Lunch Time

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I’ve been writing in the mornings, gardening, and working on reports and courses for the fall. Usually, I’ll eat a baloney sandwich and watch MSNBC or CNN with it. This has become an unhealthy habit, and the baloney’s not much good for me either.

Afternoon TV news is all commercials and random goodies I have no interest in, so I should have lunch in silence. But there’s a related issue. Apparently, some statewide policy prohibits pizza parties and other “unhealthy” snacks at school, which is slogging into late June along with spring season, as the projections have all the way up to Tuesdays yet in the low seventies.

I went searching for the policy and was unable to find it on the DoE site, which is of poor design and looks like a neglected front stoop and not really designed for assisting people who might want to find something specific. The D of Higher Ed site is simpler but still looks like something built for Mosaic. It’s a little depressing, as State webpages should be designed as human destinations and should reflect the place that owns it, if indeed that place wants to make a good impression. I’m sure there are lots of design and IT people out looking for work who’d be glad to take on the project. What is it about government web sites and information tonnage?

Anyway, later we saw a report on texting and my wife and I, while in agreement, went at the problem from two different directions, as the example on the news was, I thought, a poor illustration of several issues in American telecommunications infrastructure. A family may indeed pay hundreds of dollars in texting usage or they could pay the going rate for another sort of plan which limits the rate but encourages the usage, or simply limit their texting. Texting is kind of interesting, though, so the ten extra dollars on top of an already too expensive plan isn’t all that bad. But the plans are too expensive to start, which is a real concern. The fact that people pay for regular cable and mobile service is just plain odd. Unfortunately, real competition is simply impossible at the moment given the way cable is delivered into the house, as the company owns the line in and probably wont give it away to a competitor.

Do users of mobile service or cable really know why plans are rated as they are? Does the company use a λ algorithm to determine it? And, by the way, why do we all assume that the inside of a plastic bag is clean?

This is the sort of day it’s been, when everything just seems sloppy, lazy, and built and delivered half-assed.


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