In the ink well

Dog Ear

July 14, 2022

Media chicken soup (DOG EAR)

any of you know that I went through some complex and very invasive surgery over the last week. I’m now at home, getting settled in the new way of things. My belly has six itching incisions and there are all sorts of new changes in my life. While I can limp through my walks, fly my drone in the back and read, sometimes I just don’t want to do anything. And that’s precisely what TV is good for. Yes, it’s numbed the minds of generations of Americans until they’ve lost the ability of critical thought. But it is great to […]
June 23, 2022

Celeb (Dog Ear)

got a chance to be famous the other week. I was with the wife at Juniors, our official dining room, when a curious (and ego-boosting) thing happened. Okay, needed backstory: I’ve given Early ReTyrement to our two waiters. One of them saw us always reading at the table and asked for any toss-out books we might have (he wanted to get into reading). Of course, I probably poisoned the well by giving him my self-published novel. And then the other waiter said she wanted one too. It’s okay, I’ve got a box full of these literary loves). So I’ve pretty […]
June 16, 2022

Cartoon Characters (DOG EAR)

aw an interesting thing on a walk – I was trudging up 17-92 (a four-lane arterial street with businesses down both sides). Over this all towers a billboard and on this billboard as an ad for emergency room availability. Personally, having had to rely on their emergency room service, I’m mixed on their claims. But it wasn’t the claims that caught my eye – it was the image. A nurse, arms crossed, looking all competent and in charge. Now look, I’m enough of a realist to know that nurses you see in advertisements are likely from central casting. And I […]
June 9, 2022

A Chinese POV (a story) (DOG EAR)

o I was having one of those bad days – it’s taking forever to get surgery scheduled to get my cancer out and, yes, it freaks me out no end. I’d woken up early with a 5am panic attack and was now using the internet to try to distract myself. And that’s when, a couple of later, a friend (won’t say who) called to gripe about something trivial. Pretty much my involvement in the call was to say “yes” and “no” and “I agree”, just making noises so they thought I was alive. But I’m listening to life’s small little […]
June 2, 2022

The Cure (DOG EAR)

o last Sunday I reviewed The Cure, a book by Sonia Levitin that details the persecutions of the Jews in Strasbourg in 1348. In a nutshell, the Jews of that town (like in every other place across Europe at the time) were blamed for the Black Death that was sweeping through. The claims that Jews were poisoning the wells were backed by the solid evidence gained by barbaric torture. And it’s all historic fact, as Ms. Levitin outlines in her epilogue. Fine and dandy. I love, after reading a novel, to find out just what is true and what isn’t. […]
May 19, 2022

Deaf Ears (DOG EAR)

ot much for today – more like the musings of an old man (old, maybe, but I can still climb up on the roof of the clubhouse with a chainsaw to clear overhanging growth while the youngsters hide from the heat and danger inside). Okay, that rant done, here’s an observation: Whatever you are streaming, you really shouldn’t bother trying to “sell” it to other people. We all have long “my stuff” lists. And conversations between subscribers pretty much come down to… Subscriber A: “Hey, I’m watching ‘Fish Games’. You should check it out.” Subscriber B: “I might do that” […]
May 12, 2022

The Dark Side of your Brain (DOG EAR)

‘ve talked about the brain’s interesting aspects, about how you can go to sleep with a problem and wake up the next morning with a solution. It’s amazing the way the brain processes thoughts and strategies. But there is a darker side of the brain when it runs unchecked through your sleep cycle. Often I’ll wake up at 4am in a sort of night-panic. Whatever little worries I had have been thrashed about all night and become insurmountable, mountains from molehills sorts of things. Anything you were mulling over as your went to sleep suddenly fills you with bed-dampening sweating […]
May 5, 2022

Multilingual (DOG EAR)

s I always start off these blogs, “XXX simply another way to communicate, so i is covered in this blog”. I write about ways humans communicate. And one way they communicate is through software code. So now you know what “XXX” means in this context. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m writing a game named Pathfinder, an epic adventure of exploration, exploitation, starship crew management, aging and death. It’s a lot of work since Squiffy (the gamebook generator I prefer) has its own language. But to make it sit up and bark, you also need JavaScript knowledge. Both of these I’ve […]
April 28, 2022

Alternative Radio (DOG EAR)

used to love listening to Rollins College radio (WPRK) while I doodled back in the train/computer room. It had such good DJs (students and wannabees). When I’d drive in to work (on the day’s I didn’t have the bike) I could listen to Nina’s Sunrise Soul or student interviews or whatever. Then Covid hit and the station went into a broadcasting loop, the same songs over and over. Even with the pandemic winding down (but please, Readers, be careful!) they haven’t brought back the wonderful format I enjoyed, not fully. My radio, 40 years old, finally crapped out and I […]
April 21, 2022

The Ethics of Media (DOG EAR)

he other night I was enjoying a quiet evening the way I like it – writing game code for my new effort, Pathfinder, the window open, the cool breezes flowing around me, the online radio quietly playing French soft rock. And that’s then the guy, the girl, and the motorcycle entered my world. They came down the street, making more noise than I make in a week. It was one of those suburban Harley’s bought from those urban-dad fake-factory stores, all noise, heavy as a tank. And even though they were rolling slow, the guy was revving his engine (because […]