Classy.

One of the reasons I like television shows from the 50s and 60s was to see how folks were portrayed back then. There was a certain amount of class and charm in the characters that we don’t see today. I’d love the opportunity to have a reason to wear a tux again. I haven’t worn one, outside of a wedding, in a few decades. I’ve owned only one tux in my life, and that was a requirement when I was in music school just out of high school.

When the pandemic is over and we’re all going out again, I’m going to take my husband out for an impressive dinner where formal wear is required. I’m saving up for the event. I might even fix up my flat Central New York (Inland North) accent for the occasion.

Uncle Arthur probably won’t be there though. And I can assure you I will not be wearing ruffles.

By the way, in the screen cap from the third season episode of “Bewitched” seen above, standing behind Dick York as Darrin is Melody McCord as a party guest. You’ve seen her plenty of times, but almost only from the back. She was Elizabeth Montgomery’s double, and was often in a black wig playing the backside of cousin Serena, or in her natural hair playing the backside of Samantha when Lizzie was playing Serena.

Trees.

Truman is more attentive to the Christmas trees last year versus his level interest last year. We don’t have all the trees up yet as we’ll be picking out and putting up the real trees this coming weekend. But on several occasions the white Disney tree has been rattling around the dining room courtesy of Truman’s new found interest. Once in a while we’ll find a couple of branches removed from the tree and hanging nearby. There’s a couple of ornaments with bells and they get his attention when he starts rattling things around.

He’s decided that the tree skirt is quite comfortable and is often found napping on it. I’m happy that he’s enjoying the COVID Christmas 2020 as much as we are.

Artificial Horizons.

As a pilot I don’t have much success in flying flight simulators like X-Plane 11 or Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. The software is amazing; today’s technology provides a level of realism at a price we would barely even imagine a dozen years ago. Nevertheless, I’ve found the experience to be less than ideal.

With the pandemic all the rage and me not being able to get up and fly as often as I’d like, I finally decided to invest some money into a decent flight simulator setup and take to the virtual skies. I bought Chris’ old Alienware desktop gaming PC with lots of upgraded components, finally got my hands on a set of USB rudder pedals and a yoke and throttle quadrant and downloaded the dozens of gigs of data from Microsoft to get the software installed.

I’m having fun with the setup.

I’m not a fan of carrying out various functions (deploying flaps, retracting gear, etc) via keyboard commands, so I’m going to add more switches and buttons and baubles to the setup, but for now I’m able to take off from any airport in the world all via computer.

I chose my dad’s old home airport as the runway to depart from on the sim. The data for this private airstrip is a little off, it has the runways listed as 18 and 36, when in reality they are 16 and 34, but otherwise the landmarks and topography and the like are all very accurate. As a certificated private pilot I’ve never flown an airplane out of dad’s airport (I’ve always been along for the ride) but I felt a certain amount of excitement when I flew the sim computer out of the strip for the first time. It made me appreciate the amount of skill my dad and his fellow pilots based at that airport had. With a gravel bed at one end, and trees and power lines at the other, you have to be on your game trying to get in or out of the small field in Upstate New York.

I’m looking forward to giving it another simulated try this weekend.

Christmas, Again, continues.

The filming of “Christmas, Again” in our neighborhood has continued over the past couple of weeks. They’re slated to wrap up production here at this end of this coming week. I hope they leave the decorations up on the houses surrounding the home they’re using as a set.

In the shadows you can see some rented lifts. They have cameras and the like covered in garbage bags for the off hours. Security personnel have been patrolling the area since the cast and crew moved into the neighborhood nearly a month ago. I’m anxious to see the finished product next year!

Golden.

“Fried to a delicious golden brown”. “Bake to Golden Perfection”.

When did “golden” become a desirable color for food? It’s not like we can eat gold. I’m not going to chow down on my wedding ring or some other trinket made of gold. Why do Americans equate “gold” as a desirable color for food?

Healthy colors for food? The green of vegetables. The hues of eggplant. The wide variety of colors of fruit. The yellow of corn. But golden? Is the gold suppose to denote the value of the food? If it looks “expensive” it must be good? Why would I want an Oreo cookie fried to a golden brown?

Wouldn’t eating something like gold leaf give you jolt like chewing on tin foil? Why would I want to do that?

It turns out some folks are eating gold. What happens on the other end? Does the litter glitter like a cat box after kitty ate some tinsel?

Decorate.

Lincoln Square here in Chicago always does it up nice for the holidays. Even if the streets aren’t as bustling as usual for the holiday season, it’s still quite pretty to look at.

Clickity-Clack.

When it comes to typing, I’m probably one of the fastest typists I know. That sounds kind of prideful, but is it really prideful when you’re speaking the truth? I’ve been typing since 5th grade and when I was playing around with a borrowed typewriter at that age, my mother said, “If you’re going to type, use the right fingers”. She showed me how to type properly, for the most part, and from there my speed just picked up a lot. I aced a keyboarding class my senior year of high school, where I was entered into a statewide typing competition. I came in third. I was struggling with the space bar on my IBM Selectric II that day. Later, when I went to college to become a music teacher, I had a harder time playing piano than I thought I would have. I can plunk out music but I can’t make people weep with beautiful tunes coming from a piano; I figure I used up all my keyboard-related bandwidth on learning how to type.

Because I type for a living I’m very picky about my choice of keyboard. To this day my favorite Mac keyboard was in my 2005 PowerBook with its aluminum keyboard. I loved that keyboard and I had a hard time adjusting to the newer keyboards introduced in later models. I’ve never owned a MacBook Pro with the “butterfly” keys, though my husband’s MBP had that type of keyboard. It’s comfortable to type on but it’s not particularly reliable and I don’t really get a pleasing experience while using it. But it gets the job done, I suppose.

Mechanical keyboards are awesome and lately I’ve been gravitating towards the Cherry Brown switches in the Velocifire keyboards found Amazon. I don’t need a number pad; I find the narrower footprint works better for when I’m using a mouse. I have two of these keyboards; one for work and one I hook up to my iPad Pro when I’m writing long prose (much like I’m doing right now). This particular keyboard is notably affordable on Amazon. Other mechanical keyboards can go for well over $100.00. That’s a lot of keyboard.

One of the things (of many) that drives me crazy about using work’s Windows 10 laptop is there is such a delay between key press and display on the screen. I’ve followed several online guides to remedy this, I’ve swapped out keyboards to see if it was related to the keyboard (it’s not), and I’ve noticed the same issue when using the built-in laptop keyboard on the computer. It’s one of the reasons I tend to use my personal Mac for work, in fact, I use the same exact keyboard on both computers and notice no lag on the Mac. It must be a Windows thing.

Of course, mechanical keyboards can be loud, though the Cherry Brown switches are not nearly as loud as the old IBM Model M keyboards from the 80s that endure to this day. How I’d love to get my hands on one of them again.

Meanwhile, I’m quite content with these Velocifire keyboards.

Punched.

I love vintage computing. It’s amazing what we could do with computers around the time I was born, over 50 years ago. The computerization of business was in its infancy, and using computers with capabilities similar to today’s microwave oven.

Here’s a video about IBM’s Punched Card systems.