Saturday, December 25, 2010


Snow on Christmas.   That takes me back a bit.


Christmas Day

Today is a perfect day. If you knew me ten years ago or even five years ago you would know what a big statement that is.

The gift giving went really great. The gift receiving went great. I sit here blogging on a new netbook while my son is asleep on the couch and my wife is putting something together that I can't figure out, oh, it's the shower corner thingie. I'm surprised no questions about shower corner thingies have been asked and I'm able to blog. :)

My daughter is on the way to her father's house and the nice quiet of the house is making me very happy.

What is it about age? Suddenly you are happier when things are not happening. :) 

Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Visit

I am proud to say that I think I have matured a lot recently. A year or two ago, I would have thought I had nothing new to learn. I'm getting old and old dogs don't learn new tricks. I looked at the world as if it was some kind of science experiment going on around me. Sometimes I thought I might try to effect the experiment but the connection between actions and consequences, cause and effect, seemed hard to pinpoint. Sometimes the experiment was overwhelming.

But, in my mind, some kind of enlightenment has been taking place. I feel that my efforts over the years of trying to work from the inside to the outside are finally bearing fruit. The effects on the great experiment are no clearer, but my behavior and enjoyment of the great experiment has definately changed.

My brother, my sister in law and one of my nephews came to visit in preparation for the grand Christmas event. :)  It underscores that I really love my life now. I get very excited about almost everything now. We went to an antique mall that I pass by almost every day and it was like a museum of life. It was fascinating at every turn. Not only is this museum something I pass by every day, but it is a constantly changing exhibit as people buy and sell. I had never been in it.

In my other blog I whack capitalism around a bit. But how can I deny that this very interesting place was a great result? The value or peceived value of objects has helped keep them in fairly good shape. My favorite item of the day was a Coke bottle, capped, and still filled with Coke. I was the only one excited to see it. I checked it out and I was the only one super excited by it (me and at least one other person who had put a 6 dollar price tag on it.) It was probably from the 60's. It had typical signs of the Coke bottles I remembered. The "Return for Deposit" was written in the same durable white ink as the rest of the bottle. The cap was rusted ever so slightly, but still one could imagine it as it had been. The Coke inside looked reasonable enough. The widest bulges of the May West bottle were properly worn and scratched. If you are as old as me you remember that it was very seldom that you saw a Coke bottle without these worn edges where glass had rubbed against glass in the machines, in the cases, or on the assembly line. When you carried cokes home in a six pack carton, they would tinkle as they hit together. The world was somehow always imperfect even though one expected perfection. The vision of a Coke bottle on a TV commercial would be as pristine as it the day it was manufactured. The reality that dropped out of the machine was a bottle that may have been reused hundreds of times.

It was one of the first and greatest recycling efforts in the USA. Here was an example sitting on a shelf for 6 dollars. I'm not sure what those Mexican Cokes cost, the ones that still contain cane sugar, but they aren't cheap. But I hear and know that they are better than the corn syrup sweetened Cokes that we make in the USA. A few weeks ago my work colleagues were drinking and tasting a group of these Mexican Cokes as if they were a rareity, because they are. I somehow became a little prouder of Mexico for keeping my past intact through all the capitalist changes.

It was and is a wonderful Christmas visit. I love a holiday that before seemed a somewhat more like a psychology experiment, than a time of utter joy that it has become for me.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Turkish to Me

Where I work, I often have to help people when their laptops will not connect to our open wireless network. There are many reasons a laptop would not connect, not the least of which is a block placed on their laptop by our system for running peer-to-peer sofware. Of the last 10 or so people, all have been blocked for this reason which I can really only tell by eliminating all other possible reasons a laptop mightn't be working correctly.

The nicest lady, who turned out to be from Turkey, came up to me and needed help with her laptop. It was not connecting to our network, of course. Dread filled my mind. I'm going to have to explain the subtleties of peer to peer networking here to this nice lady who looked as innocent as a dove on a Hallmark card.

Dread turned into dismay as I clicked on the first icon only to recieve a pop up box written entirely in Turkish. I asked things like "does this say 'yes'?" or "does this say 'disconnect'?."  Finally, tried and true methods got her laptop working. I turned the network button on and off (similar to the old reboot) and eventually maneuvered slowly through the screens. The Turkish Google website popped up.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Note: My Original Blog

If you would like to read my other blog, you now need to be invited. I made this decision purely on the basis of recent events where I work. Anyone that asks can be invited. For my own sense of well-being, I need to make sure it is not a public blog. This should help a bit for me as a writer as well because I have always felt the pressure to censor. I'm sure it probably will ask you to log in. Sorry.

Michael's Aimless Blog will continue unfettered by readership. That is, if I'm the only reader, I'll still do the blog. :)

I really meant it as practice for the future anyway. It has become fun and I have felt excited about writing each and every entry. Although, the thought of repercussions was always in the back of my mind, I tried not to censor myself.

