Friday, May 15, 2015

deja vu

Today I just happened to be looking at an old post from this very blog, in which I mentioned something that I thought was interesting from a book I'd been reading.  Hmm.. that book sounded familiar to me, not in a sense of having read it back then, but in a more current sense.

I headed over to my wish list and lo and behold, there it was, on the list!  

Well gee, I guess I can take that book off my list now, seeing as how I've already read it. 

But then, maybe not. If I can't even remember reading it then maybe I ought to read it again. At least I've been consistent over the past six or so years; what interested me then still interests me now. Since there's several other books I'd like to read and seemingly not enough time to do so since trivial things like having my job get in the way of what I'd really like to do, I'll gladly delete this book from my wish list.

And one of these days I'll actually watch all the movies and TV shows that have piled up in storage boxes in their DVD and Blu Ray cases, and read the unread books and listen to the unlistened-to CD's, too. 

Why not just buy them when I'm ready to watch, read or listen? Because they might not be available, that's why. Another thing I noticed from looking at the old post I linked above, which led me to look at a few more, was that most of the YouTube videos I had embedded on the page were no longer available. Yanked, no doubt, because of copyright issues or whatever, but they were gone with no clue as to what they were even about since I didn't label or title any of them. Only a blank screen was left.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

catching up

My last post was in March of 2014. The next one might be tomorrow or it might be next year or maybe this is the last one, who knows.  For whatever reason I just felt like writing today.

It's been over a week since I deactivated my Facebook account. Pretty much every time I logged in, I sat there thinking how much of my time I am wasting and does most of what I am reading really matter in the grand scheme of things?  Finally I decided no, it doesn't so I just quit cold turkey.

One of the things I considered was thinning out my list of friends.  Most of them were like me and rarely, if ever posted anything.  If they never post anything then you never know what they are up to anyway unless you take the drastic step of actually trying to contact them.  I don't even know how to text on my technologically challenged cell phone which means I'd have to talk to them (as in, using my voice) and in these days of electronic communications the thought of me vocalizing is sort of terrifying.

Facebook follows the 80/20 rule.  80% of the posts come from 20% of the people. And of those posts about 80% of it has no real significance to me and a lot of the remaining 20% isn't earth shattering if I overlook it.

That's not to say I don't value my friends but I've embarked on a mission of trying to remove as much noise from my life as possible. By "noise" I mean stuff that takes up time that in retrospect I could really live without.  What? I can live without friends?  That's not what I mean; what I mean is I could live without nearly everything they plaster on Facebook.

In the end I just decided to deactivate my account.  "Deactivate" is Facebook's terminology. I can still log in at any time and have everything restored just like it was, in case I regret my choice.  So far I've resisted.

I also closed out my Linked In account.  That decision was a no-brainer. I think Linked In is one of the stupidest things going.  Do I really care to hear that so-and-so just added a new skill to their repertoire?  Or who they are now "connected" to?  Or that someone has endorsed me for some skill? Or that someone I've never heard of thinks I am so special they want to connect with me? That's nice, but I don't think any of that stuff has any credibility within a you scratch my back I'll scratch yours framework.

Linked In calls it "closed" and Facebook calls it "deactivated."  I suppose it ought to be just as easy to open what's been closed as it is to activate what's been deactivated but Linked In made it sound more final than Facebook.

In either case, it is finis.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


A few weeks ago I stuck in the 210 Freeway logjam on the way home from work when I spied a white BMW that had this sign taped over its license plate: 


I did a double-take. This wasn't a new car just off a dealer's lot, this was clearly a used car, albeit in nice condition with some custom rims. 

I managed to pull alongside to see who was driving.  It was some white guy on the younger side of middle-aged and he didn't look like he was on drugs or anything.  Beside him was a female passenger. I also managed to pull ahead of him and saw that he had a matching plate on the front of his car.

Maybe if California ever needs to balance its budget again they can offer "Private" plates for an additional fee, like they do with personalized plates.  Maybe this practice would spread to other things, like private drivers licenses or private credit cards.  People could decline to have their picture on their license or passport for an extra fee and in its place would be like what you see on Facebook or Linked In when the account holder hasn't uploaded a picture.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

trifling matters

Yesterday one of Amazon's Gold Box deals was something I'd never heard of: a watch winder. Normally $266, it was on sale for a limited time for only $149 and selling quickly.  I had to look.

There it was, and apparently for real, although I have to say I was wondering if this was a gag listing.  A machine to wind your watch?  Why would anyone need a machine to wind a watch? Just wind it yourself!

Some research informed me that self-winding watches, if not kept in motion to be kinetically wound, will wind down and then require resetting. Some people have multiple watches and thus need to make sure that all of them receive enough motion to stay wound, which is what this watch winding box machine does.

Now, the item on sale was for a single watch so that sort of goes against its use for people who own multiple watches.

Wow, there are people who have machines to keep their watches wound.  Amazing. I guess if you are an executive on the go, you just don't have time to make sure your watch(s) are wound.   I imagine these machines are for the rich and famous; people who don't have time to deal with trivial stuff like keeping a watch wound.

That reminded me of long ago, just starting out career-wise, going to Dorman Winthrop's on La Cienega Boulevard to purchase dress shirts. I noticed they had no pockets. What kind of cheap shirts were these??? I asked the salesman why they had no pockets and was informed that executives and other rich folks, presumably the types who would wear these shirts, did not have to deal with trivial matters like putting trivial things in their pockets.  They had other people who handled stuff like that for them.

