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Remembrance

My first name comes from Hjalmer Lindberg.

Had he lived, he would have been a great uncle.

In World War II, he fought in the Battle of the Bulge with the 94th infantry. He was a sniper who was killed by another.

The story I was told was that first, Hjalmer’s helmet was shot off. This revealed the position of the German sniper. Hjalmer quickly pivoted to return fire, but the German was faster. Hjalmer was shot in the head.

Many details are not known to me. A thousand questions have occurred to me after it’s too late to ask.

Hjalmer was very good friends in the infantry with Erich Gerloff. They had such a strong bond that they made a pact. Should one survive the other, the survivor would travel to meet the other’s family.

Erich’s own life had been dramatic at points. He had been born in Germany, and had crossed the Atlantic three times with his family to escape economic hardship.

He was captured at the Battle of the Bulge and was kept briefly at a stalag. He was on a death march when, because he spoke German well enough, German soldiers told him to get out of the line. They thought he was a spy or agent and were afraid of punishment should he be put to death at their hands.

Erich survived the war, rising in rank through battlefield promotions, assuming I’ve understood the details at all.

He also honored his pact with his friend. He travelled from New York to Wisconsin to visit the Lindbergh family in Wisconsin and proposed to one of Hjalmer’s sisters within a few days.

They married and had a family. Their eldest, a son, they named for Hjalmer, who they had both lost.

That man, the son, was on a tour of duty in Vietnam, when his sister, my mother, was pregnant with me. And she wanted her brother to know she loved him.

Hjalmer is my first name. Erich is my middle name.

Remembering Hjalmer Lindberg and Erich Gerloff, today.

Heard Take Me Home on satellite radio earlier today. Because I owned No Jacket Required, naturally, Sussudio is now an ear worm.

Phil Collins, y’all!

You’re welcome.

Apple Beta program participation disadvantage I haven’t seen mentioned before: media-sharing requires signing out and back in, or de-authorizing and re-authorizing—after applying each update. On AppleTV this means not being able to connect to my server or access iTunes Match

Second dose acquired.

The Vaccination, Part II: Return to House Pfizer

The Voice seasons seem to move really fast now. I don’t feel like I get to know the contestants and their personalities like we used to

Have lost a cousin to COVID today. It’s still killing people.

Be careful, everyone.

My work day started with my awesome new Logi MX KEYS keyboard not Bluetoothing to anything, anywhere.

I was worried I owned a nicely-weighted, space gray brick.

It’s rechargeable and therefore sealed. The power switch didn’t change anything. None of the key presses in the Quick Start guide changed its behavior. None of the forum posts addressed what I was seeing. So I went rogue. After a lot of searching for any mention of what I was seeing, I began experimenting with long key presses and multiple key combinations and finally got to where I could pair the keyboard to my Mac again.

I was able to hold the fn and F13 keys to get it into pairing mode for device 1. Then, on my MacBook, I was able to use the Bluetooth preferences in the System Settings application and subsequently the Logi Options app saw it again, as well.

Phew.

When you don’t use the filter basket, the coffee maker doesn’t behave the same way.

I’m left astonished with wonder at how I failed to notice this while I did everything else in anticipatory preparation.

After cleaning up, I’m making a second attempt at coffee, now.

Also: Coffee is hot. Because I have no patience, my thumb will continue to remind me of several failures throughout the day.

The end result is I have cleaned my coffee maker and I will shortly be sipping hot, delicious coffee.

Putting some thoughts here, while they are on my mind:

Political parties and news organizations love to pretend that an election is an ideological mandate. When the candidate you vote for wins, it’s fun to feel that way.

I think an election is simpler, it’s a snapshot in time, and it’s very much about who is on the ballot. Sometimes a vote is yes to a candidate, to a party or to a platform, but sometimes a vote is against a specific person. I suspect that the 2016 and 2020 elections reflect this in America more than Americans traditionally would admit.

I think the political parties are their own machines, representing their own self-preservation and the agendas of large donors. As such, neither party in the U.S.A. would ever change anything fundamentally.

I don’t think that political parties represent a mandate any more than an election does.

I think political parties aren’t representative of us, of We The People, because the parties generally and the candidates specifically are beholden to money.

I think Ranked Choice Voting is worth a try and might better represent overall preferences, or show where more of us actually agree. We really need to pay attention to what we have in common and fight hard for that.

I think it’s really hard to step outside of a bubble I have willingly been inside of for decades.

