July 2022

RIP Uhura.

Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols passed away yesterday. She was 89 years old.

She wanted to leave “Star Trek” after the first season, but a conversation with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. changed her mind. She later volunteered her time to NASA, promoting their programs in the name of diversity to encourage minority and female astronauts.

Thank you, Nichelle, for keeping us your captive audience for so many years.

Hidden Infrastructure.

One of the things that has always fascinated me about Walt Disney World is the way the Disney company hides the vast majority of its critical infrastructure. The Magic Kingdom is built on top of a complex system of corridors to manage the movement of cast members and goods and the like. There’s no power lines. It’s very rare to see a cast member going to or from work.

Disneyland doesn’t work that way.

Because it’s older, and Walt Disney World was built based on the lessons learned of Disneyland, mainly the importance of space, you see elements of Disney’s infrastructure all over Disneyland. This isn’t a bad thing, it just distracts from the ability to “escape the real world” and doesn’t accomplish that task as well as the Orlando property.

For example, there’s two circuits of 220K volt power lines bordering the Disneyland property, right behind many of the rides in Disney’s California Adventure. Disney does their best to hide them, but you can still see them.

I do appreciate that Disney tries to hide them behind some palm trees, though.


I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of elevators. When people find this out about me they sometimes find it surprising, since I fly airplanes that are much higher than any elevator I’ll ever be in. It’s not the height, it’s not even the fear of the elevator dropping, it’s not being able to see outside or get out of my own free will that bothers me. If I can see outside I’m fine.

The elevators at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel are very small. Actually, three of the four elevators are small; the fourth elevator is a glass elevator and I find that to be wonderful.

The elevators work a little differently than your average elevators. There are touch pads in the elevator area where you select the floor you’d like to go to. The touch pad then tells you “go to elevator A” and you get in the elevator and it takes you to the floor. There are no buttons to select a floor in the elevator, just a door open, door close, and alarm button. The lack of floor selection buttons surprisingly made my claustrophobia worse. It’s definitely a lack of control thing.

In this sort of situation I usually hike myself up the stairs. I don’t mind walking 12-14 floors if I have to, but Disney doesn’t let you do that. You can go down the stairs, as long as you go all the way down to ground level and depart onto the street, but you can’t leave the staircase to go to another floor nor can you enter the staircase from downstairs. The doors from the stairwell to the various floors of rooms are locked. So, I had to either suck it up and hop on an elevator with other people going to the same floor as me and just ride it out or, and this is what I did, I had to keep hitting my destination until I was told to go to elevator D, which is the glass elevator.

Sometimes it took a few spins of the touchpad lottery, but most of the time I’ve able to get elevator D in a few moments.

Every time I had to head downstairs, I take the stairs. And it is wonderful.


In Onondaga County in Upstate New York is a county road named Wetzel Road. It’s a fairly prominent road in the area as I believe there’s an elementary school or something educational along it.

Back in the mid 1990s when I encountered my first Wetzel’s Pretzels store, probably at Disney World, I erroneously associated the chain with the roadway and got it in my head that Wetzel’s Pretzels was founded in Upstate New York. It wasn’t. It was founded in California in 1994 or so but every time I see a Wetzel’s Pretzels I think of Wetzel Road in Onondaga County. The road is in the Town of Clay, to be exact.

Now that I think about it, there may have been a Wetzel’s Pretzels at one time in Carousel Center, the huge mall that turned into Destiny USA in the mid to late 2000s. Perhaps that was actually an Orange Julius which has nothing to do with Wetzel’s Pretzels, nor educational adventures on Wetzel Road in the Town of Clay.

Enjoy your pretzel, Shelby.


As the monsoon season continues here in the desert southwest, we are still seeing leaks in some key locations in our home. We still haven’t settled with the insurance company from last year’s monsoon damage and that has been an incredibly frustrating journey in frustration. Hopefully we’ll see some action on our claim next week when we return from vacation.

Unfortunately, some of the work we had done after last year’s monsoon needs to be redone this year. Good times. It’s not often wet in the desert, but when it is, we know too much about it.


Work has been incredibly busy again and I’ve been absolutely drained of energy at the end of the workday. Luckily, we have a mini-vacation coming up for the latter half of this week.

Ear Bug.

This song has been going through my head a lot lately. It’s one of those songs I associate with being a kid and riding with the rest of the family in Dad’s ’71 Chevrolet Heavy Chevy, usually headed north on Interstate 81 on a summer evening. He always listened to 62 WHEN.

From 1973, here’s Albert Hammond with his only top 20 hit, “It Never Rains In Southern California”. Interestingly, while Albert Hammond had only one hit on the Billboard charts, he wrote plenty of songs for lots of well known acts.

I’m digging his sideburns.


Last week at work was very hectic. There’s a lot of moving pieces in the foundation of technology at work, and trying to build software to run on a moving foundation can be an interesting adventure. As the project manager likes to say on the daily stand up calls, we have “lots of opportunity”.

Truman’s occasional visits to my 10-12 hour days in my office keep me sane, grounded, and happy. He enjoys sitting on his cat tree and looking out the window at all that’s going on in the world. He seems something moving in the palm trees on either side of the window but to this day I’ve never figured out what’s catching his attention. There’s probably a lizard or gecko or bird or something that’s blending in with the colors of the plants.

Attention Span.

I know plenty of folk that enjoy the Tik-tok. It’s a great outlet for creative types and those that want snippets of entertainment. I get the appeal, but it’s not my thing. I’m very concerned about the security around the app and the company, and the quick hits tamper with the way my brain works. I just prefer longer videos. As much as I don’t trust Google, I pay for the ad free version of YouTube. I know paying for the service doesn’t exempt me from the privacy invasion but at least I don’t have to watch ads.

I’ve noticed many other social media services have been trying to do the Tik-tok thing; Instagram now favors short videos instead of photos in my stream. This agitates me to the point of avoiding Instagram for days at a time now. This week I noticed YouTube is now putting a decent helping of “YouTube Shorts” in my search results and suggested videos streams.


With social media reducing communication down to 280 characters, I know society is losing it’s ability to read anything longer than a paragraph. But just as a paragraph can’t tell the whole story, I feel like a 30 second video can’t tell a whole story either.

Back in the early days of “The Web” I never imagined a world where things would become so erratic and mind boggling. And don’t even get me started on the deception and dishonesty with too many nuggets of information on the Internet.

I guess my vision of the future was short sighted.