My XBox Live Gamer Card
Wednesday, December 17. 2008
I haven't updated in a while, and you may notice that some of my entries or some of your comments are missing. That's because of some confusion with my old webhost. I'm not complaining, they'd been hosting me for free for about seven years (I just found out recently that he'd been paying my hosting fee out of his own pocket but he should have told me that!)
So I got to go through all the hassle of changing hosts. Hopefully this will be a good experience for me.
I'm going to recreate the posts that are missing so you should see them back sometime soon.
I had been hosting my email on a server in my basement. It let me keep my hand's "dirty" when it came to server maintenance, but I finally got tired of all the electricity being used, the moments of frustration when Comcast was down, or changed my IP and it didn't update correctly at DynDNS. So now my mail is also hosted with the new company.
I'll let you know how they perform. So far their tech support has been top-notch.
Thursday, November 20. 2008
This morning, Jennifer had jury duty which means that alternate plans were required for getting William and Kellan to school. She's good at planning things like that so had all her ducks in a row days before she was due at the courthouse. I knew something was throwing a wrench into those plans when Kellan knocked on the bathroom door while I was taking a shower and said "dad, they're not here yet!" I said "your ride isn't here yet?" and he said "No! William's isn't!" I knew right then there was a problem, so I got out of the shower as quickly as possible and went to comfort my son who does not like being late to anything, much less school. I then contacted the school to tell them William would be late, and get his tardy excused. It was then that things took a turn for the surreal when I was told it was not possible to excuse a tardy due to a ride not showing up.
I'll let the email I sent the school principal tell the story...
Today my wife had jury duty. This meant she had to be out of the house before any of our three sons usually left for school. This meant that alternate transportation was in order, and she arranged for it. Apparently, the alternate transportation forgot they were on duty this morning, and William was left standing at the door.
I called the school to let them know William would be late and to excuse his tardy. I was told it couldn't be done. That he would have to serve detention due to someone else's mistake, not his own mistake, but an adult's mistake. I was told there is no such thing as an excused tardy due to transportation. Does that mean that when a school bus is late everyone on that school bus serves detention?
My initial reaction was to say William would be absent, I would take the day off work and he would take the day off school. To me that is far better than a child being punished for an offense that is not of their making. Apparently that was fine with [the secretary i spoke with] also. I gave William the option and he chose to come to school despite the fact that he would serve an undeserved detention.
I'm truly troubled by several things that have been brought to light by this event:
* I am troubled by the level of inflexibility the school has shown in what happened to be extraordinary circumstances.
* I am troubled that in the grand scheme of things, an absence can be excused while a tardy cannot be, this encourages absenteeism over attendance, or in my case it encourages me to keep my child out of school to avoid unwarranted punishment.
* Even more troubling, however, is the fact that the school is willing to punish a child for something that was in no way shape or form their fault. Our society lacks people willing to take responsibility for their own actions. However, teaching children that they may have to take responsibility for other's actions is an equally intolerable lesson.
In closing, I would like to know when William's detention will have to be served, as I will come and serve it with him. That, at least, is a positive lesson he might learn from this experience.
I didn't hear from the school, so about 11am I called and spoke with the secretary again. This time she put me through to the school's vice-principal. I forwarded him a copy of the email above and we had a very good conversation about it. The end result is he told me that William would not have to serve detention. I'm thankful that the school did the right thing, and I'm thankful that I could show William that people do do the right thing.
Tuesday, November 18. 2008
Sunday, November 16. 2008
Friday night Jennifer, Travis and I went to see Quantum of Solace. We had been looking forward to it ever since the excellent series restart in Daniel Craig's first Bond film Casino Royale. We came away mostly disappointed from what may well be the worst Bond film ever. While it may be the worst Bond film ever, if viewed without the Bond lens, it does succeed on some levels as a film.
When describing James Bond, there are all sort of adjectives that can be used, but I usually think along the following lines, suave, debonair and witty. This Bond is none of those things. In fact, during the one brief love scene (which barely qualifies as such) my son asked me, "Dad why did she put out for him?" Granted this Bond is troubled by the loss of his lady-love in Casino. But Bond does not feel right when completely driven by vengeance. He needs something more to be Bond.
