Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Preconceived Notions

Apple is busily holding its World Wide Developer Conference: an annual gathering of people in the support structure to meet and discuss all things Apple. As they do every year, the conference began with a keynote address. During the address, a number of big, new ideas came up. Many of them interested me, but one of them was bigger than the others, at least to me.

That was the HomePod. This is a device that most people are comparing to the Amazon Echo. And they have good reason to do so. The Echo was designed as a device to be your in home AI with built in music playback capability. As luck would have it, though I'm fully invested in the Apple ecosystem, I also own an Echo which I've had for about six months now.

I love my Echo. Every morning as I prepare for work, I get my Flash Briefing which, for me, consists of NPR News, the Washington Post politics feed, my local weather and "The Daily" from the New York Times. Those are the sounds that accompany my daily preparation to take on the office. This is a wonderful device. And part of that wonder is that the news feature is something I can't really get from Siri.

So when the HomePod was announced, Echo lovers (such as the private Facebook group I'm a member of) rushed to condemn it as inferior since Siri is inferior to Alexa. But they're missing the point. The HomePod is a high end speaker for playing music that also has Siri embedded. Bottom line: I'm getting one in December.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Regrets

I discovered blogger.com so very many years ago when I decided that my thoughts were so important, the world would want to know all of them. I've decided now that I'm really doing this more as a diary. If anything, I would expect my children to discover the entries after I die (hopefully many years from now).

It's with this in mind that I decided to delete my entries of years ago. If you're curious, use the Wayback machine to find what the page looked like before today (or, more accurately, lloydian.blogspot.com). I found that entirely too many of my entries were difficult for even me to understand because I lack the context of the time we lived in. To sum up: I did not like the war in Iraq. I was frequently frustrated by my sister, and my football team was on top of the world.

Since then, Linda died, Dad died, the Cardinals have hit relative highs and lows, and life goes on.

And I'm in much the same position I was in 2009. I live in the same house. It's nice that I own it (or Wells Fargo and I own it). Everyone's older. I have another grandchild, and yet another is on the way.

In short, my life needs a purpose. I'm not quite sure what that purpose should be. Fate has dealt me one aspect of it with my mother moving in thanks to health concerns making living alone untenable for her. Our politics don't match. Our religions don't match. Our tastes don't match. Life has not become easy in my later years.

Which leaves me feeling a bit melancholy. So if you have a few minutes to enjoy a melancholy song, allow me to suggest one: 


Friday, June 02, 2017

8 Years Just Flew By!

I haven't even read the posts I wrote all those years ago. I'd probably be totally embarrassed by them, but I can't deny that I wrote them, so unless I notice something awful, I'll leave them.

I feel like I need to add my voice to the world. Narcissism is easy, so I'm going to indulge myself. Perhaps I can console myself by saying that no one would ever notice anyhow. But back to my point: we live in interesting times.

I grew up in an America where World War II was a not too distant memory. As a child I would play soldier knowing that the evil Germans were our enemy. Despite the fact that I was born in Los Angeles, I never really saw the Japanese in the same light that I perceived Germans. But even as a child, I understood that the greatest evil in the world were the Russkies. Those Russians were forced to live in a society where the government controlled everything they read, so they had no perception of the enlightened life we led in America.

Yet in the reality where I currently live, Americans have, to some extent, embraced leadership that's simultaneously stupid and evil. What I don't understand is how so many people who I otherwise respect could fall for such obvious crap. I live in Arizona, so being surrounded by conservatives is nothing new for me. While Obama was president, we passed SB1070 to remind people with brown skin that we don't trust them. Yet the easiest test of all, Donald Trump, pointed out the failure of critical thought in my state.

But that isn't anything new. If I come back to this after another eight year absence, perhaps I'll be able to note that the temporary aberration was much ado about nothing.

So let me change the subject. Today is the second day of June in 2017 which means the Roger Waters concert is only 12 days away. His new album dropped yesterday on iTunes. I'm listening now... for the second time. I would be interested in the album under any circumstances, but the impending concert has me actively studying the most recent work so I can intelligently discuss it when the show comes. Music is best when pain is involved. Roger Waters is the best pain merchant ever.

Enough thoughts for one day. Tune in tomorrow for musings on my passive aggressive housemate.

Preconceived Notions

Apple is busily holding its World Wide Developer Conference: an annual gathering of people in the support structure to meet and discuss all ...