J.P.

Friday Dance Break.

In the late 1980s Donna Summer teamed up with producers Stock, Aiken, and Waterman to record her album “Another Place, Another Time”. SAW was responsible for many hits of the era, including bringing Rick Astley and Kylie Minogue to the masses. One of the leading singles from Donna’s album was “This Time I Know It’s For Real”.

Here’s a live performance of the track from over a decade later, from the “VH1 Presents Live & More Encore! with Donna Summer”. Ms. Summer’s voice was always top notch and she sounded fantastic when performing live.

Still Flying.

I’m went flying with instructor Prabesh on Wednesday night. It was a bit windy and the desert keeps it quite bumpy in the afternoons and early evening, but I kept the needles pointed where they were suppose to be pointing, the airplane in the air, and I didn’t make a fool of myself on the radio.

I walked away from the flight feeling quite pleased with myself. And that’s a great feeling.

Boosted. Again.

Traditionally I’m not a fan of vaccines. My family doctor in Chicago was after me to get the shingles vaccine before COVID moved into our lives. I never followed up with that plan during the pandemic. Luckily, my Tucson doctor hasn’t brought it up yet.

Even though I’m not a fan of vaccines, I’m totally onboard when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccines. As soon as we were eligible (the first week of living in Arizona), we were at Walgreens getting our shot. We got our second shot on schedule and our first booster when it was time to do that. We’ve rolled around to being eligible for our second booster and my husband and I went to down to the local Walgreens and were officially boosted today. Five hours later I am feeling zero ill effects from the experience.

As a bonus of the experience, I snapped a photo before I pulled my pants up. He get to see a little bit of my underwear today.

Make Way.

I was out for my morning walk when I came across a neighborhood visitor. They were out enjoying the heat of the asphalt. I didn’t get close enough to get a rattle from our visitor; I kept my distance and walked the other way around the loop. By the time I got back to this spot, they had moved on to their next adventure.

Spark.

I was talking to my mom over Facetime the other day and telling her about some recent accomplishments at work. As a software engineer and team leader making a decent salary without ever finishing either of my attempted college degrees (that had nothing to do with computers), I feel like I’m in a good place in my life. My mother, in her motherly ways, verbally shared her pride for her oldest and remarked at how far I had come in my career. Admittedly, I’ve done some good things.

“Not bad for starting out by being fascinated with the electronic cash registers at the P&C”, I replied.

I’ve mentioned this before on the blog, but as a kid I was fascinated by cash registers, especially the early electronic cash registers of the 1970s. I wanted to push buttons but more importantly, I wanted to know how they worked. The early electronic registers basically emulated what their mechanical predecessors did as far as just dividing things up until departments and the like, but they could also look up prices based on a code and print more detailed reports of what was going on during that shift in the checkout lane. The orange VFD (Vacuum Florescent Display) was fascinating to me and I loved the sounds of the Seiko EP101 printers (which would later become a printer company called Epson).

The Data Terminal Systems Series 400 electronic cash registers, and their little brother, the Series 300, were the most fascinating to me. When P&C Foods held a “Food Fiesta” at the State Fairgrounds, we attended. They had a small display of their new electronic cash registers and attendees were invited to try them out. I ran to the display and waited me turn. I can remember growing impatient with the guy in front of me who could not figure out how to get the drawer open. I waited for him to step aside, cleared whatever error he had on the screen, and punched in a typical order, just like I had seen at the P&C grocery store in town. I entered split pricing (1@ 3/ .99), did some tax exceptions, hit subtotal and then did a split tender of 1.40 cash and 40.00 check. The receipt was about a foot long. I saved it in my collection of receipts for many years. Knowing how that cash register worked led to me writing software on my VIC-20 and later Commodore 64, to emulate a cash register system. I ended up sharing that software on a Bulletin Board Service when I was in college and then rewrote it for business systems using the college computer lab. A company bought the shareware from me for a small amount of money and I bought a bigger computer.

My love for writing software continues to this day, all because I watched what Delores on register 2 punched into the nifty DTS 400 at the P&C in town.

Good Morning.

Even though it is quite early by my standards, the world feels a bit better after a solid night of sleep and waking up naturally.

Unqualified.

There is a certain amount of danger with having unqualified people in high positions of power, for example, a federal judiciary position. Trump placed a lot of unqualified people in these positions and they make uninformed, reckless decisions that affect the entire country.

Enter the ending of mask mandates today per one unqualified judge in Florida.

This is just another round of bringing the country to the absolutely lowest common denominator and catering to the folks that don’t like to feel as stupid as they are. They’re offended by common sense, more fragile than the common snowflake, and a plague on our society. For years we’ve heard, “it gets better”. The country as a whole will not get better.

I don’t care if you wear a mask or not. I’m doing everything scientifically sound to keep me and my family safe from the lingering pandemic. If folks want to be reckless and want to risk permanent health concerns or even death, that’s fine. Thin the herd.

I just wish someone else in power would be reckless and negate any insurance coverage when someone chooses to go unvaccinated and then wants to be cured of their foolishness.

Easter 2022.

Prior to moving to the desert, my husband and I would go for a picnic on Easter to mark the start of nicer weather. This is when we lived up north and the weather could vary wildly on Easter Sunday. Sometimes it would cold and rainy, sometimes it’d be pleasantly warm, and one year it was almost 90 degrees.

Easter 2006.

This year the five of us are having Easter dinner in our dining room, complete with the new dining room chairs that arrived this week. I’d say that’s worth celebrating.

Since Easter is a Christian religious holiday, I can’t help but think about my religion in my upbringing. I’d best describe the experience as casual Methodist. Aside from the prayer before supper every night, we didn’t really talk about it that much. There was a time period where my sister’s kindergarten teacher, who was married to the minister of a church down the road that was decidedly not Methodist, convinced my mother that the family should go to their church. That went well for a little bit. It was my only experience with “Vacation Bible School” that seemed a lot like school during summer break. The minister and wife took four elementary aged boys to Marineland in Niagara Falls for a day trip. That was fun. We had a prayer circle in the parking lot. But then my sister and I were told we couldn’t go to heaven because we were “sprinkled” and not “dunked” when we were baptized and Mom promptly pulled the plug on that. We resumed going to the Methodist church in the village on holidays and special occasions. Some in the congregation were judgey because we lived out in the farmland but we made due. My grandmother always had a problem with the fact the church paid the organist; before the closer Methodist church shut down she had volunteered to play the organ for many years.

Easter wrapped up what I thought of as the “Holiday Trifecta” when we’d going from eating at the dinner table inside and start having family picnics as the state park once in a while. As a kid that was more fun for me.

But I always enjoy spending time with family on occasions like this.

The table is set for Easter 2022. Puppies in the background.

Ride.

I had never been much further west along Ajo Way much beyond Ryan Airfield. I told my husband I wanted to go on a road trip and so off I went with his blessing.

Beyond Ryan Airfield is 120 miles of open desert with a brief stop here and there for small hamlets that have very little in the way of population. I did pass through a couple of Border Patrol Checkpoints, as my ride did take me fairly close to the border.

I did stop so a dust devil could cross the road.

Caturday.

Chris took this photo during lunch this past week. While Truman may strike a cute pose from time to time, there can be an occasionally menacing look in his eyes.

He’s so cute.