Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Music For Halloween III

There were serial killer stories way back when, and the plot hasn't changed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Music For Halloween II

If you pay attention, there are definitely some zombie attacks recorded.

I really don't like the pseudo-scientific story of the undead being caused by a virus, but in the context of the Black Death, it seems appropriate.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Music For Halloween

A movie about a young woman impregnated by a really really old guy. Yeah. Now it's creepy.

Did You Know That Yar Is Ray Backwards?

Yesterday, I found the one person in all the world who played the Atari 2600 "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial" game and liked it. (We have a shelf full of those retro twenty games in one controllers.)

Just playing the game all the way to the end doesn't necessarily mean you want to be hit with a torrent of "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial" game trivia, plus a brief history of game consoles.

I couldn't help myself. It had been building up for thirty years.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cuz That's The Way We Roll

My store's electrical problems are well known, but they keep getting worse, because more is being plugged into the same circuit. Last Spring, a tech gremlin came out and took a survey, declaring that we had to have some telephony work done as well as having a new power outlet put into the office. He called his boss, and his boss made him put him on speaker so everyone could hear him telling me to call maintenance to get it done. I probably hurt his feelings by laughing at him, but I did as he asked. Last week, a very different gremlin shows up. Do they have migrant technical workers? They must, because this one drove around in an old battered school bus with an air conditioner stuck in the one window not covered with kitchen curtains. Nice fellow though.
Anyway, he promptly plugged in a bunch of new equipment... into the same circuit the office lights are on. The ones on a motion detector. HQ keeps calling (on my cell phone, because the store phones are dead) wondering why everything is registering "off". The migrant tech worker has been out a couple of times, standing in a lit office explaining to someone that everything is working on his end.
Fine sport, but it is trouble when your registers go into standby mode every ten minutes if no one is in the back filling out paperwork. Got back from a day off, and discovered that someone has tried to fix it for us:

"CASEY! Oh, he's eighteen? He's immortal."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Song

Heard "Thriller" on the radio today on the way to work. Guess that means that the Halloween festivities are formally kicking off. I'd much prefer "Werewolves of London", but for some reason, the local stations have made the Jackson classic the official song of the season. It's odd, because out here we are at the intersection of Cowboy St. and Hillbilly Ave. Guess it cuts across all lines. Personally, I can't stand it. The song itself isn't so bad once or twice, but it came out about the time I discovered listening to music on the radio as a standard pastime. I'm one of these people who can listen to one song for hours, but "Thriller" was pushing me over the edge. Even the headbangers I thought were cool had the cassette.

I fear with the trial of Dr. Murray underway, I'll be hearing a lot more of it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Rise And Fall And Rise And...

Steve Jobs has passed away. Hopefully one of the notions they will lay to rest with him is the conspiracy that the drug companies have a cure for cancer, but keep it a secret in order to sell expensive drug treatments.

I never owned any Apple products, but one of the first computers I got to use was an Apple. Back in the day, the jr. high library had one, and the administration building had one sitting in it's own room. Everyone knew computers were vital for the future, but at that early date, they just sat around while the faculty wondered "But what does one do with it?" The kids just played the game where you were on one side of a mountain taking turns shooting a cannon at the player on the other side.

I also remember wishing that I had put my can collecting money into Apple stock, because Apple computers were the future. About 1996 I was glad that I hadn't, because I had a copy of "Wired" with a multicolored apple on life support gracing the cover and the title "How to save Apple?" Come 2011 and Apple has more cash than the U.S. government, but it is falling into the old habit of trying to stay king of the hill by suing the pants off of anyone who might be ripping off their "look and feel." Because that worked so well in the past.

I don't know that much about the technical aspects of computers, but I've found the personalities behind them fascinating. Everyone argues about who first invented the microcomputer, but I think it was invented by everybody: the absent minded British inventor, the established business company, the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" type, the investor looking for the next new thing, and the two kids in a garage.

Steve Jobs was more about marketing than engineering, and thats why he had the fame and fortune. The best engineering is useless without someone to sell it, but Jobs didn't appear to be cynical. He seemed to believe in his products, even when they were gasping for life.

I'll remember him best for Pixar. He clued in to what Disney lost years ago and seems incapable of getting back: the notion that parents don't want you to hammer socially conscious ideas into their children's heads. Although Pixar movies never pull the emotional punches, the moral messages are the universal ones, like be fair, stick by your friends, etc. All made gently, gently.

Love him or hate him, it's going to be strange without him around. He was just 56 (should have eaten more Doritos) but he had been there through the whole microcomputer revolution, more often than not blazing the path.