Showing 1 - 10 of 295 posts found matching keyword: walter
Sunday 12 July 2020
I finally decided to throw in the towel on my current keyboard. I've never liked it. It's a ergonomic Microsoft Sculpt. While the layout is fine and the sensation of typing is pleasant enough (very reminiscent of a quality laptop keyboard), I can no longer tolerate the latency of the wireless connection. It often takes two presses of a key before it realizes I am typing, which can make both blogging and coding really, really frustrating.
Finally fed up, I decided to replace it with another ergonomic keyboard. I've been using the non-traditional keyboards for over a decade and a half, and I would rather not go back to a standard keyboard if possible. However, it was only after I decided on and ordered a wired Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard LXM-00001 that I realized I've never actually been fully satisfied with a Microsoft brand keyboard.
My previous keyboard was the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. It was a monster. I mean the thing was huge. It had so many media and macro buttons that I never used plus a built-in scroll bar. All those superfluous buttons only got in the way. (I'm not especially dexterous. I'm not even not-especially dexterous. Bulls in china shops have better fine motor control than I do.) The 4000 and I never really got along, and the bulky size is what prompted me to by the slimmer Sculpt. At least it was wired.
Prior to the 4000 was the Microsoft Comfort Curve 3000. (Why isn't the model I just ordered a 6000? I guess Microsoft was wary of eventually creating a 9000, a model number best avoided unless you're a huge fan of robicide and daisies.) Unlike the 4000, the 3000 and I got along well enough for a while. I used it for about 4 years, and wore many of the letters off. However, the tactile experience was never great — the keys always felt cheap and loose — and I think it was a lack of funds more than anything else that kept the two of us together for so long.
So why after years of disappointment with Microsoft keyboards did I order another instead of choosing a different brand? I can't answer that question. My first guess would be brain damage. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me four times in a row... maybe it's time for the artificial intelligence to make the decisions for me.
(Footnote: I've had the new keyboard for 24 hours now, and so far so good. Firm buttons and quiet. I'm actually quite pleased with it. Maybe this is why I keep choosing Microsoft: they come out of the box so nice. I'm sure everything will be fine — as long as they don't push any updates to it.)
Wednesday 24 June 2020
On May 29, I decided I couldn't put off buying a new chair for my computer desk any longer. I'd broken the wooden chair I'd been using. The last two wooden chairs, I'd used, in fact. What can I say? I sit a lot.
Research was done online. (You may have heard that there's a pandemic on, and I didn't want to visit any showroom and sit in potentially infected chairs.) The purchase was done online, too. I ultimately placed a $200 order via Amazon.com. The seller — who was not Amazon because Amazon doesn't actually sell anything itself anymore — said I should expect it between June 8 and June 11. It did not arrive by June 8. It did not arrive by June 11, either.
On June 12, I finally looked into the FedEx shipping system to discover that the package had arrived in their Georgia distribution center on June 4. It must have liked it there, because it didn't move again.
On June 14, I called FedEx, and the customer service representative took one look at his computer screen and told me that "anything that hasn't moved in that long we consider a lost package." But he couldn't help me find it. Instead, he recommended that I get in touch with the shipper so that the shipper could file a claim. The shipper told me they'd get back to me once they'd looked into it.
On June 18, no one had gotten back to me, but Amazon.com's algorithms finally allowed me to request a refund on an undelivered product. So I did.
On June 20, I got my refund. Now I have my money back, but I'm still sitting in a broken chair. Since Mom had already planned an outing to Costco on June 24, I figured I'd bring home whatever they had available. At this point, I'm willing to sit on just about anything.
On June 24, when I woke up, an email was waiting for me from FedEx. They say the chair had been found and would be delivered to my house. Hooray! I was finally going to get the chair I ordered. I don't know why they were sending it to me after all this time, especially if they had already given money back to the seller, but if it was going to show up at last, I figured I'd accept it and settle up with the seller later. So I went to Costco and didn't buy a chair.
And when I got home, I got an email from FedEx saying that delivery had been delayed. It'll be there on June 25 now, they promise.
That's what I get. I'm going back to Costco tomorrow, and I'm coming home with a chair. If FedEx delivers another, so be it. As the old adage tells us: Two chairs are better than none.
On June 25, the chair was delivered before I could get to Costco. The box was in very bad shape, but the contents seemed well enough. So I assembled it and didn't buy a chair from Costco. But since the chair was finally delivered, I decided that I return my refunded payment to the seller. That proved to be another ordeal.
Long story short, as of July 2, the seller is paid (somewhat slightly less than the original amount), and I have a chair. The new moral here is that patience is a virtue, even when it can be hard to stand for.
Friday 22 May 2020
My Memorial/Independence Day yard art:
And a closer image from his inside stand (each painting so far has it's own foot so that it can be displayed in the house between visits to the yard):
I created Captain America about two feet taller than Santa Claus because he's someone everyone should look up to. (Santa Claus, on the other hand, is a dirty socialist.)
Happy Memorial Day!
Saturday 16 May 2020
While we're dealing with the double whammy of toilet paper and beef shortages, it's important to remember that there are still some silver linings to our current situation. For example:
Normally preferring to keep no more than $10 worth in at a time, I fully fill up the gas tank in my Jeep less often than once every half-a-dozen blue moons. But market-crash induced gas prices have been so good lately, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
What disaster will lead to the Jeep's next full tank? I guess we'll find out when we get there.
Thursday 14 May 2020
Tua Tagovailoa officially signed with the Dolphins on Monday, and now his number 1 jersey is the league's best selling. It's also the second best. For some reason, fans prefer the aqua away jersey over the white home jersey. I'm guessing that's because very, very few people actually watch the Dolphins when they play at home.
