mm018: Surprise!

May 31, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , , , , ,

Surprising myself, I am a teacher.

Not under-qualified, apparently, but under-credentialed certainly, I spend a good portion of my working week teaching adult fellow employees how to use the software tool our team supports.

Because of the under-credentialed thing (I am a 20?? graduate of Hard Knox U), I never really thought of myself as teaching material. Indeed, when I came up onto the scene, there was something, forgive me all the teachers in my life, including my supremely patient spouse, something declassé about the “profession” of teaching. It certainly didn’t seem to pay a lot, and that derisive slogan (“them that can’t, teach”) must have colored my opinion early on.

Silly me. No, unless one is tenured at some golden suburban secondary school or first rank university, teaching is still a depressingly under-compensated career. And kids today! I have nothing but awe for those who daily (except for three blessed months during the summer, you fiends!) face today’s MTV’d, video-gamed, reading-free children.

But, I teach adults in a corporate setting. And, better yet, I teach them remotely, via web conference, which provides some excellent insulation: I can’t witness them dozing off, doodling, or (I hope they’ve muted their phone so I can’t hear them) answering email. And by my benighted standards, the pay is acceptable, the benefits better than expected, and I’m not at risk from receiving angry phone calls from parents of misunderstood students.

The dozing off thing comes to mind because yesterday morning I engaged in one of my rare personal appearances. One glance at the blurry photo adorning this page (blurry for public safety reasons) will convince you of the truth of my oft stated slogan: I’ve always been told that I have a great face for radio. But there I was, presenting my technology to the last group in the local area of my employer apparently unaware of it, and I watched a woman deal with my presence and presentation through closed eyes. I was envious.

But, my classes, two to three a week, are conducted via web conference. For the uninitiated, a web conference consists of a telephone conference that accompanies visual material presented from a web site. This visual material can be static, like a presentation, or dynamic, like a demonstration of a live application, but it does not include video of the speaker or participants.

The web conference as teaching medium is a blessing and a challenge. A blessing for some of the reasons noted above (the dozing, the doodling, the email). But a challenge because I am stripped down to my essentials, my voice and how I deliver it. That’s where the radio comment rings so true, since what I have become is not so much a teacher but a radio actor, a genre that seemingly only Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion keeps alive today. I need to engage people by projecting my knowledge and enthusiasm across the wire, for one to two hours at a time, solo.

No wonder I’m worn out at the end of the day. Today was that kind of day. My two-hour advanced topics class, begun at 3pm Central time to accommodate the occasional participant from the West Coast, of whom there was one representative today, I am happy to report. Because a 3pm start of this arduous exercise is tough enough, without the disappointment of realizing that I’ve accommodated no one. It’s like the 8am classes I teach several times a month, designed to enable attendance during the work day for the occasional Western Europe student; I am disappointed to have to work so hard, undercaffeinated, without the payoff of a UK or Netherlands or German participant.

But, the end of day classes are the toughest for me. Not the material, I’ve got that locked down solid. It’s that corporate advantage again: do the same thing enough times and be appreciated for it. But just the fatigue that comes from performing, emoting really, with unknown or insufficient feedback. Most of those radio programs that people are nostalgic for, Jack Benny, Fibber McGee, and the like, and today’s Prairie Home, were/are performed in a studio with an audience of some kind, because actors require feedback. I get some, sometimes, and people are usually more than kind when they fill out our end of session survey. But, it’s a large emotional expenditure with little payoff, short of knowing that the biweekly direct deposit can still be depended upon.

And that’s enough. So, I teach, as I say, surprising myself several times a week. After nearly five years, that’s a happy outcome.

It’s it for now.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana

Advertisement

mm017: Flagrant

May 30, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , , ,

We’ll politely call this inspiration; more accurately red handed theft. Been receiving an e-newsletter for several years. Get lots of these at work, and most are deleted without reading. This one, Expert Access from Cincom is business oriented and commercial, but hell, I’m both those things.

Found several articles that they compiled in their current edition to be interesting.

Never before encountered ChangeThis, but what they present here is breathtaking. Take a gander. Even the production values are top notch, and who can argue with Peter Drucker? I’ve subscribed to their newsletter; I’m intrigued. God knows that the way big business operates needs to change.

