Sunday, 2 October 2016

Disasters, Disuse and Dishwasher Dins

The word of the week is beneficence.

Sept 26 – Life Reboot

In case you didn't know, Wil Wheaton's a cool guy.

Years ago, I ran across his posts on FBook, and they were... different than I'd expected for a guy who was the teen punching bag on Star Trek.

He's changed a lot since those awkward days, becoming an in-demand actor, writer and general g33k icon, mainly through the dint of his own hard work. However, as you can imagine, it can't be a journey of roses without thorns, and in that Wheaton's been more than open about his own challenges along that road.

Recently, he posted a 1-year 'report card' on rebooting his life, which when he looked at things 12 months in the past, didn't seem so rosy. It's honest, simple and insightful, and I recommend having a read if you're at all interested in how you might take a new gander at the life you're living and see if you can make it better. I picked up a few things of note, including this snippet:

In essence, the unexamined life is not one worth living, and Wheaton makes that quite apparent. I'm intrigued enough to take a few pointers

Sept 27 – Animated Indy!!!

Who doesn't love Indiana Jones?

The quintessential adventurer and all-around cool guy as played by Harrison Ford in the 1980s, Indiana is a timeless icon of storytelling and cinema both, firmly steeped in the adventure serials of the 1930s and 40s.

His popularity continues to this day, though admittedly there hasn't been a whole lot of tie-ins in terms of TV series atop the five movies to date... the last two of which weren't all that great, at least in my opinion.

What we really need is an animated series, and finally, we have one - sort of:

Wasn't that incredible? Created by artist Patrick Schoenmaker over the course of 5 years, he has crafted the opening sequence of what would be possibly be one of the best animated series of all time, should it come into being.

I can't believe that after all these decades, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg haven't licensed out the animation option for Indiana Jones, so I'm hopeful that this particular animated intro-homage will lead to renewed interest in an animated series, especially as there's nearly half 1 million views so far in only a few weeks on this video.

Cross your fingers for more animated Indiana soon!

Sept 28 – Tricking Tourists?

Who doesn't love... a good joke?

Humor can be quite subjective, but it's quite funny when people are familiar with the area they're visiting if they’re tourists.

A local artist in New York decided to play a prank on tourists visiting the Big Apple with a fake memorial to a disaster that didn't happen:

This sort of thing makes me smile, because it's harmless and for the most part those people who run into 'art' like this tend to pick up on the cues that it's probably not real… but human curiosity means they have to check it out all the same, just to be sure.

It's exactly the sort of curiosity that makes me want to write, to ask: what if?

Sept 29 –  TG-16 Anniversary!

27 years ago, when I was only 16, I made a big purchase.

It was the TurboGrafx-16, the then-cutting-edge videogame system of its time. Released on August 29, 1989, the TurboGrafx 16 was the North American version of the Japanese PC-Engine, which at the time was the most popular videogame system in that country, even beyond Sega and the NES.

I really enjoyed playing the TurboGrafx 16, as the games were( for the most part ) excellent, with great looking graphics and many of them could be played with more than two players - anyone still up for a five player game of BomberMan'93?

And it's worth a LOT now - hooray! Only 2 million TurboGrafx-16's were sold in North America( 8 million in Japan, where it was FAR more successful as the PC Engine )so it's rare enough that the value has risen steadily over the last 27 years. Check out what this auction went for recently, for a bunch of items that aren't nearly as good as what I'm planning on selling:

It's unfortunate that I don't play the game system much anymore( as in not at all in the last 3 years )as I have many fond memories of it. However, I'm quite tickled that its value has risen so high compared to other game systems that I might have ended up purchasing it hadn't been for my careful research and admittedly good choice that I made back then.

As well, in selling everything as a lot, I can ensure that another collector will be able to enjoy the system as I did for all the years that I owned it.

Sept 30 – McRobots?

The takeover has begun!

In case you haven't heard, McDonald's has been rolling out automated ordering terminals in all of its restaurants for a year now, so as to to decrease wait times and increase order accuracy. They’re recently arrived here in Victoria… and all for the stunning price of $200,000 per location - what???

