Thursday, January 28, 2016

Senior Varsity Quiz

I have always been good with trivia. I know a lot about a little and a little about a lot.

In Junior High (we didn't have middle schools in Idaho), I was a member of the Junior Varsity Quiz Team. We competed against other Junior High Schools on a local television station program appropriately called Junior Varsity Quiz. We lasted two rounds before being defeated by North Junior High School. I'm pleased to say I answered the most correct questions in the program (a minor accomplishment considering we still lost).

Being able to answer questions quickly about a broad range of topics hasn't really been of much use to me later in life. Oh, it comes in handy if you are playing Trivial Pursuits or find yourself in a bar where a trivia contest is going on. But on a practical level, being able to rattle off random trivia just makes you sound like Cliff from the old Cheers program.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The blogger rarely posts twice

As a rule, I rarely post twice in a day, but for some reason I feel compelled to write something else other than praises for my new iPhone (which is really awesome). I'll note that didn't promote my last post on social media and it has only been viewed four times. If I tweet or post on Facebook about a new post, I generally get about 25 or so hits. So as pitiful as my readership is, social media does boost it a bit.

I've actually been a bit more prolific this January than I have been for awhile. This is my seventh post. Though back in 2006 I post 31 times. Of course that was back in my blogging prime. It was all still relatively new to me and held promise. Now I write about getting a new iPhone.

The i's have it

Years ago, I had a Mac at work in addition to a PC. All of the designers I have ever known swear by Macs. I liked it, but practicality and price eventually drove me to PCs.

When I first ventured into the world of cell phones I had a standard flip phone for home and a Blackberry for work. Eventually my work and home phone merged into an Android Smartphone. I was ok with the Android, but frustrated at times by how slow it seemed and sporadically random glitches in the software and apps.

So I broke down and ordered an iPhone. Now granted it is an iPhone 5s, not the latest iPhone 6S or whatever the newest models are. But I have to admit I feel as though I have entered a whole new world of smartphonedom.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Back in 2013, I posted a photo from Googlemaps taken of my boyhood home that had captured an image of my late mother working in the yard. It was taken a few months before her death.

We sold the house to a developer, understanding that it would eventually be torn down and new homes built on the property. I returned to Boise a few times since and drove by but the house still remained. My brother in Boise informed me a few months ago that the house had been torn down. I put it out of my mind. But today I looked it up on Google Earth and found they'd done a new street level photo of how the property looks now.

Now Google also allows you to look at a timeline for the property since they started taking the photos so there was also a photo of the house from 2008.

The one constant thing from all three photos is the maple tree in the foreground. My brothers and I rescued a sapling from a drainage ditch probably 50 years ago, brought it home and planted it there in our front yard. And it is the only thing that remains of my childhood home.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Stephan Hawkins predicts the end of the world

Actually, the MSN article headline read "Most threats to humans come from science and technology, warns Hawking," but I thought my headline was a bit more attention grabbing. In actuality, the article said Hawkins just pointed out in a speech about black holes, that "The chances of disaster on planet Earth will rise to a near certainty in the next one to ten thousand years, the eminent cosmologist said, but it will take more than a century to set up colonies in space where human beings could live on among the stars."

Then he goes on to theorize about black holes and lost everyone.

Sure Hawking is a genius, but isn't saying the world will shoot it's eye out with a technology charged BB gun in the next 10,000 years just stating the obvious? Big whoop. If the world ends in the next one to ten thousand years, I'll be long gone. And even my kids won't be around in the next 100 years or so to worry about living in a space colony. So I for one don't take this revelation from Hawking anymore seriously than Harold Campings ravings about the rapture.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Around the block

I started writing this post several days ago. It started out as "The blog post always rings twice." But that germ of an idea wasn't contagious. So I switched to one titled, "Lights out" which was kind of a rant about people who still have their holiday lights up. That flickered.

So I admit I have a bit of writer's block which is unusual for me. I normally can ramble on for paragraphs at a time unconcerned by lack of inspiration or something interesting to say. Man, but my two aborted attempts at writing something were about as boring a PBS documentary on weaving. And now I've stooped to writing about not being able to write. Not a first, but still pretty lame.

 Part of the problem is that for the most part my day job requires me to be "creative" on demand. I don't mind being considered creative, but there is a certain, "Dance monkey, dance" quality to it that gets to me sometimes.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Self-conscious blogging

I don't know about other bloggers, but I don't spend a great deal of time crafting my posts. Although I don't usually sit down and hammer one out in five minutes, I rarely spend more than a few minutes here and there during a day to write one. And I more rarely ever do a lot of rewriting or deleting. So, although my posts may not all be great art, they are for the most part genuine.

But sometimes, like in yesterday's post for instance, I catch myself being extremely self-conscious. And I'm pretty sure it shows in my writing. I start worrying about being too negative or repetitive. I try to soften stuff or interject a self-depreciating jab. And all of this happens when I start to think I'm writing for an audience instead of for myself.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

One more ride on the carousel

A calendar year is a bit like a carousel.  You go around and around and end up back where you started. Then you go around and around again. A pessimist might say it is a vicious circle.  An optimist might say it is just a well-rounded life.

I'm more of a pessoptimist. I say it just is what it is.

Regardless, this is my first post of 2016. And while I pondered what I should write, I rejected the standard year in review, listing my resolutions or looking ahead articles you find in magazines and more successful blogs. Been there, done that. No one really cares about my year in review, my resolutions (or lack thereof) or my opinion about what 2016 will be like.