A Wonderful Juxtaposition

A wonderful juxtapoistion
A wonderful juxtaposition

I really do hope Roger did not actually hate the park and everyone in it, but there are days that remind me of this. Personally, I think it’s better to have humor, and the plaque is funny.

Frank’s Cough

Many years ago when I worked in a software company west of Boston, I worked with a product manager named Frank. Frank helped me navigate my new company, had an excellent sense of humor, and I am forever grateful to him for his wisdom and friendship.

When I first started, Frank sat in a cube next to mine, and he had a really serious cough. At the time, I was still working at WBOQ 104.5 FM Gloucester, and decided I would write him a funny spot (radio advertisement). The copy and cough are mine, but I needed a real voice talent, sportscaster J. P. Lewis.

Mrs. Highpants, who is a fan of James Horner, suggested we use the main title theme to Zorro, and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, here is “Frank’s Cough”.

Visual High Tech Elixir

Feeling down? One thing that might help is a large computer monitor. Despite the trend towards smart phones, smart tablets, and more, you are still seeing the world in miniature. For me, nothing beats seeing things large.

After years of feeling guilty, I finally asked for and received a 24″ rectangular monitor at work. The brand/model is an Acer V243H. It’s a thing of beauty and frightening enormity. Now, almost my entire computer world including mistakes, pestering email requests, software-under-edit, and more can appear at once on my screen just like musical theatre.

So my reality might not have gotten better, but I have been able to dupe myself safely into thinking everything is big and rosy.

It is great living large.

The Prius’ Driving Modes

I learned to drive in a Chevrolet. I took a Ford Cortina to my driving test; I passed. Since then I have driven tractors, a 1926 Rolls Royce Phantom I, with rod brakes and manual steering, and large Chryslers. I have always preferred maneuverable, smaller cars, but can drive just about anything. That is until my wife bought a Prius.

My wife usually does not get sucked into trends. She avidly recycles, but is not crazed about it. She tries to combine multiple trips in the car to conserve on gasoline, but if an extra trip has to be made, it is not the end of the world. That is until the Prius came along, because it seems to be exercising mind control.

It is no longer about how to get from point A to point B; it is all about how you drive there. If you perform a ballet of releasing the accelerator and braking a certain way, you get points, as in miles per gallon at the end of the trip.

I strongly recommend if you buy a Prius, do not use any of the special modes — EV, ECO, or Power — at all, at least not until you are used to the car. From the description of EV, you are only supposed to use that at night around the neighborhood, so you do not disturb your neighbors. It is silent. I thought if it is silent, burglars might like the Prius, too. Well, at least they would be robbing your house environmentally.

I have never used Power mode, but imagine doing so would be recorded in some log stored in the universe where at the end of my life, I would be lectured for using power when I did not have to.

ECO mode seems to be the trickiest of all. I am actually feeling badly if my mileage is low, having traversed up and down hills in my town. Fortunately, I do not drive my wife’s Prius often. Maybe I won’t get too programmed.

End of Summer Flight

When the hot weather arrives in the Spring, our house sounds like this, well not quite like that, but more like sounds of a hot summer.

We keep our home cool with two window air conditioners and fans. The birds need just enough indirect cool air, so their room does not reach 90 degrees, and our main goal is to keep the house dehumidified, if not below eighty degrees.

I often think that at the onset of hot weather, our house begins its annual long distance flight to who knows where. And now, midway through August, I see the landing strip off in the distance. Pretty soon, our air conditioners will be put away; and the fans will be cleaned, packed up, and made ready for the next flight, next year.

21st Century Togetherness

My wife, Mrs. Highpants, and I could always use more togetherness time, which is hard to find in modern life. Well, we have more of it.

Do you know how some public service announcements talk about sitting around the kitchen table to socialize? Well, Mrs. Highpants and I are sitting at the dining room table. We are sitting at the table, along with our computers. It is so cozy.

I wonder if we left the table and did not “suspend” our computers, if they would just keep each other company. Do our computers really need us? Will couples like us need to be here at the table some time in the future? Who knows.

At least now, we can glance over our laptops, and commiserate about this or that, or how I’ve tweeted the Terminix Fan commercial for the nth year in a row, because the advertisement reminds me of the fans on in our house during the summer.

Thanks, Bobby

Many years ago when I was a freshman in college and going out with a wonderful woman who lived about three hours away from my university, road trips then were common and anticipated with happiness. Gasoline was $0.32/gallon for premium.

When she graduated from high school that year, I was invited and waited along with parents and friends as each senior got a diploma. When it came time for one of her classmates and good friends to receive her diploma, Jennifer, who was not a shrinking violet, bounded across the stage, shook the headmaster’s hand, and said “Thanks, Bobby” to loud applause.

I’ve never forgotten the day, because it contained a bit of acceptable mischief, and produced a memorable moment.

So, happy graduation to everyone graduating this season.

And, thanks, Jennifer, for Thanks, Bobby, wherever you are.