30 November 2019

"Smart" TV's

"In America you watch TV. In Russia, TV watches us!"

Now our cell phones, TV's, and Alexa watch (and listen intently) to us.
And we gladly subsidize it.

26 November 2019


We are in Destin, Florida.
If you've never visited here, you should put it on your "list". The beaches are the color of driven snow, and the water changes color with the angle of the sun or coverage by clouds, but is almost always some spectacular shade of green.

Destin is located about midway 'twixt Pensacola and Panama City, Florida.
U.S. Highway 98 connects the three.
Forecast temperature today was 75 and mostly sunny. I had an errand I needed to do in Pensacola for a friend, and decided it'd be a great day to get the Piaggio MP3 out and exercise its legs.

I took 98 West to the beach town of Navarre, then dropped South a little and picked up the coastal road that skirts the Gulf all the way to Pensacola. That road takes you through the "Gulf Islands National Seashore". It runs through dunes, with now-and-then glimpses of the Gulf, and is a reminder of what this area must have looked like before man started building houses and condos everywhere near the water. Again... spectacular.

Navarre is 30 miles from where we're staying in Destin. The ride was as our weathergirl had predicted... mid-70's temps and mostly sunny.
And then my lifelong irritation with weather prognosticators struck again. Fairly thick clouds that had formed over the water Southwest of me moved overhead, and started spitting at me. The wind got chilly. Stupid me... I didn't bring coat OR rain gear. I hunkered down behind the windscreen and soldiered on.

I rode through Pensacola Beach. The rain stopped. As I made my way further North- inland, the temperature rose and my ride became comfortable again.
I completed my errand for my friend.

Pensacola has a park dedicated to Veterans on property within sight of the Gulf, just Southeast of the old part of the city. It's a quiet, beautiful setting.
One of the memorials there has a Marine "Cobra" helicopter on a pedestal, overlooking a miniature version of the Viet Nam Wall, complete with all the names inscribed on it. I've passed this park many times while visiting the area, but never stopped.
Today, I remedied that.

When I visited the Wall in Washington, D.C., I was surprised at my reaction-
I couldn't stop myself... started to cry.
Today, alone, under clouds and the threat of rain, my personal rain began again.
I don't know how anyone can look at 58,000 names etched into that black edifice and remain dry eyed.


25 November 2019

"Can You Hear Me NOW?"

We continually hear our cell phones have "some order of magnitude" more computing power than was available on Apollo 11.
Watching my son use his Apple device, I know that to be true.
I want my phone to make and receive calls...
How much "computing power" do I need?

23 November 2019

"The Times, They Are A'Changin' "

My mind is going off in six different directions.
In the mid-80's, I was surprised by the reporting of an acquaintance that Yassir Arafat preferred boys to women for his sexual fulfillment:
"Women are for breeding. Boys are for enjoyment."
No expert on Muslim men, I have no idea if this is as big a deal in the Islamic world as my friend suggested it was.

Segue to today's political world-
Sara Jean and I discussing democrat candidates for president...
Me: "Can you imagine fundamental followers of the Quran  having to discuss world issues with homosexual Pete Buttigieg?"
And then I wondered about where those same Islamic leaders might have put their genital probes.

I'm really confused about the world we live in today.