Thursday, October 5, 2023

First the Kiosk, then...?


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In the past I would always go to McDonald's in the morning for breakfast and do some reading, some writing, and start my day this way. With the advent of COVID I stopped doing this. Now my routine (if there is one) is to fill up my thermos and head for the library - of which there are two great ones in my area and so I have choices. 

Yesterday I broke with my new pattern and went to McDonald's. As I walked in there was a gentleman (I think he was gentle) filling out his order at the Kiosk - interesting, however, there was a person, standing behind a cash register, who was just staring straight off in the distance 

I walked up to the cash register where the employee was standing and they said, "Can I help you?" - no smile, no outward appearance of excitement, joy, or intrigue. I ordered a cup of Senior Coffee and the individual said, "99 cents", still no sign of recognition. I gave them a dollar bill and they said, "Do you want the penny back?", to which I replied "No". At this point, the individual gave me a receipt and said nothing else, and no eye contact. 

Was I talking to a real person? Are the employees being trained to imitate robotic communication so we will not be aware when they change over? Kiosk to Robot (the penny helps pay for the robot). 

I have done retail sales training (years ago), but it would appear the rule book has changed. The rules now appear to be:

  • Don't smile
  • No superfluous communication
  • Keep the penny
The coffee was good, the place was clean, and I did some reading. 

I will be going back to the library; the coffee is cheaper (.40¢ a pod), it is quieter, no superfluous communication, water is free as well, and I keep the penny. 

Monday, July 17, 2023

A Look at Microsoft's New Office Font

 Microsoft is moving to standardize Aptos Font for the office, and I thought I would look at it. I am very much in favor of the change, was not crazy about Calibri for the reasons at the bottom of this post. I might note that for the reasons at the bottom I tend to use Times New Roman because of the Serif. When fonts get small there is a problem with sans serif fonts. Also, as I get older, I need all the help I can get reading small print. I think sometimes advertisers, and others, try to get too much into a small space. Perhaps they are being paid by the word. I have heard here are those who would say I could excel at that.

 It is possible I just might use Aptos more than I did Calibri. 

Friday, July 14, 2023

Friday Morning Lost at the Library.

All morning I have been concerned with how we gain our Lifelong patterns of communication, and then we change it up as we go. In the middle of this, as often happens, I get myself distracted. It all starts very simply, I think something, which distracts me, then I go down a different road, find some obscure fascinating thought and I'm gone and who knows s for how long.  

Someone once told me (or I read it somewhere?) You begin to learn Truth, or Wisdom, at some point in the same way - parental guidance. “You go out into the street, and I’m going to kill you.” You go out into the street; they drag you back, but they don’t kill you. OK, I’m learning. 

And then I think WOW all this and it’s only 11:16 am and I am at the library. 


When you see “am” after the time what does that mean? Then I use it in the following text. When I read it back it didn't look right; "11:16 am and I am..." - whoa. I'm off. 

The first "am" means “ante meridiem”? What? Then pm means "post meridiem". Now I find "am" is also an acronym for “amplitude modulation”, something we should all be aware of (particularly if you wear hearing aids). 

What was difficult was finding a definition for the way we use "am". Have you looked for a definition of “am” lately? Yet we use it all the time. What does it mean? What do you think it means? 

The search begins. 

The first reference I found was in the UK “am” is "1 form of be :” (Cambridge Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus). I 'assume' that is the same as "one form of be :" and their example: “Do you know how old I am?”, I reflected could be said “Do you know how old I be?” (works for me.) 

I did fine one definition of “am” in a search that stated, “verb - first person singular present of be” – not sure what dictionary provided the answer; however, an Oxford English Dictionaries link was connected to the definition and when clicking on the link I could have subscribed to the Oxford English Dictionary for $39/year. I am sitting in a library, and I think I will be happy to use their dictionary. Anyway, the answer was available online via Bing using Edge - and that is where I be. 

And then I'm off again. 

Now there is an advertising line for you; “Binging on the Edge”. This is not Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” where one line is “I’m on the Edge with you”, although, Microsoft should use Lady Gaga’s song in their ad’s. 

