Thursday, September 14, 2017

Netflix Internet

Again, I have moved a bit further into the 21st century. I have given up the cozy system of getting red envelopes with a DVD every month and moved to the new world of online Netflix. I seemed to find less and less I wanted in the old system and I was tempted to explore the new Netflix. I wanted to see the Gilmore Girls a year in the life, Chelsey Handler, and lots of other things I've seen reviews for but not experienced.

I also bought a Chromecast gizmo. This allows me to watch Internet programming on my TV. It took awhile to set up but it seems to be working now. Youtube also benefits from this new gizmo. So far I have seen over half of the Jeeves series this way.

So how are the shows? I guess so far it's a mixed bag. I was disappointed with the Gilmore Girls. Remakes are never as good as the originals. Remember the New Leave it to Beaver and Mayberry RFD?

So I am still sampling the new programming. I liked Bossgirl the best so far. Some of the shows are pretty bad, though. Friend from College? Atypical? M'yeh. Clearly a lot of the shows are trying to appeal to that elusive millennial demographic. Still for ten bucks a month it's not bad. And now I feel like a member of the middle class again.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Advice for college students

It's that time when students go back to school. I saw this advice and thought I would respond with my memories of Freshman year at Rutgers. 

1. No accidents (i.e. children). That means no unprotected sex. You don’t want to be a parent. Your parents don’t want to be grandparents, just yet. And your friend’s parents don’t want to be grandparents either. That was certainly a problem I didn't have as a Freshman. 
2. No means no — always.
3. Don’t go places alone.  I went everywhere alone. Men used to try to pick me up in Times Square but that didn't stop me from wondering around hither and thither. 
4. Don’t forget the reason why you’re at college — to get an education. Strive to make Dean’s list. You won’t regret it. But also feel free to explore subjects and do things that might interest you.  I think I did make the Dean's list as a Freshman. It was Sophmore year I started to goof off. 
5. Have fun but not too much fun. Don’t ever wake up with Sharpie pictures or letters on your face or body. That means you got drunk and passed out first and your friends punked you.  I was basicly a good boy.
6. Don’t smoke pot. It will suck all your drive and ambition out of you. Same with taking Adderall recreationally.  They didn't have adderall then but I did indulge in the other. 
7. Free time is not free time. Go to the library and study in between classes, and after dinner. Right.
8. Learn how to say no to invitations. You won’t ruin your college experience if you don’t go to parties Sunday through Wednesday. There’s a party every night somewhere. True, if you call sitting in a dorm room with guys and smoking pot a party.
9. Develop a relationship with your professors. Visit them during office hours, before midterms. Get to know them on a first-name basis — all of them, including the TAs Right
10. Get plenty of exercise and sleep. Maybe even join intramural teams and/or a club team. I slept well, and did walk around a lot
11. Try to establish a routine.  The best thing about college is there is no routine. Class attendance was voluntary in those heady days. 
12. Study in the library. The dorm can be too noisy at times.  That is true. 
13. Study and hang out with people who share the same goals as you. Don’t be afraid to develop a passion for what you are learning. Passion? My college friends were all cynical about education.
14. Listen to NPR on TuneIn in the morning or whenever. They didn't have NPR back then. I listened to WBAI but the signal was weak at school.
15. Read the local and school newspapers. Right.
16. Write for the school newspaper. I did that as a Freshman, Sophomore year I discovered radio.
17. Don’t spend your college years binge-watching Netflix or Hulu or HBO Go. That’s not necessarily what your parents are paying for. You could do that at home — for a lot less money.  We didn't have tv in the dorms, Internet or cell phones at school in my day. We had stereos for entertainment. 
18. Read and do the school’s bucket list.  I think I went into the telescope once. 
19. Don’t forget to speak up in class. Don’t be a wallflower. Ask questions and answer questions.  I was brave in class
20. Stay off your cellphone in class. You don’t have to Snapchat each and every activity during the day, especially when you’re in class.  Not available in my day. 
21. Never leave your drink unattended and don’t drink mysterious alcoholic concoctions. If possible drink beer from a bottle or tap that you watch being poured.  I was never that paranoid. Sure, I'll pop a psilocybin!
22. Go home on the weekends with kids who live locally.  I had to take the bus to New York than take a Jersey bus. 
23. Check the school’s events calendar daily. Don’t be afraid to go to a museum or concert or sports event (women’s ice hockey comes to mind) you might not typically go to. I saw Chick Corea and Malvina Reynolds as a Freshman.
24. Some of the students you meet freshman year are likely to become lifelong friends. You may not realize what that means today, but someday you will.  God knows what happened to my Freshman friends. 
25. When in doubt about this or that decision or action, ask what your future self would make of your decision or action. Would your future self have regret or be proud? Avoid regrets and trips to the emergency room, police station and court.  Nothing like a visit to the emergency room 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Goodbye to the mooch

Goodbye, Anthony Scaramucci, affectionately known as the mooch. As an Italian American I was very proud of the mooch and thought of him as an excellent role model for young Italian men. Tough, handsome, rich, he told it as he saw it and brought a breath of fresh air to the otherwise dull Trump administration.  He fought for the little guy and was true to the little people from whom he came. The mooch cared about us.

