Thursday, February 26

Bargaining Chips

I have friends. Friends who would be more than happy to carry out a dastardly deed for me. Dave is one such fellow. And Dave plays WoW.

For the uninitiated, WoW is World of Warcraft. Popular game. If you want to call it a game. Me? I'm a first-person-shooter type. I'm the first to admit I like playing old-school games like Heretic. Still play it on occasion, but only against monsters. Another friend has gotten Heretic to run over the internet and plays against his kids over his home network; really need to get that going on one of my PC's.

But back to WoW. I've written about WoW in the past, and this particular entry is again about Taylor - no surprise there. So Taylor's room has come under scrutiny lately. Toxic waste dump. Talking to Dave this morning, we devised a devilish plan. It has everything to do with deviousness. And the conversation with Taylor would go something like this:

"Taylor, clean your room."

Time passes.

"Taylor, clean your room NOW."

More time passes.

"Taylor, clean your room, or I'll sic my friend Dave on your WoW character."

That grumbling sound you will hear will be Taylor cleaning his room.

Wednesday, February 25

The Jonas Brothers And The Beatles

I'm always very cognizant of the content I provide here on my blog. I'm interested, as I should be, of who my target audience is. If you're reading this now, YOU are my target audience.

But I should always be looking for new ways to draw other interest groups in.

One day last year, there were 26 unique visitors to my blog. Considering I typically get four or five visitors per day (and that's during the week), twenty-six is quite a bit.

And what happened on that day?

I wrote about The Jonas Brothers.

So imagine if you will, if the web were around when The Beatles were THE hot property. Or vice versa. And if I were to write about them.

I wouldn't have to include volcanoes - my blog would be the hot property.

Tuesday, February 24

Mail Call

Recently received in the mail - the traditional kind, not the electronic kind - was an invitation to attend a seminar.

Oh, sure, I've received hundreds of offers over the years to attend seminars, most were for a time-share you'd never e able to get rid of, or a one for some new piece of computer hardware or the like. You know the ones.

But this one was different. Waaay different. And I can't even hazard a guess how I got to be on this particular mailing list. Well, I can, but we won't go there, mkay?

From a local hospital, this particular invitation is for a urology seminar. For MEN.

Imagine that - I've been invited to attend a urology seminar. Why? Three reasons:

A) I am a guy
B) Guys have urology problems as they age
C) I'm older than dirt.

Am I inclined to attend? Not really. I can get all the information I need from my own physician and likely would, since Marilee wouldn't allow me to forego any such problem.

But who would go to such an event? Probably some guy having urinary problems.

And how would the physicians know any of the men attending were having those kinds of problems? Simple.

Refreshments will be served.

More On The Comet

Well, it turns out that other than a cloudy sky last night, that article at Sky & Telescope said to look in the south-southeast sky for Comet Lulin.

As it turns out, the original viewing area was in the south-southeast, but as this photo at BigHugeLabs suggests, the comet is now in the south sky.

Maybe tonight...

Monday, February 23

Comet Lulin

Gleaned from a friend's note on Facebook, there's to be a heavenly body in the sky for the next couple weeks.

Called Comet Lulin, it'll be in the east-southeast sky, near Saturn on the 23rd - that's tonight!

See all the details and more pictures at Sky & Telescope's website.

As It Should Be

It never ceases to amaze me how the system we get our calls on works.

Calls are placed in our queues first thing in the morning - provided we actually have any calls. Once one communicates with the host, those calls are then committed and we have to go do them, unless something else might get in the way of actually going on the call, like a parts delay, or...

OK, I told my co-worker I wouldn't blog about this topic. At issue is not that we get our calls in this fashion, but that the system knows where we so as to get the closest person assigned to the call in the first place. As an example, if a co-worker is in Layton, then any call in, say, Ogden gets assigned to him, rather than myself in Taylorsille. It just works better that I don't have to drive so far when someone else is closer.

The system is great, when it works.

And is set up properly.

Buttars In The News

That's a foregone conclusion.

