Ex Bibliotheca

The life and times of Zack Weinberg.

Tuesday, 5 March 2002

# 8 PM

thank you county of alameda

I went to vote and discovered that my name was not on the list of registered voters. In fact, they still had the two people who used to live at my address on the list. The pollworkers were very nice about it, and there is fortunately an official procedure for this problem. I went ahead and voted, then they put my punchcard in a special envelope, I wrote my name and address on the outside and signed it, and the whole thing went in the box. This does ruin the anonymity of the ballot, but it's not exactly a high stakes election so I'm not bothered. Still, it does not inspire confidence in the system when a registration supposedly processed last June hasn't made it to the database yet. And I did get a confirmation slip back.

Yes, California does still use those same punchcard machines that caused so much trouble in Florida, at least in some counties. I've never had trouble with dimpled chads, but I imagine California takes better care of the things. One of the ballot initiatives was a bond measure to fund voting machine upgrades; hopefully it will pass, and they'll have the sense not to use all-electronic systems.

# 2:20 PM

to whichever supernatural entity is in charge of these things

Premonitory dreams are ever so much more helpful if I can remember them in the morning. It is also useful for them to make some sort of sense.

All I can say is, it had better not have been important.

this project deserves your support

Martus is a project to construct a reliable, secure bulletin board system for use by human rights activists. They need your help. Go write them some code. See also the Cult of the Dead Cow's Hacktivism Panel discussion of how computer hackers can support activism. (Mostly has to do with human rights enforcement, but some of the techniques apply to any agenda.)

# 2:30 AM

My kettle has sprung a leak. Considering how much tea I drink, this does not make me happy. It probably happened when I accidentally left the whistle off and boiled out all the water, then dumped it in a tub of cold water when I discovered what I'd done (to make it safe to touch again).

My kitchen faucet is also leaking again. It's been threatening to do this for weeks—the trail of rust down the wall from the hot water fitting is an excellent clue that something's wrong, as are bits of valve washer and chunks of rusted metal clogging the aerator. I was hoping to be able to leave it until the leak from the fitting was severe enough that the handyman would be forced to replace the hot water pipe, which he ought to have done the last time. Now, however, it's starting to drip from the spigot in earnest; I may have to get it patched again. (It'll never stay fixed until the hot water pipe is replaced, because what keeps happening is chunks of rust from the dying pipe get in the valve and tear up the washer.)

PNH has changed his weblog to use some clever automation known as Moveable Type. I'm somewhat tempted to try it myself, except that it looks even more complicated than NewsBruiser, which was already too complicated for my taste. But it does comments; I wonder if the people reading this and not sending me any mail about it would post comments. Probably not.