mm455: Thou shalt blog daily

August 1, 2008
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© Jcyoung | Dreamstime.com

MUDGE’s Musings

… or so I’ve been told.

Worked from home today, finished up at about 4:30pm, left shortly thereafter for the first evening of an action packed family reunion weekend for my wife’s mother’s family.

Four generations gathered (age range: 5 cuddly months to 87 spry years); most live locally (a phenomenon of my wife’s close knit family), several flew in from Houston and Philadelphia, and we missed our own representatives of Generation 3 and 4 who are celebrating a family reunion of their own in Hawaii this week.

But it was a goodly crowd of nearly 30, enjoying food and drink at a local (for some) sports bar (watched Ken Griffey, Jr. get his first hit and RBI in his first at bat in a White Sox uniform, thank you very much), and then a brisk game of miniature golf played indoors under black light (its location in a popular strip mall makes it seem like a make-out palace for 15-year-olds, but I’m an old curmudgeon). Fun for all ages.

And, here it is after 11:00pm, and while the political and technological world didn’t cease spinning today, yr (justifiably) humble svt is ready to fold his cards and call it a long day, in a long week.

So, in the spirit of daily blogging, I submit this edition. Sorry, they can’t all be bold.

It’s it for now. Thanks,

–MUDGE

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mm450: Big hat, no cattle

July 27, 2008
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© Martin Flyntz | Dreamstime.com

MUDGE’s Musings

Sunday evening. A rather scattered weekend: errands Saturday and Sunday morning. Dinner out with relatives/friends Saturday. Lunch in with mothers and sister-in-law Sunday. Strolling solo later Sunday through a rather high quality summer art fair. Not nearly as fun as with my lovely life partner, who chose to recover from the excesses of cooking and entertaining (honest, I did the dishes before I left!).

Lots of surfing, but the usual suspects yielded potential future seeds, but no immediate inspiration.

So, in the manner of Seinfeld, a blog post about nothing.

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mm441: The Zen of the commuter

July 16, 2008

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MUDGE’S Musings

So it’s already almost 9:30pmCDT as I begin these words, pretty late to start a week-night project. It’s only a little crazy that, for WordPress.com, it’s already Thursday, as they operate on GMT and the calendar flips over for them at 7:00pmCDT.

But, while not Thursday yet in my world, it’s pretty late.

Got some interesting political/current events stuff that, if I had some drive, I might be able to write about. But, after a day of writing (a thrilling technical manual) and leading a fireman’s life later in the day (you know, days of boredom followed by minutes of sheer terror) as we broadcast our CEO’s quarterly message to his high ranking troops, I’m gassed. Not to mention the two hours round-trip commute.

Actually, I think I will mention the commute.

I’ve been making the workday journey to the Heart of Corporate America for nearly seven years. I’m convinced that the only reason that I haven’t long since gone postal is audio books.

We broached the subject of audio books in the most detail in this post from last August.

I publicly admit that I indeed listen to books on tape (or, more recently, CD) almost every day.

I have a commute that can take more than an hour, especially the afternoon home-bound one, and I have been using books on tape to fill that mental vacuum caused by bumper-to-bumper traffic on a numbing 250 times per year route for more than a decade and a half, since an otherwise despised boss tipped me to their value in this application.

I formerly listened to FM broadcast radio, mainly our last classical station, but often some afternoon FM talk, in a Howard Stern vein (but not HS!). The classics are always soothing, but not always useful at distracting one from driving chores. Talk radio, at least in MUDGE’s neck of the woods, seems to consist of 10 minutes of snarky talk followed by 20 minutes of jangly commercials. Ugh.

Books on tape rescued me from the tyranny of the airwaves (this was before the availability of satellite radio, which might have changed my thinking had I not been locked down into b-o-t mode by the time Sirius and XM made the scene).

My criteria is rock solid: never, ever an abridgement. Ever.

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mm410: Shallow thoughts

June 14, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

Back from Boston. Gotten some rest. Feeling more like myself. But not ready for deep thoughts, and yr (justifiably) humble svt found some topics on the web today worth pursuing in depth. But not today.

Sunday, 15-June-2008, is Fathers’ Day, an even more contrived observance than is Mothers’ Day. Pursuing the Left-Handed Complement archives, it seems that I let the day go by without note last year. Not a big deal.

My father, and my father-in-law, both good men and great role models, are deceased. My children, who I hope rate me similarly (but that’s for them to evaluate, and the jury is still out!), are mostly unavailable this weekend. Received a gift from the L.A. branch of the family, lovely framed pictures of our seven-year-old grandson and five-year-old granddaughter; definitely made my day.

My older son and his wife (and our local grand-dog) left early this morning for an out-of-state visit to his wife’s parents, to celebrate Fathers’ Day there. Can’t fault that; my kids haven’t seen those really good people since their wedding last July.

My youngest, the artist and vampire, leads a life that is 180° offset from his parents. He works, or performs, until the wee hours of the morning (home by 6am), so we see him rarely.

So, this weekend, a Father’s Day without fathers (permanent condition), and without children (in person — we have hopes for a Skype video call later today with the grandchildren).

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mm402: Brigadoon year for the Cubs?

