Dreams.

I have been having very vivid dreams lately. I remember at least one dream every night, sometimes two. I faithfully write down the pertinent thoughts. Sometimes I act them out for anyone that happens to be in the house. I bet my little show would be less interesting if I was awake when I was acting them out. If the neighbors have ever looked out their window in the middle of the night they’ve probably seen my naked body standing in the window on more than one occasion. Earl guides me back to bed when I’m doing that, because I’m never awake when I’m revealing myself that way.

My dreams the past couple of nights have been very vivid. I have dreamed about flying, as in jumping onto an air current and soaring along the treetops. My hands are not out in front of me in a Superman pose, but at my sides. The wind is blowing against my face. The feeling of flying lingers on well after I have landed and the dream has come to an end.

The other night I dreamed about my Grandma Country. I hadn’t dreamed about her in quite a while and I must say it’s been too long since our last visit in the Dreamscape. Her presence helped me through the day yesterday when I was feeling a little blue. She always made me feel like I’m not so crazy after all.

Last night I dreamed about Grandma Country’s older sister, Aunt Rena. I think I know why Aunt Rena came around. We usually saw Aunt Rena around the holidays; as a widow she would come over for the holiday dinners and sit on the stool and visit with my grandmother during the dinner preparations. Aunt Rena always brought tossed salad, complete with radishes cut into rose petals, and “Mix”, which in contemporary times is called “Chex Mix”. Her Mix was always a little more homemade tasting than the Chex Mix you buy in a bag. The ladies on Grandma Country’s side of the family did that sort of thing pretty well.

Aunt Rena was a retired school teacher. She taught 3rd grade at the small school in town. I believe my Dad and his brother and sisters were all in her class. In fact, I think my grandmother was in her class, now that I think about it.

We rarely went to Aunt Rena’s house. The only occasion that we would really go over there is for trick or treating on Halloween. We’d get into the back of my aunt’s Datsun B210 and head over the Ridge Road to her house and get in as far as the front door. Her house was kept much like the way my grandmother kept house, very neat and orderly but still functional. We never made it passed the living room. We’d visit for a while, get a treat and then move on to the next relatives, usually Aunt Dutch’s, Aunt Dutch being another one of the sisters. Her house was neat and orderly too.

Aunt Clara on Bewitched reminds me of my Aunt Rena a little bit. Very smart, but a little bit bumbling. Aunt Rena wasn’t nearly as bumbly as Aunt Clara but her heart seemed to be as big. I kind of wish I had the opportunity to get to know her better.

At least I got to chat with her last night during my dream.

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Duplication.

I apologise that the previous blog entry was posted in triplicate and that I was completely unaware of it. One of the new features of the latest version of the WordPress app on the iPad is that it automatically posts things, deletes things, calls you names and then posts some more before it spitefully crashes into oblivion in a last effort of frivolity.

I once loved the app. I now hate it.

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Time.

I was just standing in line at The World’s Greatest Subway(tm) where I heard a woman remark to her friend that it was very dark out this morning when her alarm went off. I refrained from making a comment and a spectacle, however, had I decided to verbalize the thoughts that starting circling in my head, I would have said this:

“It’s because we screw with the clocks and our heads, you idiot.”

You see, we are still in Daylight Saving Time here in the United States and will continue to be for the next three weeks or so. Isn’t that comforting? For the next three weeks we won’t see daylight on the east coast until after 0700. So while you’re trying to get your act together for the day, you get to stumble around in the dark and fumble for your keys and go out into a dark morning for your daily commute. You see, even though you’re turning on the lights and all that for a longer amount of time, the U.S. Government says that burning our lights longer is saving energy. That’s right, we are saving energy by illuminating darkness every morning. But don’t worry, at least everyone gets to still enjoy their outdoor activities after work. You know, before it gets dark at 1830 (6:30 p.m.). Enjoy your swim in Lake Ontario as you watch the beautiful sunset.

To say that I hate Daylight Saving Time gives it too much credit, because it would imply that I once loved it. I despise Daylight Saving Time with every fiber of my jet-lagged, lethargic being. Earl and I have been tossing around the idea of relocating a few miles to the west and I’m joyful because the clock will be .02 seconds closer to true time during DST.

