By AlanM on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 4:31 PM
I wish I could explain how this works. There is a resonance I feel whenever I’m listening to most of the songs performed by the band Swing Out Sister. Something about a jet-set romance. Sitting in an airport bar as dusk falls. Neon lights reflected in a taxi window. A lost love. The hope of a new love. A tear – is it from sorrow, or joy, or both? The echoes of something that just wrenched your heart beyond what you thought you could ever bear, but also a whisper that the worst has passed, and the heights of joy will fall into your hands.

I don’t have the musical background to faithfully capture the style or genre of their music. I have never really heard any other music exactly like it, although I’ve certainly heard music which shares elements of their music. Songs written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. 60s-era latin pop, something a little like what Henry Mancini might have made, and what you might hear on the soundtrack to AMC’s Mad Men. But also more dreamy...
By AlanM on Monday, January 14, 2013 9:31 PM

The juicer won. But at what cost. At what cost.

By AlanM on Thursday, October 18, 2012 8:13 PM
Does anyone not already know that I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Microsoft enthusiast? I mean, before you read the previous sentence?

However, I’m not usually one of the first ones to grab the new technologies. I didn’t get one of the first Pocket PCs. I didn’t get one of the first XBox’s. I don’t usually get the Consumer Technology Previews (CTP), or “betas” of new versions of Windows.

But I just had to, this time. I pre-ordered a Microsoft Surface, and I should be getting it in about a week. I’m very, very excited.

Picture of the Microsoft Surface with a magenta touch cover

Yes, I know I could have gotten an iPad a long time ago. But Apple and I just don’t see eye to eye on user interfaces, ever since the first Macintosh. Sure, I was more than a little handy...
By AlanM on Sunday, August 12, 2012 11:16 AM
Someone recommended using binders for keeping user manuals. I tried this and decided to just use plain old manila folders in one location, instead.
By AlanM on Friday, July 13, 2012 12:20 AM

A few weeks ago, I decided to volunteer to read news articles for the local Society for the Blind here in Sacramento. Part of the setup will need requires a headset or at least a microphone. So when I got Moon had said, I was surprised to find out that Windows has fairly strong support for speech recognition.


This blog entry represents my first attempt at dictating a blog entry entirely without using the keyboard. I'm pleasantly surprised that it recognizes as many words as it does, and that is fairly simple to punctuate and even capitalize words and I would've had to type before. The accuracy rate seems to be very good, even though just now it wanted to say " in for a good" instead of " very good". But even correcting it was simple and helps the process work better.


Okay, enough for now. I may be trying more of these in the future. It certainly is a lot faster than typing, plus I don't make any misspellings.

By AlanM on Saturday, March 10, 2012 5:12 PM
Someone near me (doesn’t matter who) brought up the notion that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka “Obamacare”) singles out Muslims for exemption from the mandatory coverage clause.

The person referenced a web page apparently rounding the top of some search engines which talks about this mysterious word. It’s “ask marion” or something (I refuse to add a link to contribute to the page ranking of such a made up load of claptrap).

The author of the web page made an outrageous and easily disprovable lie. She said, “Obama used [the word dhimmitude] in the health care bill.” The rest of the web page is her expressing outrage based on this fabrication.

She even includes a link to, which suggests that her claim is a “mixture” of truth and non-truth. Most people will probably not read the whole article, and will only see the red and green dot, and then conclude that she’s not making it up. She even goes so far as to claim it’s on page 107 of the bill.

By AlanM on Tuesday, February 07, 2012 3:38 PM

I love Todoist, even though I have plans to create my own task list eventually.

One of the mixed blessings of Todoist is that it is extremely flexible. This is great because it can conform to your specific needs. It's not so great because sometimes you don't know what your specific needs really are, and a little guidance would be more helpful.

Well, I think I've finally come to terms with what works best for me, so I'll share it for posterity.

By AlanM on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 8:10 AM
I’m sure you have already contacted your congresscritter by now, what with half of the Internet going dark.

But, in case you’re looking for something to say, here’s what I wrote, and you have my permission to copy and modify this freely without attribution.

Dear ___________________,

I oppose SOPA and PIPA because it is clear they will have unacceptable unintended consequences.

The non-technological equivalent of this act would require that publishers of yellow pages check the business licenses of everyone they list. When you call directory assistance, the operator would have to make sure the business you wanted to call was legit before providing the number. The newspapers could not publish your classified ad unless they had researched you and your home to make sure the ad wasn't for something illegal.

The Internet is tough to govern; I understand that. The state of being tough to govern is what America is founded on. I am not promoting complete lack of regulation, but...
By AlanM on Thursday, December 29, 2011 12:12 PM

A book is about to become my mantra.

Recent Comments

Re: Silicon Valley Code Camp 2011
I've been there in County Inn and their service is great. Nice people, approachable crew so, I must recommend them to everyone. An "A" for county Inn. :)
Re: When I was your age
Demureness on my part was not intentional. You should have been able to contact me via FB. I sent you a request. Let's talk!
Re: When I was your age
Hi Al,

It's been a long time. I tried to befriend you on Facebook, but your page wouldn't let me. How demure, but endearing. I live in SW Turkey with my wife and son. Life is generally good. I'm interested in what you've been up to. I do hope to hear from you!




Recent Entries

The music in my head and in my heart
Where it went wrong
Microsoft Surface, pre-ordered
Keeping user manuals
An experiment with dictation
How I use Todoist
Letter to Congress