Four months on continued…

The feeling I could do more was dogging me and others in our meetup group. Talking about the issues with friends and family online and in person only goes so far after all.

Lynne was great at letting us know about a variety of ways we could get personally involved. One of the ways talked about was MoveOn. I had signed a few of their petitions over the years and recently bought 50 Ways to Love Your Country. It’s inspiring stuff and I suggest a purchase. A few of us volunteered for their Leave No Voter Behind effort. It’s focused on helping get out the vote thru one on one personal contact. They empower you with the tools to go canvassing in your own neighborhood. Mithras, a local blogger, has been posting about his work with them. The word that I get from my meetup friends is really positive.

Me? Well I’ve always felt that somewhere out there is a place where I can apply what I do for a living for a positive purpose. So early last month, on a lunch break, I decided to walk into the local Pennsylvania Democratic campaign headquarters and offer my help.

I introduced myself at the front desk, told the fellow who I?ve worked for and what I do, and within minutes was introduced to PA Victory’s Internet Director (and overall technology manager as far as I could tell). He gave me a tour and a review of their work. There was lots of energy flowing all over the place. The site team was a bit understaffed, but the Director was, like many work mentors of mine, someone who could hold together a massive operation on will power alone. I was taken aback at the sheer number of people who have put their lives on the line by taking breaks from work and school to volunteer full time. Here were people believe with all their hearts and minds that Kerry can lead us out of the mess we?re in. Contrary to what some bloggers say, these folks made the choice based on who to vote for not who they were voting against.

To make a long story short, we launched an instance of Movable Type to manage event postings and news items, with RSS flowing out in every direction. There is a great back story to this, and with a follow up piece I’d like to outline the techniques (the right mix of templates, plugins, and some Movable Type source code hacking) we used to pull it off since event listings and editorial workflow are not Movable Type strong suits.

It launched two weeks ago and since then I’ve switched gears and am now assisting with PA Victory’s Get Out The Vote effort. I attended a training class this past Saturday (there are still classes available) and all I can say is to repeat what I did earlier today – we’re going to win folks.

One response

  1. Spread the word Karl…..

    It’s interesting that you mention programming. I, as have a lot of us have been bombarded with political ads lately. On the TV, radio, Internet, and snail mail. You can’t get away from. There are times when our minds just need a break from it.

    And I’m starting to wonder what the real deal is here. I’ve been having dreams of war; some nightmarish stuff. And I started wondering why. I don’t usually have these types of dreams so I needed to look it.

    There is a political ad out from Bushco, called “Wolves,” where you see the camera panning into an empty forest with a pack of wolves looking to hunt. All while the soft voice explains how Kerry did this, voted for that etc. Then at the end you see the same rehashed clip of Bush pretending to read a letter near his desk.

    I saw this commercial maybe 10 times now; possibly less. And the dreams I experienced weren’t pleasant.

    I woke up from my dreams about 2:30am this morning, sweating, and started wondering something: Was Bush placing last ditch desperation efforts into his ads to scare the hell out of people and turn around the vote.

    I went back and reviewed the ad on my computer and slowed down the frame and its like something out of a children’s horror storybook.

    It slowly pans through while glimpsing shots of wolves sitting waiting zoom into a flurry of shots looking up at the huge trees to give you the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere. Then as it begins to quickly pan down there is a split second shot as it reaches the bottom being face to face with a big bad wolf. It’s in and out. You’d miss it if you blinked. Nice.

    Now while I didn’t dream about woods or wolves. I did look up a common reference over the meaning of woods/forest, which reads:

    Woods / Forest
    They may represent your unconscious or your “mental space”. If you are lost in the woods it may be a reflection of feelings of confusion and lack of clear direction.

    Then the common definition of wolves:

    Wolves
    Wolves may have positive or negative meaning and may represent good or evil in dreams. They could represent hostility, aggression, sneakiness, and ferocious appetites. In some cultures, wolves represent feminine energies and in others masculine. In the Native American culture and tradition, the wolf is a symbol of a mysterious and wonderful teacher. Wolves are considered to be powerful guides who offer wisdom and enlightenment. When interpreting your dream consider your feelings in it and the mood upon awakening. If you were mesmerized and not afraid, then give your dream positive meaning and accept its message.

    Those two things alone sparked my interest.

    I searched around and the only thing I could find to reference was that “Rats” ad last election where the word “Rats,” froze on the screen as the word democ, disappeared.

    Now this year there are a few other ads that have similar questions begging to be asked.

    Am I alone here, or has anybody else been having these screwed up dreams?

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