Nonword of the Week: Waitaholic

Waitaholic: a person who enjoys waiting for end results rather than indulging in instant gratification. Rare.  Waitaholics are more than merely patient – they will actively seek out opportunities to wait, and shun those who can’t resist jumping lines.

Example: The book was long-winded and boring, but the waitaholic wouldn’t skip to the end to find out what happened; monotony was part of the experience of reading the book.

Related nonwords: rejourney, zombified

If you’ve seen the xkcd comic Time, that’s a comic made for waitaholics.  (It currently updates hourly, each time showing a new frame in an extended comic.  As of now there are approximately 650 frames of Time; it began on Monday, March 25th and has not stopped. (Go to http://xkcd.aubronwood.com/ to see the whole sequence.)

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

It’s also spawned a wiki and several religious sects.

Have a unique nonword of your own? Leave a comment!
Not sure what a nonword is? Check out my first nonword of the week.

Disclaimer: I do not condone idle word-mangling. Please mangle your words with care. Should not be attempted by the faint of heart or those with reading disorders. Side-effects include peculiar looks, disapproving frowns, essay markdowns, and utter confusion.

Voting by Mail

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What I’m thankful for this Election Day: I don’t have to wait in a line at a polling location in order to vote. Washington is one of the two entirely vote-by-mail states in the country. Since I registered in late 2007, and have always voted in Washington, I have always voted by mail. For a long time, it never occurred to me that exclusively mail-in ballots were unusual in the U.S. – to literally “go to the polls” seemed like a quaint, 1950s sort of notion.

I guess that attitude might stem from being a Millenial, in an age where shopping online and having packages magically appear on the doorstep is the norm. In much the same manner, my ballot appears a couple of weeks ahead of Election Day in the mail, and I can send it back at my leisure. This year, I had my iPad beside me while I filled out my ballot, as well as the Voter’s Guide that was mailed to our household. The iPad was by far the more helpful of the two, since the Voter’s Guide had limited space and all information in it was ultra-condensed. Although I already had many opinions, there were a couple of measures where I felt more comfortable voting after a little more research. I spent quite a long time filling out my ballot.

Associated Press photo of an estimated 6-9 hour wait at a Florida polling site.

One of the things that strikes me about in-person voting is just how inconvenient it is. Right now election coverage is starting, and footage of ridiculously long lines is playing across the screen. What an annoyance it must be, particularly for those people who have to work today. This year in particular I’m thinking of the parts of the country impacted by Hurricane Sandy, and what people are already dealing with without having to worry about getting to a polling site. Voting in-person seems like an awful lot of effort to produce something as simple as a filled-out ballot.

Opponents of mail-in voting claim that mail is less secure, and your ballot is more likely to get lost somewhere in the system. However, in Spokane County, you don’t have to mail your ballot. If you are truly concerned, you can leave it at the auditor’s office. If you don’t want to use a stamp, you can drop it by a public library. And no matter how you choose to return it, you can check and see if your ballot was received by visiting the vote.wa.gov website.  With a first and last name and date of birth, you can not only check to see if your ballot was received in the most recent election, but you can check all elections in which your ballot was cast (post-2005).

As for security, both Washington and Oregon use signature-based identification. They seem to actually check the signatures, too – I’ve had mine questioned once, and I had to return a witness-signed confirmation form through the mail. I’m not sure exactly what they look for, but at least I know they’re looking!

Overall, the only thing I really miss with absentee voting is the excitement of getting to “go vote.” That, and the cute little “I Voted” sticker.

Sunday Speedpaint: “Fall Back” Kitty

Since this weekend marks the end of Daylight Savings Time here in Washington, I decided to make a little cartoon-style picture for it.  The basic vignette of cat and clock is referenced from a photo I found via Google Images. I then colored/styled/messed around a bit to better fit the image to the theme.

This took about 45 minutes to complete, and my recorder worked fine capturing that.  I suspect the software I have only works up to about an hour’s worth of recording time, so I just need to be careful and watch the clock (ha, ha) whenever I use it – a surprisingly difficult thing to do in the middle of a creative process.  Windows Movie Maker, however, was even more horrid to use than usual, making me wonder if it might be time to actually buy some real video-editing software.  I don’t know if I edit videos frequently enough to justify the cost.

Anyway, here is the video of the process that made “Fall Back” Kitty: