On The Day I Was Born…

Here’s a good time waster for those of you over the age of 40. The mission, if you choose to accept it: find something on YouTube that you can prove to be from the exact date you were born.

The video above is from the 1971 MDA Labor Day Telethon from New York, hosted by Jerry Lewis. It began the previous night, September 5th, and went well into September 6th, going the scheduled 20 hours. At one point while speaking with the late soprano Maria Callas, Jerry mentions there are about 15 minutes left in the event so this would be late in the afternoon on the U.S. East Coast.

There’s something else weird about finding footage from my birth date. During the 70’s telethons, Mr. Lewis would always make a special note about when the tote board had a “13” in the last two digits on the end. (For instance, the final tally in pledges when the 1976 telethon completed was $21,723,813.)

I was born on September 6th, 1971 – at 8:13 in the morning, while the telethon was on TV in the Tampa Bay area.

If you dialed my home back then and for a couple of decades afterward, you would need the 813 area code.

Weird, isn’t it?

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We Have Ways Of Making You Talk

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Well, I said I wasn’t posting on Labor Day. What I didn’t say was I’d be posting the night before. Devious, aren’t I?

So I’m trying to wean myself off of Facebook yet again, my fourth such effort this year. Needless to say, the first three failed, right?

The experiment is a simple one, really. Not to post on my main page. I want to see how far the experiment goes before people notice I’m not saying anything. I’ll continue to update my “World Of Big Pauly Media” page, but otherwise – I’m staying quiet.

No, I’m not being cruel about it. It’s not like I am pretending I’ve died or anything like that. If anyone asks where I am, I’ll tell them. The purpose of doing this is not to be some sort of social network sadist – I’m trying to prove the point that we should be listening more to each other.

Facebook seems to encourage us to talk to each other. Sometimes, I think we just talk AT each other – and I tend to think there’s a discernible difference.

The Justified

The Golden State Warriors won another NBA title. The Washington Capitals captured their first ever Stanley Cup. But with apologies to the great athletes on both of those teams, it was a horse that stole the sporting show this weekend.

I didn’t get the sense that Justify was a Triple Crown horse seeing him barely win the Preakness three weeks earlier, and I said as such on Facebook and Twitter. I had already seen American Pharoah win the Triple Crown and the euphoric cheering that resulted afterward with a 37-year drought ending. I couldn’t wrap my head around it happening again so soon.

But it did, and now Justify has earned his spot on the mantle of the all-time greats. As I said three years, I’d still love to see a computer or video game where the Triple Crown winners race against each other in hypothetical Kentucky Derbies, Preakness or Belmont Stakes.

Anybody working on that?

Speedy Delivery

I’ve used the same computer now for most of the last five and a half years. It’s been a workhorse for me, but even workhorses have parts fail on it from time to time.

A couple of months back, I noticed an orange light in the upper right of this HP computer I’ve been using all of this time. It freaked me out for a bit – what did it mean? Oh, it’s the Wi-Fi adapter on it no longer working. Being the tinkerer I am, I consulted the oracle of Google to see if anything could be done, and trying a few workarounds – nope, it still wasn’t going to work.

It dawned on me that what I needed would cost a mere pittance – a USB Wi-Fi adapter. Amazon had them available to my specifications for under $10, and one company offered free shipping and handling. Works for me – click, click, click!

Amazon told me it wouldn’t get here for a week. It got to my home in two days.

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I plug the part into a USB port – and I have Wi-Fi on the computer again. I don’t use Wi-Fi for the computer all that much, I let my mobile devices and whatnot do the lion’s share of the usage on it, but if the situation occurs that my Ethernet plug ever stopped working, it’s a good backup plan to have around. On top of that, if I were to travel, I wouldn’t be S.O.L. with a computer with no working Wi-Fi.

While these online mega-companies like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Apple are now facing government scrutiny, it should be noted that there are times where they go get things right and make things easier on us. This latest experience I had with Amazon was definitely one of those occasions.

 

 

Let’s Try This Again

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Maybe it’s possible I had the right idea a bit too early, but I’m going to try it again. I’m going to try again to part ways with Facebook in light of the most recent news headlines concerning how OUR information has been sold to third-parties by the social media organization.

Common sense dictates you don’t trust a fox with a henhouse, so why trust the same fox (Mark Zuckerburg) with the same henhouse (us) over and over?

The last time I tried this, I lasted 11 days. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about what triggered my return. Basically, when I “tapped out” on March 10th, I made the mistake of logging into Facebook. When you look at the scores of notifications that accumulate in ten days and see how “life goes on” somehow without you on there, it creates a sense of belonging and a desire to get back in with the in-crowd of “cool people” on Facebook.

Hopefully, I learn from my mistake this time. I started a new Instagram account, and I think I’ll keep that around so those looking for me have a means to find me.

Hey, Who Turned ON The Lights?

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As is the case in the era where computers run the world, various programs make frequent changes to safeguard themselves against newly found problems.

I woke up this morning to Google Chrome needing an update. I thought, fine, update away.

Here’s the thing, my eyesight is dwindling a bit now that I’m 46, as is the case with us older whippersnappers. For example, the white Facebook layout on Chrome is WAY too bright for me. So, I use an extension called Deluminate to aid in seeing websites better. Usually, I use a dark mode, but dimming the pages works just as well.

With the latest Chrome update, darkening the various web pages is now an impossibility, so I’m playing computer detective, trying to sleuth out where the problem might be. The dim mode still works, so I have that going for me.

Using similar programs to Deluminate don’t work nearly as good. For instance, if I use one of those other programs, I get the darkened web page, but using WordPress to create these blog entries gives me this bright white box to type my text in. As I’ve noted – for the current state of my eyes, white isn’t all right.

Hopefully, there’s a fix out there. If my hunch is correct, I can’t be the only Google/Deluminate user having this problem.

EDIT, 3/15/2018 at 11:05am EDT: I submitted my problem to the designer at his/their Github page, and quickly found a resolution. In the words of the immortal Gilda Radner: never mind!

Tapping Out

Well, it was bound to happen. I’m back on Facebook. I lasted about a half hour shy of eleven days and went probably a lot farther in my holdout then many could.

I hoped it would go a month, or get up to April 1st before I came back. But c’est le vie.

I know you all say Facebook will last forever, that it will never go away. I think they said that about MySpace about a decade ago. Guess what wound up happening?

And so, I’ll just chalk this up as training for the day Facebook does go away. It is kind of like that Hotel California song The Eagles sang back in the 70’s – you can check out anytime you like, but you never wind up leaving.