Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ship wreck

Fifty years ago last November in a storm on Lake Michigan the Carl D. Bradley sank. She was a 623 foot self-unloading limestone carrier and when she sank only two crewmen survived. She went to the bottom and was forgotten by everyone except the people from Rogers City, Michigan where most of the crew and the ship came from. She did not get a song like the Edmond Fitzgerald. Like the Daniel J. Morell that when down eight years later by the Mackinac Bridge she has been lost in the fog of history. On November 18, 2008 the people of Rogers City met to remember the ship and her crew. The ships bell that was recovered in 2007 was rung one time for each member of the crew who died that night.

The last three wrecks on the lakes they make one wonder how long it will be till once more the big lakes clam another boat.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Networking Sites

I have a site on Facebook. I got it because I wanted to see what it was all about. A lot of people I know also have sites there. It seems that most of the activity involves this like playing games and sending invites to be friends. Once someone is your friend you get told everything they do and vice a versa. After using it for awhile I began to feel out of place and now I know why.

I just saw a study that shows the median age for Facebook users was twenty seven years old and I am well past that age. While it is nice to keep up with family and people I know who use the site, there is not a lot else here that I find interesting.

Recently I found a networking site that has more to offer me. That site is Eons. Com, a place I like to call Facebook for Baby Boomers. If you want flash back to your youth, talk about your health, or share common interests with a contemporary there is a group here for you. It’s nice to talk about things with someone without wondering if they understand what you’re talking about. At Eons that’s not a problem because the people here have a shared past and they know what you are talking about.

Seventy five percent of 18 to 24 year olds use sites like Facebook while only 7 percent of those 65 and older do. Maybe they fell like I do and just want a place where they feel like they fit in. I won’t stop checking into Facebook to see what’s going on with my family and friends, but I will spend most of my time exploring Eons and making new friends along the way.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Digital TV

Next month the world changes again. Analog TV disappears and it all goes digital. Once more the way we have done things will disappear and we will be dragged kicking and screaming into a brave new world. The line between computers, video games, and television will blur as they become integrated into one home entertainment unit. It will take time, but as people replace their old TVs it will happen. Even if you are using cable or satellite service, the day will come when your old set no longer works and you must replace it.

When that happens we will become part of that new world and there will be no going back. Everything from our phone service to the internet will be linked in some way to that TV and the way we receive information through it. You may never have used a computer in your life but you will now have one wither you like it or not. The service that supplies the TV will also supply our phone and internet service.

I can’t see the future but it does not take a crystal ball to know that things will never be the same again. When you want to watch a show you won’t have to be home to when it’s on, you will just click on shows web site and click play. It will truly be TV on demand.  Surf the net, make a phone call, and never get out of your recliner. The only sure thing is your life will never be the same.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keep It Simple

Back in high school we had a saying that could save you all sorts of grief; it was “keep it simple stupid” or “kiss” for short. It didn’t seem like an important bit of wisdom at the time, but forty years later I begin to understand just how significant it is. We each waste vast amounts of time looking for complex answers to problems that have a simple answer.

A ping pong ball is in a piece of pipe, how do you get it out if you can’t reach it? You pour water into the pipe and float it out. How do you get a coin off the center of a large rug without stepping on the rug? You rollup the rug until you can reach it. The handle breaks on your microwave oven, fix the handle don’t through out the oven. As a rule of thumb the common sense answer is almost always the simplest answer.

If you try to hard to solve a problem nine times out of ten you will just make things worse. Remember if the TV does not turn on it might just be unplugged. If a vacuum cleaner does not pick up the dirt, either the bag full or the hose is clogged. Always look for the simple answer.