September 2019


I’m big on technology, but you knew that. One of the frustrating things about owning a 2016 model year vehicle is the technology in the touchscreen is trapped at 2016. Vehicles are different than smartphones, you’re not going to upgrade every year, and buying a new vehicle to upgrade the touchscreen seems rather silly.

Vehicle manufacturers need to come up with a better way to address this.

There are some hacks to swap the radio/touchscreen out for a newer model but I don’t believe it is sanctioned by the dealer. Back in the day I didn’t mind pulling out the Delco AM radio from my father’s 1978 Impala and replacing it with an FM radio with digital display, but I could accomplish something like that in less than 30 minutes. Today, it’d be well over a grand and take a considerable amount of effort to swap out the “smart display” in our dash.

I’ve mentioned before the updating the software for our car takes about an hour of running the engine, not touching anything while you sit inside, shutting off the car a couple of times. Waiting 90 seconds. Opening and closing the door and then restarting the car again. We’ve had to do the whole “open and close the door three times” to get the car go back into park when computer decided to spazz out, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it takes nearly three parts of a weird incantation to upgrade the software.

Democratic presidential contender Marianne Williamson would be proud.

All I want is a touchscreen that can be upgraded like moving from Mac OS 10.15 to 10.16 or from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Is that too much to ask for?


I worked a good share of the day today, even though it’s Sunday. Sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do. I have goals. This is how we reach them. By working.

Ad Astra.

My second car was a 1976 Pontiac Astre. That’s the first thing I think of when I hear the title of the recently released Brad Pitt “space” vehicle, “Ad Astra”.

Theatre 14 of the local Arclight Cinemas was nearly full when we saw “Ad Astra” on Friday night. I knew little about that movie outside of “it’s Brad Pitt! In space!” and that his character’s father was somehow part of the plot. I’m game for any movie that takes places in space so off we went to see Ad Astra.

I don’t feel like it was a waste of money but I walked away from the experience a bit non-plussed. Spoilers below, hit the plus sign for more, but don’t say you haven’t been warned!


I don’t intend on revealing the whole plot but I felt like this movie was put together by committee. It was like they said, “Ok, Brad Pitt’s character has to see his Dad on Neptune” and they dutifully built a movie around that. Extra emphasis was put on the visuals (which are very impressive) but not a lot of time was spent on dialog. I found the dialog thin. The committee then reconvened and said, “Wow, this looks great, but it is such a boring movie”!

So they add Space Pirates. Pew pew, buggies bumping off each other on the Moon, more pew pew and then we never see the Space Pirates again.

“OK, that helped, what else ya got?”

So on the way to Mars they run into another space ship sending out a distress signal. Everyone is dead and floating in zero-G. Then there’s a bunch of gorillas that are cranky because they’ve been left out in space. And then we don’t care.

My husband proclaimed “It sucked!” as the credits rolled and I was sitting in the dark processing what I had just experienced. I wasn’t moved. I thought it looked good and it was good for what it was. But I did check my watch a couple of times.

I don’t do ratings for movies but if I did, this one wouldn’t make the Merit Roll.


Truman isn’t a particularly cuddly cat. He has his own way of ritualizing his expressions of appreciation: every morning when I come out of the bedroom to great him he stands on his back paws and leans his front paws against my waist, without claws, but as if I was a scratching post. When I walk from my home office to the kitchen he jumps out from behind something and plants both paws against my leg and then runs, as if to say, “c’mon Dad, let’s play!”

Once in a while he’ll have his moments where he’ll give me a boop or a nudge to let me know he cares.

But pick him up? Nah, that’ll be four treats for five seconds, please.


I’ve always been fascinated by power lines. It’s connected to my geeky interest of all things connected.

These lines march across Indiana a little bit north of Indianapolis. We traveled in all 50 states but I don’t think I’ve ever seen towers of this design before.

There’s a lot of power up there.

Give Us Something.

I’m not feeling all warm and fuzzy about the Presidential election coming up in 2020. The news media is going to milk this for every monotonous penny they can squeeze out of the event. How many debates and town hall meetings do we need to have, here 15 months out from the election?

In a bizarre act of god knows what that I’ll never understand, the Republicans don’t have the balls to admit that Trump is a freakin’ train wreck and run a sane, hell I’d take someone that just isn’t senile, candidate in place of Lord Orange Flauntimess. The Democrats are literally throwing anything and everything they can against the wall to see what sticks and what falls like limp spaghetti.

The American public is going to be so burnt out from the process I’d be surprised if anyone turned up at the polls for primaries, let alone the general election.

I just want a candidate that doesn’t care about my love life, encourages people to work hard and better themselves, and recognizes the separation of church and state. Is that too much to ask?


I’ve talked about my gripe with the new LED streetlights installed by the city of Chicago. They’re way too bright, the light is harsh, and there’s no cover over the bare bulbs. If you glance upward at one of these monstrosities you’ll sear a Retina and have a spot in your field of vision for hours afterward.

They’re a great intention but a horrible execution.

One of the other delights about these new lights is the light given off doesn’t “spread” very well. You’ll notice in the photo above that’s it’s nearly as bright as daylight directly under the light but walk a few feet into the shaded portion of the sidewalk and you’re in near darkness. I’m sure the folks in the adjacent condos like that, after all, they can sleep without constant light barreling into their rooms, but there’s a lot of shadows in there that defeat the purpose of the brighter light to begin with.

My naive thinking has always thought light is light and light is going where light wants to go. But it appears LED light doesn’t create a warm glow that spreads all over. There’s no warm and fuzzy under a streetlight in the City of Chicago.

The definitely a delineation between the light and the darkness. Could be a sign of the times.


So today was an interesting day to reactivate the Twitter account.

I’ve tried to give up Twitter and Facebook, but I felt very disconnected from online pilot friends, the shenanigans in the White House, and family back East.

I don’t like the fact that we’ve come to rely on these ridiculous social media companies, but they’ve become as ubiquitous as Direct Digit Dialing.

Let your fingers do the walking.

Sucked In.

Earl and I are watching the premiere of the 654th season of “The Voice”. They’ve amped it up this season and now spin the chairs three times before someone throws a jacket at the performer and they decide to wear it. Blake Shelton is handing out hip waders.

If we are going to have family time watching “The Voice”, I have to admit that I only like the blind auditions. I actually enjoy Kelly Clarkson and Gwen Stefani very much, and as long Xtina (was that designation gay enough?) doesn’t make an appearance I’m content.

So far the male performer with Asperger’s (I didn’t catch his name) has wowed me a lot. The others are good. A few try too hard. I miss the days when emoting != screaming.

Lazy Day.

Truman isn’t much of a cuddler. When I lay down on the couch the best I can hope for is “cat adjacent”. I’m perfectly fine with this.