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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Another Bluetooth Keyboard

Pulled out my second Bluetooth keyboard. My first keyboard is just basically unusable, and my third and fourth were those iClever ones that each had a needed key fail. This one  is functional but badly designed.    But it works. Kinda.

I'd hoped to be able to type blog entries remotely with a Bluetooth keyboard but I haven't had much luck there.Wonder if the iClever keyboard I gave my sister still works -- or if that has one bad key, too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The other "Be Good" story

 Yes, I know, if it weren't for the video (which I mostly love), there's a whole nother story that'd fit Gregory Porter's song, "Be Good."  (When I saw the mini-Cupid I was expecting this story, or some Little Girl story.)

I'm thinking like Toy Story.  The Lion is a stuffed toy, and thinks the little girl is named Be Good because Mommy and Daddy say that to her a lot.

Now we need the cage.  Okay, how about this: The Lion was actually a favorite toy of Grandma or maybe even Great Grandma.  It's an antique, and Mommy sees that as it's value and doesn't want it damaged (further, given it was a favorite toy).  So she keeps it locked up in a glass cabinet.

The little girl believes toys are to be played with, and wants the Lion out, but Mommy says "Lions are meant for cages..." and so on.   So the lion brushes his main and trims his claws, to be a better Lion, but Mommy Says...

And he sees the girl dance around the cabinet, but he can't get out, and she can't get in.  

And of course, the ending scene is the little girl walking away with The Lion in her hand.  How they get there?  An exercise for the Reader, of course.

Be Good.

Be Good


One of those songs, so simple, everyone understands it differently. 

Love song, sure, I hear that. Romantic love, could be, or familial love works, too, because it's "Be Good."

He's a lion, our protagonist. She tells him to "Be Good" so often he's determined it's her name. And he tries to Be Good, brushes and cuts his mane, trims his claws, to be a Good lion. And what he gets back is "She said, 'Lions are made for cages / Just to look at in delight / You dare not let them walk around / 'Cause they might just bite.'" He can't both be free and be a Lion, because Lions are made for cages. But she dances around outside his cage, pulling his tail, being what he can't be, because of course he's a Lion, and...

You'll note the song leaves him a well-groomed Lion, but still a Lion. Can't not be. I think that's Good.

If you've seen Pierre Bennu's official music video, it has one possible positive ending. His little micro-Cupid keeps giving him stuff to change, "You should smile more!" "You should act more happy!" But she treats him just the same.

I know it's your song. It should be, it's one of those songs. 
But that's me. I'm on the Autistic Spectrum.  I get my tail pulled, I get smile more, be more happy, don't be so focused or unfocused or look me in the eye or...  I brush my mane and  trim my claws, but I'm still a Lion.

And, sometimes a Dancer.

Be Good.


Friday, August 26, 2022

An open letter to Philip Rosedale

 (For others, Philip Rosedale was the creator of Second Life, and recently returned to Linden Labs as an Advisor.)

Dear Mr Rosedale,

Look at me, getting all formal and old-school...

Just read an article/interview with you from Axios on Nov 29, 2021.  Quoting from the Article, "Of the metaverse, he says: “I think what we've learned — and somewhat with some sadness, given the work that I've done, I would have to agree — is that it's not for everybody, and maybe it's never for everybody.”

 You may be right.  Then again, almost nothing is for everybody.

 I will offer a perspective for you, that it is for a lot of people who may not even know it (still) exists.  Autistic people like me.

ASD folks have trouble in particular with face-to-face interactions. No actual face-to-face in SL.

ASD folks don't make eye contact much. No eye contact in SL, at least not person to person, avatar to avatar isn't much trouble at all. And no one knows if you don't make eye contact, or stare, which can also be an ASD "thing" for some.

ASD folks are often non-verbal. Some, sometimes, can manage a bit of typing.  SL again.

ASD folk don't do well in crowds. Haven't noticed as much problem with virtual crowds. A little, but not near as much.

