Tag Archives: Musings

Computer coma

29 Jul

A computer of mine has entered a deep sleep. I went to turn it on and nothing. I looked at the machine and scowled. It was a machine I used to play a few old games whenever I had the chance. There were also A few older bits of software installed on it that was useful on occasion. It was the only machine that can run that software.
I bought the computer about 6 years ago for $69. It was a refurbished PC box that was reliable until the day it stopped working.
The error is not in the computer’s hardware but for some reason the hard drive decided to pack up. Most likely a reformat will solve the issue. It is quite impressive how some technology can be stretched for a lengthy time while other technology falls by the wayside.
One can think that some obsolescence is a conspiracy – but it isn’t. One company is trying to race ahead of another company in terms of market share and no one thinks of the consequences. This is how it has always has been.
I am contemplating the time it will take me to bring the computer back to life. Is it worth it? Most likely I will find myself fixing this box because of sentimental reasons I will miss some of the old software, Flight Simulator and a bevy of Formula 1 simulation games. Nothing I really need but things I like to have around.

Location, location

25 Jul

I’ve written about this bar before. It is not a bad bar – but I would not really recommend it to anyone. I would acknowledge that it exists and I would admit, sheepishly no doubt, that I occasionally frequent said establishment. There is really nothing compelling about this watering hole except for location. And in business and life, is that not the essence.
The beer here ranges from uninteresting to undrinkable. The wings are fair. The atmosphere is pedestrian. The decor is comprised of TV sets and whatever free propaganda the beer salesman foisted upon the manager.
It is loud. Not obnoxiously, but a mix of forgettable tunes, two sports games simultaneously blaring as they are wont to do, and the regular hubbub of 30 or so humans trying to converse. Carrying a conversation at normal voice level is next to impossible – voices are raised – and that leads to the bar’s din.
Now, I have to mention the waitresses. A nice lot, but I rarely see the same twice. High turnover at this place.
And yet here I am typing on my Blackberry waiting for my buddy to show up. I am looking around this den of joy and misery and think to myself…

The location.

The location.

The location.

Helicopters — good or evil?

17 Jun

The Luminato Festival in Toronto had a great evening double bill under the open sky. DakhaBrakha (www.dakhabrakha.com.ua), a brilliant quartet from Ukraine that plays fantastic music that is uncatogorizable and the Laurie Anderson.
I’ve been a fan of hers since I first saw the video for “O, Superman” on MuchMusic in 1981. This night she was connecting with noted Chinese artist Ai Weiwei via Skype in, “Greetings to the Motherland.”
In this work she talks about the surveillance controversy in the US while he talk about his arrest in China. As the music and text were reaching a crescendo, a helicopter started hovering above. I’m not sure if this was part of the performance but it did ad to a dramatic feeling.
For some reason, helicopter sounds are perceived as evil. When conspiracy mongers start fulminating their evidence they always shout about helicopters — black helicopters especially. In music there are countless of examples of helicopter sounds being used for a dramatic and foreboding effect.
But … is this fair? Yes, helicopters have been used in the Vietnam, Afghanistan and many other wars to rain misery down from the sky. Helicopters are a prime source of putting in troops to kill specific people — Bin Laden for example.
Yet, helicopters are used for search and rescue. The sound of these machines nearing you as you are lying with a broken leg in the middle of a forest or clinging to a life raft on a storm swept sea are not terrifying but one of salvation.
So why did the helicopter hovering over the Laurie Anderson have this doom-like effect on the audience?

 

Food for appetite

2 May

Got a flyer in today from prominent office supply store whose name is derived from the things that go into a stapler. There’s a large item headlined “food: Staples also satisfies appetites.” Well the picture is of a microwavable portion of Kraft dinner macaroni and cheese and two packages of Oreo cookies. Seriously. That will satisfy an appetite. I have no aversion to these food items but saying that this will satisfy an appetite is stretching it. No one really expects that Staples will be a source for healthy food (office sized individually wrapped freeze dried broccoli) but it strikes me odd that this would have a prominent place at  this store.