Cap'n Arbyte's


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Back to This Blogging Thing

Hi. I hope you remember me. I realize I haven't been so communicative lately… and it's not because I don't care, it's just that I've been so busy. Priorities. I hope you understand.

Anyway, I'm back. Let's catch up a little.

My vacation was great. Mother, sister, and friend are all doing well, and apparently driving each other only a little crazy. I've spent long periods of time with each of them and emerged mostly unharmed (although that is the subject of some debate) so I look upon this situation with some sense of amusement. If I may channel the Emperor for a moment, "everything is proceeding as I have forseen."

I got my new TV on Friday — I splurged and got an LN-T5281F — and spent much of the evening calibrating it. I expected that the initial settings would burn out my retinas (because that looks good on a showroom floor under fluorescent lighting), but I didn't expect that the "standard" settings would be nearly as bad. I fixed it. I learned that several of what people are supposed to consider as advanced features to improve the image actually do visibly bad things to the gray scale, so I've turned them off. Today I marveled for a few minutes at the amazing picture quality of a 16:9 1080i OTA golf tournament. And then I stopped myself, because a pretty picture is no reason to watch golf. :)

As a brief aside, I also got a new book at the same time I got my new TV. Unfortunate timing, yes, but that's a straightforward side-effect of ordering the TV through Oh yeah, I'm waiting for some CDs too…

I have continued to mostly not pay attention to the election. I haven't even read my voter's pamphlet yet, although I aim to do that soon and blog up some commentary. I've distantly followed the back-and-forth on the idea of a temporary suspension of the gasoline tax, but my own ambivalence on the topic surprises me. On one hand I reflexively like tax cuts, even if they increase the deficit, because in the current circumstances there seems to be a genuine gain in that. On the other hand, the gasoline tax operates reasonably closely to a use tax on the road system, which is a lot less economically distortionary than other kinds of taxes and I'm certainly open to the idea that the current gasoline tax is too low in terms of what it's supposed to fund.

Finally, happy birthday Ellie! They grow up so fast. She's walking now, even if it looks a little Frankenstein-ish. :)

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