Monday, September 30, 2013

"Didn't you read my blog?"

Anyone who has ever written a blog for any length of time has found themself in this situation. You are in a group of people, real people these are, not a chat room full of text voices, nor a screen of images, real live breathing people. A topic comes up upon which you have something to offer. You begin your comments with the words: "I wrote about this in my blog . . ."

You see we come to expect that our family and friends will keep up with our pearls of wisdom and bon mots of magnificence because we took the time to write them down and put our florid words out into cyberspace, they could at least have the decency to read them.

Alas, the truth is we become a task after a few weeks or months. Perhaps we stray from the essence of our initial self-professed blog credo or maybe it was just one too many kitty pictures. This my friends (those of you still regular readers and those others of you who are here today because I send you an email demanding your attention) this my friends is a common blogger experience and not of universal significance other than it often becomes posting fodder as the someone ponders euthanizing their blog.

Nay, I wish to speak to something more important today. A point of friendship if you will. I first confess my guilt to the forthcoming accusations but I also point a carpal tunnel crooked finger in your direction.

I discovered recently that several of my best friends were completely unaware of a significant change in my life. Not that I hadn't given fair warning right here in this little grey blog but since they had long ago wearied of viewing my net offerings, they had missed my announcement. But more importantly, they of the non-blogger world had also had pronounceable changes in their earthly condition, which had not been communicated to me.

And they didn't even have my blog excuse for letting the drift of time dull our connection! To use the lexicon of the day - WTF?

So dear friends. What's up? You have my numbers, my email eddress, skype, text, carrier pigeon, tele-turtle. . .

I shall endeavor to stay in contact more often and directly with more than yet another blog post like this one.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mt. Shasta 2013

Time for my fall sojourn up north to Mt. Shasta to cat-sit while my friends venture off to the great southwest to visit family & friends. For the next three weeks or thereabouts I will coming to you from Lake Shastina, California. And yes that is almost precisely the view from where I stay.

Monday, September 23, 2013


"A workable definition of spirituality is one's emotional relationship with unanswerable questions." 
Jaron Lanier 

Religion therefore might be thought of as means of providing answers to unanswerable questions. Faith then is the overt reaction to the state of being where some important questions are indeed rationally unanswerable. Then again that might not be 'faith' it might just be existential dread.

For me personally, I am very fond of the questions and a life-long contemplation of potential answers. Always remembering the best words of wisdom I ever received.

"When we die, all of our great inquiries are answered but only after we discover we have spent a lifetime asking the wrong questions."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Online Information

Remember Lily Tomlin's character Ernestine on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and her famous tag-line: "We're the phone company, we don't care, we don't have to." Well this is a recent story and more importantly a little trick I learned during my time spent in the online customer service arena.

I needed a copy of my most recent Pacific Gas & Electric bill but I don't get a paper bill, I'm your paperless kind of guy. So I went on my bank's billing paying website only to discover that the bank software had a bug and my bill couldn't be displayed. No problem, I went to the PG&E website but they couldn't help me unless I signed in with my account number. But I didn't have my account number because, of course, on the bank website it showed as *00169. For safety purposed I couldn't see my own account number, just in case I was a hacker who had broken into the account and wanted to pay my bill.

Now I was in a nice little Catch-22; no bill without the account number and no account number without the bill. But I remembered a little trick I learned back in the 90s when I supervised customer service for . . . well that's another story.

Here's what I did, feel free to lift this little maneuver the next time you deal with the cyber version of customer service. I wrote an informative email requesting my account number. Gave them all my personal information and explained the online bill glitch at my bank. I sent it off to PG&E customer service. Then I waited an hour and sent it again. The next morning a sent the request a third and later a fourth time.

Two days later I got responses to all of my requests but from four different customer service drones.

Response #1: We cannot fulfill your request without further information. Please provide your account number. Mind you my account number was what I was requesting.

Response #2: We are unable to provide the information you requested online. Here is the address for the nearest PG&E office.

Response #3: This information is not available online but there is a phone number you can call.

Response #4: Thank you for your request for information from PG&E customer service. Here is your account number as requested.

You see they have these rules but they also have actual humanoids responding to your questions and needs; usually about 1 in 4 times you get someone who thinks for themself. Either that or they have dealt with 'customer service' in their own non-work life and they know it's an oxymoron 3 out of 4 times.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Of a Certain Age

If this cartoon doesn't resonate with you - I want to thank-you for reading my blog, youngster. click to enlarge

Monday, September 09, 2013

Top Ten Websites

Before you read the next paragraph - ask yourself. What is the top website on the internet? Got more than a few guesses. Read on for the most recent results.

I thought Google was #1 but I was wrong, the giant search engine is #2 with the social media drain on your life Facebook at #1. YouTube came in a surprising #3 with the longest running top ten site Yahoo at #4.

Wait you say is this the whole world wide web or just the english speaking world? No, this is all of it but there are two non-english based websites in the top ten. At #5 is Baidu and occupying the #9 spot is

Wikipedia holds down the disinformation hotspot at #6 and the Microsoft site is #7. Twitter comes in at #8 and the top ten is finished with the only outright self-identified commercial/retail site Amazon.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Rabbit Murals

 because sometimes late at night things appear

 particularly when we let our imagination interact with google

 why would I type 'rabbit murals'?

 I have no idea either

 but I did

 so on this particular Friday

 as summer fades from view

we offer you bunny art

Monday, September 02, 2013

22 Years Ago

I am not one who believes time flies. I don't think everyone at the reunion looks old. Each day follows the last and yes they do build up into years and eventually decades. I guess you could say I am just not attached to calendar. However, there is one segment in my life that does give me twinges of "where has it all gone."

Twenty-two years ago this week I landed in San Francisco with two cats and my condo on the Panhandle of Golden Gate Park. I spent the next nine years getting a Ph.D. and changing my consciousness forever once again.

I have been back in the Bay Area for nearly four years now but it isn't the same. Well, of course it is, I'm clearly the entity that has changed. For all my equanimity and general aura of peace, I am troubled by what time and I have done with ourselves these last couple of decades.

Clearly more pondering is called for.