In some happy news, I can legitimately start spouting off Dad jokes. Much has happened over the past many months and I now have a little baby girl in my life.
From the outside, it did not _seem_ to be hard to take care of a baby. Like what can they do? Just eat and poop. The magnitude of that task did not hit me until I had the opportunity to experience it myself. Everyone was correct. Babies just eat and poop. And you need to spend almost ALL your time attending to their needs!
It has been Exhausting. But it's nice looking at the little one smiling and giggling. The past few months feel like some hazy dream. It just did not feel like I had any time for myself - just do my day job (work) , come home, change diapers, feed the baby, sleep, get interrupted, change diaper, resume sleep ... etc.
Honestly, I need a break. A hobby. Something to keep me distracted and entertained. Which was when I realized that I did have such a hobby - Fanfiction!
Not sure how long I can sneak away, but I **NEED** to catch up on what I missed. My mental health depends on it!
I'm in Ohio... In Ohio, any one can vote by mail/absentee, though originally designed for military and those whom cannot make it to a poll station they opened it up a long time back to pretty much any one in the state whom wants to .
All you need to do for mail/absentee balloting is go to the state board of electors web site, download the application in PDF form that they have on a sub page, and fill out and mail it to them (the correct address to mail them to is on the board of electors site)... you need to do that for each election separately and cannot combine them into one and warns you not to try.
So in March of each year (I do it that early to get it over with, you do not need to do it that early in Ohio), I download and print 3 copies, and mail in the application for the Primary(nominally in May), the Special(nominally in August), and the General(nominally in November) elections.
Since they have it on file I vote that way, they know to automatically send them as soon as they are ready. That is normally just under a month before the in person voting date. So the soonest I could have gotten mine this time around was October 12th, the date they started mailing them out... Mine actually arrived on October 14th, filled it out that night, and mailed it this morning when I went for breakfast.
So all the election stuff for myself and my mother is all over with.
The benefit of mail/absentee balloting is no trip to the polls, no long lines, no groups of people yelling things at you to support, no standing while filling out the forms or confirming of identity. Just calmly and quietly sit in the kitchen at the table or living room coffee table and go through the options, and look up anyone do not know. All it costs is a stamp/envelope to mail the application, and a stamp to mail the ballot.
Now that it is mailed, I can actually check the board of electors web site for the status, they have a page where you can enter your name to see your ballot status. So in a few days I'll check to see if they got it, and normally once it is stated received, it may take a day or so to then show as processed and counted as valid...
That reminds me I need to vote, too...not for the U.S. midterms, but municipal elections in Canada. If I do, I might be one of the 30% that does (if that, lol). I moved into my new house 5 months ago, but I think I should be on the voter rolls, if only because I already had to register at city hall, and already paid both my water/sewage bills and property taxes. If not, that should be a quick fix.
I don't know how Canada works voter registration. But in the U.S. if you go a couple elections or more without voting you can be removed from the list and may need to re-register for voting. You would likely have to check with the equivalent of the board of electors to see if you are on the active registration lists. There is normally a deadline you have to do this by to vote in current elections... so may want to look into it as soon as possible.
As for percentage of those whom vote, in the U.S. it tends to be a much lower percentage unless it is one of the bigger ones like the midterm and the presidential elections. The yearly primaries and special elections and other general elections have very few voters in comparison actually vote during them.
I voted for my municipal elections today. Literally only the 2nd time I've voted in municipal elections (well, 4th, if I include byelections). I missed out on three separate elections because I kept moving provinces like six months before the municipal elections in that province happened, hah.
I got a new desktop. Pre-built, because I wasn't ready to try and fight the good fight for a graphics card. Medium specs. My old one was from 2013, and was definitely showing its age. It was practically chugging along at times in the last few months. To the point that even my internet speed was being affected. I did a speedrun test, and download and upload speeds were both 4x-5x faster on my new one. Oof.
RTX 3060, and I couldn't tell you what the CPU is, but 12GB RAM and 12GB VRAM both. It might not play Cyberpunk 2077 well, but many of the higher-end games released on Steam in the last 5 years are now playable for me as well.
Had my first real vacation trip in about 2.5 years. Spent most of a week down in Las Vegas, most of it on the Vegas strip. No gambling, but lots of walking around, looking at the tourist traps, and watching some shows (including one burlesque show. I'd say I'm addicted, but I'd probably have to drive 10 hours from my home to go to another one!)
On Friday, the online art community DeviantArt announced DreamUp, an AI-powered text-to-image generator service powered by Stable Diffusion. Simultaneously, DeviantArt launched an initiative that ostensibly lets artists opt out of AI image training but also made everyone's art opt in by default, which angered many members.
DreamUp creates novel AI-generated art based on text prompts. Due to its Stable Diffusion roots, DreamUp learned how to generate images by analyzing hundreds of millions of images scraped off sites like DeviantArt and collected into LAION datasets without artists' permission, a potential irony that some DeviantArt members find problematic.