a bodaceous blog
- The Fourth of July, 2008
- Winter Soldier Two
- Feeling the love in Iran
- Potholes on the Super-Highway
- Coffee, Computers, and Clear Skies
- Merry Micro Christmas
Most weekday mornings I tuck my laptop under my arm and head across the street to Spasso’s Coffee Shop. They serve prize-winning, organic, shade-grown, fair-traded coffee and a wide assortment of fresh pastries. They also provide free broadband Internet access.
Most mornings, I seem to be the odd one out with my IBM machine. MacBooks generally dominate, plus a smattering of aging Dell and HP computers. More recently, I have spotted an occasional customer surfing on their iPhone. This morning, however, there were three other ThinkPad laptops beside my own.
Now, mine is unusual in that I have a high definition screen (1400 × 1050). It is great for photos, but text would normally be very tiny. To compensate, I have installed “large fonts” on mine— a common setting for these screens. My neighbor, I noticed, has his PC set to the tiny text size, so I asked him if he knew about “large fonts.” He replied that he did, but “had no difficulty reading the small text” and preferred to get more information on the screen thereby. At that point he donned his headphones, and buried himself in his virtual world.
For the next hour, I noticed with some amusement the frequency with which he put his nose near the screen. Ah, vanity!
We seem to be over the winter storms— for the moment, at least. With the exception of five glorious days, beginning on my mid-January birthday, this year has been cold, wet, and windy. I guess this is not unusual, but after months of mild weather, one forgets the chill.
Comparing this year’s heating bills with last year’s, the daily average is about the same. So it can’t be as bad as I think.
Anyway, Californians headed for the polls in record numbers Tuesday for the most expensive presidential run in history. The so-called “primaries” is an arcane system of voting that few people understand. Designed to select a presidential candidate by popular vote prior to the general election in November, each state sets its own rules. As you can see from this year’s personality contest, the states where voting occurs earliest set the stage for later ballots, with many contenders dropping out along the way. The result is a chaotic mess.
Meanwhile, Common Cause reports :
On Tuesday, Feb. 12, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia will vote in another critical set of presidential primaries. In a report issued recently by Common Cause and the Verified Voting Foundation, all three states were rated “high risk” for having election results affected by electronic voting machine malfunction or tampering.
Meanwhile, spending on media advertising this election year is expected to be anywhere from $3 to $5 billion dollars. The airwaves are considered to be publicly owned, yet private corporations are making a bundle from providing the public information that they ought to do as a duty. While a lot of this money is raised from the public, under recent “campaign finance reform” candidates can opt out of public financing to accept huge corporate bribes. Even the “public” money may come from corporate sources. While such sources are supposedly anonymous, I imagine it would not be difficult for contributors to identify themselves to the recipient. As a result, and despite the “reforms”, Americans still have the best politicians that money can buy.
Meanwhile, spring flowers and blossoms are out, there is warmth in the sun’s rays, and I am heading for the nearby hills. This is one very beautiful spot to live.
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