Sunday, June 15, 2008

Electronic Books

I don't know.....Over on City Journal they have a nice article by Guy Sorman praising something being sold by Amazon called "Kindle." If I understand correctly it allows you to purchase downloads of books and read them. Supposedly it is lightweight, works well in all variations of lighted areas, etc., etc. And, per Amazon, all for only $359.00.

Now as a founding member of the "He who dies with the most toys wins," club I do have a certain attraction for such a device. With it I wouldn't be limited to just the blatherings of other bloggers, but would access to over 125,000 titles, including such important tomes as a bio of Chris Farley and a fantasy by Scott McClellan... my apologies to the ghost of Farley for associating the two..

And most of the books can be downloaded for about ten bucks.... Whether that is a purchase or a rental I haven't determined.. But it seems a fair price..

The problem is that is not a book.

Books have texture. They exist as "books" that you can remember. They exist as memories of how they felt, how they smelled.... Yes, I admit, I collect books as well as scifi and fantasy magazines... And would any of these have been made available as a digitial reproduction?

Books and magazines can be passed from friend to friend... from parent to child... generation to generation. They can be stored for years in closets and emerge to give pleasure again, just as they did years before. And since they haven't changed in appearance, their very existence in your hand can bring back memories of musty smelling libraries and the helpful library lady who was always questioning if this or that was "too old" for you...

I read "The Egyptian" when I was about 12. The Librarian Lady demanded a note from my Mother, which I promptly forged and returned with. I suspect she knew it was a forgery, but her bases were covered. "Did you understand it?" she questioned when I returned it. "Yes. Yes I did," I lied. She gave me a knowing look, as she had with the forged note, and laid it on top of the return pile. "Will you put these in their places?" she asked as she always did. Such honor I have not since received.

The world does turn and as someone who made his living in technology I guess I have no right to complain. But a world without texture, without smells and touches and the memories of how the paper felt will be a lesser place.

Jimmy Carter disses Hussein 57

It is rare that I agree with Carter but here I totally agree.

Listen carefully. Remember. This is one of the elder statesmen of the Demicratic Party.

Go ahead and vote for that Democrat

After all, he's been in office for 30 years and he has done a lot of good things for the district and it isn't him that is blocking the Repubs attempts to get drilling started back up in the US.

It's those Lefties and the Leadership.... It isn't him.

Uh.... Guess what. The leadership...Reid and Pelosi... that is destroying this country and bankrupting you...is in place because there is a majority of Democrats in office. Your good buddy local rep who is a Demo but isn't really is a DEMOCRAT.

His presence in Congress is one of the reasons we have Reid and Pelosi and $4.00 gasoline....

I paid my utility bill yesterday. Took a look at the total and noted again that the per KWH price is 8.3 cents. A bargain in many areas, but in this rural environment it is at the upper edge for many people.

In May 2005 the price was 6.3, so in the last three years we have had a 32% increase. If the trend continues, and oil at $137 says it will trend upward faster, it will be 11 cents in 2011 and 14.4 cents in 2014. Again I note that assumes the same rate of change that we have seen, yet oil has gone up 149% in the last 16 months.

Simply put, I don't know what it will be in 2014, but if energy doesn't go down, it will be much more than 14.4 cents. Your $200.00 electric bill will be $500. Tack that on to a $400.00 gasoline bill and you have a nut of $9,800 before anything else happens to your wonderful life.... such as food, heat in the winter...clothes... school for the kiddies....etc.

The EPA says that annual miles driven per vehicle is 12,000. Given that most families work, that would be two per household, or 24,000 miles a year at 20 mph that's 1200 gallons of gas, or $4800. per year. In February of 2007, when the Demos took over Congress gas was $2.25 a gallon, or $2700. That's a difference of $2100.

Look at it as the charge you pay to have the Demos investigate how many Assistant Attorney Generals Bush fired, or did an aging baseball player take steroids...
I am sure you think that was a bargain at only $2100.

And the above is a best case view. Outside the northeast it is not unusual to find people with a 50 mile one way drive to work, or 500 miles a week or 25,000 miles or so a year. If both husband and wife do it, that's 50,000 miles a year, or $10,000 dollar a year gas bill as compared to a $5625 gas bill, or $88.00 a week INCREASE. If you make $30.00 and hour that's ONLY about 4 hours of work (after taxes.)

Look at it as the charge you pay to have Nancy Pelosi travel to Syria to discuss foreign policy, something she has no right to mess around with...

And none of the above factors in the increase in food prices due to energy price increases in both production and distribution...nor the price increases in everything else due to the energy price increases... some of which have been absorbed, but they can't be forever..

And yet Congress does not act. It does nothing.

Last summer Congress tried to pass a terrible immigration bill. It was pushed by all the usual suspects. Yet the people of this country flooded the phone lines of their Representatives and Congress obeyed their demands. The bill was defeated.

In the morning I am going to call my Congress people. Here is a link if you don't know who and how. Congressional Contact Information

Please join me in calling them.

Tell them that the we need to start immediately drilling for oil in the US no matter where it is at or what is disturbed. And that they can, at the same time, support all the so-called "new" energy sources/research the technonerds like to talk about.

We can make them move. And those we can't we can toss out of office in November.

A cautionary note to the world "leaders."

It is reported that Hussein "I been to 57 states" will make a world tour this summer. As William Katz notes, it will be the world's longest free commercial.

Perhaps Hussein will tell us which of the countries he visits are now states 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56 and 57. That would, at the very least, allow McCain an opportunity to campaign in them.

I can not remember a candidate doing such in the past. It is an obvious attempt to shore up Hussein 57's zero experience in foreign affairs. I would hope the voters remember that "old Europe," if Hussein doesn't do as told, will toss him under the buss as quickly as they did Bush.....and the United States.

And that I, and about a zillion other Americans, have more time discussing politics with Europeans in Europe and Russia than Hussein 57 has, and will have, after this trip. And that I accomplished at least as much as he will... which is to say nothing.

As to the "world leaders" who will be favored by Hussein 57 with a chance to kiss the ring and take one for the boss man, I would caution them that Hussein 57 is a terribly flawed candidate who crawled across the finish line against another candidate who went into the race with 50% plus negatives, and his last races showed a declining level of support from the Democrats core supporters. When he should have a 10% lead in the polls he only has about 4.5%. Which is to say that it is a "toss up." Factor in those who will say they will vote for Hussein 57 because they fear being called a racist, but who will use the secret ballot to vote for McCain, and McCain may be in the lead.

All of this is just to remind them that Americans take a very nasty view of anything they view as interference with our politics, and that we have long memories. Frankly, if I had gushed over arguably the worst Democrat ever to run, and he lost, I wouldn't be comfortable meeting with McCain. Or, if in trouble, asking America for help. Our sense of humor and charity has run out long ago.

Cheers dear chums!