I used to wonder why George Carlin seemed so angry toward the end of his career. I’m starting to understand.

I’m old because I remember MTV playing music video always, and I’m up early enough to watch AMTV

Unspoken Role of Technical Support: Absorb and correct for damage created by other companies

Example: large ticket volume this week created by issues stemming from a large operating system vendor’s critical updates. Some laptops are becoming unbootable and some folks are getting bluescreens simply from printing. This is all fixable, but fixes take time. None of this is a result of any decision made by anyone employed by my company.

My Semi-Annual Plea: Please stop the madness with the clock shifting. Pick one and run with it.

Please.

The coffee isn’t working today.

Dishwasher replaced today. So grateful, I’m running my third load.

This probably opens me up to jokes. So be it.

The rate at which I am losing elders in my family is alarming. I’ve made it into my fifties before feeling that way, for which I count myself fortunate. But I’m getting closer to the front of the line and it is sobering.

Blast from the past: it was fun to hear music from The 5th Dimension on CBS Sunday Morning. I was born after they were already popular, but I heard a lot of their songs before I know it was them.

Joined Twitter on this day in 2008. In those days we talked about ambient connectivity and hashtags were just becoming a thing.

Bluejays and cardinals at the feeder. They are lovely in the morning sun

From an email subscription today:

So be good to each other. Be humble and kind. Be generous. If you fight for anything, fight for justice and fairness. That’s what we were put here for.

This is what I believe.

Listening to a lot of Echodrone, today. Bought two albums and am excited for a new release next month.

Music saves.

As I transitioned the SIM in my phone from Sprint to T-Mobile, today, I learned I’ve been a Sprint customer for 21 years. I doubt that counts for much to the business, but I wish it carried some weight.

I have a non-neurotypical daughter in a school system that has doubled-down on the use of law enforcement, restraint, and seclusion to control the student population. I’m not okay with this policy and we are opting out of the traditional school system after this school year.

When the wind makes it feel colder than it is… 15 degrees Fahrenheit

My biggest professional challenge is to adjust my thinking from a tactically-thinking individual to a more strategically-thinking manager. This is something I want to do well. Is there a support group for that? Is it called Everyone? Do they meet at the drinking-establishment?

Someone at work today made a clever reference to Whole Lotta Love, comparing project status to the middle section of the song.

So naturally, I have listened to Led Zeppelin II in it’s entirety. Working through Mothership as I write this.

It doesn’t make sense for the left hand to punch the right hand, nor for the right leg to kick the left. We are part of the same body. We work better together.

Listening to Wolfmother today.

They are a retro-looking blend of 70’s hard-rock, prog-rock and a little punk-rock. But with the vocal strength and musicianship to back it up. Not to mention cowbell and distorted organ.

I wish I could say I have been listening to them for a long time, but they came to me via a compilation from a friend. Today, I have been mining Apple Music for their back catalog.

“And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap…”

#MischiefManaged

Half-day at work, then cleared the drive of snow. Grateful for snow throwers. Husqvarna has been good to me.

As much as I’m grateful to Jardiance advertisements for bringing the skin of my perineum to mind, I did mild research into why they mention it. And stopped quickly.

I will say it again: I wish I could update AppleTVs via the Home app in the same way that I can update my HomePods.

But I will add: Quite honestly, it seems like the Home app would be a great place to start with personal/family device management

Saturday: Living room re-arranged
Sunday: Tree selected and placed
Monday: Cranberry and popcorn garlands strung
Tuesday: Garlands, lights and ornaments hung

Soundtrack: Mannheim Steamroller

Hold the Big Sur, and Unexpected Big Sur

Deployed a new MacBook Air at work and asked my client to stay On 10.15.7 until 11.1 is released. I was hoping to avoid not-yet-known compatibility risks. I had only used a test machine for 90 minutes at work by that point.

Another client wanting to stay on top of security updates demonstrated the thing I feared. Printing to a Canon workgroup printer from Big Sur did not work well. Canon’s American web site did not have macOS 15 drivers, which was not shocking. Big Sur did not want packages built for earlier versions of the OS, which was not helpful and quickly closed an avenue of inquiry.

Strangely, yet fortunately, Google lead me to Canon’s Singapore Web presence. Their support pages recognized Big Sur and provided working drivers. This was very unexpected but very helpful. I was really glad because suggesting the black-and-white-only Generic PCL drivers as a work-around would not have worked well for me in that specific case.

