Tuesday, July 28, 2015

To Boldly Go...

Well, where many have gone before, I would expect. Especially since all the episodes for "Star Trek: The Next Generation" were made available for streaming on Netflix.

I'm in the midst of binge-watching all 176 episodes and though I'm only about halfway into Season 2, I'm surprised at how many episodes I either never saw or have forgotten. When starting this I thought I'd be re-watching most of the shows I'd already seen both during its first run and in its several rerun iterations throughout the past 28 years.

Observations so far: Amazing how well much of it still holds up. Yes the special effects are rudimentary and there's practically no CGI like the technology of today would enable a sci-fi show, but then again, that doesn't ensure quality if almost any recent Syfy Channel show can attest to. Oh and the 4:3 aspect ratio is a bit awkward. I like most people nowadays, I guess, have gotten used to (been spoiled by) 1080p HD in 16:9 format.

It brings me back to the late eighties, anxiously waiting for the next episode to air. I guess why I might have missed so many back then could be due to the fact I was working evening schedules for the most part in those days. And I always forgot to schedule my VCR to tape the shows for me.

I'm watching each episode with my Kindle tablet set to the Wikipedia and IMDB pages for each episode to add to my knowledge about the episode. It's especially interesting to find commentary and reviews of the episode from some two decades after original air-date, like Wil Wheaton's take on episodes he re-watched in the early 2000s.

Yes I'm sure many a Trekkie geek has done this journey through the episodes in sequence but it'll be a first for me. How long will it take? Hopefully it won't turn out to be a Five Year Mission!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Let It Ride!

My retirement account is only 3 years old so there's only been about $6,000 in contributions to it (both my 2% and my employer's 9%) and in the first year I was seeing pretty decent gains of around 11-13%. But early last year I studied the projections and shifted almost everything into a fund which invests primarily in American health/medical technology. Pretty much cutting-edge emerging pharma companies with new drug discoveries for everything from diabetes to Alzheimer's treatment.

Now my retirement fund is in hyper drive!

Just look at this graph! This growth is phenomenal. Hopefully it'll stay this way for quite a while. Just think, my personal stake in this is just about $25 a paycheck. That's $650 a year. Times 3 years= $1,950. With a (so far) $15,391 profit!


With my luck though, it'll go at this rate for years right up to a year before retirement. Then some fucking crisis like 2008 happens and it all plummets faster than a lead balloon. Oh well, I'll enjoy my little green graph and the "unrealized" wealth while I got it.

Friday, July 17, 2015

1977

Have you ever thought..."If I could go back in time to a younger version of me, what year would I choose?" I think for me it may be 1977. I'd be 13.

Now of course I'd want to be 13 in physical age but with all the memories and experiences stored in my head of my present self. I mean, if you're gonna play the game, of course you'd give yourself the best one-up anyone could have...knowledge.

Think about it...I'd have all of my life to look forward to, but with all the knowledge of what to avoid and what to exploit. I'd be young and healthy and I'd know what habits to avoid to stay that way for as long as I could.

Yes I'd be living in the crazy house that was my upbringing but with everything I know now, plus the advantages of being able to know certain events that have yet to occur, I'd make high tail outta there and make my own way. Bummer is, I'm only 13 and how could I get away with being totally free. No one would hire me, no one would take my stock advice seriously no matter how much I spewed "Apple! Apple!" and I'd have to go to school. Unfortunately my 51 year old knowledge would crumble when tasked with Advanced English Grammar, Basic Algebra, Fundamental French, Earth Science (Geology) and Advanced American History. (I think these were my 8th grade courses) Presently, I butcher English grammar, can't remember algebra basics, know virtually no French, can't tell one rock from another and though I like history and was good at it, I'd have to study hard to remember all those dates. Instead of helping, my present day brain would likely get me held back!

I do remember one mental sticky note I recall from my French lessons and have kept that (mostly correct) all these years. The year 1977. We had to call out the full date each day in class in French, of course. And I remember the year was "Mille neuf cent soixant dix sept."

I was putzing around with Google last night and decided to once again do the old "Google long-lost childhood friends" game. Again was coming up with dead ends on most of the kids (now middle-aged adults, of course) I plugged in. But then I got a hit. With a recent photo. I knew right away even before confirming through other details that it was my old friend John C. The one I talk about in this FLASHBACK posted in 2008. By some measures, the one I "lost my virginity to."


This is what got me reminiscing about 1977. It was the last time I saw him and though we were just 13, I recognized his probably present-day face as his. Something about the eyes. And the way a face makes an expression, especially a smile. It can be someone you haven't seen in nearly 40 years and the recognition can be instantaneous. And wonderful. Oh the multitudes of "What ifs."

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

TEN YEARS!


Do you remember where you were on July 8th, 2005? Well, I do. I was sitting at the little white desk in my (then) bedroom on Helmsley Court back when I was rooming with Ric at his newly bought condo. On that desk was Mildred X, a putty-hued Intel Celeron with 256Mb of RAM, a 14" CRT SVGA monitor and 40 Gigs of hard drive space. And on that computer I was enjoying hours of fun playing Civilization III, The Sims and Locomotion when I wasn't cruising the "Information Superhighway" via NetZero and my 56K baud dial-up modem. OMG! How times have changed.

And on that day I staked my little claim on a free blogging website called Blogger and begat this blog. And though I've had my share of ups and downs over the years, I've kept this thing going. I never lost the vision I had for this thing. 

So as I hoped for in my very first post, I have indeed accomplished what I envisioned to be the 21st century equivalent of my school days' "Time Reports." Only, unlike them, they're not lost over time. They're all still here, safely in the bowels of some super secure Google server farm in some ultra secret location. And available to me and the rest of humanity, anytime of any day, for the rest of eternity.

Looking up again at the picture header for this post, I'm thinking it kinda looks like an epitaph "2005 - 2015"...like as if this blog is dead and we're remembering it fondly. Not on your life. Blogging may be somewhat passe and unfashionable today but I'll definitely keep it going. Right along side my fellow bloggers posting about their belly-button lint collection, their ugly Christmas sweaters or simply the daily escapades of a teen-aged girl in Singapore. (Oh the Singaporeans love their blogs!)

Blog on, Kode, blog on! Here's to the first 10 years and at least 10 more. I relish the day in that future time when I celebrate the 20th anniversary, mockingly reminiscing about Mildred XIV and her pitiful Intel i7 CPU, 8Gigs of RAM and a measly one terabyte of hard drive space.