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Vote Early

October 26, 2004

Today I made my way over to 601 East Kennedy Ave. in downtown Tampa, which is one of roughly a dozen early voting locations here in Hillsborough County. Thanks to the one-way roads, coupled with my lack of experience driving in downtown areas, it took a couple of tries to find the building. But finally I made it -- landing a parking spot right as a minivan was vacating it. That was some sweet action. Still had 13 minutes to go on the meter and everything.

There was a bit of a line, which didn't surprise me too terribly much, but still I didn't have any past early voting experience by which to gauge this. The touch-screen voting was simple; if there is another voting "controversy" like there was here in 2000, well it shouldn't be due to punch-card ballots or any of that silliness.

My main reason for early voting was so I can put my full efforts into working on the Bubba For Sheriff campaign next Monday night and Tuesday early morning and during the day. Waiting to vote at my Hillsborough County precinct would just slow me up.

If you have the Fox News Channel in your home, watch Bubba on Friday night live on FNC's On The Record With Greta Van Susteren somewhere between 10-11 PM Eastern. Or if you'll be out, record the thing. It's pretty nice to get that kind of exposure just three days out from the election.

Here's a little secret about how news operates: a story crosses the AP wire, someone puts it on the national wire, and then it's BIG NEWS. Even if the exact same story crossed months before. That's the case with Bubba; when he first announced his run for Sheriff of Pinellas County in July, it made national news. This past Wednesday, a reporter from the Associated Press came out to a Bubba speech with the USF (University of South Florida) Young Democrats.

The reporter, Mitch Stacy, did an excellent job with the story, which he finally published yesterday. It was fair, giving both sides, and actually looking at Bubba as a legit candidate (which he is). But once the story went national, suddenly it was BIG NEWS again... even though there was nothing new to it. A search on Google news lists 72 separate sources online that carried the story, and I can only imagine how many other papers and outlets that aren't listed in the Google news search ran the story. And why? Merely because it was put on the national wire. We made the crawl on CNN because of it. Interesting, eh?

My mom sent me an interesting e-mail today about my family tree on her side of the family. Here's the good part:

Daddy's cousin, Major Hamilton, has given me two wonderful family trees that his daughter had run somehow. The first one traces the Blaylock tree through Daddy's grandmother (who was a Burgess) back to William Burgess, born between 1650 and 1670 in Richmond County, Virginia. Daddy is the 9th generation from this man, which would make you the 11th generation! I thought that was just beyond wonderful to get. Then this Sunday Major gave us the other one that he had. It traces the Blaylock line back to Thomas Blaylock, born about 1581 in Cumberland County, England. I had always thought that Blaylock was Irish, but evidently not.

I did a little research on Cumberland County, and discovered that it no longer exists (it was merged with Westmoreland County to form "Cumbria County" in 1974). It's in the northwest part of England, up by the border with Scotland. I found this information breakthrough quite fascinating.

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