My company has a tiny number of Macs. Given our embrace of the Office365 stack, I can’t imagine there will be too many difficulties. I did not run the Big Sur beta on work equipment because in the past that prevented me from accessing my Parallels VM. Last night I was able to update my work MacBook Pro and 24-hours later I have no regrets

Territories

Spent some time this morning watching shows about politics and shows about the consequences of political conflict.

Any time we think of groups of people that include friends, neighbors and family as an enemy, I wonder if we aren’t then the problem. I’m including myself, here.

I do hereby disavow political parties. I will continue to study and learn. I will be performing my civic duty this fall to the best of my ability.

I’m neither happy nor hopeful.

The whole wide world
An endless universe
Yet we keep looking through
The eyeglass in reverse
Don’t feed the people
But we feed the machines
Can’t really feel
What international means
In different circles
We keep holding our ground
Indifferent circles
We keep spinning round and round

—Lyric by Rush

“The Greeks had no original sin and no eschatology because they saw nothing inherently wrong with the world in the first place.”

Things you find reading papers from Academia for the joy of it

Photo Sharing Is/Is Not Simple

For all of the talk of ecosystems, it was easier to share from my Apple Photos library to Micro.blog and to Instagram from my iPhone. Not my iPad, for which there is no native Instagram app, and for which the work-alikes did not allow multiple selections. So, while my iPhone was charging, I downloaded the iPhone app to my iPad, did the pixel doubling so I could type, and did the work that way.

There are probably more ways to do this, and really I wanted to do it elegantly from my MacBook Air, however I didn’t perceive a faster method than exporting and uploading, and I chose not to do that.

I feel that this might be a driver behind Catayst apps and unifying the underlying silicon.

Made it all the way through. It seems like this iteration is less “white” or “bright” than the first public beta. UI still feels fresh but more familiar.

My progress bar has stopped moving but my Mac has continued to download additional data #beta #BigSur #macOS

Having dietary concerns is a minefield. I dangerously assumed a special order I made for home delivery was correct. But the worst part is that I didn’t confirm and I ate it.

#celiac

Just dumped out a bunch of water at my desk. It doesn’t happen often, but every time it does I’m frustrated that I’m not more cautious, that I’m not using lids.

Water bottles are kinda tippy.

Lids are frustrating.

And around we go.

It’s here! Got myself a birthday present from @schoolstoic

Is it just me with the disappointment that now even our TV screens must be rebooted?

Just was emailed directly about the Cyph service. Does anyone have experience with it? It was proposed to me as an alternative to Keybase, which is now under new ownership.

Deeply grateful for the series of events that helped the human race to discover that menthol stops the coughing. Also grateful to the candy makers who experimented with flavors like menthol. The art of the lemon drop is the art of the cough drop. I can sleep and so can my family.

Poring over blood test results this afternoon. I got the raw data and terse summary in today’s mail.

I found that Lab Tests Online has a Tests Index that is a great tool for translating acronyms or medical terms into terms I understand.

Is Memorial Listening a thing?

I think a bunch of old guys like me are thinking about Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, The Spirit of the Radio and similar topics whilst playing giant drum kits in our heads.

I have been using Foursquare (now Swarm) for location check-ins for 10 years, now. I’m not consistent with lots of technology tools, but this one has stuck.

It’s fun to look back at where I have been. When I look at a sequence of check-ins, remembering where and why, it helps me to reconstruct a day. It’s a fun tool that has helped me personally and professionally.

Starting 2020 with extra sleep and lots of coffee.

This bodes well. :)

That feeling when I had left the edit window open but forgot what I had intended to write

One last re-watch of The Polar Express before… Mama and Poppa perform elven magic

Today marks the first day I was asked if I was eligible for a Senior Discount

APi Group. Oh, just wrapping up rework on an old ticket. Lots of time today reporting. Team stats, team meeting. Sharing updated knowledge articles…

Today is Strange Frozen Precipitation Day in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. #mnwx

I re-watched Johnny Mnemonic, last night, for nostalgic reasons… it is still a bad action film with a sci-fi trappings. Too much Hollywood and not enough Bill Gibson…

So much for the long tail? Wanted to buy Staring at the Sea from iTunes, today but it’s not there. It was my first exposure to The Cure because I’m not that cool.

I had always imagined that fatherhood would be instructive. I had no way to know how profound it might be.

