Color Me Disappointed

My oldest brother was in the Army Signal Corps.  My second oldest brother repaired TV’s and then became an engineer for a big radio station.  My third oldest brother had a degree in electronics and a master’s in math.  He designed computers.  It only made sense that I would become involved in electronics.

Unfortunately, I was somewhat dyslexic, though I was never diagnosed with it.  By definition, dyslexia is not caused by trauma.  Because I had two traumatic events in my early childhood, I might not be dyslexic, even if I meet the criterion otherwise.

That eliminated college.  I am prone to mistakes when I write and I can’t type.  I simply cannot complete a term paper.  Also, I would have never been able to complete college English.  I have this problem with homonyms.  I know the difference between there and their, but, for some unexplained reason, I occasionally use the wrong one.  Worse yet, I have a problem with spelling.

Nowadays, we have word processors that help somewhat.  Still, even after checking and rechecking my work, mistakes get by me.

Still, I did get into electronics.  I went into the Marines and completed a 16 week electronics course in thirteen weeks.  I graduated second in the class.  (I think the other guy cheated)

The last week of the course was on computers.  In 1969, computers were still somewhat new.  Many banks just began using them.  Most TVs used vacuum tubes and transistor radios had just come into their own.

So, at that time, there was little time spent on computers in the school.  However, and this is the whole point of my post, the instructor said something about computers that I still remember, “The only reason for computers is to save time.”

Though one of my brothers designed computers, the thought really surprised me.  Over the years, I thought about the statement many times.  To some degree, the statement is still true.  However, today we have at least three more reasons for computers, graphics, entertainment and saving space.

I don’t think I need to explain the first two, but saving space might not be so obvious.  We used to use fiche.  Now we use disks.  A few optical disks can replace thousands fiche.  Besides, going back to the first reason for the computer, the disk is much faster.

Unfortunately, some have found another reason for computers, keeping track of employees… or citizens.  Today, computers are being used for the BIG BROTHER effect.  Instead of the computers being used to help the employees work more efficiently, they are being used to keep a thumb on the employees to make sure they don’t make too many keystrokes on their keyboards (for example).

For a person who studied computers from my youth, it is a great disappointment.  Instead of being an aid, it allows the boss to spy over the employees shoulder.  It allows the governments to track its citizenry.

Today I am disappointed in the way computers are used.  They are used for games.  All right.  I admit it.  I do play more solitaire than I should.  Still, we have simply overdone it.  Pseudo football games are played on which people gamble, by the millions.  Some are addicted to the games to the point they ignore everything else.

Then, of course, there are those who use the computers to steal.  Some folks have lost their homes to those who know how to use the computer for this purpose.  Then, when the deed is done, almost nothing can be done to make it right.

I have seen the good that computers have done and I have seen the bad that they have done.  Like any other tool, they can be used for good and they can be used for bad.  Seeing the bad I find it very disappointing.  No one seems to care, not even a little.

If I am a computer salesman, I don’t sell to the employee.  He doesn’t control the purse strings of the company.  So, if I hope to sell the computer, I need to show the CEO how the computer the benefits management.

Now, which will have the most successful outcome?  If I explain how I can help the employee or if how easy it makes it to spy on the employees.  And so it is that the computer is abused and will continue to be abused.  I see no way to stop it.

 

So, just color me disappointed.  Instead of the computer helping to free men, they have been used to enslave them.

Now, as near as I can tell, the communists seem to have discovered computers can be used in taking over a country.  It can be used for finding the individualist.

By the way.  How can I forget one of the most obnoxious abuses of computers… Robocalls!

Chocolate Taste Horrible

One day I was making a cake, chocolate of course.  The cake was already done and I sat it aside to cool.  Then, I started on the icing.  I had combined cocoa, butter, salt and water when, for some reason I had to pause and leave for a short time.  I can’t even remember what it was, but a child was watching me.

Before I left, I cautioned the child not to eat any of the chocolate.  I told her she wouldn’t like it anyway.  In a while, I returned and saw the expression that told me everything.  It was obvious that she didn’t listen to me.  Clearly, she just had to taste the little bit of dark chocolate in the bowl.