Sensory issues are at the core of much of ASD. SL does stimulate the senses, but not as much as RL for sure.

And some stuff I just flat can't do -- drive a car, fly a plane, drive a boat or a submarine or a spacecraft, or even swim -- I can do in SL.  Those aren't purely ASD issues, and neither I suppose are the others.  Might want to talk to author Nathan Lowell about that, he spent some years working on exactly that.  (Sorry if I'm being presumptuous, Nate.)

So maybe it isn't an issue of "not for everybody," but rather of not reaching out to everybody who might find it enjoyable, healthful and liberating?

Seems like everyone who's created an online social-network-ish thing has had it turn out to be something other than they'd planned.  Why would yours be different?

Something for you to consider, I'd think.

Thanks for your time.


Sunday, August 21, 2022

That back-again bump

As with so many events in my life...

I have repeatedly intended  to do another podcast, to restart the process of Being A Podcaster.

Facing a stack of obstacles.  I've always been an audio-only podcaster, and now I don't have my Libsyn setup.  My only recording environment is my lil bedroom with the computer and whatnot (always been that way), and this time of year, daytime is too noisy with the traffic out front, and nighttime is too hot and stuffy unless I run the fan, which of course makes fan  noises.

It's somewhat "Best is enemy of Good," don't feel comfortable producing a merely adequate podcast, don't feel comfortable doing a terrible-looking video, but don't have the video skills and don't have the audio studio space I'd like.

I know about the closet-full-of-clothes trick.  Must be nice to have a closet.

So I'm hangin' fire here.


 Wanted to see if this still works the way I think it works...


Theodore Roosevelt's column, "Citizens or Subjects" from the KC Star, April 6, 1918 -- My live reading on my Grizzly's Growls podcast.  

Saturday, August 6, 2022

I found my podcast again... sort of...

 Just got an email from YouTube indicating folks "watched" 2627 minutes of my so-called videos on YouTube last month.  My Libsyn setup had a thing that posted my audio podcasts as "videos," basically combining the audio with an extended still shot of the cover art.

So my podcast is still sort of out there, and people are still sort of listening.  

Now I wonder if I want to try producing stuff directly for YouTube.  Don't have to pay for it, and there's a very large potential audience there.  Assuming I have anything interesting to offer.  Last project I was on and never finished was the Federalist Papers.  I was up to 17 out of 75, as I recall.  Kinda dry stuff, much of it, but it's still important.

Then there's another project I could do.

I noticed something the other day, and I can't say this is still true.  Back when I was in school, we knew Thomas Payne was an important pamphleteer before and during the revolutionary war.  And we all knew he'd written an important pamphlet called "Common Sense."

But we never read it.

Don't know that many have.  So I read it, and it's interesting what he considered common sense.  I suspect that's why they didn't have us read it in High School -- because he didn't particularly approve of stuff we do as a matter of course now.  


So now I have a three volume collection of the works of Thomas Payne.  Question is whether I'm interesting enough to sustain that.  Or all that interesting so far.  And would it make sense to redo the old Federalist episodes?  Or my other projects?

I'm not particularly pretty enough for video...



Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Oh, well...

 Just completely lost my Libsyn site, so now points to the blog here.  At least Blogger is still free, and the domain is paid for for another three years.  So, now I'm not a podcaster anymore, just another blogger.

Got laid off from my job early in the whole stay-at-home thing with the pandemic.  Laid off hell, basically just fired. The Texas company that had bought the local company I worked for, packed up their carpet bags and headed back to Texas.  That's happened to me twice now.

Doesn't appear to be much work here anymore. Maybe none for an older fella like me. I do have Social Security, but that's enough for nothing-in-particular, about half what I made when I had my last job.  And now I can't even say I'm a podcaster.

I want to be working.  I keep reading about how there's so much demand for workers. And I look, and I'm not seeing the demand, without a college degree.

I do have a Diploma for Media Studies and Production, which'd seem to show I'd be qualified for some radio station. Except of course the radio stations aren't looking, best I can tell.  Really aren't "local" radio stations anymore, all corporate owned, and they don't use people, they use recordings and computers.

