Category: Society

Read More

Don’t You Believe It

I will never be a fan of that narcistic cesspool called social media. The last light of hopefully meaningful online interaction extinguished with the shuttering of Google+ over April Fools 2019. That said, Elon Musk’s buying and revamping Twitter—and releasing through journalists the so-called “Twitter Files”—brings some hope that a bastion of free speech and reasonably intelligent commonsense dialogue can survive and thrive on the Internet; oh, and have room enough for narcissists and the rest of us.

As such, I now spend some time each day on Twitter. I joined during the early days, in late December 2006. Long time, I know. But until a week or so ago, I also had been mostly inactive. This morning, I had a good object lesson in the kind of misinformation that spreads across any social media platform—and in the most innocuous, likely unintentional, but worrisome way.

Read More

Year of the Rabbit Android Collectibles

They are here! Today! What better way to celebrate my escape from iPhone and return to Google’s mobile operating system than with the Year of the Rabbit Android Collectible Set. I ordered mine from Dead Zebra on Jan. 11, 2023—and good thing, too.

Because, according to the company: “Wow we sold out of our initial shipment very quickly! We are now taking reservations on a second shipment, however these will not arrive until mid-late March”. Yikes! Lucky me.

Read More

Don’t Be Humpty Dumpty

How rude is that? In the midst of a massive shortage, one of my neighbors flaunts that he has a source of eggs. Just kidding, of course. You could raise chickens, too. If someone can keep them in San Diego, where houses pack tightly together with limited outdoor space, you could do as much with a little ingenuity. Then when online and TV commentators rail about bird flu cracking the egg supply chain, you won’t be Humpty Dumpty all broken up because store shelves are empty.

Returning to the topic of my neighbor’s chickens, if they were mine, I would watch them carefully when pecking about the lawn. Because of the so-called egg apocalypse, some passerby might decide to pluck one of the birds. What’s worse than a porch pirate purloining your Amazon delivery? Someone stealing your birds. Don’t expect them to escape the chase or cluck for help. They are an emotional and financial investment that you don’t want to risk losing.

Read More

Don’t Be Slave to Hysteria

My wife and I set out for Costco Business Center to stock up foodstuffs, today. Our car is going into the shop for a short stint, and we wanted to grab grub from stores that are too far away to walk. But the entrance ramp onto HR-163 was inexplicitly closed, compelling us to abort. Trader Joe’s was nearby, eggs were on our list, and the grocery sells a dozen for the same price as the warehouse.

But would there be any in stock? For weeks, we’ve watched countless commentators warn about a shortage of eggs and skyrocketing prices (like seven bucks a dozen). Bird flu is blamed. If I learned nothing else from all the SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 insanity, fear is the virus—and, whoa, is it contagious. My advice to you: Don’t be afraid. Judge by what you see, not by what you hear someone say.

Read More

Who Yelled ‘Fire!’

While walking to Pet Me Please in San Diego neighborhood Normal Heights, today, I passed a mural that demanded photographic attention. Unknown to me at the time: The building’s business is All County Fire, which sells protective equipment for preventing or combating unwanted, ah, flaming events.

The Featured Image is a single shot; my plan to take another was interrupted by a gentleman who asked if I had taken a photo of his car, which was parked on the street. He worried about an accident; perhaps he had experience, but I didn’t ask. After understanding the object of my interest, he praised the artist who painted the mural, explaining another adorned the other side of building. I later looked but didn’t find it.

Read More

Soon to be as Popular as Grand Ole Opry?

Today, I did an In-N-Out drive-by while other cars were ridiculously stuck in the drive-thru. What’s up with all this vehicular laziness? Park. Go inside and order. Your food will come faster. Shall we time it so you can see, or is your butt so planted you would never consider the freedom and ease found at the counter?

But I digress. The Featured Image, quickly taken from inside my Honda using Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, is shared solely to illustrate this post—and opportunity to snark vomit all over the fast-foodery’s homeland. This week, In-N-Out announced plans to open its farthest east location(s). In Tennessee. Why the Volunteer State, you might ask. The company doesn’t really answer, but you don’t need more sense than the drive-thru nutters to rightly reason. That’s where the customers are—meaning California expats and refugees. And you thought they all flocked to Idaho and Texas (yes, where many did flee).