Insightful article in the Deseret News this morning. Which in my humble opinion is a remarkable thing, as I've said previously.

The article in question speaks of whether Buttars, in his position as a state Senator, can ever speak as a private citizen when he has his Senator hat on.

According to Kirk Jowers with the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the U, the answer is no.

Read the entire article at the Des News website.

Sunday, February 22

Aren't They Married?

Marilee commented on the Oscars early this evening, when the camera zeroed in on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, during Hugh Jackman's intro:

"Where's her wedding ring?"

Justification For Two Monitors

It's Sunday night, just before 8pm MST. This moment, Marilee and I are watching the NASCAR race from Fontana, CA on channel 13.

Over on channel 4 is the Academy Awards.

And in about five minutes is a special on channel 5.

While that's more than enough justification for a new TiVo, without the new TiVo it's justification for two monitors.

And right now, two monitors would be far more economical.

Live from the internet: NASCAR's live leaderboard at, and awards as-they-happen at

More than enough reason for two monitors.

You Don't Want To Piss Them Off

You might get a lump of coal from them.

They might kick you in the knees.

To hear a good friend speak of what happened this last week, it was a time of excitement and closure. "About damn time" could have been a quote from her, but was not.

Years ago, this good friend took a photograph of a sign. Yes, photos are taken of signs all the time. Jay Leno and Dave Letterman - and Johnny Carson before them - used to highlight them on their shows. But what was on this particular sign was unintentional, but then again maybe it was.

She had submitted the photograph to High Country News (no, not that High - I know what you're thinking, I did too, at first); they, like other such publications, take submissions from their readers and use them as they see fit. Why it took so long for them to use the photograph is anyone's guess, but it was time.

She said it got to be a running joke between she and her husband. Every month, upon the magazine's arrival, a quick flip through the mag elicited a "snubbed again" comment and the monthly tossed aside. Not to say High Country News doesn't have useful or even provocative prose; it has both. Written by and "For people who care about the West", their mission is to "...inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West's land, air, water and inhabitants -- to create what Wallace Stegner called 'a society to match the scenery.'"

So it comes as no great surprise that the photograph, taken just outside of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was just such a piece of the scenery. Not the grandeur of the Tetons, or of the surrounding National Parks, but of a dilapidated sign that most folks would pass by without a second look. And it was a second look that made this photograph. Almost shouting "Back up", she had her husband go back to the sign after having passed by. Taking the photo with an "old-fashioned" film camera, she caught that bit of Americana, and after processing, sent it in to the magazine.

And last week, the whoopin' and hollerin' could have been heard across the Salt Lake Valley; she had been published! Right there, on the back page of High Country News' February issue, was her photograph.

Advertising a self-storage company, several letters were missing from the sign. But not just any letters. Were they intentionally removed? No one will ever know.

So instead of advertising a self-storage lot, the sign had been transformed into more of a statement:


Saturday, February 21


Having been a long-time fan of Utah State Legislature goings-on, I spent many a day roaming about the Utah State Capitol in my job. In twenty-some-odd years, I've seen a lot of things that made me wonder.

I got most, if not all of my knowledge of what goes on at the Capitol from School House Rock's "I'm just a bill". Really.

As far as that goes, there are two things you should never see being made - Sausage and Laws.

But lately, there's something else you gotta wonder about. How did this:

Become this?

Or this?

I'm no expert in state politics. Hell, I must have slept through Mr. Rolfi's Civics class in high school.

So how did Chris Buttars come to this juncture? I'll let Jon Armstrong - one of my favorite bloggers at - tell it in his own words:

Add Homophobe to Racist - February 20, 2009

Utah’s Republican Governor Enjoys Coddling Racist Senator - February 15, 2008

...and from the Deseret News (et al):

Amended evolution measure dies in Utah House - February 28, 2006

Buttars want to prohibit gay clubs - December 15, 2005

Utah Legislators Edit Gay Marriage Ban - February 2, 2005

At issue is not what Buttars speaks about; rather it is about how he speaks. For that, Senator Buttars needs to STFU.

