Dreaming in… Digital?

The overarching theme of this blog has been memories.  Memories of when you were a kid, memories of when you were young, memories of the things that made you glad.  But I want to talk about another variety of memories today, internet memories.  Do you remember some of the sites you used to visit back in the day?  Perhaps you remember ytmnd, which was down last time I checked it, or even, dare I say it, collegehumor.  Yes, we used to visit that all the time back in the day.  The reason I’m talking about these is twofold.

First, I recently learned of a website that actually performs a similar function.  Now, the website is called deepdiveduck.com.  The concept is simple, but the application is wise.  It takes a look at a site, any site you want, and notifies you any time changes are made to it.  Now, to be fair, I don’t know who will use this for reminiscing purposes, but I assume it fits into the subject of this blog.  So for example, say you’re looking at your competitors and you want to know when they do anything to their site.  This site will tell you.  Or maybe you’re monitoring presidential candidates and you want to know when they modify their website.  Done and done.  Srsly.  I think that’s really awesome.

The second reason I mention this is because this is fun.  Going through and looking at the sites you used to view when you were a kid is fun.  There were so many.  The internet has changed so much, not just the ads (THAT ARE EVERYWHERE) but just the way sites are laid out, they’re more… slightly… like remember when they were just html and everything was apparent and you didn’t have to scroll and wait for things to load and all of that?   I just mean, the picture of the internet has changed so much.  It used to be so different and I feel like the people who weren’t around when it was new kind of just picture it totally differently.  So it’s like, you go back and you see these pages you used to visit and it’s so different and you get that sensation of what it was like back in the day.  I don’t know how to describe it.  You probably know what I mean.  Or maybe not.  I’m just saying, I see what it used to be like and it’s not quite the same, and I don’t think it will ever get back what it had, but I guess it’s alright now.

New Friend

My wife and I decided the other night it was time for us to get a pet. That was the easy part of the decision. The hard part is deciding on what kind of pet that we are going to get. I’m a cat person and she’s a dog person so one of us was going to be unhappy. As it came to be that person of course was me as she won out in the end like she usually does in these situations. My big arguing point was that right now is not the right time for a canine companion. We live on the second floor in an apartment complex which means the dog will never see the outside unless we physically take him or her outside. We also both work the same hours (8-5) so he or she would have to be crated during the day while we are at work. A cat on the other hand would be perfectly fine home alone for days as long as it had enough food and water.  She countered that plenty of her friends and coworkers have dogs that are crated during the day and that she will take it for a long walk when she gets home. I pretty much know how that is going to probably go but I said ok. I’m sure a month from now I will be the one taking the dog for a walk after work at least every other day. I’ll be fine with that when it is warm out but when in the middle of winter when the wind chill is in the single digits she will be the one going out not me.

We went yesterday to the local pet store and stocked up on everything we are going to need. The crate was by far the most expensive item we bought but it is a nice one and I think I’d even feel comfortable sleeping in there. We got a nice fluffy bed to put inside it. The only thing we haven’t bought yet is food because we aren’t sure on what breed and the age of the dog that we are going to get. She wants a smaller dog like a Pomeranian but I told her I’d like a larger breed. Those smaller dogs are too yappy for me.  I remember when I was a kid my backdoor neighbor had a little dog. I am pretty sure it barked more than it didn’t when it was outside and it was outside a lot. My Dad actually went over and talked to the owner a few times about it but it never helped. We eventually ended up moving and I’m sure that the people that moved in had to deal with it too.

We are going this weekend to the local shelter to see what they have. Going to a shelter is something we both agreed on. There are plenty of pet stores in the area but who knows where those dogs come from. There are a few shelters in the area so I’m sure we’ll be ok. I really hope we see a cute little kitten there too and I can persuade my wife to change her mind. Maybe we will end up getting both as I would be ok with that. We’d just have to make sure the dog is cat friendly. I’m not sure how we’d do that though without bringing both of them home first. I guess it really depends on the dog’s background. If they came from a home with cats then it should be fine. I’m sure the employees or volunteers at the shelter will be able to help with that.


Don’t Love Soccer

a fieldThis time of the year is my favorite out of all the seasons. I was never a big fan of summer so I’m glad it’s pretty much over. I am not a big fan of being hot all the time and I get hot easily. Yes it is nice to be outside and do things but not when you are a sweaty mess ten minutes into whatever it is you are doing.

