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Learn the keyboard

Trying to learn two things at a time is difficult; the student usually winds up learning neither one well. While you are searching the keyboard for something, you are not paying any attention to Excel, or whatever it is you were trying to do.

The first step in learning how to use a PC is to master the keyboard.  Below, are some keyboard drills I recommend.  There are others, if you don’t like these, pick the ones you do like.  But, own the keyboard, or you will struggle to learn anything else.

 

  • http://approved-websites.org/mytyping/typing/Index.html
  • http://www.learntyping.org/beginnertypinglesson1.htm
  • https://www.davis.k12.ut.us/page/432
  • http://www.scpl.org/resources_services/internet_links/BasicKeyboard.pdf
  • http://www.libraryliteracy.org/staff/rg/Life_Long_Learn_to_type-use_computer_keyboard.pdf
  • https://powertyping.com/practice/practice.html
Vote.  It Matters.  Your Vote Matters.

Vote. It Matters. Your Vote Matters.

Shortly, I’ll be at the Bexar County Elections Department classroom, re-certifying as an election judge, for the third time.

I’ve already been assigned to a team, working with the same people I’ve worked with the last two times.  They’re great folks and they know what they are doing.  My job is election clerk and/or alternate judge.

I’ve been working elections here in Bexar County since 2010, and I worked some in Ohio before that.  It’s one of the best jobs, and the second most important a citizen can do if you care about your country at all.

The most important job in politics; i.e., in supporting your country, is precinct chair/captain.  It is the most important because this is the person who takes the lead in getting out the vote.

Unhappy with the path our country is taking?  Dismayed at the mess we’re in?  Our economy is hurting you?  All of that is happening because too many people ignore politics, especially voting.  Nearly half of the people that are eligible to vote, don’t.  Estimates are “… that as a percent of eligible voters, turn out was: 2000, 54.2%; in 2004 60.4%; 2008 62.3%; and 2012 57.5%.”.  So in recent years, from over a third to nearly half of the voters sat it out.

You may have heard this before:  If  you won’t get involved in politics, you will be ruled by people who do get involved in politics.  Or, put another way:  Staying out of politics is pointless; politics will not stay out of your life.  There is no part of your life that politics does not affect.

You see them on TV, and you are appalled that such people exist.  Well, they can do what they do, and behave that way, because there’s no one better to do the jobs they are doing. Those people rule you because they do the work.  In San Antonio alone, something like half, or more, of the precinct captain positions are unfilled.  The precinct captain is the one that talks to his neighbors, makes sure they are registered, and gets them to the polls.  Wanna get involved?  Show up.  In short order, you’ll be put to work.  In very short order, as soon as they see whether you’re gonna stick, you’ll get significant work to do.  I went from data entry to precinct chair to convention delegate to platform committee in one summer.  Because all of those jobs needed someone to do them.

Election Day is going to be a hoot.  About a half dozen or so of us show up early and set up everything.  We setup and initiate the voting machines, get a laptop ready to track who showed up here to vote, fill out various forms as they day goes on, and so on.

In the past, I’ve had overly enthusiastic “voters” try to campaign inside the poll location and have to be taken out; I’ve had more than one unqualified voter try to vote – one guy even admitted he was not a citizen but wanted to vote.  We even asked him whether an alien could vote in his country- he said no, but he thought it was different here.  Wonder where he got that idea?

Bring an ID.  Be qualified and ready to vote.  Here’s what happens with anything that hinders the process:

  • If there’s no line, we’ll do what we can to straighten it out, even calling the Department downtown.  If you are eligible to vote, and on time, we’ll get you to the right place to vote.
  • If there’s a line, you’ll get put with one person to help you out, while the rest of the team keeps helping everyone that is ready to vote, vote.  We’ll get ‘em signed in and get them to a voting machine, explain it to them briefly, then get out of their way while they vote and go help the next voter.  All this while one person is trying to find out where you are supposed to be, or to find you on the voting rolls, or fill out a provisional ballot for you, or whatever the solution might be.  But the voting will continue; the line will not be held up.

Quite a few people show up at the wrong location.  If you moved, you probably have to vote at a new place.  You can find out at the poll where you should be, but if you are finding out 5 minutes before the doors close, you might not make it to your polling location in time.

Don’t wait to the last minute.  When it’s time to close the door, the door gets closed.  If you are in line when we close the door, you will vote.  If you show up after that, sorry.  It’s the law, not our decision.

And whatever else you do, vote.  Please vote.  It matters.  The belief that “my one vote doesn’t make a difference” is why almost half the voters stay home.  Not voting is voting – you’re voting to let somebody else decide how you will live your life.

Uncle Henry

Once upon a time (a good story always begins that way) I knew an old black man named Henry Earl, only everyone called him uncle Henry.  In the time and place I grew up  “uncle” was a term of deepest respect.  I used to sit and listen to this wise old gentleman for hours.  One bit of his homespun philosophy has stuck with me to this day.  He said “son, life is kinda like an old oak board you is tryin to drive a nail in.  You hits it too hard, you bends it and has to start all over.  Jes ever time you walks by, you taps on it a few times you gits it drove in sooner or later. ”  That’s what I have tried to do in my life.  Just tap on the nail.  I have almost got it driven in.  A few more taps and I will listen to some more of wise old Uncle Henry’s stories…

 

by Ronnie E. Fleming

Goodby iPad, etc.

I just sent this email to Apple:

Dear Apple: Despite my longstanding bias against your products, I did finally move to an iPhone and iPad solution which has worked fairly well for some time. However, that will end with my next round of upgrades, which will come fairly soon because I can no longer function under your constraints.
Devices I cannot control my data on are simply useless. I absolutely must have the ability to move my data as and when I please, under any and all circumstances, between my devices – phone to tablet to computer. At the moment, that is not possible.
As well, your current lack of a functional MS Office solution simply adds to the frustration. This is simply bizarre, given that Microsoft writes your software for you.
Though you are currently doing very well in the marketplace, historically, it is this simple refusal to play well with others that let Bill Gates take the PC market away from you in the first place. Try to remember and profit from the lessons of history.

Goodby. It’s been fun. Let me know when you’re ready to play nice.

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I will gladly accept any and all solutions; but here’s what I’ve tried/run into so far:

  1. I’m running Windows 10, it, my iPhone and my iPad are all updated.
  2. iTunes will not install on the Windows 10 box.  I get this error message:  “There is a problem with this Windows Installer package.  A program required for this install to complete could not be run.  Contact your support blah blah blah…”
  3. Windows does not see either device. The Apple drivers are loaded and updated.  Both devices prompt “trust this computer”.
  4. I’ve tried every free solution I found, at least the ones that seemed credible.  I have not paid for any solutions, I’ve just used free ones.  If i’m going to spend money, I’ll switch to products that have this built in.

That’s it.  My advice to all is do what works for you.  This is a deal breaker for me.

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