Photo credits: Top photo, Deseret News; Middle photo, Salt Lake Tribune; Bottom photo, Deseret News

Tuesday, February 17

Note To Self

When taking extended vacations, be sure to turn on - and use - the work laptop more than once every two weeks.

Just ended, an excessively long call to work's help desk, a task best analogized to watching paint dry and grass grow. My virus definitions were two weeks out-of-date - not surprisingly the length of my vacation - and could not do anything network-wise.

"Just" a 120-some-odd-megabyte download, thankfully done via my home network connection and only took about 5 minutes; otherwise would have taken several HOURS via the air-card.

So I'm back from my vacay and numerous other posts such as this should commence forthwith.

Sunday, February 15

Does Jerry Reed Know About This?

Early evening, on the way home from the 7-11 around the corner. No, not a service call, just goin' over there to pick up some ice cream for Marilee and I.

NPR's on the radio - they're talking about a new series on HBO. Since we don't get HBO at home, I'm only half-listening.

And when I hear the name of the series, I get a major flashback - my mind races so fast, I'm home sooner than I think.

The flashback sent me back to the mid 1970's. Had me a 1971 Datsun 510. And it was just around the time of the CB Radio invasion; I even drilled a two-inch hole in the side of my car and mounted a 9-foot whip antenna on the rear-end. Even had a real CB radio license, not that ridiculous K (or W), two initial, and zip code monstrosity the FCC came up with. No, I was KNM 0454. No, I don't have my certificate any more. Or a CB radio for that matter.

About that time, everyone was talking about the Smokey and the Bandit movies. Burt Reynolds and Sally Field. I even later had a 1979 Chevy Camaro. Just sorta like the Bandit's.

Gawd, those old songs from back then were awesome. You couldn't help but crank the volume. EVERYONE on CB radio back then loved that music. Especially the Jerry Reed song about "...movin' on and truckin'..."

Those days are gone, and here we are, thirty years later. And there's a new HBO series about... baseball?

The title? Seems to me the writers aren't old enough to remember the CB radio revolution. Or they would have chosen a better title than "Eastbound and Down."

Yup, the same title as the Smokey and the Bandit CB radio song from thirty years ago.

Good job, HBO. Good job.

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin',
we're gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run.

All Sugar 'N' Spice - And Blogrot

That would be my Marilee.

We've been testing her blood glucose lately, since the doctor has been suggestive that she's pre-diabetic. But since the blood-glucose tester we have has suggested otherwise, well, let's just say that after testing her for the last week or so has upped her level of spicy expletives towards the doctor.

She has an appointment tomorrow to get an official blood-glucose test done, replete with a vile vial of Glucola - good luck with finding out what that vile vial contains, albeit overflowing with 50mg of glucose. And apparently with an orang-y taste, but not much else.

In an exercise that produced not much substance this morning, we both were searching for caloric information regarding Glucola. Commonly administered to pregnant females to ascertain if said female has gestational diabetes, that is not the case with Marilee. But imagine a pregnant female who has not eaten anything for eight-plus hours and is forced to consume an overly sweet orang-y concoction mixed up by some guy in a white coat, well, according to what we read this morning, most if not all pregnant females can't keep it down and resort to straight Coke or jelly beans. But I digress...

While the combined information that we DID find was helpful, not a single source provided what we were looking for. I couldn't say if, while searching for information, we would have hit on the same web pages, I did find one site that spoke of the joys of mis-communicated blood-test orders and the aforementioned Glucola.

I would otherwise have skipped over that web page if not for the fact that it was someone else's blog. And I love reading other folks' blogs - but not as much as my own.

But as I read that blog, and marveled at how similar it was even to my own, it slowly became clear that it had a serious flaw. While there were numerous entries between the years 2005 and 2008, it had not been touched since March of last year.

Yes, dear readers, that blog is a victim of BlogRot.

Friday, February 13

Adventures In Futility

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. So far, so good.