I went to an outdoor music festival with my friend Jeff last month and it was one of the hottest days of the year. Some of the bands including the headliner Nine Inch Nails were good but to get close enough to the stage you had to hold your spot. Being out in the sun for 3 hours without moving and feeling like a sardine with all the people around was not my idea of a good time. I couldn’t wait to get home to take a shower.

There are other reasons that don’t revolve around the weather that make this time of the year my favorite. Out of all the sports out there I am by far the biggest fan of the NFL. My team the Philadelphia Eagles are off to a good start too. I think their second year quarterback Carson Wentz has Hall of Fame potential. He looks like a veteran out there on the field. It is sort of scary to think that he is still learning the game at the NFL level. I was sure glad the front office went out and got him some help on offense this year too. He actually has two good wide receivers to throw to this year especially Alshon Jeffrey. I can tell they are starting to click and are more on the same page than they were earlier in the season. I am thinking about going to one of their games later in the year but have to see if my Dad will want to go with me. I’m going to be in town for Thanksgiving and would like to go that week. I am pretty excited about going home to visit as it has been over a year since I’ve been home. Last year I started a new job and didn’t have any vacation days to use. I have three nephews that I can’t wait to see. The two youngest are actually playing football now and I’m hoping I can go watch one of their games too. I’ll even settle for practice if they aren’t playing that week. Their schedules don’t go out that far so I’ll have to wait to see on that.

I’m not as big of a fan of MLB but if you are going to watch baseball now is the time to do it. The playoffs are always good. It is like watching a chess match between the two managers and to me that is fascinating. I am actually pulling for the Cubs to repeat this year. I think it would be pretty neat to see them win it all again. The curse was finally broken last year and that was as good as it gets for baseball unless you are a White Sox fan. I think it is amusing that a city can have two teams and their fans can’t stand each other’s teams. I never really knew about it until I moved to Chicago back in 2006. I remember walking past Wrigley Field and seeing a bunch of Cubs fans giving a guy in a Sox hat a hard time. It was all in good fun but you could tell there was animosity there.

New ideas

Trying to find health insurance can be quite the difficult task.  I mean, there are a lot of providers out there but some of them aren’t really having very good of deals and I think that you might want to see if there is anything else you can find.  So when browsing you should keep in mind the kind of things you want and any things that you might need to be available for you.  I was looking at some sites to see what I could find and it’s just the kind of thing that I was kind of seeing assortments of different choices where I wasn’t sure exactly what I preferred.  There are a basket of other options for people who need a different sort of care, like self directed support, and that can be kind of helpful.  But the thing is that you need to find a place that will give you want you are looking for.  So there are decidedly a few different selections depending on what you require.

The other thing I have been doing is trying to find some sew stuff for my kitchen.  The only thing I really need is a new set of racks for my towels but I’m not sure what kind I want to get.  But I was looking at some at this one place and found some that I think would be pretty good and I might want to get them.  My kitchen is cool because I don’t really know much about what I am doing in there but I have gotten a few things that I really like and thing that it ends up making things look pretty nice.  But I have a few other ideas that I was going to try and I”m not sure how many of them I will like so I am just doing it the way I want and thinking that I am probably going to stay with what I have now.  That’s what I do when I need to buy things for my fort.  That’s something that I like to do, though, when I am looking for things I like to see what is available because I think that there are some interesting items you can get that work pretty well in your place so that is part of the reason that I like to do that.  The other thing is that it gives me some inspiration for what I am planning and it lets me think of new ideas, quickly.

Grounds And Stuff

The biggest thing that you probably notice if you are going through my neighborhood is that everyone seems to have a design in front of their place that looks really nice. People have like bushes and everything and it just seems really well designed. Maybe the people who live there have all used people who know what they are doing. The thing that I want to do is get my place looking up to the standard of every other place here, not because I’m trying to keep up with everything, but just because it’s something that I want to do anyway. So I was thinking that I’m going to see what I can do as far as getting some bushes and stuff that might look attractive.

In the back I want to change some stuff around and see if I can put in an area to grow some vegetables or whatever and that would be something I think that would add not only some features to the yard but additionally it would give it a bit of distinction because it would kind of set it away from the rest. The thing is, I don’t really know anything about gardens or any of that, however thinking about it I can imagine what I would put out there. The most important thing I think is some metal garden furniture because that is like what really makes it clear that you have your own area and kind of makes it real rather than just being like yeah, that’s where I put my stuff. So while I am thinking about all of this I have been trying to convince myself that it is something I want to do.

