This is my alarm clock.

After spending time on and off my nightstand for the past weeks and months I’ve decided that it belongs on my nightstand.

This alarm clock, purchased during my senior year of high school, has worked reliably since 1986. It keeps time as well as the power grid will allow it, it can tune in both AM and FM radio stations using the antenna built into the power cable and it’s simple to set and easy to synchronize to an atomic clock.

My mid-1980s vintage General Electric alarm clock doesn’t require updates, doesn’t need to reboot, and uses LED digits that do not blind me in the middle of the night. I can’t talk to it and it doesn’t talk to me, but it does wake me up every morning with the sounds of NewsRadio WBBM.

I have flirted with other alarm clocks, especially over the past year or two. An Alexa Dot that featured a round face, the eerie laugh of Alexa in the middle of the night, and a camera pointed at my slumbering visage. I most recently tried a Lenovo Smart Clock, powered by Google Assistant. Using a miniaturized version of the Google Assistant software found on the Google Nest Home Hub, it likes to update in the middle of the night and shine LED backlighting on my eyes. Sometimes I wake up with a sunburn.

Luckily, I bought it during the holidays for over 50% off. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

After swapping between my old reliable GE and the Lenovo for the past week I’ve settled with sticking with the tried and true. The red digits make no impression in the darkened room when we’re sleeping and the alarm is always on time.

Sometimes you just have to keep it simple.

Sweat Assistant.

Truman was absolutely mystified by my Resistance Band Workout this morning. For the first 20 minutes he simply sat in the doorway, head cocked, watching me strike various poses as I worked my way through a free video on YouTube.

When I decided to do some planks is when he became a comedian. As I struggled to maintain a plank he walked under me, rubbed his butt on my arms, and waved his tail in my face. On the bright side, he didn’t jump up on my back.

I’m not sure my plank could have handled an additional 15 pound cat coming along for the ride.

The Horror’s.

Screen cap taken Mon 02 Dec 19 2125 CT.

You don’t know how much it pained me to abuse the apostrophe in the title of this blog post. If you’re unaware of what I’m talking about, this blog post is for you.

First of all, in common parlance the title should read “the horror”. Because I was trying to make a point, I pluralized “horror” to “horror’s” which should have been “horrors”. The horror doesn’t own anything. In this instance the apostrophe is trying to show possession. The horror doesn’t possess anything.

Apostrophes are used to show what the word has (possessive use) or what the word is missing (a contraction). Apostrophes are _never_ used to denote plural. Ever.

I recently read something at work where a distant co-worker basically referred to “The Jone’s”. Luckily, I work remotely, hundreds of miles from my closest co-worker, but there’s a chance they could still hear my screams.

First of all, we never use an apostrophe for the plural. Secondly, the last name in question was not “Jone”, it was “Jones”. If a house belonged to the Jones, it would be “the Jones’ house”, or possibly, “the Jones’s house” (though that makes me cringe a bit). If we are talking about the folks in the family, we’d be talking about the Joneses. Because when we want to use the plural form of a word ending in “s”, we add an “es”. Not an apostrophe, and we certainly don’t change the spelling of a name to something it’s not just to wedge an apostrophe into inappropriate places.

While I’m on a rant, use the loops of your pants to keep your trousers up because you’re losing weight and subsequently your pants have a looser fit. That’s because you didn’t eat two desserts in the desert after you deserted the rest of the group. And honestly, I couldN’T care less how much weight you’ve gained or lost. If I could care less I probably would.

Please take notes.

I mention all of this because today I read a story about “The Apostrophe Protection Society” closing up shop, basically because the efforts of the society have become a lost cause. The founder of “The Apostrophe Protection Society”, John Richards, age 96, has decided to abandon the effort, citing society has become too stupid and lazy to use apostrophes properly.

I feel his pain.

For All Mankind.

We signed up for Apple TV+ this past weekend. We actually upgraded the Apple TV to get a year’s worth of Apple TV+ as part of the purchase and get more punch from our Apple TV service. The upgrade was worth it.

I’ve been interested in the Apple Original Series “For All Mankind” since it was announced earlier this year. We are into the first two of three episodes and I’m really enjoyed the series. I know some of the reviews have been a solid “meh” for the series, but I consider those reviews to be similar to the reviews of Epcot from people who were expecting more rides.

It’s not about the thrill, it’s about the thought.

“For All Mankind” is gorgeous and feels very accurate to the late 1960s, at least what I remember of the era. The production team is paying attention to even the small details and the only thing that feels slightly out of place is Joel Kinnaman’s haircut.

I’m enjoying the series more than my husband. I’d give it an A-, he’d give it a B.

I’m looking forward to the next episode.


I would like to spend my days talking about airplanes, being a pilot, piloting airplanes, using ForeFlight on my iPad as my Electronic Flight Bag, the wonders of Apple, life in Chicago, and the enjoyment of my existence. These are things I strive to talk about, but there’s so much going on in the world I feel like I can’t be silent about important topics.

People following my Twitter feed (the one I abandoned and then fired up again) must think I am nuts. One moment I’m tweeting about my favorite airplane, the next moment I’m sharing a photo from “Star Trek: Voyager”, and then I start going on about the current state of politics in the United States.