There is no wit, there is no charm, there is simply a very good looking man killing his way across the globe in search of some sort of justice in the death of Vespyr, the woman he loved. In addition to the lack of wit or charm there is a decided lack of any of the cool or exciting gadgets we're used to seeing in the Bond universe. Their use was very limited in Casino but we did get to see some of the neat tricks the Aston Martin had available. In this outing we're deprived of even that little bit of gadgetry wow-factor.
On a positive note Judi Dench's M gets a bit more valuable screen time in this installment of the series. She is a marvelous actress and does a great job of bringing Bond's boss to life. Her no-nonsense toughness, plus evident caring for Bond are the one bright point in what is a colossal failure as a Bond film. A Bond film far worse than any outing Roger Moore ever participated in.
If you can remove the "Bond Lens" and watch Quantum solely as an action film with a disposable hero, it is really quite successful. The action sequences are well done and exciting, including one scene in an airplane that is quite the nail-biter. Watching Daniel Craig, beat, thrash and kill his way around the world is an entertaining diversion, but one which requires you to complete forget the character Craig played in Casino.
Wednesday, November 12. 2008
Travis and I finished the Gears of War 2 campaign on Hardcore difficulty last night. We will tackle it again on Insane and see how we do. While Epic and Dude Huge didn't re-invent the game, they did do a very nice job of making it an exceptionally satisfying experience. The campaign, in general, is much more solid and much more satisfying, answering a few questions, but leaving many more unanswered. As this is the middle chapter of a trilogy I don't find that to be much of a problem. The ending, while somewhat abrupt (I didn't expect to be there when I got there) is not as bad as much of what I have read about it in the press. I found it to be very similar to the novel where the climax happens three-quarters of the way through and the rest of the story is winding down.
While the storyline is much better, it is hampered by incredibly hammy voice-acting. There is one scene that is really quite poignant, and if done correctly I would have probably been in tears, but the voice-acting is so over-the-top that I never got past it and fully, emotionally into the moment. The story is also hampered by a couple of levels that seem to have been created for no other reason than to show off some of the cool features of the Unreal Engine.
In general, the levels are a lot of fun, one of them included some of my most satisfying moments ever in a video game. The mechanics are pretty much identical to the mechanics in the first game, however, there are a couple of really nice features that were added. One is the ability to attempt to crawl to safety when you are downed by the enemy. The other is that it is quite possible for you and your buddy to split up and carry on down two separate paths of the level for a brief while. This was forced several times in the first game, and sometimes still is in this one, but sometimes it's an optional path which is quite nice.
The new weapons and finishing moves are lots of fun. The mulcher, mortar, and flame thrower all add new and interesting strategies both in single-player and in multi-player. One of the fun things Epic has done is they have added distinct finishing moves for each weapon. Other new additions are the ability to use any of the grenade types as a proximity mine (you melee the wall) and that the concussion from grenades other than the frag grenades will knock you down.
Gears of War featured and achievement called "Seriously" and you achieved it with something like ten-thousand kills in public, ranked matches. The new game ups the ante on that significantly. Seriously 2.0 requires one hundred-thousand kills. Fortunately you get credit for every kill, not just kills in ranked matches.
Multi-player has changed too. The basics are still the same but there are several new game modes, and one additional player per team. The greatest improvements in multi-player have to do with the game lobby though. No longer is it an exercise in frustration to try and put a group together and take that group in search of battle.
My favourite addition to the PvP game modes is "Submission" (formerly known as Meatflag). The meatflag is a Stranded, lost in the middle of the map. Your job is to down the meatflag grab him as a meat-shield and carry him to the capture point. It's basically capture the flag with one caveat, the flag shoots back. I have seen several of those matches where the meatflag had more kills than anyone on either team.
I think my favourite multi-player mode overall is the new Horde mode. In Horde, you and up to four of your friends are dumped into a map where you will face wave after increasingly difficult wave of Locust enemies, fifty of them to be exact. The sheer fun of tackling that many enemies with your friends, and fighting cooperatively to defeat them is incredibly addictive and lots and lots of fun.
Epic has done a fabulous job on the sequel to one of the best games available on the XBox 360. I highly recommend it.
Tuesday, November 11. 2008
I bought my new MacBook Pro on Sunday night. I opened it, took a look at it and started it up to make sure it powered on. I didn't do anything else other than admire the new magnetic latch mechanism (which really is no mechanism at all).
