Some discussion this morning about UV protection for your eyes from your computer screen.

I’m not so sure the “wearing out” (displacement) of my first left eye’s intraocular implant wasn’t due to tons of UV light.  You know, when a cataract comes out, a huge yellow filter is removed and a ton more UV gets through the eye.

This is such a big deal that my buddy Gaye’s hubby’s recent cataract surgery resulted in him realizing that one of the walls in their home wasn’t really taupe after all!  It was a warm crème color.  Needless, he was shocked.

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Most people don’t think about “back of the eye” impacts of UV, but high resolution monitors in particular can blast out a lot of UV.

Now, in the past, I’ve mentioned a software product called f.lux which you can find on the web.

But recently, I paid the $10 bucks for the Pro version of a product called Iris.  You can find it at

More important, take some time to watch the TED-X talk its inventor Daniel Georgiev did a while back:

So my first “excellent computing” point this morning is simple:  There are tools out there that will let you go easy on your eyes and you might wish to consider using them.

Second point is to talk about updates to your home computer systems so they have backup power.

We have four backup systems, but let’s not count the big grid-interactive solar power system and batteries as one.  So three, then.

On the House network, there’s an APC for the router and NAS unit.  The important computers there stream onto the NAS (network attached storage if you’re over 60).

In my office, there’s a 825 VA older Rocketfish UPS that handles the satellite modem and its wifi.  Just replaced the battery in it.  Figure three years on them…four or five if you like to gamble.

The newest addition? A CyberPower CP1000AVRLCD Intelligent LCD UPS System, 1000VA/600W, 9 Outlets, AVR, Mini-Tower which was $110. (If you have Amazon Prime).  This one is powering the Big Box (i7/920, 12GB, 1TB SSD and two 1TB’s and the second 4T NAS), a sound system, and wifi modem.

I swear, sometimes, despite living in the woods, it’s like running an IT department out here.

Last, but not least, in our “The Devil Made Me Do It” department, I’m trying to figure out how to write some code to trigger the playing of .MP3’s of voice commands so that I can get Alexa talking back and forth with the Google Home Mini.

Which I can’t get working:  Google isn’t supporting PCs with it’s “Home mini” product, as far as we can tell.  Only Android and Mac products.  Which sucks – and it’s like telling the Amazon/Microsoft alliance “We give up that ecosystem.”

No, I’m not going to run Android on a Win 10 pro virtual machine to get Google home…duh.

I don’t know why, but getting crude AI’s to talk would be lots of fun, though.  Especially if they’d argue.

Reminds me of a time in my buddy “the major’s” youth.  He was at a certain second-largest university in a certain big city and had switchboard duty. Landline phones, remember ’em?

Since we’d already had lots of fun with cross-connecting of two phone lines, calling people who were not expecting it, he decided to have some fun one night with a call to two city departments.  Fire and police.

After a while, the fire and police department operators figured out it was a telephone prank.  Which is what kids did in those days – pranks.

Or, like the time we put dish soap in the fountain of the downtown library…

Oh, how times have changed.  That was a different country, back then.  Kids were brighter and pulled pranks.  Today it’s called “terrorism.”

I think it’s safe to say that raised in modern times, we would both have jail records by now.  That’s the difference between being kids in the 50’s and being kids today.  We only had two genders back then, yet America was the undisputed Super Power.

We have to ask the political brainwashes:  How could that have happened?  We all cowboy’ed-up and worked it out, was how.  Today, we lawyer-up, instead.

Damn shame we’ve lost it.  Built, uh…character and situational-awareness.  Of things like, oh, grown-ups, for example.  Manipulators and biased “fact checkers” to name a few.

Need more?  Sure…think of this as Nostalgia Monday.

Elaine Speaks Up

One of our readers, well a couple actually, were shocked that Elaine could remember the Mojave (Tehachapi) earthquake of 1952.  In fact, one woman asked if she could relate a little more about what she remembered…  Elaine’s been writing a book for her boys about what life was like growing up back then…so here’s the related part of here memoirs:

“I believe the first trip west was by car in a 1950  yellow Nash (4-door) with uncle Max and his wife Pearlene, we headed for Tehachapi, California.  Max was stationed at  (Muroc) Edwards AFB.  Later, the movie the actor James Stewart starred in a very popular movie “Strategic Air Command.”  However as famous as that movie was for the Air Force later, it was the earthquake made our national/world news.  Yes, in 1952, at 4:52 a.m. 21 July, your great-uncle Max, Pearlene and me and my new dog, Butchie,  rode the 7.7 quake out in our Quonset hut (base housing).  The largest quake in Southern California in the 20th century. I was four months into my 8th year of life….”