Most humans are designed to awake with the dawn’s early light, not an hour before sunrise. So in the name of Old Glory, please stop trying to compete with nature and stop messing with the clocks.

I shall spend the next three weeks or so making like a zombie that has flown from Shanghai to Bangor with a 10 hour layover in Peoria. Twice. Please be kind.

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Time.

I was just standing in line at The World’s Greatest Subway(tm) where I heard a woman remark to her friend that it was very dark out this morning when her alarm went off. I refrained from making a comment and a spectacle, however, had I decided to verbalize the thoughts that starting circling in my head, I would have said this:

“It’s because we screw with the clocks and our heads, you idiot.”

You see, we are still in Daylight Saving Time here in the United States and will continue to be for the next three weeks or so. Isn’t that comforting? For the next three weeks we won’t see daylight on the east coast until after 0700. So while you’re trying to get your act together for the day, you get to stumble around in the dark and fumble for your keys and go out into a dark morning for your daily commute. You see, even though you’re turning on the lights and all that for a longer amount of time, the U.S. Government says that burning our lights longer is saving energy. That’s right, we are saving energy by illuminating darkness every morning. But don’t worry, at least everyone gets to still enjoy their outdoor activities after work. You know, before it gets dark at 1830 (6:30 p.m.). Enjoy your swim in Lake Ontario as you watch the beautiful sunset. 

To say that I hate Daylight Saving Time gives it too much credit, because it would imply that I once loved it. I despise Daylight Saving Time with every fiber of my jet-lagged, lethargic being. Earl and I have been tossing around the idea of relocating a few miles to the west and I’m joyful because the clock will be .02 seconds closer to true time during DST. 

Most humans are designed to awake with the dawn’s early light, not an hour before sunrise. So in the name of Old Glory, please stop trying to compete with nature and stop messing with the clocks. 

I shall spend the next three weeks or so as a zombie who just flew from Shanghai to Bangor via a 10 hour layover in Peoria. Twice.  

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Savings.

I’m really good at spending money. I’m like really good at it. I have my suspicions as to where I learned this fantastic trait of mine, but I enjoy a certain je ne sais quoi when it comes to spending money. There’s a certain amount of excitement when one finds that next goodie on the Christmas tree, decides to buy it and then feel a bit of excitement as the new found treasure is revealed.

Ironically, I don’t enjoy shopping. It makes me yawn.

While I am really good at spending money, there are times when I like to do the responsible thing and feel like I’m saving money. And I have started a plan that will save me $270 a year. $270! That’s like three tanks of gas and five gallons of milk! Just think of the things I can do with that kind of dough in this economy. Where has my new found savings come from?

I drive thru McDonalds instead of Dunkin’ Donuts now when purchasing my daily dose of unsweetened iced tea with lemon. Dunkin’ Donuts price? $2.70. McDonalds? $1.69 (and I think the cup is bigger).

I’m quite delighted with this little find. I think I’ll celebrate by buying something shiny.

 

Purple.

Show your support of LGBT teens that are struggling by wearing purple today, if you’re not already. Too many teens are committing suicide because of being bullied simply for being different. Suicide is not the answer.

Remember, it gets better. I promise.

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The Hard Way.

Verizon Wireless recently announced that they are going to start selling the iPad in their stores. The Apple device will be the Wi-Fi version only, since AT&T carries the 3G version of the product, however, Verizon is going to start bundling their Mi-Fi device with the wi-fi iPad (MiFi and WiFi get along pretty well) for the same price as the iPad with 3G, bringing the same functionality to the wi-fi version with just a little extra hardware and on the Verizon network instead of the AT&T network.

Did that make sense?

I already have a wi-fi iPad and I love it very much. I do much of my remote surfing on my iPad now and the experience is quite nice. There have been a few occasions, however, where I wish I had 3G network access instead of needing to find a wi-fi hot spot. Unfortunately, the same reason that I no longer have an iPhone holds true for why I bought the wi-fi iPad: AT&T’s 3G coverage in Central New York sucks. I checked with co-workers last week and confirmed that they do not get 3G network access on their phones in the general area around work. The 3G on my Verizon-connected Motorola Droid works brilliantly (hence why I’m on Verizon) but if I want to connect my iPad to the internet, I need to rely on the citywide wireless DSL that ironically costs more per month than the AT&T 3G plan that comes with the appropriate iPad.

