Archives For December 2012

Techie Titans …

December 31, 2012

Banner - Aside 2Source: In Memoriam: 9 Tech Titans Who Died in 2012 | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com.

Clean RoomHe was just one of several tech titans who died over the past year. None had the name recognition of a Steve Jobs — who passed in 2011 — but they may have moved our world in bigger ways. Among those that passed in 2013 are the IBMer who invented the bar code and the Zenith engineer who devised the first wireless TV remote — not to mention one of the physicist who helped built the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Click on the images above to remember them all.

I know I have a few techie friends out there who read my blog so I thought I would pass along this article about nine innovators who died in 2012. Its worth the read if only for old time sake.  It is amazing that most of them were about 90 years old. Maybe being a techie is healthy :)

Giving Up the Mouse…..

December 31, 2012

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Dexter, our cat has been chasing a mouse around the house for the last few winter days. When he does he gets Beulah our sixty pound basset hound all excited and involved in the chase. It is funny to see Beulah with her tail wagging a mile a minute sitting next to Dexter staring at the bottom of the refrigerator where a mouse is currently hiding.  When I started this post that picture came to mind but that is really not the topic at hand. Instead it is about giving up my computer mouse.

I started out my computer life with a Radio Shack TRS-80 computer in the 1980s. It had no mouse or graphical user interface (GUI for all you techies). Everything had to be typed in on a keyboard and I spent hundreds of hours on doing just that.  I was hooked from the very beginning.

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You Either Write or Live

December 30, 2012

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Cristian MihaiSome time ago I came across a blog from a Romanian blogger named Cristian Mihai that got my attention. On many of his posts he seems much too mature for his twenty-two years.  But then other times he seems to fit right in to that bracket.  He is an ambitious young man who has totally conquered English as his second language. He is also a self-published author.

Below is one of the posts that seems almost profound to me. He is talking about what it means to be a writer:

Source: You either write or live « Cristian Mihai.

You have to take a step back, see things for what they are, and then write about them. You have to become an observer, you have to put your life on hold. You have to spend a lot of time inside your head, a lot of time all by yourself, in your living room, scribbling down one word after another.

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You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger. Let a person overcome anger by love. Hate is never ended by hatred but by love.
— Buddha –

BuddhaThese words could just as easily come from the mouth of Jesus as from Buddha. But in reality Buddha lived on this earth several hundred years before Jesus. It amazes me how similar the reported lives of Jesus and Buddha are. Here are some of those similarities as found at Wikipedia and other sources:

  •  Buddha is actually a title which means “the awakened one”, his name was actually Gautama Buddha.
  • Traditional biographies of Gautama generally include numerous miracles, omens, and supernatural events. Continue Reading…

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RooseveltIt seems we hear a lot about how the Republicans say they can’t vote for this or for that because they must “follow their principles”.  The trouble with all this is that they don’t want any government so blowing up the system IS following their principles.

Their hero told them that “government is the problem”. But what is a country without government?  That condition is called “everyone for themselves”. Is that what we want for our country? I think not; at least for 99% of us.

Is there really anything except shutting down government that can pass through a GOP controlled house of representatives now days? Are they really so head strong on eliminating their own jobs? That would be a first for any government employee wouldn’t it?

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Christmas Birds

December 29, 2012

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Christmas Blizzard Birds

This is one of my favorite shots from the recent blizzard. When snow covers the ground the cardinals and a few bluejays are frequent visitors to our old apple tree in the back.  They await their turn at the winter bird feeder.

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Source: Home for the holidays: Fewer US troops are absent this year – CSMonitor.com.

Military drawdownWhen President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama issued a special holiday greeting over the weekend to US troops fighting overseas, they were addressing the smallest deployment of combat troops in at least five years….

Then, as Mrs. Obama emphasized in the video greeting, there are the 2.4 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and their families, who will continue to require services beyond holiday acknowledgments from the president.

 Even though I don’t have any friends or relatives in harm’s way now, this is the best Christmas present I could have wished for. Now if we can just go back to pre-Iraq military deployment levels that would be even more joyous. The most joyous would be to also get back to those military spending levels. We spend about twice as much on our war machine as we did then. This is one of the major causes for our current deficit problems.

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Source: Norquist: Tea party resurgence if no “fiscal cliff” deal – Political Eye – CBS News.

Grover Norquist is predicting that President Obama will be the political target of tea partiers if a deal on averting the “fiscal cliff” fails to materialize.

No this quote from the article is not a joke.  But it sure should be. As if the tea partiers will suddenly love the president if he averts the fiscal curb. We will see pigs fly before that group has more than four letter words for our president. Grover seems to want to predict the future and so do I.

  • Tea BagI predict that there will only be a few stale moldy tea bags lying around in the gutters when the next presidential election comes up.  The tea party continues to shot themselves in the foot with all their screw-ball candidates and  after the mid-term elections they will be toast. How’s that for a prediction? A pipe dream you say? But what is wrong with pipe dreams. Continue Reading…

The Right Tool….

December 27, 2012

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I am a tool guy. I have had many of them throughout my life. My barn is stuffed with specialized tools I purchased when I had a cabinet making business. I am also a firm believer in the old phrase

The Right Tool for the Job

That is you don’t use pliers when the job really calls for a socket wrench.  In that regard when I looked out on our 150 foot driveway covered with over fourteen inches of wet snow I knew I didn’t have the right tools for this job. My Craftsman garden tractor is the top of the line and biggest garden tractor they make.  I mount a fifty-six inch mower deck to it in the Spring and it does a great job on my two and a half acres of grass.
Stuck in SnowIn the fall I put on the fifty-four inch heavy-duty snow plow blade and tire weights and chains. I even add a concrete filled building block to the back for additional weight.  All this makes it the right tool for snows up to six inches deep but it is not the right tool for this one!

So, I did what a man really doesn’t like to do and that is to call for help! I am now patiently waiting for the guy with the big four-wheel drive truck to come. I hate to admit defeat before I even start the job but sometimes that is the best and safest thing to do.

Sometimes a guy has to do what a guy has to do…..

PS.. We are officially plowed out now but even the guy with the “right” tool got stuck at the end of our driveway. At least for a little while.

Being A Contrarian….

December 27, 2012

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Being that we are coming upon the end of another year I am in a self-reflections mode. I admit that much of what I post about is the result of reading a post or article about something and thinking that there is more to the story than is written. Sometimes it deserves an alternate view. Sometimes it needs expanding to attain its full meaning. And sometimes it’s just wrong, at least in my view. :)  I write to fill these gaps.  While I don’t like others putting me in boxes, particularly those that don’t really fit, I do sometimes try to label myself.  I am a contrarian at heart; always have been. Probably always will be.  It is nice to have a venue as an outlet and at least a few folks to read what I say.

contrarianLet’s look at the definitions of contrarian to see where I might fit:

contrarian

  • a person who takes an opposing view, especially one who rejects the majority opinion, as in economic matters.
  • a contrary or obstinate person( as modifier ): a contrarian investor ; contrarian instincts

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