Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Resistance is Never Futile

The Mark of the Beast.
My very first personal computer was a nifty Morrow Micro Decision-3, which used a Zilog Z80 CPU and ran on an operating system called CP/M.
I loved the keyboard
on my system's Wyse WY-60 dumb terminal.

I mastered WordStar on that system, and stored files on "floppy disks" that were actually, you know, floppy.

In other words, I've been around the block a few times with personal computer technology. And for that entire time, I have always regarded Microsoft with considerable wariness, as I watched it prevail in the marketplace with inferior products thanks to its unscrupulous business practices and the naïveté of its major competitors (especially IBM, whose OS/2 operating system was superior in every way to Windows).

"Resistance is futile. You WILL be upgraded!"
For awhile now I have had to deal with pop-up windows on my computers telling me to upgrade my Windows 7 operating system (basically the only Microsoft software on my computers) to Windows 10
"for free." People whose opinions
I trust have counseled against that upgrade, and my own default position is don't "fix" things that aren't broken, so I have resisted the various nag screens urging me to "upgrade."

People like me are why Microsoft has decided to take off the kid gloves,
I guess, since there are now reports that it has begun engaging in outright chicanery to trick unwary customers into upgrading. More or less hijacking their computers, actually.

There is no chance that they'll ensnare me with such tactics, as I always read the fine print when it comes to Microsoft. But this sort of "we know what's best for you" mindset is typical of progressives, and should not be surprising coming from a company owned by Bill Gates, one of the world's leading progressive activists (he has poured millions into the Common Core debacle, for instance).

"You bipeds get riled up about the dumbest stuff, you know that?"

You have clearly never had to deal with a Blue Screen of Death...


Last night my beloved Kansas City Royals clinched their fourth consecutive series win, beating the Minnesota Twins 7-4 at Target Field for their second straight victory.

The Royals got a strong outing from starter Edinson Volquez, who allowed only two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. He got squeezed a bit by the home plate umpire in the 7th, or he'd have finished that inning with a strikeout.

"Steady Eddie" bumped his record to 5-4 on the season, with a solid 3.67 ERA over 61 innings.


On offense, the Royals got two-hit games from 2B Whit Merrifield, RF Paulo Orlando, and All-Star C Salvador Perez (who hit a two-run home run), but the best game was turned in by All-Star CF Lorenzo Cain, who raised his season average to .296 with a four-hit game.

For the third straight series, the Royals have a chance for a sweep. They couldn't pull it off against the Red Sox or the White Sox, but perhaps their luck will change in this afternoon's tilt...

"We haven't gotten to break out the brooms in awhile, have we?"

No, no we have not...

The Usual

From the droll comic strip Zits, by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman, which you should read every day, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Like countless young men before me, my attitude toward the female of the species changed dramatically when I began 9th grade. Being an un-athletic bookworm,
I needed a strategy for gaining the interest of cute girls that did not require playing sports. I learned very early on that liking the same music that girls liked was helpful in this regard. (Not helpful enough, as it turned out, but that's a story for another day.)

From the first time I heard them on the radio, I had always liked the folk vocal duo Simon & Garfunkel, but when I discovered as a high school freshman in 1967 that cute girls liked them a LOT I became an ardent fan.

The duo enjoyed their breakout year in 1968, starting with their music being featured in the popular motion picture The Graduate, which received numerous Academy Award nominations that year. The soundtrack album from the film was a big hit, spending a total of 10 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 that spring. Before long, a second Simon & Garfunkel recording joined it on the hit parade.

On May 25, 1968 the pair's studio album Bookends edged out the movie soundtrack for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It would hold that spot for three weeks, then get bumped by the soundtrack album. It would reclaim the No. 1 spot two weeks later, and hold it for four straight weeks, making a total of seven weeks at No. 1.

The album's success was fueled in large measure by the full-length version of "Mrs. Robinson," a song featured in excerpted form in the movie. That song would eventually top the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart for three weeks.

Today's send-off is another favorite of mine from that album. "A Hazy Shade of Winter" was actually released as a single in 1966, and enjoyed some success, but was not included on the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album for which it had been recorded. It was included on Bookends in part due to Simon's struggles at the time to come up with new material. This is a 2001 remastered version of the original single. Enjoy...

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