No, I was not kidding when I said most people take us to be in our mid 50’s  and they are way, way off…

She’s still working on her book – slowly.  But, when she gets to the part about washing diapers in the icy creek in the mountains of Utah in the winter, while she and a former were drilling water wells up in the Cedar Mountain, Utah area (which is where she learned welding), I’ll see if I can’t get permission to share that part, though that’s the gist of it.

Back to point? Exercise, moderation, stress reduction, and regular habit, you think?  No question about it, at least to us.

Selectric II Acquired

On writing:  There is nothing like a mechanical-action keyboard.  So Elaine – who’s not comfortable in the IT Department’s platform of Office 2016, may do the rest of her book on that when it arrives this week.

When comes time to publish, it’s a trivial matter to OCR into a Word .docx file and off you go.

But when writing for long periods, nothing is as nice as the Selectric II and its deeply-dished keys and the reassuring tactile feedback…

A Word About Urban Planning

People today forget that despite the hot and cold running videos, there was a time before this.  It was tougher’n a bear sometimes, too.  Maybe age dulls the painful parts, or the wetware just overwrites it;  we can’t say.

Though in this looking back moment (reading Elaine’s “back-then” notes) I remember the thundering majesty of steam-power locomotives pulling freight into Seattle over the Duwamish landfill areas as we walked from Beacon Hill, down through the hobo jungle, past the hide tannery (a smell you will never forget, BTW), past the Flying A truck stop then down Lander Street to the Sears building on South Utah Avenue.  That majestic old building is the Starbucks HQ now.

As you’re facing the Seattle SBUX HQ, the Lander Street side is the south side of the building.

When young, there was a long pedestrian overpass from there to the waterfront.  We’d carried our bikes up one side, rode on the elevated timber walkway about 800 feet to the other side, then carried our bikes back down what seemed like 10-million stairs.  There were several other footbridges in Seattle like Lander Street, including the Juneau St. footbridge documented here. That one was just down the hill from my alma mater overlooking Georgetown.

Back when I was chasing news around Seattle, that Lander Street footbridge was set afire several times…hobo’s, derelicts, and arson, mostly.  Cigarettes, too, as I recall.

We didn’t envy the fire crews:  Try to put out a fire that’s 25 feet up in the air, several blocks long, dodging trains and dicey water sources.  Gads.  Days before Scott Air-Pak‘s, too.

You never forget childhood impressions, and it saddens me that the youth of today miss so variety enjoyed from those marvelous sights, smells and the feel of the Age of Industry.  When you’ve been around them as long as we have, one icon is like any other these days: an app’s a frigging app, that’s all.   AppWorld versus a real steam-engine world?  Please….childish pseudo-innovation.  Get back to me when you teleport something.

In the meantime, kids are just steam-punks.

Maybe that’s why the old typewriter.  You know, typing speed hasn’t changed much since the IBM Selectric came out in when?  Summer of 1961, if you can believe it.  So all the fancy computer stuff and I still can’t type faster than my old newsroom Selectric  in 1970.

My voice recognition tools make so many mistakes as to not be trustworthy.  Fact is, I’ve named it “Clinton.”

Those Tyreman Kids

Grist above notwithstanding, we’re pleased to share another “proud poppa” note from Chris (The Chronicle Project) Tyreman…

Check out what 4.5 hours and my kids black pencil crayons can create. LOL

I told ’em don’t wait for Canada Day – we ordered one for right now.  One of their FB readers suggested they do a series – in which case this will be #1…so yeah…damn fine work and more than adequate reason to be proud.

As if the children opening their own rock and gem museum wasn’t an indication of something other than raising “just another brood…”

Maybe not all children today have lost sight of what excellence is all about?

But most, for sure.  These are exceptionals.

Speaking of Children

Son George II, as you may remember, is a communicable disease /HIVinvestigator up in Seattle at a major university.  Seems there was an open house last week.

The clinic director told George something to the effect:  “Kick it up a notch…something that will get people talking, but not Ure usual over-the-top…”

And so?

Only my son would find a place like and pass out temporary clinic tats.

I shake my head…Is the country nuts?  Or is it just full-to-the-brim monetizing everything possible?

The answer isn’t pleasing.

Write when you get rich,

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