Lazy Weekend (Sort Of)

I don’t in any way want to sound like I’m complaining, because it’s been a lot of fun, too, but it’s been a very busy ten weeks for me, what with my job as a technical editor which continues to be both very satisfying but also very challenging and sometimes tiring, and with a lot of weekend events, many requiring a lot of planning for — two Billy Club gatherings (including May Day, for which I was in charge of organizing the construction of the maypole and the rituals around it), two Body Electric workshops (which were both extraordinarily full weekends but also terrific), and Pride Weekend, which was not only a long busy weekend but for which I started making plans a couple of weeks in advance.

Each year, for the Saturday and Sunday that encompass the Pride Parade and the two-day mega street fair that is increasingly a bigger deal than the Parade itself, I am sort of an office manager for a hundred or so volunteer safety monitors. I and a several others work together to get them checked in and out as quickly as possible, provide coffee and a simple breakfast buffet (bagels and cream cheese, muffins, fruit), give them a place to stash their sweatshirts and backpacks while they’re working, and get them their identifying T-shirts and their handbooks and radios and bottles of water and bags of trail mix and whatever else they need to have with them on the route.

Fortunately I am a great one for taking notes, and last year went very smoothly, so I was able to read through my notes and simply plan to do 95% of it the same way we did it last year. For the most part, this year went even more smoothly — at least from my administrative point of view. Outside where the party was going on, there were an unusually high number of incidents requiring attending to, from a bloody fight between a couple of homeless men to a marcher who was assaulted while separated from the rest of her contingent because she was having an asthma attack to the usual dozen or so problems involving marchers with motor vehicles who affect not to have heard about the basic safety rules they agreed to follow when they signed up to march.

Of course I took notes again this year on what worked well and what didn’t, so I’ll have them to look back on next year. I still have the final report to finish up, but other than that, I’m done with the Parade for another year.

So this past weekend was the first relatively lazy weekend I’ve had in a while. It wasn’t even as lazy as all that, as Saturday afternoon was a meeting of some members of the Billy Club who are hammering out a proposal for a fresh mission statement and values statement. But Sunday I slept in, played some Civ IV, went to lunch with Dave and Terry, and walked back home from the cafĂ©, stopping at Central Perk for a couple of hours to read and write. (I’ve been reading Walter Karp’s The Politics of War, about the politics leading up to the Spanish-American War and our entry into World War One.) Then off to do a small load of laundry, dinner with Dave, and bed.

True to His Word

“If there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.”
— George W. Bush, Sept. 30, 2003

I have not the slightest doubt of that.

iTopia, Limited

I learned a new word the other day: iPerbole.

This review of the iPhone (plus this addendum) seems more cool-headed than most, though — neither all gee-whiz about it nor venting hatred of everything Apple just because it’s Apple.

They tell me a few things about the iPhone that make me more certain that I’m better off without one, though, at least until some improvements are added.

The iPhone can display, but not edit, Microsoft Word and Excel documents and Portable Document Format files. Conversely, iTunes doesn’t provide you with a computer-editable copy of any notes you jot down in the iPhone’s Notes program (although it does back them up automatically).

One of my main uses for a PDA is as a portable notepad, but I have to be able to send my notes back and forth between the PDA and my laptop and modify them in either place, or it’s not any more useful to me than carrying around a paper notebook and pen (which I often do anyway).

Switching between iPhone programs happens almost instantly, but moving data between them is just about impossible without copy or paste commands.

Ugh. For me, anyway, an important part of processing my email is quickly filing away any info I may want to refer to later, which means cutting and pasting into my note organizing software or into Address Book or whatever, so that I can get the email message out of the inbox and into the archives.

Spending time online will, however, expose the sluggishness of AT&T’s barely-faster-than-dialup Edge data service.

The USB modem I bought to use with my laptop uses 3G, which is much faster, about as fast as a low-end DSL connection.

Typing a Web address or an e-mail message reveals another awkwardness: text entry. Without a real keyboard, you have to tap on an onscreen substitute that offers no tactile feedback and puts punctuation and letters on separate screens.

I’m a touch typist and have found that I get frustrated writing on a PDA, whether it’s by way of Graffiti or a touch-screen keyboard or whatever.

An awful lot of my computer time is spent during my long commute by way of BART and CalTrain, or while sitting at a café somewhere, where opening up my laptop usually isn’t any hassle. So as beautiful a piece of equipment as the iPhone certainly is, it doesn’t seem to suit my needs right now well enough for me to justify the price and the two-year commitment.

And Still Another Thing: If Prison Time is Too Harsh for Obstruction of Justice for a First-Time Offender, Why Didn’t Bush Commute Martha Stewart’s Sentence, Too?

Someone on the WELL pointed out a good reason why Bush commuted Libby’s prison sentence but didn’t grant him a full pardon: Libby can now still plead the Fifth in future testimony. If he had a full pardon, he couldn’t.

And another thing: If Bush is opposed to “activist judges” who are allegedly reinterpreting law rather than just following the given guidelines, what is he doing saying that Libby’s sentence is too harsh when it falls smack in the middle of the range of possible sentences for what Libby was convicted for?