Monday I took both my PowerBook G4 and the new MacBook Pro to the office to copy all the data over. I knew I should be able to use Migration Assistant to move data from the old machine to the new machine via Ethernet. Direct connecting from one Ethernet port to the other didn't work. I wasn't too surprised as I was able to setup an IP address by hand on the G4, but didn't appear to have any ability to do that on the MBP. Once I realized that wasn't going to work, I broke out a router that has a DHCP server in it and plugged both machines into that. It took a couple of tries, but eventually Migration Assistant on the G4 popped up with the "Please Enter Your Authentication Code" dialogue. I did and off it went with "Preparing Files." I left my office, returned and found the MBP had fallen asleep, woke it up and unsurprisingly the process had died. Vowing to stay in my office and keep both machines awake through the process I started it over. Once again it failed with an "I have lost my connection" error on the MBP. I decided to try once more and once more it failed. I was disappointed, but knew I had other options available to me.
I've never used Firewire, never had a need for it, don't even have a cable. It took me a few minutes to realize that the G4 has both FW400 and FW800 ports. So I stopped looking for a 400 to 800 converter and hopped on the bike and rode to the closest provider of Apple computers (which is very close). Picked up my first ever Firewire cable and returned to the office. I plugged the two machines together, and followed the instructions for setting the G4 in Firewire mode. The first time it failed, but after a power cycle it worked exactly as it should have.
I was stunned when the Migration Assistant on the MBP said it would only take one hour and twenty-one minutes to do the copy. It blazed along and for a while looked like it would take less time than that, but then slowed down toward the end and eventually, when the progress gauge was all the way full. I got an error telling me that the network connection had been lost. I clicked the "Retry" button and it worked for another long period of time but then came back with the same error again. I looked at the gauge, did a moment's evaluation and clicked the "Cancel" button, which immediately placed me into new user setup. I created a new user named test and completed the initial setup.
Logging out as Test I saw that my account from the other machine was there. I logged in, and aside from a couple of minor window placement changes, everything worked exactly as expected but much much faster! I was thrilled. Where the CPU monitor on the G4 lived almost constantly at the top of the graph. The CPU monitors on the new machine were barely above a flat-line. Everything worked and everything worked faster. I'm thrilled.
Things I like about this machine. I love the uni-body construction of the case. it is extremely stiff, and extremely solid, and feels very rugged. The G4 was a wonderfully solid machine. This one ups the ante significantly. The rubber feet on the bottom are another wonderful addition. The G4 was missing one of it's tiny rubber feet. The stresses of sliding across desks and tables and countertops for four years finally became too great and one of them pulled off. That won't be a problem with the new feet. they're big and wide and have a lot of surface area, both in contact with the bottom of the computer and the desktop. Backlit keys are fantastic. I prefer working with the lights off, so the lit keys are a wonderful thing. In addition the new keyboard should get much less crud in it than the G4 keyboard did, the aluminum webbing between the keys should prevent the vast majority of hair and lint from dropping between the keys (the keyboard on my G4 got a bit gross after being in use for a long time). The sound quality is also much better. Even at maximum volume I could often barely hear the G4. Now I have to keep the volume very low. The iTunes control keys are also a nice touch. I've been using them a lot.
The much talked about trackpad is something I neither love nor hate. For the most part it works as expected. I think after several more days of use I will be tweaking some of the settings, but I'm not sure. It does so much that re-teaching myself how to do things like scrolling and activating Expose are taking a bit of time. Some of the gestures I just don't get, likely because I am not involved in computing. In areas where those gestures get a lot of use.
The screen is marvelous. It's bright, clear, and easily readable, but, it is also glossy and a fingerprint magnet (despite the included iMicrofiberscreencleaningcloth). I loved the matte display on the G4. I'm having a bit of a difficult time adjusting to the glossy screen on the MacBook Pro. We'll see how/if I adjust over time.
Apple will certainly be glad I purchased the new machine. I'd quit buying music because the 60Gb drive on the G4 was at 99% capacity. With 250Gb of space I should be able to invest in a bit more music now.
The aluminum wrist wrest on the G4 became pitted and discoloured due to some sort of chemical reaction with my skin. I will be buying some sort of protector for this machine, unfortunately Marware doesn't have their's available yet.
All-in-all, I'm very pleased with my experience with the new machine.
Sunday, November 9. 2008
Tonight I ran to my favourite Apple Store and purchased a new 15" MacBook Pro. It cost the same as my fabulous PowerBook G4 did four years ago.
