This new gee-whiz techno-wizard world

puzzle_cook_bigWhile I’m technologically challenged, I’m impressed with people who have skills in this area. For me, these instructions are TOTALLY true.

It gives me some small comfort when Dustbury, a formerly gadget-crazy guy, explains why that old compact disc of mine is suddenly not working correctly. Or when Mark Evanier suddenly has trouble with software that seemed to be working.

Jaquandor recently asked Continue reading

April Rambling: Buy the niece’s new album, and end Daylight Saving Time

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New album from Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact the debut release from San Diego-based eclectic soul/funk band. RJ is my niece, my sister Leslie’s daughter.
From NBC San Diego: “Not everything on April Fool’s Day was a joke. Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact released their self-titled debut and it’s no laughing matter. Channeling everyone from Candi Staton and Betty Davis to Morcheeba and Brightback Morning Light, these 12 tracks of soul and funk are stunners. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.”

After watching this video, I’m even more convinced than I was before: Daylight Saving Time is a waste of time. Having tried to schedule a phone call from the UK at a point when the US is in DST and the UK has NOT yet moved to British Summer Time, I know of which the speaker is talking about.
Continue reading

Autumnal start, drinking, poetry, Internety stuff

Elizabeth asked, in response to Ask Roger Anything (and YOU still can):

Why do they call the Autumnal Equinox the beginning of Fall when it is already Fall? Likewise the Winter Solstice isn’t the beginning of winter but well along into winter?

Why do “they” say anything? Why do they still use foot/pound? From the Wikipedia: “Some cultures regard the autumnal equinox as mid-autumn, others with a longer lag treat it as the start of autumn. Meteorologists (and most of the temperate countries in the southern hemisphere) use a definition based on months, with autumn being September, October and November in the northern hemisphere, and March, April and May in the southern hemisphere.

“In North America, autumn is usually considered to start with the September equinox. In traditional East Asian solar term, autumn starts on or around 8 August and ends on about 7 November.”

The answer, therefore, is Continue reading

It’s not my technophobia; it’s THEM

Every once in a while you read a blog post that you not only enjoy, it edifies your very being. I’m talking about Dustbury’s post Demotional rescue. Now you need to know that Chaz, who runs the joint, has been online close to 20 years, and he’s approximately 314.15 times more savvy, technologically, than I will ever be. And I’m OK with that.

Still, Chaz installed OpenOffice 4.0.0, only to discover Continue reading

Taking the time to see

see?

I was waiting for the bus after work. Ofttimes, I’d pull out a magazine or newspaper to read, and I almost ALWAYS have something to read. But on this particular day – and it was a particularly lovely afternoon – I just didn’t feel like it. Using my backpack as a pillow, I lay on this granite slab in front of my work building and just observed. My goodness, the New York State flag is REALLY frayed, much worse than the US flag. I had never even noticed this before.

I tend, I think, to observe more than the average person, some of it Continue reading

Oh, so THAT’S how you do it!

My birthday week (last month) became quite busy, though entertaining. On my birthday itself, my wife and daughter took me out to go bowling. I used to love to bowl, going back to when I was in a league when I was just ten years old. My game was definitely off, but it HAS been over five years.

That evening at choir, we had a dearth of tenors, and I was requested to sing in that section, rather than with the basses. Fortunately, the parts aren’t TOO high, or too difficult. The snow that fell that night was wet and slippery, but was largely over the next day.

Friday night and Saturday morning, I helped with the setup Continue reading

Loss of data

I was putting together my monthly list of links, when it struck me that some of the pieces were of a type. They were all about information of one form or another and how sometimes, it goes away.

JEOPARDY! wiz Ken Jennings – he won 74 games in a row – gave a TEDx talk at Seattle University in February 2013 called The Obsolete Know-It-All. It runs about 18 minutes, in which he discusses the JEOPARDY! competition with Brad Rutter (human) and the IBM computer named Watson, as. He talks, among other things, about how a part of the brain shrinks when one uses GPS, or uses the cellphone to look up your friends’ numbers. This is one of those issues I respond to viscerally. Looking it up on Google may be more “efficient,” but it doesn’t compare with knowing stuff.

If the technologies fail us – power grid crashes, computers compromised by cyberattacks – what will we still know? What does it all mean in terms of our human interaction? By contrast, 5 ways robots can improve accuracy, journalism quality.

Andy Marx writes about the day he and his grandfather Groucho saved the television show ‘You Bet Your Life’ from ending up in a Dumpster. If he hadn’t answered the phone, the shows would have been lost forever. In the comments, there was an interesting link to a story of how much of our cultural history depends on one person’s decision to preserve something instead of throwing it away.

Speaking of TV, Ken Levine’s comment about the late Bonnie Franklin, and her TV show ONE DAY AT A TIME falling between the cracks prompted the question about why some shows remain perennially popular while others fade out. “It doesn’t necessarily seem to be question of quality.” Interesting responses in the comments section.

Mark Twain Captured on Film by Thomas Edison in 1909. It’s the only known footage of the author.

Finally, since Jaquandor inspired this with his lazy linkage, I appreciated reading what he has to say: When going back to edit your writing, how do you determine what to keep and what to weed out? I imagine novelists in particular whether to exorcise a scene, or just save it for another book.
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My first thoughts about the end of this year’s Boston Marathon. Probably not my last.

Mondays and technology

Some days, I work hard to bring you a well-crafted thought process. Other days, the piece just writes itself. This is what happened on Monday, March 4, 2013:

I get the Daughter to school barely on time (too long a story), and just catch the #10 Western Avenue bus. I would not have if people were all using bus swipers; fortunately, the cash users slowed the process down sufficiently. Continue reading

Technologically impaired

I have a love/hate relationship with techies. In my experience, 60% of them are condescending twits who seem to relish making people feel as though they are idiots. Worse, about half of them, I’m convinced, don’t even know what they are talking about.

Then there are the good guys. One in my office helped me discover that the podcasts I had played was eating memory on my hard drive. He showed me where it was stored, and better, how to empty my recycle bin.

I don’t think of myself as particularly adept at technological stuff. The highlight of last year Continue reading

Technology is my friend, or a fiend

Chris from Off the Shore of Orion, whose been off her blog, but on other social media, wonders:
What piece of technology would you hate the most to lose? Which piece of technology do you wish would just disappear?

The former is quite easy; the latter, not so much.

I am a lousy typist. I used to use tons of Wite Out and those weird little strips that would take up a letter from the already-typed page. But it was tedious and exhausting. Clearly, my favorite technology that has been developed in my lifetime is the word processor. It has made the creative process INCREDIBLY easier. Oops, I typed an n when I meant an m; no problem. Backspace and correct.

I remember having this Sears typewriter Continue reading