This is the first update I'm typing on my new computer! Alas I can't blame computer problems for why I haven't updated for almost a month, but I bought an old PC off one of my friends a few weeks ago, and decided to break it in by typing this up.
It's actually a pretty old computer, I believe Victor bought it back in 2001. But it has an upgraded motherboard and CPU, and 1.5 gigs of RAM, so doesn't behave like it's 8 years old. It does only have a CD-drive (which as DVD drives are only $20, that's my next upgrade) and I had to buy a LCD monitor off Craigslist to avoid having to use a gigantic CRT. But it was only $100 for a 19" Dell so I have that sitting on my desk as well. I've also thought about upgrading the 40GB hard drive and GeForce2 graphics card, but at the moment it's enough power to play the original Call of Duty, so I'm content. And even though I was happy with my now 6 year old laptop, I can really see how much faster even a 4 year old desktop is in just day to day browsing.
In other news, I played the role of informed citizen today, by checking out the various candidates competing for Austin city council. Elections are in May, but I haven't been following the local races at all really, just a few tidbits here and there. I'm still undecided on the mayor race, but I was able to make up my mind on the council races for the most part. It's remarkably easy to meet the people who will be running our 800k town, and I'm excited that it looks like Austin will be keeping it's green cred for a long time coming.
Kara thinks one day I'll end up running for office, but it's just not something I think I'd be interested in. But who knows, maybe I'll change my mind, and there will be an expose on how I didn't feel I was qualified for the job because of this blog post, and it'll cost me the election.
Afterwards, I stopped by our state capital to weigh in on the Voter ID law (it's short, you can read it). Right now you have to provide a SSN to register to vote, and then you can bring the card they mail to you to vote, or any other ID. The new law would require a photo ID. Which isn't much a problem for most people. It is however a problem for poor, elderly, and disabled who would have a hard time getting down to the DPS to get an ID card because of lack of transportation or ability. Or my favorite part, that any out-of-state ID's would not be eligible, so basically it would really hurt the college vote. And guess who college students vote for.... I think you can see which parties are supporting which side of the bill. If there actually was a problem of voter fraud I would concede that something like this might be necessary, but instead it's disenfranchising people in the name of political gain. If I had gone to school in Texas with this bill I wouldn't be able to vote.
Anyways, it was my first time sitting in a Senate debate, even though I've toured the capital probably a dozen times since I've been here. For the most part it was pretty impressive, with good arguments from both sides, and it was fascinating to see government in work. Or well kind of at work, since they'd started at 8AM, and had barely gotten into expert testimony by the time I got there about 9pm and left at 10:30. There was supposed to be citizen testimony too, but who knows how late that would take.
I also have to wonder just how useful all that talk really is, since I really wonder how many people are Senators are actually swayable on this by now. It seems more for grandstanding for the press so they can get their soundbite in than an actually "Hmmm, that's a good point, maybe I should chance this" kind of thing. Those deals usually happen in backrooms don't they?
On a much lighter note, here's some crayon art. Not art done in crayon, but art made from crayons.