Geek

Yelp.

I’ve been writing Yelp reviews for a long time. Starting in Central New York, through our years in Chicago, and now in Tucson, I write plenty of reviews. I also tend to check in and write reviews when we travel.

I know some are not a fan of Yelp but I still enjoy the idea of crowd sourcing data, especially when traveling. I was a Foursquare fan back in the day but then they went crazy with splitting up the app and the like. And wasn’t there another one called Gowalla or something like that?

Anyways, if you want to follow along with my Yelp reviews, here they are.

Twitter, again.

I honestly don’t remember the last time I was on Twitter. I think it was two weeks ago; I’m not sure. The other day I was going through my password manager and noticed I had some extraneous Twitter accounts that I had forgotten about, so I went ahead and deleted those account. My two primary accounts (one for aviation, one for everything else) were locked down and the tweets were pretty much deleted a few weeks ago when the Elonification of Twitter took place. I’m not sure if I like Elonification or Muskification. They both sound gross.

I continue to be on Mastodon but it’s not the same as Twitter. Some of that’s on purpose; it’s designed to be different. My interactions on Mastodon are pleasant but not as plentiful. If anything, the destruction of Twitter has forced me to step away from social media a little bit and that’s a good thing. My mood doesn’t need the algorithm. Slave to the clicks and all that.

At this point I don’t really care if Twitter fails or succeeds. The last couple of weeks have shown me that I don’t really need it in my life. It started downhill back during Trump’s birther idiocy. It’ll probably just become a bigger cesspool of idiocy under the new ownership.

Who knows, maybe folks will fire up their old school blogs (like this one!) again.

Floating Turkey.

I love following the missions taking place on the International Space Station. I can only dream of living in space but that dream is fueled by a lot of passion. It’s so awesome that we have a human presence circling this planet.

This video made me smile today.

Tabitha!

The “Bewitched” channel on YouTube has been featuring clips from the 1977 spin-off series “Tabitha”, starring Lisa Hartman. The show lasted only 13 episodes before it was cancelled, but it wasn’t awful. Here Karen Morrow’s Aunt Minerva does a very Endora-esque thing to Tabitha’s boss Paul Thurston, played by Robert Urich.

Celsius.

I’ve always been a fan of the metric system. When I was in elementary school the United States was projected to convert to the metric system in 1980, so we focused on kilometers, liters, etc. and reviewed a passing interest in the imperial units. To this day I ask my husband how many pounds are in a quart and he sighs.

Aviation weather forecasts are in degrees celsius, while we fly at feet above mean sea kevel. Inspired by nearby Interstate 19 and its metric signs (“2 km to Tumacacori”), I’ve decided to start embracing the metric system on my own. The rest of the world uses the metric system, there’s nothing really that special about the United States and its archaic use of rods and yards, and I would enjoy a broader world view. I found this little chart online to get me started on adapting to “thinking in metric” instead of seeing a thermometer read that it’s 20 degrees and I do a conversion in my head (20*2+30=70 for a rough estimate), and I thought I’d share the chart with the class. I don’t remember where I found it, but if I do remember I’ll give them proper credit here on the bloggy thing.

Twit.

So as of last night, Elon Musk has completed his purchase of Twitter and immediately fired the top four execs of the company. (Source: Axios). There’s evidence of content monitoring already being relaxed. Nothing else noteworthy has occurred this early in the game, but I’m sure there’s a whole avalanche at the top of that hill.

I have two public accounts on Twitter, one for general stuff with a tech lean and one primarily for my aviation endeavors. Both can easily be abandoned without much strife on my part. I’d simply leave them in place with minimal information in the profile and that’s that.

I’ve already been waffling about whether to stay with the platform. This is a struggle I constantly have in my head as I find it to be an incredibly detrimental time sink with not a lot of reward. I have met some great people through social media in general, especially Twitter, but like many things in the United States, since the beginning of the Trump era it went down the shitter. (There really isn’t an elegant way to state that fact). Kicking Trump off the platform was an improvement, but the fire of idiocy had been lit and there’s just a lot of incredibly stupid people out there saying things indicating their city speed limit IQs.

As I write this blog entry I’m talking myself out of going back there but like watching the proverbial train wreck, sometimes you want to see just how awful your fellow humans can be.

I believe the new regime at Twitter will give us plenty of opportunity to behold that spectacle.

In the meanwhile, you can find me on mastodon, which is much more complicated but open source and focused on privacy. The tech hoops one has to jump through to find their way around mastodon reminds me of using CompuServe or Prodigy in 1992, but it makes for a less reductive experience when it comes to content.


Here’s a link to an article on The Verge.

Test entry.

I think I have solved my strange characters issue in my blog. When a database is over 20 years old, it’s bound to have some rust.


This is a test entry with ‘lots of punctuation’ and off-beat characters like an é and an è. This is from my Mac.

Here’s a paragraph from my iPhone with è and õ and ü

And here’s an entry from my Linux machine with “quote marks” and ‘single quote marks’ and back ticks

And then one more paragraph from my “iPad Pro” with lots of things going on, including é and è and ø and ü and º degrees

Reflective.

Before the current technology of highly reflective tape, and other 21st century materials, were used to make the road signs along the nation’s highways, we had letters called “Button Copy”. These are metal or ceramic letters with reflectors embedded in the letter, approximating the shape of the letter when illuminated by vehicle headlights.

Lots of folks will say the technology is outdated because new nEW NEW is always better (a 21st century attitude if I ever heard one), but in actuality, button copy signs had a shelf life measured in decades, while today’s signs are expected to last one decade. Original signs did not use reflective backgrounds, only the message legend was illuminated, but back in the 80s some in the U.S. government decided the color of the sign needed to be reflective as well, and that’s when button copy began to struggle a little bit. Signs were actually a little too bright when designed to be completely reflective, and the button copy was washed out by the rest of the sign panel.

ADOT can’t decide whether they’re going to get rid of the metric signs along Interstate 19 and convert the whole road to the inferior English Units. The roadway was built when the United States was strongly considering moving the metric to come up to speed with the rest of the world, but then Reagan was elected to office and we began the whole “‘Merica!!!” movement and for some reason the metric system became associated with the devil and conspiracy theories.

ADOT did replace all the metric signs with new metric signs in the late 1990s, some of the last “button copy” signs to be installed in the United States. Many of these signs stand today and aren’t doing too bad in the reflectivity department for being over 20 years old.

The sign on the left lost its Interstate 10 route marker years ago. I don’t know why it wasn’t ever replaced, probably because the sign was going to be replaced and then they couldn’t decide if they were going to keep the metric system on the roadway or not so it just stays there missing.

Coding!

I stumbled across the YouTube channel when looking around for retro computing things to watch. I dont know who this programmer is but he has a super positive attitude and hes writing a BASIC program on an Apple ][. Thats all I need to know.

He is verbalizing the way I think through my workday. What hes doing in this video is how I learned to write my first program with a VIC-20 back in 1982. I wasnt allowed in the high school computer lab until I was a freshman, and then I got to try my chops on the Apple ][+ and new Apple //e machines we had in the computer lab, which was managed by the math department.