Boomer Twilight

Mostly Humorous Observations of Most Anything, with a Boomer Slant

Archive for October 2007

If You’re Reading This, Thank A Boomer

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Bill Gates (born 1955) and Steve Jobs (same year) have much to do with your ability to read this post. I know they didn’t invent the Internet (that was Al Gore), but they perfected computers and operating systems making it possible for all of us to communicate anonymously in our underwear.

It is estimated that worldwide more than one billion personal computers will be owned by the end of 2008. Considering probably only 45% of the world lives in something other than a grass hut with no electricity, that’s pretty good. World population is about six billion, of which youth and illiteracy probably eliminate about 50% of the customers, so a penetration of 30% or more is significant.

Actually, Steve Wozniak (born 1950) was the visionary and partner of Steve Jobs at Apple, who conceived of and developed the PC. But Bill Gates and Steve Jobs tend to get the glory for the development of the personal computer onslaught. A pretty tacky but enjoyable TV movie was aired in 1999 called “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” which gave a dramatic presentation of the Computer Wars that made this post possible. You can get information regarding the movie here Pirates
If you ever get to Washington, DC you should check out the National Museum of American History. Review their computer exhibit Show It is even better if you see it live.

It is amazing how attached I have become to my PC. Recently the hard drive crashed and it felt as if I would not survive the interruption. It was just a few days before my computer was replaced, but I had a serious “Jones” while waiting. In the meantime I got back online by going to the library and using their access. I like that my tax dollars are at work, but the library requires you wear pants. If they could bottle our computer addiction, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would be selling it off the back of covered wagons as “Snake Oil.”

I can remember a time when the words, “The computer is down,” would set me off. It was assumed the person on the other end of the phone was lying. Now I know better. Today, everything is so integrated that if one thing goes down, everything does. If we have a phone problem in our office, it includes the phone system, Internet and our server. We can’t do business when this happens. Go ahead and get the bundled services from your cable company. Have them control your phone, Internet and television service. Maybe they can install cameras in your homes to keep an eye on you. Then lose one source and all the rest go down, too. You’ll be twirling your fingers wondering what to do next. Maybe a book or magazine will suffice, but the addiction will not go away. You’ll be pacing, while waiting for the service to come back.

Big Brother and Hal have arrived. Our lives are being governed by unlimited access to information. We can make the best of it and put it to good use. Or we can use it for evil. Boomers developed the technology and the survivors will perfect it into whatever it becomes.

Thanks for your time. I have to leave and call Comcast about my modem problems.

With Love,

Bake My Fish

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Written by Bake My Fish

October 28, 2007 at 9:54 pm

Trafficking On The Ways

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It makes no difference what time I leave my house in the morning. The only way out of the neighborhood is a choice of one lane roads going in 4 different directions, only one of which heads toward the office. Fortunately I work all over, so the other escapes are sometimes handy. Regardless, those routes are usually stuffed, too.

The Baltimore Washington corridor is a nice place to live. I’ve been in this area all my life and would not want to live anywhere else. Civil War and Colonial History is all around us. We have access to every service available. The Federal Government is nearby for our benefits challenges. Roads are constantly being built and improved in a never ending cycle of traffic. I mean traffic. Lots of it. It’s just too much. My steering wheel and turn signal are crying “abuse” and my right shoe is screaming “Kiwi!”

On any given day you can spend 50% of your morning on the road, even though your profession is not driving. And what is the deal with all the traffic on Tuesday? If Monday were Tuesday, would Wednesday then be crazy? There are several ways around the traffic. Beltway, highway, roadway, subway, byway, anyway. No way.

The price of gasoline is running anywhere from $2.66 a gallon to $3.00 at no particular time of the year. I would gladly pay $3.12 a gallon if they could just stop the traffic. It’s everywhere and never goes away. Ever.

Maryland taxes are high, and the amount of tax dollars spent on our roads appears to be hefty, based on the amount of traffic. I can’t remember the last time 695 circling Baltimore and 495 smothering DC were not undergoing some renovation. Yet, with all the construction, we still have too much traffic. Is the intent to widen the roads so we can get somewhere faster, or to make room for more traffic?

It’s a thrill to be stuck in the left lane with no way over to the right and wanting to get over there because I just know it’s quicker. Then I get in the right and it stops so the left can move faster. Traffic. How could a band name themselves Traffic?

We could all help each other by driving scooters and bicycles to work each and every day. We could also fly kites and make our own electricity. I love having my car available for any voyage. I’ll deal with the traffic, if I can find a way.

With Love,

Bake My Fish

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Written by Bake My Fish

October 16, 2007 at 11:41 pm

The Quils vs. the New Stuff and How Ice Changed the World

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Have you recently tried to buy any original NyQuil (introduced in 1968) or DayQuil (1974), or the generic brand of the same product? You have to give your name and address, possibly show identification and sign for it; if the store even carries the stuff. Most of it has been replaced with a non-pseudoephedrine containing impostor. If these new products were tested on anyone, I want the phone numbers of those people.

The New Stuff doesn’t work, especially the new NyQuil. They have replaced pseudoephedrine with phenylephrine in DayQuil, because methamphetamine is manufactured by Speed Freaks using pseudoephedrine as a key ingredient. It has been eliminated completely from NyQuil. Now the rest of us have to suffer through severe colds with inadequate medication. We are forced to purchase a lesser product containing phenylephrine so Crank Heads don’t have their faces eaten away by the sores that develop from their addiction. Let’s save them all! It’s the humanitarian thing to do! There are several street names for methamphetamine, including: crank, crystal, meth, ice, speed, glass, and chalk. You can read more about the reasons for the changeover at new stuff.

Original NyQuil worked. It flat out did the job. I could take it at night before going to bed, and wake up feeling myself. With The New Stuff, I wake up feeling like crap. The same goes for original DayQuil. It worked great during the day, when you wanted to avoid drowsiness. They simply removed one of the ingredients, doxylamine succinate, from original NyQuil when producing original DayQuil, which is the antihistamine that makes you sleepy. Both pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are nasal decongestants, but the newly formulated NyQuil doesn’t contain either of them, and the new DayQuil, which does include phenylephrine doesn’t work as well as original DayQuil. NyQuil is now made with acetaminophen, which most people know as the ingredient in Tylenol, dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), and the aforementioned doxylamine succinate. New DayQuil contains all those ingredients except doxylamine succinate, and pseudoephedrine has been replaced by phenylephrine. Confused yet? I am. The final result is we now have another inconvenience caused by illegal activity.

I guess the crystal-meth manufacturers are pretty smart, even though some of them are blowing up their homes making their batches. How do they even extract the pseudoephedrine from the medications to produce their drug? I can’t imagine any of them have degrees in Pharmaceutical Engineering. But, criminals are usually more genius at whatever activity they pursue, than those pursuing them. And, they seem to have more resources to use in their ventures than those assigned to put them out of business.

Apparently the decision was made to stop the manufacture of crank by taking away the source of pseudoephedrine, and give us ineffective products in return. How did we end up being the bad guy? I didn’t ask for the cold. I am sure the criminal minds will figure out a way to produce ice using phenylephrine, Drano, rat poison or whatever people are willing to consume.

Well, I have to run. My cold is killing me . . . . and I need to buy some chalk.

With Love,

Bake My Fish

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