June 6, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

This nanocorner of the ‘Sphere© doesn’t touch on issues in the world of sports that often.

But today I feel compelled.

I’ve spent all week sleep deprived, as the Chicago Cubs have been playing games on the West Coast, and those don’t begin until 9:05pm Central time. And the way baseball is played these days, only one of the past four night’s games has ended before midnight my time.

So, baseball has been on my mind.

They’re playing the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend. L.A. is the home of my daughter and her family: my son-in-law, and my two grandchildren.

My 7-1/2 year old grandson lived in Chicago for the first four years of his life, and somehow caught Cubs fan-itis, following the team on TV when available (and his mom and dad say it’s okay) and on line.

Last time we were together, he showed me how he logs into MLB.com on his Mom’s Macbook to get the latest scores and stats, and he grabs the L.A. Times sports section first thing to study the box scores. And his interest and enthusiasm, especially for all things Cubs, re-ignited mine. It doesn’t hurt that they’re off to a terrific start this season.

As I reflected on baseball, an enthusiasm that waxes and wanes for me, but which was a lifelong enthusiasm of my father, and which my older son inherited, and now, apparently, my grandson, I had this thought.

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mm394: Yet another word about process

May 28, 2008

MUDGE‘s Musings

If this latest post looks different, there’s a reason.

A rather disappointing one, actually.

Yesterday afternoon, the official hard drive of the official desktop PC of  Left-Handed Complement died a very slow, lingering but apparently permanent death.

As it was the brains of a 4-year old PC, the issue was whether to dig in and replace the hard drive, which would have resulted in an attempt to reconstruct the world, based on the (of course) frequent backups we perform religiously.

Or, as several colleagues (after all, we’re in the IT business) advised, why put a fresh drive into a 4-year old machine? Starting over would require the same amount of restoration, without all the screwdriver elicited perspiration.

Anyone who knows yr (justifiably) humble svt also knows that I am the living embodiment of a wise saying I read long ago: “Beware the programmer with screwdriver.”

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mm391: A site for poor eyes

May 25, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

For yr (justifiably) humble svt, eyesight is the most important of the five senses. Of course, if my senses of taste and smell weren’t so important to me, perhaps I wouldn’t weigh what I do.

And, if I had no hearing, my music collection and my 100 stations on Pandora would be useless. And without a sense of touch, certain very enjoyable activities would be far less enjoyable, if possible at all.

But, all considered, for me, sight is the most precious. So this story leapt off the page for me.

nytimes

electronicmagnifier

The Magnifying Glass Gets an Electronic Twist

TECHNOLOGY | Novelties |  By ANNE EISENBERG | Published: May 25, 2008

PEOPLE who lose part of their sight to macular degeneration, diabetes or other diseases may now benefit from some new technology. Several portable video devices that enlarge print may help them make the most of their remaining vision.

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mm386: Your Boomer brain: older just might be better

May 20, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

It’s definitely a trend: as we Boomers age, we find our contemporaries in publishing responding by exposing us to more and more research conducted by our contemporaries in medicine and science regarding the Boomers’ new topic A: Aging.

The oldest of us in the first cohort of that giant bulge in the demographic boa constrictor is 62 years of age in 2008, and for the first time eligible for reduced social security retirement benefits. Suddenly, that far off distant time, old age, is approaching with uncomfortable alacrity, and self-absorbed as we’ve always been, stories on elder health have become more frequent as they’ve become more germane.

Without hardly searching, we found three such stories regarding aging brains and how they work this month alone.

Brain story no. 1. Exercise!

nytimes

Exercise Your Brain, or Else You’ll … Uh …

Technology | By KATIE HAFNER | Published: May 3, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — When David Bunnell, a magazine publisher who lives in Berkeley, Calif., went to a FedEx store to send a package a few years ago, he suddenly drew a blank as he was filling out the forms.

“I couldn’t remember my address,” said Mr. Bunnell, 60, with a measure of horror in his voice. “I knew where I lived, and I knew how to get there, but I didn’t know what the address was.”

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mm384: Congratulations to the graduate!

May 18, 2008

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MUDGE’s Musings

Sometimes it’s simply appropriate to inject more than one’s opinions.

Today we inject yr (justifiably) humble svt‘s personal life.

The photo shows the proud graduate, child no. 3, shortly after the commencement ceremony at Columbia College Chicago late this afternoon, Sunday, May 18, 2008.

This is a unique arts oriented institution that marches literally to a different drummer. Big band jazz accompanied the processional and recessional, including a high energy arrangement of “Walk This Way,” yeah, that Aerosmith “Walk This Way,” as the faculty degree granters made their way onto the stage. Quite an entertaining afternoon.

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mm357: Back inaction

April 24, 2008

MUDGE’s Musings

So, for the first time in over a week, I find myself back in blogging mode. Before this day is done, I hope to post something more publicly relevant. But, this first one will be personal.

We had a great time in Los Angeles this past week. These are not tourist visits; rather, they are family catch-up stays. Our daughter and son-in-law, our two grandchildren and (heaven help us) our granddog moved to the San Fernando valley suburbs of L.A. four years ago, when our grandson was 3-1/2, and our granddaughter had just turned one. They had lived just a mile away.

Sigh.

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