As I struggle with finding something useful to say on a regular basis, this article, also from the current Expert Access, really helped. I’m not a marketer (although I play one on the “radio”), but Max Kalehoff certainly has inspired me tonight. I plan to read more of his writing, and, I hope, to write something he might someday appreciate reading.

It’s so corny to refer to Gen. Patton for inspiration – who am I, the original Tricky Dick (Nixon famously screened the film “Patton” in the White House multiple times)? But this presentation, again from a site I’d never seen before the referral in Expert Access, is quite compelling.

I guess you don’t need me now that you know about the other, but I hope you come back anyway. I’ll do my best to produce something more original.

It’s it for now.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana


mm016: Unimpeachable?

May 28, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , ,

When do we impeach?

Saturday’s Washington Post drove it home once more:

Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report released yesterday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Analysts warned that war in Iraq also could provoke Iran to assert its regional influence and “probably would result in a surge of political Islam and increased funding for terrorist groups” in the Muslim world.

The intelligence assessments, made in January 2003 and widely circulated within the Bush administration before the war, said that establishing democracy in Iraq would be “a long, difficult and probably turbulent challenge.” The assessments noted that Iraqi political culture was “largely bereft of the social underpinnings” to support democratic development….

In a statement attached to yesterday’s 229-page report, the Senate intelligence committee’s chairman, John D. Rockefeller IV (W.Va.), and three other Democratic panel members said: “The most chilling and prescient warning from the intelligence community prior to the war was that the American invasion would bring about instability in Iraq that would be exploited by Iran and al Qaeda terrorists.”

In addition to portraying a terrorist nexus between Iraq and al-Qaeda that did not exist, the Democrats said, the Bush administration “also kept from the American people . . . the sobering intelligence assessments it received at the time” — that an Iraq war could allow al-Qaeda “to establish the presence in Iraq and opportunity to strike at Americans it did not have prior to the invasion.”

It used to be a silly punch line: “Don’t confuse me with the facts!” The Bush administration has consistently ignored information that contradicts its neo-conservative Christian evangelical mind set, and this Memorial Day weekend we register that this month of May, 2007 has seen the largest death toll (103 and counting) of any single month during this war in the past 2½ years. Mission accomplished my ass.

Our situation is far beyond honest differences of opinion or partisan politics — by any and every standard, this administration has been criminally negligent, and must be called to account for its crimes, beginning with the Silly-Grinner-in Chief himself, and his puppeteer, our own Tricky Dick for the Aughts.

It’s not enough to wait to vote this felonious administration out of office 18 months from now — we need to remind those who are eviscerating this country in the name of ultra right politics and a skewed religious agenda that their crimes cannot go unpunished, starting immediately

When do we impeach? How about today!

It’s it for now.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana


mm015: Welcomed back to the guild

May 24, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , ,

So, it just keeps getting better…

While the webtronic world I spend much time in swoops along, I can’t help but touch base in the real world occasionally — okay, every day. Today, for example, for the first time perhaps ever in a passenger car, I paid $54 to fill up my tank with 87 octane. Ouch.

I guess I’m kind of shocked and annoyed that gasoline prices climbing toward $4/gallon haven’t created much of an outcry as yet. Maybe I should start outcrying. And while the rest of the world is smirking knowingly, and the rest of the U.S. is breathing with relief that they don’t share my northern Illinois local conditions (summer blend regulations, a key nearby refinery off-line due to a March fire), I have to feel we’ve all not seen the worst. And why so little concern?

Have “they” softened us up, so we willingly put up with the prices? Oh, yes, I’m aware of that idiotic (a word you’ll learn that I don’t use lightly) so-called one-day boycott on May 15 — what a joke! How many of those boycotters parked their cars all day and took their bicycles or mass transit? I vote none! — and some senators had a photo op the other day, but really!

Okay, so you figure that, with prices nearing historic highs (this time, inflation adjusted) the oil companies would be doing all they could to increase production to fill that demand at such profitable selling prices. You figure wrong. A story in the soon to be last week’s Business Week points out the error. Think Exxon Mobil is spending its cash, rolling in historic, capitalistically orgasmic waves, on new explorations, improved wells in mature areas, new refineries? Not at all. This titan of industrial might is spending huge wads of cash buying up its own stock. This has the paper effect of increasing the value of the remaining shares, and fully meets Exxon Mobil’s main obligation to increase shareholder value.

