Tag Archives: computers

cut up

I was trying desperately to reblog a past post of mine , but only after I tried desperately to reblog a post from one of my favorite blogs , from Thom over at The Immortal Jukebox , with no success whatsoever . I don’t know what the problem might be . I can tell you what an anti-macassar is , if that helps to place me in my mental-historical context , but  I don’t know computer stuff from  Shinola  .  So what else is new !

I did get a smart phone last week , however . Ada upgraded hers and passed her previous one down to me . I wonder if that kind of thing goes on with kids these days , hand-me-downs  to the younger siblings of old electronic equipment as we used to hand down old clothes when I was a kid . Anyway , here I am with an iPhone . First one ever ! My friends will be surprised that I may have finally joined the 20th Century !  Only one more century to go !photo camera old

So I’ve been experimenting a bit with the thing — taking pictures , asking Siri who the first President was , trying to use the maps . Ada had to show me how to turn the thing off when I’m not using it . “But don’t turn it all the way off ! “, she warned . I’ve got a lot to learn .

I finally buckled under , and now I have to tie myself to this iPhone , I guess , and thus no doubt to the various government agencies interested in my activities ; and , of course , to all of the many spying corporations as well as that fat guy in the basement in New Jersey and also to the eastern European hackers , etc .  Oh , and North Korea , of course .  China’s a given , too .

Holy mackerel ! What have I got myself into ?  I’ll be walking around , next , with my nose in my phone , tapping away texts to whomever and reading the stock market ups and downs and in moments of boredom asking Siri obscure questions to try to trip her up .

I sent for a cheap phone cover . It came in the mail a couple of days ago , but it was packaged with a book I’d ordered and  the small  transparent thing got lost in the bottom of the bubble wrap . By the time I saw it I had cut through it with a scissors . Yeah —- don’t ask me . These things happen .poor man

The seller asked me over the internet for a review , so I mentioned the mishap . I may be sent a replacement , despite the damage having been my fault . I told them that , too . Honesty is the best policy . They requested photographic evidence of my trouble , so I sent a couple of shots taken with my newly-acquired iPhone .

I picture fashionably dressed young  people somewhere  in a room  right now either laughing derisively at my scissors caper screw-up  and/or addressing and sealing-up  the replacement package and sticking -on a brightly -colored  warning label about not cutting this one up . We’ll see what happens .

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computer savvy

Poland house and neighorhood 013I’m not a guy who knows computers .horse at ralphs

I checked a book out of the Arcadia library recently that might make me a little more knowledgeable . It’s a big book and it has colorful flow charts on almost every page . Almost is written as if for a child . Perfect. Just what I need .

Oh, I’ve owned computers , of course . I bought my first with a teacher discount in the 1980s . It was a cute little white thing , and it crashed for good after a year or so . It could store about as much information , as I remember , as might be crammed into a shoebox . You might think that I exaggerate on this point ; but , be informed that I  wear size 15 ( U.S. ) shoes , so it’s a little less of an exaggeration than you would think .

My feet , by the way ,  most of my adult life , had been size 13 , ever since I was fourteen years old . But then , several years ago , they stretched out to size 15 .  For years I suspected that shoe companies , most of them in Asia ,  were shorting us all on sizes — a  ‘ 15 is the new 13 ”  type of thing .  “Large” labelled clothes no longer fit , too . I found myself having to buy ” X-Large ” .  I know what you’re thinkin’ —- I gained weight and stretched out . Yeah , true ; but not enough to account for this shoe/clothing size-label conspiracy . No way .ANGELUS oaks Jan 2015 with Sally 117

I gave up the conspiracy theory , though , some time ago . I’m not much of a conspiracy theory type of guy . Lee Harvey Oswald for example , as far as I’m concerned , was the lone shooter of JFK . Not the CIA . Not Lyndon Johnson . Not the mafia or the KGB . Just Lee Harvey . O.K. , so it’s almost certainly impossible to get off two accurate shots from that angle , with his shooting experience , at that distance , with that weapon . So was it really the Secret Service guy in the following car who accidentally discharged his weapon into the President’s head ? Was there , then , Secret Service cover-up ?  I’m not pursuing it .Featured Image -- 12912

Remember old discussions of discussions about , for example , how many angels fit on the head of a pin ?  Want to spend time talking that conundrum out ? Not me , man . I prefer to wallow in my ignorance . Reminds me now of that UCLA philosophy class : ” The Philosophy of Knowledge “.  How do we know what we know ?  I say : Who cares ! You either know it or you don’t . If you know it , fine , then you won’t need to talk about how .Angelus Oaks Jan 17 , 2015 002

I don’t hold myself up as a shining example of how to be or how to think about things . Someone , I guess, needs to explore the truth , hypothesize, develop theories , test theories , etc.   Someone needs to philosophize , perhaps . Someone , I suppose, needs to explore space , for example , and capture bits or planets to study . Someone needs to expand our knowledge so that civilization can advance . Don’t wait for me , please , though — you go ahead .

