Movie Night.

So I’m excited to see “Shazam!” tonight. Here’s my first memories of the World’s Mightiest Mortal.

“Oh power Elders, strong and fleet and wise, appear before my seeking eyes.”

Real ness.

So Linus Torvalds, the “inventor” (I use this term loosely) of Linux, the operating system that runs 70% of the Internet, as well as a whole bunch of other things like Android phones (that’s a really bad description of Linux), really dislikes Social Media. In a recent article by NBC News, he talks about the anonymity behind Social Media, and how people really wouldn’t say what they say online if they had to say it face to face and using their real name.

He definitely has a point. I’ve read things from bots that would make your hair curl. I always blame the bots because I really try hard to believe that semi-intelligent human beings really aren’t as stupid as they portray themselves to be on the likes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the like.

If you follow me on social media, you’d know that I indeed use my real name in most instances. There’s a few places where I use a pseudonym because I like to have an alter-ego once in a while, but I still try to act like a rational human being.

Why last night I suggested that someone build windmills near the White House to test Lord Marmalade’s latest lie that “the noise from windmills cause cancer”. To disprove Mr. Torvalds theory about saying things behind a curtain of anonymity, the real life with real names folks in the White House are defending this outrageous claim by Herr Orange Whippy Wig and saying there’s no evidence denying that noise from windmills cause cancer.

Science, it’s not just for the dorks.

I do agree that Social Media in the United States would be a better experience for all involved if the social media corporations forced validation of users and the use of real names in wild discourse. I limit this to the United States because there are folks that live in other countries who must use social media to communicate with others that are trying to flee said country. Anonymity is very important in some respects, but not when you’re shouting at someone.

Keep it real. Use your name. Take responsibility for your words.

Decision.

Chicago elected Lori Lightfoot as our next mayor. Mayor-Elect Lightfoot is the first African-American woman elected as mayor for The Second City. She just also happens to be the first openly gay person to serve as mayor for a major city in the United States.

This is what forward motion looks like. I’m hoping Chicago sets an example for the rest of the country.

Streams.

So we’ve cut the cable cord (again) in our merry little home. Technically, we’ve cut the cord from a telecommunications company, but AT&T did everything they could to make sure U-verse works just like cable. The signal was horribly compressed, we had a DVR of questionable userability, and we were served with many channels that we would never watch just so we could get the channels we wanted to watch.

Before moving to Chicago we had cut the cord and had survived quite well with streaming services. Living here in the big city we have even more options over our OTA (Over-The-Air) antenna because we are actually close to broadcast locations. We have a very small “U” shaped antenna, about as thick as a dinner napkin, hanging near the television and we are able to receive nearly 50 channels. The networks are gorgeous; there’s no signal compression at all and it works amazingly well. We have no need for a DVR as anything we’d want to “record” we can actually just download through the streaming services we enjoy, including Hulu and Netflix. Plus, Amazon Prime Video comes with our existing Prime subscription, so we have just about everything covered.

I was hoping Apple would announce something that would take our breath away when it came to reimagining the television experience, but from what I could garner from the keynote, they’ve just expanded the TV app to include a little more data and they’ll be offering another subscription service in an already crowded market.

Not exactly the approach I was looking for.

One thing that we’ll definitely not miss are the cable news channels. We’ve both decided that we are completely and utterly burned out on the constant chaos coming out of Washington, D.C. and the news channels are doing everything they can to stoke the fire. They want to continue the ad revenue and pull a chunk from our cable subscription service to justify their existence.

We’ll be quite content going a la carte and on our own terms.

Sunday.

This is what an enjoyable Sunday afternoon on the ground in our home looks like. The Cubs didn’t win today, but we still enjoyed watching the game together.

Stupidity.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have become really tired of this trend of celebrating stupidity. I’ve had a front row seat for the degradation of American society for the 50 years I’ve been on this planet, but over the past couple of years the pace has shifted into Overdrive.

We live in an age where:

  • “We’re all out of bread, but we can give you toast”, is a valid response from a waitress.
  • A woman spots a moose on her lawn so she throws a cat at it. To be clear, the story reported that it was a wild moose, apparently hence the cat. I guess you’d never throw a cat at a domesticated moose?
  • “Trump cuts aid to three Mexican countries” is a valid headline.
  • Cable news outlets have people debating the merits of whether our planet is flat or not

I doubt folks called The Dark Ages while it was happening, but I wouldn’t hesitate to think of this as The Age of Celebrated Idiocy.

Technology has the potential to do many things in the world. When we were in the infancy of global communication and being connected to practically every other human being on the planet, no matter where they were located, I never thought leaps in technology would make the masses willfully ignorant.

I fully support the idea of a reboot.

Exploring.

I’ve renewed my interest in taking photos while I’m out exploring the city, heck, when I’m out exploring life. I could go into a spiel how about easy this is to do with my iDevices, but my gentle readers already know how much of an Apple fanboy I am at heart, even when the company does things that confuses me. That’s a separate blog entry.

I found the modification to this stop sign to be interesting. It’s the first time I’ve seen an attempt to replicate the color and lettering of a stop sign for this particular social awareness application. I’m sure this exists all over the world; it’s the first time I’ve seen such a thing.

My little journey around the city is taking me to places I’ve only seen from afar. After exploring The Loop, I hopped on the Blue Line toward O’Hare and jumped off at the Irving Park stop, which is about 25 blocks from where we live. For those that don’t know how the Chicago street grid works, that’s just over three miles from our condo, though I traveled nearly seven miles to get here, since the L resembles a hub-and-spoke system.

The vibe in this part of the city is a little bit less frenetic than what I encounter around the Loop, or even when compared to our neighborhood of Northcenter. Even though I know there’s plenty of city to the west of us, it always feels like I’ve crossed into the suburbs when I get west of the Kennedy Expressway in this part of town. There’s more car dealers and shopping plaza type property out here. There’s nothing wrong with that.

This is where the Blue Line was built into the median of the Kennedy. This makes for interesting geometry in the design of the stations. I found this stairwell particularly narrow.

Apparently it fills up with water when it rains. And the roar of the expressway when you’re waiting for the train does not lend itself to a meditative experience.

There’s so much to explore out here and with my husband working for the Cubs this baseball season, I feel like I’m going to have time to do more of it than I did last year.

I’m looking forward to the experience.

Waiting for Clearance.

I’m out exploring while Earl is at work today. The Blue Line is down to one track today which is delaying O’Hare Bound trains. The people watching remains fascinating, especially the mix of locals and tourists on an O’Hare Bound train. I’m enjoying the adventure.

Quiet.

One of the things I like about walking in the morning before work is the relative quiet of the neighborhood. This morning the birds are singing, there’s a woodpecker earnestly working nearby, and traffic noise is at a minimum off the main streets.

A great way to start the day. Bliss.