Thursday, July 31, 2014

Neighborhood Tech Support

I've been doing technical support for years. Since computers "came of age" as I did, I've had the benefit of using computers for most of my life. I put tapes into Tandy computers (the ones that co-opted a TV as the monitor), I put floppies into the Apple II to play "Number Munchers," played "Oregon Trail" on the Apple IIc, and I marveled at how much STUFF one could pack into the 3.5" HD variant of the disk drive on the IBM PS/2 my dad won in a business card drop.

For a large portion of that computer time, I've done tech support for other people. I can remember acting as a kind of teaching assistant for classes I was supposed to be in during elementary school. Helping various people get their computers working, programs loaded, commands understood, and designs drawn on LogoWriter. While I felt very self-important doing this, it really just amounted to obeying the three fundamental laws of tech support:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

So it's like Disneyland, but with supernatural wrath, genocide, and incest. Cool.

Watch out for those teeth, Noah!
SOURCE: Family that owns Hobby Lobby plans Bible museum in Washington

I had a few short thoughts on this article that talks about Hobby Lobby's founding family looking to spend $800 million on a museum to the Bible in Washington, D.C.:

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Attention-Getter

This is how they do it, right?
[Disclaimer: descriptions of harassment of women will be mentioned later. Sail these seas with caution.]

I always thought it would fun to be attractive. In a world governed by visual stimulus, it's one of the closest things our society has to a superpower. It's not as super-natural as flying or shooting beams from fingertips, but it's pretty close. Being attractive can provoke extremely altered behavior in others from a distance of fifty paces! Eat your heart out, Ant Man.

Recently, I had an experience at a small club in Kansas City that demonstrated the effectiveness of the Power. While watching a band play, the girlfriend of one of the band walked in. She's attractive. Her appearance at the door led heads to turn to look at who entered, then *stay* looking at who entered.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Judiciously Silent

One of the big problems with having friends is they can break your heart, a bit. They may not necessarily intend to do it -- especially if they're good friends! -- but they can still do it.

The type of heartbreak I'm talking about isn't a romantic one. It's more just the uncanny ability that friends have of showing me the ways that I've been a fool. And having been a fool, the path back to sensibility leads through a bit of heartbreak.


Monday, July 07, 2014

Death in the Morning

Beyond the Waters
News of a death with my morning routine today. The person lay outside my normal circle of friends, so even now I don't have all of the details. The obituary section of the KC Star website is such a horrible intersection of bad design, slow updates, and intrusive advertising that I'm not sure I'll be able to get anything out of it for another month.

It wasn't a particular surprise, this death. It happened in the way deaths often do in this time. A cancer diagnosis, years back, that led to treatments and time away from the job. Then no news. Is that good news? Or bad?

Sunday, July 06, 2014

What about *green* squirrels?

Source: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26085784/colorado-teen-birth-rates-drop-state-hands-out


There is barely a sentence in this Denver Post article that is not fascinating to me.

The governor of Colorado says that a program which makes long-term reversible contraceptive devices available to low-income women for little or no charge has reduced the teen birth rate by nearly 40% in five years. Let's tick off all the fascinating things:

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Thoughts about the "Pride Whopper"

Source: USA TODAY, "Burger King sells gay pride Whopper"

Burger King announced that one location in San Francisco would sell a special "Pride" version of their flagship sandwich through Thursday. The location was at the heart of the Pride Parade from last weekend. Clothed in a fancy rainbow-colored wrapper, the inside features a standard Whopper and the words "We are all the same inside."


Tentative Interrogative

I've talked in the past about how I've been guilty of manipulating people and controlling the conversation. The conscious choice I've made to leave that behind has made me a happier person overall, but there's still one aspect that I've had a very hard time leaving behind. Every time the situation arises, I have to leash back the sentence that's about to charge out of my mouth.

And that sentence is, "What are you doing tonight?"