It took a while, after a long hard winter, but Spring finally arrived at the end of April. For a while, it looked like we weren’t going to be able to get out to the field on time, and even if we did manage to get out there, getting on the lakes would require an icebreaker. Fortunately, the ice broke up during the third week of April, and there were some warmer temperatures to help things dry out. As the Memorial Day weekend approached, the “bad thing” about spring in the Adirondacks appeared: Black flies.
One of the fond memories I have about my childhood in the Adirondacks was when my parents would decide to take us to a movie at a small theater in a nearby town. It also served as a performance venue for various bands, stage shows, and the community theater. It was always a special treat to go, and to this day, I still love to go to a movie, buy a bucket of popcorn, and watch a movie in the theater. When I moved back here, the theater was still going, until 2006, when the owner decided to close it. After two years of effort and organization, it was taken over by a community group and reopened, to everyone’s delight. But recently, another threat loomed on the horizon, and it wasn’t just this theater that is facing it.
In looking around at the various tech and business sites or blogs, there’s discussion about how the personal computer seems to be “on the way out.” They’re basing that on sales figures from various manufacturers, as well as the sales of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8. The thinking is that “obviously” the market has shifted, and people are purchasing tablets and smartphones as replacements for their personal computers.
On one of my news sites there’s a sidebar with “what’s hot” links. A while back, I happened to click on a link that had this year’s “top television disasters.” which was mostly interesting, except for one thing. The reviewer just had to trot out the “Moonlighting myth.” What is that? It’s a myth based on a television show from the late ’80’s. The basic myth says that if you happen to put your two leads together romantically, the show will die soon thereafter.
While the Internet has many good things on it, with an ability to find out what’s going on around the world as well as educating yourself, there’s also the reality that many of us spend quite a bit of our time … wasting it. Yes, while we’re supposed to be doing something productive, we’re often spending time looking at YouTube videos and Lolcats. Look through any management site or magazine, and you’ll find various discussions on how to deal with this. This is not one of those posts.
When I’ve had slow times, I end up watching a lot of movies. I don’t often see a movie in the theater, because I generally live in areas where the theaters are too far away to easily get to. I’ve come to lump movies into four categories. Great movies are few and far between. They’re the ones I buy the DVD for, simply because I want to be able to watch it again, or re-run parts of it. Good movies are the ones I’ll watch once or twice a year as a rental or if it happens to be on television. “Indifferent” is something I saw once, and while it wasn’t in the “bad” category, it wasn’t something I’ll willingly see again. The “Bad” though, make me wish I could get a refund.
One of the interesting – or annoying – things about living in the Adirondacks is that you get a perspective on how many things have become “taken for granted,” when in reality, there’s nothing “granted” about it. In fact, just two or three decades ago, they didn’t exist or were only available to a limited few. I realized this the morning when my internet connection started having problems because of the weather. It was annoying, to put it mildly. You see, I take it “for granted” that my connection will be working, and will have a reasonably high speed. But less than a decade ago (7 years, to be precise), my internet connection here would have been a dial-up, and that would have been “iffy.” But it was what was available. A decade before that? I would have been (and did) paying for that same connection “by the minute,” and if I’d lived here, I wouldn’t have had it at all.
Back in the mid-80’s my father finally was able to get cable television. Very quickly he became a fan of C-SPAN, and one program in particular: The morning news from Moscow. Back then, C-SPAN used to run time-delayed the morning news show from Russian television. Since my father was as anti-communist as you could get, often expounding at great length about the domino theory and the evils of the Soviet Union, this was a bit of a shock. Of course, I had to tease him about it, and he responded. “No, no, you don’t understand! It’s really good! Do you know how much is going on in this world that we don’t know about?”