Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Where are all of the trick or treaters tonight? Either my neighborhood has started to show its age with fewer little kids or else ghouls and their parents aren't nearly as hearty as they used to be. It's just barely below freezing at 31°, the blustery winds of yesterday are gone, and it is not even snowing! Toughen up!

This is the first year of not bundling up a child, or three, in their costume and layers for warmth for hours of Halloween fun. No trick or treaters in the house this year...everyone deems themselves as "too old." Unless they happen to burst into costume while at school. At least I did not resort to putting the dog in a costume.

Anna a Mess

But maybe they are smart. It is much easier to raid the candy bowl at the front door than brave a chilly night going door-to-door. Happy Halloween evening!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Technology Time Suck

Have you ever switched from your old computer to a new one? Swapped Internet providers? Hit the button to update your iPhone and now your GMail accounts aren't recognized? Logged onto your bank account to pay a bill only to discover that your bank account has been "compromised?"

If you answer yes to any of these questions welcome to the huge waster of time that I like to refer to as the Technology Time Suck. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier by saving time, which it does most of the time. Until something goes wrong.

Here that sucking noise? That's your time getting sucked into a black hole of trying to fix, update, and understand your technology by yourself. It's always tempting to draw others into your black hole to "help" you figure out your technology void.

Time disappears when you enter your technology time suck. Glance at the clock and suddenly two hours have passed and nothing was accomplished other than confusing yourself even more than when you started. You keep trying for another hour all to no avail. As your computer becomes even more messed up, your vow not to call the Geek Squad is quickly being forgotten.

If you're like me, you've never had resort to the Geek Squad but stubbornly figure it out on your own or with the help of your tween computer whiz. I may have even stumped my brilliant computer boy with my latest technology trial. The technology time suck will begin again once I attempt to figure out how to synch Gmail with my outdated phone and new Internet provider.

I may have to become a Luddite and shun all technology to preserve my own sanity.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ryan Adams Navigates the Death Star

You know it's going to be an interesting evening when you end up sitting on a bar stool next to a DJ from a major Twin Cities radio station and across from a concert promoter for First Avenue. [For those of you not from Minnesota, First Avenue is "the" place to see concerts in the Twin Cities and the bar where Prince shot scenes from "Purple Rain" back in the day.] Listening in on their conversation at a local bar filled with aging-hipsters (and chic Moms) just steps from the University of Minnesota, I realized that I need to see more live music. Between them these two had seen every major show that had come through the Twin Cities in the last two weeks. How do I get a job like that?

Turns out the DJ and concert gal were also headed over to see the Ryan Adams concert. Ryan Adams certainly isn't in U2  or Adele concert realm of superstardom, but he has a storied concert past with his Minneapolis shows. I was curious to see what he would do on stage, and I have recently come to really enjoy his music.
Photo courtesy of Jon Bream

The flow of Adams concerts (at least here in Minneapolis) tend to run on his own time. History repeated itself. It was a Monday night,  and a full house of folks who had to get up for work in the morning—those same aging hipsters and chic Moms from the bar. The clock crept up on 10 pm. Finally 45 minutes after the opening act, Ryan Adams made it on stage apologizing, "Sorry we got lost trying to find the stage. It's like the *@!*ing  Death Star back there!" At last launching into his latest single "Gimme Something Good."

An hour and 45 minutes of music from his new album—appropriately titled "Ryan Adams" in the same font as the 1987 "Brian Adams" album— along with a couple of covers from his days with The Cardinals, a cover of Brian Adams' "Run to You," and some classics. "I See Monsters" was exceptional. He has an amazing voice when he sings. However there was lots of banter about Twitter, apps, guitar tuning, ginger ale, his hair misbehaving, and aging. Adams is at the ripe old age of 40.

A concert-going first for one stood up and danced. Not even those fans in the front row. Maybe we were all tired from a long day and just happy to have Ryan Adams transport us somewhere else for a little while.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Not Clinton-Bush Part II

Please not again! Today's morning political chatter is buzzing about a Jeb Bush vs. Hilary Clinton run in the 2016 Presidential elections. For starters it is way too early to even speculate. But what else do these political speculators have to do with their time other than (you guessed it) speculate.

Haven't the American voters had enough of Bushes and a Clinton in the White House? I don't quite understand the appeal of a repeat. American voters do have a future to look ahead to, so why must we constantly revisit the past with Clinton and Bush. Neither candidate gives me the warm fuzzies or makes me feel secure.

Both parties, especially the Republicans, must put up a fresh candidate who actually has some quality and substantial ideas that will lead America out of the dark hole we seem to have entered. Looking backward to Hilary and Jeb will not lead us forward. Stop the inner party bickering and the cross-party bomb throwing. Time to stop leading from behind and looking to our past for Presidential candidates. Give the American voters an actual strong leader for a change. Someone who actually stands firm and has a vision.

And no, I honestly have no idea who that candidate might be on either side of the aisle. I'm just hoping we don't have another Bush-Clinton duel.