Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Honest Trailers - Thor

Yes, it's just that funny...

Wild Flowers just growing there...

Some wild flowers I saw passing by the other day. Just there in a punk-rock way that said, "screw your lawn." Even some places where there's nothing else growing there! Plants are crazy.

Monday, April 28, 2014

From Mechanic to Teacher?

Where I work, there are some problems getting people engaged with our technology services. Looking for new ideas, I sent this to the boss.


Our /service/ numbers are bad, and they’re only going to get worse.

  • Residential zone, with an older affluent population rather than businesses, “Gee, Dad, you should really get a Mac.”
  • The Windows 8 System Refresh actually works!
  • Android and ChromeOS devices are being taken care of by Google.
  • iOS devices (iPhone and iPad)... Well, hard to argue against what works.
  • The techs I communicate with at /service/ are, at best, incompetent.

The “repair” business is a dying business model. There’s still some money to be made, but that’s going to dry up pretty soon.

This leaves us (hell, I mean ‘me’) asking “how do we transition to something else?”
You stop being a mechanic and become a teacher.

  • Show them how to use it! The Tech Industry is big on the idea of “here it is, figure out how to use it yourselves.”
  • Windows 8; so freakin' weird it made my first Red Hat Linux install over a decade ago seem Fisher-Price easy!
  • Android; you have to use it to understand it. If you’re looking at printed documentation, it’s obsolete.
  • Google Services; Drive, Keep, G+, and it’s auto-backing up my photos? What? Where?
  • “How do I edit and print my pictures?”

There’s an in-store tech support SKU, but it’s undefined for time period covered. Coverage during Depot Time needs be considered, as well. I’ll leave that up to the management team.


P.S. - Swearing has been removed from the document for sensitive ears. If it helps, feel free to mentally re-insert swearing every third word in a sentence. Socially acceptable, or not, where there is new technology, there will be swearing.

[a few days later] Nah. Who am I kidding? For this to work, we'd have to have a working wifi network in the store, and Depot has demonstrated they're not into making that happen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rocks, Weeds, and Bugs - #MyBeautifulEarth 2014

Alright, everyone is going to go ga-ga over lots of amazing photos for Earth Day. Rightfully so, because there's some really cool stuff out there. But, right across the street, there's a manicured lawn that's supposed to be just grass. It's not.
There are wild flowers that become "weeds" when the bloom falls off. There are ants that remove all sorts of crap (you can see one or two determined ants trying to drag the dime I left for scale away from the ant-hole), and have a stinging bite. And let's not forget that a lot of the Earth is made up of rock that can't grow anything.
So, relish in the beauty of the Earth. Learn what you can from it's life and systems. When we get off this rock and head out into space, we'll need to know how to Terra-form, and everything is going to have to be as tough as these ants and wild flowers that survived the worst winter on record for a century.

Trying some night shots for MyBeautifulEarth

Going with the night-time for #MyBeautifulEarth...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Camera app; used in the wild!

Pictures taken on the way to, and coming home from, work yesterday.
As expected, the file sizes were huge, and the panorama shots just didn't make anything "better" than they were before, but I still got some nice pictures out of it. And, of course, if you begin with a huge file, it's easier to crop and resize, like I did with the white blossoms on the tree.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

New Camera app, new protocal

So, Google came out with a new camera app for Android (4.4.X) which I hated at first, due mostly to not being able to find documentation. It's grown on me, though, and the rough edges will be taken care of in short order, I'm sure.
But it has caused me to rethink the way I use my camera, and how I take photos. I've decided to crank the camera up to it's highest settings. I can always edit the size of an image down with Pixlr Express, or some other photo-editor, but it's hard to improve something that's already been expanded as much as it'll get.
The real challenge will be from the resulting file size of the images. Remember Google gives you 15GB free, divided between Google+, Blogger, Gmail, and Google Drive. Take into account that Google+ also backs-up your photos automatically, so I'll have to go in and manually delete what I don't need regularly.
Still, when things improve, we all win...

That, Sir, is a work of Art!