I've unpacked it but done little else (Gears of War 2 was calling my name too loudly). Tomorrow at work I'll hook up a network cable between the PBG4 and the MBP and transfer all my data.
I can't say a lot about it yet, but as always Apple has done a fantastic job with packaging. I love the new magnetic latch, and I'm curious to see how I adapt to the glossy glass screen.
I'll write more as I know more.
Monday, November 3. 2008
Yesterday I finished Fable II. I was somewhat melancholy when the credits rolled and that is the sign of a good game. If I am sad when it is over, I know I have experienced something that is not typical, something that is a cut-above. Fortunately, while the main quest is over, I can still experience more of the game as there are some side-quests yet to complete.
Fable II is one of the best RPGs I have played on the 360. The story follows the protagonist, Sparrow, from young child, to adult-hood. From the back-alleys of Old Bowerstone, to the regal halls of the Fairfax Castle, from the beautiful fields of Oakfield to dank dungeons beneath the world of Albion. The world is beautifully realized, all of regions have a look and feel and sound to them that is quite immersive. These regions bring up one of the shortcomings of the game however.
There is no sense of continuity to the world of Albion. After spending many hours in the game I can barely tell you where each of the regions is in relation to any of the other regions. Is Oakfield north of Bowerstone? The region system, and lack of adequate mapping completely yank you out of the world of Albion and put you squarely back in your game room every time you load a new region. For a game that is so well done, this was a horrible oversight. Compare it to the world in Oblivion, or Fallout 3 where you can run, walk or ride anywhere on the map, and know where all the cities and villages are in relation to each other, and you will see just how badly Lionhead failed in this regard.
Character customization is incredibly broad, and not entirely within your direct control. While you can find or purchase and vast quantity of clothing items and mix-and-match-and-dye them to your heart's content, while you can change your hairstyle and beard, you can't directly change your musculature, your height, or your weight. Musculature changes as you become stronger. Height changes as you become more skilled weight changes based on what you eat--eat fatty foods get fat, eat celery get thin. The weight issue is one of the games other minor shortcomings, while there are many foods and beverages that will make you fatter, there is only one that will make you thinner. Given the variety of the diet available to you, this seems to be another oversight on Lionhead's part.
Character leveling is unique and enjoyable. Every battle and many of the foods, drinks and potions provide attribute mana. Attributes are divided up into Strength (blue), Skill (yellow), Will (red), and General (green). When you fight with a melee weapon you gain strength, when you fight with a ranged weapon you gain skill, when you fight using magic you gain will. Regardless of how you fight you gain general mana. If you mix up your combat, you will gain mixed attribute mana. You can purchase new abilities with the correct color of mana (plus the green mana which is a sort of wildcard mana). Each Ability has four or five levels you can aspire to as you play the game.
In addition to questing and getting money and fame, you can work and gamble to get money. You can use that money to buy businesses and residences, and then live off the income and rent. Setting prices can be a noble, neutral or nefarious act, and you are rewarded or penalized accordingly. You are paid every five minutes regardless of whether you are playing the game or not, so you can leave the game for several hours and return to it and find a nice sum of money waiting for you. There are three jobs you can hold in the world of Albion, each of them provide increasing levels of reward as your skill increases, and the mini-games involved in the jobs are fun and addicting. You can do blacksmith work, you can chop wood, and you can tend bar. The pub games, Spinner Box, Fortune's Tower (my favourite), and Keystone also provide fun diversions, and if you're lucky some extra cash.
Activities in the game are good or evil, pure or corrupt, and they shape the world in which you live, and the way the characters in the game respond to you. The entire look of an area can change based on the choices that you make. I had heard much about morality in this game and was hoping for some tougher choices, some epic moral decisions, unfortunately those types of choices did not crop up. Yes there are some that might be slightly difficult but none made me really stop and pause and think. Your goodness or badness or pureness or corruptness can have an effect on both the look of your character, and the look of your dog.
Your dog (which you can name) is one of the highlights of the game, never getting in the way, but ever present. He is a wonderful companion, a treasure hunter and fighter. In addition to your dog, you may marry, and have children. While I quite liked my wife, and really enjoyed watching and listening to my son, whenever I returned home from adventuring, neither of them found their way into my affections the way my dog did.