And did I have a present for Marilee before today? No.


So in my typical style, I waited until THE worst day to get a Valentine's Day present, the day before. And what did I get?

[Note: There is no reason to worry that Marilee will see this post before tomorrow - she doesn't read my blog.]

I got such a fun present for her. One that took a lot of thought... wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

OK, perhaps you've seen the jewelry store ad that's been on TV lately - the guy gets his gal a pair of earrings - and the earrings are inside a musical jewelry box, complete with ballerina that spins when the top is opened. Says she "I had one just like that when I was a little girl."

"It is the one you had as a little girl - I got it from your Mom."

She opens the jewelry box, ballerina starts spinning, removes the box containing the earrings, fade to "Every kiss begins with..."

The first time I happened to see the commercial with Marilee in the room began the adventure - in a voice I'd never heard her utter, she said "I never got a jewelry box like that when I was a little girl".

That was about a week ago - I figured there was plenty of time to get the perfect music box.

Yeah, riiiiight.

OK, so this is the first time I've been in the market for a wind-up musical jewelry box with spinning ballerina. Preferably the last time for a while, anyway. Hopefully, the as-yet-unborn grandkids will get one that's more easily attainable. Music box attainability is the point of this little exercise.

The search started a few days ago, actually. A quick internet search suggested that K-mart would have said music box, and if not there, then Sears. Since Sears owns K-mart, that seemed likely. Otherwise, just about any store would have one.

As an aside, the first stop this morning was to get new batteries for our wireless phones. Not that that is important, but it got me in the shopping mode.

From there I was off to Sears at Fashion Place. Traipsing about the store, I came up quite empty. A circuit of the mall proper turned up NO wind-up musical jewelry boxes with a spinning ballerina, though a salesperson at Things Remembered was lost on the whole jewelry part of the equation and offered a snow globe. Ballerina, yes, jewelry box, no.

Shapiro, no. All the damn jewelry stores? No.

Nordstrom? Dillard's? No and NO.

Sat a while in the parking lot thinking, and then it dawned on me - That backwards R store! Toys R Us!

For naught. While they did have a cheap-o plastic musical jewelry box, ballerina and all, they would not sell it to me - apparently, it had been recently recalled and had not been removed from the store shelves yet. Crap!!

Shopko across the street? Nope.

OK, now, this is getting ridiculous.

The saleslady at Toys R Us had suggested that Walmart might be a good choice - so I headed there. Besides, the nearest one was across from a K-mart. So off I went to Walmart.

As you can see at this point, there's a LOT of words above this point, and a heck of a lot below. Suffice to say, Walmart wasn't happening, either. But what sent me skyrocketing was what the jewelry department lady said at K-mart - "Oh, we don't put out stuff like that until Easter."

[So as to not offend my readers who consider Easter as an event having more meaning than coloring chicken eggs and biting off chocolate bunny heads, I'll refrain from writing what I was thinking about K-mart and their sales practices.]

At this point, I was running out of options, until I remembered a toy store in Foothill Village called Nifty Cool. I was soon headed north.

[Note to those who might want to go to Nifty Cool - they're gone. Don't know where. Shame.]

In a bit of foresight, while I was at Fashion Place, I did go into one of my favorite stores - Brookstone. And got a backup gift, just in case. Not exactly Valentin-y, but still think it was worthwhile, if not for the name of the product. Read through to the end for the backup.

And while I'd gone to several big boxes, I still hadn't hit Fred Meyer Smith's Marketplace, downtown. Off I went.

I'd spent a lot of time in that store last year, so didn't have to roam too much, and started out in the sparse toy department. That was the basic game plan for all the stores; toys then jewelry. And while the jewelry department wasn't much better in terms of choice, they did have the holy grail. A frickin' wind-up, musical jewelry box, with spinning ballerina. Ta-da!!

And it gets better. The price was mismarked by an order of magnitudes and after paying for a music box Marilee never received as a child, I walked out of the store with a smile on my face, a spring in my step, and not too much of a dent in my wallet.