The main issue I am having is that I am not really certain of how any of this stuff should go. It’s like I want to have everything a certain way but I don’t really know how to get there and because I have never done any type of planting or anything like this it is going to be something that I am doing as figuring out in the process. That is what makes it cool, however, so it’s definitely something that I think will enhance both my personal knowledge as well as the impression of my condo. And then you’ve got the people that will maybe be ale to come over and see it and that will be cool as I can get some opinion from that em about what they think and everything, of course it will be mine so its’ up to me what I am going to do but  really I think that this is something that will make my place seem a bit more finished. Keeping in mind that I don’t really have much experience when it comes to this stuff so it might not even be what I want, either, but I guess that is what I will uncover as I do arrangements.

I Am More Of A Gardener Than A Computer Tech

There are two computers in our office and I think I should probably get a wireless router.  Since we have two now there needs to be some way to connect them together.  I was going to just use a normal router but I figured wireless is probably the way to go since we might get a laptop or something later and then we’d need to be able to get online with that one, too.  The only thing I have used is a the modem that I get from my ISP so I don’t really know much about wireless routers.  I had to go online and start reading about how they work and the different speeds and everything.  I figured I wanted the fastest one because I don’t want to get something and then our internet is going too slow.  When I’m viewing stuff I want it to load well.  I was reading about the Netgear r6300 on a review highlight and it seems that it’s a good option, and it seems pretty fast.  The reviews I’ve read on other sites say that the range is good, too, and like I said even though both of the computers are in our office, we still might need to be able to go online with a laptop and having a router with good range is important for that.  So apparently Wireless-N is good although i am not sure exactly what that means, but that’s why I like to look up stuff online when I am trying to make a decision about what to buy.

Some other features include Advanced QoS as well as Simultaneous Dual Band, and I heard those are good so I’m going to see if I can find out more models that feature those as well.

Really, though, having internet is the only thing we want and we are not really power users although I like to play some online games that can get slow if the internet connection s tarts to get a little lagged, so I just want to have a wireless modem that works well enough that we can go online and not have to worry about data transfer or anything like that and that’s why I’ve been checking out some of the options from the different manufacturers and will probably pick the one that has all the features on it.  It should be relatively easy to use, too.

Fuel Economy

I have been talking to this guy I know about what kind of car he should get.  He is telling me he wants to get a Lexus and I know that a few people I know have Lexuses and I think they like them for the most part.  He said that he doesn’t want to buy one, though, and was thinking about leasing instead.  He asked me if I knew anything about that and I said no, although I think in some cases it might be a good idea to lease.  I don’t know what the rules are or anything other than having a general idea of how it works but I’m sure he will be able to find out more and then look at the Lexus lease deals that are out there and see which ones works the best for him.  He is one of those guys who likes to talk about cars and even though I am also into cars, I don’t really know as much as him so I will get lost in some of the things he’s talking about especially if it gets too complicated.  Of course, there are topics that I know a lot about that he doesn’t know anything about, so it all evens out.  I think that if I were going to get a new car right now I would probably want to get something that was a hybrid.  I have been hearing that some of them can get really good gas mileage and I haven’t actually seen any up close or at the dealer, but I’ve been seeing them on TV.  I think that’s a pretty good idea, too, because the less gas you use is probably better for all.  In fact, I think I might actually go try and learn more about hybrids now.  I might even tell my friend to buy a hybrid although I don’t think that’s exactly the kind of car he’s looking for.  He has very specific tastes and I think that he wants something a bit more stylish.  That’s not to say that some of the cars that don’t rely solely on gas aren’t stylish, but like I said he has his own preferences.

Speaking of which, I think that I might want to get an original record by my favorite artist, Motley Crue.  Don’t make fun of me, I’m a big heavy metal fan and that is one of my favorite bands.  I’m trying to get more into records because I know some purists think they have the best sound, and I think that if I’m going to try that I might as well start with one of my favorite bands.  Actually, the guy I mentioned earlier isn’t really that into music and he always asks me for recommendations for what bands he should check out.  Music is to me what cars are to him.

Looking At Houses

My old roommate just moved to Charleston, SC. That’s quite a move and we were talking about what kind of home he should get. There are a lot of places online like this one where you can look at homes that are available. We have pretty similar tastes in homes so I was helping him look for them although I’m not moving. I know if I like a home he probably will, too, and vice versa. Sometimes you see one and you know right away that it’s not your style. I would pretty much rule those ones out and not even show them to him. I’d email him homes throughout the day while we were at work and he would reply with whether he would get a place like that or not.

