Rural Internet Speed

I live in the rural part of Western PA. 
I can see stars at night.
Two cars a day drive by my house.
My dogs run loose.
The deer often sleep in my yard.

But my Internet speed sucks.
I have Verizon DSL and pay $37.00/mo for
“high speed internet enhanced”.
You may ask: What is “enhanced”?
And, so do I.

Some days it is really fast – up to 5 meg
(that is a sarcastic statement)
Most days, it is just frustrating.

Shower thought of the day – Jan 5, 2018

Today as I showered, I thought of the term: “Farmer Technologist”.  It was a label my company’s UPS sales woman called me.  I think she met it as a compliment, but my insecurities questioned that.  Farmers are creative, innovated, MacGyer-like people that have to fix things around the farm that break with only material they have available to them – like bailing wire, band aids and duck tape.  Also, farmers, today, often have PhD’s in how to get the most from an acre of land with the least amount of work and resources.  They have to figure out how and when to invest, how to deal with major crisis and nature’s fury.  They have to negotiate with big businesses, big government, and the stigma of being stupid.  So, if I put my own insecurities aside, being a Farmer Technologist may be a good thing.

Then, I wondered if that applied to being a philosopher.  Could I also be a ‘Farmer Philosopher”?  A self made Aristotle, Plato, or Ann Rand?  An Ann MacGyer Rand? Then I got side tracked and wondered why Plato and Aristotle had only one name.

Later, after I dried off, streaked to the bedroom to fetch underwear, and dressed, I read email and got jerked back to reality by a technology problem at the company I support.  The backup program had a message that implied something didn’t work correctly.  A hour later, I concluded it was what I titled: ‘planet aligning technology’. This is where certain multiple technologies or software happen to be in a certain state such that they interfere with each other causing one or more of them to not work correctly.  I also found it was not worth the time it would take to prove it. 

Such is the world of today.  Sad, but true. It was not worth the time to prove it.

Is that a philosophical thought? A farmer technologist philosophical one?

desktop time

So, I was sitting at my desktop doing some consulting work for one of my clients.  It was not a big job, and that was good for with my current back issues, sitting at the desktop is something that I needed to limit my time doing.  It should take me less than 15 minutes to do this job.

So, in starting this minor technical thing, I ran into a glitch. Glitches are common in  technical work.  So, an hour later of investigating and figuring out how to deal with the glitch, I got back to the one thing I originally sat down to do.  The glitch had to do with something in WordPress and just before I shut down my own blog that I use to test things, I noticed a few errors in my blog posts. How log can it take to fix these few errors?

An hour later, my back hurting I got up to take a break.  I answered a call, then as I went to put my phone down, I noticed an email arrived. I checked it and saw I needed to do another minor task for another client of mine. I returned to the desktop, with a bowl of cereal in hand.

An hour later, now my back hurting more and my cereal bowl empty. I went to shut down my blog that I had been working on to fix those minor errors.  Hum, I never noticed that many of the posts I imported from my Google blogspot had some many ‘uncategorized’ entries.  That needed fixed.

An hour later, I was still not done, now my back is really hurting and I needed to sit in front of the piano to practice some pieces before my lesson tonight.

So after five hours of sitting in front of my PC, I got up from my chair and left my screen with the blog still needing work. I hobbled away, my back bent and leaning to one side.

And we wonder why we are so busy these days, and why our body aches.


Things on my mind

Just for the record, I don’t like my software changing without my knowing or agreeing to it.

I like to prepare for change. I like learning how to use software and then find ways it can better my life. If it changes without my being prepared for it, I find I spend more time trying to figure out what I use to know than I do bettering my life.  This is normal for ‘free’ software.  (Is there such a thing as “free” software? – Another topic for a post someday.)

Am I resistant to change? Maybe.  But I rather describe it as resistant to surprise change.

So, it has been two months since I last posted anything on Google’s Blogsspot.  Of course it is different than it was two months ago.  

Oh well, deal with it, one of my kids would suggest.

So, that was a long introduction into a post about what I did in April 2012.

The first two weeks of April, I was focused on getting my taxes done. It was somewhat complicated.  Two businesses, job, Social Security, Pension income.  I had already taken a peek at it and knew I was going to end up having a payment of about $3000.  One of the businesses made more than I expected and I just was not watching what was paid close enough.  I had sent a payment in around March, in order to avoid penalty.  

So the good news is that I have a son who is doing well financially so I asked him for a loan. He was very nice about it and sent me enough to cover a sort fall for a few months.  

Of course, I didn’t rush filing. Why should I? I owed $3000.  I field April 14.  

The last two weeks of April, I sent doing things that was ignored because I was doing taxes the first two weeks.

