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Today I was reading news articles on my iPad. I noticed that over the past week, every now and then there’s an article where the author appears to be paid by the word, based on the totally superfluous garbage used to set the scene, as if they were writing a play.
While the World focused on the War in Vietnam, there were daily reminders of the Cold War in Berlin
Yeah, while Vietnam was a pretty hot zone and pretty screwed up from the beginning, Berlin was a cold war zone, with daily incidents at the wall.1996We had free access to the East and our visible intelligence officers cruised around in green military vehicles.
In August of 2019 our neighbors Vic and Sandy invited several couples over to share pizza on their newly-completed front patio. Daunna and I joined Marc & Mimi, and Swapnil & Gagan in celebrating. The last slide shows Gagan offering his approval!
As I did with my recent review with Timelines, which I believe was Bob Blink’s first Kindle book, I will divide this review of his latest novel into two parts,
If you like chilling and dramatic horror stories, this is for you!
This was an exciting but very descriptive book about a serial killer who targets women who are on the verge of giving birth. He kills then removes the living baby, which he then sells to a broker.
This was a well-written and very interesting sociological sort-of sci-fi thriller that takes place in a dystopian Kingdom of England and Wales toward the end of the 21st century.
Do not ever forget to log off a shared terminal; not doing could have terminal consquences
I recently had a discussion with a friend about working in an office in the 1980s. I recalled an experience in 1983 when our word processors were shared IBM terminals.1983I was writing a fairly detailed summary of how our field support offices would be brought up to speed with docs and training before the release of the next software release for our computerized PABX product. I was called away for a moment, then returned and completed the report, saved the file, then sent to the noisy shared teletype printer. Our admin then picked up the printout, made copies, and distributed it to the project team and several layers of management. These were the days before email, you see. The next morning my boss called me in and asked how I dared mention that I deserved a 10% raise, which astonished me. He pointed to that phrase, which had been tacked on to the end of some bullet points. Apparently a co-worker stopped by the workstation and saw my report, then innocently added the comment. I had been royally screwed. The lesson learned was to always save and log off when you step away from a workstation, even for a moment to answer somebody’s question. Ahhh, the joys of early Silicon Valley.
California boy guiding tour bus of Germans through Berlin
In the 1990s I worked for an outfit that had developed a reasonably inexpensive way to to transmit voice and data over fiber optic cables. One of the investors was Deutsche Telekom and we had an office in Bonn.1996Part of my job was to help verify that installation and programming techniques were as simple as possible, so I spent a lot of time in Bonn, and later on projects near Berlin.
Then Ericsson bought our firm and at one point a group of Swedes that was visiting Bonn wanted to check out the Berlin project. We all flew into Berlin and somehow I was the designated driver. As part of the visit the Swedes wanted to take a tour of Berlin, so I drove our minibus around and pointed out all the sights. There were several guys from Bonn in our group but they had never been to Berlin. At one point the Swedish leader just burst out laughing, saying that this is a story for the ages: An American from San Francisco guiding a bus of Germans and Swedes through the capitol of Germany, without a map.
Sometimes simply relocating elsewhere has amusing consequences
Shortly after moving from the San Francisco Peninsula to Bloomington, Indiana, I needed to set up refills for some prescriptions.
I made an appointment with a local doctor’s office and was checking in with his assistant.August 2008She was facing down, looking over my forms, asking me questions and filling in my info. It was difficult to understand her because of other noises in the area.
At one point it sounded like this:
“And your (mumble) dressed?”
To which I plucked at my shirt and exclaimed, “I sure hope so!”
The other clerk, who understood my distress, said in a slow clear voice, “She was asking you for your address.”
Clearly the mistake was mine – out West we say ADD-ress but here the accent is on the second syllable – uh-DRESS, which sounded to me as if she were asking, “And you are dressed?”