Why Bother Voting?

For those of you who aren’t too interested politics, I’m sorry, but I do have to say that elections are just about here, and soon I won’t have any Measure 84’s to write about or rants on why I think certain things on the ballot this year are very important to me and my family.  But I have to say that just one more time I’m going to blog about voting.

I recently heard a story that one of my relatives was in a college class and her professor told them that if they didn’t know what the issues were this year, to not vote.  I heard this story a few days ago and it still gets m very worked up, for many reasons!

First of all, I”m pretty sure that same teacher, if they was giving an exam to their class wouldn’t say, “Well if you don’t know the material, don’t bother with the exam, it doesn’t matter anyway.”  The reality is that they would tell them to study for the exam, to take the time and be diligent, to strive to understand the material so that they could be successful in the exam.  The part that is so ironic, is that by voting you can actually make a a huge difference, probably much more of a difference than one exam would make in a college student’s life to come.

Secondly, I don’t think it’s fair to tell people to be lazy and just not bother voting!  I was watching a CBS evening newscast tonight about students in China.  They are following the US elections very closely, and most of them said because it’s so interesting for them to watch such a transparent election.  In China their elections are done from only the communist party and with secret ballots, zero transparency.  One said that hopefully someday they will get to vote, but that it’s going to take a very, very long time.

People have worked for a very long time to allow us this right, so why do people shy away or get lazy about it?  Many times I hear that they don’t feel like it makes a difference, with the electoral college system, the state will vote for who they vote for, individuals don’t matter.  And there is some truth to that, but the stronger truth is that local issues, state or even county issues, they will effect you.  Or at least they will effect businesses and companies that operate around you, resources that you depend on, things that make our state great, that you also get to vote on!!  It’s not just about Mitt or Obama my friends, voting is so much more than that!

I’m very proud of my cousin, she ended up voting and doing her due diligence! So yes go out and vote!  Don’t just say that you don’t know the issues and use that as an excuse to be lazy about it.  Read your voters pamphlet, ask questions from people who you know that might know more on the issues than you, don’t just do nothing!!  The students in China would love to be where we are today, voting freely, getting our voice to be heard.  So you Professor, who tells students that they shouldn’t vote for the first time if they don’t know the issues, shame on you!  I would suggest a very pertinent class time where you could go over the issues, both sides, and encourage your students to have an active role in their society, starting with voting day!

The Awkwardness of Social Media

Like many story tellers I love a good awkward moment and found that at an early age they seemed to find me no matter where I was, so I’ve learned to find all the great humor in it!  Lately though my new found interest in social media has brought about more odd situations to find myself in.  So I’m sitting in a conference, and I see a few faces of people I recognize that I have met through twitter. We’ve all chatted through twitter a few times back and forth on what is going on in the ag community and such, so I go to say hi. I get this awkward look, I introduce my self via my twitter name @ORfarmer and they realize who I am.  From this point on you would think that our easy twitter conversations would naturally lead to an easy face to face chat…nope! It’s almost like we can’t quite wrap our heads around how to talk with the limit of 140 characters; myself included. Our voices are so loud and there is no delete key, how do we control this awful situation?!  I leave feeling completely awkward…what the heck just happened?!

Let’s just say we didn’t talk anymore in person and eventually after the conference we got back to our regular twitter feeds and are keeping up that way, 140 carefully written and hash tagged tweets. This is hard for me to get used to.  I’m a pretty social person but in a way I felt like I was breaking some weird rule about who you can actually approach, maybe there is a precedence that I am not aware of? Then I think “Come on people!” The social media network is a different medium that I’m slowly adjusting to. I got a flyer about twitter pointers the other day and it said on there that you don’t need to know the people that you’re following, or that are following you. This makes total sense now, but at the time I felt like that was so creepy! Now I realize that what you put on twitter is what makes it not so creepy since it’s mostly about farming and interesting things I find and not about how I brushed my teeth a few minutes ago.

So I’m thinking about all of this, trying to not get annoyed at this socially odd situation, when I’m at another event and I see a Facebook friend. We aren’t best friends but I sort of know the person. They even liked something on my page a few days before! I see them, they ignore me, I approach them, and once again it’s awkward. What the heck, maybe I’m just having this kind of luck or maybe I’m the weird one. But really who cares. So here is what I have to say…PEOPLE if you see someone you know say hi, it won’t kill you, and if they say hi first and it’s not (I know this is scary) in typeface and online, get over it and put a dang sentence together…audibly!

I have to say though that awkward moments make for some good stories, so maybe keep it up all you nerdys out there who won’t say hi and just stalk everyone online; because in the end I’m afraid I’m probably one of you 🙂

The Why…

So I’ve decided to start a blog. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, realizing that my biggest fear is that maybe not a person in the world would want to hear all the crazy ridiculous things that go on in my everyday life. But then again, maybe someone will and just maybe it will bring a smile their face to know that there is in fact someone just a bit more socially awkward, super smart yet sometimes not too brilliant and just plain normal out there who enjoys to write. Also I tend to have a lot of stories, and honestly I’m forgetting like an 80 year old with Alzheimer’s here, so I thought I might want to get a few of them down on paper before it all goes to heck!

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To tell you a bit about myself, I’m a young farmer in Oregon. I farm with my dad and mom and enjoy just about every minute of it. When I say that I have a crazy life, farming is a large part of that. When you’re around large equipment that is complicated or really simple and I try to make more complicated I tend to have things break down (constantly) on me. I’m not sure where I got this gift of breaking just about anything I touch, but I’ll tell you what, I’ve got it 100%. I actually wrote a poem for my dad about all the havoc I brought to the farm in just my first year of farming. This includes more than just the 4 cell phones and 2 PTO shafts!

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I’m also a volunteer firefighter and EMT in my small town. This alone has brought several new experiences into my life and although not all the things I see I want to see again, I’m am glad that I have a lot of training in what to do in emergencies. I have found though that the thing that scares me the most is when people assume that because I’m around they can be more dangerous…really folks…not a good idea. Like when I was sitting at my parents house and from another room I hear my dad say to my mom, “Should we let Lila (granddaughter who is only 1) eat that huge grape?”, mom, “Oh it’s fine, plus Brenda is in the other room and she knows what to do if she chokes!” Not the best plan I think!

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Traveling is another adventure I truly enjoy! I was able to study overseas twice in college and I was officially hooked on traveling all over the world. It’s been a crazy ride like getting mugged by a gypsy in Spain, but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a thing. I think a good story can just about make up for any hardship or frustration while traveling, that and a cold beer or large glass of wine that is!

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Anyway I tend to find really random things very funny and thought that maybe this is a place where people can come to get a good laugh and learn about a different sort of life than a lot of people my age are living. So ENJOY!

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