Getting the lawn mowers running, cutting grass, work (the job kind). Taking care of the house, dogs and cats while Rita took care of her Mom.  

And May? What about May?

Well I did some good things with Javascript to get some web site stuff running like I needed. (that link points to a temp url website were I’m plugging in a new shopping cart for  

 I hate Javascript.  It is powerful, but the syntax is sinful.  Not my kind of language.

I cut more grass.

I started digging ditches for the gas line to the kiln building and garage. (A topic for another post.)  And moved the website to where I have my website. I can host it for no additional money – saving us $100 a year.

We canceled our business phone. It i was only aggravating us with telemarketers and we saw not benefit for it being a business phone. Verizon could not get the yellow page listing correct, it was too expensive, and it was time to go.

I caught the Indy 500 on TV some. Missed my sister and her family.  Wondered if anybody was selling ice at her house or camping out back.  Lonely visits me sometimes and I find myself wanting to call my younger brother, sit down and have a beer with my sister, hear my older brother’s voice, hear my Dad play the saxophone, have get advice from my Mom. Wait!  She never gave any good advice, so guess I don’t miss that.

Enough, more later…

Young people blogs

My son has begin to post blogs of his mountain hiking adventures and I really enjoying reading them with one exception. 

His choice of fonts sucks. Here is an example:

“my body tells me to “move or freeze … “


My eyesight is 20/70 in my left eye and 20/40 in my right eye. I have glaucoma, floaters, cataracts, 

lazy eye, early symptoms of Aged Macular Degeneration and bad progressive trifocals glasses.  

So I prefer fonts that are large, bright and clear.

This kind of font  is almost invisible for me!

This is better, but hard for me to read.

This is acceptable

This I can handle with no problem

This font makes me fee really old……

So, dude!  We do not have a shortage of electronic writing space.  Bits are free, using small fonts
does not save the environment and uses the same amount of energy as 

And the line spacing features in Google’s blog software  suck too!

So there!

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing
Today it works like this. Tomorrow, it works differently.
In the mid 90’s,  I made a decision that my staff would get Windows PC’s on their desktop, It was then that I started to develop a theory. My theory has to do with  the time it takes humans to adapt to change.  Some are faster than others, but none can adapt instantly.  Microsoft Office took sometime for my staff to learn, but they did. They used Outlook for email, learned to send files attached to email. schedule meetings.  They learned PowerPoint to better communicate their plans. They learned how to use Excel to better plan their work.  They became more productive. Then a year later, the company IT support department decided that everyone should migrate to the new release of Office. When it was installed in my staff’s desktop, it took them months to adapt to the differences between the old release and the new release. It took them months to reach the same level of productivity that they had before the upgrade. 
It was then that I developed a theory that, in order to benefit from new technology, one should not change it frequently.  Younger people would accuse me of getting old fashion.  So let’s fast forward to 2011.  Tablets like the iPad are taking over where PC’s use to be.  Smart phones like Google based Android and Apple’s iPhone are extending the reach of being connected and redefining applications.  Cloud computing like Google’s applications, Dropbox, Saas, and other new applications are replacing software that you install and run on your computing device. 
One of the big difference between Cloud computing and the old-fashion PC installed software is who decides when it changes.  In PC based installed software, normally the user decides.  Between 2000 and today (2011) that is often challenged with PC installed software often updating itself without the user’s knowledge. However, if one is technically astute, they can control when updates are done. 
Not so with Cloud computing.  One day it works this way, and tomorrow it works differently.  The user never sees a change coming. It just appears to work differently.  Currently, I’m a heavy user of Chrome and the Google applications. They are ‘free’ and I use Google docs often for spreadsheet and word processing needs.  Often, when I tried to do something as simple as add a column of numbers using the SUM function in spreadsheet talk, it works differently than it did before. The results, I frequently have to retrain myself how to get it to work.  It normally is just an minor aggravation, and only a small amount of disruption. Sometimes, however, the disruption can be more than minor.
I’m just forced to adapt, faster, more often, and unexpectedly.
If this trend becomes accepted behavior in the software and technology development world, and I claim it is, then what will happen when technology gets really sophisticated?
Let’s fast forward to 2030.  Singularity is upon us. Computing is pervasive.  You are always being monitored and connected to the Cloud.  Your transportation is automatic, your calendar is always updated, your family knows what is going on with you all the time, as does the legal world. Your TV, phone, tablet, desktop is now everywhere and you can not tell one from another. You have a ‘personal assistant’ that ‘lives’ with you. Some call it an AI robot, but is is really more than that. It takes care of you, plans your day. You depend on it for your health and well being.   You become attached to it. You like it. It likes you.
One day it works like this, then the next day it works differently.
What’s with that?   
Who, or what, is controlling whom?