May 30th, 2006


Memorial Day

Yesterday, Nomi and I attended the Memorial Day observance at the World War memorial near Town Hall. We try to attend every year, to make Memorial Day more than just a day off. The observance is mostly attended by older veterans, along with a scattering of other folks. It's a nice way to honor and remember those who fought and died for our freedoms.

But it always makes me sad to see how few people are there. This year, according to a reporter from the Brookline TAB who was reporting on the event, there were only about 75 people in attendance. I wish more Brookline residents would consider turning out for the event. Nomi and I both gave interviews to the reporter, explaining various reasons why we think people might not think about attending, so we may end up in the paper on Thursday.

On other local news...I'll try to have a report on last Thursday's Town Meeting session as soon as I can, but it might take until next week. And tonight, we'll most likely be voting on the impeachment of George W. Bush; I may report on that in more detail before posting about the Thursday session, since it seems people are interested in it.

Customer Praise for

For those of you who are looking to buy a stylus to use for a PDA or tablet computer, I highly recommend, a division of Genesis Strategies, Inc., based in Westborough, Massachusetts.

If you'd like to know more, here's a description of my great experience with them.

A few years ago, when I first got a Personal Digital Assistant, I found that I didn't like the stylus very much. The stylus that comes with a PDA is usually small, and I far prefer something that feels like a pen. At the time, a few companies did make pen-like styli, but I couldn't find one I liked, until Nomi came across the Pilot Pentopia. It's basically a Dr. Grip pen, but instead of having an ink refill inside, it has a stylus.

It became my primary stylus and I used it for about five years, but even a stylus will start to wear down. So I went looking for a "refill" for the Pentopia stylus, and I couldn't find anyone who sold one.

I did, however, find Their webpage offered a whole variety of styli, including a version of the Pentopia that includes both an ink refill and a stylus, called a Dr. Grip 1+1. Still, I would have preferred to replace my old stylus, so I sent an email to the company to ask if they sold such a thing.

I heard back from a man named Jim Boudreau, whom I assumed was a Customer Service Representative. He told me that Pilot no longer made my kind of Pentopia, and that a standard refill wasn't available for it. But, if I were to send it to him, he'd be happy to see if he could take apart a different stylus and create a refill for mine. He said it would probably cost around $3.

I didn't want to be without a Pentopia stylus even for a few days, so first I ordered the Dr. Grip 1+1, and then I mailed Mr. Boudreau my old Pentopia. Within days he sent it back with a replacement stylus, and it's as good as new. Furthermore, he declined to charge me even the $3 he had said it might cost me, even though I gladly would have paid it.

And the kicker to this story is that Mr. Boudreau included a copy of his business card along with my repaired Pentopia. It turns out that he's not a Customer Service Representative, per se. He's President and CEO of the company.

Given the incredible personal attention I received for what was essentially a few dollars worth of business, I recommend them highly to anyone needing to buy a stylus.

Brookline Town Meeting: Thursday, May 25, 2006 (Third Night)

The Town Moderator, Sandy Gadsby, declared a quorum and called us to order at 7:15 PM. Before we got onto tonight's business, he gave us a report on the health of Town Meeting. A little background might be in order.

Brookline Town Meeting consists of 240 representatives, fifteen from each of sixteen precincts, who are elected five at a time in staggered three-year terms. There's also a few at-large members, including the five selectmen, the Town Moderator, the Town Clerk, and any state representative who both lives in and represents Brookline. In other words, we have a total of 248 members.

Sandy reported that at the CPA roll call vote the previous night, he recorded 231 Town Meeting Members present out of 248, a 93% attendance rate. Say what you will about Town Meeting (and many people have), but in general, those of us elected to represent our precincts take our job very seriously.

And now, to the business of the night...

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It was now 10:09 PM, and a few Town Meeting Members shouted out a motion to adjourn. Usually, Sandy refuses to accept such a motion until 10:30 PM; however, he acknowledged that the next article would probably involve a lot of debate, and so was willing to accept the motion. I suggested that we postpone that article until next Tuesday and vote on a few of the less controversial articles, feeling that we could dispatch them quickly, but Sandy felt otherwise. So Town Meeting adjourned the earliest I can ever recall, at 10:11 PM.

I expect that tonight we will finish the warrant, and I'll do my best to file a full report tomorrow.

The Today Show

Because I'd like to catch parts of Katie Couric's final episode of the Today Show, I just found myself typing the following sentence to Nomi via IM:

"Can you set the TiVo tonight to record Today tomorrow?"

She says that the capitalization helped. :-)