Earl announced to me last week, in a very serious voice, that he was tired of carrying two cell phones around and no longer wanted his Droid. This is understandable and I agreed that it was probably cumbersome to carry around two phones. He wanted to terminate the contract on his Droid and just stick with his work issued Blackberry, and then probably get something else for connectivity when he is on the road. (I am going to set him up with a Google Voice account that he can use with his Mac or an upcoming iPad). The problem is, Verizon Wireless was poised to soak us with an early termination fee. We considered this when making this decision but in the back of our minds it seemed like we were throwing money at the wind.

So on Saturday I converted Earl’s personal cell number to a Verizon Mi-Fi device. I now can have up to five devices connected on a portable wi-fi hotspot using Verizon’s 3G service. Not only does this save us some money on a monthly basis (because it’s cheaper than the citywide WiFi when you consider the money we saved by removing Earl’s phone from the cell plan), but we can now also surf the internet wherever there is a Verizon 3G signal. It is quite nifty and I’m happy to say that this is seemingly faster than the citywide wifi, even as we type. In addition, should the RoadRunner connection at the house go down, we now have a back-up plan and can still maintain some sort of connectivity.

Astute readers of the blog may have noticed that I am blogging more again and that’s on purpose. The creative outlet is helping me psychologically and of course it’s something that I really enjoy doing. I’m also sharing more tech stuff on my iMachias twitter feed (see link at right). This new Verizon MiFi connection is helping with that immensely.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, if/when the Verizon iPhone comes out next year, I am absolutely going to get back onto the iPhone platform and sell my Droid. I like the Droid but I loved the iPhone. It was AT&T that messed that up for me.

It’s good to be a geek.

 

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Learning.

So I just passed through the local Dunkin Donuts drive through as part of my daily lunch routine. I normally order a large, unsweetened iced tea with lemon and enjoy that throughout the afternoon, but today I decided to get a little crazy and order a chocolate chip cookie to go along with the iced tea. I have a meeting scheduled to start at 1500 and go until 1600 tomorrow, so I figured I would need the extra sugar. On the other hand, adding the cookie breaks my record of consistency with the ordering process. I strive to achieve what my mother did back in the day, she could call the local pizza place, just say “It’s Sandi” and hang up the phone and 30 minutes later a pizza cooked to perfection would arrive at the door. No directions, no topping notices, no haggling over the tip.  Consistency got the pizza joint trained like so many cocker spaniels and it was good. I was hoping to achieve the same with Dunkin Donuts with the intent of them recognising the hum of the Acura but now it’s all crazy because of that chocolate chip cookie.

But I digress.

And I didn’t get the chocolate chip cookie.

Instead, I got the aforementioned iced tea with a toasted bagel smothered in pink goo. The goo was acting like a glue and holding the two halves of the bagel together. I figured one was suppose to eat it like a sandwich.

First of all, pink food of any nature just makes me nervous unless it’s a jam and then it should be much more red than pink. This pink was almost neon pink, kind of like something you would find on Cyndi Lauper’s hair back when she was telling us that She Bopped. Pink is not a natural food color. However, I was feeling adventurous and thought I was give this errant bagel a try, since it was toasted and all.

I’d rather eat shaving cream.

Wow, that pink goo had the strongest, foulest taste of strawberry substitution I had ever had in my life and that includes any attempts at downing a glass of Strawberry Quik. It was just plain awful. I chucked the bagel with goo into the bag and hastily grabbed the lemon out of my iced tea glass and licked the lemon, hoping to get the goo taste out of my mouth.

