When I voted at 7:10 a.m. this morning in St. Johns County, Florida, my right to vote was challenged because a poll worker decided my signature did not match my driver's license signature. I was given an "Affadavit of Elector When Signature is Different" form to sign and was going to be given a provisional ballot, but I objected to that decision, telling the worker that I've been voting at the same precinct with the same address for a decade and they were "abrogating my right to vote." (When negotiating a ... read more

To give you an idea of how tough my wife is, she delivered two of our sons via natural childbirth, skipping out on epidural anasthesia in the belief it's better for the baby. One son was 11 pounds and three ounces. When he hit the birth canal, her screams were so loud that I asked for a sedative to calm my nerves. Nurses stuck around after their shifts to find out how much he weighed. To give you an idea of how tough I am, I researched vasectomies for five years before consenting to the procedure. You can't be too ... read more

Last night I took my 12-year-old son to see Buckethead at Freebird Live in Jacksonville Beach. In the past year all three of my sons have developed an appreciation for, and I hope I'm using the term properly here, people who can shred an axe. They acquired this taste by spending most of their waking hours and some REM sleep playing Guitar Hero. To give you an idea of how out of place I was at this event, the last musician I saw perform live was Janet Jackson at the MGM Grand in Vegas back in 1994. Yes, I'm a part ... read more

I made the two-hour trek to Orlando yesterday to attend my first Barack Obama campaign rally, an event that brought 40,000 to 60,000 people to a plaza outside Amway Arena. Arriving an hour before the event, I knew to avoid the streets around the arena and parked my car at the Citrus Bowl, where buses were available. Most of Obama's speech was so familiar I could have delivered it myself, as someone who has seen every one of the 30-plus debates he has participated in during this long campaign. One of his new ... read more

I got a flier in the mail informing me that the St. Augustine Alligator Farm is now offering a "parents night out" service: Let us entertain your kids in a safe and educational environment while you and yours have a night out on the town. Have a nice dinner, take in a movie, or just relax at home; whatever you want, we've got the kids. ... Includes: 2 slices of pizza per person, drinks, hands-on animal presentation, twilight zoo tour, a craft, nocturnal games and lots of fun! When I'm looking for a relaxing night ... read more

We're hunkered down for Tropical Storm Fay, which has stalled over Daytona Beach and is sending massive amounts of rain to the Jacksonville area. The weather buoy on the St. Augustine Beach pier reported wind gusts as high as 49 mph in the middle of the night. I pride myself on being the first person to evacuate Florida under threat of hurricane, but Fay wasn't predicted to become a category 1 hurricane until there was no time to flee, so we rode it out. The storm has stayed too close to shore to reach open water ... read more

TPM Cafe contributor Bill Bishop answers an interesting question: What happens to political minorities in communities with large political majorities? They shut up. At book club or in church, they cut short any conversation bordering on politics. A woman in Washington State, a Democrat, told me that as her county grew increasingly Republican, she began to feel "like a second-class citizen, not entitled to have opinions." I interviewed Democrats in one Texas Hill Country town (80% Republican) about a float they ... read more