So, we’re back to yesterday’s theme: shareholders are probably the least important of a corporation’s stakeholders, especially the short term traders for whom these 90-day performance figures are so critical. But they’re the ones Exxon has bent over to serve, at everyone’s expense. So their conservative investment strategy becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy: fuel usage will indubitably go down in the long term due to high prices, so why invest in fuel? Of course this lack of investment leads to higher prices, ad infinitum.

Don’t get me started on ethanol — a farm-state ass-kissing boondoggle if ever there was one. It takes more energy to create ethanol from corn in this country than ethanol itself yields — your government at work, and every darned one of our potential presidents dutifully bows and scrapes in Iowa despite that fact. The cheapest ethanol in the world comes from the third world, such as Brazil where sugar cane is converted efficiently. And the farmer protecting politicians keep the tariffs on third-world ethanol unaffordably high. 300 million citizens held hostage to a couple of million farmers — how is that right?

Okay, they’re letting me back into the curmudgeon’s guild.

It’s it for now.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana


mm014: Short term thoughts on long-term thinking

May 23, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , , , ,

So, long before I was a denizen of the Heart of Corporate America, like many of you I shared a great deal of suspicion and concern regarding how business is conducted.

Conventional wisdom has it that the goal of business is to maximize the return to its stockholders, and the quarterly earnings report is the clearest, most significant measure of success meeting this objective.

Humbug! A wonderfully cogent column in the current Business Week by consultants and academes Clayton M. Christensen and Scott D. Anthony puts it this way:

“The notion that managers must above all appease investors drives behavior that focuses exclusively on quarterly results. Thus, many management teams hesitate to invest in promising innovations that are likely to hurt near-term financial performance. As a consequence, leaders in industries facing disruptive change-such as grocery retailing and newspapers-lose both direction and strength as they try to figure out what kind of shareholder value they should create….

Perhaps it is time for companies to adjust the paradigm of management responsibility: “You are investors and speculators, not shareholders, and you temporarily find yourselves holding the securities of our company. You are responsible for maximizing the returns on your investments. Our responsibility is to maximize the long-term value of this company. We will therefore act in the interest of those whose interests coincide with our long-term prospects, namely employees, customers, the communities in which our employees live, and the minority of investors who plan to hold our securities for several years.”

How refreshing! Now, let it be said that the particular HCA in which I toil is, due to the nature of its calling, less guilty of the typical 90-day shortsightedness than many, but still seems to expend much effort painting pretty pictures for “the Street” based on that artificial cycle.

Remember the fad of hearkening to a company’s “stakeholders?” They might not be referred to that way any longer, new buzzwords long since having supplanted it, but Christensen and Anthony define the term perfectly (and it bears repeating): “namely employees, customers, the communities in which our employees live, and the minority of investors who plan to hold our securities for several years.”

Of course, what do we suckers know? We’re the ones with retirement plans and 401k’s and pensions, investments that by definition are for the long haul. The sharks who sell them to us, the ones whose bonuses every year are measured in six or seven figures, they buy and sell like crazy. Not a comforting scenario. But, then I’m cool with my retirement plans. Age 90, not a day before.

It’s it for now.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana


mm013: Big and Not So and Big

May 22, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , , , , , ,

As you might imagine from yesterday’s clip job (not to mention shameless pandering — although if I’m going to use a picture, I might want to find a slightly more photogenic subject!), my professional life is in one of its less interesting cycles — although in my experience with technology, with interest comes heartburn. Probably more tomorrow. Meanwhile, some issues big and not so and big…

Big: Read a lot of book reviews; don’t read a lot of non-fiction, especially the political type that seem to have a shelf life of nanoseconds.

However, this is one political tract that may have legs. The NY Times review of The Assault on Reason by Al Gore hit me so hard that I’m heading over to my favorite neighborhood bookstore to grab a copy.

Not so: Found an interesting article at a blog I’ve not encountered before, TechCrunch (it’s a big world people). A new site, Yapta, just into public beta, purports to have a better mousetrap where travel is concerned. This mudge isn’t traveling much these days — I’m interested in anyone’s opinion regarding the site.

