Saturday, May 30, 2009

Just Ducky

There wasn't much sunshine yesterday but the ducks frolicking in the pond at Seaport Village in San Diego caught my camera's eye.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Visitor #9000

The 9000th visitor to The Ancient One stopped by about 11:15 p.m. PDT last night. Not positive who it was but the hit came from the Denver, CO area and was the result of a Google search on the name of a good friend of ours whose son lives in that vicinity.

If that was you David, thanks for being #9000.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Data Lost. . .and Found

This is a true fable in the life of The Ancient One. It is a fable of the age of technology in which we live and how precarious data are.

The story begins a few weeks ago when Donna could not find her Palm Tungsten E2. She looked for it for several days to no avail; it was gone. As it happened, she was not happy with her current cell phone and was eligible for one of those special deal upgrades that the various providers of mobile service offer their loyal customers. So off she went and got a great deal on a Palm Centro. Now she had a combination phone/PDA and could HotSync all her data from her Palm Desktop (which she did).

As often happens, a few days after getting her new phone/PDA, Donna found the lost PDA. It also happens that my Palm Tungsten T/X had gone berserk; while I could HotSync it with the desktop, I couldn't bring up the screens. I would touch the appropriate spot on its little screen and it would act as if I touched another part of the screen. The Ancient One thought that it would be nice to get a Centro too but he is not eligible for a special deal until next January. But Donna said he could have her E2 if that would help. Of course it would. But, whenever he tried to HotSync it with his desktop, it refused to do so. Once an identity has been established on a Palm PDA, you can't just change it even though you can have several identities on the desktop.

Then The Ancient One had a brilliant idea. He would do what is called a "hard reset" on the E2, wiping it clean so he could then set it up in his identity with his data. Fair enough. But he also did a couple of other things that turned out to be less than smart. First, he thought he would try to resurrect his T/X by doing a hard reset on it, which he did. However, while that wiped the PDA clean, it did not solve the problem of the device thinking that it was being poked at distance locations on the screen from where it was being tapped. So he declared the T/X dead and got ready to HotSync his desktop to the E2.

Now here is where it gets really stupid! Before starting the HotSync, The Ancient One looked at the Palm website and found that there was an updated version of the desktop available for downloading. We all know that with technology newer is better. Right? Well, not necessarily. He downloaded the new software and installed it. It easily replaced the earlier version. Then he moved on to carry out the HotSync only to discover that there were no data to move from the desktop to the handheld. ALL THE DATA WERE GONE!

So, for the past week-and-a-half, The Ancient One has been searching for his data. He knew that the address book, datebook, and memo and notepads were somewhere on his computer. But, oh my, they were hidden well and he had nightmares about how long it was going to take to rebuild those data files. Finally, this afternoon he got lucky and found the files. It took a couple of hours but he did figure out how to transfer all those hidden backup files on to the new Palm Desktop and eventually was able to HotSync them with the handheld.

And just in time too! The next doctors' appointments are coming up in the next couple of weeks and The Ancient One really didn't want to call the various offices and try to explain why he had no idea when the appointments were.

As with all good fables, this one had a happy ending and The Ancient One is smiling again. : - D

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Election Day?

Today was Election Day in California. . .and hardly anybody noticed! With the exception of a handful of contests to fill vacant offices around the state, the primary purpose for voters was to decide on 6 statewide propositions supported by the Governor and legislative leaders. A "Yes" vote was supposed to address the State's enormous deficit and avoid greater shortfalls and further reductions in state programs.

It was a curious campaign. There were few TV commercials; I guess that was a blessing. The Governor occasionally was seen claiming that layoffs and program reductions would result from a no vote. The Governor voted by emergency absentee ballot before he headed off to Washington, D.C. to attend a press conference in the Rose Garden today. I had trouble finding much information on the election in today's newspapers; I think it was on page 3 of the Los Angeles Times. While I felt no great enthusiasm for the election, I did vote this afternoon and had very little wait in a very short line at the polling place. Last I heard estimated turnout was about 8% of the registered voters in the state.