That's a whole lot of money to replace staff with, but I imagine the cost benefit studies that were done indicated that there would be a large savings in the long term, not only for staff wages not paid but for the accuracy increase in orders overall. 

I'm a little ambivalent on this rollout: though admittedly I don't eat at McDonald's, I wonder if this is the first sign of cost-saving changes that are going to sweep many industries, or if it's just going to be one more option for consumers?

It's hard to say right now, as really these are just a new method of ordering instead of at the counter and not actual robotic workers. However, they do set a precedent and the fast food industry is well known for ensuring maximum efficiency to boost profit margins, so we'll see where this goes in another five years or so, especially with minimum wages rising at long last in many places.

Oct 1 – Step By Step

Progress continues...

Today was the first day I walked entirely without a cane, though I will admit it was just around my apartment building. I was careful to ensure that I went slowly and paid attention to every step I took for any signs of pain: none surfaced.

It's a good sign.

My other aches and pains that have resulted from the original injury still continue to plague me, though to a lesser degree each day: muscles that were compensating for the injury to my left foot continued to complain all on their own.

It's frustrating, but again I'm taking my time and paying attention to what hurts so as to give it a rest or otherwise treat the discomfort as best I can to bring myself back toward balance in a few more weeks - I hope. Being stuck at home when my thunder-footed upstairs neighbour decides to blunder around her apartment( like she did today )is no fun, even with noise-cancelling headphones.

I'm continuing to read through the massive amount of material that's in my Deskbound book, assimilating it and making notes for use so as to avoid this ever happening again. I can't wait to get back to just walking normally and exercising, to getting back on track towards being healthier than I am now.

One step at a time, for the new month.

Oct 2 – Sound business

My ears...

This afternoon, I spent a few hours with my girlfriend's poetry group at a local café, sitting in the back area away from the noise of the road and other distractions. It was a perfect spot for a quiet, contemplative discussion - or so I thought.

I hadn't counted on poorly thought-out acoustics making that difficult.

About 10 minutes after I sat down, there was a prolonged roaring noise from the front of the café. I winced a little and thought perhaps it was the staff making someone an espresso on an especially loud machine, which shouldn't happen all that often.

Fifteen minutes later, the roaring sounded again and lasted the same amount of time, about 2 minutes. Then again, 10 to 15 minutes later: that finally prompted me to stick my head around the corner to see what was making such a racket, echoing off the walls of the large open space in the café.

It was the dishwasher.

The staff used it continuously the entire afternoon, every 15 minutes or so, running it half or even quarter-full for each load.  By the time an hour had passed, I have taken the sticking my fingers in my ears every time, bitterly regretting not bringing any kind of earplugs with me, as I usually do to possibly-noisy places. But as I had been there before and formerly found it was a quiet oasis, I hadn’t bothered – big mistake.

After another half hour, I had to take a break and leave, walking around a few blocks the downtown to use my tension and anxiety, all brought on by a too-loud dishwasher that didn't seem to bother anyone else in the café with its raucous roaring din. There was nowhere to escape it either, as it was placed right in the middle of the open space - really stupid of the owners, if you ask me, not to consider that sort of noise as being bothersome to your paying customers:

If I do go back, it will be with my headphones and earplugs both, and I'll make sure the first thing I do when I get there is to let the staff know about their unintentional noise pollution: I'm sure they're quite used to it by now. It's kind of sad, as the background chatter and music wasn't that loud in comparison to the jet engine that was the dishwasher; it's too bad I didn't think to take a decibel reading.

Me? There's no way I could ever get use to that din. I'd pull it's plug immediately... because dishes washed by hand don't make nearly as much racket.

 I’ve got a short week coming up, thanks to my EDO on Friday, and another short week after that due to Thanksgiving, so I’, counting my blessings. I’ve got little on my plate aside from working and writing for the month of October, so I plan on making the most of things as I'm better-abled these last few days.