Sunday’s Theme Music

The Neurons stuck “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” by Chicago into the morning mental music stream. I think the group may have been the Chicago Transit Authority when the song was recorded. It’s from 1970, when I was fourteen, instilling thoughts about what year it is and how old I am. The song was delivered when I looked to my wrist to check my Fitbit for the time. ‘Lo, it wasn’t there. Apparently, the FB faked me into believing all was well. Then its symptoms returned. I charged it and charged it again but had to remove it from my wrist because it was going off every three seconds — notification — which becomes v — notification — intrusive to m — notification — processes.

Yes, the Fitbit is no more. I thought about searching for DIY repairs. Had done that tentatively. Maybe later. Maybe I’ll purchase a new one. I don’t know. It’s too early to talk about replacing it. Plus, there’s the irritating issue of how to dispose of this technology piece without contributing to further environmental damage. Yes, it’s small, but it all adds up.

Sunday, July 31, 2022, finds us shrouded by smoke, sent to us by the McKinney fire a few miles away on the California and Oregon border. Truly nasty smell. You can’t breathe it, so keep the pets in and close up everything. Mask up when you’re outside or suffer the consequences.

The cats were very cool about being kept in. When I responded to their request to go outside with an explanation about what was going on with the heat and smoke, they replied, “Oh, that is very distressing to hear. Thank you for your concerns about our health, Michael. We appreciate it.” Then they groomed themselves and went to sleep.

What do you think we should call that fairy tale? Because that’s what that story was.

No, the cats took being kept inside like Mel Gibson screaming for freedom, constantly and persistently, hour after hour. OMG. The floof people insisted that they’re free animals, meant to roam the outdoors except for eating, having bowel movements, drinking water, and snuggling with humans. Oh, and playing with toys. Oh, yeah and catnip — mustn’t forget catnip — and looking out the window, observing people like a spies following troop movements.

Today’s sunrise was at 6:03 AM and sunset is at 8:31 PM. It’s presently 26 C outside. The high will ‘only’ be 99 F, which is much closer to our usual average. It’s supposed to cool for the rest of the week, dropping to 90 at one point. Of course, the hot weather has generated thunderstorms galore, adding to the wildfire threat, given the looonnnggg drought and the dried-out land that we’re enduring.

Stay positive and test negative and take care of yourself and your people and animals. I’ll try to do the same. Coffee? Yes, stat. Enjoy the music. Cheers

Worth Noting

David Walden, Computer Scientist at Dawn of Internet, Dies at 79

I worked for IBM for over a decade after retiring from the military and became aware of David Walden’s name while I was there. I’d heard of the work of the I.M.P. before that while reading about ARPANET. People like Walden contributed to this thing called the net and develop it to the point where we have the connectivity of today. I take the net for granted, complaining about it when it’s slow or won’t load, along with the work that Walden did, but it’s pretty amazing when you regard its technology.

RIP, David Walden

Back to Bed

It’s become one of those days. I started off optimistic and energetic. Despite the leaked SCOTUS decision regarding Roe v. Wade and the various responses to it, I thought, it hasn’t been finalized. It may have even been floated by Republicans to see gauge reactions. Maybe, right, fingers crossed, etc.

But then I go on to the news. Ohio elected a guy, a Qanon promoting individual who thinks Joe Biden is tearing this country apart. He says, “Our grassroots movement across northwest Ohio intensified with every terrible mistake the Biden administration continued and still continues to make. I am more energized than ever to unite the Republican base.”

What terrible mistakes have been made? That’s not specified. I’m sure he’ll point to oil and gas prices, inflation, ignoring, of course, the global view of what’s going on in that realm with supply lines, Trump’s contributions to the problem, and the war. Perhaps, being a QAnon’er, he’ll point to the ‘COVID-19 Hoax’ or ‘the stolen 2020 election’, ‘illegal mandates’, or other things already proven to the contrary. How they hold on to the lies and disinformation that’s been spread. This man might well end up in the U.S. Congress, alongside Boebert, MTG, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Ron Johnson, and that ilk.

Then I see headlines about a few more murders and news about Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. All of it drains and angers me, but also frustrates me. It’s sad to read of people’s behavior and thinking. In many ways, when I think of the net, that’s one of the things that comes to mind: TMI. But then a friend shares information about AI testing bees and their networking processes, and I think, see? Technology is also good.

Yes, science and technology can be wonderful, when used right. Perhaps, that’s what bugs me: we have so many undermining technology and history, twisting their narrative to promote themselves as saviors of freedom and progress. 1984? Oh, yes. Often, the motivation behind these people and their movements turn out to be the ancient problems of racism and greed.

Instead of going back to bed, I’ll deep back into my writing world. Got my coffee. It’s time to write like crazy, at least one more time.


Worth Mentioning

Thirty-two years after it was launched into space, the HST team celebrated the Hubble Space Telescope’s contribution to space exploration by publishing a photograph of five galaxies which are merging into one. Talk about a merger! This event is expected to take about a billion years to finish. I keep wondering, what’s the due diligence on something like this?

The five galaxies involved are called the Hickson Compact Group (HCG) 40, an interesting name for a progressive rock group. (Their music is probably spacy, doncha think?) Contemplating this information is staggering on many levels. One, that we’ve achieved the capabilities as a species to look into deep space and understand this. Two, that the event will take so long. Such patience is required. If I was one of the stars involved in the galaxy merger, I’d be, like, man, this is taking forever. Such is my response at a grocery store when I need to wait an extra sixty seconds because people can’t remember their PIN (no, I’m not looking at my wife), or my exasperation rising due to pages loading v e e r r r y s s s l l o o o w w w l l l y y y on the net. I can’t imagine waiting a billion years for anything, although it’s all relative, innit? Stars live longer than I do, so far as we know at this point.

So if you have the time and resources, that is to say, if you’re not suffering from food and housing insecurity, and you’re not a refugee from war, famine, or natural disaster, and if you have the net connections and a computer, in other words, if you’re a fortunate person in relative measure, it’s worth taking a few minutes to consider this far-away event. Helps add a little more perspective.


New Technology

I just read of a new technology that I could actually use. The latest activity trackers, like Fitbit, have a new optional app called Closer. It works like this. If you and your spouse or partner, or whomever, have activity trackers with Closer on it, the systems can be bonded. Closer can then be activated by cycling through apps, then pressing on it when it’s on your device face.

What’s it do? Well, the bonded devices will show an arrow to where the other is located. The closer the two devices are, the larger and greener the arrow will become. If you’re moving away from them, the arrow turns red and small.

Ad campaigns tout several uses. One, if you’re in a store like Costco or a mall and don’t know where the other person is, just call up Closer and follow the arrow. Two, you can find the other’s device if they’ve misplaced it.

Pretty neat, huh? I know it’s a lot like the apps and trackers used to find keys and phones, but I just made all of that up. Closer doesn’t exist, as far as I know. Consider this an early April Fool’s Day entry.


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