It is easy to understand.  I mean, who doesn’t like the taste of a chocolate bar.  That stuff in that bowl did look very inviting, even to those who know better.  However, most everyone knows that chocolate is very bitter and it has a very horrible taste.  If you taste even the smallest bit, it will contort your face.  In her case, she rushed for the faucet, turned it on.  She didn’t wait for a glass but drank straight from the tap.

Well, there was no harm done.  There was plenty left.  After mixing it into the confection sugar, I iced the cake and we both had a piece of it.

Needless to say, though, it was a well learned lesson for her.

Sometimes I think about the incident and consider that there might be an object lesson that we might take away from it…sort of like, all that glitters is not gold.  In this case, it is more like…chocolate taste horrible.  I don’t know; maybe it is a stretch.  Anyway, I still laugh from time to time when I think about it.

I hear Pelosi likes chocolate.  I wonder if she would like it if I baked her a cake.

Location, Location, Location

I am told that the term, “old adage,” is redundant.  The word adage means, old saying.  So when we say, old adage we are saying, “old, old saying.”

Okay.  I get it.  So, I hope you’ll excuse my redundancy when I say that the old adage is location, location location.  Personally, I agree.  I am neither a professional business man nor do I claim any training in real estate.

Regardless, I think the guy who originally said it is more correct than he realized.  You see, almost every day I do business with someone.  When I do, location has a lot to do with where I spend my dollars.

Therefore, let me break down the adage.  The word, location is used three times.  Indeed, it has three meanings.  First, there is ease of access.  Second, there is security.  The third meaning has to do with parking.

Please permit me a word or two… maybe even three on each usage of the word.

As I said, first is access.  Whenever I decide to go to a store, I generally go somewhere nearby.  If there is a place within a few miles, why should I go 50.  Okay.  I’m being a little extreme, but I’m sure you see my point.

While distance is certainly a consideration, there is more to access than distance.  Do I really want to fight traffic for 5 miles or is it better to go 8 miles in light traffic.  Personally, I would much prefer to drive an extra few miles rather than face the traffic of downtown Memphis.  (Oddly, I have driven in downtown Los Angeles and I found the traffic reasonable.  Then again, that was a few decades ago.)

The second consideration is security.  Do I want to do business in an area where I feel safe or do I want to face the possibility of being mugged on the way back to my car.  I don’t know about others, but I find most downtown areas a little unnerving.  Every time that I must go into Memphis, I generally keep my head on a swivel and I remain a good distance from all those around me: black, white or purple.  In a matter of security, I am color-blind.

The third consideration, parking, can be the primary one.  If I can’t park within easy walking distance of the business, all else is moot.  In my own opinion, this is the primary reason that most downtown areas fail.  I get into downtown Memphis and then I have to pay through the nose for somewhere to park.  On the other hand, there might not be a place to park even if I’m willing to pay through the nose.

I mean, as I say, I’m not an expert; however, I do know why I don’t go downtown unless I have a good reason.

…and yet, when they built the basketball arena, when they built the new baseball park, they built them in downtown Memphis.  (in my opinion, dumb)  If there is a baseball game and a basketball game on the same day, you just might be better off staying home.

I’m not dumb.  I know why they built the facilities downtown.  It helps to bring people to the downtown area.  Then again, I used to go to see baseball games all the time.  Since they moved the park downtown I saw one game.  I have never seen the inside of the basketball arena.  I have no desire to spend an hour or more fighting traffic to get there and then spend another half hour looking for someplace to park.  Then of course, while walking to and from, I am in constant fear of some drug addict  deciding that he needs my money more than me.

I have gone to several Dodger games when I lived in Orange County.  It was quite a drive, maybe thirty miles.  However, it was almost all freeway.  Within the park, understandably, congestion was immense.  If my memory serves me correctly, the stadium seat around 50-thousand.  On the way out, once I left the parking lot, I was on the freeway, traveling at freeway speeds.  Oh. By the way; there was always somewhere to park.  Attendants provided organized assistance.  It worked very smooth.

