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Sunday, September 12, 2004

Some people take advantage of a leisurely Sunday to spread the day's newspaper out on the floor (or the bed) and go through it at a pace that makes the day slide by. Sunday is the one day of the week I don't get the paper, because it's the one day there's no mail. No mail, no reason to go to the post office, no excuse to drop a quarter in the vending machine. Besides, the Sunday paper costs way more than a quarter.

Instead, as if by default, Sunday has become the day I go through all the papers from the previous week. I buy one every day, but I never seem to get around to reading it. So today I sat on the living room floor in front of the TV set, switching around from baseball to football to tennis and reading the week's news. Of which there was a lot and a little.

Tuesday brought a feature about the impending extinction of the floppy disc. It seems newly manufactured computers don't include a floppy drive, for the simple reason that nobody uses floppies any more. It took me a minute to realize this was true for me, too. In the old days when I had to transfer data back and forth between machines, it was essential. Now there are several better options. I didn't even realize it until I read the article, but it's probably been four years since I stuck a disc in the drive.

On Wednesday we were informed that the local junior college's application to build a five-story parking structure facing one of the busiest streets in town had been approved. Objections from neighbors and others with concerns about the impact of the huge garage were "heard." That's what they were told, that their opinions had been "heard" and that they "mattered," just before they were "ignored." There's no doubt Santa Rosa JC needs more parking. The lack of it is one of the reasons I would hesitate to take a class there, even at night. I guess an eyesore and a little more traffic congestion are the best answer to the problem, according to the Trustees.

Thursday's paper had an article about a quarter-cent sales tax measure on the upcoming November ballot. If passed, it would be used for various transportation needs in the county, including highway widening (of course), but also improving bus service, bike lanes, pedestrian walkways and passenger rail. It seems that nobody has heard of this proposition, but as soon as it's explained the approval rating goes through the roof. The challenge is to get the word out between now and election day, because an uninformed voter is going to mark an automatic No next to any tax increase. Not that there's any excuse for a voter to be uninformed in this day and age.

The first thing I noticed in Friday's paper was that a director's cut of Donnie Darko, a movie from 2001 that I loved, is playing at the Rialto. I had no idea this film was being re-released, but this news was almost enough to get me off the floor and into the car on my way to the theater. Not quite, but it's probably the closest I'll come to doing anything spontaneous this weekend.

According to Saturday's paper, in 1998 the Taliban thought President Clinton was being a little too hard on them, firing missiles into Afghanistan and all. They urged Congress to force him to resign, as a way of improving the relationship between the United States and Arab countries. The Republican Congress was actually doing its best to get rid of Clinton at the time. If they'd succeeded, Al Gore would probably be serving his second term as president right now, and wouldn't the world be a different place.

8 September 2004

In spite of the dry weather, the garden is still mostly green.

What, no Monday paper? No, I'm sure there was a paper Monday, but it was a holiday, so I didn't have any excuse to run out and buy one. I hope I didn't miss anything as important as what I found in Tuesday's through Saturday's editions.

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Giants ace Jason Schmidt, who was coming off three bad starts in a row, finally got it together today in Phoenix, and the Giants gave him just enough offense to pick up a 5-2 win over the Diamondbacks. In this case "just enough" included four home runs, one of them the 699th in the career of Barry Bonds. Anyone in Milwaukee might want to buy a ticket to the next game, because if they pitch to him you're going to see history.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Symbiosis
"They put a face and a voice to universal feelings. That's what artists do, and that's why we miss them, even though we've been taking them for granted."

Two years ago: Contented
"We allowed each other to have different responses, or no response at all. If we could spread this tolerance a little, let it saturate more aspects of society, we would be moving down the road to that better world I keep dreaming about."

Three years ago: Before and After
"I was almost able to forget, for a few moments here and there, that the world had changed. It seemed a bit obscene to be there while on the other side of the country rescue workers were still clawing through the wreckage of buildings that stand no more."

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