There’s just so much crap going on these days and anyone with a higher IQ than the speed limit (which is apparently, yet shockingly, not enough people in today’s society) can see that we are a nation in crisis. To pretend it’s not happening feels unpatriotic. To gloss over all the stuff happening with the Trump Administration and think everything is fine is like sipping a tea on a veranda that is engulfed in blames.

Things are not fine. The guy in the Oval Office thinks he’s a dictator. His children are making wads of money from foreign interests that run contrary to the beliefs of the United States. Facebook has decided to let politicians say whatever the hell they want in ads, regardless of the truthfulness of the content. The CEO of Twitter is more concerned with looking “hip” in his homeless hat than controlling what’s going on with the platform that has run completely off the rails. Children are in cages, farmers are losing money left and right, and the Trump Administration is doing its best to divide the country, instill mistrust in anything to do with the media or governmental process, and make as much as possible for its own self-interests.

This is not what The United States of America is about.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are belching up as many candidates as possible with the apparent theory, “hey, a shitstorm of a primary worked for the GOP in 2016, maybe we should give it a try!” and only God knows why we would want Bernie or Biden as President when they don’t even know where they are half the time.

It’s like too many people have just given up.

We need to end career politicians. Now. Senator Susan Collins of Maine? Get her out of there. Marco Rubio? Ted Cruz? Please, get them out of there.

Don’t even get me started with Mitch McConnell.

Look, we can fix this. It’s going to take decades and it’s going to take a lot of hard work from all of us that Pledge Allegiance to the Flag, but we can do it. We need to work together, talk rationally, and listen intently. Yeah, I get hysterical and emotional and quite frankly I need to knock it off, and so does everyone else.

So talking about things I love? I’d love to. But I want to do my part to make sure we still have a sane society where we can still talk about the things we love.


App developer, graphic artist, and The Icon Factory co-founder Ged Maheux recently wrote a blog entry about the Activity app on the Apple Watch and how it never accounts for rest days.

You can read the blog entry here.

Ged is absolutely correct; Apple Watch will prompt you to work out and close your rings every single day of the week. When I decide to work my own rest day into the mix I’m prompted several times by my watch, made to feel quite guilty about being fairly lazy for the day, and then I’ll either relent and work out or “mute for today”.

Our bodies need recovery days to maintain balance and prime functionality. Apple needs to build some rest days functionality.

Now, time for a burger.


Hulu has the recent live episodes of “All In The Family” and “The Jeffersons”. For those unfamiliar, ABC recently featured an episode of the two iconic shows performed live Woody Harrelson is a weird casting of Archie Bunker. Marissa Tomei did a great job with Edith but the vibe of the show is off. I’m in the middle of “All In The Family” as I type this, maybe it’ll get better as the show goes on.

Addendum: watching “The Jeffersons”, and I’m really disappointed the doorbell wasn’t copied from the original show. Ding ding ding.

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.

President’s Day.

Today is President’s Day. Or is it Presidents’ Day? Perhaps Presidents Day?

I’m old enough to remember when we had Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday, but I think we had only Washington’s Birthday off. Later in my elementary years we started getting the whole week of Washington’s Birthday off; since that was usually the snowiest week of the winter. Sometimes, but not always.

Whatever we are calling this holiday this year (it varies from state to state), I still don’t feel compelled to buy a mattress, a car, or Turbo Tax. I’ve never understood why mattress companies go right crazy during this week in February. It’s not like anyone is going to want to haul a heavy mattress in and out of their home at this time of year. Is it because we’re working our way through the winter and we should have worn out the mattress by this time? I’m getting old, we don’t bounce the box spring as much.

Today was not a work holiday. Today was a normal day at work and it was fairly intense. I could probably handle it better if we had a new mattress but I still don’t feel the need to buy a new mattress.

I could go on a political tirade at this point of the blog entry but we don’t really have a president to talk about, so there’s no sense on going on a tirade. The country is pretty much on auto-pilot with occasional threats of the complete and utter destruction of democracy as we know it, but as long as La Marmalade can tweet the news channels are happy and the speed limit IQ folks feel vindicated.

I look forward to when we have a reason to celebrate Presidents’ Day again.


Official press photo.

Tonight the family got together for Valentine’s Day and we saw Hamilton at the CIBC Theatre here in Chicago. The tickets were a Christmas present for Chris; it was a delightful coincidence that at the time, the first night available was Valentine’s Day

I knew the history laden musical was all the rage these days but other than that I didn’t know much about the show. It’s the 21st century of a Rock Opera, complete with lots of rap music, 21st century riffs, and lots of remixing and synthesizer sounds. Musically, the show is a delight. But I was mesmerized by the blocking and staging of the show. Rotating stages, clever choreography, moving sets, and masterful lighting augmented wonderful performances by all members of the cast. The cast and crew worked hard to tell a nicely woven story, and I was happy to see them all take the curtain call as one, no highlighting of the “star”, no spotlighting a particular cast member.

I found that refreshing.

The only thing that bothered me about the entire experience was the audience; I’m surprised at the number of people that can’t get through a Broadway show without checking their phone (and its glaring LED glow) or having a conversation with a person near them. There was a low murmur of nearly constant chatter a few rows behind us. The folks that came in nearly 40 minutes late and needed to be seated in the center of their aisle should be shunned, not mentioned, but here we are.

When did we forget how to be a respectful audience member?

Overall, it was a pleasant experience and I highly recommend catching the show if you can.