Trash rack victory!! Half price monitor and memory of a free one

Someone threw out an HP Z27 monitor for the understandable defect of something having struck the upper left of the screen and ruining it there. I bought for about half the cost of the original monitour a replacement LCD direct from China for the thing, which arrived to at work. After doing some real botchwork with a sewing machine on a skirt I sortof succeeded in altering, I reassembled the monitor and it works now. 3840 × 2160 and I have to run it at 25/100 brightness (via OSD) to be able to look at the thing.

Continue reading Trash rack victory!! Half price monitor and memory of a free one

Slow, modern Heptameron story eleven XI

The first electronic calculator I remember, and the only one I remember seeing or using for years, was my mother’s. It folded in half on a plastic leather hinge and I think was a Casio SL-100B. I remember the folding hinge getting two cracks on each end, leaving these little tabs that I don’t remember ever trying to pull on.

It was solar powered with no memory, so had no real way to damage it. I played with it often to see what I could do to get the “E” to show up. Dividing by zero was easy, I think after that I found out I could keep multiplying things by large things and that would do it, and at last, taking the square root of a negative.

The best memory I have of it is putting in some huge number (it had 8 digits if it was an SL-100B, so 99,999,999 was the highest it went) and repeatedly pushing √ until I got to 1. I remember the numbers would fall rapidly, then become 1.0000something, and after falling below 1.000,000,050, became just “1.”.

This was more entertaining than multiplying things to reach an overflow because I didn’t have to come up with another number as multiplier, I just put in the initial number and watched it change with “√” until it reached the unchanging “1.”. In this, I now realized, I had a zero-player game, similar to “Conway’s Game of Life“: pick an initial state (99,999,999) and the rules (“√”) and everything in every turn afterward is unavoidably known (fixed value) and the same (no randomness or chance [stochasticity?]).

Slow, modern Heptameron, story ten X

Another childhood memory with no speech at all.

From when I was about 5 until after I moved out around 20 years later, I lived with my parents where they lived, in a rural area on the edges of a sub urban area. In the sub urban area was a little shopping plaza at an intersection with 3 others. These were not “malls” I don’t think, although 1 might have qualified. A different one had that so-distinct 1970s? look to the sign out front, which I wish I could know the name of that style.

The one I am thinking of tried to be old timey in a very vague way. It had a brick front and an actual arcade (I think) with brick columns and roof lines and in the middle a clock on a higher than the rest roof.

When I first saw this was early, probably close to 5 or 6 years old, so about when I was learning to read a clock (something I do remember). This one you could see two sides of when you were in a car in the parking lot. From then until I last saw it, whenever later / ago, these two perpendicular faces’ hands never moved and were so different it was unavoidable to notice.

I think the two facing either “side” of the stores were the same, and I don’t remember that I ever, after I had learned to drive and could go there myself, walked around the back to see if it even had a rear face.

Just an old-time professor

For a few years in the mid 2000s, I took a number of courses at the county college (2-year, Associates-granting public institution) taught by this 1 professor, H. I propose to tell some storys about him, that he told me or that we had.

Continue reading Just an old-time professor

Addiction a counter-conspiracy

This was part of an email to a friend, but after reading the “old fart” his post about a continuous struggle to remain sober (which he reports success at length at). Nothing especially sensitive and no harshness follows.

Continue reading Addiction a counter-conspiracy

Slow, modern Heptameron story eight (VIII)

Probably close to 20 years ago now, when P2P other than Bittorrent was popular and YouTube not much established, I downloaded a copy of the song “Convoy” by C. W. McCall. It’s someone using alot of CB radio slang while driving a tractor trailer. Fair enough.

(Word of warning: avoid the sequel song. It is really uncountably bad. Listen to it entirely alone so you won’t have to be embarrassed that any one else can hear it while associating it with your face.)

This particular copy that I downloaded had, after maybe 15 seconds of dead air at the end… a newsreader describing how doctors were trying to find out what sickened so many people at a recent American Legion convention.

The worst of it is, being sure that it would be on Youtube by now, I deleted it with most of my other downloaded music. I have not been able to find it since.

Slow, modern Heptameron story seven (VII)

With a new tablet (that has some sweet features) I wanted to try my accidental find Bluetooth speaker again. On the old tablet, enabling Bluetooth once made Windows so obnoxious that I use it as an excuse to make a fresh installation.

Of course, when I first got the speaker I used my favorite sound test, but this time I wanted some musique. This lead me to a memory of earlier:

In younger says, before I could have legally driven, my mother usually drove me where I needed to be. At the time, it was school (far too far for a bus to drive). On the way, I would often listen to the radio. There was a station out of a nearby cittie that played “oldies” (ca. 1950s to 1980s). This was the first time I remember hearing Smokey Robinson and the Miracles‘ song “Going to a Go Go“.

I have always known parsing sung words are hard, and would do the best I could. More than a decade later, I am still undoing this. Sometimes, the originals are hard to forget. (One has ruined a classical piece for me and has proven the hardest to get rid of.)