The main storyline is quite formulaic, and likely forgettable, all except for one place where I shouted "you fucker!" at my television. However, there is so much to do in the world that it is quite possible to view the main quest as a secondary quest and just wile away endless hours in the world of Albion.
Peter Molyneaux has a history of over-promising and under-delivering, however, he managed to keep the promises moderated, and Lionhead has certainly delivered a fun and memorable experience.
Tuesday, October 21. 2008
My amazing PowerBook G4 just passed it's fourth anniversary with me. For a notebook computer that gets almost constant use, and is powered on for 20+ of every 24 hours it has been incredible.
On Sunday I faced my first major crisis since my hard drive failed shortly after I bought the computer. My disk is almost full. The 60Gb drive has about 3.5Gb free when I restart, and hovers at slightly less than a 1Gb after about a week of use. Sometimes something pushes it further and I get a warning "Your startup disk is almost full." When that happens, I shut down all my apps, reboot and all is well with the world.
Saturday night I got the message. Restarted the machine then left it to watch some TV. I wastched it reboot from across the room and didn't think a thing about it until I tried to unlock the screen on Sunday Morning to blog about my experiences at the Apple Store and at the theater with Jennifer. The screen wouldn't unlock. All I got was a spinning beach ball. This has happened to me before, sometimes I can wait it out, other times I've had to power off and then power on. This time I had to Power off and on.
The machine wouldn't start.
I went online to figure out how to eject the CD that was in the drive (Cmd+Option+O+F then "eject cd") got the CD ejected, then booted from my Leopard install DVD. I ran permissions repairs, I ran disk repairs, nothing worked. My machine still would not boot. I booted into single-user mode, and saw a message "Waiting on Window Server" I found others who had had the problem, but my Google-fu was not up to finding a solution.
The next step was a re-install. I wasn't too pleased with that, but I'd done it one other time to no ill-effect. So proceeded to attempt the installation. The DVD got partway through the validation stage (a very long process on my PowerBook) then died. I cleaned the drive tried again and again it died. The third time all went well, with the validation, but the installer died almost immediately with an error. That wasn't a good sign.
By now I was about four hours into the ordeal and starting to think a new MacBook Pro might be in my future earlier than I expected (if you follow my Twitter feed you saw those tweets). When Jennifer got home from church I told her that things were looking bad. She suggested that maybe I needed to be prepared to get out the credit card. Finally, on my seventh attempt at an install, everything worked correctly. About 5:00pm I had a working system.
Monday I picked up my external drive (the one Time Machine uses for backups) from my apartment, took it all to the office and attempted to use Apple's Migration Assistant to recover my data. I discovered a few things along the way. I use a hack to allow Time Machine to backup to the NAS drive. That hack makes it a bit more difficult to use Migration Assistant to find a Time Machine backup. To get everything working I had to do the following:
I logged out of the temp account, logged in under my old account, and everything was back exactly as it should have been except my printer settings and possibly my album art (the album art screen-saver isn't working though I DO have album art on the machine).
Time Machine worked exactly as I had hoped it would work. It backed up all by itself, and allowed me to restore the data I needed when I desperately needed it.
Sunday, October 19. 2008
Yesterday the following appeared in my Twitterstream
Apple Store let me down for the very first time. Drove all the way to swap out an obviously dead iPod told we would have to wait until 5pm 2:59 PM Oct 18th from TwitterBerry
Turned out that a really great employee didn't allow that to happen though.
The replacement iPod we received when Travis's birthday iPod failed developed a row of dead pixels. We decided that yesterday, after Kellan's soccer game, we would return the defective unit and get a new one. We arrived to a packed Apple Store, and Travis approached the young woman who was functioning as store hostess. We told her what the problem was, she left briefly and then returned to tell us that we couldn't return the iPod until 5:00pm. She told us the Geniuses were really busy and wouldn't be able to look at it until then.
5:00pm was two hours away, we'd driven a long way to get to the store and Jennifer and I were going to the theater that evening. We couldn't wait two hours. We told her so, she said she couldn't help us.
We hung out a bit letting William play a game, while Travis and Kellan checked out the iPhones and I checked out the new Mac Book Pros. While that was going on a nice sales type guy came over and asked us how we were doing. I told him "Not so good, for the first time ever, the Apple Store has let me down." He asked what was going on, we told him. He gave us a rather lengthy explanation of why we needed to wait until 5pm. It was lucid, and completely understandable, but still didn't take the sting out of the fact that we had travelled a long way for a simple return and were apparently not going to be able to accomplish that task.