He actually talked about renting a place but he’s at the point where he doesn’t want to rent anymore. We’ve been roommates for the last 3 years and so I think it’s pretty cool that he just bought a place.

I’m going to keep living by myself for awhile now. I like the place where I live and I don’t have a reason to move right now. It’s pretty close to my job and it’s nice, and now I have an extra bedroom that I might use as an office. I thought about getting another roommate but I’m going to live by myself for awhile. Living by yourself is pretty cool because you can do whatever you want and you don’t have to worry about anyone else getting in your way, and the only dirty dishes are your own. It’s nice. I can also watch whatever TV shows I want and not have to wait for him to finish watching something if something I want to watch comes on.

Anyway, I’ll be kind of sad now that he moved out. Like I said, he was a good roommate and we got along most of the time. Of course people always fight a little bit but generally speaking we didn’t have any issues. We both went to bed at around the same time and we both got up around the same time. I’m definitely going to go visit him once he’s settled in and take a look at his new house that I helped him pick out. He sent me some pics. He’s got a nice living room and an open floor plan which I really like. It’s got an island in the kitchen, too.

How Much Do You Want To Know?

Just to clarify, my impression, which may be wrong, is that you and I tend to think differently about whether omission or openness is the most ethical route in fraught situations. Based on things you’ve said about this in the past. Exactly the degree of the difference, I’m not sure. I think we probably start from the same premises. And there are probably cases where we agree. So it is somewhere in between.

I find the security of knowing that you’re not flying blind, in practice, vastly outweighs the theoretical bliss of selective ignorance.

But mostly, human nature being what it is, I deeply distrust the presumption that, exactly at the moment when it’s most emotionally significant, I can know better than another person what information that person should be permitted to have. Even assuming I somehow could pull off deception perfectly. I mean, really? It may be well-intentioned, but it sounds like a policy very vulnerable to corruption. Certainly, I distrust the presumption that another person would in a billion years know better than I do what information I should be permitted to have. I guess the oneliner would be: denying another person agency is an extreme act that requires extreme justification.

Of course, if somebody explicitly requests not to know something, or not to know a whole class of somethings, then it’s not theft.

Then there’s the fact that it’s not actually possible to deceive perfectly. The result of trying, especially when it comes to big stuff, is a family of elephants in the room, and that special vibe two people have when there’s a ton of unsaid stuff filling the ever-growing space between them. IME.

But I also think it may depend on the person. Some people do take an ignorance is bliss approach, and maybe it works for them. I don’t have any idea how, but maybe it does. In my particular case, I’ve always found that mysteries are negative in a way that reality can never match. When Emily hooks up with a guy, I have in the past preferred to know:
– did she enjoy it
– his personality

And similarly, when I was in a monogamous relationship, I would much have preferred if my SO had been comfortable acknowledging other peoples’ attractiveness than pretending to be asexual “for my benefit.”

I see in theory why secrecy is kind, but in practice I’m suspicious of it, and particularly so when it comes to romantic relationships.

Big Anniversary

This time next month I will be in Australia with my husband for our 25th wedding anniversary. We decided to go there because we never travel and both have always wanted to visit the land down under. We are going to be there for a full week and have a lot of fun stuff planned. One thing we are doing is taking a tour of the Great Ocean Road, which I can’t wait for. My husband is also going to do some deep sea fishing. I told him I’ll let him go and do that by himself and I’ll go and do some shopping by myself. He agreed on all counts on that since like most men he doesn’t care much for shopping. It is that kind of compromise that is why we are still together after all these years.

5 years ago for our 20th we went to Chicago which was nice. My husband actually used to work there years ago so it was sort of like a homecoming for him. We stayed downtown and hit up all the tourist spots including the Navy Pier. I of course did my fair amount of shopping one day while he went to the horse track. He wanted me to go with him but I don’t see the point of betting on horses running around a circle. I’m the same way with racecar driving which he is also a fan of. I know every year that the Daytona 500 is a day that I can’t make any plans. He usually barbeques and invites a bunch of his friends over to watch the race.

I told him that for our 30th I want to go to Europe. I figure that would be a good time to go because after that we might not be able to get around too well. I don’t want to say how old I am (what woman does?) but in 10 years I’m not going to be s spring chicken anymore. I think some people would say I’m not now but that’s debatable. I know that I run circles around the women I work with and most if not all of them are years younger than me. They gave me a nickname at work which I think is funny. They call me the Energizer Bunny. They don’t know about the pot of coffee that I drink before I come into work and I’m going to keep it that way, ha.