Friday, June 30, 2023

Look what I've done now

One of the blogs I frequent is  I'm probably more of a lurker but I do contribute now and again.  Usually, my comments are ignored don't lead to anything or there is a 1-2 response.  This is how most of the comments there work.

The other day I shared my unpopular opinion ...

Of course, I have an unpopular opinion that Sentence Diagramming is just an excuse to give Neurodivergent students lower grades and that cursive writing should go the way of the Dodo.

... and it seems to have short-term thread jacked the post.  I actually wrote a thing about Cursive Writing at ChicagoNow but since Alden Global Capital killed the site, you can find it here:

Who cares if Cursive Writing becomes Extinct?

I've met Nancy once, we had a beer in Grosse Pointe.  Her blog is a bit different as she posts a variety of things and readers comment on one or more of them, but then after a day or so the commentary takes over and talks about whatever until Nancy posts again.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Speaking of Defunct Blogs

Here's one I happened across when looking for this particular piece.

Chicago History Today 

As a kid, whenever my mom drove us to the Brickyard Mall, we'd notice this Highway to Nowhere.  I thought it might have once been part of an expressway system and this was all that was left.  When I got older and more cynical, we joked that it was a construction pork project.  It turns out, there was a legitimate purpose to it.

This structure was located at 6650 West Grand Avenue. A curved driveway, supported on concrete pillars 40 feet above the ground, with no ramps. For most of the thousands who passed it everyday, it was an intriguing mystery. A Northwest Side prototype for the Skyway, perhaps?

The Grand Avenue whatsis was actually a relic of World War II. Built by Western Electric in 1943, it was a track used for testing mobile radar equipment. The location at the top of a ridge made it higher than any buildings for miles around.

Originally a wooden ramp connected the track to the ground. The mobile radar units would drive up to the top, then planes from Glenview Naval Air Station flew over. The data collected was used to determine the efficiency of radar, which was then a new invention.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Tales from Pidgeon Forge

 We got back yesterday from our trip to Pidgeon Forge.  It was a fun time without too much stress or drama.  Note, there's always a little bit of that, especially when you are spending extended time with friends in confined quarters.  

You see their daily habits and as they likely differ from yours, you cannot help but wonder, how do they live like this?  At the same time, they are thinking the same thing about you.  J and I had a secret "cold war" over the thermostat setting.  Admittedly, I'd set it too low and he would crank it back up, not realizing that the cold setting doesn't act like heat so all it does is effectively turn off the air.  It also irked me that he would leave empty bottles on the counter instead of putting it in the garbage (there was no recycling here: everything had to go in Bear-proof containers).

I've known the entity known as K&J for twenty years now, give or take.  I've also technically known Katniss since high school although we weren't close back then and there was the decade between college and re-acquaintance when we weren't connected.  Katness doesn't let J drink alcohol anymore, which while likely a good thing in the long run, is affecting his short-term dopamine intake.  Like many of us, he has ADHD tendencies and he now only has smoking to get his fix.  

In any event, I'd say we all had a good time (except for J) and the kids enjoyed it, which was the point.  The key was we had very lazy morning and didn't try to cram too much into each day.  The kids also took turns being sick from some sort of virus, which Nightingale and I went through when we got home.  That meant among other things that we couldn't go back to The Island for a second day of rides.

The cabin actually had a vintage video game machine with at least 60 different retro games from the 80s and 90s.  I was reminded quickly how frustrating those games could be.  For one thing, the device is analog so moving your ship, character, or whatever would sometimes not work the way you want it to or might be used to with today's video games.  A lot of video games from that area couldn't handle your ship and an enemy ship or bullet was too close on the screen so it registered a kill even though you could see space between the two entities.  

Let's not forget that often people would get frustrated and hit the controls too hard, which I'm sure adds to them not working optimally.  

I spent the bulk of my video game experience playing Burger Time and Time Pilot. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

No New Tales to Tell

This is the last regular week before we head off on a vacation.  We are meeting Katness et al and going to Pidgeon Forge. Then we have a month before we visit Chicago for a week.  Then hopefully Nightingale gets a month off before starting her new job.

As for me, I have been unlucky in getting re-employed.  A guy I use to work with at the No-Name Software Company, former Tech Lead JT, reached out to me last month.  He was let go and freaking out.  The thing is, he got a new job within a month.  

I've written about him here before.  I suspect he reached out to me because he thought I could get him in somewhere and then he realized that he hasn't kept in touch.  he also discovered that very few people were in his corner.  I guess I was probably one of the few people who didn't write him off entirely, although I had every reason to.

Now that he has a new job, he has disappeared, which is all well and fine.  A year ago I interviewed at the place he was let go from and I didn't reach out directly to him because...the year before I reached out about a similar position and he was his usual toxic self.  I might have faired better if I had tried being more humble.

Life isn't fair and this guy JT knows how to play the game.  He has all the confidence of a sociopath with the ego of a narcissist and the unawareness of an old white guy. He will be a director someday.