Purpose one: writing a travelogue to describe my various trips.

Purpose two: muse.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Even a Street-dog Has Lucky Days

Storms around Boulder Creek always blows down lots of branches and small trees.  Last night was no exception.  Some branches had hit around my driveway, about a foot from my car.  There is not a scratch on it.  Rare, but sometimes even I get lucky.

(The title is from a Japanese proverb.)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Buy a Bicycle for an African

I have become reasonably convinced that Government Aid to Africa is hurting more than it is helping. Some of the larger private aid charities are so big that they have some of the same problems. I used to adopt children through Plan USA, but that organization grew to a point where I felt it was as much about the marketing and promotion of themselves and the executives. So I stopped.

In the meantime, I came across this smaller group that makes bikes for African school-children, health-care workers and entrepreneurs. This strikes me as far more useful. For just $134, they can equip an African with a bike. Mobility is important for an economy, and these bikes drastically improves the range and speed of the people riding them. They have the advantage over mechanized transportation that they cost much, much less to operate.

It's difficult to find the best way to help, but I feel pretty good about those bicycles.  It probably doesn't hurt that I love bikes!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Doing the Office Space Routine on my DVD Player

In Office Space, there is a famous scene, where they violently take apart a printer that entirely deserved it.


I did the same to my JVC DVD/BD player.  (An XV BP1, if you must know).  I did it for much the same reason.  This junk failed to play about half of the Blue Ray discs I popped into it.  Yet, I can get over that.  What really irked was that the player quite often would refuse to open the drawer and let the disc out.  It would just stay hermitically sealed.  That experience was reminiscent of the scenes in Office Space where they are pulling on the paper in order to get their printed page.

I finally had enough.  I took the player outside and used a sledgehammer on it.  I freely admit, compared to Peter, Michael, and Samir, I am a rank amateur.  Still, the experience was oddly deliberating.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Scientific American Fail

Happy New Year, dear readers.

Early in 2012, I bought a copy of Scientific American.  I must have been a little desperate for reading material, because it is down quite a bit on my list of magazines I pick up.  This particular copy was a good case in point why.

They had an article, "Stars to the Rescue," about celebrities doing various projects to promote science. Never mind that the brand of science promoted is the same pop-version of it that Scientific American itself promulgates. 

What struck me was the next article in the printed magazine, on the very same page.  Picture below.  That article was about online tracking.  Was it a cogent piece about the pros (personalization) and cons (loss of privacy) of online tracking?  Did it contain any information to readers about the underlying technologies and the various reasons organizations might want this data?  No and no.  Instead, it was a narrow-minded piece of hysteria fanning the flames of paranoid privacy hawks.

I found this accidental juxtaposition ironic and wanted to share it.