• Step 4 of the Absentee Voting Instructions sent to me by the City of Richmond Office of Elections says “You and your witness must both sign [Envelope B]”.

    Just called that office and was told that the above instruction is out of date and Envelope B doesn’t require a witness signature.

  • Micro.blog is one of my favorite web forums.

  • My kid saved up her money to buy an iPhone 15. It shouldn’t have required me to make a spreadsheet to figure out the best deal for her.

  • Different qualifying plans listed in the fine-print of the “Verizon iPhone 15 Special Deal” on Apple.com:

    • Unlimited Ultimate
    • Unlimited Plus
    • One Unlimited
    • 5G Get More
    • 5G Do More
    • 5G Play More
    • Unlimited Welcome
    • Welcome Unlimited
    • 5G Start
  • The preroll video on today’s Apple event looks like the kitty litter I buy.

  • Some of my fondest memories are when the Apple nerds at Virginia Tech would gather to watch news of the latest iMacs (G3). We’d apply in advance to get the university’s satellite dish pointed to Apple’s keynote broadcast and watch it on a big screen in a lecture hall.

  • It’s an established fact that 99.83 percent of all conversations about blockchain are nonconsensual.

    Cory Doctorow. The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation.

  • Currently reading: The Internet Con by Cory Doctorow 📚

  • Finished reading: Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald 📚

  • Some of my favorite people in the world think I’m a pretty OK guy. I must be doing something right and deserve to cut myself some slack.

  • Hazel and Cha Cha play with a toy

    Two kittens play with a cat toy. One is mid-air, trying to grab it. The other is on the ground waiting to pounce.
  • Allow me to introduce Hazel and Cha Cha, the two kittens who have been delighting our household for several weeks now.

    Two cute kittens cuddle together in a cat tree.
  • I’ve done many nerdy things in my life, but today I’m going over to a friend’s house to watch a Twitch stream of a gentle-spoken man in a cowboy hat playing a multi-hour NES tournament.

  • No secret to anyone but Everything Everywhere All at Once was a pretty darn good motion picture.

    Going to endeavor to “weaponize” kindness today.

  • “This must be Thursday,” said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. “I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”

  • It brings me joy to use the same background images I used on my Grape iMac G3 (Revision D) on my modern computing toys. (“Grape Gravity” on my MacBook Pro and “Grape Mission” on my iPad Pro).

    Thanks to @ismh for continuing to host the high-resolution versions.

  • Apropos of nothing what’s something you’re looking forward to?

  • In my latest essay for the DadZone of Richmond Family Magazine, I talk about how video games have enriched my family life:

    I’ve seen my kids mature physically and emotionally through our family’s shared love of video games. From being able to barely hold a controller, to driving a virtual go kart, to constructing elaborate narratives in Minecraft, to learning how to lose when it happens, and how to defeat their dad with just the right balance of grace and trash talk.

  • 📸 Day 3: precious

    An iPad Pro attached to a Magic Keyboard with an Apple Pencil 2 on top displaying the Music app playing Precious Things from the Tori Amos album Little Earthquakes. The album art is displayed on the left, with Music.app’s controls and the lyrics are displayed on the right with the line “These precious things” highlighted.
  • I think the ending of Bill & Ted Face the Music is close to perfection.

  • Be forgiving of there/their and its/it’s errors in any casual writing. One can know the rules by heart and still easily make mistakes.

  • Lunch with @panic@panic.com? If only Siri… if only. Fanboy dreams.

    A screenshot of an email from Panic, Inc regarding their games showcase at PAX West where "Siri Found an Event" and called it "Lunch with Panic, Tomorrow at 1:00 PM".
  • I’m an adult—I don’t have to eat the yogurt water if I don’t want to.

  • Remember when the Apple Store had cash registers? Tyson’s Corner Apple Store, Virginia USA, November 2003.

    Apple Store workers in red t-shirts with white Apple logos take care of customers at cash registers controlled by iMac G4s.
  • On the Representativeness of Having Fewer City Council Members

    From Page 91 of the 2023 Richmond CIty Council Charter Review Commission Recommendations Report:

    The Commission disagrees with claims that a smaller Council to include an elected Mayor would “reduce” representation, for three reasons. First, while there would be fewer Council members, each individual Council member would have more influence as one of seven rather than one of nine voting members.

    This really is some bs. Each member of council having more influence over City affairs is the defintion of less representative. You can argue that having seven voting Council members would be more effective at governing than nine, but you cannot argue that it isn’t less representative.

    Second, each resident would in fact have two representatives on Council: their district representative, and the citywide elected Mayor.

    The validity of this claim is equally true in the Commission’s proposed Elected Mayor Council-Manager Option whether Council consists of two, seven, nine, or seven hundred voting members. The question of whether or not to have an Elected Mayor Council-Manager Option is separate from what size that Council should be.

    But the math doesn’t check out on its face. Richmond has an estimated 230,000 residents. Currently we have nine Council districts. Each Council member represents ~25,000 people, so an individual is 1/25000 or 0.00004. If we had six Council districts, each Council person would represent ~38,000 people where an individual is 1/38000. Add in an individual’s “share” of the Mayor’s representation (1/230000) and you get (checks my fraction math) ~67/2185000 or 0.00003. Last I checked 4 is still greater than 3.

    Third, whereas Council members have minimal direct leverage on the day-to-day operations of the City administration under the current system, in the Council-Manager system each member would have significant opportunity to hold the City Manager and staff accountable for performance and service delivery.

    Similar to the second point, the “direct leverage“ is an argument as to the potential efficacy of a Council with fewer members, but is contradictory with the representativeness of each Council member. The more representatives in a governing body, the more the power is diffused away from individual representatives.

    It’s a balance. A smaller Council might come to consensus more easily than a larger one, but it vests greater power in fewer people. What if those fewer people are wrong?

    Finally, it should be reiterated that a smaller Council would give greater scope for the elected Mayor to lead and build coalitions on policy matters within a Council-Manager form of government, consistent with the decision Richmond voters made in 2005 to establish the elected Mayor. An elected Mayor who does not have the practical capacity to run on, be elected, and enact a citywide agenda, because they are just one vote on a fairly large Council, adds little value, and creates the significant possibility that Council business will be driven excessively by district-level interests.

    This is an argument for the potential effectiveness of the proposed Elected Mayor Council-Manager Option, but again, it is less representative. If the Mayor is “just one vote on a fairly large Council”, it diffuses the power of the Mayor and spreads the power among more people.

    And let me rephrase the ominous “Council business will be driven excessively by district-level interests” as “Council business will be driven excessively by the wants and needs of the people each Council member represents”. Sounds like a great thing to me! I hope than any form of government we choose has this as a “significant possibility”; in fact, I’d say it’s a requirement!

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