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Local - Essay from Newsletter 84

The little local things

Election Day

This morning I voted for two people I first met when they were in high school.

One will certainly win. Ifeolu is one of three candidates for three open seats in Shaker’s city council.

I think he would have won anyway.

There was something about him even when he was in High School.

Kim and I were at one of Maggie’s soccer games in High School and Ifeolu came to support the team and comfortably worked the crowd.

He introduced himself and asked whose parents we were and chatted as if we were meeting at a dinner party.

The last time I saw him was when I ran into him when he was trying to get people to sign his ballot application. I proudly signed his sheet and emailed Maggie to tell her what I’d just done.

The time before, I was at a community gathering in support of BLM that was put together by the woman who lives across the street from me and a few others.

He was one of the speakers and told a very personal story of a young person of color who had grown up in the city I live in. The story helped me see my community differently - at least as much as I could.

Another speaker was Justin Bibb. It was my first time seeing and hearing this impressive young man and today he is running for mayor of Cleveland. He won the primary but his challenger represents the establishment in a way that reinforces the reasons I’d like to see Bibb win. Unfortunately, as I no longer live in Cleveland, I can’t vote for him.

Small changes

Three people running to fill three seats.

It’s worse for our school board.

There are two people running to fill three seats.

School boards and city councils are where the changes happen that eventually allow a country to be rocked by redistricting, wide-spread ignorance of science and civics, voting rights restrictions, and the quiet collapse of the systems needed for a democracy to survive.

I walked in to our local middle school to vote and looked at the election workers.

All ages. All ethnicities. No agenda other than to make it easy for us to vote. As friendly as can be.

One directed me to the registration table where I presented an ID that got scanned in.

I remember the old days where I just gave my name, they looked it up in the book and asked me for my address.

In those days you signed the big book and the election worker scrutinized it to make sure it matched the signature on file.

Now, after the device located me and they confirmed my address, they had me sign in with one of those fat stylus things where my signature isn’t recognizable even to me.

The woman nodded and called something out to a person behind her who gave me my ballot.

I voted and another worker told me to remove the stub and scan my ballot in.

As I left another worker gave me a sticker - you’ve got to have a sticker - that I tweeted to announce that I voted today.

I have voted in every election - primary or general - since I was first eligible.

The smallest change

I’d hoped to have an announcement today of having update the last of my four books.

I’m almost ready but I had to take a bunch of time to fix an issue with by books when you read them using the Apple Books app.

I present my code samples and highlight the code that the reader should type in and think about.

The new code is presented in a red color and the existing code in a blue color - not exactly red and blue because I want to support people who can’t distinguish between the two.

Anyway, one of my readers wrote to complain that when he read the book with a black background all of the text was white.


I know I checked that.

Sure enough it worked fine on macOS Big Sur and iOS 14 but was broken on macOS Monterey and iOS 15.

A friend contacted me quietly because someone he knew had the information I needed.

You see, you used to customize the look for a black background using the code: “Night”. This, by the way, isn’t documented anywhere by Apple.

Now you need to customize the look for a black background using the code: “night”. This change, of course, is also not documented anywhere by Apple.

Wait - really the change is from “Night” to “night” and that breaks my books?


Little changes have big impact.

Upper case vs lower case. School boards. City Councils.

And why isn’t election day a national holiday?

Falling back

I woke up this morning and it was chilly. Fall is in the air.

It’s one of those crisp days where I used to meet Kim when we were first dating and go for a walk and stop for hot chocolate.

It’s one of those days when you can’t quite see your breath where Kim and I would be traveling and stop and get a cup of mulled wine or cider at one of the stalls across from Covent Garden.

It’s one of those days where it’s still dark at seven and I remember the poem my mother used to recite to me when I was a kid.

“In winter I get up at night

and dress by yellow candle-light”

The things that get implanted when we are so young. From a Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson.

“In summer quite the other way,

I have to go to bed by day”

Of course, we turn our clocks back this weekend and gain an hour.

That’s the reason I woke up a bit earlier this morning. I have a call scheduled tomorrow with a friend who lives in the Netherlands. Their clocks changed this past weekend and ours change this coming weekend.

Through most of the year the time difference is six hours. This week it’s only five hours. I made a note to text him today to check what time we’re meeting.

There are people who get angry at the clocks moving forward and back.

To me it’s like Apple adding a touch-bar to the Mac and taking it away again. There were good things and bad about the touch bar. I just don’t feel that strongly either way.

Springing Forward

Losing an hour in the spring seems like it might be an issue. In fact, there have been years when I’ve been traveling during the spring time changes and lost two hours.

I’d lose an hour while in Europe while springing forward. I’d then fly home. No matter which day you fly it feels like you lose time. And then I’d lose an hour again the following weekend when the US sprang forward.

I believe the first time I experienced this was when Kim and I were chaperoning the Shaker Band trip to Turkey. I half-remember losing an hour on a morning that we had to wake the kids up early to make sure we left the hotel in time.

Kim and I each had great groups on that trip.

One of the eight members of my group was Ifeolu.

I remember chatting to him about what he wanted to study in college and how he would some day like to make a difference as an elected official.

I had no doubt then that that day would come.

Today, I got to vote for him.

These little changes add up.

Without them we are lost.

It begins with our city councils and school boards.

Essay from Dim Sum Thinking Newsletter 84. Read the rest of the Newsletter or subscribe

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