Dol-fans are understandably excited about the new prospect. Why shouldn't they be? He hasn't played a snap yet and he already has to be better than a dozen of the players who have actually lined up under center for the Fins since that aforementioned Marino guy, hallowed by thy name.
Amusing side note: Tua selected the number 1 because his college number, 13, has been retired by the Dolphins for Dan Marino, saints be praised. For the record, I happen to have two Marino jerseys in my closet, one home and one away.
A word of caution: this time last year, the best selling jersey belonged to Baker Mayfield. The year before that, it was Carson Wentz and before that, James Conner. Two of those three have injury issues, and the other is stuck on the perennially worst team in the NFL. In other words, Tua is joining a very questionable group whose performance has never lived up to the hype.
Which is not to say that I'm off the Tua bandwagon. I'm just advising we pump the brakes a little. The Dolphins didn't get to the bottom of the heap by being a great team. So there's still a ways to climb before they get the top of the heap. Win a Super Bowl, guys, and maybe then I'll think about buying some of your merchandise again. In all likelihood, it will be a third Dan Marino jersey, blessed be the fruit of thy loom.
Monday 4 May 2020
As I type this, the United States has 1.188 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 68,276 deaths. More Americans have already died in the past 2 months from COVID-19 than died in the entire Vietnam War. And it's not over yet. By the time you read this, those numbers will be worse.
A quick computation of those figures reveals a current mortality rate of nearly 6%. If you've been paying attention (what else have you got to do?), you may remember that back at the beginning of March, the World Health Organization was estimating a 3.4% mortality rate — an estimate our wise president chose to call "a false number" in a live television interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News. He objected to the WHO number not because it was too low, but because it was much, much to high. "I would say the number is way under one percent," said the president.
(Footnote for future historians: That comment was made on March 4. A month later, April 14, Trump withdrew funding to the WHO claiming that they failed to report the true danger of the virus back in January. Quote: "The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain that and share information in a timely and transparent fashion." By that logic, I guess we should stop funding the current American president, too.)
Testing continues to be a problem, so we can't really be sure that the 1,188,122 number I referenced above is the true extent of the contamination. If we assume that the actual mortality rate is closer to 3.4% previously observed in other countries, it would mean that over 2 million Americans currently have or have had the disease. That's over a million hidden, untreated, pandemic-spreading cases. Sure seems like someone should be thinking twice about opening those shopping malls, Governor Kemp.
Also unreported in all those grim details is another victim of COVID-19. Specifically, I'm talking about my flattop.
I haven't seen a barber in over a decade, but in an act of solidarity (and maybe a little laziness), I decided to go ahead and trim my hair down to the scalp. Does it make me look more bald or less?
These days, the fact that I'm alive and well enough to worry about such things feels like an accomplishment.
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Saturday 18 April 2020
I've been wondering how I will remember these dark days when we come out the other side. Travel restrictions, face masks, food shortages.... Frankly, we probably should have experienced it before now. America has been continuously at war with someone or other since 2001, and the public hasn't experienced any hardships like what happened in previous wars. Would we still be in Afghanistan if Americans had to share rolls of toilet paper in 2002?
Waaaaay back in the first week of March, when it became clear to everyone that this Covid-19 thing was going to be a real problem for neo-isolationist America, I rather naively believed that if everyone hunkered down, it would all blow over within two months. What a sucker I was for assuming everyone in the country was taking the plague very, very seriously. Like, prison solitary confinement seriously. However, I failed to take into account that no one can tell an American that they can't enjoy a Big Mac while test-firing their AR-15 inside the church of their choice. 'Merica!
It's now quite obvious that this thing isn't going to be over any time soon. I'm no president, but even I recognize that we can't start to relax restrictions until we know actually who has and who can spread the disease. Two months in, we've managed to test less than one percent of the country. At the current pace, it will take another sixteen years to test the rest. That speed will inevitably accelerate, but by any metric, we're still many months away from where we need to be for resuming what used to pass as "business as usual."
Personally, I'm still terrified that I'll catch the disease and give it to my family. Last month, I broke my piggy bank to renew my UGA football season tickets, but I cannot imagine that I'd attend any of those games if something doesn't drastically change in the next five months. Given the pace of progress, I'm beginning to suspect those games won't be played at all, at least not with fans in the stadium. I don't know what I'll do without football — specifically college football, that is. If the NFL doesn't play this fall, it may be a good excuse for me to give it up. It's not like the Dolphins have been all that entertaining over the past two decades.
I don't have much of a reputation for "staying positive," but I'm trying. Fewer cars on the road will help with global warming. Families will have time together they otherwise never would have experienced. People can explore new hobbies. For example, I'm now delivering what groceries I can find to my father, who is spending his time writing Trump fan fiction. Such is life in 2020.
Tuesday 7 April 2020
I just had a pollen-induced nose bleed that consumed an inordinate amount of my toilet paper supply. Tick the Doomsday Clock one second closer to midnight.
Saturday 4 April 2020
So, when I took down my Santa Claus decoration for Christmas, I left two anchoring poles embedded in the front yard. Rather than let me pull them out, Mother insisted that I create more decorations for other holidays.
Turns out, I've got nothing else to do.
Introducing my Easter Bunny:
Here's another beside the front door for better scale.
I'm already working on the next piece. (I had to brave a trip to Michael's, where only 10 customers are allowed inside at a time, to pick up some blue paint.) I'll show it off when I get closer to July.
Saturday 28 March 2020
Plague Sequestration Update, Stardate 97840.49:
I finally had to replace the roll of toilet paper in my bathroom. That was the first time I had to do that since this COVID-19 sequestration began.
I still have 9 rolls in the closet. By my reckoning, I won't need to plan a heist from my local McDonald's men's room until the first week of August.
The calendar has been marked.