Category Archives: Uncategorized

Maintaining stuff and software

When you are working on your ‘stuff’ – be it a computer, water heater, stove, lawn mower, etc. you generally need to be with that equipment to work on it. A cell phone or tablet is best to use to collect data on repairs for such equipment.

I have installed Google ‘Keep’  v4.0.411 on my Android. It’s a simple app for organizing notes.

When I worked on the gas water heater this am (dirty flame sensor), I added a note for the water heater with tools needed (t20 and 3/4″ wrench).

Kicked in the butt

The CIO of my company called me today to ask how things were going. I said they were going much better now. We discussed some of the recent events in our division. He went on to thank me for ‘kicking him in the butt’ on Saturday,  February 17th. I was taken a bit aback, but he insisted that he was grateful.

I guess somebody has to say what’s on their mind to the top of the management chain, to make things better.

Marvin McGraw

On December 4th, 2017, the world lost a great man. Marvin, or ‘Mac’, grew up in rural Alabama, to an Irish Father and Native American Mother.  He had 5 brothers and 3 sisters. It was a tough childhood with just the bare necessities. At an early age he quit school to help support the family.

What a privilege to have Mac as a father-in-law. He taught me that you can fix just about anything with whatever resources you have around you. He made me into a quite competent carpenter. He was generous to a fault, and almost always the optimist. Ornery is how he was often described, how he would chide  those that he loved. The outdoors was his place of comfort and beauty. It was rare that he was not familiar with a plant, tree, or animal in the wilds.

He will be greatly missed, his memories will live on.

Driverless Uber – Economic freedom for the masses?

We have seen in the last few years Uber and Uber style services take off. These services decentralize taxi; there is no dedicated taxi driver, nor taxi itself. Anyone (almost) can join up with Uber, working as much or as little as they want. One important innovation is the app on your smart phone. You can be walking down the street, and hail an Uber electronically. In urban areas, an Uber may pick you up within minutes.

Now imagine driverless, electric Ubers. Low maintenance, no range concerns (the Uber always comes fully charged), no driver needed. Plus the normal uber benefit of maximizing seat usage. This could really keep costs down and be extremely convenient. The stigma of the bus would be gone, as well as the high cost of the taxi.

In this environment, many that own cars in urban areas may desire to be car free. After housing, the cost of owning a car is typically the highest costs that a person typically endures. Without that cost, people would have much less stress, financially.

And this is not mentioning all the other benefits: Less traffic. Less noise. Less air pollution. Much less dependence on fossil fuels, with a pathway to fully renewable transportation systems. Roads would have less cars, and those care would share the road more efficiently, so much less roadways would be needed, which would greatly lower the costs to society, typically in the form of taxes. It would also have significant environmental benefits.