Those of you who know me, know how to contact me. You're invited.

On a happier note: e major.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Return of the Cuckoo Clock

I had not heard the tune on this clock for probably 40 years,
until today.

Science and Online Dating

Science and Online Dating, or Howdy: How Minnie Pearl was Born
a Mite Too Early. This was an interesting video.

50's Science Fiction Paperback Cover?

Nope, actual space vehicle launch.
Launch of a Delta IV Heavy (2007)

Sony Ebook Reader

The Sony Ebook Reader has been the most wonderful thing ever. I believe I commented on this before in my other blog. I have managed to load this new electronic thingie with books I am enjoying very much. And I honestly can't wait for boring moments so I can turn it on. In reality, I  find myself scheduling time to read books now.

The Sony pocket edition (PRS300) is just the right size to carry in my backpack or even my pocket, hold comfortably, display a book properly, and hide inside another real book that looks particularly appropriate to the setting I find myself in.

In my life, I suppose I have read a high number of books because I had to read them, rather than because I wanted to. Although some books became crossovers. I was originally required to read them for a class. Later they became favorites of mine. I often reread these books because I wanted to.

Heart of Darkness by Conrad Hilton.. ummm no, that was another author I read late at night in a hotel room after I had finished with the phone book, though that title seems befitting.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (I actually did have to look up the author's name because of my memory problems) was one of those books. It started as a book I was required to read for a class. I also had to write a theme paper on it. Then I found myself forced to reread it because it was so darned good and I wanted to enjoy it rather than slog through it.

This book was later used as a basis for the film Apocalypse Now. It was a good movie but serves to illustrate why books are often more effective at being profound than movies. The movie would have seemed strange indeed had I not read Heart of Darkness and understood the themes. Other than pointing out that our problems in the Vietnam War were eerily similar to the themes of Heart of Darkness, I can't remember the movie affecting me that much years later. Heart of Darkness has hung on for my entire life.

Other books I have loved in my life were Alice in Wonderland, 39 Steps, Riddle of the Sands, Papillon (and a large group of other prison or prisoner of war books,) Journey to the Center of the Earth  and other books by Jules Verne. Then there was Sherlock Holmes! I should include the Tao Te Ching, the Holy Bible, The Sermon on the Mount (Emmet Fox,) The Book (Alan Watts) and a bunch of books on Taoism, Christianity, and Zen Buddhism. I also have truely enjoyed books on the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the transcontinental railroad, the San Francisco fire and the Great Depression. I've read more than few books in my life and it's hard to pull out just a few for recognition.  But I'm trying to have an amiable blog here, buddy.

In the part of my life that started with the Internet, I read less and less books and more and more article sized selections. I focused more on the vast array of material available. It was kind of like my discovery of short wave radio when I was a child; I changed the station frequently to see what was out there.

I regret drifting away from books. Recently I found myself reading a lot of books by Earl Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason), in the old fashioned paperback editions. I never respected him because I once read he dictated his books orally to a secretary. I concluded they must not be very deep. And they aren't, but they are intensely fun to relax with. I loved the feel of the old books, the yellowing pages, the smell of paperbacks that I remember from my youth, and the covers from the 50's that were just spectacular. Unfortunately, in today's world a skimpily clad woman on the cover doesn't indicate you are reading a detective novel.
Notice the whisp of undergarment,
the single bed, and the way the
words are "screaming" from the
direction of her supple lips. Oh, if only
I could have been a graphics designer
back then. Sigh.
Perry Mason on an ebook reader? "Hey, whatcha reading?" "Stationary Ion Particles and their Relationship to the Industrial Revolution and Time Travel." "Oh, ok." Or conversely, I could be reading about economic theory and answer "Perry Mason."

In the spirit of amiability, I'll cut this short. I'm more into writing full length novels lately. :) Suffice it to say that here is a list of the electronic media inventions that changed my life:

1 TV
2. VCR
3. Home Computer
4. DVR (Tivo)
5. MP3 player (Zune)
6. Ebook Reader (Sony)

Well, I guess the point is that I'm very happy with the ebook reader. My attention span thanks Sony.

The New Blog Christening

Economics is still my favorite reading material of late, but who cares besides me? That was a rhetorical question so before you comment with "nobody", consider carefully.... and chill out dude. It's my friendly blog...

Though I will continue to think of Michael's Aimless Blog as my main blog for purely selfish reasons, and what other reasons could I possibly have in our economic system? Ok, I'll chill too. :)

For multiple chances at fun, I'll add this more friendly blog that someone might actually read and understand. I hearby christen this blog, Michael's Amiable Blog.

Let's see now...... today was pretty good but I'll not bore you with details...