Big, as in foreign affairs: Found this story on-line today, regarding Turkey, and the European Union. The story just confounds me. As much as I want to believe the entire Muslim world is a solid uniform mass of religious fundamentalist fanaticism, a story like this, regarding a rich and influential nation that has struggled for 80 years to rise above said r.f.f., with some success, gives me pause. They still have to answer for the Armenians, though.

It’s it for now.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana


mm012: Hazardous to your health

May 21, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , , ,

Busy personal life leaves less time for public life. Today’s post will be mainly links.

Maybe this is blindingly obvious, but here’s an interesting correlation:

I’m still confounded by the NY Times story last week (among the most emailed, so it’s not a revelation) regarding the hospitals in Pennsylvania offering 90-day warranties on surgery. Such a concept — accountability.

Fits right in with Michael Moore’s new film, released at Cannes this weekend, Sicko. His last one didn’t prevent George III’s reelection, but maybe this one will jerk us out of our complacency regarding health care in this country in the visceral way that the policy wonks of the ’90’s couldn’t. Paraphrasing one interview I read today he said, they didn’t believe me about General Motors, or Iraq, but maybe now…

Reed Saxon / AP

It’s it for now.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana


mm011: Tools of the trade

May 18, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes I take my show on the road. With the blessing of my management, I have for several years expanded my role as chief instructor and champion of the technology I support by facilitating key meetings and conferences. So, when not teaching, or preparing curriculum, or supporting the technical team and providing informal level 3 support, I go to a lot of meetings. This facilitation often occurs from my desk (after all, this is an on-line tool, creating a virtual meeting space) but frequently my clients need my three dimensional presence.

My tool kit varies by type of meeting. Today, for one of my three engagements, I just needed my experience. Yes, I simply showed up in the right place at the right time, empty handed, and provided advice, and a bit of hands on assistance in aid of my client’s meeting.

For the other two meetings, at 8am and its 4pm duplicate for the benefit of later time zones, my most common rig was required. Laptop (call it Laptop 2), mouse, power brick. Turned out I needed my flash memory stick also. The conference rooms we met in were recently renovated and provided built in projectors, multiple network access jacks (with actual cables present!) and multiple AC taps built into the conference table, and thus made unnecessary much of the paraphernalia I schlep together with said laptop.

These include but are not limited to power strip extension cord; several lengths of CAT 5 network cable, including a bulky but sometimes lifesaving 50-footer and several 3-ft. retractables whose concept was better than execution (clutches failed early on); a 5 port mini network hub with its AC power brick (long illegal in our organization, but I had special dispensation from the CIO!); a cute desk stand that allows me to literally show the flag, the team’s somewhat obsolete logo; etc. Weighs a ton. Takes time to deploy up front, and pack away when done.

And that’s not even considering the least frequent, but most demanding meeting type, one that did not occur today (several times per month if I’m busy). For ambitious large scale conferences, or mission critical smaller ones, said CIO long ago mandated that I carry a backup laptop to those meetings (actually Laptop 1 as I use it), thus explaining the need for some of the extra cables and the mini hub.

Of course Laptop 1 comes in its own case, actually my daily case, making this laptop my work from home instrument, and thus its designation. Thus the case is heavy already with the detritus of office living: spare eyeglasses, bluetooth headset and charger, folding pliers and multi-bit mini screw driver (thus ratifying the slogan I learned and exemplify back when punch cards were still the input/output medium of choice: “beware programmers with screwdrivers”), files, daily journal and other paperwork, obsolete Sony Clio PDA (still provides a backup contact list and plays a mean game of Solitaire, God help me). To all this add the meeting specific hardware, another array of extra cables and power strip extension cord sufficient to independent use in a meeting if necessary, and the like.

Weighs another ton, but has wheels and a telescoping handle like carry-on luggage (of course, this adds to the weight), and the other case fits handily on the handle (!), so allowing me to kid myself that I’m likely to get a few more years of dragging my tools of the trade where needed, lugging the entire collection (up onto and down off of counters and tables, up into and down out of hatchbacks and trunks, not to speak of the seven front steps of my front door) out of my increasingly sensitive and tricky back. Occupational hazard.