Sometimes, people understand the location adage.  Sometimes people don’t.  It is what happens when government makes the decisions.  Dodger Stadium was built with private money.  The location was decided by businessmen, not the city council.  It was built without public money, so there was very little waste.

So, when they decided to change our healthcare, who designed it, the government… Obama and Pelosi; two people who know nothing about medicine.  Now, years later, it is still messed up.

How to Become Rich

Some might not consider me an expert on the subject.  Yet, I am now 71.  I have seen a lot and I have seen a number of people who became rich, some somewhat quickly.  So, I write this for those unaware of these methods.  However, I suspect most will be disappointed.  Most people are already well aware of them.  To save some time, I will limit my methods to legal, though not necessarily honest ones.

  1. Inherit your fortune.  While this method has the highest chances of succeeding, most people don’t have a rich aunt or uncle.  This pretty much eliminates our chances.  Still, if you can make good friends with a multi-millionaire, you might still have success with this method.  On the other hand, some have succeeded in marrying the money.  Naturally, for this to work in a reasonable time, you would want to marry someone who is old.
  2. I do not recommend this method.  It is very rarely successful.  Oddly, in spite of the odds, people continue to try this method.  Carried to its end, it usually works for the house more often than the gambler.  Some like the idea of buying chances on lotteries.  Obviously, some people do win fortunes with this method.  The truth be known, you would be better off taking part in the old illegal numbers games.  As I said, though, I am going to steer free of the illegal methods.
  3. Come up with a really good idea. There is a long list of people who have made fortunes off of very simple things.  Many times, I have seen advertisements for things and I could kick myself for not thinking of the idea first.  Some are so obvious.  In some cases, the inventions don’t even need to be useful.  I think back over my past and I find some of the most successful things were the most useless.  (Would you believe pet rocks?  Yep!  It made someone into a millionaire.)
  4. Becoming a lawyer. This works in a number of ways.  Forget practicing law,  The tort laws have probably been the one thing that made millionaires out of more people than any other one thing.  One judgment can result in untold millions for just a few lawyers.  I hear the lawyers advertising that they want to help the victims.  The truth, however, is that they want to use it to make their fortunes.  Even if you can’t get involved in a good tort lawsuit, you can still get elected to public office.  Just look at the senators and representatives.  They go into office as paupers and come out with the money overflowing their pockets.  I can only guess how that happens but I would suspect that at least some of it is illegal.  So maybe I shouldn’t include it in my list.
  5. Oddly, it does work.  I heard on the news about a preacher that died and had a bank account of over a million dollars.  When they checked on him, they realized he was just very frugal.  To succeed at this, it does mean doing without some of the niceties in life, but it does work.  Moreover, when you have the money to pay cash for things, it saves a fortune on interest paid.  The truth be known, if you live like a pauper, you might become a millionaire.  If you live like a millionaire, you will likely become a pauper.
  6. Become injured. This one is borderline legal.  Yet, if you are truly injured by accident and you can show fault, you just might be able to become rich as the result of a judgment.  This might have a major disadvantage, though.  It might mean giving up an arm or leg, or possibly your health.  Another disadvantage of this is that your lawyer will likely benefit almost as much as you.  Most lawyers require a 40% contingency fee.
  7. Become a professional athlete. Most people would have better luck in a casino.
  8. Finally, you just might go out and earn it. I know most people don’t like this method.  It is the one that you will find most rewarding.  More important, it is impossible to ethically earn a fortune without being a help to others.  It is the primary advantage of the capitalist system.

About the Numbers

In 1968 I stepped off a plane in Memphis, TN.  I was about to go through some concentrated electronics training.  At the time, I did not know that.  Indeed, I was going to go through 16 weeks of training in thirteen weeks.

Back then, they didn’t have calculators, leastwise not anything like we have today.  They had adding machines that weighed about 20 pounds.  Most of them didn’t even have the ability to multiply.

When I went through the school, we all carried slide rulers, often called slipsticks.  At best they were accurate to 4 places and we had to keep track of the decimal on paper.  Of course, we could simply perform everything on paper.  That would have likely taken 10 or 20 times longer.  Some operations (such as algorithms and trig functions) would have been virtually impossible.

