Archive for the ‘Social Commentary’ category

Blowing the Dust Off

January 15, 2013


Is an Email Address a Social Contract?

October 6, 2010

Seriously. If you know my email address, am I bound by some social custom to answer every email you send me? Within some particular time frame? Am I required to even read every email you send me?

A scenario:

  1. I have an email address.
  2. You send me an email
  3. I have, you know, a life. I don’t read your email for a couple days.
  4. You get annoyed at me for not answering, so you send another email: “Did you get my email?”
  5. I, still possessing a life, family and a job, still don’t read your email.
  6. You get downright pissed, and send me a screed as to my personal failings.
  7. Email checking finally bubbles to the top of my todo-list, and I read your first email. Possibly even respond to it.
  8. By the time I read your last email, I am baffled as to how my personal scheduling became offensive to you.

Been there? Me too.

Can You Program a VCR? Are You Sure?

September 30, 2010

Anybody over say, thirty years old, will remember when VCRs ruled the TV recording roost. They were magical machines, allowing you to record your favorite shows at will, and then re-watch them while mostly skipping the commercials. Truly cool. Life changing. Amazing.

But do you remember what your parents (or perhaps your grandparents) reaction was? Do you remember how hard it was to teach them how to use the remotes? How you couldn’t easily explain that there was a separate tuner in the VCR, allowing them to record one channel while watching another? Some of you laughed at their confusion. Some of you no doubt cried in frustration.

In the end we are all tech support for someone, I suppose.

But do you recall the single defining visual of “old people” and their VCR’s?

When Venti Stops Being Twenty

July 12, 2010

My caffeine of choice is chai, specifically a morning Venti chai from Starbucks. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I love me some chai first thing in the morning. Starbucks sizes are wel-known: Tall, Grande, Venti. “Venti is Twenty”, a 20 ounce coffee drink. Except when it is not.

Where is Google for Kids?

June 10, 2010

Let’s face it, Google’s real business rival is Apple — Apple’s app store, Apple’s iAd (why do I have to pay for the ad bandwidth, by the way?), Apple’s controlled computing enviroment. It is interesting to look at one area that Apple has leveraged for decades and wonder why Google isn’t going there.

Where’s Google for Kids?

Seriously, it is a big missed opportunity for Google.

How to Study: 4th Grade Math is a Slalom Race

March 25, 2010

Did you watch the Olympics? In our house everyone including the dog watched, as late as they could stay up. Number One Daughter, in the fourth grade, fought gamely to make it until the end every night. Every sport was a hit; snow-boarding, ski jumping, speed skating, and yes, figure skating.

We watched all the skiing. As you might expect, Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso were huge for my girls. While they enjoyed the wins, one of the more illuminating things they saw was Vonn’s problems in the slalom races, where she missed gates and fell out of the race three times.

How to Study: Taming The 1st Grade Reading Journal

March 19, 2010

Number Two Daughter is a young first grader, and as such she has been toiling away at the Reading Journal. For those of you whose schools don’t employ this (or if you haven’t spawned), the Reading Journal is not really all about the reading.

How To Study: 4th Grade and Social Studies

March 1, 2010

Number One Daughter is in the fourth grade, a trait she shares with lots of other ten year-olds in the world. After doing homework with her for four years I’ve come to some conclusions about how she learns, and useful methods for getting her to learn.

Please, Don’t Give Money To Haiti

January 21, 2010

Let me rephrase that: Don’t donate to a charity and restrict the funds to Haiti.

That sounds harsh, but it isn’t.