2008 Feb 24 | Block Walking in Fort Worth

Our BBQ this Sunday is German, so I was planning on making zucchini bread. However, none of the grocery stores I usually go to had zucchini; the only had zucchini squash, and I didn't want to try to experiment with that. I figured Whole Foods would have it, though, and I was right. They're usually a little more expensive, but they have a better variety.

I knew there was one about 15 blocks north of where I lived, but then I checked Google Maps and saw one about 3 blocks west. Since I almost never use the street it was on, though, I didn't know it was even there. I've noticed I tend to do that a lot in cities; I'll remember where one place is, not check to see if there are any closer ones, and end up wasting a ton of time driving to the farther one for months before I realize there is a closer one.

Saturday about 30 students went to Fort Worth to block walk for Tom Annunziato, an optometrist running for state representative. We left at 5am, so most people just slept on the way there. Considering there are about 100 students per class, the number that showed up was pretty small, especially because we don't have any hard tests coming up soon.

It's annoying how the system works; we are trained in school to do much more than we can currently legally do in any state, and since the rules are state-by-state, there are lots of other states that restrict optometrists even more. It all comes down to a legal battle between optometrists and ophthalmologists over who can perform what procedures and use which drugs. I'd much prefer everybody just get along, and I think most do at a personal level, but at the legal, state level, that's just the way it is, and having an optometrist in the Texas House of Representatives could help a lot.

It was pretty cold when we first got there, but it warmed up pretty quickly. We grabbed some food for lunch later and then split up. There was 1 driver for every 1-2 walkers, and Jenn and I went with Dr. Mario Contaldi.

Each group had a list of about 100 houses to visit in a certain neighborhood. Dr. Tom's campaign manager had gathered the lists from the internet, and it had the name, age, and party affiliation of the homeowners (we only visited Republicans, and mainly older ones). We would just go up to the door with a pamphlet, and if someone was home, we'd give them a quick description of Dr. Tom and ask them to vote for him. If people were enthusiastic about Dr. Tom, we'd ask if we could put a sign in their front yard. If nobody was home, we'd just leave the pamphlet in the door. They made sure to tell us not to put it anywhere near the mailbox, as that is illegal.

There were signs for Dr. Tom's main opponent, Charlie Geren, everywhere. Later we saw that we were in the neighborhood of Geren's campaign headquarters, so the signs weren't such a surprise. This guy was putting a really big sign in someone's yard; rather than the little signs you can just push into the ground, he was using metal fence posts and a fence-post pounder to get them in. We thought that Geren was much more aggressive about signs; we figured he probably asked if people minded him putting a sign in their yard rather than our guidelines of only asking them if they were for Dr. Tom.

This was on someone's door. Honestly, do you really need this?

This is a sign you don't want to miss. I like that it says, "Thanks," though.

Some of the houses had really beautiful views.

Hmm, I wonder what this is for. Riot control? Traffic watching?

This was a sign on the bus, and I still have no idea what it means. It looks like it's trying to say you're supposed to pull the shade back rather than up, but that doesn't make any sense.

On the way back we played "Whiz Bang" or whatever it's called. Since some people hadn't played before, we started off with only Whiz and Bang, but then slowly added Up, Double Bang, Pump It Up, and Whee.

I had been told by someone who was told by a cop that these were illegal in Texas. So why are they for sale in the truck stops?

Kirby is under construction, and it gets really confusing here because first the left lane is closed and then the right lane is. It's not so bad when you get close and figure it out, but from far away you can't differentiate the distance between the two yellow arrow lights, and it looks like they're telling you to go into the left and the right lanes at the same time.