You can early vote now. You should probably get on that. Here are the endorsements.

The 2014 primaries are here, and the primaries are where many races are determined. If you enjoy the democratic process, it’s time to man up.

Here are the times and locations to early vote (PDF). There are three locations, and you have until next Saturday at 1 p.m. to make use of one of them.

Here is the list of candidates (PDF). You can find the ballot you’ll be using here.

There are three partisan political “groups” that endorse candidates in Durham, in addition to the Indy Week newspaper. The Indy Week, Durham People’s Alliance, and the Committee on the Affairs of Black People are all left-leaning. The Friends of Durham is centrist.

Below is the rundown of endorsements thus far. Note that the Indy offers endorsements for each party’s primaries even though it will eventually endorse only Democrats in the general election, which made creating this table much more time consuming than it needed to be.

Indy Week Durham People’s Alliance Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People Friends of Durham
US Senate (D)
Kay Hagan Kay Hagan Kay Hagan
US Senate (R)
Ted Alexander
US Senate (L)
Sean Haugh
US House 1 (D) GK Butterfield GK Butterfield GK Butterfield
US House 1 (R) Arthur Rich
US House 6 (D) Bruce Davis Laura Fjeld Bruce Davis
US House 6 (R) Zack Matheny
US House 13 (D) Brenda Cleary Virginia Conlon
State Supreme Court (NP) Robin Hudson Robin Hudson Robin Hudson
NC Senate 22 (R) Herman Joubert
NC House 50 (R) W Lewis Hannah Jr.
Durham DA (D) Brian Aus Roger Echols Roger Echols Brian Aus
District Court 14 – Gordon seat (NP) Nancy Gordon Nancy Gordon Fred Battaglia Jr. (???)
District Court 14 – Walker seat (NP) Henry Pruette Doretta Walker Doretta Walker
Board of Education – District 1 (NP) Mike Lee Mike Lee Mike Lee Mike Lee
Board of Education – District 2 (NP) Sendolo Diaminah Sendolo Diaminah Donald A Hughes Terrence Ray Scarborough
Board of Education – District 3 (NP) Matt Sears Matt Sears Deborah L Bryson (???) Lisa Gordon Stella
Board of Education – District 4 (NP) Natalie Beyer Natalie Beyer Natalie Beyer
Sheriff (D) Mike Andrews Mike Andrews Clarence Birkhead Mike Andrews

Monuts makes list of 21 best donut shops in the country, is awesome

Monuts started out several years ago with a tricycle based storefront, catering such prominent events as my neighborhood association’s meetings.

It’s hard to believe that their retail location on Parrish St. has only been around since last spring. Since then, they’ve kind of gone gangbusters, expanding staff and hours to the point that they’re now open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch.

Monuts has really worked its way into my own routine, and I try to stop by at least once a week after dropping the kid off at school (protip for anybody stalking me: just look for that guy with the Burley bike trailer hanging out near Monuts). I’m partial to their constantly changing bagel sandwich specials, and I’ve never had one I didn’t like.

You can probably guess that I like Monuts a whole heck of a lot. I’m apparently not the only one, and their spot on the Thrillist list is well deserved.

So, a well earned congratulations to Lindsay, Rob, and all the staff at Monuts. Keep doin’ what you do!

Happy Earth Day!

Inspired after reading about Duke’s “Unpark Yourself” Earth Day “alternative commute” challenge, I decided to grab a selfie on the way to work this morning:


My morning ride doesn’t normally take me through Duke Gardens, but I figured that’s about the best place in Durham to take a picture this time of year.

Did I actually decide wear green because of Earth Day? Would you believe me if I said no?

First Art of Cool jazz festival kicks off this Friday

Art of Cool first landed on my radar last summer, when they launched a Kickstarter project to fund a brand new jazz festival in Durham. That project was successfully funded, and the organizers have spent the last 6 months getting things in order for the inaugural event.

The official schedule has been posted, and it’s an extensive list of performers spread across several downtown venues. The first event starts at 4:00 p.m. Friday, with the final show wrapping up at 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Many of the events require that you pay for tickets (or have passes, e.g. for Kickstarter backers), but there are several free shows at Durham Central Park on Friday evening and Full Frame Theatre on Saturday as well, so even cheapskates have reason to show up.

Here’s a jpeg with the full lineup:

Liberty Warehouse has been sold

This isn’t a surprise to anybody (at least, to anybody who was paying attention when we talked about it before), but Greenfire’s sale of Liberty Warehouse has been completed. The final price tag was $3.5M – a number which exactly matches what Greenfire paid for it back in 2006. I’d love to hear from somebody who knows more about the accounting involved here, because I wonder whether Greenfire managed to cash in on any tax credits for “maintaining” the historic building (before they allowed it to fall apart while failing to maintain it).

Durham’s last extant tobacco warehouse won’t be extant much longer, as the new owners, East West Partners, plan to tear the dilapidated building down to make way for a “cool” new mixed use development. Prep for demo should start within the next 45 days.

RDU’s terminal 1 is opening on Sunday

If you’ve flown out of RDU within the past two years, particularly on Southwest, you’ve probably noticed the effects of the Terminal 1 renovation. The airport’s been working on the $68M project to retrofit Terminal 1 (née Terminal A) to match its shiny sibling across the street for so long now that I’d forgotten it was a thing that could actually be finished some day.

As previously mentioned, it’s been a rough winter for the project, and it’s running behind. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and the terminal should be open for business this Sunday:

The renovated terminal includes nine gates, expanded ticketing, baggage claim and security screening area and more natural lighting, officials said. The 11 new shops and restaurants in the terminal include the first airport location for Raleigh-based Char-Grill and ACC American Café, the conference’s first licensed restaurant.

