Thursday, December 27, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing

Among my more subtle talents is my innate sense of direction, also known as Hobbit Inertial Navigation. It is far from perfect, but I think I've got higher batting average than +Katherine Derbyshire, who is actually pretty good herself. We're both lazy in our old age, smartphones and dedicated Navigation Systems do that to people, but I like to think I know where I've been and where I'm going.

Well, physically, at least. Until today at lunch. And the problem wasn't where I was going.

With Katherine traveling, I headed out solo for lunch to the Mill Creek Blazing Onion. I'd never been there (only its sibling a few miles west), but it's a straight shot north, and armed with the address, I headed up in the freshly fueled MINI Cooper S equipped with a nav system. All well and good ...

... until I noted the MINI, fueled yesterday morning on the way back from breakfast, had only seven-eighths of a tank. I had driven home and then fetched a pizza in the evening, and I knew I had driven less than 10 miles total. I may have failed to top off the tank, but the trip odometer, normally reset by hand after fueling, matched the gas gauge with 67 miles gone.

I started wondering how the car was driven without my memory, either by a very neat thief or me having a blackout worthy of Stephen King. About the only suspects I could eliminate were Katherine (in a different timezone) and the cats (they hate riding in cars, and I don't think letting them drive would change their minds. There's also the thumbs issue, but anyway ...)

Finally, I was sitting at lunch when I realized it wasn't the MINI that I fed yesterday morning. Rather, it was the Audi, the day after it was used to take Katherine to the airport. I specifically had gotten the Audi fueled and ready to go back to the airport for Katherine's return, and then switched to the MINI in the evening both to balance the use of the cars and to play with a new Bluetooth hands free unit we bought last week.

And I did personally fuel the MINI, but it was on Friday before a weekend of errands.

I guess the breakfast run wasn't a very memorable drive.


I almost prefer the blackout theory ... it's less embarrassing.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Old School Home Defense

Sometimes I claim to be old school.   Sometimes I live it:

New Mac-ready USB Keyboard for my home office(click for larger photo)

My (physically) largest Christmas present, above, is basically the grandchild of the the original IBM Model M keyboard, the classic quality PC keyboard.   (I still own two classic Model M units, with each with a PS/2 connector and no annoying Windows keys.)

Differences compared to the Model M aside from the color include that it has a USB connection (not PS/2) and plays well with my Mac computers.

My favorite quote on the IBM Model M is from a co-worker:
"... the type M is also incredibly sturdy.  My personal feeling is that if you can't use your keyboard as a weapon to defend against home invaders and still have it work as a keyboard afterwards, it's obviously not a good design."
One down side: I need to lower my desk to offset the height of the unit.   It was at a borderline height before, and this makes it uncomfortable.

One other downside: If I take it to work, my co-workers may kill me because of the noise it makes.