Hmm.... "I'm Binging on the Edge with you".  It has a certain ring to it. Anyway, it was fun for a Friday Morning. 

I be on my way. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The Local Library Is a Great Resource for Research and with New Features

 I really should say the features are NEW to me.

My local library is the Lane Library, in Fairfield, Ohio. This has become my writing, reading, and thinking spot. It’s quiet, easy to get to, warm, and the people are friendly.

Features I did not know were available.

Recently I wanted to read the book; “Silent Messages” by Albert Mehrabian valuable information on research into non-verbal communication, and I was told the ultimate study. This publication was copyrighted in 1971 and to purchase the book would be costly so I went to my Lane library.

They did not have it physically but on checking I could, through the library, borrow it from the Ohio State University library – wow. Through a program called “SearchOhio”, a consortium of public libraries throughout the state, I would have greater resources.

I put in my request and 2 days later had an email to pick it up at my local library. I not only kept it for the allowed 21 days but was able to renew it without going through the compete process for another 21 days.

This is a service.

And it gets better.

I went back to the library looking for a copy of “The Art of Living” by Epictetus and now I find I can get it digitally through the library. Well, I am a great eBook reader, and this is available for download, via my Kindle app.

The people at the library gave me the instruction on downloading the “Libby” app from the Google Play store for my Android phone and not only was I able to borrow the book to read on the Kindle app, I also was able to capture an audible version of a Thich Nat Han book on “The Miracle of Mindfulness” which I can listen to in the car or on my headphones.

All on the 21-day borrowing policy with the ability to renew.

All for the cost of a Library Card.

As Jim Rohn would say: “And what is the cost of the library card? It’s FREE, its FREE!”

I do wish they had a coffee shop but then I own a thermos, so I bring my coffee with me.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Philosophy and More For This Monday

 I have not written for a long time, still trying to figure out what the “Curious Voyager” is doing. My wife and I just celebrated a major wedding anniversary and I am still trying to work out what it is I want to be when I grow up – hence the name “Curious Voyager”.

“Well, I've been around this land, just a-doin' the best I can, Tryin' to find what I was meant to do.” (Tom Paxton, 1964 – Album “Ramblin’ Boy”)

Recently, having just finished auditing a class on “Critical Thinking”, and while still going over my notes, I found a blog, the Daily Stoic, and I am now quite fascinated with Stoicism. From the Daily Stoic I started reading “Ego Is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday which led me to the audio rendition and my wife even lets me play it in the car.

I have always had an interest in Philosophy, and when I left the University of Kentucky in 1975 and later took a job with a local company it was made clear to me “people do not want to talk about philosophy Walter”, so it had to be kept a secret (not a well-kept one) until recently. Now it’s out in the open.

I have never understood why no one wants to talk about Philosophy when the definition returns the meaning “Love of Wisdom”. Learning to reason, think, attempt to understand. On the other hand, after listening to all our politicians I can understand the reluctance to gain wisdom. I suspect some of the Stoics would not be appreciated by many in government today. Sadly, I was never taught (or remembered) about Philosophy during my early schooling. Like most we were taught what to think, not how to think.

Bring it on Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Socrates, let’s get at it. My hair is silver, and I do have a long green robe (It is my Obi Wan Kenobi robe - I think of Obi Wan as a philosopher - or was it Yoda?).

The above is a long way around to why I got so excited today. Over the weekend, while studying for my class “Stoicism 101” I found a video by Ryan Holiday who introduced me to another individual whose philosophy is as interesting as well, the individual is Casey Neistat.

The video I discovered via my class “Stoicism 101” was Casey Neistat's 10 Stoic Practices (For Productivity). Its runtime is twenty minutes and both interesting and insightful.  

As interesting is Casey Neistat’s YouTube videos.

Today I landed into those Casey Neistat videos. The first one, Do What You Can’t, was fun and quite interesting. So, I followed that with Snowboarding with the Nypd, now the day is almost lost. There are more, and more, this was just the beginning. Casey turns out to be both fun and someone you could learn from as well as enjoy. 

Check out the Daily Stoic and while you are on the internet catch one of Casey Neistat's videos. Who knows, it just might lighten up your day and give you something different to talk about.  