Southwest will be the biggest beneficiary in the near term, as they’ve been operating out of a tiny sliver of the original terminal, which is linked by temporary walkways and just generally feels… old. And while it’ll be a nice upgrade, do take note: in the future other airlines will also start using Terminal 1, so you can no longer simply assume that if it ain’t Southwest you’re in Terminal 2.

Sam’s Bottle Shop set for Thursday opening

Sam’s Bottle Shop (previously discussed here) is apparently ready to rock. It sounds like the new shop is kicking it up a notch:

The new, 5,200-square-foot store is located at 1112 W N.C. 54. It has 26 taps, an educational facility, tasting room and a catwalk to a second-story patio, according to the release. It will have craft beer, wine and champagne.

I’ll mostly keep frequenting the original Quik Shop, seeing as how it’s right down the road and all, but I’m more than a little jealous of you south Durhamites.

The original location on Erwin has been serving the Ninth St. area’s craft beer needs for years, and hopefully it will continue to do so for years to come. One potential SNAFU for the original Sam’s, though: mass transit plans have called for claiming imminent domain on the store and turning it into a train station.

With its second location that’s no longer an existential threat for the business, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, OK?

Full Frame kicks off today, runs through Sunday

If you’ve been in the area for long you’ve probably heard of Full Frame – the annual festival (sponsored by the Duke Center for Documentary Studies) brings documentary film makers from around the world to Durham to show off their work.

Even if documentaries aren’t your bag, the festival is a big deal for Durham. Full Frame spans half a dozen venues and four blocks, over 100 films will be displayed over its four day run, and attendees will dump an estimated $2.5 million into the local economy.

So hey, if you’re near downtown this weekend, you might wanna check it out. Passes are sold out, but tickets for individual showings are still available. If you need some guidance on what to see, The Indy is really the place to get the scoop: they have a list of recommendations as well as a category for articles related to the event.

Happy birthday,

Well, OK, the actual domain name was registered in May, but my first post was made exactly one year ago today.

Trivia about

  • is a hosted weblog.
  • I pay roughly $200/year to operate this site. Half of that is for the sweet Indian Ocean domain name, the other half is for’s hosting fees.
  • I make roughly $0/year in revenue from this site, resulting in an annual profit of about -$200
  • I know I could save money in a variety of ways, but I’m too lazy to change anything right now

Fun facts about my workflow:

  • RSS is where it’s at. I shove the regional subreddits, Duke Today, The Chronicle, WRAL, The Herald Sun, TheDurhamNewsDotCom, Indy Week, WUNC, local blogs, twitter accounts, and all the other stuff into my installation of Tiny Tiny RSS. This gives me a huge stream of data to deal with.
  • An average day results in about 100 posts from all of these outlets.
  • I take time to read maybe 5 articles a day.
  • I seldom read articles right when they come in. Instead, throughout the day I sift through the unread list in TTRSS, skipping over all the stuff that’s clearly not of interest while “starring” interesting articles to read at my leisure.
  • I really don’t like the wordpress editor, since it often mangles formatting and is generally frustrating to use. I compose short articles in-line, but for longer posts (like DNO&E) I create a git repository and manually edit html files with vim. This isn’t ideal either, since I then must copy/paste from vim into the WP plantext editor, but it’s much more consistent for me.
  • Speaking of DNO&E, those posts take a surprising amount of time. Due to this fact I find them the least fun to actually write, but the feedback suggests that they are among the most popular which encourages me to keep doing them.
  • My DNO&E-specific workflow is:
    • Wait until I think “boy, I should probably do a DNO&E before this list gets overwhelming”
    • Get distracted, and procrastinate for a week or so.
    • Go back and actually look at my list of starred items. Realize that it has become overwhelming.
    • Procrastinate for another week or so.
    • Now, go back and open every single starred item in reverse chronological order (reverse chronological order is useful because often the later articles on topics provide the most relevant information), writing a summary of each one before moving on to the next.
    • Next, I re-order, combine, and edit the list until it reaches “perfection.”
    • To wit: I typically try to put the most “important” items near the top of the list. I try to put weird / strange items throughout the list. For the rest, it ends up in mostly chronological order.
    • I then try to come up with a clever “X edition” title and some kind of intro / outtro text.
  • I like the ability to “schedule” posts with wordpress. There’s no telling when I’ll write a post – often late at night, over the weekend, etc – but I mostly want posts to appear in the morning during business hours, since I figure that’s when people like to slack off on the Internet most. Unless I feel like I’m running behind, or I have something I just want to get out ASAP, I’ll schedule posts to appear the next morning.
  • I say it all the time, but I really do love the Herald-Sun. Not only do I love it in earnest for actually covering Durham news, but I also love how just plain weird it can be at times. I honestly wonder whether some of their articles (see: UNC Student burglar, armed with knife, damages cheese ) are written by robots.
  • As the site has gotten more popular, I’ve started feeling that I should keep posting frequently so people don’t give up and stop checking in. I aim for three posts a week, which obviously doesn’t always happen.
  • I don’t write much about the rest of NC any more, mostly because I don’t think that’s why you guys come to the site, but also because I don’t have much to say right now. I might go back to state-level stories that particularly interest me, but right now Durham is really front and center.
  • And in case you’re wondering: yes, writing stuff for this weblog still amuses me, so you should expect for me to sick around for a while.

So, that’s year number one under my belt! I’ve had a lot of fun writing stuff for this site, and I really hope you guys are enjoying it. I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave any feedback in the comments section or hit me up on Twitter.