Sam Bauman: Democracy can be fun | NevadaAppeal.com

Sam Bauman: Democracy can be fun

Sam Bauman
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I joined the mob at the Democratic caucuses and was impressed by the large turnout. After parking in a remote section of the high school lot, I struggled, aching back and all, to the main entrance to the high school. I saw a line that stretched out at least 200 or 300 people long, plus a milling mob up by the entrance.

I had with me the scribbled “special entrance and ballot” code from an email. I waved it around until an official looking lady took me in tow and led me through the mob to a desk where special caucus ballots were handed out.

As I had opted for Hillary on the net, the ballot had my name and data filled out with a check mark for Hillary. I was told to go to Room 205, which I did. This was a medium-sized room divided into two groups. I finally figured out that those on the left were for Hillary; Bernie’s fans on the right. Hillary’s team outnumbered Bernie’s at first, but a swelling group of younger voters changed that.

Up front, official-looking people were talking, answering questions and keeping order. This is the time when supporters are supposed to laud candidates and give voters time to rethink. But nothing was happening; nobody was giving a laudatory speech, so we sat and waited. Happily, there was a mother with a 2-or 3-year-old daughter sitting nearby who seemed to be enjoying themselves, the girl playing with mom’s ballot. Democracy in action!

Finally, a precinct captain collected our ballots and we had caucused. Never did hear any urgent messages about changing our voting choices. Bernie won 38 to 33 in our room.

Made it back to my car in the vast parking lot (do all students have a car?) and fell into the seat.

My first caucus, and I thought about how it was all easier when I was working overseas. There you went to the nearest embassy, got a ballot and voted. Don’t remember any such thing as a caucus there.

After all the confusion and long lines (which I skipped), the tight time schedule, which seemed to be ignored, and empty moments, I thought there has to be a better way for primaries.

But maybe not. Maybe what I has experienced was true American democracy in living color. Maybe Will Rogers had it right when he responded to a question about his organized political party, and said, “I don’t belong to an organized party, I’m a Democrat.”

On to November!

Still no Kindle to Carson library

I joined about 20 would-be Kindle ebook would-be users at the Carson City Library last week for a tutorial on using the Kindle ebook readers. But, alas, I forgot my reading glasses and the two instructors were moving along too fast for me to keep up.

It was my own fault and I longed for my glasses as I saw others successfully pulling up book jackets of availably ebooks. My Kindle was a gift from a friend who has switched to a pad with bigger screen.

There are some articles on my Kindle left over from the original owner. I found them easy to read and the Kindle a cinch for travel reading. I can adjust type size and legibility. I find that it works just fine for what is already loaded. Some I know prefer the heft of a traditional book (I wish them well if they choose to read my recent novel, a hefty 800-plus pager, “The Paper Pimps,” all about editing men’s magazines).

More on book and magazine reading

When I extolled the pleasures of reading for seniors recently, I forgot to take into account how some seniors suffer from a loss of vision. I have a Mayo Clinic report on some ways seniors can improve failing eyesight, which I will report on next week. Cataracts are one problem seniors can solve with a simple outpatient operation. I did it several years ago and it greatly improved my vision. I can now read road signs far away enough to give me time to make the turn.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering why you’re not seeing me on the ski slopes, I recently found out I’m anemic and I am taking iron pills to cure it. Meanwhile, I tire easily and am hoping to get back on the snow for my birthday in March.

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.