Thoughts and questions by a lake dweller

Category: musings

I may need a Sherpa

Why does hotel wifi so often suck? I am very glad to have a Verizon “MIFI” card. I hate paying for it, but even the hotel wifi that they charge for is pretty bad. The speeds are slow and the bandwidth is not good. Given the number of people that actually pay for it, why can’t this be a selling point? Advertise what you mean by “high speed” and I let me compare.

As I travel, I keep trying to lighten my load without sacrificing a lot of capability. The MIFI card is probably a necessary evil because there are so many places without decent wifi, but I would like to lighten my load.

I have an iPad 2, with lots of storage and both WI-Fi and 3G. I have it to consume: books, email, the web, movies and music. But as much as I would like to, I still don’t use it to create. I have had a couple of keyboards and those don’t help much; mostly because I don’t want to take my fingers off the keyboard to tap the screen. The keyboards are limited, so there are a lot of things that I would do with a mouse. I guess that I have not found the right angle at which to type, either. I just don’t like the whole experience.

I have had a couple of stylii and those too do not help much. They are thick tipped and my handwriting is “challenging.” So, I don’t think it is the fact that we do not have enough accessories or even the right accessories. I think it is that that we don’t have the right interface yet. It may be that speaking will be the interface, I have not fooled with my wife’s “new iPad” enough to understand the interface, but if we could use the headset microphone that comes with the .

I am posting this using my 11” Macbook Air. I always tell people that since it took me a long time to learn to type, I want use that skill.

It is more than that. When I type, or dictate, I work harder at being clear. I don’t mind typing or saying the extra sentence if it helps me communicate better. On the iPad, my replies are short and often terse. I don’t like it as an input device and so I minimize my time inputting on it. The device is limiting what I am doing.

Don’t get me wrong, I would like to seem almost all emails shortened. Most are too long. However, they should be short because they are well thought out and well edited, not because I am trying to stop using the input method as fast as I can.

I also like my iPad better for consumption. I like the battery life. I like the touch screen for turning pages.

So, I carry both an iPad and a Macbook Air, and the their power cords, and the wifi and its power cord. It seems that I still carry too much stuff.

Things I am thinking

1. The governments, federal state and local, spend too much. Locally, government is very careless with our money – The Ameritrust Project, the “new” voting machines, the various instances of corruption that are being investigated by the FBI, Earle Turner, the list goes on. Nationally, look at the “stimulus package”and its pork. Look at the sweet deals to unions. Look at the fact that 40% (this is CNN’s number) of people in the US who  pay no taxes. How do we feel the need to give so many things to people who are willing to do nothing to help themselves.2. The thing that backs money in the short term is finite. There is only so much “value” at any given time. So, when the US Government borrows vast sums, it has to borrow that money from somewhere. That means, unless the government, or some government prints money, there is no more to lend. That means that there is no money, or there is only very costly money, available to borrow to build that new plant or to start that new business. So when the government sucks money out, unless it is building plants that employ people, it is not going to be useful to growing the economy.3. Governments are poor managers. Their incentives are all wrong. The John Murtha Airport was not built because the area needed another airport. It was a bone thrown by Murtha to his constituents. When the Government essentially nationalized GM, every Senator and representative was ready to pounce when a dealership was to be closed in his district. Never mind that this could be the worst dealership in the world and sold no cars. That representative had every incentive to pretend that he was protecting jobs. The nature of the job breeds short term thinking directed at a small geographic area.4. The government answer to  raising revenue is to raise taxes or fees. Are tax rates going down? Are fees going down? The federal local and state governments now take over 40% of every dollar produced. Federal government employment numbers are not going down.  This is systemic and knows no party label. But, back to the point on value, to the extent that money goes to the government, it is not otherwise useful. It will not be invested in that new plant, that new idea or that new dishwasher. Governments do buy dishwashers, but not in great numbers and seldom efficiently.5. So what do we do? Insist on fiscal responsibility. Insist on competence.  Ask questions and if you don’t get answers that make sense, vote for someone else. Insist on better candidates. Write letters. Be pissed off. It is your money and your world. This country does not belong to illegal aliens, welfare mothers, Chairmen of Wall street investment houses or gang bangers. It belong to all of us who vote and pay our  taxes. Lets insist on being served.

Who will stand for this city?

Is there a leader in Cleveland who can actually be trusted to do something good for the city? For the county? Do you trust any of them? Mayor Jackson? The county commissioners? Sam Miller? Scot Wolstein? Don’t we deserve better?So let me get this straight. We are going to have a new Medical Mart and it is going to be on the Mall. Why there? Why was this decided so suddenly? Why is the Port intent on moving? Why is that a good idea? 

Cold is coming

January in Cleveland has always, as long as I can recall, had a week of temperatures near zero or at zero. Our time is coming later this week. It will hit 4 on Thursday night. Unlike some years, we will have a lot of snow. I remember lots of snow as a kid, maybe with advantages. This kind of cold always generates a vague disease: what if we need to be outside? 


What a wind! What is left of Ike has blown through Cleveland, bringing 30 to 50 mile per hour wind. It was a lot of fun to sit outside and read a book while the wind just kept