We are our junk

Is there anything more revealing of who we really are than the shit we leave by the curb for the spring trash pick-up?

How was your day, Ian?

In chapter 8 of The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly talks about Remixing. “Unbundling existing products into their most primitive parts and then recombining in all possible ways.” He spends a good bit of time talking about video and the amazing new ways we will find to create and use it.

I will have my AI (we’ll all have one, or more than one) pull all of the available video of Ian Emmerson. He lives in the UK somewhere. Don’t know where. Or what he does for a living. But there’s a bazillion cameras in the UK so there will be no shortage of video.

My AI will edit each day’s video into a montage (of sorts). Ian waiting for one of those big red double-decker buses; Ian trudging into the building where he works; Ian in his cubicle; Ian getting fish and chips from a curb-side truck; Ian (alone) in the pub, having a pint before going back to his ‘flat.’ Pretty much the same stuff every day with an interesting character tossed in from time to time. Or, perhaps, just a character.

Each ‘episode’ will end with one of Ian’s songs, like the one below. I’ll let the AI pick the tune, based on that day’s ‘footage.’ I’ll probably let the AI pick a name for the series but I kind of like, “How was your day, Ian?”

Timeline of computer stuff

I’ve got a thing about calendars. That’s not quite right. I’ve got a thing about remembering knowing when things happened and I’m really bad at remembering stuff. Even important stuff. So I kept a journal for a while and when DayTimers came along I kept one with me all the time for meetings and notes and all the rest. I think I mentioned my DayTimer purge. These days Google Calendar is my tool-of-choice for keeping up with everything. With links to Google Drive. I came across the computer related list below while working on another project.

  • 1985 – First computer. Zenith with two 7.5 in floppy drives (no HD)
  • 1/6/89 – Jefferson City Computer Club meeting
  • 10/31/89 – Bought computer made by CompuAdd?
  • 12/6/89 – Rick Williams, MSC, Columbia, MO (1st ref?)
  • 4/21/92 – Purchased computer for $3,525.86. 33/386 4 meg; 101/VGA Samsung; 16 SCSI controller
  • 11/16/93 – Computer Concepts demo (?)
  • 11/16/92 – Switched to AmiPro (word processor/desktop publishing) on office computer
  • 6/20/94 – First “notebook” computer; purchased from Bill Bahr (Iowa) for $1700. Made by Toshiba. Base price: $1400; Fax/modem PCMCIA card: $300
  • 11/21/94 – MCI Internet service – $49.95 for software; $19.95/mo – 7 hours free; $3.00 per hour after that. 9600 baud/14400
  • 12/1/95 – Gateway 2000 computer, $3,100
  • 4/24/95 – Comdex, Atlanta, GA
  • 5/8/95 – New ISP (Internet Service Provider). Summit Information Services, Holts Summit, MO. $30/mo
  • 6/3/96 – Comdex, Las Vegas NV
  • 6/10/96 – Ordered IBM ThinkPad
  • 8/23/96 – Ordered ACT 3.0 (contact manager)
  • 4/20/98 – Comdex, Chicago, IL
  • 4/19/99 – Comdex, Las Vegas, NV
  • 7/1/99 – Shut down Straylight
  • 4/21/04 – Signed up for Gmail
  • 5/7/04 – First home wifi
  • 4/17/06 – First MacBook
  • 1/6/11 – Bought Google and Apple stock. 35 shares Google @ $569; 54 shares of Apple @ $368.03. Our investment guys talked us into selling some. “Too heavy in tech”
  • 6/15/11 – Google sent me a Chromebook to evaluate. Sent two for some reason.
  • 10/28/11 – Closed PayPal account
  • 6/15/12 – MacBook Pro delivered

College theater days

I spent my first two years of college trying to keep my draft deferment and quickly figured out I could do that better as a Speech/Theater major than as a Business major. I got a small part in Taming of the Shrew (below) my junior year which earned me a tiny scholarship ($500 a semester?). In my senior year I played the idiot son John in Lion In Winter. From the review: “Mays, in an attempt to convey his awkwardness, at times overdid John’s walk.” You can read my reviews here.

I loved the theater crowd. It was as cliquish as any fraternity or sorority but we didn’t have to dress as nice. As much as I enjoyed it, I never developed an interest in community theater. I still have a recurring nightmare in which I have to go onstage before a huge audience but I have never been to a rehearsal. In the dream, I’m trying to figure out how I can have a script in my hand without the audience noticing. Or come up with a way to adlib through the whole thing.

Smelling good for other people

I don’t wear aftershave or cologne. At some level I think I’m bothered by the idea of wanting to smell good for someone else, although I suppose some might wear it because they like the smell. And when I’m in the presence of a man (or a woman, for that matter) with “too much” aftershave or cologne, eeewww! And, I’m sorry, but anyone who puts on scented aftershave or cologne does so because he wants to be noticed. Yeah, yeah, it closes up the pores and is antiseptic.

When I started shaving (high school?) I dabbed on a little Currier & Ives After Shave. Do they still make that? It seemed less perfume-y to me but I gave it up when I got to college. I think I tried English Leather once but found it sickeningly sweet. Other popular scents from that era included Canoe, Jade East, Brut and Aramis. I recall Brut being a popular gift for young men.

Do men (of any age) wear aftershave and cologne these days? If I were going to wear some sort of scent, I think I’d pay someone to cook up something that smelled like those big Marks-a-Lot permanent markers. Everybody likes that smell. Or maybe airplane glue.

Kahn Academy


While googling “permutations” I happened upon a Khan Academy tutorial (PRECALCULUS > PROBABILITY AND COMBINATORICS). A guy named Sal explaining the permutation formula and how to use it. I have not given this topic a thought since high school and while familiar with Kahn Academy, I never watched one of their tutorials. Wow. This seems like a great way to learn. Math was really hard for me but if I had had access to these I think I would have done much better.

Scraping by on $160K

“A Twitter employee speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Guardian he’s scraping by on a base salary of $160,000. The employee is in his early 40s, lives in San Francisco, and has had to borrow money in the past to “make it through the month,” The Guardian reports. […] His biggest expense is the $3,000 he drops on rent for a two-bedroom house in San Francisco — which he described as “ultra cheap” for the area. He lives with his wife and two kids. […] People between the ages of 18 and 34 who work full-time in San Francisco earned a median salary of $59,000 in 2013, according to US Census data.”

Business Insider