Christmas is just a couple of days away and the hustle and bustle of the end of the year dash is almost over. Once Christmas is over we're into the week between, an almost non-week for those of us who have to work.

My schedule has been overbooked due to Microsoft ending support for Windows 7. We shall not mention Vista and 8.X and their failed promises. Most of the computers I am responsible for are updated, the remainder are scheduled and I'm on track to be legally covered on January 14th when 7 hits end of life. But things have been a little hectic. Not frantic, but there's been little time to rest and enjoy the holiday activities. Sorry if I've missed you these last few weeks. The Christmas cards never got sent, sorry. But rest assured you've all been in my thoughts.

So have a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Joyful Kwanzaa, and/or a Happy Festivus. And to all a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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12/23 '19 2 Comments
It sounds like you've got things well under control, surely due to your thoughful planning and general kick-assery. If you find you need any last-minute help updating computers, I'm happy to lend a hand, just ask! I upgraded mine from Windows 7 to 10 last week while I was on the road for work and I was shocked at how pleasant it was. Still getting used to the Windows X interface, but I don't hate it.

Merry Christmas and Happy Yule, my friend. I hope things settle down soon, and you can take a breath to enjoy the season for a moment or three.
Jill "xtingu" Knapp 12/24 '19edited
I use classic shell for my more cretaceous end users. My work computer is going last since I need a reliable machine if something goes kablooie. I've had a 10 tablet for a couple of years now. I built a new home computer that is also 10, back in May. Immediately after I stood up the new home computer my old one went belly up. So I've been on 10 for some months. It's interface is kludgey for administration and the program list begs for shortcuts on the desktop. But it is much more usable than 8.X.
Ray Conrad 12/24 '19
 

People ruin everything.

totally  would have worn, ironically, a shirt that said, "Save the Planet Eat the Children". But some political fringe case / mental illness sufferer made it go mainstream before I could wear it with a proud smirk.

I guess I'm going to have to go with "Remember, Napalm Sticks To Kids".

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10/4 '19 5 Comments
If I got my news right, turns out she was a Lyndon LaRouche plant (of all things).

If someone thought a mere white lady saying "Eat the babies" was gonna derail a gal who grew up in NYC, they were dumb. Regardless how anyone feels about AOC--I think she (AOC) came off as pretty concerned and compassionate, but certainly not derailed.

I was amused by the whole thing. :-)

"Save the Planet: Eat the babies" is pretty awesome. 😂
"Save the Planet: Eat the babies" has already been done. It's called "A Modest Proposal", you've probably heard of it ... :)
Jonathan Swift. Of course his proposal was only limited to the Irish. This latest iteration doesn't seem to have that restriction.
Ray Conrad 10/17 '19
Well, now we're all running out of potatoes ...
I'm not going to engage on the climate hysteria front. Mostly because I'm old enough to remember the predictions of massive famine by the 1990's, no summers in London by the 2000s and New York City underwater by 2019.

To her point, there is no resource ill that could not be resolved with less people on the planet. But western society has no comparative sins on that count. We might want to get China and India on board before we start the genocide plan.
Ray Conrad 10/22 '19
 
 

After my sister Hope had a harrowing and nearly life-ending medical episode lasting from Christmas to March, she resolved that the whole family should get together.  She elected to hold this at York Beach, Maine.

Now, York Beach is your typical beach town. Lots of overpriced goods, expensive restaurants, family amusements and speed traps. (15 MPH over the limit, $230. I'm not bitter, really.) Other than being located in Maine and the water being hypothermia-inducingly cold, you could plop it down in any state from New Hampshire to Florida and the only way you would be able to tell would be the accent.

This is the coast north of Short Sands. The Union Bluff Hotel has been in business since 1868. Real estate along the Maine coast is just as crazy as anywhere else along the coast.  Every building there probably goes for over a million.


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8/13 '19 22 Comments
Here's a view of the Atlantic from Short Sands. This actually is east of northeast since short sands is on the north side of Nubble Point, a peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic.
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
Short Sands looking east southeast toward Nubble Point. More million dollar houses.
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
An attempt to view the sunrise from Long Sands, south of Nubble Point. The back of my sister Ellen's head in the foreground. Our attempt was frustrated by "haze". I don't care what the National Weather Service says, that's fog.
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
Rats with wings, naval division.
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
A squadron of naval rats with wings. Short Sands again, looking east northeast at fog.
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19edited
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
The Union Bluff Hotel and north coast in fog.
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
IHNJH, IJLS "Nubble."
If you like 'Nubble', the name of the river separating Portsmouth, NH from Kittery, ME is 'Pisquataqua'.
Ray Conrad 8/14 '19
...which just HAS to be said with the Beavis Voice.
Pis-qua-TA-qua.

Are you threatening me?
Ray Conrad 8/14 '19
I appreciate what you mean re: 'drop it anywhere along the coast' but I've gotta say that I love Maine. In fact, you were only about 1.25 hours from my Grandfather's place.

I mean, where else can you go to find mosquitoes that eat dogs whole? (I'm hoping they - and the horse flies) were less of an issue there on the coast.)

I'm being snarky, but I do love it. The nature of the rocky coast, the pines, and just the general mojo are pretty good in my mind.

Hoping your vacay wasn't exclusively 'haze' and rats with wings! (And sorry to hear about the reason for the get together in the first place.)
With the offshore breeze the blood buzzards weren't too bad until after nightfall. Sitting around the fire pit I got 'et alive. And since New England is having an outbreak of Easter Equine Encephalitis, it's a bit concerning. Horseflies weren't an issue.

The weather was amazing, highs near 80, lows in the high 50s. The day I left thunderstorms rolled in, but hey, that's a concern for the people who stayed.
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
Easter equine encephalitis

She makes me see

Easter equine encephalitis

She's so good to me
Thomas Boutell 8/14 '19
EasterN, oops.
Ray Conrad 8/15 '19
You can take comfort in the fact that all those "million dollar homes" will be worth bupkiss once the oceans rise a little more.
Anne Mollo 8/13 '19
The ones on Nubble Point are about 40 feet above high tide, so, it's gonna take a while.
Ray Conrad 8/13 '19
 

Spare a thought or raise a glass to absent companions for all of the men who waded ashore or jumped into Normandy 75 years ago. A mere tithe of them are left to tell the stories of that day.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 

At the going down of the sun and in the morning 

We will remember them.

Lawrence Binyon, ​​​​​​​For the Fallen

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6/6 '19 2 Comments
I just posted about this myself. Feeling big feels today.
It's too immense to wrap your head around. All the deaths and all the years that have passed. These same men and women built the world I grew up in.
Ray Conrad 6/6 '19
 

Life in the entertianment world must be passing strange. The world is your stage at a certain level. And it's not uncommon to be an expatriate in another country, no matter what country you are from. It must say something very strong about America that at an advanced age, Billy Idol chose to become an American citizen. 

But I guess the look on his face says all it needs to say.

Photo courtesy of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Twitter feed.

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11/15 '18 4 Comments
It's a nice day to start again.
Brian Rapp 11/16 '18
What you did there? I see it.
Ray Conrad 11/16 '18
Made my day.
Karen Kuhl 11/17 '18
😍
Thomas Boutell 11/19 '18