*Note: in reviewing the above I changed Stoicism 1001 to what it should have been, Stoicism 101 - and that was not an autocorrect error - writer error. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Why Is Bad News The Only News?

I think many people should read “Bad News Bias” in the New York Times this morning. I think it is quite insightful. On the other hand, I have thought for years that people loved bad news and even created their own stories if they could not get enough. 

Is this because it is what people have been expecting for so many years? Do the “Bad News” headlines grab an audience? Are we such a depressed group of people that we are only attracted to stories loaded with downers? Is this what is wrong with the nation? Or perhaps the world? 

Disclaimer: Since 1997 I have not read but one newspaper, and I find TV news rather depressing – especially the late news – it will give me a bad night. 

Not all headlines are bad, however, headlines are written with the intent to GRAB you. If you are looking for bad news, and today that appears to be the essence of a great number of people’s thinking, some headlines will really give you what you could be looking for.  

Here are a couple of headlines on the front page today which I thought would be intriguing for some.  

  • “Survivors Describe ‘Listening to Him Kill Everyone You Know.’”
    • Horrific, would not read this and consider the headline gruesome.  
  • “Why ‘Cursed’ Olympics in Japan Are Pressing Ahead Amid a Pandemic.” 
    • Hmm…”Cursed” – already a dire prediction for the Olympics by the writer - don't go.  
  • “Politicians Behaving Badly.”
    • Now this could be one to read just to have a laugh – and it doesn’t matter the party. 
  • “Officer Brian Sicknick Died After the Capitol Riot. New Videos Show His Attack.” 
    • See the answer to the first one above.
    • I would almost put money on those video’s being an attraction. 

Perhaps it is this bad news fixation which is supporting the anger culture of the American people. I do not think the media is responsible, but I do think it has the potential to feed it. It could also have the potential to change it, but his would be to over the top to consider.

Why do we get joyful over other’s misfortunes? Is it because we are looking for people in worse conditions than we are? There appears to be a consensus of finding others to blame for our own bad times and we are joyful in their troubles. I guess this is something I just do not understand. 

I do not understand bigotry either, but that is another story, or is it?

Additional disclaimer: I get most of the news I want digitally, including The New York Times. My other sources are Microsoft, Google, Apple, and ESPN – when my team is winning. 😊 

I do see headlines as I am on the web a great deal, then again, instead of grabbing me they often turn me off. But I bet you would have guessed that. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

If You Have Not Looked at Futureloop Perhaps Its Time

I know some of you may get the newsletter, Futureloop and this morning in just reading the headlines I am suddenly hit with the REAL accelerating speed of what is going on in all area’s of technology. SpaceX Raptor Engine setting a world record, Hand’s Free Driving, chips going into the body to help detect Tumor’s and repair injuries, then the "Future mental health care may include diagnosis via brain scan and computer algorithm". There are other item’s in the newsletter which are mind boggling as well. 

The realization these advances are not in the next 5 years – they are here now, just being perfected. 

So what is going to happen in the next 5 years, 10 years?  I personally find it all kind of exciting. I know there are people who do not find it exciting and who may not be prepared for these advancements.  

OR does everyone just happily grab on and go? 

Sometimes I feel the Luddite is still very much among us, and for the same reasons. The real fear by people whose Lives will be financially disrupted by these technologies, businesses turned upside down by advancements. I Believe we need to preach future excitement as well as the need for Learning. 

We are growing and going!

Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs starts at the bottom with basic Physiological needs and then moves up to Safety, then Social. I believe between Social and Esteem should be Learning. You cannot move up to Self-Actualization without Knowledge which comes from Learning - continued Learning. 

A Bob Dylan song, although written for a different time and reason, still works today; "The Times They Are A-Changin'". And change does not stop at any level except personal, and maybe management. 

I have been into some form of technology all my Life and I find today is even more exciting, not only because of what is happening, but with ones imagination we are going places even Albert Einstein and others may not have ever seen possible - well maybe Leonardo da Vinci had a vision.

Check out Futureloop and Peter Diamandis and Futureloop on Facebook