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Monday, April 23, 2018

THE TYPEWRITER

THE TYPEWRITER
A cranky re-run from April 2014

Does anyone remember typing?  I took typing in high school.  Do they still teach that? It probably comes right before Latin and after Home Economics.  Maybe not.  Hell, I understand they don’t even teach longhand anymore.  How about that? Longhand? Longhand became script, which became cursive, which became extinct.  I’m so friggin old that I refer to an extinct writing technique three generations before its demise.

Typing.

I learned to type on a manual machine.  Why did they put the “a” so flipping far away?  I had to whack that thing with my pinky, the weakest of all fingers.  All my “a’s” were two shades lighter than the rest of my letters. 

At home we had an old Remington from the 1930’s.  The keys used to stick together if you hit them too rapidly: clack…clack…clackclack…”Fuck.”  You had to stop and flick those letters back manually.  Usually happened with “the” damn I could type “the” fast.

Typing 60 words a minute was the standard of excellence.  I got up to 40 not counting errors.  They took away 5 words for errors.  Counting errors I typed about -12 words a minute. 

My mom could type about 65 a minute counting errors which she made none.  That was on the old Remington.  A real typist did not make errors in those days.  If you made an error, erasures looked crappy, and white-out was still a snow storm.  Even white-out was not acceptable for a formal letter.  And don’t even get me started on carbon copies.  If you made one mistake you actually made three errors when you were using carbon copies. 

By the way young people, that is what the cc stands for when you cc someone.

Then there was the ink ribbon.  My mom couldn’t change the film in a camera, but she could change a typewriter ribbon in minutes and never even smudge her hand. 

I remember when my pops brought home an IBM Selectric he got from work.  Damn that thing could fly, and no locked up keys, the letters were all on one ball.  You could change the ball and type with a different font…Imagine that! Mom did not like that typewriter.  She preferred the old Remington.  I think she felt the IBM was cheating; it diminished the value of her skill.

Mom could “carriage return line feed” like you would not believe.  It was a thing of beauty. Left hand up, flick of the wrist, and back down into perfect QWERTY position without losing any of that clack…clack rhythm.  The IBM took a single electric key touch to create the same effect.  Mom preferred the wrist flick…“That new return thing throws my timing all off!”

The typing skill was so marginalized by IBM electrics, white-out, and finally computers that can simply back up and retype or even auto correct that it is now completely gone the way of longhand.  They even took away the keyboard clack. 

Early computers made the keys clack.  I think all the really good typists needed the clack to find their rhythm.  When the typists became obsolete, they took the clack away.

Why am I writing about all this?

I don’t know. 

Why did you read it?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

STUPID HEADLINES 042218

STUPID HEADLINES 042218
It is Time Again For

STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY
This week’s stupid headlines and my stupider, sometimes sophomoric comments.
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Boston Marathon says trans women can compete as women, raising questions about possible advantages – Because who wouldn’t change their genitals in order to gain an advantage in a race?
Snake sex party discovered after Florida python implanted with tracking device – Snake sex party?  Was this a party of snakes or was a snake used in a sex party…I don’t want to know!
Man, 80, accidentally records himself admitting to killing Missouri lawyer who sued him – Dag nab fancy new gizmos!
Delta flight makes emergency landing: 'We left a tire in NYC – Plane headed for Richmond landed in Washington.  Why couldn’t it make an emergency landing 120 miles away in Richmond?  Do planes that are missing a tire land better in Washington than in Richmond?
New upright airplane 'seats' would allow for 'ultra-high density' flights – Why not just put in those subway poles for multiple people to grab on to, “Attention passengers, we are experiencing turbulence, please fasten your seat belt, or hold on real tight to the pole.”
Cat adopted after walking 12 miles back to family who then tried to have him euthanized – I am not a cat person, but these people are really cold!
Christie's official portrait to cost taxpayers $85K: report – In the ex-governor’s defense, it took a LOT of paint!
After calling Barbara Bush an ‘amazing racist,’ a professor taunts critics: ‘I will never be fired’ – Perhaps, but you will also always be fat and ugly…and stupid!
Kim Kardashian's bikini pic body-shamed by users mocking her toe – I’m not a fan of the K’s, but I have to ask, who the hell is looking at her toes?
4 Things You Should Never Ask While Being Interviewed – I know from experience that asking, “Do you allow booze in the office?” should not be asked on the first interview.
Majority of Americans utter curse words when stressed out, study finds – Number one I think this is complete bull shit, number two, what dumb ass would give a fuck about such stupid issue.
FEEL-GOOD STORY OF THE WEEK:
One Armed Three-Year-Old Plays Golf – I don’t care if you like golf or not, if this doesn’t give you a warm glow, you have no heart.
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Come Back Next Week For More
STUPID HEADLINE SUNDAY!

