The end is near

I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the state government in Texas. While a difference in opinion of policy is one thing I can generally live with, it has been increasingly obvious that Republicans across the United States and particularly in Texas are attacking the right to vote. Then, they use the reduced accountability to enact unpopular policies.

Perhaps in years past, I could give the benefit of the doubt in that we disagreed with election procedure rules, but the latest batch of proposed bills are so obviously anti-voting it is beyond the pale. In a historic year for a multitude of reasons, cities like Houston increased voter turnout by running 24/7 voting locations and offering drive-through voting. In Austin, we’ve used mobile voting centers that went to churches, parks, libraries. All of these demanded the same voting requirements as normal locations and no proof has been presented that these led to significant amount of fraud.

In the past legislative session and the current special session, Texas Republicans are trying to ban all of these efforts in addition to other election changes in the name of “election integrity.” On top of that, AG Paxton outright insinuated that if they had not blocked efforts to make mail-in voting easier, they may have lost Texas in the 2020 Presidential election. While Republicans, including Trump, love to conflate ballots and ballot applications, we were talking about applications in Texas. In order for these to have been used, these voters would have already had to be registered, submit the application to get a mail-in ballot, then fill out the ballot and return it. The clerks merely wanted to pre-emptively send the applications, making it easier, particularly for the poor or elderly to request a ballot. The issue here is not that these votes would have been from illegitimate voters. The right for these citizens to vote was not questioned. While the Texas courts sided with Republicans here on what clerks were allowed to do, this was not an effort to prevent illegitimate votes. It was a legal maneuver to suppress legitimate votes.

Texas voter turnout is, by most metrics, horrible. Despite record number of voters in 2020, it still stands at bottom 15% when compared to other states. About 40% of elligible voters in Texas don’t vote. There’s a plethora of low-hanging fruit we could implement to dramatically increase voter turnout. Instead, Republicans are committed to implementing further voter restrictions that have an outsized negative impact on urban voters. That is anti-democratic, not the America we should be striving for, and outright despicable. When those in power are no longer accountable to voters, the whole system falls apart.

I’ve loved Austin, my home and neighborhood, and many people here that I’ve known for most of my life, but I’ve had enough. I will no longer share my financial success with a state that is outright oppressive to its citizens and rigs the game in order to avoid accountability. Texas has shown it is afraid of the will of the people and so I will no longer entrust it my taxes. Godspeed to those sticking it out and fighting the good fight.

I have weighed various options over the past few months. This past week, I visited Seattle and pulled the trigger on a house. It’s exciting and bittersweet at the same time. I’ll be moving later this year and would welcome visits - I’ll have plenty of space for guests!


Happy New Year! I’ve got a new year resolution or two, but I’m keeping them to myself. =p What I will share, though, is the awesome pizza we had on New Year’s Eve from Arpeggio Grill. We got a monster 28” pizza with a bunch of toppings for something around $32.46 (just a random guess… j/k, I asked Mark).

The plates in the video are almost 9” in diameter, FYI.

A lump and jobs

So I went to the doctor this morning and found out that the lump in my foot is a ganglion cyst, which is rather harmless. That is good. =)

My company, Bazaarvoice, which is quite awesome, is looking to hire a lot of people. Check out the jobs page and drop me an email if you’re interested. I cannot express how exciting and fun it is to work there. =)

Note to self

Here is a good blog post on color space issues on Macs.

Also, note to others: Shane Claiborne is coming to speak at Vox tomorrow. He wrote Irresistible Revolution which I’ve found to be a pretty challenging and interesting book. He was mentored by Tony Campolo, who came to speak when Liquid was at Red River a while ago.

We’ll also be showing another video from the Invisible Children people. I’m not sure what the title is (might be the same: “Invisible Children?”) but this one is about when they went back a second time.

Anyways, the more the merrier, come come!

Shameless Plug

Bazaarvoice will be having an info session with one of our VPs and cofounder. It is tomorrow, March 22nd at 6-7PM in UTC 3.110.

Tonight, my elements group enjoyed wondrous hot pot at Olivia and Stephanie’s. Thank you very much for getting all the food, Stephanie. =) Then we played some fun board games…

That is all. =)


If you see this, has successfully transferred to its new server and you are viewing the new OliverWEB powered by WordPress.

Yay! Uhhh… too lazy to find lyrics for this post. Will continue later. =)

There will probably be some things broken… please excuse them for the time being… I’ll have them fixed shortly, hopefully.

Edit: Oh fine, here’re some lyrics.

“I’ve got sunshine,
On a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside,
I’ve got the month of may.
I guess you’d say,
What can make me feel this way?” - Temptations


Who wants to CLEP out? I’ve signed up for:

Tue 11/30/04     10:30 AM - 1:00 P     BWY 104B
at the testing center. BTW, anyone taken the CLEP already? I want to know how much I should study beforehand… I think someone told me there’s a packet somewhere that we can read and it pretty much tells us everything we need to know?