By the same token, maybe watches for the rich and famous shouldn't need a second hand, or for that matter, a minute hand either.  Why should they have to deal with such trivia as seconds and minutes?  An hour hand ought to be sufficient. As they incrementally remove each time-indicating element, the price of the watch goes up, same as how you pay extra to have them take the salt out of that can of soup to make it healthier.

Well heck, the ultimate display of rich and famous-osity would be to not even wear a watch.  You are at a level in which you don't need to deal with time; others deal with it for you.

Someone asked me if they take the pockets off of men's shirts, why don't they take the pockets off the pants, too?  I suppose because that would make the pants look like they were made for girly-men.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


The Los Angeles Times reported today that a computer glitch has resulted in 80,000 people in California currently collecting unemployment to have not received their checks since September 1.

That's indeed a serious problem and as you might expect, many are angry about this.  A state senator had this to say about it:
Some are angry and upset. Some simply need the checks so they can pay the bills.  If this is prolonged, then it will cause ripple effects for people who can't pay their living expenses.
An economist at Cal State Channel Islands added this bit of wisdom:
It's a serious and critical situation.  Many people receiving benefits, they live check to check. If it's delayed even a day, it could mean that they can't eat.
Now, in no way am I downplaying the serious nature of this situation.  I hope this can be rectified quickly. But the purpose of this blog post is to ask, just exactly what is so rocket science that these quotes had to be obtained?  Isn't what they said merely common sense?  I mean, any fool would know this without having to have some politician tell you the first thing and some "expert" tell you the second.

Now had they responded with something like, 
The sum of the square roots of any two sides of an isosceles triangle is equal to the square root of the remaining side.  Oh joy, rapture!  I've got a brain!
Then that would be real wisdom, eh? 

Okay, sarcasm aside, so often there is "expert commentary" that is added to things that really are nothing more than common sense, or observations that any ordinary person of reasonable, average intelligence could surmise. That goes for sports commentary, political commentary, or these quotes from newspapers.

Yet it seems we all need it. Just like how people like to leave the lights on in a room even if they aren't in it, or they leave the television on even if they aren't watching it.  We seem to want the comfort and security of noise.

Just think what life would be like if all the unnecessary stuff went unsaid instead of said. I guess there would be too much uncomfortable silence. You wouldn't have my blog to read either, I suppose.

Monday, September 23, 2013

global constant temp

There's an article in today's Los Angeles Times about how scientists are puzzled as to why the earth's average surface temperature hasn't increased over the past few years.  The Global Warming theory would call for rising temperatures, and this hasn't happened since just before the start of this century.

Those who believe Global Warming is a myth point to this lack of temperature rise as supporting their contention.

Meanwhile, scientists who believe Global Warming is a truth, albeit an inconvenient one, are scrambling to provide possible explanations as to why the temperature hasn't increased as would be expected under their theory.

Personally, I believe the reason the temperature hasn't increased is because Global Warming is a myth. That's not to say we should not take better care of our earth's resources and treat our environment better, but that all too often people take whatever scientists have to say as fact.  When in fact, as in the case of the theory of evolution, it is far from fact. 

So many people have declared to me that evolution is a "proven fact."  When I state my belief that God created the universe, I am told that I am close minded and on top of that, evolution is a proven fact. Just like there are people out there who will tell you Global Warming is a proven fact.  They aren't facts.

One thing to remember is that people have agendas.  Scientists are not like they are pictured in science fiction movies, or like the Professor on Gilligan's Island - they are not people who know everything and who are always objective and Mr. Spock-like unemotional about everything as they calmly and rationally present their findings.  They are all humans and they all have various motives for what they do.  Spin exists within the scientific community, same as it does anywhere else.

Now they are scrambling about trying to find an explanation as to why their theory doesn't seem to be working as it should. Maybe Global Warming is real and maybe it isn't, but regardless, when someone says, "Just the facts, ma'am," don't assume that scientists are any better qualified at presenting them than anyone else in this world.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


I'll admit it, I've been nosy. I've been looking up high school yearbook pictures of people I know, over at  It's interesting mentally morphing the yearbook pictures to the persons as they now are.

Some time ago in this very blog, five years ago this month to be a little more precise, I wrote about my obsession or infatuation with someone with whom I worked in the student store at UCLA.  At the time I thought she was the best-looking girl I'd ever known.

The thing is, as the years passed (and it's been quite a while since my college days), I couldn't even remember what she looked like.  I had no pictures of her, either.  I always wondered if she was indeed as good-looking as what I thought back then.  A few years ago I did find her on Facebook.  I never sent her a friend request since that was so long ago and heck, maybe she wouldn't even remember me, but it was useful just to see what she looked like in the present day. 

Present-day she was nice-looking, but not at all my idea of  the "best." But that was present day and my "best" notion was based on years ago. 

The other day I found a few pictures of her in her high school yearbook, courtesy of Classmates. Granted, this was high school and not college, but it was only a little more than a two-year difference in time so she couldn't have changed that much. 

It was validation time.

I looked at her high school graduation and other senior pictures and honestly, if I didn't know it was her by the name, I wouldn't have recognized her.  It had all faded too far from my memory.

So how did she look?  Was she the best?  Would she have been the best back then?

Well, same as present day, she was nice looking but I guess I was really infatuated back in the student store. I could see why I'd like her, especially when she smiled, and we got along very well having plenty to talk about (when I suppose we should have been working). In the upper percentiles, but not the "best."

What I thought was funny was how I didn't even recognize her in the pictures.  So much for my memory. But one thing was very satisfying, and that was having the opportunity for validation.