And so, today’s three meetings. They went well, thanks very much, and I can’t take this for granted, for many technical reasons whose explanations will have to await a more courageous explainer. The small mid-day meeting that only required me sans electronics went so smoothly I was able to get away after 30 minutes. The bookend meetings that required Laptop II were broadcast to the field sales force responsible for our tent pole product. For me, as a loyal employee and (hundredaire) stockholder, training those folks to keep that pole holding up that tent is as important as meetings get. These meetings, incorporating for the second time a short streaming video element (subject of a future post, probably) went smoothly and altogether well. The marketing and training team I work with for this series of meetings is a driven, competent, workaholic, did I say intense? group, all of whom are mostly young enough to be my kids. Sigh. But they do good work (tent pole) and I’m happy to play my tiny part.

Some days it’s damned hard to be a curmudgeon.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana


mm010: Day in the life

May 17, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , , , ,

Started the day at a satellite facility, here at HCA (how many times do I need to tell you this: Heart of Corporate America, not the name of the real company for whom I work!). Always an adventure, and about 15 minutes further than the standard morning commute.

It’s easier to park there than in previous years (I even once worked for several months on this campus), since many operations have apparently been sold off or closed. Stark evidence of this: the wreckers have leveled a bunch of buildings. My contact here tells me that this gets them off of the tax rolls. Imagine the taxes. Our own property taxes were reassessed for this year, and are up a mere 81%. Maybe tearing down our place would help.

So, arriving somewhat early I stop in the cafeteria to grab the day’s first DMD and check my Blackberry for activity. Ouch — two urgent notes from a longtime client finding errors on the server and absolutely certain it’s something she’s done wrong. No, as it turns out, the server that supports our conferencing system has gone down, as a newly appearing notice advises me. I get on the phone to let my party know that it’s not her, it’s us (is this all really like dating?). Now I’m worried about the meeting I’m there to support, due to start soon.

I get to the conference room at which I’m expected, and wait for my principal, who eventually arrives, sets up and connects his PC to our server, which is actually working (whew!) by the time he’s ready for it. The room is an awkward mix: high tech intentions (built in projector and speaker phone) and low tech workarounds due to indifferent maintenance, typical of a satellite site in my experience. So, my client is never sure the phone is going to work (it is controlled like a TV via remote to an infrared port mounted high in the audio/visual closet), and is so certain that the projector won’t work that he brings his own portable. They couldn’t fix the ceiling-mounted original, but they were good enough to provide him an under floor path for the cable that connects the podium with the table that supports the portable projector. Odd.

I’m present for the second time at one of these regular meetings because there have been web conference based issues in the past that my client is working hard to resolve. The connection is to one of our sites in the UK, where they’ve had consistent connection issues. In fact, at a test session last week, the UK manager in question admitted that other technology from that site seems to experience connection issues — perhaps not the site entirely, but certainly the conference room used regularly for these staff sessions.

So, I had my trepidations anyway, before the server issue at the beginning of the day was known (turns out that this was the 2nd of three such failures over the past 24 hours — ugh!). The conference room filled to overflowing, the people from the UK, less that manager who happened to be returning home from a visit to HQ, joined on the phone and the meeting began.

About 20 minutes into a typically arcane not to say stultifying briefing, as I stood in the back, the UK contingent admitted that they were having trouble with my technology, because they didn’t have a projector. I said (out loud I’m afraid) “I can help with the web conference, but I can’t help with a projector problem from here,” ascertained that indeed there was no other connection to the meeting, turned around and left to drive to my office, to prepare for a practice session scheduled later that hour.

I’m not happy about my abrupt departure, but it feels so futile at times like this. Tough enough to get the technology to work consistently, even five years in, only to be stopped because the minions overseas, without their manager to provide for them, didn’t have a projector with which to view the conference.

It gets better. No, I mean it, not ironically.

Conducted a couple of practice sessions for people with immediate meeting needs and unable to attend in a timely manner (or ignorant of) the advanced on-line class I teach for the technology I support. Spending about 30 minutes with each was typically rewarding — can’t beat one to one training. These days my regular classes can have between eight and 28 attendees, with the larger number assuring dilution of whatever telephonic charisma I might possess to an infinitesimal level. But, my feedback is still pretty good notwithstanding.