And that gift from Brookstone? It's the perfect backup:

A five-function clock - with timer, alarm, calendar, and temperature gauge.

I got a red one. And for a limited time, it's buy one, get one free.

Yes, you can get two Bob's for the price of one!

Take a look.

Thursday, February 12

Blog? What Blog?

What with my Facebook addiction and not doing anything (officially) for the last two weeks, I've neglected my blog for about as long.

So while this entry isn't as "deep" as my recent posts, I'll likely be back on track next week.

In the meantime, I'll be wearing my new shirt... as to have fresh blog fodder.

See you soon.

Monday, February 9

I Don't Do Tags

I have been tagged on Facebook. I don't do tags. I do a blog.

As of this morning, there are 282 random facts about me on my blog, far more than the 25 specified in the Facebook request I now have in my notes.

The problem with "tags" on Facebook is that if you provide twenty-five random facts to one person, those facts may be geared towards that particular person - in other words, they'll be facts that that particular person doesn't know about you. And the next time someone tags you, it'll be a whole new set geared towards another person. Ad nauseum.

Admittedly, I've only replied to a "tag" once, last August.

That one tagging will have to suffice.


Raising my eyebrows in mock surprise last Tuesday, what seemed like an electric shock coursed through my body, from the tip of my right foot to the top of my head. To say the least, it startled me and I cried out not in mock but utter surprise.

Well now THAT'S different, I thought.

I'm beginning to appreciate the finer things in life - when I can remember them, that is. And I couldn't help but wonder if there was something I was forgetting, that made this new shocking discovery occur.

The pain in my noggin can be recreated at will, I've found - all I need do is apply pressure to my right eyebrow and the pain shoots not from my toes but from my brow to the top of my head. I otherwise don't feel the pain unless I again raise my eyebrows. And that's not all - my scalp now has reduced feeling where the pain has been previously. So what's the deal?

Last Saturday - my birthday - after a wonderful evening at Café Rio where Jenn, Ramin, and Chris magically appeared as Marilee and I pulled in to our parking space, my lovely wife and I went over to Ross for some home decor shopping. Perusing the wall decorations at the rear of the store, reaching for a piece of "art", I bumped my head against an upper rack. Yup, you guessed it, not my head but my brow had impacted that shelf. Not tingly was the feeling, but a sharp, pointy pain. And just as suddenly as it had occurred, I'd forgotten about it. Until I mentioned my peculiar shooting pain to Marilee on about Wednesday. She remembered the altercation at Ross at nearly the same time I did.

I only half-mentioned the pain to my new PCP on Thursday, but at that point I wasn't concerned about it. Now, four days later, there's even less feeling in my scalp, even when there's no pressure on my brow.

I'm not terribly worried about it, though you might get another impression from the above. As with any time I've pinched a nerve in my back, the pain ultimately goes away. I'm inclined to believe that this pain will diminish in time. Happy I'm on vacation for another week.

And how to keep the pain from reoccurring?

If I just relax and continue to do nothing, I'll be fine.

No surprise there.

Saturday, February 7

What's For Dinner (Redux)

Two weeks ago in this here blog, I wrote about Marilee wanting a really good hamburger, on a Saturday of all times. This afternoon, Marilee and I did actually find such a place, and to my surprise, it was Crown Burgers.

What's that you say, Bob? Didn't you say two weeks ago that Crown Burgers isn't open on Saturday?

Yes, I did. And yes, I was worng.

OK, consider that whole scenario. You go to a fast-food joint late afternoon/early evening on a Saturday. There's a sign in the window that says simply "Closed Saturdays". One would assume that this sign would be true, then, for ALL Crown Burgers. Wouldn't one?

Marilee chose to work today. A Saturday. I dropped her off at her work at about 8:30 this morning. Picked her up at about 3:30 this afternoon. She asked if I was hungry; I said yes.

Says me, "Where shall we eat?"

"Just go to 3rd West and North Temple."

