Crooners - I favor crooners. Johnny Mathis. Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole. Andy Williams. Sappy of me, but can't seem to help myself. Designed my wedding's opening around them, featuring Johnny Mathis. A good way for people to mingle over a drink before the ceremony. It was good for me, anyway.
Crooners have slipped into oblivion. Replaced by Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, Eddie Vedder, and whoever came after Eddie Vedder. I've regressed to crooners.
Used to listen to these guys on CD. Pivoted to Pandora, which has it's own Johnny channel. Luddite that I am, I discovered that Pandora is smart and, if you like certain songs, it will customize the channel for you! But you all know that (and so did I, but it was cool to see it work on somethink I actually care about).
I've decided that this artifical intelligence takes some of the fun out of things. Even went so far as to buy a record player, which I've used exactly twice in six months. Vinyl is cooler, but AI is better. I'm a sellout.
It's been 22 years since Al Gore caimed that the internet was his invention all along. Well, he didn't really say that, but everybody thinks he did and, as Hemmingway famously closed a novel with, "Isn't it pretty to think so". To think that Gore actually stumbled into that nonsense, that is. Point of fact, he came close with Wolf Blitzer, but fell well shy of clearing the bar. Bummer. Which is a rambling precurser to today's theme.
Modern communications technology is filled with inventions that make our enjoyment of things like instant access to the latest news and soulless social media posts possible. Think of satellites and high capacity routing and advanced network signaling protocols. Best yet, think about fiber optics. I can holler from here to California in a little over .02 seconds. Not quite as simple as all that, but pretty damn fast all the same. Those people in LA have been on the edge of their seats waiting for my hoot. But not for long. And maybe not quite so close to the edge. I don't have that much to say that's worth listening to.
There are other ways. SaltWire, a newspaper published in Nova Scotia, reports that Elaine Cullen ran across a lonely bottle of Grey Goose while taking her dog for a walk along Rostonstown Beach. That's in Ireland. There was a note inside from some dude snow crab fishing in Louisbourg. That's in Nova Scotia. A long way away, so your probably thinking the guy had something important to say. Not so much. You be the judge (see image at right).
Commuting - Fredericksburg, my new hometown, is about 50 miles from my office in DC. My previous residence was about 14 blocks. Could walk it on a sunny spring day. And now that we're starting to show up in the office again, I'm in search of creative ways to cover the 50 miles. Amtrak has a station in Fredericksburg and lands me one subway stop from the office, and Amtrak is still offering pandemic fares of about $12 each way. Plus that train is the transportation equivalent of a message in a Grey Goose bottle. They even serve Grey Goose on the train, but the bottles are too small for messages and Amtrak looks down on passengers casting empties with scraps of paper shoved in over the side. Still, a very relaxing, glamorous commute.
My bride works in DC too. She foregoes the glamour of Amtrak, prefering to drive in. And she insists on using EZPass, the modern, streamlined lanes on I-95 priced for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. She won't settle for less. I ride along with her once a week. She's great company, but the ride isn't anywhere near as charming as Amtrak and is only a tad shorter. I figure if I Amtrak in once a week and ride with her once a week I'll meet in some strange middle ground. Wish I could get her up for the 7:00 Amtrak, though. Way cheaper and more relaxing.
Amtrak Regional Rail. Slow But Classy.
Those Snow Crab Dudes Were Not Romantic
If you were a guy with time on his hands after a long day of snow crabbing and you got the urge to communicate with your imaginary friends the long way, what would you write? Even if you had already downed a couple of pints. Considering the sentimental conveyance, wouldn't you be inspired to compose something fanciful, colorful, corny, even erotic? What's there to lose? Unless you're a snow crabber sans imagination and you escape anonymity by putting your return address in the note. Our crabber did both, which inhibited his wilder side. Assuming he had one to inhibit or if he was already a pint or two over the legal limit, neither of which excuses him from being the lease bit creative. And what does "Hime Muse" mean? Even Google draws a blank on that one. Must be some Canadian expression. Maybe Geddy Lee knows.
So how did Elaine let her tedious potential beau know that she had recovered his wayward message? The message that had made an adventurous storm-tossed 2,900 mile voyage? Crossing seas filled with pirates and nuclear submarines in an old vodka bottle? Facebook. Naturally.
All Will Be Revealed
Computing - I still remember coming to my first job and sitting down in front of a VT-100 terminal locked to a UNIX mainframe that did not sit in a cloud. Then, in the early '90s, we switched to PCs. Went through a long spell with Windows XP, which everybody was happy with. Microsoft declared XP to be insecure and decided to make it more secure by releasing new operating systems about every year. Windows 10 has about 50 million lines of code in it. Windows XP had about 40 million. Still a lot, but a lot can break or hacked in those extra 10 million lines. I'm not being fair. Just listening to my father who goes into full dudgeon whenever Microsoft imposes a new generic. He gets confused (so do I) and he can't tell the difference between the new and improved and the old and crappy (neither can I).
I'm sure I'll regret writing all of that, but it was fun.