But , have we advanced all that much , by and by ? Sure , technologically . We’ve found more and more effective ways to destroy one another , of course ; but have we explored and discovered ways not to destroy one another ?  Call our conundrum  human nature , if you want . Maybe that’s what’s holding us back .Cabin Dec. 2014 angelus oaks 059

Anyway , I know how to look some stuff up on my computer , but I don’t understand much else about it .  I don’t understand hacking . I don’t understand the entire network mechanics , really , despite the flow charts in my library book .  I’ve found through experience that the true geniuses of computer technology begin with one simple rule : Turn it off , wait 20 seconds , and then turn it on again . That almost always works .Coupon and road sign 005

Can this technique be applied more generally to the world ? Anybody waiting for WWIII ?  How about this for the world ? : Turn it off ; wait a half-life of twenty million years , and then turn it on again ? Maybe . Maybe not . I think GOD had something like this in mind when Noah was around . Nuclear weapons could turn us off one of these days .

Meanwhile , I’m clicking the keyboard of an old  Dell computer that I bought used a couple of years ago over the internet. The NSA is , no doubt , listening to my blabbering and writing my name down on some  list . It gives them something to do — a purpose . GM , General Mills, B of A , Shell Oil , and Ralphs Markets are doing the same , I’m sure ; making their own lists . Good luck getting anything useful , guys !

But , of course , I’m simply speculating about all of this . I’m certainly not a philosopher , and, as I’ve said ,  I’m not a guy who knows computers . I’d like , at least , to be able to say with confidence :  ” At least I know what I know ” ; but I took that Philosophy of Knowledge class at UCLA , remember ,  and so since then I haven’t  even been sure of that .ANGELUS oaks Jan 2015 with Sally 179

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hot routine

I had a friend who lived in his car . He had a regular route : when and where to shower , when and where to park his car , where to use restrooms , which restrooms  were good places to shave , etc.  He was homeless by choice . Of course ,  he was young then , and it was an adventure .

And he had a job. He had a radio show that broadcast vintage rock and roll tunes . His voice  filled in the gaps with music trivia and light-hearted comment .stained glass abstract

I’m thinking about him now , over forty years later , as I sit at a library computer writing this post . I have , what ? , forty-nine more minutes this session. At that point the screen shuts down  and I get booted off . It’s my first time using these library computers .

There’s a guy here at a nearby computer who is talking to the librarian . The computer terminal he says , ” ……keeps shutting down .  Something’s broken “.   The librarian agrees . They both have concerned  looks on their faces .

This library is fairly new . It opened up a couple of years ago . The center of the floor is occupied with several computers for public use . They are always occupied . I know now that they allow  users  one hour at a time .  I was lucky to find a seat open when I came looking . Good timing !

There was a sign on the   “…..keeps shutting down ”   computer that read ” Out of Order ”  . The  “patron” took the sign off and then called the librarian over — a decidedly  devious move to get a space at a monitor .  ” Something’s broken “, he says .    Duh !   But the unaware but helpful librarian is in the process of trying to get the terminal up and running .

By the way , I have thirty-eight minutes left on my session .Most of the  “patrons” are on computers in the middle of the library floor  . Some “patrons” are sitting in the comfortable armchairs near the windows with their laptops , keyboards clicking away .

ice cream truck 1918

I came over here today from the YMCA .  Ada and I recently joined YMCA again , after a several-year break . Today I swam a few laps and then sat in the sauna for awhile .  I have to ease into it ; no other exercise yet .

Did I tell you that it is 102 degrees outside today in Arcadia ?   It’s 102 degrees outside today in Arcadia  .109_1000

Our house is not air -conditioned . It heats up . We put in two new ceiling fans a couple of months ago . They help . I figure people have lived in my house for seventy-two years without air -conditioning and survived .  Ada and I  get by .110_1006

I think I will hit the Arcadia Museum of Cultural Heritage next . I volunteer there and it , also , is air-conditioned . The people there are friendly . Then , if I get home early enough , I may visit my old neighbor friend Don . His house is air-conditioned and he likes to share a cold beer in the afternoon with me and chatter . He’s ninety-two and goes to bed about 4:00 , so I have to visit him before that .

You get the idea of why I began thinking of my long-ago  lived-in-his-car- friend ?   I’m thinking that I may develop my own hot-weather route to stay in cool places . Who needs air-conditioning ? Most of my friends with central air agonize over ever turning it on , anyway,  because it runs up their electricity bills . So they sit and suffer , compelled to but unwilling to turn it on , until the tempts hit what might be , if they had really thought it all out , the YMCA – library – museum – visit someone with air-conditioning  level .

I still have twenty minutes left . It’s 2:00 . Nice thing about Arcadia is that in three or four hours the day will begin to rapidly cool off and all will be well . Ada and I will sit out on the back patio , when she gets back from work , and relax . Oh , yeah , I should mention that , since I am retired , I have the time to follow my little planned routine . I don’t have to be out there in the heat working . Being retired is cool .

Sixteen minutes left ; but I think I’ll shut my session down early so some other lucky “patron” can sit down at this compter and get busy . I’m going back to an armchair near a window and read .dancing figures

If the temps reach 120 degrees I may add the mall to my routine .

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