I went for a training session for election workers. It seems that you can unwittingly invalidate your ballot by making "distinguishing" marks on it. People have been known to initial their votes, draw little flowers or hearts or smilie faces, etc. Anything that would make your ballot identifiable as yours can lead to the ballot being declared VOID. The rule reads like this on our training materials (this is in Maine, and may be specific to the local voting procedures, but is based on the state election rules):
Voided Ballots: A voided ballot is a ballot that has been voted with distinguishing marks.
The reasoning for this is that someone could flip through the stack of the ballots and pick out that one ballot and know who cast it. The warden who led the training session told us that if the mark is on or beside the vote for a particular race on the ballot, only that race will be declared void. This didn’t make a lot of sense to me considering the reasoning, but that is apparently the way it will be carried out.
If someone marks up their ballot this way and they are using a machine to accept ballots, the void ballot will be kicked back out and the voter may have an opportunity to redo it. But the election worker cannot technically tell them not to put hearts and flowers on it, that would be telling the voter "how to mark his or her ballot" and that is strictly not allowed.
So try to resist that urge the pretty up your ballot or jot comments on it and
MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS!
Whether you are a Democrat or not, whether you supportBarak Obama or not, if you are offended by the frenzy of hatred and lies beingwhipped up by this poor excuse for a vice presidential candidate, here is anopportunity to voice your objection:
“Sarah Palin is coming toMaine, and so it’s time to mobilize! Come show Palin and McCain thatMaine will stay blue this election! The Maine Democratic Party will hold arally near the entrance of the Bangor International Airport Thursday morning, October16th—meeting at 7:15 a.m. in the Airport Mall Hannaford Parking Lot.Bring your homemade signs and your friends, relatives and coworkers! For moreinformation, contact your local MDP office. http://www.mainedems.org/action.html”…..
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