But my cynicism took hold in this election. I actually believe that when the Governor threatened more layoffs of state workers and more program reductions, he wanted voters to vote know so he could blame what he wanted to do on the ballot box rather than himself and the legislature. When the first news show I turned on tonight did not report on the election results until 15 minutes had passed in the broadcast (an aftershock of last Sunday's earthquake was the lead story), it reflected that "we don't give a damn" attitude that seems to permeate the state. Yes, the elected leaders of the great progressive state of California proposed more tax increases and a lot of gobbledygook and said that they expected people who were already suffering from the economy to buy it. But I think they wanted us to vote no and it appears we did; in the early returns the NO votes exceeded 60%. It seems that one proposition is going to pass. Among other things, that one will stop salary payments to state political leaders when there is a budget deficit (or something like that).

I can hear the Governor and legislative leaders as I write this. When they decimate our schools and needed services, I can hear them saying, "The voters left us no choice." I am saddened by the total lack of leadership in what historically has been a progressive state.

These are the views held tonight by The Ancient One who generally has had a relatively positive view of those who hold political office through his 71+ years on this planet. It is a sad day in California, not because it appears that 5 of the 6 propositions failed but because the absence of leadership led to their being on the ballot in the first place.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

All Shook Up

It was just about an hour ago, about 8:45 p.m. PDT. I was walking down the hallway in our house. I heard a noise, like something falling. Then there was a jolt followed by a few seconds of violent shaking.

As was confirmed via "Breaking News" on the TV a few minutes later, it was an earthquake. Its magnitude was 5.0. And more important to us, the epicenter was in the Hawthorne/Lennox area, only about 15 miles from our home. Fortunately, nothing appears to have been damaged in our home. I did find one table clock that tipped over on its face, but that's it. Not even a power surge.

All is quiet now. But we are alert, waiting to see if there are any aftershocks that might be felt here. I grew up in tornado country. And although I have been through about a half dozen shakers since moving to the Los Angeles area, they still scare me more than the twisters ever did. For Donna, the California native, it's just the opposite.

And soon to bed. Just another day here in southern California.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

CCPT 2009 Season

Culver City Public Theatre (CCPT) has announced its 2009 summer season and The Ancient One is excited. Please treat this post as a blatant advertisement for CCPT's upcoming season.

Here's the line-up:

Children's Popcorn Theatre

Aunt Fondeen and the Lost Dutchman Goldmine
Written by Heidi Dotson
Directed by Sharon Savene
Saturdays & Sundays from July 18th-August 23rd at 12pm

Main Stage Productions

You Can't Take It With You
Written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
Directed by John Glass
Saturdays & Sundays from July 18th-August 2nd at 2pm

She Stoops to Conquer
Written by Oliver Goldsmith
Directed by Alex Wells
Saturdays & Sundays from August 8th-August 23rd at 2pm

All shows are presented admission free at Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park ON THE CORNER OF Braddock and Motor in Culver City, CA 90232.

For those interested, auditions are scheduled for: May 13 & 14, 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 16, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at The Veterans Memorial Complex, 4117 Overland Avenue in Culver City (the corner of Overland and Culver Blvd.) You will be asked to do a 2-minute monologue of your choosing OR one provided to you from the play scripts. Please bring 4 headshots.

Okay, that's the ad for the season. It's going to be a very enjoyable one with much hilarity in all the productions. The Ancient One hopes to see some of you in the L.A. area at next week's auditions.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Enumerating Colors – Banners 17

Well, The Ancient One's job as an enumerator for the Census Bureau is over. The crew he was on completed canvassing addresses in their assigned areas in less than 6 weeks, far less than the 10 weeks allotted for the task. The credentials and hand held computer have been returned to the government.

Completing this temporary part-time job is not all bad. My legs are very happy to not be spending any more 6-hour work days climbing up and down the hills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. And this job ended just in time for me to take on a short consulting gig with a long time client of mine.

Since the canvassing took The Ancient One outside of his own neighborhood, he was able to view many flags and banners he had not previously come across. Three of them are now offered up as examples of the colors seen along the enumerating way.

Now on to look for other earning adventures. Enjoy!