Editor's note: A new blog on eclipses is in my Sixties blog.


Season 3 is over for Grantchester. Wedding bells for the maid and no wedding for the vicar.  I don't know what made me start watching the show. Maybe it was on when there was nothing else on on a Sunday night and I got into the habit. A little crazy to think of a vicar in a small town solving crimes but I'm a sucker for shows about rural England. I think the combination of beautiful scenery and annnoying people works for me.

Maybe it's the politics of England, but sin comes out badly in this series. The gay vicar remains a vicar and non celibate only in his dreams. The philandering detective goes back to home and hearth. Sidney decides to keep his collar and throw overboard the love of his life, a divorced mother. I know it was the fifties but you'd think he could have become a Unitarian or something. Then the show's producers  might have gotten in trouble with the Anglican church, I suppose. At any rate, the possibility of a season four is still looming. Quien sabe.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Storage bins

The trailer where I am to put my stuff.

Every Christmas when I go down to my little storage bin in the basement I say, "You know, some time I should clear out some of this junk!" A nice project for when I retire.

Well, last week I had a notice on my door saying "All storage bins must be emptied in two weeks. There is a trailer that has temporary storage bins for your convenience. This will allow us to rebuild the basement and physical plant of your building. Thank you for your cooperation."  A quick perusal indicated that the temporary storage bins had maybe 40 % of the space of the old bins. Looks like somebody is going to get some exercise. Oh, I wish I had a son.

I have been methodical, doing a little bit at a time. Some moldy boxes for appliances that I no longer own (or at the very least are well beyond warranty) have been thrown in the recycle bin. Luckily there was room. I have found a lot of old Christmas cards, decorations,  and two plastic Christmas trees. I have found an air pump for the air mattress I no longer have along with a beloved old tent I used in Denver and upstate New York as well as a newer tent I have never used.

I often wondered what ever happened to my 35 mm camera. After I got a digital camera it was disused and ended up in the storage area. One day I'm going to take up film photography. Look there is a musical t shirt. Probably needs batteries.

I have discovered I have a spare pair of Venetian blinds, left by the old owners. I can use those. I have found a bookcase left by the old owners too. I can use that in my home office. I really shouldn't have spare paper and paper towels sprawled on the floor. A little wax and I can spruce things up a bit with that. Have to find out if is steady enough to support weight. Look, a spare kitchen cabinet I didn't know I had. Happily it fit in the temporary quarters.

Finally, the project is finished, I'm not in traction, and I can now look down on my neighbors who have yet to clear out their bins. They'll be okay though. They have sons.

Editor's note: When projects come up that involve physical labor it is handy to have sons. People with sons actually know there is a great disappointment when their son is in California and they have to pay a kid to do the job.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Casual Mondays

We all know about "Casual Fridays" at work and are usually told explicitly what not to wear. "No cutoffs, exposed navels, exposed undies, unclean trousers, etc."

My question is about those days that are sort of like Fridays but not really Fridays. These are the days most people are not at work at all, because they immediately precede a holiday. For example, this coming Monday is between Sunday and the Fourth of July. Most people will not come in anyway, but for those loyal souls who do come in on Monday, is it permissible to treat it like a "Casual Friday" even if it's a Monday?

Of course, most people are of the give em an inch and they'll take a mile variety. They know they can get away with coming in dressed as they please on Monday because no one who could possibly care will be in anyway. Unwritten rules allow for liberal interpretations, in the opinion of staff,  including the extending of "Casual Friday" dress to any day before a holiday.

On Monday people will bring their children to work with them, take extended pizza breaks with fresh pizza in the breakroom, and skip out at least fifteen minutes early. I hope they don't trip on the stairs in their flip-flops.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stop hiding your aging neck

It's that time of the year, at least for those of us who are too  cheap for premium channels, when the pickings on tv are pretty slim. It seems every night when I glide across the cable offerings I come upon "Stop hiding your aging neck". This show is starting to interest me.

When I think about problems I have, hiding my aging neck does not seem to be one of them. Perhaps it should be.  Is that why I spend Friday nights alone? Is it my aging neck? Perhaps it is an avant garde program disguised as a bad infomercial. I will have to watch it.

Editor's note: Finally watched "Stop hiding your aging neck". Especially liked the never before aired bondage scenes from the Gilmore Girls.