Monthly Archives: January 2023

The Turbulent High-Tech Industry

I was a professional programmer from 1980 to 2006. I have a friend who programmed even longer, and from time to time, we like to reminisce on how some of the mightiest High-Tech companies have fallen.

They were proud, multi-billion-dollar companies.

Lotus 1-2-3, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, Digital Equipment are but a few that have fallen. A frequent commenter on chicagoboyz who retired as a renowned and published surgeon, worked for Sears as a summer job many years ago. He made the point that if someone at Sears had the foresight and put their famous catalog on the Net back in the 90s, perhaps they would have been where Amazon is today, and not dying a slow and painful death.

Even I have been guilty of that lack of foresight. When Google decided to buy YouTube for $1.65 Billion, I couldn’t understand the rationale. I thought they were nuts. After all, who cares about a service that will publish any jerky and amateur video the uploader desires? What do I know?

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Top Gun Navy Lieutenant Royce Williams Jr


A Tribute to a Real Top Gun – At Last

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Must be Something in the Water

Today I was doing my usual walk in the neighborhood, and I turned down my adjacent street, as usual. Some years ago, when I had dogs, I would usually stop at the house nearest the river and talk with Margaret, an elderly widow. We’d sit outside and the subjects ranged far and wide.

She’d talk about occasionally seeing the ghost of her husband in the house. Was he checking up on her?

Another thing I learned from her was the surprising number of people who have lived on this street since the homes were new.

Normally with our California suburbs growing like weeds, that wouldn’t be a surprise, but these homes were built in the mid-50s. And another surprising thing – many people up and down this street – about 1/4 mile long, know each other.

In many suburbs, many neighbors know very little of each other. Nor do they want to.

So this morning, I turn the corner and I see this woman, obviously advanced in years, on all 4s pulling weeds in the lawn.

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Snapshots In The Mind

From time to time, I’ve liked to post some memories of those whom I’ve come across during life. I had a neighbor who was a character – I seem to gravitate towards characters – people who like to carve their own path through life instead of blindly following the paths of others. And I thought that most of the time, these “snapshots” – memories held and cherished to be occasionally revisited by the owners, leave us when the owner leaves us, never to be known by others.

Several of these friends, in telling me their stories, had me at the time believing silently that it was “hyperbole”. My neighbor was telling me that he enlisted in the Marines when he was 16 during WW2 (there were a few who did that). He was at Tarawa and Saipan. Then after WW2, recalled to Korea where he was one of the “Frozen Chosin”. I thought this was hyperbole, until he invited me to a Chosin Reunion. There were a couple of Army guys there too. He liked to remind me that it took a Marine General who took the place of the Army General to finally get them out and not be slaughtered by the vastly bigger invading Chinese force.

He would tell me things that one who lived by lies about service would not say. They are always about their “heroism” and made up units.

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Filed under History, Other Stuff, Uncategorized

The Price of Fame

Tonight, on New Year’s Eve, the power went out in my neighborhood. After an hour of moving around in my dark house with my flashlight – with various electrical devices beeping – I decided to drive the 15 miles to my favorite movie theater and see a recommended movie – Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

It followed – from what I know of her – fairly close to her life. A start, as with many black singers, in church singing to a discovery by a top record executive and then a rocket flight to fame and fantastic wealth – and then because of turmoil in her personal life, a plummet. A turmoil brought, in large part, by the fantastic wealth that was coming in.

I suspect had Whitney simply stayed singing in church all of this Sturm und Drang – and her eventual death from drowning in her bathtub from drugs – would have not been on the timeline.

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Filed under Movie Review