This afternoon, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and started messing with it.  I noticed it has a calculator.  Moreover, it could be set to scientific mode.  WOW.  I thought how nice it would have been to have something like that when I was learning electronics.

Bottom line is, back then I had the problem without a solution.  Now I have the solutions without the problem.  I haven’t had to solve any trig functions in decades.

Of course, they have very advanced, programmable calculators nowadays.  They can solve problems in a few seconds that I spent three or four minutes on.  Not only that, the calculation can have an accuracy of 10 to 14 places.  Makes me wonder all the more why the dummycrats can’t do basic math.

A Bump in the Road

Several years ago, before I retired, I was coming home from work.  It was about two in the morning and I was on I-55 headed south.  Just before I reached the I-240 junction, cars started slowing.  Traffic was sparse but I took the hint and started slowing too.

I didn’t slow enough, though I did see the reason why the slowdown.  Apparently, someone ran into a lamp post and it fell across the interstate… all three lanes.  I hit the break and right away realized not soon enough.  Knowing that I didn’t want to hit the post with my breaks on, I let off and coasted over the thing.

I just knew I was going to be looking at major repairs but I was wrong.  The Chevy HHR took it in stride and it didn’t even need re-alignment.  I am still driving the car and I’ve likely put 30 thousand miles on it since.  I can’t say I have been really happy with the car but I do have to admit it has a real good suspension system.

It would appear that the dummycrats have hit a bump in the road too.  They saw the bump in the road from a long way off and still hit it dead on.  The obstruction of justice is still slightly unsettled but that whole colluding thing is done and settled.  That boat is not going to float.  Four full scale investigations have found nothing.  Even though the deck was stacked against President Trump in this last investigation, they still found nothing.  Certainly, if there was anything they’d not hide it.  If the dummycrats keep trying to run over that bump, the only thing they will do is lose their wheels.

By the way, there are many in the media that owe president an apology.  Somehow, I don’t think that will happen.  They will have to admit that they were wrong and that does not fit in their agenda.  It would get in their way of one world government.

BUILD THE WALL!!!!

Odd as It May Seem

A number of years after I was saved, I came across the passage in the Bible where Jesus healed 10 lepers.  One returned to thank Him.  Jesus asked were there not ten.  Where are the other 9?

Since that day, I tried to make sure I thanked God for what he has provided for us, though I must admit I did have some problems being thankful for the rain on cold nights when I walked a post on guard duty.  Indeed, I had a hard time thinking of just how much we humans need rain.

I also try to remind others to be thankful, even when their baseball game gets rained out or when the camping trip is ruined by the sudden deluge.  If that farmer doesn’t get that rain, he can’t feed us.  Moreover, the water from those rains is used in uncountable other ways, including manufacturing.  It is a small matter that our lives are disturbed for the short term, even if the rain becomes a little heavy.  Naturally, the rain can become a disaster.  Floods can be devastating.

My eyes have been opened to something else for which we should be thankful.  To be sure, to most, it will seem odd.  To be sure, God disciplines His children.  It hardly seems probable that a person should say, “Thanks God.  I needed that.”  Yet we should be grateful to him for His chastisement.   If He didn’t, how much more would we would go astray.  It would be bad for us and everyone around us.

We, as humans, even punish our dogs, knowing it is for their benefit.  To be sure, we chastise them when they run into the street, that is, unless we hate them and hope they get run over.  We punish our children when they decide to put their fingers on a hot stove or into the electrical outlet.  It is not because we hate them.  It is not because we take pleasure in it.  It is far easier to ignore them.

Through their childhood, we tell our children “No,” when they ask to do things that might lead to their harm.  Certainly, it is far easier to say yes and just hope for the best.

So, maybe, the next time you think God is punishing you, You just might say “Thank you.”  You might say, “I appreciate that.”  Conceivably, you just might even say, “I needed that.”  Even if you don’t mean it, it is still the right thing to do.  Eventually, it just might change your point of view.  It has already changed mine.