This got me to thinking, this chemically induced taste ‘sensation’ can not be good for us. If one peruses the interwebs in the right places you’ll find Public Service Ads for various things back in the day, and by that I mean back in the early 1950s. You know how many of us cringe now when we see Lucy and Ricky and Fred and Ethel smoking up a storm on every episode of “I Love Lucy” or when the Flintstones were smoking in their cave and the like? I’m sure more than one person has muttered to themselves, “What in the world were they thinking back then?” It’s like when we dumped chemicals into the river and killed Onondaga Lake or, and this one really gets me, when we covered models’ faces with radioactive dirt from Yucca Flats so a cleansing cream company could demonstrate how well it really worked. (They never show the part where their faces melt). Again, reading those sentences may make you think,”What were they thinking?”

Do you think in 20 or so years that we’ll be saying “What were we thinking?” when we think back to the all the artificial flavors and fake sweeteners and genetically modified food that we are eating today? I have told the story of when Frito Lay was doing a trial of their “Olean” product here in Upstate New York back in the mid 1990s. The stuff erupted my stomach in a way that hasn’t happened again and quite frankly to this day I still can not look at that tree just off Thruway Exit 24 without remembering how much I desperately needed toilet paper after a few munches of some sour cream and onion chips with that crap in it. Explosive bowels, my ass (no pun intended). Hiroshima had it good. Now do we run (no pun intended) around screaming that we want Olean (aka Olestra) in our food? Not so much. We know better.

One can’t escape High Fructose Corn Syrup these days unless you just make something yourself and now that it’s getting a bad rap they want it renamed to “corn sugar”. Why is it getting a bad rap? Because it’s probably bad for you and renaming HFCS as “corn sugar” is the same as renaming cancer sticks as “Kool”.

The bagel with the pink goo is now in a trash bucket where I have no doubt that it will survive 2012 and beyond. It’s much like that Happy Meal everyone has been chatting about this week, the one that was left in the garage for six months and it didn’t decompose, it looks the same as it did the day it was made. That’s freakin’ scary to me.

I think I’ll just start making an extra thermos of tea so that I don’t have another pink goo catastrophe.

 

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Connection.

This is my second time writing this blog entry. I hope it’s as good as it was the first time around. The wordpress app on the iPad blows and has convinced me to find another way of blogging.

Over the past several months I have expressed a frustration with the social networks, especially Twitter and Facebook. Back in the day when these sites were fairly new, they had an on-going cocktail party feel to them, one could engage in banter of vary intensities and on a myriad of topics and feel like they were part of something. But like any good party, word got out on how much fun we were having and the casual cocktail parties morphed into a frat party, complete with loud obnoxious people spilling crap all over the place.

One of the more frustrating elements of these social networks is the limit of 140 characters to a message. While this adds to the whole cocktail party feel, this limitation lends itself to “barking” instead of “narrating”. For example, I could bark out that “Sarah Palin is a dumb bitch whore”. While this would fit into my colorful way of prose, it doesn’t really afford me the opportunity to really engage my audience in such a proclamation nor does it give me the chance to explain why I feel this way. Throwing out a statement like that is like a hit and run at the aforementioned party, bark out a fact and then drive away. Only if I look back will I know the response.

I like to write and generally I take pride in the way I write. Participating in the 140 characters crowd didn’t really make me feel proud of my words.* However, there smart men recently reminded me that Twitter and it’s brethren are what we make of them; they are just a tool in a room of toys we have at our disposal. Using these tools wisely is easily accomplished if you recognize that fact.

I despise the “self promotion” approach to Twitter. “Come see me teach a seminar on becoming a psychic! Only $495 for 15 minutes!”. Don’t waste my time. If you’re going to reach out to the masses then do something constructive with your reach. That’s what I try to do with this blog. I don’t need to have theme days or regurgitate 60 articles lifted from other sites. I am providing a resource, yes, but it’s a window on my life and the way I see the world. If you like what you see, stick around and enjoy the conversation. Have a Dorito or some popcorn with me and let’s talk about what we see or hear in as many characters as we want.

I am back on Twitter and Facebook full time again and if I’m barking I’m telling you why I’m barking and pointing you in the direction of my noise.

Thank you for sharing life with me.

WTF.

I have written this blog entry three times since the update to the WordPress app for the iPad/iPhone came out a little while ago and hopefully this version will make it to the site.

So far it’s crashed twice, my listing of posts have disappeared and other mayhem has ensued. Not quite there yet, Automattic.