 

Friday, April 20, 2018

I Hate Starbucks

I Hate Starbucks
A cranky opinion for
CRANKY OPINION SATURDAY
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with no expertise in the topic opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome, but they are wrong.  As always, please, no name calling, and that means you, you big stupid-head! 
I hate Starbucks.  I hate Starbucks because their coffee is too strong.
I hate Starbucks because it is so damn expensive.
I hate Starbucks because Starbucks is young and hip and I am old and cranky.
Is that a fair reason to hate Starbucks? Maybe not, still, I hate Starbucks.
Because I hate Starbucks, it pains me to come to their defense.
Starbucks is in the news lately because they called the police on two men who were doing nothing wrong while in one of their establishments. 
It seems two men entered this establishment and asked to use the rest room.  They were told only paying customers could use the restroom.  The two men then hung around the restaurant apparently waiting for someone.  They were asked to leave, they refused, the manager called the police and they were arrested tor trespassing.
The men that were arrested were African American and this has become a racial incident.  The manager was fired.  The CEO of Starbucks is apologizing all over the place and has even met with the two men to ask their help in resolving the issue and assist in ending systematic racism in Starbuck’s corporate culture.
Now I am thinking, I have gone into a McDonalds many times while traveling and used the bathroom without asking.  Most times I still bought lunch, but not always.  Their bathrooms are always open.  The fact these men asked to use the bathroom tells me the room is locked.
If they are locked it suggests to me that these restrooms have been misused in the past by non-patrons.  Maybe they were damaged, maybe the homeless used them to bathe, maybe they were used to take drugs…who knows, but it seems to me that it should be an establishment’s right to not have open bathrooms for anyone to use at the possible detriment to their paying customers.
I also don’t know why anyone would be allowed to take up a table in a restaurant and not purchase anything.  I would never walk into a restaurant and ask for a table for two, and then not order anything.
“No thanks, we’re just waiting for a friend and then we’re leaving.”
If I wanted to use the bathroom and then wait for a friend and was told I needed to be a paying customer, I would buy a cup of coffee.  Most people would buy a cup of coffee.  Anyone who just refused to buy anything or leave is suspicious to me.
Apparently Starbucks is a known place to sip coffee and dawdle, work on your computer, kill time between appointments etc.; but at least, buy a cup of coffee.
Is Starbucks racist?  Not for this incident. 
I have read claims that white people have used this same Starbucks without purchasing anything.  If white people are using the restroom and not buying anything, if white people are hanging around just killing time without buying anything and they are not given the bum’s rush, then yeah, Starbucks is racist. 
But, you ask, “Even if the white people are polite and these African Americans gentlemen copped an attitude?” 
Hell yes, white people would cop an attitude too if based on previous experiences they had reason to believe they were being discriminated against. 
Starbucks should kick out anyone, white or black who is just loitering. If they discriminate and allow whites to dawdle without buying anything then they are racist and I hate Starbucks. 
If they assert this policy equally, then they are not racist.
I still hate Starbucks because their coffee is too strong, it is so damn expensive, and because I am old and Starbucks is young and hip.
The preceding was the opinion of a cranky old man, and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.