He asked if we would like to see if there had been any cancellations. We said sure. He checked, and their hadn't been. We would still have to wait until 5:00pm. Then he asked if we would like to "fly standby." Once again we said sure. We filled out the Genius Bar web-app. and stood around to wait for a while. He came back within five minutes and told us "They can see you right now!"
Travis got his replacement iPod and the Apple Store remains in our good graces, thanks to a young sales guy who didn't want his store to have let down one of it's most loyal customers.
We did learn a valuable lesson. Any time we need to go to the Apple Store for anything other than a purchase we will make sure we've scheduled ourselves for the Genius Bar, even if it feels like we don't need to waste the Geniuses time.
Friday, October 17. 2008
I have made some minor changes to RadioChoice.py, my widget that allows the creation of wx.Choice objects that function in groups like wx.RadioButtons.
It has been somewhat PEP 08'ified. Though the CamelCase of wxPython seems to always result in a few compromises. In general I try to make "public" methods CamelCase and "private" methods match PEP-08. As you can see I'm also torn on the subject of module names. I initially renamed the module "radiochoice", but from an aesthetic standpoint I hated the way it looked. You may eventually see the module name change though.
Thursday, October 16. 2008
I'm a dual citizen, the product of an English father and American mother, and born in the UK. The British part of me cringes when I read things like this. How does any government get to the point where they believe even setting one foot down the road to despotism is the right thing to do? Similar, equally frightening things could happen in the US, but we do have one bit of advantage, we haven't given up our guns like the citizens of the UK have.
In this country I've seen things like The Patriot Act as a cynical grab for power by a government intent on grabbing as much power as possible. Is this the case in the UK also? Or am I over-reacting and these are really "good" people who simply live in a culture of fear trying their best to alleviate their fears by giving up essential liberties?
How does this play out? Do we go down Orwell or Alan Moore's road? When do people who need to be free men and women start saying enough is enough?
In the USA we have the opportunity to send that message in just about three weeks. Unfortunately we won't do it. We will vote for the lesser of two evils. We will vote for status quo. We will vote for those who will protect us from the terrorists and the pedophiles by limiting essential freedoms.
What will it take for us to become more frightened of our own government, and tell them "We are not afraid and will no longer sacrifice essential liberties for some illusory safety?"
Wednesday, October 15. 2008
Paramount started releasing some pictures from the new J. J. Abrams helmed Star Trek film. This is the film that is going to be a "reset" of the series going back to when the crew of The Original Series was very young.
I'm a big fan of all the Trek's but Enterprise. I've stuck with it through some really really horrible film versions. I have big hopes for this film hopefully they can bring it back to level of excitement that it deserves instead of the "ho-hum" many of the films have produced.
I'm also hoping these pictures will breathe some life back into my investment in the film at the Hollywood Stock Exchange It's fun game, you should check it out, though my portfolio there tanking at the same time the Dow was tanking was a bit surreal.
Via: The "Looking Closer" Journal
Monday, October 13. 2008
A couple of weeks ago, Walmart raised hackles when it announced it was going to turn off the servers that allowed people who had purchased music protected by digital rights management from their online music store to actually play the music they had purchased. In fact, they were instructing their users just how to circumvent their own DRM. (Eventually they did the right thing and decided to keep their servers on.)
DRM does nothing for consumers, and really does very little for suppliers. The most recent XKCD points out in black and white just how stupid DRM is.
Via: WWdN: In Exile
Sunday, October 12. 2008
There are some things I like about Senator McCain. There are some things I like about Senator Obama. There are some things I like about Senator Biden. There are some things I like about Governor Palin. None of that changes the fact that I will not be votiing for any of them.
Twice recently I've been told that I will be throwing away my vote. I disagree. I haven't done an exhaustive study of our two-party system. All I know is that it sucks. it limits choice. It ostensibly forces people to vote against a candidate, not vote for a candidate who stands for what they believe. How many people would vote for a third party candidate, Ralph Nader or Joe Barr or someone else, if they didn't buy the line that doing so was throwing away their vote? Maybe it wouldn't be enough to make a difference, but just maybe, it would allow a viable third or fourth party to arise. Giving us the opportunity to vote for someone and not against someone.
Think about that before you cast a vote for Senator McCain or Senator Obama simply because you don't want to "throw your vote away."
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