Most of my life I've been able to (1) get a job through a Temp agency, (2) have the employer decide to keep me for the full 90 days, then (3) get asked to stay "permanently."  That's how I got the job from which I was discarded after seven years.

I'm a fair writer, I think, though not brilliant. Only talent I have realistically is sounding pretty in front of a microphone.

Now I can't do that.

That's all I got.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

The FreedomBox?

 Listening to a podcast (old) and got pointed to The FreedomBox, which intends to provide anyone willing with the ability to host their own social media.  Right now, you can pick the T place or the F place, most people do.  I stuck with T, but I'm no longer F-ed.

Back in the 1990s, I used to run a BBS.  Certainly had its good points, and some of the offline messaging was quite frankly more useful and usable than the current web forum horrors.  This ain't that. Looks like it tries to replicate the commercial services (which has been done elsewhere) with all their attractions, and most (though not all) of their flaws.

I could buy one pre-built (looks to be about eighty bucks), which'd be nice and simple. Could download the package and install it on that laptop I use as a general-purpose server machine, someplace to park all the stuff I don't want on my main machine.  

 Or I could track down whatever remaining BBS software there might be.  I remember finding some, years and years ago.  But that doesn't do much unless there are other BBSes to connect to.  Most of the message content on my BBS came via some BBS nets from other systems elsewhere in the country / world.  And that's not liable to be much anymore.

I do like the idea of having my own home base, though.  Assuming I can come up with the eighty bucks.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

The keyboard, revisited

Remember the other day I did a post about my two defective iClever keyboards, money I'll never get back?
Well, today I'm trying something stupidly simple, that in retrospect is almost obvious -- not quite, but almost.
Grabbed my USB to Go adapter, plugged in a small but conventional USB wired keyboard, and plugged the adapter into my Fire tablet -- and Bob's yer uncle. Works as well as can be expected.  No touchpad on this particular keyboard, but I only used the touchpad on the iClever keyboards when doing the try-the-touchpad thing.
Keyboard's too damn big and the cable's too damn long to be convenient, but it does work just fine for touch typing, which is important to my aging former-secretary ass.  Downside, the Fire has exactly one USB port, so if the keyboard is plugged in, the power brick isn't.  So typing is inherently time-limited by the Fire battery.
I should take a picture of this setup, if I can figure out which camera to use. I'm not entirely sure how many I have at this point.


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Investing looking backward

 DISCLAIMER: You'd read a blog post from me for investment advice?  Are you out of your mind?

  I've been all stressed for a while about some of the individual stocks I've bought.  They seem to have done incredibly badly.

This was from looking at current price relative to what I paid for them.  And as the fella said, "Well, there's yer trouble!"

Like a lot of people, after getting my pandemic layoff, I had way too much time on my hands. And I finally bit the bullet and moved from a strictly-managed IRA to an account where I could buy individual stocks.  Then I bought a bunch of individual stocks I thought were good investments.

The heck of it is, I was right, they are good investments, most of them.

But I bought them when everybody and his cousin was doing what I was doing, buying individual stocks for the first time.  I also bought them during that period when the Fed was buying stocks, too, to keep the market from going down too much.  Neither of these are Bad Things.  But this made many of the stock prices go much higher than they normally run.  And yeah, that's when I bought them.

Well, after all that excitement, the Fed stopped doing what they were doing, and most folks went back to Normal Life.  And the prices of those stocks I'd bought?  Also went back to Normal Life.


I went into my account and looked at the charts for some of my seemingly "worst" stocks.  After checking more recently (huge drops), I checked back three years.  And it turned out that before all the chaos, the price of the stock then was essentially the price of the stock now.  It's not low.  It's just normal again.

Eventually, give it a decade, say, some of those stocks might once again get back to what I paid.  At my age, I might not be around to see that.  So I sold the worst-looking ones (it's inside my IRA, so it's still what it is), and gradually I'm going to move the money to somewhere I like better.  And  I'll take that as a Learning Experience.