Anyway, I had never heard of a “go go” and the term wouldn’t have made sense to me, so my mind “go” into “vote”. (If you think that’s so far fetched, listen to the song yourself.) The lyrics that I could pick out didn’t contradict this interpretation:

  • “Goin’ to a go go” / “Going to a-vote vote”
  • “…and don’t be shocked if you find your baby there.”
  • “Don’t you want to go?” / “Don’t you want to vote?”

The only one that would have been confusing was “There’s a brand new place I found-a, where people come from miles around-a.”, but I knew this was from the 50s/60s, that the singers were Black, and the civil rights laws were being enforced for the first time in likely living memory, so assumed it was a reference to the polling place being “brand new” to the singers.

(That “featured image” icon took me about 3+ hours to make, and is derived from this [Public Domain] and this [CC-BY: Wikimedia Commons users “G ambrus” and “Junaidpv”] ALL BY HAND. It better not be more interesting than my story… ):<…)

Slow, modern Heptameron story six (VI)

(Reminded of this by the comment of Laura on the post about “Middle Age / The Prime of Life?”.)

At County College, I took a course on public speaking (rhetoric), which is the practice of standing in front of some people who are giving their attention to you while you talk about something. It is not elocution (making speech sounds). I think I got a B?

The professor was an old dude of some humor and, according to some, an appearance like a board game character. We got along with him well, but here are some memorys:

1. He had a camcorder on a tripod that he used to video us, so we could watch our performances later and see how to improve. I don’t know who else didn’t do this, but I was one who have always had an aversion to my voice and face, so I never did and made sure to destroy the VHS at the end of the semester. I am still glad.

2. He forgot to include the grade composition in the syllabus! This wasn’t brought up until we were preparing for the last speech we would have to give, when he reminded us it would be 40% of the final grade. I remember being the one to ask him the grade breakdown and answering him that it wasn’t in the syllabus. (He was cool about it and immediately told us what it was.)

3. One student gave a very polished speech (I think it was the third of 5 we had to do) and I remember when leaving the classroom after that period had ended the professor striking up what was very clearly a touchy conversation. I didn’t stay, but the next period I remember noticing she was not there. The entire time since I have a fear that she plagiarized it and had to, at minimum, withdraw from the course.

4. Someone who sat next to me gave a couple of speeches I remember, one was on procrastination and he mentioned intentionally procrastinating on preparing or practicing it. I felt it dragged out and had evidence that the professor didn’t like it.

5. The professor had some entertaining storys, like the time he taught somewhere else. It was in a cement block building with a lower cieling, probably a dropped one. The speaker (a student) began by firing a hand gun of some type (with a blank round, or it was a starter/cap gun), calmly saying “Now that I have your attention…”, and then “had the nerve” (prof’s words) to give a speech totally unrelated to that.

6. (Here is what Laura reminded me of) Somewhere along the line the subject of bad drivers came up while he was seated at the front of the class and lecturing in a sort of conversational way. I think it had turned to old people drivers (he had a completely white mustache, so was old/older) and he stated his opinion that “some people must have gotten their license out of a cereal box”. (Awhile ago, breakfast cereals sold in boxes would have some free toy, implying that these bad older drivers could only have gotten a license if there was no testing at all.)

7. I remember some of my fellow students’ speeches, such as “the best advice I ever got was from my father, who said I needed to know how to change a tire” (with examples!), Dagorhir, making something unexpected out of peanut butter, public unawareness of the current Cabinet (this was extemporaneous and a good one), and more I do not remember.

8. I once was loitering outside the building library, reading the New York Times and others’ headlines through the window. He walked by and, being a jokester but not a mean one, said “Ahh there you are.” like he was looking for me. I replied, off guard and vanishingly slightly displeased, “O no, it’s you.”. On seeing me the next class period (I sat near the back by the door), he brought it up to me and I obligingly repeated it, and then again to get the right tone of disgust for him. (This was not done out of anger and I am confident if I refused he would have let it go.)

This course was helpful when I had to give a speech in another class, later on. Particularly the advice and practice in speaking clearly, looking around the room, and not unconsciously moving my hands/arms/body. I wish I kept that professor’s evaluation, I remember his rubric specifically considered eye contact and other things. I got an “Excellent” in that, and I think the other two. More on this course later.

Slow, modern Heptameron story five (V)

I was rereading (and editing, if really needed) old posts of mine, including this one, and remembered this.

When I was returning from the last job interview, I drove through a part of the State that had a very large Hebrew and Yiddish speaking population, indicated by the many signs near the road written and typeset in the letters of their common alphabet. I distinctly remember driving by a kosher dairy bar and only catching a view of a sign in the window that was both Hebrew or Yiddish and English and feeling sad I would never see it again to finish reading.

Of course the job I did end up getting was maybe a mile from there, and I still drive by it once or twice a day. I never have gone in the place, but that is because the parking is bad and other things.