Read More

The World on My Wall

On the last day of 2022, I ordered a giant, world map from Maps International via Amazon. A roll tube containing the item arrived today. Measuring 40 x 80 inches (101.6 x 203.2 cm), the laminated reference fills most of the wall behind me.

Among my 2023 goals: be more aware about global events. That’s an ambitious task, when so much of the U.S. press makes every little minutia into a catastrophic crisis.

Read More

I Tipped Over the Apple Cart

During December 1998, I walked into CompUSA and walked out with my first Apple computer, the original Bondi Blue iMac. Appropriate timing, perhaps, December 2022 brought that chapter of my digital lifestyle to a close. I have moved on from the company that Steve Jobs’ vision built and which Tim Cook turned into an empire.

Since that winter’s day 24 years earlier, I primarily used fruit-logo hardware, despite additionally running Windows PCs for many years (since Microsoft was my beat as a reporter). The biggest gap came with my enthusiasm for Chromebook, starting in 2011 and 12. If Google still sold something as luxurious as the Pixel or LS successor, I likely would be typing on a Chromebook now.

Read More

Better Than Two Barrels of Monkeys

I wouldn’t call 2022 a barrel of fun, would you? But barrel(s) of laughs is appropriate enough, if chuckling at the ironic or insanely non-sensical means anything. There was plenty of that.

For example, Elon Musk made a bid to buy Twitter, then walked away only to return and take ownership. He then started releasing, through journalists, starting with Matt Taibbi, the so-called “Twitter Files”, which shockingly showed a level of collusion between the social media platform and government agencies to influence, if nothing else, U.S. elections. Oh that influence includes the Biden campaign in 2020.

Read More

Not Hello, But Goodbye

My 16.2-inch MacBook Pro—Apple M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU; 32GB unified memory; 1TB SSD—is gone. This morning, an associate professor and his wife purchased the laptop, which will become her go-to machine for video production. The monster machine will be missed.

On Christmas, parents bought my wife’s 13.3-inch MBP for their college student son. Same day, our daughter inherited my iPhone 13 Pro, which gift I already regret giving because of bad behavior on her part this evening (You don’t need to know, but I do need to remember). Samsung gave great trade-in amount for Annie’s smartphone. She and I now own the Galaxy S22 and S22 Ultra, respectively.

Read More

A Very SoCal Christmas

Christmas Day assumed various nuances that made memories for the Wilcox family and others. For starters, we could celebrate free of SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates that oppressed the previous two years’ holidays. Summer suddenly reappeared in a magnificently mild and sunny day, with the temperature reaching 25.6 degrees Celsius (78 Fahrenheit). Even as I write, temp is unseasonably 19 C (66 F). Tomorrow is supposed to be nearly as warm as today.

As I will more fully explain in a few days, my wife and I have changed computing platforms—PCs and smartphones. At 12:30 p.m. PST, I met parents and their adult age college student to buy Annie’s 13.3-inch MacBook Pro M1 (16GB RAM, 1TB SSD). I have yet to find a buyer for my 16.2-inch MBP M1, which is a monster configuration that only a crazy man would let go—or swap for something seemingly less. All will be revealed soon enough. There are reasons.

Read More

Oh Holy Night

A few weeks ago, Dad asked about conducting a video call with the remaining (adult) children gathered. My sister Nanette, whose day job is software support, took the request and set up a Zoom meeting. Our father is 81 years old, and his computing device is an iPhone, so some testing was necessary beforehand. Of course, during last night’s final prep, his home lost electrical power (weather is stormy back home). She persevered, as did he.

Following some snafus getting him connected, sometime after 7 p.m. EST, we gathered online—some of us seeing one another for the first time in decades. We all live in different states. Nan’s husband joined and my wife. Our youngest sister is widowed. Missing and sorely missed: The eldest daughter, who passed away in 2016.