We’re Only Here for a Blink — But it’s a Looong Blink

I recently watched a great movie called Hidden Figures. It was my second viewing since it came out in 2017. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it or stream it.

The plot focuses on three little-known African American women who were key contributors to the success of the early space program.

The movie is equal measures inspirational and embarrassing. All three women possessed singular skills and were vital to the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Yet because of their ethnicity, they had to overcome unfair hurdles to make their contributions. Mathematician Katherine Johnson, for instance, had to make 40-minute round-trips to the “Colored” bathroom.

Guess Where This Is?

I’m going to describe a social-gathering fail. We’ve all seen it on TV, or read about it in various media. See if you can guess where this occurs:

People from various walks of life gather to finally relax with a few drinks after an arduous day. Some still wear dust on their clothes from their respective trails.

Settling in, a distinctive buzz fills the room as they mingle. Some enjoy music while others enjoy the conversation. Liquor starts to flow, and flirting begins with the prettiest female attendants. They dress provocatively, as is custom for the establishment.

From Whom Would You Accept A Lecture?

I’m an adult. And I have been for a while now, despite evidence that may suggest otherwise. This status eventually comes to us all, and it entails certain privileges. When you’re in the club, for example, you don’t have to

eat Brussels sprouts if you don’t want to

 

 

 

abide by anyone else’s rules, because you’re probably under your own roof

 

 

be home on time. You can stay out until 10, or maybe even 11 pm.

 

 

 

But here’s the really cool thing:

Beware of Pandemic House Projects

I’ve lived in my home since 1990. During that time the house has evolved. Some of it happened organically since things wear out and need to be replaced. This can include roofs, boilers, well pumps etc… And I’m okay with that. Where I resist change though is updating for the sake of the latest styles or fads.

For me being trendy and up to date interests me about as much as news of another royal baby. That’s not at all. One time, when I actually purchased a fashionable brand item, it didn’t end well. Surprisingly, family and friends implored me to get rid of it. But, to be fair, people had stopped wearing their Members Only jackets about twenty years before. My counterargument was that there was still plenty of wear left in it. It was great for those shoulder seasons.

Can You Imagine Being Like Tom Brady?

In the distant future, archaeologists and divers will swim to the bottom of the Hillsborough River in Tampa, Florida in search of the fabled Super Bowl LV Vince Lombardi Trophy. They will have heard whispered rumors that the coveted artifact lay there because of some fumble-fingered human tossing it (almost) from one boat to the other. And they’d be wrong.

A prime reason they’d be wrong is that it was tossed by Tom Brady, who has won 7 Super Bowls and 5 Super Bowl MVP awards (and counting).

What Was Your Childhood Dream Job?

Remember the question what do you want to be when you grow up?

For boys, it was typically a fireman, policeman, astronaut, or maybe even a cowboy. All of those were worthy callings.

But did anyone list international jewel thief? I’m sort of embarrassed to admit that it was high on my list.

I’d seen my share of heist movies at that time, and there was something thrilling about cutting glass and disabling an alarm system to gain entry. Or cracking a safe before guards made their rounds. Or dangling from a high ceiling to steal priceless valuables in some museum. I’d see these men attempting these daring exploits, and I thought: cool!

G** D*** Ads

Oh, this modern age. You can’t do anything without being held hostage to an advertisement.

Back in the day, when there were just three TV stations, you would watch your favorite hour-long dramas and get more than 50 minutes of actual show. At that time, one’s “free TV” entertainment was solely funded by commercials. The only reason a show was on was to get you to watch the commercials and thus be inspired to part with your hard-earned cash for a detergent that was Stronger Than Dirt!

 

 

 

 

 

Loch Ness Syndrome

I first became aware of the Loch Ness Monster legend back in the mid-Sixties. Like most boys my age at that time, I was consumed with the possibility that there really was such a creature. It made the world a much-more-fascinating place than the dull existence I perceived back then. Now I know that the world isn’t dull — but let’s talk about the legend as an exercise in human psychology.

In truth, I wanted to believe in the Monster. If someone tried to make a rational counterargument, they weren’t starting with a totally open mind. I was ready to disbelieve any fact or set of data that might’ve disabused me of this intriguing mystery. Indeed, I thought I knew exactly what was haunting the lake.

Setting Up A New Phone? Not So Fast!

Those of you who are lucky enough to work from home recognize it as a mixed blessing. It has its upside, but there are a few frustrations too. Networking and communications technology can contribute to those frustrations.

My wife recently admitted needing a new phone. She had been using an iPhone 6 since forever, and it was starting to show its age. It would mute itself at awkward times during her business calls, and it had long since given up the ghost on Bluetooth connectivity in her car.

My Publishing Adventure

When I was busily engaged managing my publishing recruiting business, I wrote four novels in my spare time. They took me a while, because I had an essential day job; but it was fun. I even enjoyed the editing. But in two ways, it was also a challenge.

An engineering degree does not prepare one for the rigors of the publishing world — especially if there are a lot of words involved. And the marketing of a novel isn’t for the faint of heart.