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.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

I’m old enough to remember when plane travel was a fun and exciting event. The flight was right up there with the best highlights of a vacation. It was a party in the sky, where you actually got dressed up. Frank Sinatra even sang about it: Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away.

In modern times, no one sings about flying, unless it’s the blues. Got any catchy lyrics about shedding shoes, belts, etc. … for a security check? How about being shoehorned into a seat between a couple of Sumo-wrestler-sized passengers? Not fun. But until this year, your risk of dying from a virulent pathogen on a plane was acceptably low.

I Miss Sherlock Holmes

As our COVID Summer turned into COVID Autumn, and with COVID Winter nearly upon us, I’m contemplating more shut-in activities. Sadly, binge-watching is a popular pastime brought to us by the pandemic, so now I’m contemplating more of that.

I’ve already watched the following series:

  • Highlander
  • Burn Notice
  • Alias
  • White Collar
  • Psych (partial)
  • Monk (partial)
  • Elementary

That last one is a special case, if you love Sherlock Holmes as I do. Elementary is a CBS show about a modern-day Holmes who has moved to New York City. The series ended in 2019, but it was rerun at least once on certain TV channels. I recorded about a half-dozen-a-week for later consumption.

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.

Pursuing Healthy Recreation in the Age of Covid

After the umpteenth instance of waiting for my gears to engage as I struggled uphill I decided that I couldn’t put off servicing my bike any longer. Biking outdoors is what I do for aerobic activity in these warm days of our Covid Summer. Since my neighborhood would put San Francisco to shame for hilly streets I can get a satisfactory workout in just 3.5 miles.

I Lived Again!

For the first time in months my wife and I bravely went out in public intending to recreate and grab a bite at a restaurant. After all it was July 4th and we had nothing better to do than to risk life and limb for some tempered social contact. We have already met with friends and relatives both at our house and at theirs but this was the first time in a long time we ventured out amongst a crowd of strangers.

The Joy of Reading Science Fiction

GalacticIn college I rediscovered recreational reading when I learned to buy books that appealed to me personally as opposed to my English teachers. The first book that kicked off this new found hobby came at the suggestion of a friend. It was War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. No wait, that’s not right. What was it? Oh yes, it was Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard.

Religion versus Star Trek’s Ancestor

A long time ago, Sci-Fi fans flocked to a big budget space opera movie called Forbidden Planet. It was in theatres in 1956. I had seen it a good many years later on TV and could see why some people credited it as the forebear to Star Trek. It’s set in a future where a united civilization of planets is patrolled by quasi-military space ships with alphanumeric designations. Unlike science fiction movies from that era it wasn’t an inferior ‘B’ movie monster fest. Even though it did have a monster, the premise was far deeper and the production values were superb thanks to a huge budget of two million dollars.