While driving to that address, I started going through my repertoire of eateries in the area, and could only think of three - a Subway on the northwest corner, a Dee's a couple blocks to the east, and... Crown Burgers on the northeast corner.

I was overcome with the prospect of telling her "I told you so", but I played along. Approaching the intersection, she said to get into the right hand lane, and I knew I had her. Slowing for the inevitable turn, into the parking lot we went, and I HAD TROUBLE FINDING AN OPEN PARKING SPACE.

Damn place was OPEN. ON A SATURDAY.

Marilee explained that she'd figured that the other Crown Burgers - on 3200 West - wasn't open on Saturday due to the lack of open businesses in that area.

I allowed this as a possible answer, but countered her with another: if the 32nd West Crown Burgers is indeed closed on Saturdays, are they open on Sunday?

And if they're not, why doesn't the sign just say "Weekends"?

Yes, I'm going to Crown Burgers tomorrow.

Even though.

Friday, February 6

What Has Been Seen...

...cannot be unseen.

You know the type of image. Like a mugshot that's painfully painful.

The best evar picture of that icky feeling we all have:

Blast From The Past

Before my vacation, one of my co-workers said that I'd go stir-crazy before the end of my first week.

Not quite, but I'm real close.

Of all the myriad things I've not been doing, I've been watching a lot of TV - but I draw the line at watching soap operas. Life's difficult enough without watching fake people with all their fake problems. REAL people have enough fake problems.

On TV today is Blast from the Past - with Brendan Fraser, Christopher Walken, and Sissy Spacek. It's one of my favorite movies, though for some reason I've never admitted that to anyone.

I bought it as a VHS video tape years ago, one of those "previously viewed" types of deals, but essentially un-returnable. I mention this because there were wrinkles on the tape, and being un-returnable, it was also un-viewable. It sat on my video shelf for years; one day, I thought, I'd get a new copy of it.

So earlier in the week, while looking for stuff to record on the TiVo, found it was to be on today. I'd forgotten about that until a few minutes ago, and I'm watching it now.

Earlier today, I'd also found another blast from the past - or future, as the case may be. It was an episode of Star Trek, but it wasn't on TV - it was at the Internet Movie Database. If you've never been to the website, you really should. It is THE quintessential site for all things movie and TV.

Anyway, I'd been searching at IMDB for the actor who played Hermie in Summer of '42, because I'd have sworn that he was in an episode of Star Trek, the one called "Miri". It's possible, since Summer... came out in 1971, and the original Star Trek was from 1966 through 1968. While I still haven't found what I was looking for, I did find something far more interesting.

I watched the whole episode of Miri at IMDB's web site!

Can't embed it, but here's the link. Check it out:

Star Trek: The Original Series - Miri

Yeah, I'll be watching a lot more Star Trek episodes this week and next. I still may go stir crazy, but I'll enjoy it a bit more.

Thursday, February 5


neuropsychology (noun) - The identification of strengths and impairments in several areas of cognitive and motor functioning to pinpoint regions of cerebral dysfunction.

Doctor's appointment was today. Full-on complete physical. Gown with the open back and everything.

Last night, Marilee helped me write out the list of my concerns; short-term memory loss was at the top of the list. With list in hand, I detailed the list to my new PCP. Nice enough doctor, 20-years since his residency. Even told me his first name, though that seemed just a little weird. Particularly for someone who would soon be administering a prostate exam.

Detailed my meds and why, how long I'd been taking them. Surgeries and allergies. Smoking and drinking. Regular stuff.

Then we got down to the crux of the matter - memory and/or the lack thereof.

While he did say that some form of memory loss is to be expected since I'm old as dirt, he had the nerve to ask " what do you want me to do about it?"

I wasn't expecting to hear that. Then again, not sure what I really did expect to hear.

He did say that other than overly-expensive testing with brain scans, a more appropriate course would be to set me up with a neuropsychologist, for some preliminary testing. I agreed to that.

Additionally, he suggested that friends and family watch out for incidents where it is noticed that I'm forgetting short-term stuff. Hell, if no one else notices and I do, what the hell does that mean?