Doncha hate learning experiences?

-- Griz

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Let's try this again...

Me being me, I am once again trying my second iClever keyboard with my Blogger app on my Fire, knowing the... well that one key didn't and doesn't work.   According to the Amaon reviews, iClever has very good customer service.  That may be.  But they may have good customer service because they have so many defective keyboards being returned, so they have lots of practice.
I wonder if the one I bought for my sister is at all defective.  I should ask her.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A bit baffled

 I lost my job near the end of July, 2020.  Like a lot of people, I did okay with the extended unemployment and supplements and such.  Then I tried going to school to be a Certified Medical Records Specialist online.  Thought I was doing okay, then I figured out I'd been doing the course completely wrong and had used up most of my paid-for school time.  Didn't manage to finish.

I'm no longer who I was 20 years ago, when a 8 hours a day on my feet, lift 50 pounds job was my usual.  A lifting injury, then too many years in front of a computer, most of that 20 years, and now I'm half-blind from glaucoma.  I want to be working again, and yes there are "lots of jobs," almost all those on your feet lifting 50 lbs ones.  And not many places want The New Guy to be The Old Guy.

I have skills, but I have trouble considering them special skills. I can write, but I know many who write much better.  I can speak, but I know many who speak much better.

I'd love to work on the radio, but there are few such jobs for many desirous of them.  It's a shrinking industry, with a growing universe of young people with YouTube shows.  Besides, I'm not good-looking enough for on-camera (he said, humbly).

I have Social Security, basically half what I was making on the job I lost.  I do look online for the jobs listed there, but find nothing for which I'm convinced I'm qualified. Almost all my jobs over my lifetime have been through Temp agencies, Spherion, Manpower, Kelly etc. And quite consistently, I'd start Temp, be asked to stay the full 90-some days, then asked to stay on "permanently," including my last job.  Which, of course, wasn't "permanent."  In any case, I've never really done job hunting as such.  

Being on the Autistic spectrum makes me about the worst possible person to do a job interview. We're not good face to face, and not making eye contact gives a wrong and unfortunate impression. Even thinking about job interviews makes me. literally, painfully anxious.  And I've noticed a lot of HR interviewers appear to be autistic themselves -- maybe that's just me?

You will note doing an audio-only podcast eliminates the need for eye contact.  Recording public domain books removes worries about what to say, mostly -- the content starts over here, ends over there, get to the end and stop. But that is not exactly a career, ya know?

Years ago a young lady described my podcast as "Some weird guy whining."  Gee, can't think why...

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Abraham Lincoln

 I remember an old story about Abraham Lincoln.  He was a friendly man, even to those who might be his enemies.

And some told him, "You should want to destroy your enemies!"

And he replied, "Do I not destroy my enemies by making them believe they are my friends, til they trust me enough I can slit their throats?"

Something like that.  My memory isn't what it used to be.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

In case you noticed, or didn't...

 Why yes, I did reactivate my Twitter account.

I am posting nowhere near as often, and reading Twitter nowhere near as often. I don't like who I became for a bit there. And I have some things -- generally useless and pointless -- I'm enjoying on Second Life.

I haven't done a new podcast in a very very long time. That first one after so long is hard, as I've found all the other times I've stopped. And I don't have that much to say.

Someone did ask on YouTube about that whole Federalist Papers thing I was doing, so I suppose I could restart that. But I no longer have confidence in the quality of my work. At least that's part of it.

I'm about half retired, I'd have to say.  I'm getting Social Security, but that's about half what I was making back when I was working, and not enough to really live on. So while I'd rather be fully retired, I don't have the resources to stay without a job of some sort.

I'll try to update whoever cares periodically.


Episode Zero -- A Minor Local Celebrity

With "Meditation Impromptu" by Kevin MacLeod Originally posted to Libsyn under my original setup around 02/2007.  When I ran out ...