My favorite Eddie Money song was Think I’m in Love from his 1982 album No Control

I feel dumb. It took me too long to locate the song-rating functionality in the iOS 13 beta. I had thought Apple was removing it. I spent lots of time mentally architecting a solution that proved to be completely unnecessary.

Heat lightning. Storm in video is between Northfield and Redwing, Minnesota. Visible from Conway neighborhood in St. Paul. 83% humidity on a hot Summer night. Jupiter presiding.

Hogwarts Clock Tower, phase four. Including Professor Moody’s office

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Hogwarts Clock Tower phase two including bath and Dumbledore’s office

Assembly complete, including concessions (note chocolate frog) and dementor.

TIL: I need a work light and a magnifying glass. For LEGO

The more I think about writing, the more difficult the act itself seems to become.

It has been a long time, Florida. Thanks for being kind.

Haikus came up in Conversation, so I smiled. I miss making art.

That feeling when you go to the break room, there’s nobody to wait for, the coffee carafe is full, and you make no spills

Fragility Base

I watched two movies about the Apollo Space Program this weekend.

The experience is very complex for me, emotionally. The experience of writing this post is an attempt to define what it means.

I had read recently about a film that was making its way through festivals and Friday I tried to figure out what it was called. But I might be wrong about its provenance. And while I couldn’t remember a title or find what I thought I was looking for, I did find some documentaries available online which seemed to cover similar ground.

The first documentary is called For All Mankind. It was released in 1989, several years after the Challenger disaster.

It was about all of the lunar missions, though the footage and narration was respective to the individual missions.

I found myself full of the same wonder today as I have always had.

In my lifetime, there has always been a space program. For a while, while I was younger, I believed there would be an opportunity for me to at least get to orbit. After all, at Christmastime in my first year of life, we orbited the moon. And not long after that, mission after mission got us to the surface of the moon itself.

When the Shuttle program was announced, I felt it was a natural progression. Of course we were going to have space planes. Of course we were going to find ways to make space travel easier and less expensive.

I remember well in my senior year of high school when Challenger failed. I felt disbelief and horror. My Chemistry teacher had submitted ideas for experiments to be carried aloft on that flight. One of my classmates figured out early on that an easy way to derail his lectures was to ask about the space program and his chances. I loved it. My chemistry teacher did, too.

I checked out books from the school library full of illustrations and speculations about what space craft might look like. What would space stations be used for? Would we build colonies in space? Could we survive on other planets?

It seemed, once, like there might have been an imperative. So many books and TV series and movies that I consumed pointed up to the sky and out of the solar system. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Six-Million Dollar Man, Star Trek, Space 1999, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, Star Wars, Cosmos, Alien, Cosmos, even Blade Runner, all showed me this was not only possible but normal.

And so, the footage re-assembled in For All Mankind returned the feeling of wonder and the sense of the imperative to me. And I have missed that. As much as the movie is about the missions, it also is a fun window into a brief time and place.

The second film I found is In the Shadow of the Moon. This is a much different film. While it is about the same events in the Apollo missions, the context and the subject is the recollection of the experience by many of the surviving astronauts. How they felt about their roles and what they remembered about their thoughts as events transpired.

I learned that the astronauts themselves were involved in the design of the craft they flew. I learned that astronauts were on the ground working as part of mission control as the missions were in progress.

And I learned the astronauts were taken by the perception of people around the world that we all were a part of the missions, that the success of the missions belongs to all of humanity. They have been greeted for the rest of their lives not with “You did it!” but rather with “We did it!”

I was profoundly struck by the final few minutes when clearly the astronauts were asked how they were affected, and how their perspective has changed. I found it deeply moving and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone considering watching it.

I’d definitely re-watch either film. For me it was very bittersweet. I hope someday we can stop poking at each other for sport. I hope someday we can take stock of the amazing gifts we have and consider the what we can leave behind for those generations we will never know.

POSTSCRIPT

The movie I had read about is called Apollo 11. It’s going to be released first in IMAX, then in traditional theatres shortly thereafter.

It’s fun to live in the future. I added a page to my blog and filled it full of thoughts from my head with a device small enough to fit in my hand–and with no cabling. It still feels like magic, even speaking as an old techy.

Installed iTunes on my Kindle. Am tending now toward Apple-ification…

My favored team was bested in the sportsball match this evening.

Again I must record that I have not learned to write music, so I cannot share what I hear. Must fix. Must fix.