Thursday, June 29, 2023

Different Kind of Smart

I saw the meme to the right on social media (probably Facebook) and thought that I never assumed my grandparents weren't smart. They just knew different things than we do today. For example, I couldn't can food if I had to. But I'm sure my grandparents would have trouble figuring out a smartphone. They were a different kind of smart.

One hundred years ago there were things you had to know to survive that we, in the 21st century, have forgotten. We're going to be in trouble if civilization collapses. Another thing I've seen on Facebook: "I can't hunt for food, I don't even know where tacos live."

My grandfather had to deal with complicated farm equipment. I know how to change the oil on my car (I don't do it anymore) and I have done brake work on cars. But growing my own food would be beyond me. I'd have to learn quick, and without Google, if an EMP took out our electrical grid.

And that's the magic of books. I'd head for the library and look for books on planting and harvesting food. Unfortunately, all of the library's book catalogs have been computerized, so I'd be searching blindly. But I'd still be searching. 

(One problem is the library is about five miles from my house and I assume I couldn't drive there.)

Other things my grandparents knew that I don't include animal husbandry. Taking care of cows, horses, etc. Yes, there are people who do that today. If the EMP goes off, I think I'll try to make friends with some.

So never assume people weren't as smart in the past. It was just a different kind of smart.

How do you think you'll do if civilization collapses?  Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Clean Desktop, Cluttered Desk

 I have a strange duality to my willingness to put up with clutter. My physical desk has a six-inch-high pile of papers that need to be filed or thrown out. And it doesn't bother me... much. Mostly because I'm too lazy to do anything about it.

But when it comes to my computer desktop, I want it clean and neat. I currently have nine icons on it, most of them in one column on the right hand side. The rest of my desktop is blessedly clean. Some of those icons I don't need, I'm just used to them being there.

I don't know how people stand it to have their computer desktop cluttered like this:

That would drive me nuts. Put those files in a folder on your hard drive (organized, of course) and get them off your desktop.

At least that's what I do. 

I'm not sure why I want my computer all neat and organized, but my real life a cluttered mess doesn't bother me.

How do you keep your computer desktop? Is it clean or is it cluttered? And why? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Ten Months Out of Every Year

When I was in high school, I had a bit part in a local production of Damn Yankees. If you're not aware of that musical, it is about baseball. The most famous song from it is probably "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets." 

The first song, though, has the line (sung by women playing wives) "Six months out of every year..." talking about the baseball season.
Six months? More like ten! Spring training starts in February and the World Series is held in November. 

I really don't like baseball, either, especially on television. It is boring and the games are too long, and the season is way too long. The college football season (which I love) is only 5 months long and there's only one game per week, not five or six like in baseball. There's something like 162 games played by every team in baseball. Plus, for some reason, there is a lot of spitting in baseball, and that just grosses me out.

Now, the 2020 season was pretty good. It was cut short due to Covid. I thought it was about long enough.
How do you feel about the long baseball season and the boring games? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Every Four Years

Back when I was a kid growing up in Idaho, we didn't have a lot of technology. Our black and white television picked up two channels, a CBS affiliate and an NBC affiliate. If there was a popular show on ABC, one of them would air it (this is why I missed the first season of The Six-Million-Dollar Man).

Yes, we eventually got a color TV and two more channels (PBS and ABC). But that's it. Now I have a 250-channel package from Dish. But I've only put about 50 in my guide favorites. A lot of those 250 channels are shopping channels and pay-per-view movies. And still, there will be nothing worth watching on those fifty or so channels.

When I was a kid, I hated presidential election years. Why? A lot of my favorite shows got preempted for political news (the primaries), the party conventions, and of course election night coverage. All of that was on all four channels. (And I was pretty politically aware for a 12-year-old kid since my parents were active in politics.) And, on top of all that, one network would preempt my favorite shows for the winter and summer Olympics (this was years before they split them). And even if they weren't on a channel I wanted to watch, the rest of my family wanted to watch the Olympics. 

So I learned to hate presidential election years. Now I have 50ish channels to watch. But still, if there's something going on such as a presidential speech or a party convention, a lot of the channels will show it, leaving me with maybe 30 channels to watch. And they'll preempt Jeopardy! all the time.

How do you feel about your favorite shows being preempted? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

AFI 100 Years: 100 movies

As of a week ago, I have watched every movie on the American Film Institute's "100 years: 100 movies" list.  

There are a lot of great movies on that list. Some I love and have seen multiple times (e.g.: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner).

Some I know I've seen but I barely remember them (e.g.: Taxi Driver, Easy Rider, A Clockwork Orange).

 Some I didn't like much at all (e.g.: Nashville, Do the Right Thing, Sophie's Choice). 

Probably the best movies on the list are the two Godfather movies (and the only sequel listed).

The oldest movie on the list is Intolerance directed by D. W. Griffith. It was made in 1916. It was silent and two hours long. And some of the title cards were impossible to read. I didn't hate it but I didn't enjoy it, either. (You might recognize D. W. Griffith as the director of Birth of a Nation which, as I understand it, glorified the Ku Klux Klan and racism.)

Speaking of racism, I was shocked that two of the movies on the list, Yankee Doodle Dandy and Swing Time, had blackface performances in them. In Yankee Doodle Dandy, it was in historical context in a flashback to the late 1800s. But in Swing Time, Fred Astaire puts it on and performs in blackface. And that movie was made in 1936.

The most recent movie on the list is Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Which I love and have seen multiple times, mostly in the expanded edition.

I'm glad I did this. I saw a lot of interesting old movies (and some movies I really didn't want to see). But it was an education. When I started this journey, I'd seen all but 14 of the movies. Most were available on, but one (Yankee Doodle Dandy) I watched on Amazon Prime.

Have you seen all or most of these movies? What do you think of the list? Are there movies missing or shouldn't be on there? Let me know in the comments below.