One other thing he said is something I don't believe a word of; I don't think he meant it as a put-down, but it sure sounded that way. He said that testing in such matters isn't necessarily conclusive, that the neuropsychological tests are geared specifically to your level of education. A separate test is administered for, say, someone who'd only had a little college and a trade school (me) versus someone who's had professional education and extensive college training (the doctor, his comparison). So I guess that means the higher your cognitive skill and IQ the more important your mental state is, and whether something can or should be done about it.

Or maybe that's just Bob's BS.

So while I wait for my blood and urine tests to come back for my physical stuff and a more detailed prognosis with suggested meds in ten days, he will be sending along the contact information for a local neuropsychologist he knows of.

Wonder how much her brain is worth.


That's not a typo.

Systm brings out the geek in me ad infinitum. It reminds me of my beginnings in the electronics world. Back in the day, I woulld have killed for the information presented in Systm. Back in the day when being a hacker was a good thing, when the word hacker meant something entirely different than it does today. I loved being a hacker then - to some extent, I'm still a hacker. And having Systm to provide that outlet makes me all tingly.

I started out in the electronics business repairing battery chargers - April 1976 to be precise, at a company called MSI Data Corporation. No, don't bother looking for their website - they don't exist any more; they were later absorbed into Symbol Technologies and since into Motorola. Wonder how much that ten-share certificate of MSI stock would be worth now. Anyway...

The battery chargers I worked on so many years ago were designed for MSI's products. The "Fast Charger" - part number 128314-000 - could charge a 12-volt battery in about two hours, then switch into trickle charge after that. I knew that damn battery charger inside and out. Truly a marvel of engineering. For the day anyway.

So last week, anticipating my vacation this week and next, I started poking around upcoming shows on the TiVo, looking for shows to record to keep my mind from rotting, and found Systm. New shows air(1) on Mondays; TiVo also allows for downloading older shows from the Video on Demand menu, then to Browse free videos, then How-To, and finally Systm.

I became mesmerized by all the choices, particularly the episode entitled "Three Portable Battery Packs You Can Build". My mind went flying back to that simpler time repairing battery chargers, and immediately wondered where my soldering iron was. And would I need to go buy a few other accessories. And parts. And Altoids...

The Altoids mints themselves aren't intrinsic to the design or construction of the battery packs; it's the Altoids container that's important here - you need something to encase the project in. And the project is designed to fit in an Altoids tin.

So I'm hoping that this thing will work for my Blackberry - will let all of you who have BB's (you know who you are) if it works out!

Added note: Silly me forgot to include Systm's website address where you can download all the videos: Systm

(1) Air is a term from the before time, particularly since, because of cable television, we don't get our television signal via an outdoor antenna. Air is similar in many ways to the term "dial" when referring to telephones, "turn" when referring to tuning in a radio station, and "crank" when referring to windows in your car. And even though all three of those functions have been replaced with pushbuttons, we still use dial, turn, and crank. So even though the signal is received through a cable, it still is referred to being over the air, even though it's not.

Tuesday, February 3

What Is This, A Remake Of Johnny Five?

Yeah, you know the movie.

Short Circuit was made over twenty years ago. Yet everyone remembers a confused, naïve robot asking for input - more input. And more.

So I have been asked to provide input - I presume about the vacation I'm currently on.

While my last vacation had profuse amounts of narrative (and pictures), this one will not. My lovely wife, Marilee, suggested I take this particular vacation and do nothing. Even when I suggested I do such mundane things as clean out the garage - lord knows it needs it - I was told "No, you are to do nothing."



She's convinced that the problems I say I'm having with my memory is all about stress. Not sure that I believe that. Hell, it's more stressful thinking about things to not do.

The good news, however, it that my doctor's appointment - where I'll detail all my memory problems - essentially occurs halfway through my vacation.

The appointment is for Thursday. Will you see any more blog posts before then?

Can't say for sure. I'm not supposed to be doing anything.
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