Server went down again mid-afternoon, and I’ve become concerned because my biggest client (in number and size of meetings), supporting our most important commercial product, has two meetings tomorrow. I’ve made arrangements to handle things on the backup server, but that’s a communication issue as much as a technological one (how to get the new URL to people in a timely, yet graceful [i.e., without impacting or delaying delivery of the critical training content] fashion). Is that last sentence convoluted enough? I’m reading (hearing actually) Melville for the first time since a high school senior, and now I understand where my propensity for chapter long sentences comes from!

So, those clients just called me — hard at work editing tomorrow’s presentation they missed my reply to late yesterday’s memo regarding the video they want to include. I have reservations that they’re going to like it they way they’ve presented it to me, so I’ll stay late today so we can run a test to show it to them.

I really do love my customers, even (especially, since they keep me in string cheese!) the clueless ones.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana


mm009: Lost and found

May 16, 2007

MUDGE’s Musings

Tags: , ,

Skipped a day for the first time in this brief string, yesterday. Needed to get some distance from the hammering I took. Got it. So I’m back.

Many of us are creatures of habit. It’s part and parcel of curmudgeonhood. A place for everything, and everything in its place, and all that.

So, my personal cell phone went missing. Found it missing (a wonderful contradiction in terms first highlighted for me years ago by Flanders and Swann) as I unstrapped my daily armor upon my return home from HCA.

I remembered pulling it out of my pocket shortly before departing work, and reading the text message from the traffic service, and I remembered all too vividly later that I was impatient about cramming it back in my pocket. It didn’t go very deep, but I let it pass.

So when it was missing, first thing I did was head back out to the car: did I have it near the opening of the pocket, and did it slip out during the 75-minute Moby Dick on wheels session? Didn’t see it there. So, perhaps it fell out of my pocket as I sat at my desk. Maybe someone found it there. Maybe it’s already in use dialing Bulgaria. I scrambled to find a customer service number for my cell carrier (funny, *611 doesn’t work without the phone!), ended up calling information on my land line (another 75-cents down the drain) and suspended my service immediately.

Then ensued a conversation with the customer service person regarding my options, which turn out to be manifold. I have been paying several $ per month for insurance on the thing, having lost a couple (1. back seat of a taxi; 2. plopped into a commode — a distressingly common fate for cell phones I found out) through the years. So there’s that replacement, less a $50 deductible, of whatever model would be comparable. Also, I’d heard from the carrier a week ago or so, reminding me that my 2-year commitment is up and offering some choices, and this agent re-reminded me of same. Sigh. What I really wanted at this financially constrained time (and, another element of my curmudgeonhood, when are the times NOT financially constrained?) was to go to the office in the morning and find my phone.

So I got back to the office this a.m., after a distressed night (what a bother! Is someone plundering my contact list — for what exactly? etc.) and of course did not find the phone in my cube. Sigh. So, I called Security, reported it missing so that they would be on notice if I had to file a police report (required I was told if I wanted to replace the phone via insurance), contacted the department’s assistant who left word with Housekeeping, and stewed. It’s just a phone, a commodity, hardly state of the art two years ago when new, but I like it. Sigh.

Then, I got an idea. Grabbed my car keys, and took a look again, this time in bright sunshine, as compared to the fog of distress at 6PM the evening before. Crawled onto the floor in the back seat, and there, wedged into a corner and thus hiding from my hurried foggy on-tilt search before, was the phone! Whew! So, called the carrier to get service reinstated (can I help you with anything else today sir? Thanks, no! [I really like this phone, and don’t feel like spending more for a new one without a lot more analysis of my instrument and carrier options]), called Security and our assistant to stand down, let my lovely spouse know. What a lot of Sturm und Drang for no achievement whatsoever. Except grist for another post, I guess. Sigh.

Of course, the episode of the phone was just one hammer-tap last evening. A couple of others, probably of greater long term import hit at roughly the same time. Sigh. Maybe those will age gracefully as the phone incident turned out to, and we can discuss at leisure, or not.

Thanks,
–MUDGE

Powered by Qumana