Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Love Early Voting

Two years ago, the lovely spouse and I had to stand in line for over two hours to vote. This morning, it was a different story. We got to participate in early voting.

We first went to the town hall, and while it had a line, it looked to be fairly short. But the LS also knew of another early voting place located in the clubhouse of a nearby apartment complex. So we decided to go there. Walked in, showed our IDs and went straight to the voting machines. Done! It doesn't get any easier than that to participate in our republic. So, after voting for President, U.S. Senator, Mayor, Town Council, retaining judges, state constitutional amendment proposals, a few referenda, and some local ballot initiatives about taxes and debt for public schools and libraries, I was done. All in about 5 minutes. Of course, I had my cheat sheet to make sure I was ready.

The voting machines used here also print a paper copy that you can review and approve after voting electronically. No dimpled or hanging chads here!

I'm Randy, and I approved this message!

Meant as Humor, But Makes a Good Point

Technology is just getting too hard for many of our older citizens. It used to be you turned on the tv, flipped the dial to the channel you want, and presto, you had TV!

Nowadays you have to mess with multiple remote controls, converter boxes, cable or satellite boxes, home theater receivers, and to top it all off, television stations in the United States will cease to broadcast in good old analog NTSC in February, rendering any TV over a couple of years old useless without a converter box of some kind, be it cable, satellite, or over-the-air.

The following video was meant to be humor, but I fear that it is all too true for many. The closer we get, the more I think this whole conversion to DTV is a scam to make money for the government, the consumer electronics industry, and others who stand to gain from this conversion. For young folks who grew up with iPod earphones stuck in their head and a cell phone in their hands, it is no big deal. But not everyone can handle the intricacies of the change. And with DTV, instead of a little snow but a perfectly watchable picture, we get no picture with a weak signal. We also are subjected to compression artifacts and pixellation.

As to the video, I actually had the two cable boxes on the first two TV sets you see...the one with the knob and the one with rows of push buttons.